PLENARY & CONFERENCE SPEAKERS
Founder and Director, CROWNEDJill Abraham is the Founder and Director of CROWNED, a service addressing isolation and at risk seniors. Jill has over 30 years’ experience working for organisations with a vision to effect change through community advocacy practice with marginalized cohorts. Jill’s advocacy achievements include older people, long term unemployed, post incarcerated individuals, migrants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the homeless and people with a disability. Jill’s passion for empowering marginalized people and the increasing incidents in elder abuse led her to establish CROWNED in 2017. CROWNED empowers older people through social engagement and advocacy in order to reduce social isolation and vulnerability leading to elder abuse, in particular people who reside in areas that are geographically isolated. Jill’s work includes advocating for older women who experience sexual abuse.
Manager, Justice Connect
Elder Abuse - Emerging Health Justice Partnerships– Tips and TrapsCo-Authors: Robyn Williams & Georgia Tsaousidis, St Josephs Hospital
A number of health justice partnerships (HJP) are emerging, focussing on prevention, and response to elder abuse. Is the collaboration within the HJP model effective at reaching older people at risk, or experiencing elder abuse? This interactive panel discussion, involving multidisciplinary health care workers, legal practitioners and evaluator, will seek to answer all your questions about the HJP and more. What is it about the HJP model that makes is effective? What are the challenges of working in this way? What worked the way the partners thought it would from the start? Were there unexpected challenges, or unexpected benefits to working in this way? Is there anything that the partners wished that they had known before embarking on the HJP? Is it worth the extra effort to truly work in partnership in this way?Lauren manages the Justice Connect Victorian Seniors Law program of health justice partnerships. Seniors Law works with health partners and pro bono lawyers to prevent and respond to elder abuse and assist older people with other legal issues associated with ageing. Lauren is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria Elder Law Committee, the National Association of Community Legal Centres Older Persons and the Law Working Group and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Elder Abuse Prevention and Response Advisory Group. She is an accredited member of the Partnership Brokers Association.
Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Elders and Community Care Services Inc. (AECCS) / Treasurer, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Community Transport NetworkAECCS is the largest aged care service provider for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders in Adelaide and South Australia. Prior to his current role, Graham worked for over 15 years with various Commonwealth and State Government Departments on programs specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In his last position in Government, Graham was responsible for the administration and funding for all the former Aboriginal Home and Community Care (HACC) services and programs across South Australia. Graham completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Adelaide’s Flinders University as a mature aged student, with majors in International Business and Human Resource Management and a minor in Business Economics. Graham was also a member of the former Ageing Consultative Committee and the Ageing Expert Advisory Group that provided high level advice and information to the former Minister for Ageing and the Department of Health and Ageing. Graham has a passion and commitment to ensure that during the current Aged Care Reforms, all Elders have access to reliable and consistent aged care services, no matter where they might live.
Intake and Support Worker, Townsville Community Legal Service, Seniors Legal and Support ServiceJane Andreassen is the Intake and Support Worker at Townsville Community Legal Service with the Seniors Legal and Support Service. Jane has been at Townsville Community Legal Service for 5 years in various roles and is also the coordinator of Seniors Creating Change.
Interprofessional Clinical Lead, Flinders University
Simulation and coaching to prevent aggression in aged care settings
Care workers provide front line care for older adults in residential and community settings. Clients with complex care needs are vulnerable, particularly when requiring assistance with activities of daily living that may be personal and invasive. Understanding and responding to older adults with cognitive decline as well as other underlying concerns, requires excellent interpersonal communication skills. This training program was developed to minimise agitation and aggression using a coaching and simulation model. This experiential learning supports staff to identify triggers and apply strategies to avoid and alter modifiable causes of aggression in a safe, supported environment, in real time. Preliminary results will be presented.Nicky is a health professional who works in the Clinical Teaching and Education Centre of Flinders University SA, which is situated at ViTA, a shared facility of Flinders University, SA Health and ACH Group (an Aged Care provider). Nicky’s passion is excellence in client centred care, achieved by collaborative teamwork and effective communication.
Secretary General, International Federation on AgeingJane Barratt is the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), which comprises government, industry, academic and non-governmental members in over 70 countries, representing some 75 million older people. The IFA is a global point of connection for experts and expertise that help to shape and influence age-related policy globally. At the heart of the work of the IFA and Dr Barratt’s leadership is the fundamental right of older people to be enabled to do what they value, as opposed to what society thinks that they value. In essence protecting and respecting the rights of older people. Jane has direct responsibility for the organization’s global operational performance, quality and strategic implementation, and business development. This includes leadership at the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York, Geneva and Vienna and formal relations with the WHO Department Ageing and Life-course. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, which is responsible for setting global strategic direction and various associated international expert committees. She has many national and international roles, including the Standing Selection Committee Chair for the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada and is a former member of the Global Agenda Council on Ageing for the World Economic Forum.
Founder and Director of the OPAL Institute, Coordinator of The Power Project
Preventing Sexual Abuse of Older Women
This interdisciplinary panel will be hosted by Virginia Trioli and includes police, family violence services, legal and elder abuse services, sexual assault and advocacy services. The panel begins by outlining the evidence related to sexual abuse and then recounts one older women’s story of sexual abuse by her intimate partner. Panel members are asked to describe immediate responses and then discuss strategies for social and cultural change to prevent sexual abuse. Conference delegates are invited to add their ideas, responses and solutions. The panel concludes with the launch of the Power Project – an innovative National resource to assist service provides and community members work together to prevent sexual abuse.Dr Catherine Barrett is the Founder and Director of Celebrate Ageing, a program challenging ageism and preventing elder abuse. The program includes the OPAL institute addressing the sexual rights of older people – including the right to be free from sexual abuse. Catherine was the Chief Investigator for Norma’s Project – documenting older women’s experiences of elder abuse and as also a researcher on a Victoria based project that documented a state-wide strategy to prevent the sexual abuse of older women. Catherine believes that to achieve the social and cultural changes necessary to prevent elder abuse we need to work together. In February 2018 Catherine will launch The Power Project, a National resource mapping how we can work together to prevent sexual abuse.
Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University
Interviewing Maggie: What Professionals Can Learn from Mother and Son
Older people who are vulnerable because of a cognitive impairment can be a particular target for financial abuse by adult children or carers. One way that this abuse is perpetrated is through obtaining enduring powers of attorney or guardianship to gain control over a person’s assets. It is important that professionals witnessing these instruments safeguard older people from abuse through careful interviewing techniques. This presentation will draw on original empirical research that examined complaints about lawyers as witnesses for enduring documents and wills. The presentation will use video clips from the classic ABC comedy Mother and Son to highlight ways that professionals can improve their interviewing and referral skills to address elder abuse. The audience will be taken through some hypotheticals involving Maggie Beare and her sons Robert and Arthur and asked to consider how they would work with Maggie as a client. While the presentation will have some light hearted moments, it will highlight the need for a rights based approach to working with older people, the need to make accommodations to improve the environment for older people’s decision-making and the imperative to address the family conflict that sometimes underlies abuse.Lise is a legal academic at Macquarie Law School, founding member of Australian Research Network on Law and Ageing, Elder Mediator and member of NSW Guardian Ad Litem panel.
Senior Solicitor | Combined Civil Law Specialist Team | Civil Law Division, Legal Aid, NSWDana Beiglari started her career as a lawyer at the commercial law firm, Allens. Her passion for social justice law led her to Legal Aid NSW as the Mortgage Hardship Service Solicitor. Dana is now a Senior Solicitor in the Consumer Law practice group. Her team of 10 solicitors assists some of the most vulnerable people in NSW to access their consumer protection rights in credit and insurance matters.
Manager Education, Seniors Rights Service
Shame and Stigma and Safe Havens for Older Women
Diana Bernard, Seniors Rights Service & Marnie Fitzpatrick, Older Women’s Network NSW
During the first half of 2017, OWN NSW partnered with Seniors Rights Service, to deliver a series of seminars with the aim of raising community awareness around the issue of elder abuse for older women. Survey data indicated that the seminars were successful in achieving many of its’ aims. OWN NSW were however, surprised and disappointed by attendances at a few of the seminars and sought to explore this with its members. Many OWN members were of the opinion that elder abuse “doesn’t concern me” or “won’t happen to me”. Others felt concerned that they may be perceived by others as victims of abuse if they attended the seminar. It was also suggested that attendances would have been higher if the words elder abuse were omitted from promotional material. The feedback is illustrative of the level of stigma and shame around the issue of elder abuse that remains prevalent within the community and highlights the need for seniors to have access to safe places where they can speak openly about this unspoken topic without fear of shame or judgement. OWN Wellness Centres offer older women this opportunity.Diana Bernard has a degree in social work and a Masters in Public Health. She has extensive experience in the health field. Initially in clinical work and subsequently in prevention, education, project management and research capacities. She has worked in a broad range of content areas including the aged care sector and tutored in ‘health promotion and social aspects of health’ in the Masters in Public Health at UNSW
Health Consumer Representative/Consultant Advocate for Older People
Engaging Consumers in Rural and Remote Areas to Create Change
Abuse of older people in rural and remote areas of Australia is a neglected and growing health issue. Too often rural and remote communities are ignored or considered as all being alike. To address this we need to consider the ways communities can be empowered to create change that will be sustainable over time and meaningful for the particular community. Individual communities are unique and full of diversity. When considering a community's needs we need to not only think about their location but also their particular socio-economic challenges, multicultural population, access to services and professionals and the education and support they receive. If the community has a strong "core base" with inclusion, participation and involvement for all ages, how can this be utilised to create change? Or if it is lacking, how can it be addressed? Access to community education and training can all be obtained with better usage of technology such as Skype. This should be inclusive of all school children as part of a community connection and engagement program. Advocacy services need to be available in the direct community for all older people, carers and support people that are inclusive of residential care facilities. Community participation in developing an Elder Abuse Toolkit that is available in hard copies for all those that do not have access to digital technology. Collection points can be those points most frequented. Listening and working with an individual community is the key to elder abuse prevention.Maria has a background in Nursing with career preference of working with older people in both community and residential care. She has been volunteering as a Health Consumer Representative for 6yrs to improve care and treatment of Older People in our Health Services and Community. She has been on Community Advisory Committees at Albury/Wodonga Health, Department of Health Victoria, and participated in projects with the National Ageing Research Institute; Victorian Care of Older People Clinical Network, Elder Abuse Australia/Stop Elder Abuse as well as presenting at numerous forums and conferences.
Sector Support and Development Officer - Multicultural Access Project, Northern Settlement Services Ltd
Together making change: tackling the issue of Elder Abuse from within the CALD communities.The Hunter CALD Elder Abuse Prevention Working Group was established in October 2016 to develop a holistic and collective approach to tackling elder abuse in vulnerable Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities living in regional areas. As a result, a series of interactive CALD sessions were rolled out across the Hunter region over 12 months together with a ‘4-tier training initiative’ co-designed and specifically developed for managers, Primary Health Network Members, bilingual workers and CEO’s. The Hunter Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Elder Abuse Prevention Network officially launched on Monday 8 May at the Hunter Multicultural Communities Inc. office, 2a Platt Street, Waratah, at 11 am. This event was officiated by the NSW Minister for Ageing, Women and Mental Health, Tanya Davies. Over a hundred people have participated in the interactive sessions which have included members from the Tongan, Mandarin, Cantonese, Filipino, Spanish, Vietnamese and Samoan communities. To date the feedback and case studies have identified unique strategies and recommendations for addressing cultural barriers when addressing elder abuse in CALD communities. The network is led by Northern Settlement Services Ltd in Newcastle and ECC NSW with members from NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit, NSW Seniors Rights Service, SSDO - Wesley Mission, Multicultural Health Services - Hunter New England Area Health Service, NSW Police, MDAA, Hunter Multicultural Communities Inc, and the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network. The proposed presentation will share the findings from this process in tackling issues of elder abuse from within the CALD communities themselves. Likely impact of the presentation would be the following: 1) Learnings and outcomes gained from co-design practices and the unique approach used to address sensitive issues cultural barriers, taboos and religious influences towards elder abuse amongst CALD communities; 2) Informed audience of the learnings gained from the diverse and unique collaborations facilitated across both government and non-government stakeholders in the project; 3) Demonstrate the CoDesigned CALD resources developed by the Hunter CALD Elder Abuse Prevention Network. John Probhudan Biswas is currently the Sector Support and Development Officer- Multicultural Access Project for the Hunter with the Northern Settlement Services Ltd and Convenor of the Hunter CALD Elder Abuse Prevention Network. John also chairs the Hunter CALD Disability Engagement Reference Group since 2016. John comes with over a decade of work experience with diverse ethnic and cultural communities in the UK and in Australia. He has a background in advocacy, university Chaplaincy and grassroots student and community organising.
Manager, Seniors Rights VictoriaJenny has been the Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria since October 2010. Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people. In the previous seven and a half years Jenny held management roles in community services in the alcohol and other drug sector, as manager of Outreach Services at Windana and manager of Mary of the Cross, part of CatholicCare. Before this Jenny worked in community legal centres for 15 years. This included 3 years as the Manager at Fitzroy Legal Service and several years as the Manager at the Welfare Rights Unit (now known as Social Security Rights Victoria). In the past, Jenny has held various board and management committee roles, including 3 years as the chair of the Fitzroy Legal Service and 2 years as the chair of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA).
CEO, Australian Bankers’ AssociationAnna Bligh is the Chief Executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association, working to strengthen the culture in banking and improve customer experience. Anna has had a long and distinguished career in politics. She was Premier of Queensland for almost five years and led the response and recovery effort to devastating floods in January 2011. Prior to joining the ABA, Anna was the CEO of YWCA NSW, a not-for-profit organisation striving to build a safer world for women and children with services dedicated to ending domestic violence. Anna received a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia award in the 2017 Australia Day Honours list, in recognition of her eminent service to the Parliament of Queensland, to the not-for-profit sector and the role of women in public life.
Lecturer, School of Occupational Therapy & Social Work, Curtin University
Examining the use and effectiveness of Elder Abuse Protocols: a Western Australian case studyCo-Author Deborah Costello, Advocare Inc, WA
Elder abuse is an increasingly important issue for staff and services working with older people. It is estimated that a large proportion of it goes unreported, due to lack of recognition of elder abuse and how best to respond to it, by both older people and staff and service providers. To address this issue, elder abuse protocols have been developed in different states and territories. These protocols generally include information about elder abuse, including examples and risk factors, and guidance about response pathways, including referral information. It is unclear how widely these are used, as no data has been collected about this. This project focused on exploring the usefulness and effectiveness of the Elder Abuse Protocols: Guidelines for Action, as developed by Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse: Western Australia in 2013. Three focus groups and an online survey were conducted with stakeholder organisations and people working with older people in order to examine the usefulness and effectiveness of the Protocols. The research data, along with a review of literature and similar documents from other jurisdictions, informed an updated version of the Protocol. This document will be supported by a series of metropolitan, regional and online workshops (delivered by Advocare, who operate the Elder Abuse Helpline) to inform stakeholders of the new Protocol Guidelines. This project provides an evidence base as to the utility and effectiveness of elder abuse protocols, in addressing gaps in staff knowledge in detecting and responding to elder abuse.Dr Barbara Blundell, BSW (hons), PhD, is a Lecturer and Teaching and Research Academic in the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work at Curtin University, Western Australia. Dr Blundell’s research interests have a particular focus on elder abuse, ageing and disability issues, human rights, and advocacy. She has conducted a number of research projects in these areas over the past 15 years, in partnership with both government and non-government organisations in Western Australia and Queensland.
