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Supplementary information to the Inquiry into Cyber Safety for Senior Australians

Legal Legal
Friday 14 December, 2012

Supplementary information to the Inquiry into Cyber Safety for Senior Australians

Australian Human Rights Commission Supplementary Submission to the Joint select Committee on Cyber Safety

10 May 2012

Table of contents

1 Introduction

Information about cyber safety needs to be extended to offline media platforms in order to reach older Australians who are not yet online and may have concerns about going online due to safety issues. Older Australians are still very loyal to traditional media platforms such as TV, radio and print.[1] The following media settings and publications target older Australians and could be good avenues for information and publicity about cyber safety.

2 Magazines

a) National magazines

2.2 50 Something

50 Something is lifestyle members’ magazine published by National Seniors Australia, which is issued to 160,000 households every two months. It has a total readership of 367,998.[2]

National Seniors Australia is a non-profit organisation with over 250,000 members. It is the largest organisation in Australia representing the over 50s community.



ONE COTA is a members’ magazine published by the Council on the Aging (COTA), which is issued in hard copy every two months to around 40,000 members. The magazine has a readership of approximately 80,000. [3]

ONE COTA webpage:

Approximately 1000 organisations are members of COTA, and material is also distributed to these members for publication in their newsletters. The member organisations have reach to around 500,000 individuals—though this may be through the online medium as well as other media.

COTA also produces an electronic national newsletter 

COTA website:

2.4 News for Seniors

News for Seniors is published by Centrelink three times a year and includes information for Age Pension pensioners, Service Pension pensioners, holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and members of the Pension Bonus Scheme on current pension rates and thresholds, concessions, allowances and services.

Further information:

2.5 The Retiree

The Retiree is a quarterly lifestyle publication for the retired, semi-retired and approaching retirement community across Australia.

The magazine is published by the Australian Publishing Resource Service


2.6 Active Retirees

Active Retirees is a bi-monthly magazine aimed at retirees who have active lifestyles, for example they are travelling, studying, volunteering, socialising or playing sports.

The magazine also aims to keep readers up to date with the activities of Probus, an international association of retirees with over 142,000 members in Australia.

b) State/territory or local magazines

Magazines for older Australians are also published by states and territories (and regionally or locally). For example:

2.7 Primetimes Tasmania

Primetimes Tasmania is a quarterly magazine for seniors (produced, printed and published in Tasmania). It has a distribution of 10,000, predominantly through clubs and organisations which cater for retired people, libraries, and newsagencies.[4]


3 Newspapers

a) Mainstream newspapers

Major newspapers have a large over 50s readership. All major newspapers have digital/technology sections where content aimed at older Australians could be included.

b) Local newspapers 

Most suburbs have local newspapers. These are very accessible as they are usually free and dropped off at people’s homes. Some local newspapers are directly aimed at older Australians. For example:

3.2 The Senior

Australian Senior Publications is a newspaper group for over 50s, which publishes six state-based publications titled The Senior. According to Australian Seniors’ website, The Senior has a combined readership of over 1.5 million.[5]


3.3 Fifty-Plus News

Fifty-Plus News is a free monthly newspaper for older people in Victoria. It’s delivered to more than 1200 distribution outlets that service the over 50 population, including Coles Supermarkets, Safeway Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Retirement Villages, Bowling and other Sporting Clubs, Senior Citizens Clubs, Life Activities Clubs and VIEW Clubs.[6]


4 Radio

a) ABC radio (national programs)

4.2 Radio National (ABC) – Future Tense

Future Tense is a weekly half-hour program that takes a critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking. It has a broad target audience which includes older Australians.

The show airs on Sunday at 11.30am and is repeated on Friday at 5.30am.


4.3 Radio National (ABC) – Download this show

Download This Show is a weekly half-hour program about new technology that is aimed at a younger audience. Whilst this show would not be appropriate for directly targeting older Australians, it could be useful for delivering indirect information via younger people concerned about how their parents or grandparents are engaging with digital technology. 


4.4 Radio National (ABC) - Life Matters

Life Matters is a daily (Monday to Friday) national radio program which examines contemporary Australian life including human behaviour, relationships, work, education, personal finance, family, health and the body.

The show has already engaged with the issue of cyber safety— in November 2011 an episode on cyber safety for older Australians referenced the work of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee. Further information:


4.5 Radio National (ABC) – Bush Telegraph

Bush Telegraph is a daily (Monday to Friday) national radio program on the issues and trends occurring outside Australia's capital cities. The show covers social concerns such as health and education and could be a good avenue to reach older rural audiences.


b) SBS radio

4.6 SBS Language Programs

SBS language programs could be an effective way of reaching older Australians from CALD backgrounds. SBS broadcasts in more than 68 languages.

Further information:

4.7 SBS World News Australia

World News Australia on SBS Radio is a news and current affairs program which airs nationally at 6am and 5pm from Monday to Friday.

The program covers national and international events, with a focus on multicultural and Indigenous issues


c) Community radio

There are over 270 community radio stations on air across Australia, including stations in urban, regional, rural and remote areas.[7] Many community radio stations have programs that target older audiences.

d) Commercial radio

There are numerous commercial radio stations across Australia which target older Australians. For example in Sydney, major radio stations that attract older demographics include 2GB, 2CH, and 2UE.

5 Television

There is potential to deliver information on cyber safety to older Australians through television advertising or through news and current affairs programs, for example on the 7:30 Report (ABC TV).

6 Other offline platforms and settings

Information on cyber safety for older Australians could also be delivered through hard copy material distributed in offline settings, for example through:

  • Seniors clubs
  • Senior’s events and retirement/lifestyle expos
  • Libraries and community centres
  • Superannuation companies (via newsletters)

[1] Nielsen Online, Advertising Effectiveness Report, 2007 in Australian Communications and Media Authority, Older uses of the Internet,, viewed 24 April 2012

[2] National Seniors Australia Media Kit 2011-2012 , viewed 27 April 2012

[3] ONE COTA, February-March 2012 Edition , viewed 27 April 2012, p.1

[4] Primetimes Tasmania, Distribution details document,, viewed 27 April, 2012

[5] Australian Senior,, viewed 27 April, 2012

[6] Fifty-Plus News,, viewed 27 April 2012

[7] Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, viewed 27 April 2012