The Governor General, Quentin Bryce has said that ageing should be seen as a “natural part of life” in a speech to the Sydney Institute.

“There is no doubt that [ageing] presents challenges, most of them randomly dished out to us,” said Ms Bryce.

“How we care for our growing elderly population, whatever extra burdens they might bear in their later years, is a manifest sign of the health, well-being, and humanity of our entire nation.”

Ms Bryce also paid tribute to aged care facilities in outback communities for the high quality of care they provide and the way in which they foster intergenerational interactions.

“When I visit inland and remote towns, I often stop by at the aged care centre,” said Ms Bryce. “Some of those tiny places do it so well.

“There might be a kindergarten, a school, and a nursing home all within coo-ee of one another, and all connected and involved with the wider community.

“The kids see their grandparents and great aunts and uncles on their way home from school.

“They share afternoon tea, sing to them, read books on their beds, and push their chairs in the gardens.”

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