Brimbank City Council is taking part in a pilot campaign to help tackle the issue of ageism.
The #OldisBeautiful project started with a workshop for older residents to explore ageism and what beautiful means to them. Over the next couple of weeks you’ll see photographic portraits of older residents and their statements from the workshop on posters at Council Libraries and Community Centres and on social media as part of the initiative.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Ranka Rasic said:
“We know ageism is a problem with devastating consequences. We are fortunate in Brimbank to have the opportunity to learn from cultures where there is respect for older people. This initiative is part of our approach to ensure our older community members know we value them.”
Ageism can have devastating impacts on older people and our health care system, workplaces, the economy and our culture. Global research shows 1 in 2 people are ageist towards older people and ageism underpins the Elder Abuse experienced by 14% of older people in Australia.
The project is an initiative of Celebrate Ageing Ltd, a charity combatting ageism and building respect for older people. Pilot coordinator and Director of Celebrate Ageing Ltd Dr Catherine Barrett said:
“We wanted to include the City of Brimbank in our pilot #OldisBeautiful workshops because the City is so wonderfully diverse and because of the Council’s commitment to its older residents.
“The project creates an uplifting space for older people to build a positive self-image by exploring what beautiful means to them. We call this ‘hair and make up for the soul’ because you can feel people’s spirits lift as we reclaim beautiful for all ages – and that influences what they take to the photo shoot.”
The Victorian pilot is a partnership with Elder Rights Advocacy, an organisation promoting the human rights of older Victorians, who recognise the role of the campaign in primary prevention of Elder Abuse. CEO Debra Nicholl said:
“The #OldisBeautiful project challenges the messages sent by the Fashion and Beauty Industry that we are less beautiful and of less value as we age. This is an innovative approach to of building the confidence of older people – and educating the community about valuing older people and valuing our own ageing. These are important steps in primary prevention of Elder Abuse.”