Attendees at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) forum in Shepparton, with Gerard Mansour.

Regional Victoria hosts first elder abuse awareness forum

Regional Victoria was the focus of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) this year, with the Seniors Right Victoria’s WEAAD forum hosted there for the first time.

The United Nations officially proclaimed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in 2011. The event occurs on 15 June around the world. It features events and activities that empower, celebrate and inform older people, as a way of preventing mistreatment and harm in their communities.

Services in regional and rural Victoria play a critical role responding to elder abuse, and we were pleased to have attendees from a variety of backgrounds turn out for the WEAAD forum in Shepparton. Keynote speaker Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention, was well received, as were talks by SRV staff.

As well as the more than 20 community events held around Victoria, Melbourne Town Hall was lit in a distinctive purple on the evening of 15 June.

In addition to the community events, COTA Victoria sent thousands of brochures and information sheets to community groups and health centres around the state. We also helped to distribute more than 7,000 magnets, bookmarks, ribbons and posters. Manningham Council, in Melbourne’s east, played a key role by creating WEAAD decals for their vehicles.

COTA Victoria and SRV would like to thank everyone who participated in raising awareness this year. Whether you hosted an event, distributed pamphlets or wore your purple ribbon with pride, every one of you contributed to the success of WEAAD. It’s time to put away the purple for now, but we hope to see you all back for WEAAD 2020.