At the inaugural International Arts and Health Conference in Port Macquarie the Ambassador, who was appointed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, said that she viewed her role as reversing the negative stereotypes around ageing presented by the media.
“One of my tasks I feel as Ambassador for Ageing is to dispel the myths and reverse the stereotypes that surround older people,” Mrs Brown said.
“They come up so often: the ageing population is a looming crisis; the more older people there are the greater burden they are on society; older people don’t understand new technologies; older people are isolated and lonely.”
Mrs Brown said that Australia’s older people saved the government about $75 billion in voluntary work and suggested that they had been unfairly represented in debates on population growth.
"In smaller communities the real glue that holds everything together is the older people. We should be congratulating them every day, not just on Australia Day.”
“What we’re seeing in the last 10 years is an absolute explosion of activity [in the sector] where the arts has now extended into primary healthcare facilities, palliative and respite care, retirement homes, and public health and health promotion in the community at large.”
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