Our members include qualified people from various professions. We share our professionalism with others to help them to acquire the skills which will empower them.
In this way we promote healthy ageing.
We promote the previously unrecognised contribution older people make to the stability of society.
We achieve our goals by …
- Providing the opportunities for people to be heard by stakeholders in government, business and the professions.
- Encouraging members of the media to portray older people as contributing individuals rather than outdated stereotypes.
- Helping businesses focus on the real needs of the older market.
- Reaching out to people in rural and remote areas to ensure their voice is heard.
- Keeping lines of communication with younger people open for our mutual benefit.
- Teaching people to write and to speak with vitality and assurance.
- Demonstrating how to bring about positive changes within the community.
We provide …
- Face-to-face classes in updating driving practices.
- Discussions and lectures to schools and tertiary students.
- Seminars and advice to business and government departments.
- Speakouts with the community and the stake holders.
- Guest speakers.
- Media awards.
- Grass roots research.
OPSO have a management committee elected annually by the members comprising of the following:
President Val French AM Click here to read more about Val
Secretary Tracy Douglas
Treasurer Florence Nixon
Emeritus Vice President Ilma Ferguson
Ilma was born in Emerald, but describes herself as a cosmopolitan girl at heart. She was a teacher, then teacher librarian, and became an editor for the Department of Education. She was one of the original members of Women’s Radio, broadcasting on 4EB, and later 4RPH, and convened the first national Women in the Media Conference.
As the foundation vice-president of OPSO, she is our editor, and one of the instructors for workshops on all communication courses. She organises out Speakouts, and is one of the organisers and judges of the media awards.
Since our inception she has traveled the state with the OPSO teams to find the needs and solutions to the problems of different communities, and takes a major role in our report writing.
She says she has not yet established a rapport with things like computers
Emeritus Vice President Bill Benson MBE
Vice President Maida Lilley
Maida is president of the Retired Teachers’ Association and a former board member of National Seniors and zone chair. She is on numerous medical advisory committees as a senior consumer representative.
As an educator she worked in four Australian states and three countries from kindergarten to graduate levels. She has developed curricula and texts, and studied both at Australian universities and at Harvard University.
She is a tireless worker for older people and their issues. She has been recognised for all her work with a Centenary Medal, and was also a Centenary Local Hero.
Vice President Tony Townsend
Tony was born in Kenya, joined the Royal Navy in 1954, transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in 1968, and after 35 fun-filled years during which he found time to marry Anne and have two children, he swallowed the anchor in Brisbane in 1989.
Retirement meant starting his own small business, working with the Scout movement and the Australia Day Council in Brisbane where he was chairman for several years, active membership of the Samford Rural Fire Brigade and working on his 12-acre property at Mount Nebo.
More recently, he joined OPSO in 2000, moved to New Farm in 2005 where he is president of the National Seniors Branch, now drives a limo part-time and most importantly he and Anne celebrated the birth of their first grandson in mid-2006. Life is for living and enjoying.
Management Committee Members
Worked in retail most of her life as an Interior Decorator. Also had her own craft shop and taught various crafts for TAFE.
Has done her own dressmaking for herself and others for eve. Has also served on retail committees.