The NSW Government is planning ahead for the needs of a culturally diverse aging population, Minister for aging Paul Lynch said today.
Speaking at the Diversity and aging in Action conference at Parramatta Town Hall, Mr Lynch said the NSW Government understood the need for government services to match the needs of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
"Sydney and New South Wales are among the most culturally-diverse locations in the world," Mr Lynch said.
"More than one million New South Wales residents speak a language other than English at home and most of those people live in Sydney," he said.
"While our city and State benefits both economically and culturally from this rich diversity, it is also aging," Mr Lynch said.
"By 2011, nearly 23 percent or more than 1 million Australians aged over 65 years will have come from a culturally and linguistically-diverse background," he said.
"That's why the NSW Government is planning ahead through a three-year Cultural Diversity Strategic Framework as part of the Towards 2030 strategy," Mr Lynch said.
The Cultural Diversity Strategic Framework will ensure that gender, culture, language, where people live and their socio-economic circumstances are factored into the delivery of government services.
Mr Lynch said that a series of language services workshops would be held throughout the State at the end of the month and in early June at Penrith, Parramatta, Bankstown, Wollongong, Wagga Wagga, the Hunter, Coffs Harbour and Armidale.
The workshops will primarily target front-line staff from aging, Disability and Home Care.
"The workshops aim to improve communication between staff and older people who rely on government services," Mr Lynch said.
In 2006, 12 percent of the NSW population was aged 65 to 84 years
In 2006, 1.6 percent was aged 85 years and over
By 2011, nearly 23 percent or more than 1 million Australians aged over 65 years will have come from a culturally and linguistically-diverse background.
By 2016, it is expected that Australia will have more people aged over 65 years than people aged 15 years or less.
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