The funding, which totals $27.2 million, will be delivered to the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at the University of New South Wales in Sydney over the next seven years.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt both acknowledged the important role of the research centre in meeting the challenges of an ageing population.
“Population ageing is one of the most important challenges facing Australia in the 21st century,” Mr Tehan says.
“The ARC Centre of Excellence will bring together leading researchers from a range of disciplines to undertake research that will help Governments, businesses, and consumers prepare and make better decisions for an ageing world.”
Minister Wyatt says the Centre of Excellence would help prepare the nation for the future.
“We are entering the golden age of ageing and we must embrace both the opportunities and the challenges, to keep Australia at the forefront of active ageing and aged care,” he says.
“With projections more than 40,000 Australians will be aged 100 or older in 2050, this Centre of Excellence will complement our current world-class work in this important are.”
CEPAR have welcomed the funding, and what it means for their research and work into the future.
“CEPAR will examine the changing demographics of Australia, and explore things such as how individuals make life decisions, investigate the barriers to mature workforce participation, and find solutions to help Governments improve retirement incomes and health policy,” ARC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Professor Sue Thomas says.
“Our core purpose is to provide independent research that has real impact in dealing with the economic and social challenges of population ageing,” CEPAR Director, Scientia Professor John Piggott adds.
“The funding will combine to support a critical mass of researchers in population ageing, will contribute to the development of the research program and, importantly, play an essential role in the translation of research outcomes to support economic and social policy, business practice and community understanding.”
Aged care peak body Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has also welcomed the funding announcement, with CEO Sean Rooney acknowledging how vital it is that Governments, industry and the Australian public have the best research available to help face the challenges of an ageing population.
“More informed decision making can only benefit older Australians,” he says.
“We have to come up with new ways of meeting the challenges of an ageing population and having a better understanding of trends in demographics and how people make decisions will help policy makers, the industry and older Australians and their families make more informed choices.
“This research-based approach to decision making is critical to managing many of the issues we are facing in aged care such as workforce, funding and quality care.
“Within industry there is an appetite and willingness to improve age services now to support older Australians to age well.
“More research will give us the information we need to keep improving the quality, affordability and sustainability of age services in Australia.”