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If you've got a smart phone you have all you need to take part in SRV's new video project.

Following on from the video series we produced in early 2021, about planning ahead, SRV are now launching a new video project that will reflect the times we live in. The new videos will focus on how we can support those close to us, if we find we need to make decisions on their behalf. The legal elements of these videos are linked to the Guardianship and Administration Act and will highlight how to be a supportive decision maker.

As we face continued lockdowns and social restrictions many of us are missing our loved ones more than ever. So we've decided to create this series of videos acknowledging these times. This means we are inviting video submissions from people throughout Victoria.

SRV wants to create videos that depict people of all ages, from diverse backgrounds, talking about what’s important to them and their loved ones. The videos will be edited together to share the rich and diverse stories of people in Victoria and then go on to explain the considerations and legalities of supported decision making.

If you'd like to participate: Please record yourself talking to camera. You can record yourself for a few seconds, for example talking about one thing that you are missing, or that is important to you or you can record yourself talking for a few minutes on a range of things.

Topics to talk about:

Shooting guide:

Remember, this can be fun/ funny, so please enjoy yourself.

If you have any questions or need any support recording your video please contact lbest@seniorsrights.org.au

Formal documentation of a family agreement can assist an older person recovering their money when the arrangement ends involuntarily. However, people are cautioned to ensure the terms of the agreement are fair when they sign. 

At 71 years of age, Pamela was encouraged by her son, Leo, to sell her house and come and live with him and his wife. Pamela was happy to do so, and she used the proceeds from the sale of her home to contribute $350,000 to the purchase of a new property. This contribution included funding renovations for a self-contained unit on the property. 

The property was bought in the name of Pamela’s son and daughter-in-law and a family agreement was formalized at the time, showing Pamela’s contribution for the granny flat “where Pamela may live, rent-free for life.” The agreement noted that if the agreement ended due to involuntary circumstances, Pamela “will receive her contribution less an agreed amount upon the sale of the family home”.

Six years later, Pamela’s son and daughter-in-law separated, and needed to sell the property and divide the proceeds. The property had almost doubled in value in that time. 

Pamela contacted SRV for assistance to understand whether she was entitled to the return of her $350,000 contribution or an amount proportional to her contribution (approximately 50%), and whether she stood to gain from the property’s appreciation, despite the clause on what would happen if the arrangement ended involuntarily.

Through Justice Connect, SRV was able to refer Pamela to a pro bono barrister who advised on the agreement. The barrister confirmed that Pamela should receive the return of her $350,000 but not a proportional amount. He advised that the conversations between Pamela and her son indicated that as he and his wife would be dividing assets he would not be in a position to pay a higher contribution in proportion to the sale of the property, and the agreement recognized this.

The formal documentation of Pamela’s contribution enabled her to recover her money when the arrangement ended, however, it also allowed the unfavourable terms where she did not benefit from the appreciation of the property. 

If you or someone you know needs some support with family agreements call the SRV Helpline on 1300 368 821

Polaron Language Services have been involved in many projects over the years, translating important information for Australia’s diverse communities, as part of educational campaigns. This included the ECCV Within My Walls project, and translating, and recording the dubbing track, for our Future Planning video series.

Polaron started a partnership with TickerNEWS, to talk about languages and multicultural communication. Polaron have a weekly 15 minute panel discussion ‘Ticker Talks’ featured on the TickerNEWS website and apps. The segment is also featured on Polaron’s social media channels and website.

Polaron invited Seniors Rights Victoria to participate as guest speakers to discuss how we support multicultural communities.

Seniors Rights Victoria's Advocacy Team Leader, Lyn Dundon and Community Lawyer, Andelka Obradovic, joined the October #TickerTalks episode, to talk about how multicultural seniors are supported.

Host Mike Loder talked with Andelka and Lyn to explain a bit about SRV and the work we do.

Watch the episode on Polaron's YouTube channel here

In July this year, lawyer Bill O’Shea was given honorary life membership of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Bill was a volunteer with Senior Rights Victoria in the early days of its establishment. He was a member of the Project Reference Group and participated in a focus group for SRV’s Assets for Care resource (which is still used today). He continues to advocate passionately for the rights of older people and to end elder abuse, as the current Chair of the LIV’s Elder Law Committee and long standing member of the Health and Elder Law Committees.

Some recent work the Elder Law Committee has been involved in include encouraging stamp duty exemptions in cases of elder abuse, improving the process for older people in the Magistrates’ Court for intervention orders matters, responding to the Royal Commission into Aged Care and investigating the criminalisation of elder abuse.

