Our submission to the ALRC’s national inquiry into elder abuse

In February 2016, Seniors Rights Victoria hosted the 4th National Elder Abuse Conference in Melbourne, at which the Hon George Brandis QC, Attorney General, announced the ground-breaking Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Inquiry into ‘Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse’. Seniors Rights Victoria’s first submission to the Inquiry  is here.

Seniors Rights Victoria’s submission is based on our staff’s extensive knowledge and casework and seeks, in line with the Inquiry’s intention, to identify best practices for protecting older Australians while promoting respect for their rights and preferences. We hope that it gives voice to the many people who experience elder abuse that we assist. The submission includes, for example, recommendations to fund research, change Centrelink rules, better oversee supportive and substitute decision-makers, expand the functions of the Office of the Public Advocate, and better educate police, lawyers and other service-providers on elder abuse. In all, there are 17 recommendations on legal and other frameworks that we believe, if adopted, will help eradicate the scourge of elder abuse in Australia in all its manifestations.

We hope you will read the submission, and circulate it widely. Any questions may be directed to our Principal Lawyer, Pam Morton: pmorton@seniorsrights.org.au.


September is Dementia Awareness Month

September is Dementia Awareness Month, which aims to give Australians a better understanding of what it is like for a person to live with dementia. It also highlights the importance of accessing services and information early to empower everybody impacted by dementia, including carers.

During September, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic will host a range of events across the state that will connect, involve and educate the wider public. Highlights include a public lecture (Global Action Against Dementia by international guest speaker Dr Ron Peterson on 22 September at Federation Square in Melbourne) and the Memory Walk & Jog in Geelong on 11 September.

Download a Dementia Awareness Month kit for your workplace, sporting club, school or community group. The kit includes a variety of promotional and online resources. More info here: https://vic.fightdementia.org.au/vic/dementia-awareness-month-2016

Invitation – 25 August Victorian Government consultation with older Victorians on the Gender Equality Strategy

The Victorian Government is developing our first ever Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

There will be a consultation with older Victorians that considers gender and how to improve women’s rights on:

Date: Thursday 25 August

Time: 10am – 12pm

Venue: 1 Treasury Place Melbourne

Please RSVP to genderequality@dpc.vic.gov.au or call (03)9637 3344.

Advancing gender equality increases women’s safety, security and wellbeing by encouraging a society based on respect and equality.

Gender equality also has tangible benefits for Victoria’s social and economic prosperity, as more women are supported to reach their potential.

Gender inequality affects women in all areas of their lives:

  • The Victorian workforce participation rate for women is 58.8%, compared to 71.4% for men
  • A national survey found that 1 in 3 women over 15 has experienced physical violence and 1 in 5 has experienced sexual violence
  • Women in full-time work earn around $15,000 less than men each year
  • Women retire with just over half the superannuation savings of men

The Victorian Government wants to hear your ideas on how we can achieve gender equality in Victoria.

Media release

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016 at Seniors Rights Victoria

weaad_fb_post_500x40015 June 2016 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) – an annual day designated by the United Nations to focus public attention on this insidious problem.

Seniors Rights Victoria appeared in the Herald Sun newspaper and in an Elder Abuse Talkback Forum  with Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne.

IMG_0057Seniors Rights Victoria also hosted an event for 90 people at Lander & Rogers law firm, where the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, the Hon. Fiona Richardson MP, spoke eloquently about the Government’s actions on elder abuse, and announced some new funding for Seniors Rights Victoria to help more local service providers and community groups prevent elder abuse. Jennifer Evans, a long-time peer educator, then presented one woman’s moving story of elder abuse, which was followed by a community education video developed with the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

Last, Freda Vrantsidis, of the National Ageing Research Institute,  launched the NARI/Seniors Rights Victoria report: ‘The older person’s experience: outcomes of interventions into elder abuse’.  This is the only Australian study we know of that looks at elder abuse from older peoples’ perspective. The report also contains recommendations, formed from the advice of the courageous participants, which will be of great use to both older people and policy-makers alike.

IMG_0084Seniors Rights Victoria, helped by volunteers from our parent body COTA Vic also hosted an information table in the historic Block Arcade in Collins st, Melbourne on 15 June 2016. We engaged with over 200 people, handing out WEAAD themed helpsheets, bookmarks, magnets, ribbons, posters and balloons, and having many important conversations about elder abuse.

For more information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and to find out about some of the many other exciting activities that happened in Victoria, please visit our special website: http://elderabuseawarenessday.org.au/.







New report for WEAAD: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”

The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) the National Ageing Research Institute and Senior’s Rights Victoria  released  their new report: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”. The study aimed to better understand the older person’s experience of elder abuse, the interventions used to address elder abuse and the outcome of the intervention for ex-clients who contacted Seniors Rights Victoria. It makes for very interesting and informative reading, and is the only Australian study we know of that looks at elder abuse from older peoples’ perspective. The report also contains recommendations, formed from the advice of the courageous participants, which will be of great use to both older people and policy-makers alike.



Seniors Rights Victoria is on the Family Violence Steering Committee

 Steering Committee Unveiled – 23 May 2016

Jenny Blakey, Seniors Rights Victoria’s Manager, has been invited to sit on the Statewide Family Violence Advisory Committee. This is wonderful news as it will help ensure that older people are given comprehensive consideration in the implementation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence report: see http://www.rcfv.com.au/