OK Boomers ….. we have some good news for you. The federal government is keen for us to keep working (for those who want to or must) as there is a skill and taxes shortage due to our large numbers retiring each week. So how do you do that?
Introducing Self Propelled- Moving Forward in Life written by Brian Murphy and released by Aurora House Publishing.
This book is your ‘little Boomer book’, full of ‘ok boomer’ advice that the young gens love us for. It will assist you identify what is missing from your true self and teach you skills on how to re-invent yourself and move forward to where you want to be.
My aim in writing the book was to provide people with an easy to follow process to change their minds about life, especially my generation as we age but for all generations, as it outlines the skills needed to self-evaluate then identifying missing links in our skills and then how to learn those skills to move on with an individual plan for social and economic participation in society.
It focuses on self-image (man in the mirror) and replacement on what is missing in our makeup by teaching us relevant life skills that we may have not learnt or to remind us of practices we need to follow to deal with the modern world but have forgotten due to our busy daily.
(Murphy is a life educator, career expo presenter, personal adviser and seminar organiser who has worked extensively with mature age. He has written this book to enhance your lives so you can all live a BONZA life.)
Copies online at Amazon or Booktopia and good bookstores.
A Doctor’s Review of Self Propelled
‘I read your book and it has changed my life. It is very relevant to seniors and made me re-think my life and how I want to live it. I now only work a shorter week to balance my life. It has the same message the government has but explains it in a way people can easily understand. I would highly recommend it.” Dr. Andrew Haynes Mudgeeraba
On-line Book Club Review:
Self-Propelled - Moving Forward in Life is a book about the Boomer generation and is meant for the Boomers, though there are many passages that can be applicable to the younger generations as well.
The Baby Boomers consist of the generation preceding Generation X and can be defined as individuals born post-war in the 1940's. It is a self-help book that helps the older generation navigate their way through the new era of technology.
The author, Brian Murphy, has a website called BONZA (Baby Boomers of New Zealand and Australia) which exclusively deals with his research regarding ageing in Australia. In his research, he tackles ageism, inadequate superannuation, mature-age policies and other issues that concern the Boomers.
He urges Boomers to think of their post-retirement lives and start planning accordingly. The book also delves into the concept of self-actualisation, and how to attain this state through simple steps. It includes the three personality types and the four life positions.
One of the main themes of the book focuses on an individual’s ability to adapt to change. Due to the vast changes that have taken place with the advent of technology, Boomers have recently found themselves pushed to the side-lines. They also face the harsh criticism of the younger generation, referring to the ‘OK BOOMER’ trend on the internet. With all these factors in mind, the author gives the Boomers many steps in which they can easily adapt to their surroundings and thrive.
The author gives the readers many ideas on how to continue working after retirement and the many ways they can save for the future. This is a growing need in the current scenario as the government may not be able to support all the retired individuals due to their increasing numbers.
One of the aspects I liked in the book was the idea of drawing your life’s timeline to consider how much time you have left and what you can make of it. This is applicable to all generations. The book motivates you to become your best self and age with grace. The last chapter of the book is solely dedicated to listing out the various jobs retired individuals can consider and also mentions some personal qualities they can cultivate to be better at their jobs.
I rate the book four out of four stars. The book is professionally edited and well formatted. Additionally, the art on the cover page is very apt and perfectly sums up what the book stands for. I also find the insertion of various motivational quotes inspiring. It contains no profanity or erotic content. This book will be suitable for the Boomer generation, but it can be enjoyed by any adult as it contains a universal appeal.
What is BONZA? (Baby Boomers of NZ & Australia)
BONZA is an information site or lifestyle magazine for Baby Boomers.
We want all Boomers to plan for their future and support each other.
More than 20 000 thousand Australian Boomers retire each month now (around 240 000 per year) so welcome to Ageing Australia.
What can we do for ourselves if we are a Boomer to prepare for life after work?
This site will give you the information you need to change your life.
" Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”- Theodore Roosevelt 1910
BONZA REPORT 2022- CLICK HERE
Guide for developing a Mature Age Policy(MAP)
Want to end Ageism in the workplace? BONZA has developed, with the assistance of government, community, and private sector personnel, a process to create a Mature Age Policy (MAP) in your workplace that reflects your needs and wants for Over 50 workers. Can you share this with your employer please so we can eradicate Ageism?
A Guide to developing a Mature Age Policy
Centrelink-Our purpose is to support Australians by efficiently delivering high-quality, accessible services and payments on behalf of the government.
Ironically, the support offered is often counterproductive and I will explain why. I worked at Centrelink and I am therefore well aware that most of its employees are caring skillful individuals who do their best but there is a culture of mistrust of welfare recipients.
Sue Vardon, a very capable leader who was well aware of effective communication and achievement recognition, was the first CE of Centrelink. In 2002, she developed a program that included 800 uni degree graduates, Personal Advisers as we were called, who were spread across Australia to assist in changing the culture of Centrelink employees and develop individual plans for high-risk recipients.
For 2 years we worked side-by-side with Centrelink personnel and began to earn their trust and train them in depth with people skills, conflict resolution, and other interpersonal skills whilst running seminars and developing plans for our assigned clients.
In 2004 the government canned the program (because reportedly, changes were needed), Sue resigned and we were out of a job. Can you see the irony when a program works yet is stopped and another like Robodebt is killing people and nothing is done? My argument since my tenure with them is that it represents too many people and therefore it cannot understand their individual needs unless you focus on the different and varied issues involved.
Worth remembering for those who lose a loved one.- BONZA
This is what grief is.
A hole ripped through the very fabric of your being.
The hole eventually heals along the jagged edges that remain. It may even shrink in size.
But that hole will always be there.
A piece of you always missing.
For where there is deep grief, there was great love.
Don’t be ashamed of your grief.
Don’t judge it.
Don’t suppress it.
Don’t rush it.
Rather, acknowledge it.
Lean into it.
Listen to it.
Sit with it.
Sit with the pain. And remember the love.