Barrister, Frederick Jordan Chambers
Unconscious Bias in the Legal System and how it impacts on Older People
Unconscious bias in the legal system leads to greater disadvantage for older people who are already disadvantaged from the start. Unconscious bias compounds the challenges of older women, older people from CALD communities, and older Indigenous people when they become party to legal proceedings. These groups are under-represented in traditional legal systems although civil and criminal courts can become their only remedy. The presentation will address individual case studies, recent publications and legal precedents on the topic during the presentation.Kim has experience in corporate governance, consumer advocacy and practice as a Solicitor in both the UK and Australia. As a Solicitor for Seniors Rights Service, Kim was a regular representative at the at the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing in New York as an NGO representative. She was appointed to the NSW Minister of Fair Trading's Retirement Villages Advisory Council in 2013 and also to the Minister's Expert Committee on Retirement Villages Standard Contract Terms and Disclosure Documents in 2011. Kim is a member of the International Commission of Jurists Australia, and the International Federation on Ageing. Kim was appointed to the inaugural Legal Services Council in October 2014 and reappointed for three years from 2017-2020. The Legal Services Council and Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation oversee the implementation of the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme- a regulatory framework for Australian legal practitioners.
Chair, Older Women's NetworkAnnette is the Chair of the Older Women’s Network, a board member of Health Consumer's NSW and a member of the Lower North Shore Local District Consumer Participation Committee. Annette is a retired, trained nurse and has worked in Aged Care. She has also been involved in Pastoral Care for many years.
Caseworker/Counsellor/Community educator, PRONIA
Importance of Culturally Responsive Practice in Addressing Elder Abuse
Cultural competency is critical for practitioners responding to elder abuse in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. With more than 15 years’ experience in direct support to Greek elderly victims of elder abuse and targeted community education, PRONIA has changed the way the Greek community perceives elder abuse. Competency in cross-cultural communication and knowledge of family culture provides the necessary skills in responding to the needs of individual clients. Service flexibility and adaptability are also an effective means of responding to the needs of the older person and their families. This workshop will give insight into the importance of cultural competencies and the implementation of best practice to engage with community and clients and to improve service responses through cultural care. Language barriers greatly increases the vulnerability of older people in relation to communication of the issue and access to services. Case studies presented will demonstrate the importance of interagency collaborations and referral pathways improving access to relevant supports but will also highlight some of the gaps in assessment where there is a lack of cultural competency.Dimitri Bouras is a Caseworker/ Counsellor/ Community educator at PRONIA and has held this position since 2009. He has provided Casework & Counselling intervention services to over 300 CALD clients and families of theirs directly affected by Elder Abuse. Dimitri is passionate about educating CALD Communities about Respectful Relationships, Emotional Wellbeing and Access to Services.
Social Work Manager, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
Window of Opportunity: Vulnerable Older Persons Coordination and Response GroupCo-Author: Meghan O’Brien
Hospitals provide a ‘window of opportunity’ for responding to elder abuse. Five years ago St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM) implemented an evidence informed, multifaceted approach to responding to suspected elder abuse. This work has been underpinned by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. Using an audio-visual format, the presentation highlights key elements of the SVHM approach as described by a range of staff - clinical, management, education and executive level – who are together making change. The presentation underscores the importance of linking the vision for responding to elder abuse/family violence to the organisation’s culture and strategic priorities and the value of leadership. At SVHM leadership has been exemplified by multidisciplinary coordination of the effort, as well as staff being champions for change. Drawing on quality improvement strategies, SVHM has also focussed on process and system change - the development of a response framework and model of care; unique tools used for the training of targeted health professionals to strengthen their confidence and skills; and the development of clear policy and processes which include evaluation through data collection.Lisa Braddy currently holds the position of Social Work Manager at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. She has nearly 25 years’ clinical and management experience in health, aged care, disability, community programs and workforce education and training. Lisa maintains a strong commitment to evidence based practice supported by quality improvement and research which is reflected in the activities of the department.
Jenny Bray Training and ConsultingJenny Bray is an independent consultant and trainer to the community care, aged care, disability support, early childhood intervention and local government sectors. She operates from a fundamental regard for the human rights of service users and great respect for volunteers and workers within the sector. Jenny's previous experience has included delivering direct care; community development, sector development and policy work for peak bodies and government agencies; delivering training for providers and TAFE; assisting agencies to plan strategically; and project managing a vast array of projects for government and non-government clients. Her vast experience means Jenny can both see the big picture and enable organisations to manifest their vision at the grass roots level. Jenny has assisted hundreds of organisations to respond successfully to community needs and changing environments. Self-employed for 20 years, Jenny speaks from experience about the opportunities and challenges of operating a values based service on a business footing.
Principal, BROWNE.Linkenbagh Legal ServicesDarryl Browne is the principal of BROWNE.Linkenbagh Legal Services. He is an Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates. He facilitates the Law Society’s Working Group on Elder Abuse. He is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Elder Law and Succession Committee and the NSW State government’s Prevention of Elder Abuse Steering Committee. He is a member of STEP and SMSF Association.
Advocacy Coordinator, Seniors rights VictoriaPhilippa Campbell is the Advocacy Coordinator at Seniors Rights Victoria, the Victorian Statewide Advocacy and Legal Service assisting older people at risk of or experiencing elder abuse. She is also currently working with the State Government on the roll-out of family violence reforms in Victoria. Philippa has 30 years experience working with older people in the not-for-profit sectors including managing residential aged care, family violence, case management, quality management and advocacy. Philippa’s passion is the human rights of older people, and is committed to continuing her active role in tackling ageism.
Advocacy Coordinator, Seniors Rights VictoriaPhilippa Campbell is the Advocacy Coordinator at Seniors Rights Victoria. Philippa is passionate about the rights of older people and preventing Elder Abuse. She has worked with older people for many years including roles in residential aged care.
Author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and media and social commentatorJane has published five books and has recently published “Just a Queen” a sequel to her earlier work “Just a Girl” and “plain speaking jane”. A regular on the Gruen Transfer she has also appeared in the media including weekly spots on Weekend Sunrise, and Sunrise. She has created, written, presented and co-produced for ABC Radio and Television. She has also appeared on The Drum, Q&A, The Project, Daily Edition, Mornings on 9, Studio 10 and Today. She writes regular monthly columns for Mt (Management Today) Magazine, and the Sun Herald’s Sunday Life. In 2016 Jane was appointed the Financial Planning Week Ambassador by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). She is in demand as a speaker, workshop facilitator and MC.
Officer in charge of the Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit, Queensland PoliceInspector Carr commenced with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) on 24 November 1986 and has 30 years’ service. Prior to undertaking the role of the QPS, State Domestic Family Violence Coordinator and Manager of the Domestic, Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit Inspector Carr held a number of positions including general duties and as a Detective with the Child Protection Investigation Unit (previously known as the Juvenile Aid Bureau), Criminal Investigations Branch, and State Crime Operations Command. In 2005, Inspector Carr was promoted to Detective Senior Sergeant as one of the inaugural QPS Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect representative. Inspector Carr worked for many years in the area of child protection and in 2009 represented the QPS on a whole-of-Government Future Directions Project for the protection of children in Queensland. In addition to her extensive experience as a QPS Detective, Inspector Carr has contributed widely to many other organisational projects including managing the ‘Policing Smaller Communities’ project and contributing expertise as a member of the QPS Flood Crisis Review Group. Inspector Carr has been awarded the National Police Service Medal, National Medal, National Emergency Medal, Queensland Police Service Medal, the Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation, and the Queensland Police 150 Years Citation. Inspector Carr holds a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree (Psychology).
Solicitor, Seniors Rights ServiceMelissa Chaperlin has been a solicitor with the Seniors Rights Service practicing in the area of elder law for over 9 years. She has a Combined Science Law Degree from the University of Technology Sydney. Melissa was involved with the Seniors Rights Service’s preparation of submissions into the Elder Abuse Enquiry General Purpose Standing Committee No 2, the Australian Law Reform Enquiry into Elder Abuse, and the recent review of the Guardianship Act 1987 by the NSW Law Reform Commission. As well as providing legal advice to older people, Melissa presents education to the community on elder abuse and planning ahead, and has provided education to other solicitors on elder law. The Seniors Rights Service provides legal advice, advocacy and education to people over the age of 60 years in the community and provides case work and assistance to socially and financially disadvantaged older people. The Seniors Rights Service also provides educations to people over the age of 60 years on aspects of Planning Ahead, Wills Power of Attorney and Guardianship and Elder Abuse.
Director of Strategy, Office of the Public AdvocateDr John Chesterman is Director of Strategy at the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate. He has written a number of books, including (as co-author) The Politics of Human Rights in Australia (Cambridge University Press). In 2013 John travelled as a Churchill Fellow to the US, Canada and the UK, where he examined a variety of adult protection systems. John was a member of the Australian Law Reform Commission's Advisory Committee for its elder abuse inquiry.
Community LeaderUncle Chicka is a respected Sydney Elder. He has lived in and around the Redfern and inner city area most of his life serving the Aboriginal community as Director or the Aboriginal Medical Service, member & representative of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Director of the Aboriginal Hostels NSW and is a life member of the Redfern All Blacks. Along with being an active community leader, Uncle Chicka is also an important artist creating a number of ceramic sculptures and paintings inspired by his Gadigal country. He has been commissioned to create a number of works including a painting for St Vincent’s Health Australia and an installation for the Redfern Community Centre’s Elders Lounge in collaboration with Nicole Monks.
Solicitor, Seniors Legal and Support ServiceAnna Cody is a Solicitor with the Seniors Legal and Support Service a position that she has held since the Service commenced in June 2007. The Service provides free assistance for Townsville seniors experiencing elder abuse and financial exploitation with funding for the Service provided to the Townsville Community Legal Service by the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.
Principal Legal Officer, Australian Law Reform CommissionMatt Corrigan is a Principal Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission. Matt worked on the Elder Abuse inquiry which the Commission completed in June this year and led the Commission’s work on enduring powers of attorney, family agreements and superannuation. Prior to joining the Commission in July 2016, Matt had a diverse legal career which began as a solicitor in corporate law. Matt has worked as a legal advisor to the UN, Australian Government and the Australian Parliament principally in the areas of human rights and law reform.
Former DPP for NSW / Inaugural Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association / Adjunct Professor of Law
The rights that all humans of all ages enjoy may be found in the UN instruments agreed to by the community of nations and reinforced in national legislation. Domestic laws have made special provisions for elders (and the young) that recognise their situations in the population and we need to ensure that both international and local standards are applied.Nicholas Cowdery AM QC has spent 48 years in criminal justice in various capacities. He has been a public defender, a barrister, an acting Judge and for 16 ½ years was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW. He is a former President of the International Association of Prosecutors. He is now an Adjunct Professor of Law and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at several universities. He has had a strong connection with the protection and promotion of human rights, especially in the criminal justice system, and was founding Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association from 1995-2000. He is a member of the National Human Rights Committee of the Law Council of Australia. He is the Chair of White Ribbon Australia.
Superintendent / Commander, The Hills Local Area CommandRob has 28 years policing experience and is currently the commander of the Hills LAC at Castle Hill. He has performed senior roles in organized crime investigations and corporate strategy. He is the regional police sponsor for the prevention of abuse of older persons and is a vigorous advocate for the rights of victims as well as being a White Ribbon Ambassador. Rob’s focus has been on enhancing the police response to reported cases of abuse and developing partnerships with government and non-government agencies to improve the field. Rob holds a Master of Public Administration from Sydney University and Master of Management and Leadership and Bachelor of Policing from Charles Sturt University. He is a casual lecturer at Macquarie University. He is a co-author of a paper in Emergency Management Australasia on older person Abuse presentations to emergency departments.
Advocate, Seniors Rights Service
Getting behind closed doors
Co-Author: Kate Partington Shoalhaven Community Aged Care Manager, Shoalhaven Elder Abuse Prevention Network [SEAPN]
Concern about a lack of face to face support services in regional / remote areas, services which are able to go into home settings (including Residential Aged Care Facilities), to assist people who are vulnerable and identified as at risk of financial abuse. Some services are able to give people phone advice but if face to face legal assistance is needed and if the older person is unable to get to an appointment or “needs someone to hold their hand” there is currently limited service options. Local colleagues have advised an increase in legal issues for older people particularly around financial abuse by family members and that these clients are missing out on legal support due to a lack of free/available local services as well as lack of knowledge around legal rights and service availability. SEAPN decided to follow up two options: To explore funds available through Shoalcoast Domestic Violence funding to trial a home visiting service. To conduct training sessions [in conjunction with Shoalcoast CLC] in 4 south coast regional areas for those who work with elders on how to better deal with and assist older people experiencing financial abuse. The outcomes of these options will also be discussed at the conference.Margaret has worked as an advocate educator for 11 years at Seniors Rights Service.
Executive Director, Retail Policy, Australian Bankers’ AssociationChris is responsible for working with member banks on setting policy strategy and developing and advocating policy positions on financial services, consumer protection regulation, corporate governance, and culture and conduct. Prior to the ABA, Chris held senior risk, compliance and governance roles in financial services, and consulting. Chris’ professional focus is on protecting the interests of consumers through meaningful culture and conduct initiatives and robust risk, governance and conflicts management processes. Chris holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Wollongong and has completed courses through the Governance Institute and the GRC Institute.
Senior Manager Service Development, Relationships Australia, Victoria
Steering The Right Path - a prevention approach to Elder Abuse
"Steering the Right Path” is a primary prevention and awareness raising project, funded by State Trustees Foundation Victoria, and developed and delivered by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV). This flexible, interactive workshop has been delivered in workplaces and community settings in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Using a case study hypothetical to alert participants to common situations that can lead to elder abuse and how to prevent them, it focuses on Planning, Preserving, and Preventing. Planning: Finances, living arrangements, care plans, advance directives, and powers of attorney. Preserving: Family relationships, social connection, autonomy, and respect. Preventing: Resentment, conflict, and abuse. The conference session will take participants through a small section of the hypothetical, enabling them to share their thinking and test their knowledge. In a facilitated discussion participants can share ideas about the role promotion and prevention strategies can play in addressing Elder Abuse. Ideas and observations from the discussion will be collated and circulated to participants after the conference.Simon Curran is leading RAV's Seniors Relationships Services Strategy. He has overseen RAV's development of an Elder mediation service, its response to elder abuse, and therapeutic programs using reminiscence approaches. In partnership with Swinburne University Simon is a lead investigator in research addressing loneliness in older adults.
