The 1960s was a decade of change with the children of the post-war exerting their influences and ideologies onto the Australian cultural landscape. There were public demonstrations against the Vietnam War, conscription and established rules and restrictive morals.

Whilst it could be argued that it was also the decade when we saw the start of the generation gap it was also the beginning of Seniors Week, or Old People’s Week as it was then, in Queensland.

Sixty years later we are at the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing a time when we are coming together for ten years of concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families and the communities in which they live.

Yet it is also a time to celebrate the achievements of the past, the contribution that older people have made and continue to make to the development of our State.

This year because of COVID-19 Seniors Week will be different. Regrettably, there will not be as many large events and gatherings of people as we continue to work to maintain the safety of our communities and the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.

We thank the Queensland Government for their continued support and recognition of the important role that older people play and the need to celebrate this.

By August some of the restrictions that have been in place over the past few months will have eased and that Seniors Week may be an opportunity when we can bring together people of all ages. If not always physically then at least virtually and therefore a key component of Seniors Week this year will be Virtual Hugs  and connecting through Together: the stories of us aimed at celebrating and showing the diversity of Queenslanders.

We have also been exploring the organisation of more statewide activities, embracing the opportunities provided by technology and continuing to work with the many partners who have helped to make Seniors Week so successful in the past.

Mark Tucker-Evans
Chief Executive, COTA Queensland