EveryAge Counts: an advocacy campaign aimed at tackling ageism in Australia
EveryAGE Counts is an ambitious campaign spearheading a social movement with a challenging goal: to shift social norms (those unwritten rules of how we think and behave) and positively influence the way Australia thinks about ageing and older people.
Ageism is not benign or harmless. It is a big problem because it impacts on our confidence, quality of life, job prospects, health, and control over life decisions. It is pervasive but often hidden. It can distort our attitudes to older people and ageing and have profound negative impacts on our personal experience of growing older.
The EveryAGE Counts campaign vision is “a society where every person is valued, connected and respected regardless of age and health”. The overall goal of EveryAGE Counts is to set strong, new foundations for current and future generations to age well. The campaign has to work at a number of levels over time to achieve its goal. EveryAGE Counts is built on a variety of social change activities, including:
- Advocacy, political engagement and public campaigning for policy changes and new policy initiatives – see their Policy Directions;
- Addressing specific structural barriers to participation for older people, for example, in particular settings where ageist policies or entrenched practices prevent access or equal participation;
- Increasing the diversity and accuracy of representations of older people in media, arts and public discussion;
- Building a grassroots social movement so all Australians can be involved in the change they want to see;
- Further research and policy development to ensure an evidence based approach.
The EveryAGE Counts campaign was formally launched on 11 October 2018.
Follow them at www.everyagecounts.org.au
The EveryAGE Counts campaign was initially conceived by The Benevolent Society as part of its important campaigning and advocacy work. In March 2017, The Benevolent Society (TBS) commissioned Urbis to undertake a three pronged research project focusing on understanding ‘the drivers of ageism’. Via a literature review, and both qualitative and quantitative studies, this research provided a foundation of evidence to inform a campaign strategy and give the campaign the best chance of success. Funding for the establishment of the campaign has come largely from The Benevolent Society as part of meeting the organisation’s social justice goals and strategic plan.