NSW Minister for AgeingAs the NSW Minister for Ageing, Tanya is focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities that occur with an ageing population. She is passionate about tackling ageism and ensuring people in NSW experience the benefits of living longer, while having the opportunity to participate in and contribute to their communities. The ongoing implementation of the state’s first Ageing Strategy, delivered by the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government, is a top priority and involves a whole-of-government effort to help people not only live longer lives, but better lives. The Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit is one of the important initiatives under this strategy. Tanya is a working mother, raising her two young children in Western Sydney with husband Mark. Prior to being sworn in as NSW Minister for Ageing, Mental Health, and Women, Tanya was Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs and Homelessness, and has been the local member for Mulgoa since 2011.
President, Australian Law Reform Commission and a Judge of the Federal Court of AustraliaPrior to her appointment on 10 January 2018, Justice Derrington was the Dean of Law at the University of Queensland and a barrister specialising in maritime and shipping law, general commercial law and arbitration. Justice Derrington has published in leading international journals in the field of marine insurance and carriage of goods by sea and, with James M Turner QC of the English Bar, co-authored The Law & Practice of Admiralty Matters, now in its second edition (OUP, 2016). She was the co-Editor of the Queensland Reports from July 2011 until May 2015.
Solicitor and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)
ADACAS advocates for the human rights of people with disabilities, people with mental health issues and older people. Sonia specialises in advocating for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD). On a part-time basis Sonia works as a human rights researcher and sits on the board of two international human rights NGO. She has set up and managed human rights projects in Sudan, Pakistan and India and worked as a Resettlement Consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Sonia holds a Masters of International Law with majors in human rights and a Post Graduate Diploma of Child Rights Law. She is a member of the Australian Capital Territory Ministerial Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs, advocating for the rights of people in Australia from CALD backgrounds.Based on in-depth research conducted in Sudan, Sonia will explain in her talk ‘Valuing the Older Person within a Sudanese Context’ how communities where older people continue to play a role in the community enjoy greater levels of respect by the community at large. Focusing on the Sudan example, the presenter will outline the elements that we as a society must focus on in order to create a safer environment for older people, where the risk of abuse will be in decline.
Executive Manager Quality and Service Development, FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria
Respecting Elders – Program for responding to and preventing Elder Abuse
Respecting Elders Support and Conflict Service (RES) aims to stop elder abuse and prevent abuse for those at risk. It is philanthropically funded service supported by the Lord Mayor Charitable Foundation Innovation Grant Program in collaboration with Seniors Rights Victoria and the Eastern Community Legal Centre. FMC has been refining this model over the past two years through the initial development of Seniors Mediation which highlighted the need for a holistic approach to managing clients with elder abuse. RES offers prevention of elder abuse and an alternative treatment pathway. Presently options for seniors facing issues of conflict and elder abuse are often very punitive. Older people struggle with defining and taking a course of action, which could have legal implications. They also want to preserve the relationship in which they find themselves in conflict with. At the core of the model is ensuring the voice of the older is heard and empowering them to be involved in decisions regarding their care. A range of service options are used including: a thorough holistic initial assessment, coaching and counselling, facilitated family meetings, financial counselling, mediation, therapeutic counselling and care coordination. A Family Consultant guides the older person through the program and provides support, coaching and care coordination to internal FMC services and relevant community services as required. Evaluation of the program includes demographic data, client reported outcomes , Geriatric Depression Scale, qualitative data and case study analysis. Outcomes from Respecting Elders Services includes: 1) Reduction in elder abuse; 2) Increased self-reported happiness in older clients; 3) Reduction in anxiety and depression; 4) Reduction in family conflict’ 5) Increased involved in decision making. The model ensures older people are actively involved in their decision making and offers an alternative to legal services for dealing with issues of elder abuse. As a preventative model, this service is utilised proactively in assisting older clients to have difficult conversations with their families before conflict or abuse arises, therefore not leaving it until there is a crisis or at family breakdown point. This presentation will discuss the development of the service, the model and will utilise case studies and evaluation data to highlight the outcomes being achieved.Jenni Dickson has over 20 years’ experience in the health sector. She has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Diploma Community Health. Jenni brings to FMC a strong background in services development and quality improvement. She has a background in Aged and Community Care and has significant experience in improving the client experience.
Clinical Nurse Consultant, The Sutherland Hospital
Rapidly responding to Elder Abuse situations- Southcare Outreach Service (SOS)Co-Authors: Dr Michelle Julian, Geriatrician & Sandra Foley, Senior Social Worker
In June the Southcare Outreach Service was referred to the house of a male client by the Ambulance service. The Ambulance service had received a phone call from the local sheriff who was at a property in Cronulla to evict the tenants due to unpaid rent and squalor of property. On arrival they found a bed-bound elderly gentleman on continuous oxygen and encased by squalor. The other tenants, the client’s son, daughter (the carer) and wife were not at the property and had just left the client there. We attended the property to arrange the seamless transfer of client to a Nursing Home and sight the squalor environment which was extensive- rotting food, human faeces, urine and cat faeces. Over the next few hours we discovered a situation of elder abuse- severe neglect and financial. Mr C was found malnourished, covered in faeces, urine, fleas, flies and on admission to the RACF was found to have head lice. We quickly became concerned about the condition of the wife who nobody knew her location. An urgent guardianship hearing was convened the next day, which saw a public guardian appointed for both. With the assistance of the NSW Police the client’s daughter brought her mother to TSH ED and she was found to be in a worse state. Mrs C has dementia, was calling out, malnourished, also covered in urine, faeces and flea bites, had a sacral pressure sore and possible UTI. Today both Mr & Mrs C are residing in a local RACF where they are warm, fed, showered and having their medical needs attended to. This abstract is merely a snapshot of a very interesting but complicated situation.Kylie has over 10 years of experience as a Registered Nurse within the specialty area of aged care. Kylie is currently the Clinical Nurse Consultant for the Southcare Outreach Service and the Aged care Services Emergency Team at The Sutherland Hospital. Kylie has completed a Master’s of Science in Gerontology and Rehabilitation Studies through the University of Wollongong and currently lectures for the University of Technology, Sydney as an associate in the Faculty of Health.
Deputy Opposition Whip, NSW Legislative CouncilGreg Donnelly is a Labor Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, entering the upper house in February 2005. He was re-elected at the March 2011 state election. He is currently the Deputy Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council. He is the Chair of Portfolio Committee No. 2 and Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Issues. He is also a member of the Privileges Committee, the Committee on Children and Young People, the Select Committee on the Legislative Council Committee System and the Select Committee on Human Trafficking. Prior to entering the NSW Legislative Council in February 2005, Greg was a full-time official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association NSW Branch (Shop Assistants Union). He commenced with the union in 1986 and worked in a number of roles including branch secretary for nine years before entering Parliament. Greg graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Economics (1983) and a Master of Industrial Relations (1986). He completed the Harvard Trade Union Program in 1992. He has been a member of the ALP NSW Branch since 1986. He has served on a number of policy committees and the Administrative Committee. He has been a delegate to several ALP NSW Branch and National Conferences. Greg serves as a delegate from NSW to the National Council of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association. He is also a member of the University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney) Arts & Science Advisory Board. Greg’s policy areas of interest include family and life issues, children and young people, employment and workplace relations, human rights, biotechnology, palliative care and education. Greg is married to Gaynor and they have three children, Matthew, Lucy and Joe. His sister Jane and her family, along with his mother Betty, live in Western Australia.
Chief Executive Officer, ProniaTina, CEO of PRONIA, with 27 years of service in the community service sector has extensive knowledge and expertise in working with the Australian Greek and broader ethnic communities. She has expertise in the management of diverse culturally responsive programs in the areas of aged care, family and children, direct services and health and community education. Tina is a strong advocate for multicultural affairs through policy work and representation on various state and local government committees and local networks. She has held positions on the Board of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition and Buoyancy Foundation, and is a current member of the Elder Abuse Roundtable and member of the VMC Regional Advisory Council. Previous roles in family counselling, community development and Senior Management positions provided Tina with opportunities to develop and implement culturally relevant prevention and early intervention service responses to families, women and children impacted by family/domestic violence and elder abuse.
Executive Director, The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI)
Addressing Victorian priorities for Elder abuse: An Action Plan
The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (VRCFV) established that elder abuse is a form of family violence but also identified that more was required to prevent and manage elder abuse in Victoria. Since then, there has been increased focus on elder abuse and considerable government and philanthropic investment in education, new services and integrated response models. The aim of the Action Plan was to scope current initiatives in elder abuse and identify where gaps still remained in order to develop a blueprint for Victoria for preventing and responding to elder abuse. The gaps were identified through reviewing the literature and through surveys and focus groups with people working in aged care, elder abuse and family violence services. From the review and consultations, we identified 10 priority actions areas to improve services responses to elder abuse in Victoria. We further recommended a central hub for information and resources relating to elder abuse and reconsideration of the term itself. Our recommendations will assist in informing future elder abuse interventions in Victoria. Briony Dow is the Executive Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), and oversees a broad program for research encompassing clinical research into falls prevention, pain and models of care for people with dementia and health promotion for older people, including healthy ageing, health system reform, mental health, care systems and social engagement. Her own research interests focus mainly on mental health, carers and elder abuse.Briony Dow is the Executive Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), and oversees a broad program for research encompassing clinical research into falls prevention, pain and models of care for people with dementia and health promotion for older people, including healthy ageing, health system reform, mental health, care systems and social engagement. Her own research interests focus mainly on mental health, carers and elder abuse.
Shadow Attorney GeneralMark was elected to parliament in 2007 as the Member for Isaacs. He studied Arts and Law at the University of Melbourne. A former Director of the Law Council of Australia, Mark served on the Victorian Bar Ethics Committee and Victorian Bar Council. In 1999 he was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel. Mark is a strong advocate for social justice and believes in creating a sustainable environment for our future generations. During 2013 Mark served as Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Management, and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity and Special Minister of State.
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, LifeWorks Relationship Counselling and Education Service
Mediation, Group Conferencing and Restorative Practice: Making Change in Elder Abuse
This paper will explore how Mediation, Group Conferencing and Restorative Practices may be useful interventions for preventing and addressing issues of elder abuse. Australia has an aging demographic and with that we are already seeing an increase in the incidents of elder abuse, which unfortunately is likely to grow as the demographic grows. Along with our aging population, there is increasing strain on the finances of the adult children of these older Australians, resulting from the casualization of the labour market, under employment and difficulty entering or staying in the housing market . High housing prices mean that older Australians are often living in assets worth a considerable amount of money. These situations have led to coercion by some adult children of elderly parents around decision making regarding finances, housing and care. Often the victim of elder abuse needs or wants to stay in an ongoing relationship with the one who is causing the abuse, but wants the abuse to stop. The one causing the abuse may fail to understand the effect their action is having on the elderly person. Older Australians may be reluctant to use legal processes against family members. In some circumstances, processes such as mediation, group conferencing and restorative practices may provide older Australians with solutions for maintaining relationships while preventing or stopping abuse. This paper aims to discuss and examine some of the benefits and issues in using such processes for the prevention of elder abuse and documents some of the options currently being practiced.Angela Dupuche has worked in family mediation for twenty years, in Family Law, Parent Adolescent and Elder Mediation. She holds a Bachelor of Theology, Grad Dip Social Work (La Trobe Uni) Grad Dip Family Law Mediation (La Trobe Uni) Grad Dip Counselling (Swinburne Uni) and is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with thr Attorney General's Department. She also has National Mediator Accreditation (NMAS). She is passionate about the value of Alternative Dispute Resolution in resolving issues for families.
Silver Rainbow, National Project Manager, National LGBTI Health AllianceSam Edmonds is the Silver Rainbow, National Project Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance. Silver Rainbow provides national coordination and support activities promoting the well-being of LGBTI elders and the ongoing delivery of the LGBTI awareness training to create an LGBTI inclusive aged care sector across Australia. Sam is a member of a number of national advisory groups in ageing and aged care both Government and Non-government. She was appointed to the Aged Care Sector Committee (ACSC), a Ministerial Advisory Group and made Chair of the ACSC Diversity Sub Group. Sam holds Masters Degrees in Social Policy, Politics and International Relations. She has also completed the Macquarie University Global Leadership Program. Prior to her current role Sam has worked in diverse fields including health policy and human rights. She was part of a small team with the Australian Human Rights Commission working on the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry.
Principal Lawyer, Seniors Rights VictoriaRebecca has a passion for social justice and has spent the majority of her working life in this field. She has over 10 years’ experience as a practicing lawyer working in private practice in rural and regional areas, for Victoria Legal Aid, for the UNICTR in Tanzania, for the Kimberley Land Council (a Native Title Representative Body), and now as Principal Lawyer at Seniors Rights Victoria. In addition, Rebecca has over 10 years’ experience teaching the next generation of lawyers as a lecturer at La Trobe University, teaching subjects with a focus on social justice such as Dispute Resolution, Rural and Regional Issues in Justice, and Law, Ethics and Human Rights. This social justice theme has continued through her PhD research (continuing) around improving access to justice for unrepresented persons in mediations at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Rebecca also has a strong commitment to the community sector and is currently the Chair of Castlemaine District Community Health.
Lawyer, Salvos LegalStephen is an internationally recognised corporate lawyer, having specialised in financial services and investment funds for over 30 years. During his last few years as a partner at one of Australia's top tier firms, Stephen acted also as Pro Bono legal services partner, helping develop relationships with public interest and other community legal centres and not for profit enterprises and charities. Stephen joined Salvos Legal, a social enterprise law firm, in July 2017 and spends up to half his time working in the legal team at Seniors Rights Service. Stephen holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Laws.
JournalistEllen Fanning is best known for her work as an award-winning current affairs journalist. At 24, she broke new ground, becoming the first woman to host one of ABC Radio’s national current affairs programs. Two years at the helm of PM were followed by several years anchoring AM on ABC Radio and serving as occasional host of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report. Ellen served as the ABC’s Washington correspondent in 1998 and has reported from locations as diverse as Transylvania and the North Pole, under the Indian Ocean aboard an Australian Navy submarine and 30,000 feet over Serbia from a US Airforce refuelling jet. She has also interviewed every current and former Australian Prime Minister from John Howard to John Gorton and has met and interviewed world leaders from France, Britain, Ireland, Israel and the United States. Most recently, Ellen has been a reporter for the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, and the presenter for Channel 9’s Sunday program. Ellen has also stepped in to co-host the Today show. She has had extensive experience moderating political, business and community events in Australia. As a facilitator Ellen’s strength lies in her ability to clarify goals, define roles and reach agreed outcomes across both cultural and language barriers. With a wealth of experience in communications, politics, social, cultural and business issues, Ellen’s informative and stimulating presentations make her an ideal moderator, facilitator and keynote speaker.
President, National Older Women’s Network, (NOWN) Incorporated / Co-Chair, Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People, Australia (GAROPA)In addition to the above mentioned roles, Aloma is a highly regarded Organization Development Consultant. She has worked in several countries in the Asian region; as well as in North America, the U.K, NZ and she continues to be an invited speaker to many international conferences. Aloma has many firsts to her credit including: National President of the Australian Institute of Training & Development and the Chairperson of the largest educational institute in Australia the Sydney Institute of Technology, (TAFE). Aloma received her Masters Degree from UTS and is the recipient of a Leadership Award from UNSW. Her dedication is to overcoming biases towards ageing and to enhancing the Rights, Dignity and Wellbeing of older women.