Bill O'Shea remains a staunch supporter of Seniors Rights Victoria and we were very pleased to see him recognised by the Law Institute of Victoria. Congratulations Bill!

Bill O’Shea given honorary life membership of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Read more about the Law Institute Victoria's Legal Awards here

Primary prevention aims to stop abuse from occurring in the first place by changing the attitudes and social conditions that drive it. By challenging ageist attitudes condoned by society, as well as addressing an individual’s sense of isolation or not being valued, we can try and prevent disrespectful and abusive behaviours towards older people.

In 2020, researchers at the National Ageing Research Institute were funded by Respect Victoria to generate new knowledge on the drivers of family violence against older people and to co-design and pilot a primary prevention initiative to address the problem.

While the coronavirus pandemic put an end to any in-person intergenerational activities, the team were able to run a telephone befriending project where a younger and older participant were paired up over a six-week period. New friendships were forged and stereotypical assumptions (of both generations) were happily challenged through the project.

It’s hoped that in future the project could be scaled up, with the research team identifying the value of formalised mentoring programs, as well as intergenerational programs that aim to alleviate loneliness and psychological distress for all participants.

A report on the project can be accessed here.

Seniors Rights Victoria and Elder Abuse Action Australia will be hosting a webinar on older people and mental health on 30th November.

In 2021, following a Royal Commission, the Victorian Government committed to overhauling the state’s mental health system, acknowledging that it was failing to support those who needed it. Seniors Rights Victoria, a program of COTA Victoria, was relieved to learn the government would be taking action in an area where there was such a clear need.

SRV often assists clients who are addressing elder abuse while also experiencing mental ill health, or caring for someone with mental illness. The service sees mental health and elder abuse intersect in three main ways:

SRV supports the Commission’s recommendations to move away from a medical model and towards an increased use of therapy alternatives. We are hopeful that the reforms will properly consider, through consultation, the experiences and needs of older people and how counselling, peer support groups and social prescribing may provide better treatment options.

Older people are just one of the many cohorts of people who will benefit from a better resourced and vastly improved mental health system. To support these reforms, SRV will release a discussion paper about the ways elder abuse and mental ill health interact.

Visit the Compass Events page closer to 30th November for details.

SRV's Melanie Joosten was recently featured on 3CR's Women on the Line program, to help people understand all about elder abuse. Melanie talks about the impact of Covid 19 on elder abuse and on the calls that SRV's helpline have received throughout lockdowns and social restrictions.

Women on the line is a national feminist current affairs program for community radio. A gender analysis of contemporary issues, as well as in-depth analysis by a range of women and gender diverse people around Australia and internationally. Distributed nationally on the Community Radio Network (CRN).

Listen to the podcast here

We are delighted to share that our Future Planning video series is now available in languages other than English.

These videos provide vital information and insights, into planning ahead and ensuring your wishes and values are understood. Each video features case studies followed by a discussion of the issues with a lawyer and an advocate from SRV. Video is a great way to communicate in the face of lockdowns and ongoing restrictions on meeting face-to-face.

Thanks to a grant from the Victorian Law Foundation, the videos are now available in Hindi, Vietnamese and Arabic.

Check out the videos here.

The 7th National Elder Abuse Conference will take place on 14-15 February 2022 and brings together individuals and organisations across sectors that connect with older people to discuss, debate and learn.

Hosted by COTA Tasmania and Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA).

2022’s conference will be offering both a face to face program and an online program.

The two-day hybrid conference (14-15 February 2022) will intersperse plenaries featuring eminent national and international experts with concurrent presentations by delegates. We value peer-to-peer learning experiences and put a premium on diversity. Social activities will provide many opportunities for networking, while a post-conference workshop on 16 February will invite delegates to share and consolidate their responses to elder abuse, rights and ageism issues raised during the conference. 

The goal for NEAC 2022 is that people will leave the conference re-energised to continue advocating for older Australians and driving long-term change.

Program Themes

The conference program will explore the following themes:  

Date: 14-15 February 2022
Location: Hobart

Register here

Uniting Vic.Tas in Wodonga is providing a free barista coffee and cake for members of the community seeking social interaction.

The program is a Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative funded by DHHS

Facilitated by trained Barista volunteers and students from Wodonga TAFE, our weekly program is designed to support and encourage people who have felt social disconnection due to COVID 19 restrictions.

Cuppa & Chat provides:


Date: Every Friday
Time: 10-11.30am
Cost: Free
Location: Uniting Vic.Tas, 177 Beechworth Rd, Wodonga

Email: unitingvictas.org.au
Or call: 02 60486900

Call
If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If it is an emergency, call 000.
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