From:                              Seniors Rights Victoria <> on behalf of Seniors Rights Victoria <>

Sent:                               Monday, 1 August 2016 11:25 AM

To:                                   Caitlin Evans

Subject:                          E-newsletter August 2016 - Preview


No. 22 August 2016

Only a month to go until winter is over - we hope you are keeping warm! Read on for news of what happened on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016, how you can get involved in the ALRC's Inquiry into elder abuse, our work around family violence reform, the Victoria Police Seniors Portfolio Reference Group, and conferences. Please tell your friends and colleagues about our e-news, and connect with us on social media to stay up to date on elder abuse news.



World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)

15 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.

Seniors 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.

Seniors 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.

WEAAD in the Community

Many events were held across Australia for WEAAD, including a special WEAAD conference in Adelaide: For more information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and to find out about some of the many exciting activities that happened in Victoria, please visit our WEAAD-specific website: There was a purple lunch in Kensington, purple lights in Mornington, a film festival in Frankston, theatre in Hampton Park, window displays in Castlemaine, knit, chat ‘n chew afternoon in Footscray and many more workshops, forums and morning teas.




ALRC Inquiry into Elder Abuse – get involved

On 24 February 2016, at the 2016 National Elder Abuse Conference hosted by Seniors Rights Victoria, the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis announced a new Inquiry for the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). The Inquiry, 'Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse', will assist the Government in identifying best practice laws and frameworks for protecting older Australians while promoting respects for their rights. It follows the Australian Institute of Family Studies' scoping study of elder abuse in Australia.

The ALRC released an Elder Abuse Issues Paper on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (15 June) and is calling for submissions from the public – due by 18 August 2016. Submissions don’t have to be long, and can focus on just one issue. More information may be found here: There will be more opportunities to make submissions after consultations and the release of a discussion paper in November. The ALRC will release its final report in May 2017.

Pam Morton, Principal lawyer at Seniors Rights Victoria, described the Inquiry as a “fantastic opportunity to highlight the significant legal problems faced by people experiencing elder abuse, and address urgently needed reforms".  Seniors Rights Victoria is making a submission, collaborating with other legal organisations, and also facilitating the Older Person’s Legal Service national submission. Topics covered will include inconsistent laws relating to elder abuse across Australia, Centrelink issues, financial and banking practices, deficiencies in the law relating to Powers of Attorney and case studies.


Victoria Police Seniors Portfolio Reference Group

Image by Victoria Police.

Seniors Rights Victoria is one of thirteen community stakeholders that sit on the Victoria Police Seniors Portfolio Reference Group (Seniors PRG), one of eight portfolio reference groups established under the Equality is Not the Same project. Victoria Police is committed to recognising and maintaining the rights of the individual, and treating all people with respect and dignity. The PRG brings a stakeholder and community perspective to the review and development of police policies, processes, and initiatives to enhance interactions and engagement between Victoria Police and the Victorian community.

The PRG has agreed to a list of key priorities for work over the coming year. These are:

• Elder abuse – building Victoria Police capability to identify and respond to elder abuse

• Safety of Older people on the streets - as road users and as pedestrians

• Working with Older Victorians to ensure that they are not taken advantage of through door to door, telephone and online scammers.

The PRG recently developed a brochure – Victoria Police: Working with Senior Victorians - after identifying a gap in police resources specifically targeted to older Victorians. The brochure contains high level information across a range of issues that affect older Victorians: crime prevention, elder abuse and being safe on the streets. The brochure will also be available as an electronic factsheet translated into 15 languages.

The PRG has also recently provided feedback on an internal police factsheet that will be used to raise awareness of elder abuse, assisting police to understand its prevalence, recognise signs and take appropriate action. The Seniors PRG meets quarterly, with the next meeting schedule for 7 September 2016.


Elder abuse and family violence reform

The Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV) report has comprehensively recognised elder abuse as a form of family violence and elevated it as a concern. Jenny Blakey, Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria, has been invited to sit on the central Family Violence Steering Committee (FVSC), along with 25 others, to implement the report. See the media release.

The FVSC will hold monthly meetings, after which a public communique will be sent out. It will have standing committees to work on designated areas and secretariat and other support from the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The plan is to produce a 10 year family violence plan for the Government by the end of 2016.

The FVSC is informed by a whole-of-government approach, and co-design principles: consumers and service providers working together to design better service delivery. An example of this will be the Support and Safety Hubs throughout local communities in Victoria. The RCFV recommendations will also all be looked at through the lens of particular at-risk groups to ensure no one falls through the cracks – such as seniors, women with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Domestic Violence Victoria has set up a Cross-sectoral Alliance consisting of 18 peak bodies and service organisations to support the RCFV implementation process.



The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) 13th Global Conference was held in Brisbane from 21–23 June 2016. The program advanced IFA’s agendas in age-friendly cities and communities, aged care, elder abuse and income protection as well as focusing on disasters in an ageing world. Freda Vrantsidis from the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) spoke on ‘Elder abuse policy in Australia and how Victoria is putting policy into practice through Seniors Rights Victoria’. This was a research project in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria to determine what are important outcomes to older people experiencing abuse, what is effective in achieving this outcome and what are the barriers. Her presentation, and those of the other key speakers will soon be available on the Conference website

• Alzheimer’s Australia NSW’s inaugural Living Well with Dementia Conference will be held on 22-23 August in Sydney. This is the first of its kind in Australia and will provide strategies from leading experts to help people with dementia and their carers live a good quality life.

• The Australian Future of Aged Care Summit, Sydney, is from August 30 – September 1. It will provide a unique platform for aged care organisations to enhance their knowledge of the latest reforms, developments, and initiatives in this evolving sector.

• The Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) 2016 National Summit (formerly the ACSA National Conference), in Hobart from 6-9 September, will bring together the sector's best minds for a few days of inspiring debate and conversation on the future of aged care in Australia.

• The Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Congress is from October 9-12 at the Gold Coast. This is Australasia’s biggest age services event attracting industry leaders and key decision makers.

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Seniors Rights Victoria
Postal address: Level 4, 98 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 3000
Phone: 1300 368 821