This is where the healing will begin.-Thewani Dewmi #love #grief #deathanddying #wellbeing #humanbehavior
Reflections on being a Baby Boomer
My parents lied about my birthdate when they enrolled me at primary school, and I spent the next 15 years with a lack of social maturity and accompanying school problems due to the age difference to my peers I believe.
I wrote down my memories of my boomer upbringing in my book A BONZA Life and I would think that we will be the luckiest, happiest, and most protected generation in history. COVID only strengthens that belief when you consider how the world is changing with travel and lifestyle restrictions as an example for today’s younger generations, and how we were protected from the ravages of war.
In my youth, few reached this age, so I looked at it with doom and gloom as I grew older and nearer and now, I am here.
On reflection though, I am grateful to be born a Boomer and have no regrets.
Mistakes were mostly genuinely ill-informed decisions with appropriate consequences. I wagged school a bit and didn’t study so bad results and lost opportunities. I took some drugs as a teenager without being aware of the outcomes for long-term use but was blessed with enough common sense, as it was before drug education, to leave that behind before I was 20.
I proposed to my girlfriend at 23 because it was expected or the thing to do but realise today that our children have a better process of seeing and doing things before they make a commitment to another person for life. My ex-wife admitted that we married too young at our divorce.
Our teen years were full of liberation from the confines of walls our parent’s generation built to protect us from the world conflicts that had scarred their lives. We wanted changes though and we made it happen and technology enabled us to be united in our thinking as we witnessed world events on television.
I was bashed by police during a Vietnam demonstration ( I am a conscientious objector who fronted court after I was called up in the lottery conscription) but probably deserved it after mouthing off to police who were present. What made it worse for me was that I was a Police Cadet at the time, but you can read about that in the book. I was expelled from school for drinking during lunchtime and going back into a class drunk. The list goes on, but it was all part of my lack of emotional intelligence and so I made a decision to turn my life around and by the time I was 30 I had a family, a degree from Queensland University and a teaching career so I am also grateful for our access to a free education our generation received because I wasted my time in the school system and it gave me a second chance.
I loved my parenting years and put in 100% but still lost my family when they were in their teens because my wife found someone else so maybe I wasn’t such a good husband, but I tried to negotiate to the last moment up to the divorce. I had to move on, and I did and found the love of my life and happiness although I missed those important bonding years of my two daughter’s teens. Interestingly, even though my wife left me, my daughters have a sense of abandonment now from my departure, which is sad.
I had 50 jobs or more in my working life, with about 4 career jobs but when studying, saving for a house deposit and looking for extra cash in my married life, most were part-time ones. Jobs were plentiful for Boomers is my point.
The first stage of ageing for me came in my 50s when I became the brunt of ageist comments, but I never lost that Baby Boomer enthusiasm and stayed positive as Maslow describes as self-actualized. My second book Self-Propelled covers this term and what it means for each of us to be able to move forward in life no matter what happens. Have a read if you are stuck or in a grind.
The second stage of ageing came in my 60s and the focus was on superannuation. How grateful I am to Paul Keating’s government for introducing it to all in 1991. It has been our saviour and the reason that 70 does not mean gloom and doom for Boomers as we are mostly financially independent because of it, especially those who knew how important it was to contribute extra to it in those last years of work.
So here I am, an ageing Baby Boomer, planning trips around Australia and NZ, having all the time in the world to myself, contributing through BONZA and community projects of my choosing, enjoying my family and friends of old and new, practising a healthy lifestyle, and looking forward to a decades of fun and adventure before the body starts to inevitably slow down in my 80s. What a wonderful life it is, and as many of you would agree, being part of history’s luckiest generation. -Brian Murphy-Editor
A message from the Director of the Office for Seniors in NZ thanking BONZA for our submission. The document Better Later Life is a real beauty. They have a great plan now for NZ SuperSeniors. Hope OZ can do the same soon. -Ed Brian Murphy www.bonza.com.au
Thank you very much for your feedback on our draft strategy Better later Life: He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034.
We had a great response, receiving a total of 230 written submissions, many of which were on behalf of organisations and community groups. The feedback was incredibly useful with a wide range of responses from around the country.
We have prepared a summary of the submissions which is now available on the SuperSeniors website.
We are currently finalising the new strategy and will email you when it is launched and available on the SuperSeniors website - this is expected to be towards the end of the year.
We thank you for your contribution and look forward to launching the new strategy later in the year.
BONZA ACHIEVEMENTS UP TO 2023
I have to say that it is my observation and opinion that the majority of Baby Boomers today in 2023, seem to be informed/educated now about what they have to do daily for health, fitness, finance and engagement in society.
BONZA’s efforts have not been in vain because, in all honesty, there was a general ignorance in the issue at the end of last century when we took an interest in the issue when few did. This will not be the end of our story as we will continue to inform and entertain ‘my generation’ but we feel confident that there is no need for annual BONZA Report any more so unless there are dramatic changes to our lifestyle then we are ‘OK BOOMERS’.
Ageism is being addressed by many, age care is getting the attention it needs, our finances are mostly secure, homelessness is becoming a priority and governments are aware that we are watching closely when they make decisions that adversely effect seniors and mature age.
Thank you for your time and please read our achievements in the file attached,
Brian Murphy Advocate/Editor
Need a break from that demanding job of yours? My advice would be Bali but not with the drunks at the beach, go inland to the villages and communities that offer an attractive package at resorts surrounded by greenery for a third of what you pay OS elsewhere. Just spent 10 days there and that's me ebiking in a ricefield near Ubud (yes I did come off and ended up on my back in the rice).
You can walk in peace around the fields and villages, return to your infinity pool and eat a full breakfast, lunch, or dinner ( with mostly fresh foods) for less than $20 and then have a massage for $15 at the complex. Very modern rooms but with that Balinese influence and you can enjoy local culture and watch them bless their lifestyle daily with flower offerings at each and every door and property.
The Balinese did it tougher than most during Covid and many had to return to their villages to survive by growing food so they are not being exploited because they appreciate the income (use a local driver to get around for all day or small trips and great prices you can negotiate) and prices are based on the local economy. Enjoy!
