Television icon says feeling old is not for young at heart

AGE NO BARRIER: Entertainer Noeline Brown is visiting the Sunshine Coast in her role as Ambassador for Ageing.
AGE NO BARRIER: Entertainer Noeline Brown is visiting the Sunshine Coast in her role as Ambassador for Ageing. Iain Curry

"ONE of the good things about getting older is your eyesight fails and you look in the mirror and think 'I don't look too bad!'," Noeline Brown laughs.

The entertainment icon who has graced Australian television for much of her life, is now an Ambassador for Ageing and, at 74, still quick to get a laugh at her own expense.

On the Sunshine Coast to promote healthy, active ageing, Ms Brown is the epitome of what she preaches - ready to dispel the myths that surround getting older.

"One of the myths is that older people don't use technology or are frightened of technology and that's not true," she said.

"It's really interesting to see very old people using a smart phone or a tablet to keep in touch with family and friends."

More than just tech-savvy, Ms Brown said the majority of older people were self-reliant, lived in their own home and got out-and-about as often as possible.

"The myth is we're frail and live in nursing homes, and I say 'we' because I am part of that aging community," she said. "You know, only 6% of older people actually live in aged care."

Despite classing herself as part of the ageing community, Ms Brown said she is yet to feel "old".

"I still haven't got to that stage yet. This often comes up and people say 'how old do you feel?'.

"Some people say 'I feel 35'. My grandmother at 84 used to say 'I still feel 14' - so in our heads we don't feel old at all."

Ms Brown's role as Ambassador for Ageing has become a full-time job as she travels across the country to promote positive ageing, exercise and healthy eating.

With her role as ambassador to end next year, Ms Brown said she hoped to continue her work as an actress.

"I hope not to quieten or slow down because I enjoy the pace ... as long as I get enough sleep."

Topics:  ageing editors picks entertainment noeline brown

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