Seniors Rights Service | About us
The aged rights servicePhoneLegal • Advocacy • Education1800 424 079
Seniors Rights Service

About us

About us

Seniors Rights Service is a community legal centre that protects the rights of older people. We provide telephone advice, advocacy, legal advice and educational services.

Can we help?

Do you have questions about navigating the aged care system? Find out how we can help you.

Contact Seniors Rights Service

Contact us by phone or email from 9am to 4:30pm on weekdays. All calls are confidential and your privacy will be protected.

We are a service for older people in New South Wales. We offer advocacy, information and legal advice including:
Telephone and face-to-face advocacy
 for people getting aged care services at home or in an aged care home
Legal advice and advocacy for people living in retirement villages
Legal advice and information to all older people in NSW.
Seniors Rights Service is a community legal service and is accredited by the National Association of Community Legal Centres.
Seniors Rights Service is run by a Management Committee comprised of community and professional representatives as well as clients and staff.
Advocacy services
Seniors Rights Service is an advocacy service for people living in aged care homes or receiving in-home care. This means offering free and confidential support to aged care recipients and also promoting the rights of older people to aged care service providers. These services are funded under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP).
Seniors Rights Service operates in NSW only. See the National Advocacy Network for contact details for similar agencies in other states.
The National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP)
The NACAP is a free and confidential service that promotes the rights of people receiving aged care services. It aims to:
Provide information and advice about the rights and responsibilities of aged care recipients
Support older people to be involved in decisions affecting their lives
Assist residents to resolve problems or complaints about the aged care home where they live
Promote the rights of older people to the wider community.
The NACAP is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Legal advice
Seniors Rights Service offers legal assistance to older people through the Older Persons’ Legal Service (OPLS) and the Retirement Village Legal Service.

Older Persons’ Legal Service (OPLS)

OPLS provides legal advice, assistance, referral and education for older people throughout NSW including rural, regional and remote areas. This service is for people over 60, particularly those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

OPLS solicitors give advice on:
Consumer issues

Debt management
Certain contractual matters and unfair contracts
Provision of goods and services.
Human rights matters

Age discrimination
Financial abuse, including by relatives and carers
Assistance gaining access to the administration of State and Commonwealth law and programs.
Alternative decision-making

Issues involving the capacity to make financial and non-financial care decisions
Legal advice and assistance on Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship issues.

How does OPLS operate?

OPLS is a small legal team with a remit to assist older people who are disadvantaged. To broaden its reach, OPLS partners with Legal Aid NSW to deliver the Older Persons’ Legal and Education Program. This program aims to improve older people’s access to legal services through advice, assistance, advocacy, representation, referral and education. Legal Aid also offers a number of publications relating to legal issues for older people.

If your legal matter falls outside Seniors Rights Service’s remit, we can provide you with a copy of our referral list of private solicitors by email or post. It details which areas of law the solicitors have experience in. Some of the firms provide discounts to our callers: these discounts are also listed.

Contact OPLS to discuss your issue:
Ph: 1800 424 079
Fax: (02) 9281 3672
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50

Alternatively you can call the NSW Law Society Solicitor Referral Service on 02 9926 0300.

Retirement Village Legal Service

This specialist service provides legal advice and assistance to residents of retirement villages in all aspects of retirement village law. The solicitors also visit retirement villages to conduct seminars to educate residents about their rights and responsibilities and to provide information about Seniors Rights Service.

Contact the Retirement Village Legal Service to discuss your issue:
Ph: 1800 424 079
Fax: (02) 9281 3672
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50
Seniors Rights Service aged care advocates and solicitors travel across NSW to hold information sessions for aged care homes, retirement villages and community groups. These sessions aim to raise awareness about the rights of – and common concerns among – older people living in aged accommodation or receiving in-home care.

The sessions are offered to service providers and service users and their relatives and carers, as well as in-home aged care service providers, seniors groups, professional groups and others.

Popular topics are:

Aged care advocacy
Retirement village living
Legal issues affecting older people
Seniors Rights Service – who we are and what we do
Supporting diversity

Seniors Rights Service also delivers online information sessions via Skype and webinars.

The Older Persons’ Legal and Education Program

This program aims to improve older people’s access to legal services through advice, assistance, advocacy, representation, referral and education. The program is delivered by Seniors Rights Service in partnership with Legal Aid NSW.

Seniors Rights Service speakers list

Seniors Rights Service maintains a list of people who have expertise in dispute resolution and how to use complaint handling bodies and related agencies. These speakers are happy to give talks to community groups and agencies, not-for-profit organisations, government and non-government agencies, social groups and business and professional groups.