Senior Associate Pro Bono Manager Australia, AshurstJillian manages the firm's national pro bono practice with a particular focus on developing strategic solutions to address unmet legal need and law reform. Prior to becoming a dedicated pro bono lawyer, Jillian practiced as a senior lawyer for a strategic animal rights program, a defence lawyer for children in juvenile justice and a commercial litigator for a large firm.
Lead Ombudsman - Banking & Finance, Financial Ombudsman Service Australia
Identifying and helping victims of financial elder abuse
Benefit from a birds-eye view of the issues crossing the Banking & Finance Ombudsman’s desk – how the Financial Ombudsman Service views financial elder abuse, the warning signs and how financial businesses should be responding. This session explores how FOS approaches these disputes, provides tools to identify financial elder abuse and will help you understand how external dispute resolution can lead to fair outcomes for vulnerable older people.Prior to the establishment of FOS, Philip was General Manager – Corporate and Legal Counsel at the Banking & Financial Services Ombudsman. He joined the BFSO in 2002 and was appointed General Manager – Corporate in March 2006. Before that he worked in private practice and as a solicitor in the financial services sector. Philip holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Laws (Commercial Law) and was admitted to legal practice in March 1986.
WDVCAS NSW Director
The journey of older women and the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services of NSW
The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service of New South Wales (WDVCAS) offers support and advocacy for women experiencing domestic and family violence, with older women growing into an ever-larger cohort of our clients. This presentation will use a case study approach to demonstrate some of the issues faced by women we work with, as they seek a life free from violence. WDVCAS NSW’s case study will demonstrate the complex journey of older women being supported by the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service. Elements include interactions with police and a complex justice system, unique experiences of abuse which may fit outside the criminal offences of domestic and family violence, health issues and access to health services and a lack of services adequately equipped to support women experiencing elder abuse. The case study will also raise the complexities of abuse within a relationship where either the older person relies on someone for care or are relied upon for care. This case study will help workers and services across the sector to recognise elder abuse, and discuss ways to recognise and respond to elder abuse amongst women collaboratively: working together with the older person to achieve a life free of violence.Renata Field, WDVCAS NSW director, holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Sydney and brings to the role more than 10 years’ experience in the not-for-profit community sector. Renata has previously worked in the women’s refuge sector and researching violence against women.
Director, Office for Seniors, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
Response to elder abuse in Queensland
Government awareness campaigns and media reporting means that awareness of elder abuse continues to improve, and the number of calls to the Queensland Elder Abuse Helpline increases each year. However Research into what works and doesn’t work in preventing and responding to elder abuse is still limited. Queensland is trying to improve evidence and understanding of elder abuse and invest in appropriate responses. The Queensland Government’s approach, early steps and challenges will be outlined.Karin has worked across a number of different areas and roles during her 24 years in the Queensland Government. Karin was instrumental in developing the government’s policy on community engagement and since 2005 held various Director positions with portfolio responsibilities for women, youth, seniors, carers, LGBTI and volunteering. Her current focus as Director, Age-friendly Queensland, is working across community, industry and government to develop consumer-informed, evidence-based analysis and advice to government on existing and emerging issues experienced by older people in Queensland that can inform and improve policies, programs and services. Her key interests are age-friendly, elder abuse, seniors services and cost of living.
Lecturer, University of Adelaide
Recognising and Responding to Elder Abuse: A Simulation Teaching Package for Nursing and Other Health Professional StudentsRecognition and management of elder abuse is often taught in traditional didactic lectures, however for teaching skills and assessment this is an ineffective method. Simulation is a more effective pedagogy as it enables students to practice psychomotor and communication skills in a psychologically safe environment. This presentation reports on a simulated learning environment (SLE) used to teach nursing students to recognise covert signs of emotional and financial elder abuse, and how to respond appropriately to both the victim and perpetrator. Developed in conjunction with the Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) South Australia and financially supported by a grant from the Office for the Ageing (OFTA), SA Health as part of the Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians Action Plan 2015 – 2021. The SLE involved over 20 older people who volunteered to act as people experiencing abuse or perpetrators. Actors and a counsellor from ARAS were video recorded modelling an optimal assessment and response. This short video can be used in the simulation at the end of the SLE. It is also a resource in the teaching package available from OFTA. The online teaching package instructs novice simulation educators how to conduct an elder abuse SLE. Students and actors reported that after the SLE they had a better understanding of elder abuse, its subtle signs and how to respond. Emergency nurse, disability advocate, simulation consultant and lecturer at the Adelaide Nursing School, University of Adelaide; David is passionate about advocating for those who are disadvantaged and he believes that his students are bright, proficient learners, who strive for success and personal improvement.
Social Worker, St Joseph's Hospital Aged Care Psychiatry and Neurosciences Unit and Huntington's Disease UnitOver the last 9 years, Jillian has worked with people with a diverse range of backgrounds and health conditions in community, residential care and hospital settings, in nursing and social work. Jillian has a special interest in working with older adults and their families, and is particularly passionate about advocating for the rights of older people. In early 2017 Jillian become involved with the implementation of the Health Justice Partnership (HJP) at St Joseph's Hospital, the first HJP in NSW to focus on elder abuse. Jillian is a member of the HJP Steering Committee at St Joseph's Hospital on which she shares the clinical lead role. In collaboration with the HJP lawyer, Jillian has been involved with developing and delivering education on elder abuse to hospital staff, and has helped to establish a structured response framework to address elder abuse within the hospital. Jillian shares the social work lead role for Guardianship applications at St Joseph's Hospital and is also is a member of the Prevention and Response to Violence Abuse and Neglect Committee of St Vincent's Health Network Sydney.
Group Customer Advocate, Executive General Manager, Group Customer AdvocacyDr Brendan French joined the Commonwealth Bank in 2007. His current role is Group Customer Advocate and Executive General Manager, Group Customer Advocacy. Brendan is one of the most well recognised consumer affairs specialists in the country, having worked as an ombudsman, academic, board director, author and consultant. As Commonwealth Bank’s Customer Advocate he brings independent thinking to solve some of the Group’s biggest and most public challenges, including through his oversight of the Storm Financial Resolution Scheme and the Open Advice Review program. Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank, Brendan lectured at the School of Law, Western Sydney University, and published widely, including the standard text, Resolving Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2009). Brendan holds a PhD in the History of Ideas.
Founder Chairperson, Ageing NepalBorn in Nepal, Mr Gautam has a Masters of Economics, University of New England, Armidale, NSW and a BSc, Agriculture with Honors, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India. Mr Gautam has been working on ageing issues since 2009. He was involved in the MIPAA review in 2012; Participated in a Capacity Building Workshop to support the National Policy Response to issues of Ageing in Asia and Pacific in 2012; Attended the 4th session of UN-OEWG on Ageing and participated in the Third Regional Review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in 2017. Mr Gautam has over 30 years’ experience in the field of irrigation and rural development in India, Nepal and PR China. He has worked as a presenter of a TV show and Radio Talk Show, and as a columnist of popular dailies. He was the Founder Chairperson of Geriatric Center Nepal and the Founder Chairperson of Ageing Nepal (founded in 2011).
Head of Policy, SMSF Specialist Advisor™, SMSF Association
Elder Abuse and superannuation – a policy response to the ALRC’s elder abuse recommendations
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) handed down its landmark report on elder abuse in June 2017, with significant attention paid to superannuation and risks of elder abuse. With superannuation normally the second largest asset after the family home for most people, the need to ensure that people’s retirement savings in superannuation is safe from elder abuse is critical. This paper considers the ALRC’s recommendations regarding superannuation and the related field of enduring powers of attorney, which are critical to the self-managed superannuation fund sector’s approach to managing SMSFs for aging trustees. The paper assesses how the ALRC’s recommendations could be implemented from a policy and legislative perspective gauging their effectiveness and recommending a path forward for Government.As Head of Policy, Jordan George is responsible for managing the SMSF Association’s advocacy and policy work, including its submissions to government and regulators on new policy and legislative measures. He is a main contributor to the SMSF Association's research, thought leadership and technical work. Prior to joining SMSF Association, Jordan spent four years at the Australian Treasury where he worked on business tax policy issues, primarily on capital gains tax and also small business and tax administration issues. Jordan has a Masters of Taxation at the University of New South Wales, an Honours degree in Economics and a Law degree from Adelaide University.
Manager Partnerships and Community Development, Eastern Community Legal Centre
It's a Matter of Trust - Collaborative Community Education and Awareness Raising Program in Diverse CommunitiesWhilst there is no evidence to suggest that financial elder abuse is more prevalent in CaLD communities, language barriers, access to information and services and cultural expectations around family and money suggest an increased vulnerability. In collaboration with bi-lingual community advisors and local service providers, ECLC delivered a program targeting the Chinese, Greek and Indian communities in Melbourne’s east. This work complimented ECLC’s existing and long-standing commitment to elder abuse prevention, which already encompassed extensive community legal education, professional development training, establishment of the largest elder abuse prevention network in Australia, individual advocacy and referral, and systemic reform. The aim of the program is specifically to raise awareness of financial elder abuse in CaLD communities - to discuss what it looks like, and how it can happen within families, to learn about the services that can help, and to build participants’ confidence to seek help if needed. The workshops are designed in collaboration with the bi-lingual community advisors, who as program partners, were integral to ensuring culturally-specific content, appropriate format and delivery, and strong community participation. The program uses a story building technique to construct a fictitious family situation, which demonstrated family elder abuse and captures cultural nuances specific to each CaLD group. The service representatives then discuss what assistance they could provide to the older persons in this fictitious scenario, including preventative action and referrals. This paper will also showcase Phase 2 of the program which continued to engage Cultural Advisors and extended the reach of CaLD communities to include the Italian community. The program was enhanced with the delivery of ‘family forums’ which were crucial in order to inform change within family structures. Furthermore, interfaith community leaders were also engaged with the aim to build their awareness and capacity to identify and support the prevention of elder abuse within religious structures. A toolkit, with a referral pathway checklist and a link to existing translated resources was produced from this project to encourage bi-lingual community leaders to continue community conversations about elder abuse prevention beyond the scope of the project funding.
Manager, Abuse Prevention Program, Aged Rights Advocacy Service Inc
Living a Positive Life Toolkit - An Innovative Strategy to Prevent Elder Abuse
Research indicates that having social connections to family, friends and community, can have a positive influence on our health and wellbeing. For some older people, particularly those who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and from Aboriginal communities, the challenge remains to engage in active ageing activities which help maintain wellbeing and independence as well as, provide opportunities to put in place safeguards to prevent and reduce risk factors, for elder abuse. With support from Office for the Ageing, SA Health and consultations with key stakeholders and representatives from the aging sector, Aboriginal and CALD networks and the State-wide Collaborative Project Officers, two innovative Toolkits were developed (including one for Aboriginal elders) for service providers to enable them to start the conversation about elder abuse with their client groups and community members, promoting four key messages: 1) Stay connected; 2) Stay active; 3) Stay healthy; 4) Stay in control. In Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) consultations, the Toolkit always provided an easy entry into the difficult subject of elder abuse and abuse prevention strategies. This presentation will explore the concept of the Toolkit and include the viewing of one of the DVDs.Doris Gioffre, Manager of the Abuse Prevention Program for Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS), South Australia. Doris is pro-active in raising the awareness of issues concerning older people and how they might protect their rights and safeguard their future. She chairs the Alliance for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (APEA) consisting of agencies who are key stakeholders in responding to elder abuse. Doris sits on many committees and steering groups to ensure that the voice of older people is heard.
Senior Policy & Project Officer, Ageing and Disability, Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA)Cristina Giusti is a Senior Policy and Project Officer at the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia working in the ageing and disability areas. Cristina is an aged care professional who has in the last few years been working in various areas of aged care, including policy, training and operational management. Cristina represents FECCA on many external committees in the aged care sector. She is also on the board of a multicultural residential aged care facility in Canberra.
Project Manager, Living Older Visibly Engaged (LOVE) ProjectRuss Gluyas coordinates the Living Older Visibly Engaged (LOVE) Project, an ageing initiative promoting and empowering LGBTI seniors to lead healthy, active and more social lives. Russ develops and promotes healthy ageing information, delivers inclusive events to help reduce social isolation and engages with community, service providers and health professionals.
Transgender Victoria, Bisexual Alliance Victoria and TransfamilySally Goldner’s involvement in Victoria’s queer community of eighteen years includes Transgender Victoria, presenter of 3 CR’s “Out of the Pan,” co-facilitator of Transfamily and Treasurer of Bisexual Alliance Victoria. She is the focus of an autobiographical documentary “Sally’s Story” and a life member of 4 LGBTIQ organisations. She was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2016 (the first trans and first known bi woman to receive the honour), awarded LGBTI Victorian of the Year in 2015, noted in The Age’s Top 100 most creative and influential people in Melbourne in 2011 and awarded Activist of the Year at the 2010 ALSO Awards. She spent 2 weeks in St Petersburg Russia as a juror for the Side-By-Side LGBT Film festival in November 2015. She is an educator, speaker, MC and occasional performer (all in contrast to her original accountancy training) …and watch this space for more to come!
National Director, Fortis ConsultingState Director of the Australian Government funded Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care Program (PICAC) in WA Mary led the development of award winning cultural competence programs and has supported Aged Care Agencies to access and benefit from these resources. She has held many senior roles in the private, public and community sector. She was the carer for her mother for 26 years before she recently passed away shortly before her 99th birthday. Mary is the National Director in Fortis Consulting, winner of the Multicultural Award for the Private sector category in 2016 and named as one of the top 30 Management Consulting firms in Western Australia, as published by WA Business News. She migrated to Australia from Italy and has a lifelong commitment to cross-cultural and cross linguistic communication. She has been nominated for the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Mary’s leadership in the community includes the following roles: NAATI Board Member (current); Immediate Past President and Board member of the Zonta House Women’s Refuge (current); National president of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc (AUSIT) in the early nineties, State President of AUSIT WA (1989-2002) and Fellow of AUSIT (current); Member of the Federation Interpreters and Translators (FIT) Human Rights Committee 1998-2000; Member of a variety of Committees related to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities; Ms Gurgone continues to lead strategic national projects related to Diversity and Inclusion.
Barrister, Wentworth Chambers
Selling the family home to move in with a child? Hope for the best but plan for the worst
Many senior Australians make the decision to sell the family home and move in with a child. It is common, a new home be purchased with the proceeds of the sale of the family home or the parents contribute to the mortgages of the children's home. In most circumstances, the parents intend to never move again and for their children to provide some care as their health deteriorates. The preferred approach is to document the arrangement and record the parents’ interest on the title. If this isn’t done and the relationship sours the Court may offer relief. Equity has long recognised interests created in land through encouragment and standing by and has a broad array of available relief.Hagen is experienced in real property and equity. His practice includes briefs for administrative, international and constitutional law. He appears in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia. Hagen holds a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney. He holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of New South Wales. Prior to his call, Hagen practised as a solicitor in insolvency at Blake Dawson, now Ashurst, and was tipstaff to the Honourable Justice George Palmer AM QC.
