Community Rallies to Stop Elder Abuse

On June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we stood together as a community in saying “we can stop elder abuse”.

Seniors Rights Victoria and the Office of Public Advocate hosted a booked-out forum at Melbourne Town Hall, at which the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, launched (via video link) the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report ‘Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response’. We welcome the release of the Report and commend the Australian Government on recognising the need for this Inquiry, which will provide a strong foundation for future action.

We were pleased to see so many communities coming together to celebrate the rights of older people and raise awareness about elder abuse. In Victoria alone, more than 40 events took place, with the support of local councils, public libraries, community legal centres, neighbourhood houses, aged care facilities, health services and other organisations. Awareness of elder abuse was also raised through print media, radio, television and social media.

We thank all of the organisations and individuals who “went purple” on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to support the rights of older people to live safely and with dignity.

Each year, Seniors Rights Victoria receives thousands of enquiries from people experiencing elder abuse or worried about someone they know. Elder abuse, a type of family violence, includes any act which harms an older person and is carried out by someone they trust such as an adult child, family member, partner, carer or friend. For free, confidential help, call Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821.

Pictured: Seniors Rights Victoria staff at the WEAAD Forum 2017

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum – Safeguarding Older Australians

June 15 2017 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Victorian Office of the Public Advocate and Seniors Rights Victoria invite you to a free 2017 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum in Melbourne on Thursday 15 June.

At the forum, Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, Attorney-General, will launch the Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into ‘Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse’.

We will also hear from key presenters:

  • President of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM; and
  • Hon. Dr. Kay Patterson AO, Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner.

Part two of the forum will help you gain a practical understanding of how some key organisations are responding to elder abuse. Our lively and interactive Q&A panel will include:

  • Tina Douvos Stathopoulos, CEO of PRONIA;
  • Jenny Blakey, Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria;
  • Sgt Alasdair Gall, Eastern Family Violence Unit, Victoria Police;
  • Meghan O’Brien, Team Leader – Rehabilitation Acute Link Team, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne; and
  • Dr John Chesterman, Director of Strategy, Office of the Public Advocate.

Bring along your pressing questions for these experts to explore and answer – and find out how we can better work together to prevent elder abuse.

Morning tea will be provided and there will be opportunity for networking.

This forum is free, but places are limited. Registrations close 7 June 2017.

Book now through Eventbrite.

If you do not have computer access and want to book, please call us on (03) 9655 2119.

New – Elder Abuse Prevention brochures and community education kits in 6 community languages

Seniors Rights Victoria has continued to work over the past year with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) and a number of CALD communities to develop resources for those communities about elder abuse. New brochures and community education kits are now available in Russian, Vietnamese, Hindi, Punjabi, and Tamil (brochure only) from our Online Elder Abuse Toolkit Resource Library.



Panel – Safeguarding the End of the Rainbow

COTA Victoria and Transgender Victoria bring you a panel discussion on the issues to consider in planning for the future by LGBTI communities. If you are a member of the LGBTI community, work in the area or are just interested in the issues, please come along to this dynamic discussion.

When: Mon 15 May, 9.00 am to 11.00 am
Where: Maddocks, The Boardroom on Level 25, 727 Collins St, Melbourne.

To book call 1300 13 50 90 or email See flyer for more details.

Free ‘Legal Matters and Ageing’ forum for seniors

Making an Enduring Power of Attorney can help give you choice and control about how your affairs are handled into the future as you age. Seniors Rights Victoria will cover all aspects of Enduring Powers of Attorney at this free Law Week  forum hosted by U3A.

Bookings essential, call Denise on 0439 321 250 by 15 May. See the flyer for more information.

When: 18 May 2017, 1.00 -2.30 pm
Where: Ballarat North Community Centre,  702 Walker Street, North Ballarat

New Elder Abuse Prevention Networks project

Seniors Rights Victoria has received a grant of $85,000 from State Trustees Australia Foundation, to conduct action research on good practice models for local Elder Abuse Prevention Networks. Up to 10 Networks will be set up throughout Victoria as part of the Government’s preventative response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Networks link local organisations – such as health centres, council home carers, and seniors clubs to raise awareness of elder abuse and implement local prevention strategies. This is one of three projects funded by the Foundation as part of its Elder Abuse Prevention and Response grants program.

Other grant recipients were the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Relationships Australia Victoria.

Free Legal Matters & Ageing Seminar 27th March 2017

Free Seniors Seminar covering topics on Enduring Powers of Attorney, Ageism and Planning Ahead.  Receive a free kit ‘Take Control – A Guide to Making Enduring Powers of Attorney’.  Please see attached flyer.

Monday 27th March 2017, 10:00am—12:00pm

Venue: Bairnsdale Library


RSVP East Gippsland Shire Council by 20th March.  PHONE 03 5152 4225 or book in person at the library.

Seminar Flyer 27 Mar

Welcome to new staff

Seniors Rights Victoria is delighted to welcome two new members to the team this month.

Melanie Joosten is our new Policy Officer and her focus is on developing Seniors Rights Victoria policy on elder abuse in the context of family violence and the ongoing reforms resulting from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Melanie comes to us from the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) where for the past 5 years she has been contributing to research on health promotions, and more recently, elder abuse. The elder abuse research at NARI was done in collaboration with Seniors Rights Victoria and drew on our growing body of data about abuse of older people.

Jane Eeles is joining our team as an Advocate for the next 12 months. She has previously worked with older people in various positions which involved  direct client support roles  and for the past 3 years has been working for the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) as part of their Advice and Education Team. She will continue to work with OPA one day a week.