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What's in the Strategy


Read the NSW Ageing Strategy Year Two Progress Report and NSW Ageing Strategy Year Three Action Plan


Population ageing is changing life in NSW. Our economy, labour market, healthcare and other essential services, and the fabric of our communities are evolving.

The NSW Ageing Strategy 2016–2020 is the NSW Government’s commitment to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our ageing population.

Our vision is that people in NSW experience the benefits of living longer and enjoy opportunities to participate in, contribute to and be included in their communities.

The Strategy focuses on five priorities that older people across NSW have said are important to them:

  1. Health and wellbeing
  2. Working and retiring
  3. Housing choices
  4. Getting around
  5. Inclusive communities

Projects and initiatives under each priority area are outlined in the Strategy’s annual action plans.

These plans recognise the key role of NSW Government agencies in preparing for population ageing by using existing planning processes to adapt services and infrastructure for the future, and enhance our focus on our ageing population in relevant large-scale programs.

The Year Two Action Plan includes 55 initiatives across the five priority areas, led by a range of NSW Government agencies.

FACS leads the implementation of the Strategy and is delivering a range of projects. For information about these projects, see What we are doing under the Strategy.

New or expanded initiatives will be further developed and detailed in subsequent plans.

Our efforts will continue to shift and evolve over the remaining years of the Strategy as we assess outcomes and integrate learnings from our initiatives.

Why we need it

The NSW population is ageing. Over one million people are aged 65 and over, and more than 1.3 million aged 50 to 64. By 2031, more than one in three people in NSW will be aged 50 or over.

The growing number of older people in NSW offers many benefits. Older people make a significant contribution to our society and to our economy, as volunteers, paid workers, students, family members, carers and consumers. They help to create a more inclusive and broader community.

The needs of an ageing population also create a range of challenges. Older people need and want services, support, employment opportunities and accessible communities. More people in our communities are older and may face isolation, loneliness, a lack of respect, and even abuse.

What we are doing under the Strategy

FACS leads the implementation of the NSW Ageing Strategy. We are also delivering a number of projects under the Strategy. These include:

  • Art of Ageing exhibition – representing the diverse lives and experiences of older people in NSW
  • Grandparents Day – an annual celebration of the contribution of grandparents and other older people to our families and communities
  • Liveable Communities – funding innovative projects to make local communities more responsive and inclusive of the needs of older people
  • Seniors Card – increasing the spread of businesses offering discounts to older people.
  • NSW Seniors Festival – a state-wide festival promoting positive ageing for NSW seniors through events which encourage older people to get involved in art, sport, music, entertainment, technology, travel, recreation, health and practice good nutrition. The festival encourages events at a local level and includes the following highlight projects.
  • Premier’s Gala Concert – one of the highlight events of the NSW Seniors Festival, these free concerts combine a variety of talent to produce a spectacular show for older people to enjoy.
  • NSW Seniors Festival Expo – an opportunity to showcase some of the services available to seniors to support a better quality of life.
  • NSW Seniors Festival Grants – a program providing $200,000 in seed funding to organisations and councils to run events and activities that advocate for positive ageing whilst contributing to their local communities.

We are also supporting the delivery of other Strategy projects through partnerships with not-for-profit and private sector organisations.

Modified Sport

The Modified Sports program offers low impact sports to help older people lead healthy, active and happy lives. These are delivered in partnership with Football NSWNetball NSW, Gymnastics NSW, Softball NSW, Basketball NSW and Table Tennis NSW. These modified sports give older people the opportunity to participate in lower-impact versions of these activities tailored for different ability levels. For more information on how to get involved, please contact:

Sport Contact details
Football NSW – Walking Football Email –
Phone – (02) 8814 4400
Netball NSW – Walking Netball Email –
Phone – (02) 9951 5000
Gymnastics NSW – Move for Life Email –
Phone – (02) 8116 4113
Softball NSW – Teeball Email –
Phone – (02) 9677 4000
Basketball NSW – Walking Basketball Email –
Phone – (02) 8765 8555
Table Tennis NSW – Active Table Tennis Email –
Phone – (02) 8736 1266

Cooking for One or Two

Cooking for One or Two is a health and nutrition program. It will provide workshops to educate older people on how to prepare healthy, cost-effective meals.  For more information, please call The Benevolent Society on 1800 236 762.

Grandparent Connection

Grandparent Connection aims to support the social engagement of older people and alleviate loneliness and isolation. We are funding The Benevolent Society to pilot a grandparent connection intergenerational program.

Sing Your Age

Sing Your Age is a grants program to facilitate older people's participation in singing groups. Working with the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA), we are supporting the creation of new singing groups for older people, and the inclusion of older people in existing groups across the state.

Tech Savvy Seniors

Tech Savvy Seniors supports older people to improve their digital literacy through low-cost or free training, and online resources for using new technology. It is delivered in partnership with Telstra and provides low-cost or free training so older people can learn to use technology such as computers, tablets and smart phones.

How we are responding to elder abuse

Elder Abuse Helpline

The NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit was established as part of the NSW Ageing Strategy, to help intervene and prevent incidences of elder abuse.

Older people who are experiencing abuse, or those who are concerned about an older person, should contact the Helpline:

The helpline is a free, confidential service that provides advice and referrals to support older people experiencing abuse.

If you require an interpreter, first call 131 450 and tell the operator your preferred language.

Elder Abuse Interagency Policy

The Preventing and responding to abuse of older people (Elder Abuse) Interagency Policy (June 2018) sets out the approach for preventing and responding to abuse of older people for NSW Government agencies. The abuse of older people is often called ‘elder abuse’.

This policy has three aims:

  • To describe the key parameters of abuse of older people, including types and risk factors
  • To set out the broad framework for responding to abuse of older people in NSW
  • To describe the requirements for agencies in dealing with abuse of older people

The policy also sets out considerations for information sharing and decision-making. Others who work with older people, whether local government, non-government organisations or private service providers, may also find useful guidance in this document.

Reporting abuse

Any incident of harm to an older person in our community is of great concern.

All serious crimes, whether committed in the home, community or in residential aged care, should be reported to the NSW Police Force for investigation and appropriate action.

Section five of the Interagency policy for preventing and responding to the abuse of older people provides help and contacts for workers when the abuse of an older person is:

  • alleged
  • disclosed
  • witnessed
  • suspected.

Further information is available on the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit website.

Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit Dashboard

The Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit also collects data to report on the number of calls received by the Helpline, the nature of these calls and the types of abuse reported. This data is presented in the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit Dashboard.

While this data does not reflect the overall prevalence of elder abuse in NSW, the Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit Dashboard provides the most comprehensive collection of Helpline data since it was established in 2012. The dashboard and the NSW Elder Abuse Inquiry Progress Report also demonstrate our performance in supporting vulnerable older people, and progress made under the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016–2020.

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Last updated: 19 Mar 2018