Open Letter to the PM of Australia.
Ben Roberts-Smith is an Australian war hero who has won the VC in battle conditions. Media interference has led to him being examined in a Civil Court for his actions in a war. Baby Boomers know better than most the effect war has on men, their fathers and uncles, and the cost to us all as they struggled with undiagnosed PTSD.
Further, they refused to talk about the war in most cases after they have left the battlefields that produced so many inhumane incidents from both sides. My own father spoke of the prisoners they could not take because there was no were to hold them or send them to in the jungles of PNG as did the enemy soldiers.
Soldiers in war risk their lives daily and are under the stress and anxiety of enemy actions that affect them and their comrades, many of whom are killed before or near them.
How can we allow a VC winner to be defamed in such a manner in the name of journalistic honour? We should be forever grateful to them and if there is a Defence Report about an incident then let the Defence Department personnel deal with it as they know more about the war environment and consequences of active service than any civilian judge.
Just as there are various courts to deal with other identified issues, war veterans should have their own court and be judged by their peers in my opinion.
Brian Murphy ( BONZA Advocate)
For the Times They are a Changin
What an interesting old world we live in today with such easy access to online media and information and try and comprehend young gen terminology.
As a baby boomer advocate, I am in the second oldest generation still living. Only the silent generation are above us in age (over 78), and the youngest boomers are 60 this year.
I am still trying to comprehend younger gen terms and today's effort is ghosting. Had no idea what it meant until I read this article and yes, I ghost. Family and friends who make me feel uncomfortable will never hear from me but that is not the only reason of course. Some just follow different pathways and are living their lives so contact is only at weddings (very few now) and funerals (plenty of them).
What I am comfortable with is, not raising the word with them. We all hate conflict , I believe, so I am not about to ring or message you and say, "I am ghosting you". Nice to think I am still learning every day.
Having got that off my chest I will also impart on you some good news for me about health. I am trying particularly hard to keep fit through yoga and walking and healthy through my food type input and smaller portions of meals so when I read today that certain types of healthy foods I have been eating are not necessarily so, then I know the times are a changin rapidly. How quickly it turns around.
Let me explain further. I have been eating nuts, beans, rye bread, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum with many other foods but today I am informed that all these have too many lectins (you need some but not a lot) in them which are not good for your gut. Definition is below.
“Lectins may impact health in multiple ways, ranging from digestion to chronic disease risk. They have been shown to cause red blood cells to cluster together.
They are categorized as antinutrients since they block the absorption of some nutrients.
Lectins may cause an upset stomach when plant foods are eaten uncooked. They are also the reason why it can be dangerous to eat undercooked legumes.
The lectin in red kidney beans is called phytohemagglutinin. It is responsible for red kidney bean poisoning, which results from eating raw or undercooked kidney beans. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming just four raw kidney beans could cause symptoms including severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.”
So, there you go. Obviously, they weren’t the only foods I have been eating but out they go.
To top it off, the same site tells me that antibiotics are the curse of the world if taken constantly and can kill the good bacteria in your stomach for up to 2 years. I try to say no but I don’t get sick much since taking Nasonex for my nose each day which cuts off the bad flow of germs from the source in my nostrils to my throat and then to the chest so no cough or chest infections when the seasons change.
No doubt you have your own likes dislikes, wants and needs but just make sure that you keep updated as the times are changing rapidly.
Reflections of an Anxious Boomer… First Year of Retirement
Is retirement easy for Boomers?
I was never comfortable with retirement and did so with some anxiety as the retirees of my youth had quickly disappeared into God’s waiting room and were never seen again in my eyes. But times have changed and I did retiree with trepidation but without fanfare 4years ago.
So what has the first 12 months like? The first thing that is worth noting is the time it takes Centrelink to process your Age Pension application. Their argument is that some 20 000 Boomers retire now each month in Australia so that is a huge increase in workload compared to the Silent generation before us so I waited not so patiently for nearly 2 months for a decision even though it is back paid to application date.
It is also worth noting that the local Centrelink office is absolutely in the dark with your application and nothing you do will make it go faster at that office as it is processed in age pension land somewhere else nor does the complaints line or the internet make any difference although it is good to vent when you are frustrated. I eventually contacted the Minister’s office and had it approved within a couple of days. I felt a little guilty about this approach but I had no income and anyway, why aren’t more workers hired if the work load has increased?
So make sure you apply before your birthday so it is well on the way when you are eligible. It is also worth remembering that you should make an appointment with the Financial Services Officer for a free interview about your eligibility for pension as they have great knowledge that will be helpful to you as an individual.
Those retirees of my youth that I previously mentioned all died fairly quickly from my recollection and I am a great believer that their death was from a feeling of rejection and accompanying ageism that killed them off before 70 on average.
We are doing much better with the average death age now over 80 so we can look at life on retirement as virtually a second coming.
Also keeps me fit which is the next topic in my year of reflection. Yoga twice a week helps keep the body flexible. A different approach to food is now part of my life. Forget sugar if you can as I have been losing weight rapidly by eating vegetarian food and have enjoyed it thoroughly so keep an open mind about food.
I also walk each day and surf when I can plus some ebike riding which is all very enjoyable. Our walks are either local, beach, hinterland or designated ones like the Milford Track which was just incredible.
My finances were the next anxiety and I have been able to live off the interest of my superannuation combined with pension and work income as mentioned previously very comfortably while retaining the principle super amount. I have a travel account and the generous interest on super goes into that 50% and the rest for bills and living so we have been able to have a few holidays.
If you haven’t yet retired then put as much as you can into your super account as it will allow you through generous interest on your contributions to retire with some dignity and maybe even earlier than you thought if you are a young Boomer.
Living is easier for us because we shop for each meal now and therefore have no left overs each week by spending around $150 on food.
My social life has been an improvement to previous work life as I have the time to volunteer for the homeless and sing in a choir. You also get to choose who you want to spend your time with as I find I am less patient with difficult people and do not want to waste my valuable time with them.
