Sunday, October 29, 2006

I see old people

One of the self-evidently stupid things I heard in my first year with the ABC in the ACT in the early eighties was that Canberra had "the most rapidly ageing" population in the country.

An advisor to Ros Kelly advanced the statistic, and with my understanding of such things I dismissed it as a 'try-on'. Canberra might have the most rapidly ageing population in the country but off a very low base. All around me (in the early eighties) I saw young people.

But I come back, 22 years later, and see OLD PEOPLE, everywhere - in their front yards and in coffee shops. It has happened, and it has happened very quickly.

And these old people are a breed apart - very switched on, many of them formally very senior public servants in policy areas. They are a resource, and Canberra is incredibly intellectually rich because of them, and an even better place to be in as well.

Oh the stories they could tell if you spent 3 hours with each and a tape recorder...