Over the last 30 years, major advances in the provision of services for frail older people in Australasia have taken place. This has been spurred on by the accumulation of the evidence for benefits of the multidisciplinary team model of comprehensive geriatric assessment and management. Current research is now uncovering mechanisms of frailty associated with the ageing process and will lead to further interventions in the management of the health problems of older people. These interventions will almost certainly include both medical and lifestyle strategies. Although there have been major improvements in the education of health professionals in aspects of geriatrics, more concerted efforts are required for the ageing population. © 2013 ACOTA.