This article describes how a state government in Australia designed and implemented policy for an ageing population. In 1984, the parliament of South Australia passed legislation which aimed to lay a foundation for the successful ageing of the population. Three components are examined here, the legislation, policy design, and practice. Although the legislation was passed more than 30 years ago, there are lessons and implications for today. The author was appointed Commissioner in 1985 and had responsibility for the policy design and implementation.1.