Supporting diversity

Seniors Rights Service offers information sessions about respectful treatment of aged care recipients who come from diverse communities including people who are:

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)
Indigenous
Care givers
Live in remote locations
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual or intersex (LGBTI).

See the Seniors Rights Service publications Q&A for LGBTI and Multilingual Information Sheet for more information.

Community education and events

Seniors Rights Service provides information, publications and advice about the rights of older people at expos, open days, forums and conferences.

To book a Seniors Rights Service information session, fill in the booking form or contact:

Manager Education, Promotion & Special Projects
Seniors Rights Service
Level 4, 418A Elizabeth St. 
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Phone: 1800 424 079

Fax number: (02) 9281 3672

Email: Click here for a full list of upcoming educational events.

About Seniors Rights Service

Who are Seniors Rights Service?

Seniors Rights Service is a community legal centre that protects the rights of older people. We provide telephone advice, advocacy, legal advice and educational services.

Read More

 

Overview

Seniors Rights Service provides free, confidential advocacy, advice, education and legal services to older people in New South Wales.
 
Our advocates assist recipients of all Commonwealth funded aged-care services, their carers’ or family members to understand their rights under the Aged Care Act 1997. We help them to advocate for themselves to resolve issues and complaints with aged care providers to ensure optimal care is achieved.
 
Our legal service provides advice, assistance and education to older people in NSW.
 
Issues include: consumer issues (debt management, unfair contracts), human rights (elder abuse including financial, discrimination), planning ahead (wills, power of attorney, guardianship), accommodation issues (granny flats) and other issues.
 
Solicitors also provide advice to the residents of retirement villages (self-care units and serviced apartments) about issues arising from disputes with management or interpretation of contracts under the Retirement Villages Act (NSW) 1999.
 
We provide education across all areas of NSW to aged care facilities and a broad range of service providers as well as community groups such as Probus, bowling clubs and similar community organisations.
 
Seniors Rights Service offers advocacy, information and legal advice including:
 

  • Telephone and face-to-face advocacy
 for people getting aged care services at home or in an aged care home
  • Legal advice and advocacy for people living in retirement villages
  • Legal advice and information to all older people in NSW.

Funding

Seniors Rights Service is a community legal centre and is accredited by the National Association of Community Legal Centres.
 
Seniors Rights Service is funded by:
 
Department of Social Services
Department of Fair Trading
Legal Aid NSW
Aging, Disability and Home Care
Office for Aging
Attorney General's Department

Governance

Seniors Rights Service is a company limited by guarantee run by a Board of Directors comprised of community and professional representatives.
 

  • Russell Westacott – CEO

  • Russell Westacott is the Chief Executive Officer of Seniors Rights Service. He joined Seniors Rights Service in this capacity in January 2011. Russell has 30 years experience of working in non-government-organisations (NGOs). He worked for several organisations in the HIV sector and has worked for both state and national organisations. Russell has implemented projects in each state and territory in Australia in collaboration with local partners. He has worked on international projects in the South Pacific, South Africa and has represented Australian community-based groups at the United Nations. During the period 2001 to 2005 Russell worked in New York City at one of that city’s largest NGOs. Russell has an interest in the human rights of individuals who are often marginalised. Russell has studied at the University of NSW in Politics and International Relations and Sociology.

  • Email:

    [email protected]

  • Craig Gear – Management Board Chair

  • Craig has extensive experience in health service management and health consulting. He is currently the principal director of a health consulting firm focusing on primary care NGOs, ageing, mental health, eHealth and Aboriginal health. Flowing from his background in nursing he is passionate about connecting and improving the health system for all Australians. He has positions on a number of NGO Boards.

  • Email:

    [email protected]

  • Elaine Leong

  • BA LLB, BA Comms (Hon), Grad Dip Legal Prac, GAICD
     
    Elaine is a career governance and legal professional with strong interest and experience in collaborating with Boards and Executive teams to advance organisational objectives through governance, strategy, policy and risk.
     
    Elaine is currently the General Counsel and Company Secretary of Australia’s oldest charity, The Benevolent Society and partner of a boutique law firm providing pro bono and cost effective legal advice to individuals, charities and small charities experiencing challenges with accessing or navigating the legal system. Elaine is an advocate and active volunteer of the not-for-profit sector and has a passion for advocating the rights of older people.

  • Barbara Anderson

  • I currently hold the position of Principal Policy Adviser in the Aged Care Unit, Health and Social Policy Branch, NSW Ministry of Health. My role includes researching, evaluating and advising on best practice policies and programs relevant to aged care, aged health and other priority policy areas associated with ageing, disability and integrated care policy and strategic issues.
     
