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National event hosts Australian-first exhibition of LGBTI elder portraits and stories

An exhibition showcasing portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) older Australians and their stories of belonging will be showcased for the first time in Australia at the 2019 National Elder Abuse Conference (NEAC 2019) in Brisbane next week.

Sally Conning and Max Primmer participated in a special art exhibition showcasing portraits of LGBTI older Australians and their stories. [Source: Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia]
Sally Conning and Max Primmer participated in a special art exhibition showcasing portraits of LGBTI older Australians and their stories. [Source: Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia]

On 22-23 July through the medium of portraits, seven older Australians who identify as LGBTI can express their thoughts and feelings on finding ‘a sense of place’ in a world where ‘different’ bodies, relationship and sexualities are often misunderstood and disrespected.

Curator of the exhibition, Dr Catherine Barrett says the collection of portraits and stories are a celebration of the resilience of LGBTI older Australians and their journey to finding a ‘place’ in their lives. The portraits were taken by photographer, Julian Meehan.

“We are so proud and excited to bring this extraordinary body of work to Brisbane at a time when LGBTI elders are displaced by elder abuse,” says Ms Barrett. 

“It is wonderful that the national conversation about elder abuse is heating up, though the unique issues for LGBTI elders are not well understood. 

“As a community we need to recognise that a sense of place matters to everyone – and this very special exhibition is a small, but important, step forward in raising awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTI elders.” 

NEAC 2019 co-host, Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Rowe says next week’s conference would highlight the issue of elder abuse for LGBTI elders. 

“The exhibition serves as a reminder that LGBTI elders can be displaced by abuse perpetrated on the basis of their LGBTI identities, by family members or service providers,” explains Mr Rowe. 

“In addition to the showcase, delegates will hear from Malloy, an 86 year old lesbian who will talk about her personal experience of elder abuse.” 

Mr Rowe says that ‘LGBTI elders’ were not identified as a priority group in the recent National Elder Abuse Strategy. 

“We were disappointed with this aspect of the national strategy because we need to better understand and respond to this group’s experiences of abuse; however NEAC 2019 will provide the perfect platform to start important conversations,” Mr Rowe says. 

For more information or to book tickets to the event, held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, click here.

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