The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

24 April 2011


Joint Media Release
The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Panel Appointed to Advise on Potential of Seniors

The Gillard Government today announced the membership of the Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians (the Panel) to help Australia best respond to the opportunities presented by a larger and more active community of seniors.

The Panel will examine how we can best harness the life experiences and intellectual capital of the older members of our community.

It will ensure the potential of the older members of our community are considered in a range of policy debates. The members of the Panel will be:

  • Mr Everald Compton AM (Chairperson), recently retired Chair of National Seniors Australia and Chair of the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation;
  • Professor Gill Lewin, President of the Australian Association of Gerontology, Professor at the Centre for Research on Ageing at Curtin University of Technology, and Research Director at Silver Chain, a provider of community and health services in WA; and
  • Professor Brian Howe AO, former Deputy Prime Minister with ministerial experience in the fields of social security, health, housing and community services, and Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne.

The Government has asked the Panel to consider a number of specific policy areas during its deliberations:

  • Opportunities created by the National Broadband Network for senior Australians to stay connected to their communities.
  • Opportunities for senior Australians to get involved in activities to preserve our environment and help tackle climate change.
  • Priority areas for consideration by the new Commissioner for Age Discrimination to help foster positive attitudes towards senior Australians across the community.
  • Improving workforce participation and investing in the skills of senior Australians to help businesses and community groups tap into an active and engaged talent pool of senior Australians.
  • Opportunities for businesses and community groups to provide a wider range of recreational and preventative health services that meet senior Australians' interests and support healthy and active lifestyles.
  • Creating new avenues to volunteer by supporting the networks and systems that can match the skills and abilities of a growing pool of senior Australians with community needs.
  • Supporting seniors-friendly housing by influencing planning, design and construction decisions to take advantage of the opportunities presented by demographic change.
  • Helping senior Australians make well-informed decisions and plan ahead for life's transitions.

The Panel will produce a series of reports for the Government in the second half of 2011. The work of the Panel will be assisted by a secretariat established in the Treasury and supported by the Department of Health and Ageing.

The Panel and secretariat will undertake targeted consultation with relevant experts and peak representative bodies around the country. The Panel's first meeting will be in Adelaide on Wednesday, 4 May 2011.

There will also be a number of forums where members of the public will be invited, through their membership of some of the major peak representative bodies for seniors, to meet with the Panel and share their views.

Interested parties are also invited to send any ideas or submissions to the secretariat, which can be fed into the Panel's deliberations.

Further information is available on the Panel's website, which was launched today at

Those interested in the Panel's work or consultations can contact the secretariat at or write to:

Advisory Panel on the
Economic Potential of Senior Australians (EPSA)
The Treasury
Langton Crescent

24 April 2011