Consultant, The NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit (EAHRU)
Collective impact via collaboration: successfully achieving social change via collaborative practiceCo-Authors: Kerry Marshall and Christine Mattey
The EAHRU is tasked with educating and raising awareness of elder abuse to both community members and professionals across NSW. To best respond to this considerable undertaking, the EAHRU recognised that an innovative, structured model would be required to efficiently and effectively achieve the task at hand. After research and careful consideration, ‘collaborative practice’ was decided upon. Thus far, the EAHRU has established 10 dedicated elder abuse collaboratives across the state, with further under development. In the elder abuse domain, collaborative practice galvanises the knowledge, skills and resources of relevant local agencies, with the support and guidance from the EAHRU, to build local capacity in identifying, responding and preventing the abuse of older people. Collaborative efficacy is determined by work plans based on the following outcome areas, developed by the EAHRU: 1. Local protocols and service agreements for responding to older people experiencing abuse developed and aligned with the Preventing and responding to abuse of older people, NSW interagency policy (Dept. of Family & Community Services, November 2015); 2. Increased awareness of the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit’s role; 3. Local staff capability to respond to elder abuse improved through increased awareness and education; 4. Resources and practices in responding to abuse of older people developed and shared. The EAHRU, with collaborative members, will share the whys, hows and wows of collaborative practice; that is, research behind the practice, the structure/framework underpinning the model, and the outcomes achieved.Shelly Harpur is a Consultant at the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit. She has a broad range of experience in Marketing & Communications, Health Promotion and Project Management in both the community and private sector. Shelly is responsible for developing and promoting training resources for professionals as part of a collaborative approach and strategy to build capacity to address elder abuse across NSW. Shelly is passionate about the role of education to affect change and improve the position and regard of older people in our society.
Lawyer, Justice Connect Seniors LawJustice Connect is a specialist pro bono legal service for older people experiencing elder abuse and other legal issues associated with ageing. Based primarily at cohealth, a community support service across northern and western metropolitan Melbourne, she has helped to establish the first health justice partnership focusing on elder abuse. In this role she works closely with health professionals and clients to promote better health and legal outcomes. Faith assists clients with a broad range of legal matters involving powers of attorney, guardianship and administration, property, equity, credit and debt, intervention orders and tenancy. As well as assisting individual clients who attend cohealth, Faith also delivers professional development and community education on elder abuse, legal rights for older people and working with lawyers.
Executive Officer, Australian Men's Shed AssociationIn 2006 David was originally employed by CatholicCare Newcastle as the Coordinator for the Shed at Windale. From 2008-2010 he was provided the latitude to concentrate on the development of the Australian Men’s Shed Association. The idea of creating an Association to collectively represent Men’s Sheds nationally and to freely share information between sheds was conceived at the 2nd National Conference in Manly 2007. Since then AMSA has grown from strength to strength to what is now regarded as the largest Men’s Association in the country. David has represented AMSA at the Senate Hearing into Men’s Health, the National Roundtable Meeting on the Men’s Health Policy as well as continuously lobbying for the Association and its members at all levels of Government.
Elder Law Services, CRH Law
The Problem With Elder Financial Abuse – The Law!
The law is an ass on many occasions. It is a very large ass when it comes to addressing elder financial abuse. In the civil law, with Dickensian presumptions such as the Presumption of Advancement and the Presumption that Family Members do not intend to enter into legal relations, the older person is up against it in having to counter these presumptions and prove their case, often made more difficult if they have impaired capacity. Not only that, the conventional criminal law is a blunt instrument when overlaid on the subtle misdeeds of the elder abuser. Stealing just doesn't get over the line where the abuser's retort is that it was a gift. We need new discrete laws which can more easily capture the sublime and cunning activities of the abuser such as 'Isolation of an Elderly Person' or 'Exploitation of an Elderly Person'. The presentation will briefly address the inadequacies of the law and how the law is actually facilitating the abuse.Brian is an ageing and passionate lawyer with the Brisbane law firm, CRH Law. He is recognised as one of Australia's leading lawyers in Elder Law. He is:
- Deputy Chair of the Queensland Law Society’s, Elder Law Committee;
- A member of the Law Council of Australia’s Elder Law and Succession Committee;
- An international member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys of America; and
- For 3 years in a row, voted by his peers one of Australia's "Best Lawyers in Seniors and Retirement law".
Strategic Projects Manager, Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
Elder Abuse Prevention in Aboriginal Communities in South Australia – It’s not just a project!ARAS has a long history of working with Aboriginal communities across the state to raise awareness of elder abuse and identify ways to increase the capacity of older Aboriginal people to prevent and stop abuse and be safe from harm in their homes and communities. ARAS has used a many-pronged approach:
- education of Aboriginal aged care and community workers
- information sessions to Aboriginal elders and community
- partnerships and collaboration with organisations
- community development projects
- creation of DVDs and culturally-appropriate resources
- media promotions
- Mentoring Camps for Aboriginal elders and youth.
This presentation will describe ARAS’ continuing journey with Aboriginal elders, service providers and communities to prevent and respond to the abuse of older people.Louise has worked for ARAS in SA for 21 years as an advocate, coordinator, team leader and manager. Louise’s initial work, from 2000-2002, in SA’s Aboriginal communities, resulted in the creation of the Aboriginal Advocacy Program within ARAS in 2003. This program is supported by funding from the Australian Government and SA Health. Louise, who has a background in disability and aged care spanning 3 decades, is the Convenor of ARAS’ annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference. She is also the events coordinator of the organisation’s Aboriginal Elders and Youth Mentoring Camps. She leads ARAS’ community-development projects on elder abuse prevention in Aboriginal communities. Louise is a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice issues and believes that all people have a right to live in a society which treats them with dignity and respect.
‘Zero tolerance of all forms of abuse’ is one of the 10 Principles of Dignity in Care. Do older people experience abuse when in hospital? Should we ask them on a regular and ongoing basis? Should we also ask their carers? Should we ask the staff? We think we should. That is why we are developing the Dignity in Care Questionnaire, based on the 10 Principles of Dignity in Care. These Principles were developed in the UK
Policy & Development Officer, Carers NSWTom is a Policy and Development Officer at Carers NSW focusing on aged care. Prior to working for Carers NSW he worked with culturally and linguistically diverse seniors and community aged care service providers in Sydney’s Inner West as a Multicultural Access Project Officer and Regional Assessment Service team leader. He has an Advanced Bachelor of International Studies at the University of New England and a Masters in Cross-Cultural Communication at the University of Sydney.
Seniors Portfolio Manager, Victoria Police
Although the Victoria Police response to family violence has been evolving and improving over the past 15 years, the understanding of, and consequently response to, elder abuse has only recently formally been recognised within the family violence response. Over the past two years the police response to elder abuse, as a form of family violence, has begun to evolve and improve through a range of mechanisms. The mechanisms to identify and respond to elder abuse are borne out of extensive experience in working with community at the local level. The relatively new position of Seniors Portfolio Manager provides an opportunity for police to share information and understand how local level community connections may be leveraged as a resource in identifying people who may be at risk of elder abuse.Dahni has been working with Victoria Police as the Seniors Portfolio Manager since late 2015. A key focus of her work has been driving the organisational response to elder abuse within the family violence framework. Dahni has been working in the public health and legal fields for over 25 years in both the community and public sectors engaging in research, policy, community engagement and professional education. Dahni has a passion for working towards social justice using equitable principles. And a passion for rowing, although she is not a fan of early morning training sessions.
Senior Advisor Ethics and Professional Issues, Speech Pathology Australia
Communication impairment: the effects on access, wellbeing and participation
Many older people experience communication difficulty secondary to a range of conditions including hearing impairment, stroke, degenerative disease and dementia. Communication difficulties can have a significant and detrimental impact on a person’s ability to participate in life activities, including their ability to make their life decisions known, develop and maintain relationships, and seek social, community and health related services and support. Services to support the communication needs of older Australians are limited, increasing the vulnerability of this population group and limiting their potential to continue to exercise their autonomy, make independent decisions, and actively participate in life activities. The impact of communication impairment on daily life, psychosocial wellbeing and access to health services will be discussed and illustrated using case examples. The power imbalance often faced by this group across community, social and health sectors will be explored and strategies to enhance communication accessibility to protect against elder abuse will be presented, with reference to ensuring accurate assessment of decision making capacity, and equitable access to consumer directed health services.This paper was written by the Speech Pathology Australia Aged Care Working Party, a group of experienced speech pathologists with clinical and research expertise in ageing and aged care, who inform the profession’s strategic response to aged care reforms. Trish has worked extensively with adults with communication and swallowing difficulties and is currently in a senior advisor role at Speech Pathology Australia.
Policy Officer, Seniors Rights VictoriaMelanie Joosten is a Policy Officer at Seniors Rights Victoria, with qualifications in social work. Prior to this she worked at the National Ageing Research Institute on various elder abuse projects. She is the author of the book A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age, which was named the Australasian Journal of Ageing Book of the Year.
Chief Executive Officer, Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)Lewis Kaplan is the inaugural Chief Executive Officer for the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), appointed in October 2017. Lewis has over 35 years’ experience in the non-government sector, including over 20 years in CEO roles in peak consumer, aged and health organisations. He has governance, management, policy, and advocacy expertise across a range of sectors including aged and community care, primary health care, public health, health promotion, community development and international health development. Within most of his CEO positions, Lewis has played an effective leadership role in creating strong, collaborative national organisations within a federation model.
Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS)Dr Rae Kaspiew is a socio-legal researcher with particular expertise in family law and family violence. She manages the Violence and Families and Laws and Families research programs at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She has been involved in an extensive range of studies and is the lead author of two large scale evaluations of successive waves of reforms in family law (the 2006 and 2012 reforms). She is the lead author of the Institute’s 2015 report on elder abuse and is on the Advisory Group for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s reference on safeguarding the rights of older Australians. In addition to her role at AIFS, Rae was a member of the Family Law Council, a body that provides policy advice on family law to the federal Attorney General from 2009-2016. She was also a member of the Violence Against Women Advisory Group (2009-2011) that advised the federal Minister for the Status of Women on the implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women. Rae is also on the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Family Law and is second author on a family law textbook used widely in universities. After a career in journalism, she graduated from her LLB with first class honours in 1997 and completed her PhD in family law in 2005.
Senior Lawyer, Justice Connect
Can We Do Better? Improving the Australian Legal System's Response to Financial Abuse
Financial abuse is the most prevalent and most detectable form of elder abuse, often leaving a paper trail of withdrawals, deposits and charges. Despite this, responding to financial abuse and recovering lost funds through the legal system can be a difficult if not impossible task. Some jurisdictions in Australia have introduced specific offences for misuse of powers of attorneys, but has this led to better outcomes for older people? Victims of financial abuse may pursue a remedy through the courts, although this is usually only an avenue for the very rich and can take years to reach a resolution. What legal changes could take place to provide better access to justice for victims of elder abuse, e.g. low cost dispute resolution, new legal offences, more police powers? Case studies of financial abuse from a health justice partnership in a large Victorian public hospital will be used to highlight the legal systems current response to financial abuse and how it could be improved. Audience participation will be invited as we discuss the case studies.Megan King is the Justice Connect Health Justice lawyer for St Vincent’s Hospital. Megan’s role is to work with health care teams to identify legal issues for older people, particularly around elder abuse, and provide legal assistance and referrals.
Retired judge of High Court of AustraliaWhen he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. He was first appointed in 1975 as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission. Soon after, he became inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84). Later, he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, then President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96) and, concurrently, President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-6). His appointment to the High Court of Australia followed in 1996 and he served thirteen years. In later years, he was Acting Chief Justice of Australia twice. In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby has served on three university governing bodies being elected Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney (1984-93). He also served on many national and international bodies. Amongst the latter have been service as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988-92); as President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995-8); as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia (1993-6); as a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995-2005); as a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007- 9) and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights(2004-). Following his judicial retirement, Michael Kirby was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia from 2009-2010. He served as a Board Member of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (2009-14). He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings. He has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates at home and abroad. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Laws of Australia (2009 - ). He served 2011-12 as a member of the Eminent Persons Group on the future of the Commonwealth of Nations. He was a Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission of HIV and the Law 2011-2012. He was appointed to the Advisory Council of Transparency International, based in Berlin in 2012. In 2013- 2014, he was appointed Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea. He a Commissioner of the UNAIDS Lancet Commission on AIDS to the Right to Health (2013-2014); the Global Fund’s Equitable Access Panel (2015-16); the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Medicines (2015-16); and UNAIDS/OHCHR’s panel on overreach of criminal law (2017); and Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (2018 - ). He was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize in 2010 and has been Patron of the Kirby Institute on Blood Borne Diseases in UNSW Sydney, Australia since 2011. In May 2017, he was invested by Japan with the insignia of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in Tokyo, with an audience with the Emperor of Japan.
Campaign Director, Older Australians, The Benevolent Society (TBS)Prior to joining TBS, Marlene was the Director of Willing to Work, the National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability, with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Prior to the Willing to Work National Inquiry, Marlene was the Director of Research with the AHRC’s Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force, and subsequent Cultural Reform Program. Marlene has worked in Commonwealth and State Government in a range of executive, policy and operational roles and also worked on the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW. Marlene is currently undertaking PhD studies with the University of Sydney. Marlene holds an Executive Masters of Public Administration (ANZSOG), a Masters of Business Administration (University of Technology, Sydney) and is a registered psychologist.
Aged Care Complaints CommissionerRae Lamb has extensive experience in complaints handling and resolution in the health and aged care regulatory environment. She assumed responsibility for complaints about all Australian Government funded aged care on 1 January 2016 when she became the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and has been reappointed for a second term to January 2020. Prior to this role, she was the Australian Aged Care Commissioner from January 2011. Ms Lamb was also previously New Zealand’s Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner, responsible for the resolution of complaints about health, disability and aged care providers and services. In 2001-2002 she was a Harkness Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Her research findings into how United States hospitals tell patients about errors has been published and is still widely quoted today. Ms Lamb was also an award winning journalist for 27 years. She has worked in print, public television and radio and was the specialist health correspondent for Radio New Zealand
Senior Associate Slater and Gordon Lawyers
Elder financial abuse: legal liability
Elder financial abuse is increasing in prevalence, both in Australia and internationally. Financial abuse of older people is commonly perpetrated by an adult child but can also involve carers and friends. Financial abuse can also be knowingly or unwittingly assisted by professional advisors and third parties – commonly banks and financial institutions, accountants and financial advisors, lawyers and conveyancers, and real estate agents. The legal system is able to respond to, address and obtain remedies for older people who are victims of financial abuse – both through mediated and non-adversarial outcomes and also through the considered and strategic use of the Court system. Jessica’s presentation will focus on the following aspects of her practice: 1) The older person’s legal rights; 2) Acting for an older person; 3) Elder financial abuse claims involving friends, family members and carers including breach of contract, unconscionable conduct or undue influence, and property disputes; 4) Liability of third parties: responsibility for an older person’s financial losses; 5) Resolution of elder financial abuse matters – negotiation, mediation, strategic use of Court proceedings; 6) Future developments and the Recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission in Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response (ALRC Report 131).Jessica Latimer is one of Australia's leading elder law and elder financial abuse lawyers. Jessica regularly acts for older clients the victims of elder financial abuse in jurisdictions across Australia. Jessica also acts for clients in general commercial litigation matters. Areas of expertise include: Elder financial abuse claims; Financial services disputes; Professional negligence claims; Contract including residential aged care facility contracts; Property; Equity and trusts. Jessica is involved with the Balwyn Evergreen Centre, a community-based organisation.
