Hellos and goodbyes

Eastern Community Legal Centre’s Partnership Coordinator Kaz McKay recently finished up in her role after more than seven years of championing elder abuse prevention in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Kaz began the role as one of nine elder abuse prevention coordinators across the state, eventually gaining funding from Senior Rights Victoria for a partnership approach to support professional service providers seeking to prevent this form of family violence in that broad community.

Kaz said when she first began to unpack the experience of people with a family member being abused it soon became evident that the older person’s network was a vital tool to monitor a situation and provide more support structures.

“I was based at the coal face with lawyers. I could see the complexities and the need to work with the professionals supporting the older person’s network. We started small but now have a network of more than 100 members such as ACAS, the police, councils and aged care providers – all working to support the prevention of elder abuse,” Kaz said.

Kaz said that network is now an incredible resource to all its members in the long-term, collaborative approach she sees as necessary to prevent the elder abuse.

She counts delivering professional training and the development of a GP and medical resource video ‘Behind the Curtain’ as two of the many highlights of the role.

Kaz said she would take a break to spend more time with her three children and four grandchildren and then hoped to take on a professional development role. Eastern Community Legal Centre will recruit for her replacement.

In other Seniors Rights Victoria staff changes, the team is temporarily farewelling community lawyer Melanie Perkins and policy officer Melanie Joosten who are both taking 12 months maternity leave.  The two women were recently thanked for their valuable contributions and given well wishes by their colleagues for the joys ahead.

Seniors Rights Victoria will also farewell Project Grants Fundraiser Margherita Riccioni who has made a wonderful contribution to securing funding for the service.

The team also recently welcomed new staff members, Principal Lawyer Rebecca Edwards, Administrator Officer Anupa Shah and Media & Communications Advisor Amanda Kunkler.

Jessica Tighe will also join the team as the new Community Lawyer filling Melanie Perkins’ role whilst she is on maternity leave, starting from January next year.