I also meet my grandkids on their birthdays and Xmas and that is rewarding as you watch them grow. My children and mostly settled elsewhere and we communicate by phone now as I found texting was non rewarding as things were taken literally even when you were joking so one huge lesson was that.. Use the phone to talk.
I will never be happy being a retiree as Boomers have so much energy and never want to grow old but I will continue editing BONZA, assisting my local councillor with suggesting local change (something he has responded well to) and will keep fit and healthy for as long as I can because none of us can stop the clock so we must make the most of our time we have left.
Enjoy your retirement. I am. Brian
Story time. Most of us had a group of friends back when we were teenagers who we hung out with. Mine are in this original photo above taken in a flat at Auchenflower in Brisbane when we were celebrating a 21st birthday. Great bunch of guys.
I wrote a book about our lives A BONZA Life so you can find out more about them there.Hope it brings back many memories for you all boomers and is appreciated for the era and the fun we all had.
Title: A BONZA LIFE
Author: Brian Murphy
Publisher: Aurora House
The ‘baby boom’ of the mid-twentieth century was the catalyst for dramatic change. Changes to tradition, government, societal expectations, war and peace, education, the arts, sciences and culture would conquer the world over the next 50 years.
Brian Murphy lived an average Boomer life in Brisbane, Australia, with his stay-at-home mum, his returned WW2 soldier dad, and his five siblings. Life was simple back then, with few pressures. But as Brian grew older, he craved exploring the world outside, and eventually ventured out into the unknown with his Boomer friends.
This was a period of history that arguably allowed Boomers the opportunity to achieve more as a group than any previous generation.
A period of stability, general world peace, free education, liberal thinking, and individual achievement.
So how did the average Baby Boomer cope in this changing world? How did it affect their everyday lives? What hurdles did they have to overcome?
Baby Boomer advocate, Brian Murphy, answers these questions and shines a light on the lives of the Boomer generation in his debut novel A BONZA LIFE. This book is his life story and shows how he adapted to a changed world and how he became involved in improving the working lives of fellow Baby Boomers.
A BONZA LIFE is an educational and inspiring read for anyone looking to learn more about the Boomer generation and how they’ve adjusted to this changing world.
Get your copy now from either Amazon or Booktopia.
or if you read this send me your address on contact and I will post you a free book.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
A Bonza Life is a work of non-fiction written in the format of an autobiography by author Brian Murphy. As the title suggests, there is a strong influence of Australian culture on the life of the author, but the book also seeks to define and explore the Boomer phenomenon of the mid-twentieth century and what it really meant to grow up in such turbulent and changing times. Murphy recounts his life from early childhood influences in Brisbane out into a much wider exploration of the world alongside the backdrop of changes to global politics, perspectives and cultural shifts along the way.
Both educational and heartfelt, author Brian Murphy lets his readership into a touching perspective on the Boomer generation and the magnitude of what this new generation has experienced in terms of the shift in human history. I really enjoyed the cultural intelligence and awareness of the author as he draws his parallels between his own life experiences and the achievements of the
generation as a whole as a result of their adaptability and a new perspective on life after the Second World War. The Australian-isms of the piece also give it a unique and intimate narrative feel that stops the work from ever becoming clinical or textbook-like, and Murphy’s warmth exudes from every page as our trusted guide through his past. Overall, A Bonza Life provides exactly what it
promises as an education on the Boomer experience, but is also a heartfelt and highly engaging true-life story.
You found us! Now you are here, stay a while..
Are you a Baby Boomer in Australia or New Zealand?
Are you researching the Baby Boomers?
What is a baby boomer?
The post-World War II generation known as Baby Boomers is a multi-national birth cohort totaling roughly 88 million, within the populations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (I call this group of four the CANZUS nations).
The birth years of this generation vary slightly among the four nations, so the definitions of Baby Boomers I have used in my studies are as follows: born in the United States, between 1946 and 1964 (75 million); born in Canada, between 1946 and 1966 (8 million); born in Australia, between 1945 and 1963 (4 million); and born
in New Zealand, between 1945 and 1963 (1 million)- Dr Thomas E Muller
Australia's numbers have increased to over 5 million through immigration.
DEATH OF A LONG TERM FRIEND
I wanted to put my thoughts about Geoff Johnston down on paper so I could grieve his passing in July 2023. I first met him on staff at Slade Point State School. My best description of him from day one is that he was a real paradox in nature. Fiery and blunt at the best of times but a real softie at other times. He and I initially had a few verbals about our different styles of teaching in the staff room as he has fairly firm and I tended to talk a lot more to the students. He was a champion bloke though and we quickly became mates and enjoyed a good staff social life at Harbour Beach and other spots around town.
I played football with him for the Slade Point Rugby Union club and he was a tough and talented footballer and no doubt learned his trade at Ipswich Grammar where he had graduated. He was also very loyal. For example, I decided to nominate at one stage, during my time in Mackay, for the Liberal party in a local seat after one in-depth conversation about party policy and what was good for the local area. He was a good Labor man but yet he offered to be my campaign manager if I decided to go ahead (maybe a sabotage job on looking back) because he was a good, loyal friend like that but, luckily for us all, I missed the closing date for nomination by a day.
His sporting skills were varied and he would spend most lunch hours playing cricket with the kids on the oval and encouraged and upskilled many of them in that game. He was promoted to Principal at Mt Chalmers SS at his first attempt for promotion and the family moved there. During his time there, we organized a fundraising run from Rocky to the school with a 1000-dollar prize for the winner and we had a really good turnout on the day so was a combined effort to make it successful. He gave me the old-school clock as a gift after the event.
We had the pleasure of chasing the Jonhstons to several schools as the years passed and spent many a merry night over a few drinks and good food. He would get his PA and loving wife Kaye to phone and check to see if a visit was okay, arrive at our house, and then away we would go. Many a laugh on those nights I can tell you.
