Silver Rainbow – LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care



Understanding and celebrating the diversity of genders, bodies, sexualities, and relationships of older Australians.

Silver Rainbow is the National LGBTI Health Alliance project dedicated to LGBTI inclusive ageing and aged care in Australia.

Silver Rainbow educates and informs service providers, policy makers, government, communities and LGBTI peoples on inclusive practice and how this can be delivered in the Australian ageing and aged care sector.

There are two key projects:

  • LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy

This project aims to educate and inform service providers, policy makers, LGBTI people and communities and the general community about changes to inclusive practice in the Australian aged care sector. We also monitor the roll out of the National LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care Strategy.

  • LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Awareness Training

This project is delivering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) aged care awareness training to a broad range of staff working in ageing and aged care, students studying aged care and aged care assessment teams nationally.


Project History

Given historical discrimination and prejudice, many older LGBTI peoples do not disclose their identities and remain invisible throughout the aged care sector and the broader community. Combined with general societal ignorance around LGBTI issues, this results in a lack of awareness of the needs and concerns of older LGBTI peoples, a lack of targeted services across the board and a lack of awareness that there need to be targeted services.

Since its inception in 2007, the National LGBTI Health Alliance has included ageing and aged care as a priority issue in its work. The final report of the Productivity Commission inquiry into aged care, Caring for Older Australians addressed the concerns of older LGBTI people in specific terms as a discrete group within the discussion of diversity issues.

At a meeting between the Alliance and then Minister for Mental Health and Ageing in August 2011, Minister Butler raised the idea of holding a discussion with the LGBTI community regarding aged care related issues and the Productivity Commission report. The Alliance did that in October 2011, convening Australia’s first National Roundtable on LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care. The key recommendation of that Roundtable was the development of a national strategy.

The National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy developed by the Department of Health and Ageing in 2012 provides a systematic framework to ensure that aged care services involve older LGBTI people in program planning and evaluation. The National LGBTI Health Alliance was chosen to coordinate and administer the LGBTI ageing and aged care project that forms part of this strategy.

In addition, the Aged Care Principles ACT 1997 was amended to include people in the LGBTI community as a special needs group. In 2013 the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013 (Cth) was implemented. All aged care providers are required to comply with this legislation.

Australia is the first country to have a National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy. This coupled with the above legislative reforms has resulted in the ageing and aged care sector being increasingly focused on inclusive practice.


Samantha Edmonds – Manager Ageing and Aged Care Projects

Ollie Hand – Project Coordinator – Ageing and Aged Care Projects

Project Partners:



Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
through the National LGBTI Health Alliance