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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Laying the ground work for the Golden Gurus program

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, this morning launched the Golden Gurus website and invited interested organisations to become involved in the new national Golden Gurus program.

The Golden Gurus program will harness the skills and experience of Australians aged 50 years and over. Through Golden Gurus, mature age Australians will be able to meet new people, develop social networks, access free training, and participate in an Ambassadors program.

The new program will commence on 1 January 2010 and will be facilitated by a range of quality organisations across Australia. The Government is seeking expressions of interest from non profit and community organisations that would like to be part of the Golden Gurus program.

‘Skilled and experienced mature age people voluntarily give their time to support Australian communities and small businesses every day,’ said Dr Stephens.

‘Through the Golden Gurus program, we’d like to recognise the Australians who already give to their communities. We’d also like to encourage more Australians to get on board.’

‘There is a range of organisations with expertise in connecting mature age people to skilled volunteering and mentoring roles’, said Dr Stephens. ‘We’d like to recognise the work that they do.’

Organisations interested in becoming part of the national community can find out more at Golden Gurus (www.deewr.gov.au/goldengurus). Expressions of interest are sought by 30 November 2009 for the official start of the program in January 2010.

Mature age people who wish to become Golden Gurus are encouraged to visit the website and join the mailing list to be notified of future announcements about the program.

Golden Gurus was an idea presented at the Australia 2020 Summit and forms part of the Government’s social inclusion agenda.