There was always something interesting happening during these catch-ups but one I recall graphically was a ride in his car with the family near his school Glenmorgan on the Darling Downs and we spotted a large black snake which he then drove over. The snake had disappeared in the rear vision so Geoff pulled up and opened the bonnet carefully. Sure enough, the snake was wrapped around the engine, was injured, and was not happy but he calmly proceeded to abstract it with a wire hook and then shot its head off. Never a boring moment with this guy I can tell you and the kids loved the adventure.
Geoff went on to be State Manager for Lego and then back to the Public Service with his role in State Agriculture which was a stand out for him as he loved the bush, its characters, culture, crops, and all it stood for. It was during this last role in his working life that I approached him with an idea to use Grey Nomads skills to teach regional and isolated workers new skills whilst they travelled around Australia. We called it Bush Skills and he submitted our proposal and we were granted 2 million dollars. Still working together to make a difference.
His talents were varied but he loved sport, the arts, fishing, and driving to raise money for charity, his family, and his grandchildren. There would not be a prouder grandparent out there than Geoff.
In the last decade, I have had the pleasure of joining him and Kaye for their 40th wedding anniversary which was organised by their loving children, having a drink on our birthdays, walking around the coastal areas of the Gold Coast and nth NSW chatting and laughing about life, and as a stand-out, we spent 3 days crossing the mountain on the Milford Track in southern NZ. Now that was an interesting and unusual event because I thought I knew him pretty well but after hiking for a few hours on the first day, we reached the foothills of the mountain and proceeded up a rather rocky and narrow track toward the summit.
Within an hour he slowed to a snail's pace and the other trekkers had disappeared leaving Geoff, me, and a Sth Korean trek assistant from the company that organizes the accommodation and logistics of the journey. I asked him why he was going so slow because I had visions of us being the first in each night and at the finish at Milford Sound.
He muttered, “ I can’t see what’s in front of me!” My astonished reply was, “WHAT are you saying?!!”
“ I can’t see the ground in front of me so I have to tread very carefully or I will go over the side. “ he replied.
Now that we were both aware that he was visually disabled in this way, I laughed and mentioned that he might have thought to tell me before we came on the trip but he honestly believed he could overcome such a slight hiccup. The next 2 days I stayed with him and our lovely guide and we steered him over the mountain which in the end was much more rewarding than setting any speed records. We bonded closely on that trip because he appreciated my refusal to leave his side and then we spent some time in Christchurch together enjoying the sights. I slept on the small single bed and he got the double in our unit because he wouldn't stop whinging. Grumpy Geoff!!
Tragically, his life was cut so short just as he completed his working life as he had plans for further tutoring online and enjoying his beloved family but there is no certainty in life other than it will end. His life was full, rewarding, caring, and full of outcomes. His legacy will be his children and their descendants as he was one hell of a role model. RIP Geoff
I am sure we have all experienced a WANNABE moment in our lives whether in a career sense or our hopes about nurturing our nature. My latest book was written for children and reviewed by Goodreads-
Pud: The Wannabe Cat is a delightful story from the imagination of author Brian Murphy. When Brian’s cat disappeared, the family was devastated and did everything they could to find out what happened to Pud. The cat did eventually return home, much to the delight of his owners, and Brian created this story as a tribute to Pud, imagining what the cat must have endured during his time away from home. I’m sure many readers have suffered a similar experience and can relate to Brian’s story. He has taken a traumatic event and used it to create this wonderful story including some hilarious cat humor.
Pud- The WANNABE Cat was voted Kindle All-Star Bonus book of the month by young readers. Being my first children's book, I am more than happy with that result as I feel it has a good message in the story for the young about just being themselves.
I am having such fun handing out my children's book PUD- The WANNABE Cat free to children in Shopping Centres. You might think that is economically crazy but it is remarkably rewarding to see the appreciation on their faces to be given something they can enjoy and hopefully read many times as it was a book of the month on Kindle. I try and look for diversity ( race, disability, and gender) as well but one of the few real joys of life is to be kind.
Time to talk to your families about dying Boomers if you already haven't. This research will assist the conversation in my opinion.
Ageing Australia is an exciting period for Baby Boomers but what happens when your time is up?
We dodged a bullet with COVID in our nation as effective leadership on all fronts meant that we did not match the horrendous death rate of our generation as in other countries and for that, I am humbled and gracious. But we are still ageing and the age care industry reaction to COVID has outlined that they had no plans for emergencies and nor did they have the resources to cope with it.
There will be 7 million Australians over 65 in 2055 the Bureau of Statistics tells us out of a projected population of 40 million so around 18% older Aussies. How will we cope as there is no game plan in history so maybe we have to make individual choices?The issue we all need to face in this rapidly changing world is our death. I have an opinion on this as I do not want to be a dribbling mess in a hospital bed at the end of my life surrounded by a loving family who suffer more than I do because they cannot control the situation. This article will explain the dying process and will assist those who have never faced death.
But what if we don’t know when we will die? We have options here Boomers and not all of you will agree with me, but you need to take some control now of how you will die.
My doctor, who works in Age Care, tells me that the government spends more on our health issues in the last year of life than they do for the rest of our lives. He is frustrated by age care facilities that are instructed not to send dying aged patients to the hospital to prolong their lives when he has asked them not to do so and yet they ring an ambulance.
It gets worse at the hospital because a well-meaning family can’t make a decision for their loved ones in such an emotionally charged situation and therefore, we are kept alive or at least breathing for longer because machines cannot be turned off.
Doctors can act but we should not leave it to them in my opinion although my father planned with his GP to administer morphine when he indicated his life was over with leukemia.
If we all have access to euthanasia in the next few years, then there is your first option. If not, then you need to have a conversation with family and sign a legal proxy for someone to decide based on your wishes when the time comes. It can also be noted on a health care plan through your doctor.
My research has found this excellent site where all your questions will be answered before you decide. It is not for everyone Boomers but don’t end up the dribbling mess in a hospital bed if you can do something about it.
And finally, your last option- Exit International.
