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What's in the Strategy

Consultation on the next NSW Government strategy for seniors

Seniors and organisations in NSW are invited to take part in the consultations for the next NSW Government strategy for seniors. This process provides a vital opportunity for citizens to be involved in shaping their future.

The plan will succeed the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016 – 2020.

We would like to hear directly from as many people as we can during the consultation period, which is open until Tuesday 30 June 2020.

To ensure as many seniors as possible are included in the process and in response to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, consultations will be held via online group forums and the NSW Government’s Have Your Say website.

As NSW has an ageing population, it is critical to have a plan for current needs as well as new and emerging issues expected to affect seniors in the near future. The new strategy will be a whole-of-government, whole-of-community plan addressing those needs. It will be launched in 2021.


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.

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

DCJ leads the implementation of the Strategy and is delivering a range of projects. See what we are doing under the Strategy to learn more about these projects.

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.

Events and projects

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

  • A new one-off grant program Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19  that will provide funding to organisations to create programs that foster social inclusion for seniors.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Liveable Communities – funding innovative projects to make local communities more responsive and inclusive of the needs of older people.

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 NSWGymnastics 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.

Set up your own modified sport

The NSW Government has produced a Toolkit which can be used to support other sporting codes to adapt their sports for seniors. The Modified Sports Program evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of the program.


For more information on how you can get involved in a modified sport, please contact:

Sport Contact details
Football NSW – Walking Football Email –
Phone – (02) 8814 4400
Netball NSW – Walking Netball Email –
Phone – (02) 9951 5020
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.

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

Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline

The NSW Ageing and Disability Commission provides the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline 1800 628 221 (Monday – Friday 9-5). If you require an interpreter, first call 131 450 and tell the operator your preferred language.

Ageing and Disability Commission

The Ageing and Disability Commission is an independent agency of the NSW government. Its role is to better protect older people and adults with disability from abuse, neglect and exploitation from someone they know living in their home or community, and to promote their fundamental human rights. Further information can be found at:

Elder Abuse Interagency Policy

The Preventing and responding to abuse of older people Interagency Policy (2020) 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’.

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.

NSW Government commitment

The NSW Government's commitment to identifying and preventing elder abuse is demonstrated through the NSW Ageing Strategy. Our performance is also demonstrated through the NSW Elder Abuse Inquiry Progress Report and Final Report.

Other resources

Compass – a national resource guiding action on elder abuse

National Elder Abuse Helpline
1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374)

Domestic Violence Line
1800 656 463

Link2home Homelessness
1800 152 152

Link2Home Veterans and Ex-Service
1800 326 989

Child Protection Helpline
13 2111

Our research and consultations

The NSW Ageing Strategy was first released in 2012 as a ‘living’ document. In 2016, it was revised from the ground up based on the themes and ideas brought forward by older people.


To ensure the renewed Strategy is evidence-based and informed by older people and key partners, we consulted with people from across NSW. This included:

  • a state-wide listening tour, led by the Minister for Ageing, the Hon. John Ajaka MLC. Over 160 people attended consultations in Port Macquarie, Griffith, Bathurst, Goulburn, Nowra, Parramatta, Dubbo, Hawkesbury, Broken Hill and Tamworth
  • a public ‘Have Your Say’ survey, completed by over 700 people
  • a roundtable with private sector representatives, led by Minister Ajaka, to focus on how government can better work with the private sector
  • focus groups with older people from Aboriginal communities
  • focus groups with older people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • consultation with other NSW Government departments, including Multicultural NSW.

Overall, we heard from more than 4,300 older people of varying ages, cultural backgrounds and locations in NSW. The results are reflected throughout the Strategy. They helped us to better understand and respond to the needs of older people.

We are committed to speaking with and hearing from older people and other partners in government, the community and the private sector across NSW over the life of the Strategy.

On 15 April 2016, then Minister Ajaka invited representatives from the private sector, for-profit, not-for-profit and research and policy bodies to attend a roundtable on ageing in NSW. This Roundtable Summary provides an overview of the key discussion points from the session.


The Strategy draws on research on the experiences of our ageing population. We undertook research specifically for the Strategy, as well as using the extensive literature that already exists. We will continue to support research that helps us to understand the needs of older people.

The Strategy also reflects the findings of the independent evaluation of the original NSW Ageing Strategy.

The NSW Ageing Strategy Research Report was commissioned to gain an understanding of the NSW population aged 50 to 60 and their thoughts about ageing, particularly in regards to current experiences, level of thought and planning, perceived needs, preferences and attitudes around:

  • housing, such as location, design and affordability
  • health, in terms of accessibility to healthcare services and availability of amenities and planning for future health needs
  • transport, in terms of private and public transport options, availability of community transport and planning ahead for life after driving
  • employment, retirement and financial planning
  • the trend towards working longer into later years than previous generations
  • ageism in the workforce
  • participation in non-employment-related activities
  • liveable communities.

Governance and reporting

The NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing ( MACA ) is the official advisory body to the NSW Government on matters of interest to older people. The council provides advice to government, conducts consultations and seminars, and publishes discussion papers on ageing issues.

Policy advice and administrative support are provided by Secretariat staff based in Inclusion and Early Intervention.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019