A day to celebrate the older people in our lives


1 October 2021

Today, October 1, is the United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons, a day to celebrate the older people in our lives and recognise the huge contribution they make to our communities.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the Council of the Ageing (COTA) are also marking October 1 as Australia's inaugural Ageism Awareness Day, drawing attention to the impact of ageism and how to combat it.

This year’s International Day of Older Persons theme, Digital Equity for All Ages, highlights the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.

Recent reports by the International Telecommunications Union indicate that women and older persons experience digital inequity to a greater extent than other groups in society; they either lack access to technologies or are often not benefitting fully from the opportunities provided by technological progress.

Meanwhile, as efforts to connect more people are currently under way, new risks have become apparent, the UN reports. For example, cybercrimes and misinformation threaten the human rights, privacy, and security of older people. The rapid speed of adoption of digital technology has outpaced policy and governance at the national, regional, and global levels. 

The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap  seeks to address these challenges by recommending concrete action to harness the best of these technologies and mitigate their risks.

For further advice and learning resources, including e-safety training, visit the Australian Government website Be Connected - designed to empower all Australians to develop digital skills and confidence.

For more on Ageism Awareness Day, go to  Ageism Awareness Day 2021