Great resource for those who are dying or wonder how they will die
How will I die? Many of us have asked that question of ourselves and my partner hates the subject yet I am a realist. We have to talk about it. I received a message last night from and old work colleague and she has started a new business. Kel Louise is one of the most caring people I have every met and she is genuinely interested in people.
I worked with her in Community Services as her manager and colleague and she was a stand-out. Contact her if you want to talk as we all have to face the subject and as we care for an elderly family member at the moment then it is very real to us.
I've been reading a lot from Stephen Jenkinson. 'Die Wise' and 'Griefwalker' documentary. His work is thought provoking.
It is an area no ones wants to talk about and yet we all will go through the process. We prepare for everything else in our lives, birth, work, marriage, family, retirement but not actually dying.
I've just started a webpage
Very early days but I'm hooked.- Kel"
Voluntary Euthanasia Submission ( Bill became law in 2021)
Parliament House Qld 4000
To Whom It May Concern
Submission from BONZA in favour of Voluntary Euthanasia.
I am the editor of the Boomer Advocacy web site www.bonza.com.au (Baby Boomers of NZ & Australia) and have been in the role for over 20 years. During that time, I have continually identified the priorities and the beliefs of my generation through one to one meeting, large public gatherings of over a thousand at Expos and Centrelink presentations, emails to the web site from readers and supporters and on-line votes on the web site and therefore have accessed many thousands of them on many issues affecting Boomers including the issue of Voluntary Euthanasia.
Data from the on-going vote on the issue, which is located on the web site, has it as 80% in favour of voluntary euthanasia of hundreds who voted. That figure if projected to all Australian Boomers could mean that 4 million of the 5 million Boomers would agree with voluntary euthanasia which is a resounding yes vote.
It is not an issue that causes great debate among the younger generations in my opinion because they are too busy discovering the wonders of this world of ours, but more of an awakening of human empathy for those who have had to deal with it with family and friends as they approach palliative care due to terminal illness. It takes a great toll on you personally to watch someone you love to die in pain without much human dignity and you have to ask yourself why it couldn’t be different.
Three former Queensland Premiers (Beattie, Bligh and Newman) for instance, have all changed their mind on the subject and are now in favour after witnessing the deaths of their parents as has newspaper columnist Nikki Gemmell who wrote so emotionally about her mother’s suicide in 2015 -
Elayn's "bleak and desperate death" opened Nikki's eyes to the euthanasia debate. The author penned a column for The Australian about the shock, the grief and the overwhelming guilt she felt after her mother's death. "[It] broke our family," she wrote. "I felt skinned, felled by vulnerability and a sense of failure; a danger to myself and others. Was this very modern death empowerment or despair? Selflessness or Selfishness?"
"If only we could have been there, if only we could have held her hand. It could have been so different if we could have just surrounded her with love," Nikki said of her mother's death.
We age, I believe, in FOUR stages.
Stage One: Over 50s who suddenly realise that they are being treated as seniors and are introduced the first time to ageism when they are the brunt of the jokes.
Stage Two: Over 60s who see the finishing post for work and are in a mad rush to gather superannuation. It is about this time for most that their parents start to enter the sick to terminally sick stage and they are responsible for their welfare and the process of their palliative care in many cases.
Stage Three: Over 70s and we accept we are older and make adjustments to our routines so we can still enjoy life and our favourite pastimes. It is a glass half-full period were a positive attitude will give one last period of well-being and happiness.
Stage Four: Over 80s when the body is rapidly deteriorating, and friends and siblings are dying around you and you begin to worry about how you will die when your turn comes.
It is in these last stages of life that people become more aware of their mortality and when their health declines then voluntary euthanasia becomes more relevant. We want to die with dignity and not be a burden on society and surely it is our right to decide how to die.
I have no problem with the fact that certain religions would frown on the act but if the majority are in favour then we should make it our own business and make that decision personally without the beliefs of others condemning us to an undignified painful death.
Indeed, what a difference it would make to our society if we could gather our families when we are told no more can be done for our health and enjoy their company one last time before we entered a room for our passing with the assistance of an injection.
The positive memories that process conjures surely far outweighs the ‘dying surrounded by loving family’ scenario that leaves out the agonised and terrified soul in the bed who probably hasn’t uttered a word in days.
Marshall Perron's (Former NT Minister) Open Letter on Euthanasia also moved me and defines the big picture so well.
I believe there is an unrecognised phenomenon in Australia that should be of concern. I refer to the growing incidence of rational suicide by the elderly and the terminally and hopelessly ill. This letter is being sent to all state and Territory coroners to increase awareness of this important issue.
Australia has an ageing society. While lifespans are extending, death itself is increasingly the result of debilitating degenerative disease of mind and body. Medical advances provide for dwindling life to be sustained until medicos allow death to occur. Terminal sedation, the standard response for intractable symptoms, is common and considered undignified. Some people are determined to avoid spending their final months or years as a demented patient.
More and more Australians are rejecting this period of futile suffering and exercising autonomy over their own death. While many such suicides are understandable, I contend that some of them would at least be delayed, or even not eventuate at all, if the victims were able to seek and receive assistance to die from others.
A result of being denied assistance is that many of these deaths are unnecessarily premature, lonely and violent. Premature because the individual has to act while they have the physical and mental capacity. Lonely because the individual is aware that assisting a suicide is an offence and they do not want to implicate family or friends. Violent because they must use whatever means to die they can access. There is a high level of interest in learning how to die peacefully and importing illegal substances to achieve that aim.
I suspect you regularly receive reports of deaths where evidence indicates the individual was terminally or hopelessly ill and considered their life was (or will become) unbearable. Providing the person was competent and acted without coercion from others, the event can be considered to be a rational response to their circumstances.
The number of rational suicides known to individual coroners is certain to be only a fraction of those actually taking place. ABS and other institutions acknowledge that suicide is (and has always been) under- reported for a variety of reasons. One that is particularly relevant in cases where the individual is terminally ill is that death by inhaling inert gas is undetectable if the apparatus used is removed (illegally) before the body is 'discovered'. Death is recorded as being the result of natural causes and as such, not reportable to coroners. There is anecdotal evidence that such disguised deaths occur regularly in Australia.