Director, Letts Consulting
Ethics, intimacy and end of life in aged care: creating non-discriminatory spaces
Intimacy - a place for solace, privacy, confiding, telling and retelling one’s story – is the lathe upon which the challenge of death can be answered.” This is even more poignantly so when the ageing, isolated person in a long-term care facility is considered. Social connection and human touch, including but not limited to sexual expression, are essential to avoiding the depression and loneliness experienced by many residents. Yet at a time when this is most required, as end of life approaches, it can be most elusive. Many factors in aged care facilities still work counter to creating an environment conducive to intimacy. These include the primacy of care-giving and supervisory roles in such facilities; emphasis on managing disease; the communal environment; predominating concerns about protecting individuals with cognitive decline; fear of legal liability; and attitudes of staff and residents’ families based partly on fears and biases around sex and ageing. This presentation will focus on the ethical dimensions involved in making residential aged care facilities more conducive to the possibility of intimacy for residents, even in the current climate that strongly, and appropriately, values protection from abuse. This will include an examination of what respecting autonomy might really look like in this setting and related notions of consent. And it will explore through a lens of those facing death with its end of personal identity, why lifting barriers to intimacy might transform quality of care at this profoundly human time.Julie Letts is a solo consultant to the health and aged care sectors. For the last 16 years she was senior policy analyst (clinical ethics), then Manager, Clinical Ethics and Policy in the NSW Ministry of Health. She has specialized expertise in clinical ethics, public health ethics, as well as end of life decisions and related policy, ethical, legal, clinical and operational concerns. She has a Master’s degree in Bioethics and an 18 year clinical background as an ICU nurse.
Senior Solicitor, Elderlaw
Fill the gap in elder abuse responses with an Elder Justice Law
Even allowing for the ALRC recommendations there will remain gaps into which victims of elder abuse will continue to fall. We need a coherent statute adopted by States and Territories in a cooperative legislation scheme, to provide a focal point for the victim, their family, community and government support. It will include remedial and restorative justice measures which are affordable and mandatory when necessary for the perpetrator. Until we criminalise elder abuse in many of its forms, to address the just claims of our vulnerable elders, we cannot without significant legal risk and expense restore financial loss, let alone resolve the residual anguish, especially within the family. This paper describes some of the elder abuse offences which will need to be included in any remedial legislation and how that might assist those involved to mediate and where possible to access restorative justice.Rodney Lewis produced the first elder law undergraduate course in 1999 at the University of Western Sydney. He is the author of Elder Law in Australia, Lexis Nexis, Sydney now in its 2nd edition. He has presented many seminars to his colleagues on elder law and practises only in the area of elder law.
Director, AIPCAAIPCA has been working with Justice Connect for the past three years. Virginia is a health services researcher and evaluator with more than 25 years of experience. She has a special interest in evaluation of policies and programs implemented within complex systems. Virginia has designed and led many large-scale national and state-wide evaluations across a diverse range of areas, including partnership approaches to health reform, organ and tissue donation requesting suicide prevention and palliative care. Virginia is currently working with several Health Justice Partnerships, including Justice Connect’s Seniors Law program being delivered at two sites (cohealth and St Vincent’s Hospital), Mortgage Wellbeing (Brimbank Melton CLC and Djerriwarrh CHS), and Justice in Mind (Mind and WestJustice). Virginia is committed to working collaboratively with organisations to develop robust, program-logic or theory-based frameworks that can be used for ongoing strategic development as well as evaluation and monitoring
Lawyer, Justice ConnectJustice Connect is a community legal centre in Victoria and NSW that provides free legal assistance to disadvantaged individuals and the community organisations that support them. Yvonne has worked in the community legal sector for over twelve years, commencing her legal career at Victoria Legal Aid in Melbourne where she practiced both criminal and civil law, including guardianship, mental health, and migration law. She joined Justice Connect in 2015 where she first worked as the manager of MOSAIC, a legal outreach service for migrants. In her current role Yvonne manages NSW Health Justice Partnerships, a program addressing elder abuse through collaboration between lawyers and health professionals. In 2017 Yvonne was instrumental in establishing a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) with St Vincent's Health Network Sydney (SVHN), a project involving the integration of a lawyer into a health setting to provide legal assistance to patients who would otherwise struggle to access legal help. In September 2017 Yvonne joined the healthcare team at St Joseph’s Hospital in Auburn, a hospital of SVHN, where she works closely alongside staff to assist patients experiencing or at risk of elder abuse. This is the first HJP of its type in NSW.
Founder and Director, Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence IncDi is the founder and current Director of the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence Inc., Board Member of the Ending Violence Against Women Queensland (EVAWQ) and Secretary of the Red Rose Foundation. Di has worked in the area of violence against women and children for 40 years as a care provider, counsellor, refuge worker, advocate, educator and service manager in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. She was instrumental in the development of both the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Service and Macleod Women’s Refuge, which is named after her. Di is a published author, has presented at International conferences, developed resources, workshops, education and training programs in the area of domestic and sexual violence. Di recognises the importance of access to trauma informed support and safety for victim/survivors and is committed to ending all forms of gender based violence.
Professional Officer, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association
Elder Abuse in Residential Aged Care: A workforce perspective
People living in residential aged care facilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse. They are often separated from family, suffer cognitive impairment or are unable to communicate due to illness and are physically frail. In these circumstances they rely heavily on paid and volunteer workers to keep them safe. Elder abuse occurs for a variety of reasons and takes many forms. For this reason aged care workers need to be given the knowledge and skills required to not only recognise abuse, but be empowered to act on concerns. However, there are no mandated training requirements for personal care workers who provide the majority of direct resident care. In addition there has been a steady decline in the number of registered nurses employed, but a rise in acuity levels amongst the population accommodated in residential aged care. As a consequence workers are often called upon to manage unpredictable behaviours, complex medications and health conditions, for which they are often unprepared and under resourced. In some circumstances this can increase the risk of abuse and neglect. This presentation seeks to inform policy direction by providing real stories from workers on the frontline and offers solutions to the issues they face.Helen works as a Professional Officer for the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association. She has previously held positions in the UK as a Health Visitor, healthcare regulator and in management of both public and private aged care. She is secretary of the Quality Aged Care Action Group and founder member of the NSW Aged Care Roundtable.
National Policy Manager, Relationships Australia
‘I’m worried about mum’: Findings from Relationships Australia’s elder relationship service evaluationFrom January to December 2016, Relationships Australia conducted a trial of a service for families with problems related to the ageing of a family member. The trial arose in the context of: the ageing of Australia’s population; increasingly complex family structures; and a growing number of adult children and older people presenting at existing service locations for support.
- The primary aims of the service were to: prevent or resolve family conflict;
- help families to have difficult conversations and plan for the future around medical, health and financial arrangements; and
- facilitate decision-making that promotes the interests, rights and safety of family members.
The service model builds on the existing skills of Relationships Australia’s professional workforce in responding to a range of family issues, including conflict and violence. The presentation reports on the findings of an outcomes evaluation that was conducted alongside the trial. Across the 6 trial sites, the service responded to 140 clients with a vast array of presenting issues and needs, including elder abuse.Since 2014, Paula has been the National policy manager for Relationships Australia, a federation of state-based service delivery organisations with a long year history of delivering family relationship services across Australia. Prior to joining the Relationships Australia team, Paula worked for almost 20 years in government. Paula holds a combined degree in science and law and a Master of Arts (Demography). Her particular interest lies in translating research evidence into policy and practice.
Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for Elder Abuse PreventionGerard Mansour is a highly respected and passionate advocate for the needs of older people, with over 25 years of leadership experience within the aged and wider community services sectors. As Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Mr Mansour provides advice to the Victorian Government on issues relevant to senior Victorians, such as the ability to live healthy, dignified and productive lives, and social engagement and empowerment. Mr Mansour’s role as Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention is focussed on giving older victims of family violence a voice. A priority is to raise community awareness so older people, their carers and family members are aware of the rights of senior Victorians and how to seek help. The Commissioner is committed to working towards an age-friendly and inclusive Victoria for all seniors.
Professor and Chair of Ageing, Australian Catholic University
Can Indicators Enable Abuse Prevention and Effective Response?
The maltreatment of ‘elderly people’ was identified in 2011 (WHO) as a global public health issue. Little was known then about the scope of this activity because of older people’s reluctance, for many reasons, to report being abused. Over the past 5 years research interest in elder abuse prevention has produced useful insights on factors that enable resilience and deter abuse in certain circumstances. Older people face practical disadvantages associated with overcoming socially normalised ageist attitudes. Inaccurate portrayals that stereotype and demonise older people create an environment that enables abusers to mistreat older people. The result is a widespread undermining of the human and civil rights of those who are subsequently abused. The hidden nature of the abuses that occur further encourages abusers to continue with impunity. An understanding of factors that contribute to abuse risk can inform interventions in situations where the older person depends upon others for assistance with care and basic needs. Systematic assessment of the person and the family, friends and resources that surround them can guide sensitive engagement by front-line personnel in preventing or responding to abuse. This presentation also draws on an analysis of anonymous calls made to the NSW Elder Abuse Prevention Resource and Help Line over a 3 year period. While it is not possible to use this information to establish prevalence data or to establish a profile of abuse types or abusers, insights on circumstances surrounding older people that prompt someone to call and report their suspicions of abuse are possible.Professor Tracey McDonald is a clinical gerontologist who focuses on older adults concerning safety and quality care; practice-driven research, clinical practice development; and life quality. She is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for work with UN Expert Groups and development of public health and social welfare policy. Her work with the National Lead Clinicians group and Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing NSW, utilizes her multidisciplinary qualifications and experience to advise on policy, ageing trends and future planning.
Director and Principal Solicitor, Caxton Legal CentreScott McDougall is the Director and Principal Solicitor of Caxton Legal Centre in Brisbane. Scott has a long held interest in the representation of disadvantaged litigants, particularly indigenous people, and has conducted a wide variety of cases in the Queensland and Commonwealth jurisdictions. Scott is a past President of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services (QAILS) and is presently a member of several committees including Legal Aid Queensland, First Nations Advisory Committee, UQ Pro Bono Centre Advisory Board, and the Queensland Law Society Access to Justice Committee. Scott was involved in the design and development of the multi-disciplinary elder abuse response model that has operated successfully in Queensland for more than a decade.
ANZ Customer AdvocateJo has been the ANZ Customer Advocate since 2014. She has been heavily engaged in the banking industry’s response to the financial abuse of vulnerable customers, including family violence and elder abuse. In addition to influencing policy, Jo and her team play a practical role, guiding branch staff who identify signs that a customer may be vulnerable to financial abuse. The Customer Advocate works with customers, consumer groups, alternative dispute resolution bodies and ANZ to facilitate fair complaint outcomes and minimise the likelihood of future problems. Working at ANZ across Australia and India, Jo has held a number of senior roles in the front line, operations and risk across Retail Banking and Wealth. She is passionate about customer centricity and skilled in dispute resolution, stakeholder management, people leadership, process improvement and operational delivery. Jo is a values led leader, who is respected for her sound judgement and collaborative approach.
Townsville Community Legal Service
The Right to Freedom from Violence, Abuse and Neglect – A Fundamental, Framing Element of a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons
How to protect the rights of older persons is a debate that dates back to the end of the Second World War. In recent years United Nations’ processes have considered a new Convention on the Rights of Older Persons (CROP). Many have argued that the right to freedom from violence, abuse and neglect of older persons is a fundamental, framing element of an international legal instrument. This session provides an overview of the context of elder abuse within the overall debate around a Convention.
The Need for Coronial Reform to Address Institutional Elder Abuse in Australia
Taxonomies of elder abuse include ‘institutional abuse’ as a form of abuse. Sometimes institutional abuse contributes to, or is the cause of death of older persons. Despite this, deaths in aged care are rarely investigated through death review and coronial processes. This session looks at how structural or systemic factors that restrict or limit coroners’ interventions and other relevant death review processes can be reformed.Bill Mitchell was admitted to practice as a solicitor in Queensland in 1992. Bill is the Principal Solicitor and Registered Migration Agent at Townsville Community Legal Service Inc. Bill has been a Panel Member with the Financial Ombudsman Service in Investments and Advice since 2007. Bill was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award in 2008. Bill was made an Outstanding Alumni of James Cook University in 2012. Bill has represented the National Association of Community Legal Centres five times before the United Nations in New York in debates around a new Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.
Criminologist and Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
The purpose of this paper is to understand how adopting a criminological approach may help to create targeted prevention strategies for specific types of elder abuse. Criminological research supports that crime patterns are non-random, and consistent places, times, and people are more at risk than others. This perspective argues that crime occurs because of opportunities within proximal situations-people cannot commit crime if there are no opportunities to do so. The identification of opportunities and the non-random nature of crime has helped develop the “problem-oriented policing” (POP) approach, which is a targeted problem prevention framework. POP can be used to identify the opportunity structure of specific crime types, including elder abuse, which helps develop appropriate and targeted responses to specific kinds of elder abuse. To facilitate the POP process, a four stage model can be used: (1) scanning (understanding the nature of the problem), (2) analysis, (identifying what causes the problem), (3) response (identifying what could and should be done about the problem), and (4) assessment (evaluation the outcomes). Overall, we argue that elder abuse prevention can benefit from applying a criminological approach to understanding what causes specific types of elder abuse and how these can be prevented.Dr Emily Moir is a criminologist and lecturer within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. Her research focuses on how opportunities for crime arise and how they can be prevented. Emily has applied this framework to a number of crimes including property crime, child sexual abuse, and elder abuse.
