Rachael Wass, the 271st person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, made me reflect on an unconscious bias I suddenly realised I had.

Rachael, who is the CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia, pointed out that when we see somebody with grey hair, we automatically make assumptions about that person and their place in the world. And, sadly, they’re often not positive.

Conversely, our society worships young people and new things.

These were ideas that Rachael started thinking about earlier in her career, during her years in the medical product industry. It made her uncomfortable when she noticed that marketing often portrayed doctors as young and vigorous, and older people as frail and helpless.

As Rachael’s career advanced, she began focusing on aged care and completed a Master of Ageing in Society degree.

That ultimately led her to Meaningful Ageing Australia, which is dedicated to the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of older people.

This is Rachael’s dream role, because it aligns with her values of serving others and advocating for positive change.

Positive change is needed, because lots of us have unconscious bias around older people – me included.