Will the ageing population be a ‘burden’ to society or does it represent opportunity for both individuals and the ACT community? David Hill and Susan Beaumont, from Achieve by Design believe that people over 55 have the potential to have a positive impact on the community. Research shows that the secret to ageing well is staying active, connected and engaged in meaningful activity.

The Mature Aged Workers Project is an innovative Workforce Impact Collective (WIC)* project funded by the ACT Government. This project aims to encourage people over 55 to consider frontline disability support work, regardless of their previous work experience. “Disability work is flexible and meaningful; it is an opportunity to ‘help yourself by helping others’ and it provides many diverse opportunities beyond personal care”, said David Hill, one of the project leaders.

The life-experiences that mature-aged people can bring to disability support work is truly an untapped potential. When you consider how people living with a disability can benefit from this, it really is a win- win-situation.

In Stage one of the project, through interviews, workshops and information sessions, mature aged people have heard about the many opportunities for flexible and meaningful work in the disability sector and have responded very positively. As one attendee of an early workshop commented, “I have learnt that working in disability is more about working with people to enable them to do what they want, than it is about doing things for people”.

During the second stage of the project participants will have the opportunity to meet disability employers and explore training and employment pathways. The next free information workshops for Mature-Aged Workers sessions will be held on November 19th or 20th (1pm-5pm). If you are over 55 and would like to attend one of these sessions, please contact Susan on 0450 202 426 or click here to send us an email

*The Workforce Impact Collective (WIC) has a vision to create a frontline disability workforce with the quality, capacityandsustainabilityrequiredtocontributetopeoplewithdisabilityhavinggreaterchoiceandcontrol. If you have a project idea, or would like to be involved in WIC, please call 0459 863 976.

This article was first published in the Canberra edition of CityNews.