Professor of Law, Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law; Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law, Stetson University College of Law, USAProf Rebecca C. Morgan is the Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law, the Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson University College of Law and the original director of Stetson’s on-line LL.M. in Elder Law. She is a successful co-author of Matthew Bender’s Tax, Estate, and Financial Planning for the Elderly and its companion forms book, a co-author of Representing the Elderly in Florida, co-author of Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts and serves as a member of the elder law editorial board for Matthew Bender. She also co-authored Planning for Disability for BNA with Robert Fleming and a co-author of Ethics in an Elder Law Practice for the ABA. She and four of her colleagues have co-authored, Elder Law in Context. Professor Morgan is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, past president of the Board of Directors of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (now known as Justice in Aging), past chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Aging and the Law and of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section, and was on the Faculty of the National Judicial College. She previously served on state task forces regarding elder abuse and revisions to Florida’s guardianship statute and served as the reporter for the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. She is a member of the academic advisory board for the Borchard Center for Law and Aging, an academic fellow of the American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel, a member of ALI, a NAELA fellow, and a member of NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). She is on the board, and serves as treasurer, for the Center for Medicare Advocacy. She recently joined the board of the American Society on Aging. Professor Morgan was the recipient of the 2003 Faculty Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and along with Professor Roberta Flowers, received the 2005 Project Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism for their video series on ethics in an elder law practice. She received the NAELA Unaward in November 2004 from President Stu Zimring for her accomplishments in the field of elder law. She received the 2006 Rosalie Wolf Memorial Elder Abuse Prevention Award from the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Theresa Award from the Theresa Alessandra Russo Foundation in 2008, the NAELA President’s Award from NAELA President Mark Shalloway in May of 2008 and the 2009 Treat Award for Excellence from the National College of Probate Judges. She received the inaugural award for Excellence in Elder Law from the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).
Superintendent – Family Violence Command, Victoria PoliceLibby has had a diverse career during her 28 years in Victoria Police. She has had roles as an investigator, supervisor and manager across rural and metropolitan areas. She has worked across Victoria Police in areas including Criminal Investigation Units, Crime Squads, anti-corruption task forces, uniform and specialist areas. She has a strong background in emergency management. In 2017, Libby was appointed to Superintendent of Family Violence Command; Prior to that she undertook duties as the Acting Superintendent of the Road Policing Strategy Division and as the Acting Superintendent of the Goulburn Valley Division. As an inspector she has undertaken duties as the Investigation and response Manager of Goulburn Valley Division, the Tasking and Coordination Manager of Goulburn Valley Division and as the Mitchell Local Area Commander.
Aboriginal Support Worker, Junction Neighbourhood Centre (Maroubra)Barbara O’Neill is a Dunghutti woman born on the Gadigal Country of the Eora Nation. She is currently working as an Aboriginal Support Worker at the Junction Neighbourhood Centre (Maroubra). ‘Untold Stories’, her DVD and presentation at the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference, provides a unique perspective on the impacts of ageing on Aboriginal people. It draws on research done through her recently completed Post-Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma Recovery and Practice at Wollongong University. Currently Barbara is completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology.
Lawyer, Seniors Rights Victoria
The Gift that Keeps Giving: Evidence and Practice Issues in Bringing Financial Elder Abuse ClaimsCo-Authors: Rebecca Edwards & Bernadette Maheandiran
Making a claim based on financial elder abuse is riddled with complexity. As courts presume that a transfer of property or money from an older person to an adult child is a gift, the burden of proving otherwise falls on the older person. These claims bring to light difficulties in obtaining historical financial information to prove the claim, in addressing contradictory recollections of parties, and in imposing a legal framework on what is often an informal arrangement arising in the context of a relationship of trust with family members. Managing this complexity involves a keen understanding of working with older persons and the feelings of anger, shame and guilt that may arise when confronting a loved one in an adversarial setting. This interactive workshop will be useful to anyone involved in the legal system or trying to support an older person through this stressful period. It brings together years of casework experience in order to provide the participants with strategies to navigate this difficult process and manage the older person’s expectations at the outset. The participants, by engaging with clients’ stories and in small group discussions, will consider assessing a financial elder abuse claim, the evidence required to prove an intention to create legal relations and how best to obtain and present this evidence, how to assist the older person to be an effective witness, effective techniques in mandatory mediation settings and potential issues of fluctuating capacity of the older person over a lengthy court proceeding.Tabitha commenced her career in the public service before entering legal practice in regional Victoria. Tabitha worked mainly in the areas of family, criminal law and personal injury. For the past ten years Tabitha has worked within the community sector where she has gained extensive experience in property law, powers of attorney and family violence. Tabitha has a strong commitment to law reform and social justice and has contributed to various submissions such as the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) into Elder Abuse (2016), Overview of Family Law system (2017),Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) enquiry into Guardianship(2012), VLRC 'Protecting vulnerable children’ (2012).
Solicitor, Seniors Rights ServiceNalika has been a solicitor with Seniors Rights Service since 2008, especially providing legal advice and assistance on retirement villages matters. She also acted as Principal Solicitor during the latter part of 2017. In her previous role as the Anti-Violence worker in the Women's Health Sector, over 13 years she worked on issues & implemented various innovative award-winning community development and education programs related to domestic violence particularly raising awareness in CALD communities. She has a strong focus on strategic engagement and program planning. Her work has been recognised by Premier's Multicultural Award (Stephan Kerkyasharian AO Medal) in 2015. She was also named as 2016 "India Club Star", recognizing leadership, initiative and commitment in raising awareness and campaigning against domestic violence & elder abuse, implementing educational and training programs, providing legal support to empower families & migrants to make the community safe and harmonious for all. She has also edited NSW Solicitor's Manual's retirement villages chapter twice. She is the author of LexisNexis online resource on Retirement Villages law in NSW and has presented numerous conference papers on Domestic Violence, retirement villages issues and Elder Abuse. Nalika is an appointed member of Multicultural NSW Sydney West Regional Advisory Council, Blacktown City Council Multicultural Advisory Council, Anti-Discrimination Board Multicultural Communities Consultation Committee and Blacktown City Council Senior Citizens' Advisory Council. She has held positions on various management committees including Chair of Boronia Multicultural Services, Chair of Auburn Community Development Network, Treasurer Toongabbie Legal Centre and Immigrant Women's Speakout Association. In her spare time, Nalika teaches the Sinhala language on Sundays at North Parramatta Sinhala School as part of the NSW Language Teaching Program since 2006/7. Nalika is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Democratic, Socialist, Republic of Sri Lanka. Nalika will be a panel member of the CALD session which will be exploring the various responses from each State and Territory on Elder Abuse within CALD communities drawing from various programs implemented in collaboration with other services and community groups, Nalika is also co-presenting with Amrit Versha on the concept of trans-formative social education away from traditional classroom teaching.
Chairperson, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)Mary Patetsos is a professional Board Director, serving on both National and South Australian Boards with a rare blend of academic qualifications and expertise. Her skills and experience combined with an extensive national network enable her to add significant value to organisations at many levels. In particular, her commitment to achieve positive change drives her ambition. She contends that a strong belief in the worthiness of learning and work have become her key motivators.
Age Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights CommissionAppointed as the Age Discrimination Commissioner on 29th July, 2016 Kay comes to this role with strong involvement in issues affecting older people. Leaving school at 15, and then managing a small business, she returned to school and gained a BA (Hons) at the University of Sydney and a PhD in Psychology and a Dip Ed at Monash University. She taught allied health science students for 11 years. She studied gerontology at the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University. Using the knowledge gained during those visits she co-developed the first Victorian post-graduate diploma in gerontology and introduced gerontology into the undergraduate behavioural science courses. Following her election to the Senate in 1987 she served on a number of Senate committees and held various shadow portfolios. In 1988 she was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary and in 2001 was appointed to Cabinet and served in the Health and Social Security portfolios. She retired from Cabinet in 2006 and from the Senate in 2008. During her time in the Senate she pursued issues affecting older Australians and fought tirelessly for the removal of the compulsory retirement age of 65 from the Australian Public Service and statutory authorities. Initially she will champion the rights of older workers, focus on the blight of elder abuse and encourage innovative solutions to homelessness and risk of homelessness amongst older Australians. Kay has served on a number of not-for-profit Boards and voluntary positions. She is a Director of the Brockhoff Foundation (2008-); Professorial Fellow Monash University, in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (2008-); she was a Director and Vice-President of Interplast Australia NZ (2007-2016); a member of the Board of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (2014-2016); Chaired the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council on Homelessness (2011-2013); was involved for over 25 years in the Victorian Girl Guides as a leader, Council and Executive Member; and was a member of the Monash University Council (1978-1998). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2016 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.
HIV & Ageing Project Officer, National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA)
Hiv Stigma And Discrimination: A Perspective On Elder Abuse
Abusive behaviour based on stigma and discrimination it is not always recognised as discriminatory by those who perpetrate it. People ageing with HIV should expect to be treated with dignity and respect, and their care to be free from rejection, exclusion, insults and gossip.David Pieper has been employed by the National Association of People with HIV to investigate the impacts that people with HIV experience as they age. The project will articulate the issues clearly, map the current situation, identify gaps and make recommendations to government, research, health and medical services, and the community sector. It will propose an advocacy agenda to support the adoption and implementation of those recommendations. He brings to this work more than five years’ experience of community engagement in hepatitis C where he led community based campaigning for access to the cure for hepatitis C.
Co-Chair, Federal Dementia ForumSue co-chairs the Federal Dementia Forum, is national ambassador for Dementia Australia, and works throughout the community to raise dementia literacy. She delivers education aimed at transforming how we ‘deal with dementia’, working at ‘reconceiving dementia’ beyond stigma, and on opportunities for partnerships and innovation that arise from fresh thinking. Sue supported her mother as she lived and died with dementia. Sue’s orientation as an advocate, advisor and educator is towards ‘collaborative changemaking’ that practically transforms available life choices and quality of life for people living with dementia and for people and organisations who care about them and for them.
Communications and Media Manager, Seniors Rights ServiceJane Polkinghorne is the Communications and Media Manager for Seniors Rights Service where she works with staff and partnering orgnasisations to promote the rights of older people. She worked in mainstream media for over a decade as a graphic artist and content provider as well as lecturing at the University of Sydney and has lectured and tutored a range of visual art and new media courses at the University of Newcastle. In 2016 she was awarded Doctorate of Philisophy for her thesis Foam Rainbow: Where Humour and Disgust Mingle in Contemporary Art. Jane has a concurrent career as visual artist and film and video maker with an extensive exhibition and screening, and has been involved in Sydney’s lively artist-run spaces scene for over 20 years.
Chairman, Global Ageing Network and Chief Executive Officer of BallyCaraMarcus Riley is Chairman of the Global Ageing Network and Chief Executive Officer of BallyCara, a charitable organisation and public benevolent institution which provides accommodation, health and care services for older people as well as a range of support and advisory functions to service-based organisations. Marcus is a member of the Steering Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) and the Focal Point for the Stakeholder Group on Ageing for the Asia-Pacific region. He is also a Director of AMS an international development charity. Prior to these current roles, Marcus has held numerous other key industry positions including Chairman & Deputy Chairman of Leading Age Services Australia, National Director of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Retirement Villages Australia (RVA Ltd).
Manager, Aboriginal Advocacy Program, South Australia’s Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
Elder Abuse Prevention in Aboriginal Communities in South Australia – It’s not just a project!ARAS has a long history of working with Aboriginal communities across the state to raise awareness of elder abuse and identify ways to increase the capacity of older Aboriginal people to prevent and stop abuse and be safe from harm in their homes and communities. ARAS has used a many-pronged approach:
- education of Aboriginal aged care and community workers
- information sessions to Aboriginal elders and community
- partnerships and collaboration with organisations
- community development projects
- creation of DVDs and culturally-appropriate resources
- media promotions
- Mentoring Camps for Aboriginal elders and youth.
This presentation will describe ARAS’ continuing journey with Aboriginal elders, service providers and communities to prevent and respond to the abuse of older people.Trischia Ritchie is descended from the Wirangu and Kokatha peoples of South Australia and the Dunghutti people of NSW. Trischia’s strong focus on human rights and her experience in working in the Aboriginal sector, including service delivery, community development, advocacy, contract management and policy formation, have enhanced her role as an Indigenous advocate and program manager with Aged Rights Advocacy Service. Trischia has presented on her work at the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference in 2015 and 2017. She is a member of the AAG’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group.
Education and Training Officer, Ageing Carers NSW
Carers: Part of the solution. Carer inclusive strategies to prevent elder abuseCo Author: Tom Hinton
Increasing reports of elder abuse in Australia has resulted in efforts by Government departments, organisations and individuals to better identify, respond and prevent elder abuse. Little data of the prevalence and nature exists, however evidence suggests that the majority of perpetrators of elder abuse are family members, in particular adult children. Family members, however, do not always have a caring role, and in many cases inflict financial and emotional abuse without regular contact with the victim. Carers can also be victims of abuse at the hands of the person they care for. This places carers in a unique position to identify abuse, and be targeted for training to prevent unintentional or intentional abuse. Strategies aimed at responding to and preventing elder abuse should therefore involve carers as partners. This presentation will discuss where carers fit within the NSW Interagency Protocol for Responding to Abuse of Older People and deliver a brief outline of a training module that Carers NSW has developed to work with service providers and carers in the prevention of elder abuse.Felicity Rogers is an Education and Training Officer for Ageing at Carers NSW. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Information) and Master of Arts in Information & Knowledge Management, both from University of Technology Sydney. Felicity previously worked at MS Australia managing the library and publications teams. Previous roles include in education, corporate and not-for-profit organisations.
Senior Lawyer, Justice Connect
CEO, Aged and Disability Advocacy AustraliaGeoff’s career in the human services sector spans more than 30 years, including fifteen years in senior and executive positions in the Queensland Government, and almost 20 years in the not-for-profit sector. Prior to his current role, Geoff held senior roles with the Endeavour Foundation and Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland. Geoff was previously the community representative on the Queensland Physiotherapists Registration Board, and a Director on the Board of QCOSS. Geoff is an OPAN representative on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA. He is also a member of the Notifications and Immediate Action Committees of the Queensland Board of the Medical Board of Australia. He has a strong interest in social justice and inclusion.
Njernda Aboriginal Co-operativeRobert Russell is a proud Yorta Yorta man who works at Njernda Aboriginal Co-operative in Echuca, Victoria. Robert started at Njernda about 15 years ago in the Aged Care/HACC program and currently still works with and for his community Elderly. Before going to Njernda, for 30 years Robert worked in mainstream organisations and only met socially with his mob. In 2002 all that changed and for his own well-being, Robert pushed aside the big bucks he was earning and went to work in his community. Robert is passionate when it comes to assisting the Elderly in his community and does what he can to stamp out Elder Abuse and not just for his own mob but Aboriginal communities across Australia. In line with this, he is currently developing a DVD to give Aboriginal communities understanding on Elder Abuse.
Chief Executive Officer, Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT
Policy Process or Moral Panic? Aged Care Industry Perspective on Elder AbuseElder abuse is major policy challenge for Australian Governments and society. As the nation ages, more people risk becoming exposed to elder abuse or neglect. Calls have been made for a National Strategy on Elder Abuse. But how best to achieve that? It is impossible to stop the public policy pressure cooker when the media is in ‘moral panic’ mode. Inevitably politicians are put under pressure to respond, and frequently do with new regulations. But we can ask whether public policy responses created in such an environment will actually work. This presentation focuses on the perspective of organisations providing aged care services to over 1.2 million older Australians, and particularly those provided by not-for-profit organisations that are members of Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA). Results of a survey of ACSA members will be presented. Paul Sadler is the Chief Executive Officer of Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT. Presbyterian Aged Care serves around 2,000 older people through residential aged care, community care and retirement housing across metropolitan and regional areas of NSW and ACT. He is the immediate Past President of Aged & Community Services Australia. Previously, Paul was CEO of Aged & Community Services NSW & ACT, the peak body representing not-for-profit aged and community care service providers. He also held various positions on ageing and disability issues in the NSW Government, including Manager of HACC (Home and Community Care) and Ageing Programs, and worked as a social worker with frail older people, people with disabilities and their carers.
