Age discrimination can affect people in employment, housing, healthcare and many other areas.
The Age Discrimination Act 2004 protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of age in employment, education, accommodation and the provision of goods and services.
The Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon Kay Patterson, helps individuals and organisations understand their rights and meet their legal responsibilities.
The Commissioner’s work includes research, policy advice and education to remove the barriers to equality and participation faced by older Australians and young people.
The Commissioner is currently focusing on three core areas – older workers, elder abuse and older women at risk of homelessness.
Older workers: The Commission’s Willing to Work report, published in 2016 makes it clear that many older Australians are willing and able to work but are prevented from doing so by age discrimination and lack of positive policies and supports. The Commissioner is working to implement many of the recommendations of that report.
Elder abuse: Elder abuse can take various forms, including: financial, physical, psychological, emotional or sexual. It can also be the result of intentional or unintenitonal neglect.
No older person should be subjected to any form of abuse. More information
The Commissioner works with civil society organisations and government departments to implement recommendations from the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission report, Elder Abuse - A national Legal Response.
Older women and homelessness: Increasing numbers of older women are facing a housing crisis or homelessness. There are clear issues relating to the lack of affordable housing and targeted services for older people. More information
Age Discrimination Complaints
People who experience direct or indirect discrimination can lodge a complaint with the Commission.