Our Guiding Principles

The core values and beliefs that shape our work

OWN’s Guiding Principles provide older women with a blueprint for growing old with dignity and wellbeing, consistent with the concepts of positive and healthy ageing.

They were developed through an on-going consultative process involving all NSW groups.

The Guiding Principles are used by members as a template when representing the Older Women’s Network at public meetings and forums.

The following Guiding Principles recognise the diversity of older women, while expressing the core values and beliefs of OWN members.

Recognition of older women

Older women have the right to be valued and recognised for their contribution to the political, social and cultural areas of life.

Older women should have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of decision-making that could affect their wellbeing.

Our environment

The Older Women’s Network understands that the environment is not just a physical issue.

The environment is an all-embracing concept that influences, and is influenced by, economic, social, cultural and psychological factors such as housing, transport, health, social justice, education and the mass media.


Health is more than just the absence of disease. Health also includes a personal sense of wellbeing.

Socio-economic, emotional, social, cultural and physical factors influence health and wellbeing.

The Older Women’s Network believes that priority must be given to the maintenance of health and the prevention of illness.

Violence and Abuse

The Older Women’s Network believes that freedom from violence and abuse is a basic human right.Violence and abuse includes:

  • neglect
  • physical assault
  • psychological, emotional, and verbal abuse
  • sexual assault and abuse
  • financial and economic exploitation
  • social abuse


The rights of older women to define their own needs and to choose appropriate care and support services are essential to their dignity and wellbeing.


The Older Women’s Network is committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination, but particularly discrimination based on age, gender and race.


Affordable and accessible public and private transport is essential for older women to maintain their independence and to avoid social isolation.


Older women learn and develop a wide range of skills throughout their lives. It is vital that older women have access to learning activities that enable them to keep pace with change, and are able to enhance their self-fulfilment and continue their contribution to community life.

Income security

The Older Women’s Network recognises that a majority of women throughout their lives are disadvantaged in making provisions for their financial security in later life. In addition, government policies can impact adversely on the incomes of older women. To maintain quality of life, health and wellbeing, it is vital that older women have a base rate of retirement income that is adequate to their needs.


The Older Women’s Network recognises the importance of ongoing support services that address a variety of needs and issues relevant to voluntary carers’ lifestyles and particular needs. These include adequate financial assistance, access to quality respite care, information, education and training, emotional support, and community involvement.


Older women have a right to safe, secure, appropriate and affordable accommodation.

Our Work

See our principles in action.


Our fortnightly newsletter dOWNtime will keep you informed of the issues and events concerning older women.
Join the OWN community!

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This