Cunningham Lecture 2016: “Will you still need me, will you still......”

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About the Speaker

Appointed as the Age Discrimination Commissioner in July, 2016 Kay came to the role with strong involvement in issues affecting older people. Kay left school at 15, managed a small business, and then returned to school and gained a BA (Hons) at the University of Sydney, a PhD in Psychology and a Dip Ed at Monash University. She taught allied health science students for 11 years. She studied gerontology at the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University. She then co-developed the first Victorian post-graduate diploma in gerontology and introduced gerontology into the undergraduate behavioural science courses.Following her election to the Senate in 1987, Kay served on a number of Senate committees and held various shadow portfolios. In 1988 she was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary and in 2001 was appointed to Cabinet and served in the Health and Social Security portfolios. She retired from Cabinet in 2006 and from the Senate in 2008. During her time in the Senate she pursued issues affecting older Australians and fought for the removal of the compulsory retirement age of 65 from the Australian Public Service and statutory authorities.Kay has served on a number of not-for-profit Boards and in voluntary positions. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2016 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.

FEATURING: The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO

When Paul McCartney penned his famous song “Will you still need me…” in 1966, at the age of 16, the oldest of Australia’s baby boomers were turning 20.  Despite Paul contemplating turning 64 these boomers were on the cusp of adulthood and the inevitability of turning 64 was most probably the furthest thing from their minds and for most of them would have seemed an impossibility.

The movement of the bulge of boomers through the years, often referred to as “the pig in the python” provided fertile ground to be tilled by social science researchers.

How is this cohort of ageing boomers doing now – what are they doing, how healthy are they, where are they living, how are they fairing; how do they compare with the war babies and boomers in other countries; and what of their future.

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