What we do not know is the number of unsuccessful attempts at rational suicide; cases where the individual botched the process through inadequate investigation, preparation and/or failure of equipment. Having to act alone can be fraught with difficulties.
The vast majority of rational suicide cases are known only to the immediate family. The public, policy makers and politicians are blissfully unaware of the scale of the distress, and will remain so without the official watchdogs, coroners, exposing what is happening behind closed doors.
I contend that when investigating a suicide clearly related to voluntary euthanasia, a coroner should consider and report on whether he/she believed the person was motivated to kill themselves while they maintained the capacity to do so, and that in all probability, if they believed they could lawfully receive assistance to end their life at some later point in time, the person may well have deferred their decision to die. It would seem this evaluation and conclusion could be undertaken under the 'why' heading in the list of objectives of the coroner.
Additionally, in the case of a violent suicide (e.g. firearm, hanging etc.) the coroner could also consider whether the act would likely have been less violent and thereby lessen the anguish for family and others involved in the aftermath, if the person had lawful access to a more tranquil way to take their own life.
Reports of double suicides, murder suicide or attempts at such actions are occasionally reported but may not be infrequent. Where these appear to be motivated by fear of losing control over end of life decisions a coroner could, as a matter of public importance, consider recommendations that will help prevent or reduce future deaths of a similar kind. It is surely in the public interest that violent suicides are reduced and rational suicide delayed, even if they cannot be prevented.
Rational suicide exists, it is time we acknowledged it officially, defined it and quantified it.
I appeal to you to consider establishing guidelines that would reveal the numbers of euthanasia suicides and make recommendations to reduce the adverse effects. A starting point might be the adoption of a common definition of rational suicide or euthanasia suicide. Coroners could also recommend Parliament, Government or a Law Reform Commission review the law on assisted suicide considering the reality of rational suicide. - Marshall Perron
I would urge all Queensland politicians to vote with your conscience and for the greater good and make voluntary euthanasia a reality in this state.
B. Ed, Dip. Teaching, Dip. Professional Counselling, Cert. IV Community Services, Cert. IV Training and Assessment, JP (Com. Decs)
Grey Army CEO Australia 1997
Grey Skills NZ Founder 1998-2001
BONZA Website Editor 2001- Present
Centrelink Personal Adviser 2002-2007
Maturelink Consultant Centrelink 2006-2007
Employment Adviser 2007- 2014
Mature Age Expo Organiser 2004-2007
Reinvent Your Career Key Speaker 2009-2010
Bucket List Travel
A bucket list of things to do is a Boomer priority but there are moments when we will be challenged.
Where can Boomers travel in safety?
Just completed (Feb/March 2016)the Milford Track walk (over 100 000 steps on my Fitbit) and saw some pristine country that is hard to describe. A mixture of enchanted forest (everything covered in moss) to bubbling streams to rainforest ..all on day one. Then mountain terrain with huge boulders from the ice-age on day 2 and back to 21 km of first class scenery on day 3. Just marvellous..finished with a trip around the Milford Sound.
Put it on the bucket-list but you need some fitness and a wish to enjoy life. It is demanding and challenging but so enjoyable. The guides were non- intrusive but kept a well-oiled infrastructure working and at night you socialise with 50 others that share the experience with you (unless you want to be an independent walker and take in all your own resources) but I enjoyed a hot shower and comfortable bed.
Spent some time in the Northern Territory. My better half is very budget minded when we plan a holiday so I thought it might help others to pass on how we did it.
The Territory can be seen within a few days or a few weeks depending on what you have in mind.
There are two seasons- wet and dry- and you can forget touring in the wet season- Nov to Feb as even the markerts are closed and much of the area is shut down.
We hired a car to do it- Toyota Yarris- and it was a pleasure to drive. You don't need a four wheel drive unless you want off road but we did the triangular from Darwin to Kakado to Katherine to Darwin via Litchfield National Park and really enjoyed our holiday.
Hire the car through the NT Tourism site and you get unlimited mileage whereas it is restricted to a few hundred if you hire direct from the car rentals.
Loved Kakado for the scenery, indigenous heritage eg rock paintings and the Jabiru Tourist Park which was like and oasis with their lovely pool and dining outdoors.Had a meat lovers pizza with croc, buffalo and roo meat.
Katherine was dry but has a magic natural springs area which the City Council has developed and is worth a swim in the crystal clear water.
Katherine Gorge is unbelievable. Walk up to the lookout before you take the boat tour as it is breathtakingly beautiful from up there.
The boat tour is a must and the gorge itself is an Aussie treasure for its beauty and history. So old that there are no fossils as the earth didn't even have plant life then. Saw crocs bathing on the shore as we passed up the gorge.
Litchfield National Park is quite beautiful and has a pleasant walk to rock pools and outdoor camping. We stayed at Lake Bennett resort and were well looked after (even a huge cheese and nibbles platter to feed from as I watched the footie finals)
Darwin has Sunday food markets at Mindl Beach, the war museum, botanical gardens for many different plants (NT is really another world compared to other parts of OZ for plant life), outdoor movies, fantastic harbour precinct, great walks and bikeways and very friendly people.
Love you OZ.
All in all it was a great holiday and we also enjoyed Adelaide but will be back there when we do a campervan tour in September from Perth to Adelaide. More then.
2022- Have travelled to Norfolk Island- just beautiful with a historic influence of the old penal colony buildings and decedents of the Mutiny on the Bounty.
Lord Howe Island is something else. With just 300 visitors at one time, you have the island to yourself. No feral animals of any kind and a small population that are hell-bent on giving you a good time. Pristine landscape, reefs are abundant and the mountains are spectacular.
The Ghan is a step back in time. We travelled from Darwin to Adelaide with stops at Katherine Gorge, Alice Springs and Cooper Pedy , with a midnight stop to view the Southern Cross whilst sipping on a glass of port. Crossed the Finke River as well which is the oldest river in the world.