Multicultural Aged Officer, Health Promotion SWS Local Health District
Elder Abuse in CALD Communities – how we can raise awareness within multicultural contextCo-Authors: Chau Nguyen, Edilia Porcu, Marial Sabry and Lucyna Urbanski, South Western Sydney Local Health District
Elder abuse affects people across the world and can happen to anyone, irrespective of background, gender, ethnicity, religion or financial status. The incidents of elder abuse in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities are difficult to detect. There are multiple reasons for this: language barriers, lack of knowledge of services, under-reporting as many people feel they cannot speak up given taboos about elder abuse. The process of migration, living in a new country, as well as language and other cultural factors, can increase the risk of elder abuse in CALD communities. There is very little work done on addressing elder abuse in CALD communities. In this presentation we would like to present the work we are leading in South Western Sydney in partnership with key stakeholders to raise awareness among CALD communities and the strategies that we are using to ensure that our information, education programs and activities are culturally inclusive. By reaching out to communities and creating opportunities to engage in open and safe discussions we can empower older people to seek help to protect their rights to be safe and treated with respect.Yvonne Santalucia is the Multicultural Aged Officer at SWS Local Health District and worked in multiculturalism, equity and access for thirty years. Her work has involved research, community development/ education, resource development, cross cultural training and the development of ethno- specific aged care facilities and services.
Script Writer, Producer and DirectorJane Schneider, an AFTRS graduate, is a freelance writer and director of documentary and children’s television and has produced and studied in the film and television industry for over twenty years. After working in documentary with Cordell Jigsaw Productions, The Two of Us, Jane has written, directed and/or produced numerous children’s TV series including Dennis and Gnasher, Guess How Much I Love You, for which she was twice nominated for an AWGIE. Jane returned to documentary filmmaking with the short film, Do You See Me? which screened at TEDx Sydney 2016. She also co-curated Femflix, a retrospective of feminist films from the 1990s, for Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, 2016. Jane worked at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for over a year as a Narrative Writer, where she also wrote speeches for Commissioners and a guide to the final report, targeted for the youth sector.
Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW
Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme
On 1 July 2017 the Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme came into effect. This short session will allow participants to explain: the eligibility criteria for the Stolen Generations Reparations Scheme; other ways that members of the Stolen Generations may be able to get compensation; what other issues arise after someone receives compensation or reparations; and how to refer a client to Legal Aid NSW or their local Community Legal Centre.Joshua Scotland is a solicitor at Legal Aid NSW in the Community Legal Education branch. He has previously worked at Northern Territory Legal Aid working predominantly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. The remainder of his employment experience is working with refugees on shore, in Nauru, and in Ecuador.
Associate Lecturer, Macquarie University
Identifying the 'Elder Abuse' in failed Family Accommodation Arrangements
On 15 June 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission (‘ALRC’) released its wide ranging report into Elder Abuse. Chapter 6 of the report recognised and addressed the problems associated with family agreements, or “assets for care” arrangements. These arrangements, where an older person transfers property or assets to a family member in exchange for care in later life, are becoming increasingly popular. Whilst the arrangement can be beneficial for all concerned, there is real potential for relationships to break down, or for circumstances to change so as the arrangement can no longer continue. If this occurs the older person is left in a precarious legal position. The ALRC’s recommendations centered largely on access to justice and the forum where disputes can be successfully resolved. However, limited, if any, research has explored why a failed asset for care situation, an essentially private and consensual arrangement, can justifiably be framed as potentially exploitative or as a category of elder abuse. This paper will examine in more detail the nature and structure of the asset for care arrangement, why they often fail, and why the damaging outcomes are rightfully included in the elder abuse paradigm.Teresa is an associate lecturer at Macquarie University where she teaches equity and trusts, and property law. She is currently undertaking her PhD through the UniSA, examining the legal position of the older person in an asset for care arrangement. Teresa has presented her research at conferences in Australia and New Zealand, and has co-authored articles with Professor Eileen Webb concerning older people and family accommodation arrangements. Her work has been cited in the recent ALRC report into elder abuse.
Secretary General International Network for the Prevention of Elder AbuseMs. Somers earned a Law Degree in 1984 from Albany Law School, Albany NY, and holds a Certificate of Gerontology Studies. For two decades her practice areas concentrated on Civil Rights, Family and Elder Issues, i.e. Guardianship and Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution. She served as Assist. Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York, Consumer Frauds Bureau and Elder Protection Unit. She has expertise in Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and has developed and delivered numerous trainings to Banks, Police and Older Persons. She also served as State Director of the NYS OCFS Bureau of Adult Services. She is currently President of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, (INPEA), an International NGO with special consultative status at the UN, which launch the first Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2006. Her focus is on promoting older person’s human rights to end abuse, neglect and violence globally, through advocacy with UN Member States and International NGO’s. She has an interest in addressing harmful cultural and traditional practices, and raising awareness relative to older persons mental health issues. She co-chairs the NGO Comm. on Ageing, NY, Sub-committee to Promote a New Convention.
Media CommentatorSince moving to Australia from London in 1973 at the age of 25, Dr Keith Suter has achieved three doctorates. The first of these was about the international law of guerrilla warfare (University of Sydney), and the second about the social and economic consequences of the arms race (Deakin University) and a third doctorate on scenario planning (Sydney University). He has been appointed to many prestigious roles throughout his career, including Chairperson of the International Humanitarian Law Committee of Australian Red Cross (NSW), Chairperson of the International Commission of Jurists (NSW), Director of Studies at the International Law Association (Australian Branch) and Managing Director of the Global Directions think tank. He has also been a member of the prestigious Club of Rome since 1993. The Club is “an informal association of independent leading personalities from politics, business and science, men and women who are long-term thinkers interested in contributing in a systemic interdisciplinary and holistic manner to a better world. The Club of Rome members share a common concern for the future of humanity and the planet.” The club has only 100 members, with Mikhail Gorbachev amongst them. In 1999, Keith was made a Life Member of the United Nations Association of Australia in recognition of his service. At various times from 1978 to 1999, he served as the national president of the organisation and took on the roles of the WA and NSW state president. Keith was the President of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (1991-1998) at the University of Sydney, and was a Consultant on Social Policy with the Wesley Mission’s for 17 years. In addition, he served as a consultant for a number of other organisations, with a focus on local and international issues. He is also an active member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and his activities include conducting monthly webcasts with business leaders. He frequently appears on radio and television discussing politics and international affairs. Amongst Keith’s many books are "All about Terrorism: Everything you were afraid to ask" and “Global Order and Global Disorder: Globalization and the Nation-State” and “50 Things You Want to Know About World Issues... But Were Too Afraid to Ask.” He is a highly experienced, professional and awarded presenter of ideas, with topics including ethics, world affairs, globalisation, mining, global warming, leadership, the future, and corporate governance. Engaging in style, Keith’s discussions are always very topical and audience-specific.
JournalistTwo-time Walkley Award winner, Virginia Trioli, is one of Australia’s best-known journalists, with a formidable reputation as a television anchor, radio presenter, writer and commentator. She is much sought-after as a speaker and MC, and combines a rigorous interviewing style with an often wicked sense of humour. Virginia, is an honours graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, and in 1996 published Generation F, her celebrated response to Helen Garner’s ‘First Stone’. In 1995 she won Australian journalism's highest honour, the Walkley Award for her business reporting, and in 2001 Virginia won a second Walkley for her landmark interview with the former Defence Minister, Peter Reith, over the notorious Children Overboard issue. In 1999 Virginia won the Melbourne Press Club's Best Columnist award, The Quill. In 2006 she won Broadcaster of the Year at the ABC Local Radio Awards. Virginia has held senior positions at the Age newspaper and the Bulletin magazine. For eight years she hosted the Drive Program on 774 ABC Melbourne, and the Morning Program on 702 ABC Sydney. She has been the host of ABC TV's premiere news and current affairs program, Lateline, also Artscape and Sunday Arts. She is a regular fill-in host on Q and A. Virginia currently anchors ABC News Breakfast on ABC 1 and ABC News 24. Virginia is married with three step-children, a three year old and one chocolate Labrador.
Chief Executive Officer, RegnanPauline is the CEO of Regnan, a leading research and corporate engagement service provider focused on long term risks and opportunities for large investors and super funds. Previously, Pauline spent 9 years as the CEO of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). She has over 25 years’ experience in superannuation and financial services. A qualified lawyer, Pauline has also been a corporate counsel, head of compliance, and strategic risk consultant. In her current and previous roles, she has been focused on how to influence and effect change across the financial system so it may better serve the community. In particular, how the superannuation system can have a greater impact for members than just providing savings for retirement. Pauline is also the chair of CIMA Society of Australia (formerly IMCA Australia) and is a director of Mercer Superannuation Trust, Decimal Software Ltd, and the Banking and Finance Oath (BFO) group.
Mental Health Social Worker, Deidre Venz Social Work
Gold Coast Elder Abuse Project: A grassroots approach to addressing elder abuse on the Gold Coast.Co-Author: Deanne Lawrie, Elder Abuse Prevention Unit, Child and Family Services, Uniting Care, Queensland
The Gold Coast Elder Abuse Project set out to bring local stakeholders and broader government entities together to discuss the current role of their organisation in responding to and advocating against elder abuse. The project sought to develop strategic partnerships with the goal of identifying ways for services to work more effectively together and advance necessary advocacy for older persons experiencing elder abuse. The concept of the project has evolved from the direct experiences of a sole social worker in private practice working within problematic systems that are not always equipped for effective interventions and issues specific to an older person experiencing elder abuse. A pivotal case of an older person experiencing elder abuse was the catalyst which brought various stakeholders together to address the gravity of this case but also highlighting the broader systemic gaps in accessing the necessary actions required to provide adequate safety and security for older people. With input and support from the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit the project evolved over the last two years to now include a local Gold Coast Elder Abuse Reference Group as well as a Gold Coast Elder Abuse Panel for collaboration and consultancy with complex elder abuse cases. This presentation aims to raise further awareness of the challenges faced when advocating for systemic change but also to highlight a model currently being used on a local level which utilises an older person-centred model to achieve better outcomes for this client group.Deidre Venz is an accredited mental health social worker on the Gold Coast. Deidre currently works in private practice specialising in working with older persons. Deidre also holds a degree in Nursing and completed a Master of Counselling. Deidre is Co-Convenor of the Gold Coast Social Work Practice group and initiated the current Gold Coast Elder Abuse Project with the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit and co-chairs this with EAPU. Deidre also sits on the CNAP 65+ on the Gold Coast.
Founder and Director, Third SpaceAmrit Versha has a Masters in Sociology, Bachelors in Education and is submitting her doctorate in Sociology. She currently works as an educator in TAFE NSW and in the community services sector. She is the founder and Director of Third Space, a newly formed rights based not for profit organization. She has worked in the community services sector for last 26 years and has set up and managed several community organizations. She was instrumental in establishing the successful model for humanitarian settlement program in NSW for which she has presented a Humanitarian award by Refugee Council of Australia and STARTTS. Amrit has researched and published on the issues of family violence which has led to development of several prevention programs for the newly arrived migrant and refugee communities. She is actively supporting family violence prevention programs for South Asian community for which she was presented with a national accolade by National Association of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).
Advocate, Seniors Rights VictoriaMandy Walmsley has worked as an Advocate with Seniors Rights Victoria since August 2012. A social worker for more than 20 years, she has worked with older people since 2004 both in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has previously worked in the areas of consumer and tenancy rights, family violence and homelessness.
Barrister and Manager Guardianship Team, ADA Australia, Brisbane
The Many Faces of Elder Abuse
Recently, Australians have become more aware of “elder abuse”. This has occurred as; pioneers in service delivery develop sophisticated responses, academics scrutinise more data and as a result of the Inquiry completed by the Australian Law Reform Commission. Their recommendations to develop a national plan and a national prevalence study aims to inform and bring coherence to our understanding. One of the risks we have now, is failing to see all the facets of elder abuse. Without a comprehensive perspective, we risk denying older people, and their supporters, access to relevant strategies and remedies to assist them. Whilst our understanding of Elder Abuse is definitely lagging behind other social/legal problems, such as child abuse and domestic and family violence, there are specific features of Elder Abuse, in particular the various contexts in which older people find themselves. These include: family agreements gone wrong, attorneys abusing their role, premature removal or inability to regain legal capacity, and aged care systems unable to respond to a range of different types of abuse. As observers, we risk the responses to elder abuse being limited to the regular type of issues that we (as individual agencies) constantly grapple with. Our perspective is often limited to a few parts of the puzzle. This presentation aims to identify a range of “faces” of elder abuse and invite consideration of our legal, social and cultural responses to incorporate all, rather than deny the multi-faceted nature of Elder Abuse.Karen Williams is a Social Worker, Manager and a Lawyer, with more than 20 years’ experience in the health and mental health sector. Karen has 10 years’ experience as a lawyer, with an interest in legal matters concerning people who have had their capacity questioned. This gives her experience in aged, mental health and disability law. In 2015, Karen was awarded a National Disability Award for advocacy, in recognition of her work in the sector. Karen is currently the Manager of the Guardianship Team in ADA Australia; a team that assists more than 200 people each year with their guardianship or enduring power of attorney issues.
Professor, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of QueenslandProfessior Jill Wilson AO is Director of research at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland. She teaches in the areas of health and ageing, social work practice and the integration of field and class knowledge. She researches in the areas of substitute decision making, aged-care, the management of older people’s assets, the financial abuse of older people, end of life decision making, making and challenging wills and the impact of cognitive impairment in decisions around wills and for children in guardianship arrangements. Her research is focused on the intersection of law, policy and practice and aims to improve social work practice with older people.
Relationship Manager, State Trustees Limited, Victoria
Financial elder abuse: at what cost?
Financial abuse is considered the most prevalent form of elder abuse. This is in part due to its tangible nature which unlike other forms of abuse is less observable or quantifiable. Whilst the dollar value of the financial abuse is quantifiable, the emotional impact and damage to the victim’s legacy is not. Exacerbating the emotional cost, many victims of financial abuse are no longer able to pay for the care that is needed to support them. Despite this, victims of abuse continue to receive care even in cases where they are unable to meet the full cost of care. The cost of the care gap is borne by aged care providers and the government. This paper sets out to examine the cost of financial abuse to government and the aged care sector through the use of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and a survey of aged care providers. The paper will explore the increasing risk financial elder abuse could have on the public and private purse and explore options for reducing this risk.Luke is a relationship manager at State Trustees and deals with cases of financial elder abuse on a daily basis. As Victoria’s public trustee, State Trustees is often asked to step in after an older person has been victim of financial abuse. Luke has an undergraduate degree in behavioural science and post graduate qualifications in conflict resolution & mediation. Luke sits on a number of advisory groups which aim to prevent and promote the awareness of elder abuse.