Abuse of Older People: A Community Response Final Report was developed from the feedback and input sought from both the 550 attendees of the National Elder Abuse Conference in February, and a consecutive discussion session between 70 industry leaders which aimed to prioritise what needed to be done as part of the national response to elder abuse in Australia.
Seniors Rights Service Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Russell Westacott was the first to speak during the online live webcast launch on 29 May, thanking everyone involved for their input in the development of the report.
“I am pleased to present Abuse of Older People: A Community Response, the final report of a high-level community-led elder abuse strategy event attached to the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference hosted by Seniors Rights Service in February 2018,” Mr Westacott says.
“The abuse of older Australians is complex and multifaceted and an effective, sustained response that mitigates this abuse across our society needs to be ambitious and comprehensive.
“It needs to involve older people themselves, civil society and governments at all jurisdictional levels. It needs to be well planned and coordinated … and very importantly, it needs to be well-resourced and regularly evaluated.
“The delegates at the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference were excited to hear the Attorney-General Christian Porter announce the creation of a National Plan to combat the abuse of older Australians.
“As a society we must now grasp the opportunity to resource strategic and meaningful responses to this issue and this report provides a blueprint from the community sector which offers the wisdom of key experienced stakeholders in developing a pathway forward.
“As the National Plan takes shape this report – generated by civil society – will no doubt provide a key underpinning of strategy development and implementation.”
Mr Westacott’s colleague, Seniors Rights Service President Craig Gear, was also present at the live webcast launch, giving the closing statement.
“The journey that we’ve gone on to get this report has been one of community mobilisation and commitment...commitment across a large number of sectors, a large number of organisations and a commitment by a large number of individuals,” Mr Gear says.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve already, but our journey is just starting… it’s a long journey we are on but it is a very important journey.”
Age Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, Dr Kay Patterson, and Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing Dr Jane Barratt, also spoke at the event launch commending the report and what it means for the future of action against elder abuse.
More than 400 hard copies of the report have been ordered since the launch, with downloadable copies available for free online.