Ayers Rock is our big rock. A natural beauty that will stun you and the walk around it is a series of intermit reminders of what a wonder of the world it is.
2023- Bali is so inexpensive and beautiful. A very relaxing holiday.
ED Note (Jan 2024): WA and NZ this year.
Brian Murphy editor of BONZA and author of A BONZA LIFE introducing his book.
News Corp article 20.11.19
News Corp article about my book on boomers. Click on article.
Top Articles from BONZA
Australian life expectancy drops.
Most baby boomers that I have talked to are happy not to live beyond the 'exiting' stage (exiting on machines and not being able to participate in the community).
BONZA is well aware of the burden on society that aged persons' health care brings. It should not be a priority when so many are homeless and families struggle financially. Superannuation has given most of us a post-retirement lifestyle that our parents would envy so please let us sign health plans that indicate our wishes, not the family's wishes.
"Australia's life expectancy has fallen for the first time since the 1990s, 7News reports, and no, it's not from the stress of that nine-hour Optus blackout for 10 million of us. It's down by just 0.1 years, however – a boy born today will live 81.2 years, and a girl would live to 85.3 – and we're still second in the world for male life expectancy and sixth for the gals. It's because the number of deaths in 2022 increased by 20,000, half due to COVID-19.- Crikey #ageingpopulation #dyingwithdignity #babyboomers #lifeinapostcovidworld #lifeexpectancy #crikey
Aged Care Brutality
Thousands of you were upset by this picture of a lady allegedly attacked by staff in a nursing home that we placed on our FaceBook page and expressed your outrage.
There will never be a trial as she has dementia but I think we all saw a little of ourselves in this and have some concern for the future.
There will have to be repercussions..hopefully a Federal inquiry into the aged care industry and as an advocacy for all things about Boomers, BONZA encourages you to talk about how wrong it is to friends, family, social media and letters to the editor of your local media outlet....don't forget you members of parliament and don't give up..its your future so make a difference.
How to survive on your Pensioner Income
Interesting how life changes when we become a pensioner and how much more careful you have to be with your money if you want to live as comfortably as possible in your golden years. We all miss that workplace income and find it difficult to survive without it.
The reality of life in 2023 is that the average woman lives to 84 and a man to 80. You need approximately $20000 a year to live comfortably as a single pensioner and around $35000 for a couple.
God knows we would all like more to do more financially but we are talking realities here as the pension is still around $24000 with no superannuation. Thank heavens I have some.
So how do you get your dollar to stretch more so you can make the eighties deadline (forgive the pun) in some style?
I am not going to go into specifics as we all have a different income, assets and budgetary requirements so I will generalise but the key is pensioner discounts.
I save hundreds of dollars a year now on some bills by using that ace when negotiating but you have to ask. One sentence is compulsory every time you are buying or financially planning- do you give age pensioner discount?
Rego, transport, electricity, water, rates, movies, take-way, coffee, medication, some shops ... the list is endless. There are around 8 million of us over 50 ... one third of the population and half of that 8 million over 65 so we are important to the economy and worth discounting.
My financial planning includes part pension, superannuation, part time work and DISCOUNTS. I am going okay and hope that will be the case until my deadline so do your most to benefit from being an age pensioner.
Happy golden years to us all.
Lots to do folks, so let’s get on with it in 2024 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)
A lot of messages for those who suffer from Australian poet Jennifer Lamar-
Boomer art - Face images by our cartoonist Keith Blake and the coastal scene by 1770 artist Kent Barton
The Worst Time Is Xmas When You Have No Family Around You
Sandy is a Baby Boomer. She is 69, divorced with no children and lives alone in her unit she owns. Bonza asked her how she felt about her future knowing there will be hundreds of thousands of single women over 60 in Australia in the next decade who will become the focus for government concern about their futures and her first comment was how lonely it was around Xmas for her.
The government is already aware of the magnitude of the problems this group will bring and are planning ways to secure their safety, enable them to socialise, providing them with age care accommodation, allowing for their diverse health and fitness requirements but it is such a diverse group to plan for in reality.
Many, for instance, have never worked because they were stay at home mums, so they have no superannuation. (We all accept they worked very hard with daily family routines in this period of their lives but for no financial reward). Some of this group are already widows and struggling to make ends meet.
Those who have worked and are divorced may not own their home now and to remain financially viable over a few decades then you will need to.
At least they may have family to take them in in their declining years and care for them even if reluctantly.
Some have never had children due to medical reasons or by choice and will be ageing without any family support and living on the pension only.
Sandy spoke with us and gave us an insight into her anxieties and concerns knowing that her current situation may assist others with their plans and could also influence government thinking and policy as BONZA continue to advocate for all Boomers and for this we are very grateful.
She is also isolated in that poor fitness does not allow her to be involved in physical activities and some poor self-esteem means her face to face social life is minimal.
She visits her local restaurants for special dinners, consumes a little alcohol, is unfit and lonely and is also a prime target for unsavoury characters in the community whenever she is out and about.
It will only get worse as she ages and even though she is young at heart, her body will break down over the next decade as she enters her seventies.
Knowing all this, we asked her who will look after her and what are her options as she ages?
Sandy listed her future options and important plans as:
BONZA is aware that many over 50 establishments would be a suitable destination now while she is medically able and that would give her a social life with her peers, but she is reluctant after seeing their contracts.
The units in these establishments are expensive also so if she can’t afford one then maybe a shared house or unit with someone in the same situation where costs can be shared would be an option for her.
Woman should also talk to the Centrelink Financial Officer(FIS) about their finances, so they can ascertain what is available for them. It is a free service and will put your mind at ease.
She wants to maintain her independence by staying in her unit for as long as possible, so this must be respected as it is her wish and right.
Finally, it will become a government issue and priority in our opinion to build suitable aged care hubs where the women can be housed securely and maybe have medical centres attached for their long term medical requirements and include fitness classes, so people can stay healthier for longer.
Keep having a BONZA life Boomers because Ageing Australia will not be a bed of roses for many of us.
Brian Murphy- Editor