    My professional background is Health Information Management and I hold a Master of Arts Degree from the University of New South Wales. I was Founding Editor of the Australian Medical Record Journal in 1970 (subsequently Health Information Management Journal). My publications include co-authoring Occupational therapy: Its place in Australia’s history. Sydney: NSW Association of Occupational Therapists (1988). I retain a keen interest in the written word.
     
    Prior to joining NSW Health in 2001, I ran my own business as a Quality Improvement, Accreditation and Medical Record Consultant. I have worked across all areas of health service delivery, including hospitals, community health, residential aged care and general practice. My previous experience includes managing the Education Service for the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) from 1990 to 1993. I was a registered Aged Care Quality Assessor from 2000 to 2002. I have a longstanding interest in ageing and the care of older people and was actively involved in development of the 2004-06 NSW Health Framework for integrated support and management of older people in the NSW health care system.

  • Margaret Duckett

  • Margaret has held various senior roles including as Director of the NSW Office of Ageing. Her career has been primarily in the health and social sectors, building on her science background in terms of health promotion, advocacy and policy development. Margaret has extensive experience in government and political processes, and strategic policy development and implementation. She can point to a number of instances where her advocacy changed policy. Additional attributes she brings to the Board include extensive management skills, and excellent networks and networking skills. She recently supported her mother to live alone in her own home until the end of her life. Margaret has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ diploma program.

  • David Puls

  • Social Consultant, Becoming Change and Board Member, Seniors Rights Service (NSW) David is a Social Consultant and recovering lawyer. He works with not for profits, social enterprises, and individuals in the areas of strategy, coaching and governance. David is on the board of the Seniors Rights Service with a remit to bring the organisations’ first […]

  • Maureen Walsh

  • Maureen has wide experience working in the private sector, trade unions, and in State and Commonwealth public services. She was a councillor with Parramatta City Council for 17 years, including terms as Deputy Lord Mayor. She is a long time member and delegate to many organisations including Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, University of […]

Seniors Rights Service is a member of the following peak bodies:
 
NACLC
IFA
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People
Diversity Council Australia
Older Persons Advocacy Network

Legal

Seniors Rights Service offers legal assistance to older people through the Seniors Rights Legal Service and the Retirement Village Legal Service.
 

Seniors Rights Legal Service

Seniors Rights Legal Service provides legal advice, assistance, referral and education for older people throughout NSW including rural, regional and remote areas. This service is for people over 60, particularly those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
 
Seniors Rights Legal Service solicitors give advice on:

Consumer issues
  • Debt management
  • Certain contractual matters and unfair contracts
  • Provision of goods and services.
Human rights matters
  • Age discrimination
  • Financial abuse, including by relatives and carers
  • Assistance gaining access to the administration of State and Commonwealth law and programs.
Alternative decision-making
  • Issues involving the capacity to make financial and non-financial care decisions
  • Legal advice and assistance on Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship issues.

 

How does Seniors Rights Legal Service operate?

Seniors Rights Legal Service is a small legal team with a remit to assist older people who are disadvantaged. To broaden its reach, Seniors Rights Legal Service partners with Legal Aid NSW to deliver the Older Persons' Legal and Education Program. This program aims to improve older people’s access to legal services through advice, assistance, advocacy, representation, referral and education. Legal Aid also offers a number of publications relating to legal issues for older people.
 
If your legal matter falls outside Seniors Rights Service’s remit, we can provide you with a copy of our referral list of private solicitors by email or post. It details which areas of law the solicitors have experience in. Some of the firms provide discounts to our callers: these discounts are also listed.
 
Contact Seniors Rights Legal Service to discuss your issue:
Ph: 1800 424 079
Fax: (02) 9281 3672
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50
 
Alternatively you can call the NSW Law Society Solicitor Referral Service on 02 9926 0300.
 

Retirement Village Legal Service

This specialist service provides legal advice and assistance to residents of retirement villages in all aspects of retirement village law. The solicitors also visit retirement villages to conduct seminars to educate residents about their rights and responsibilities and to provide information about Seniors Rights Service.
 
Contact the Retirement Village Legal Service to discuss your issue:
Ph: 1800 424 079
Fax: (02) 9281 3672
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50
 

The Strata Collective Sales Advocacy Service

This service provides legal advice to older people who are owners of a strata unit or townhouse about any aspect of the strata renewal process in NSW. We give advice on disputes with the Strata Owners Corporation, Strata Renewal Committee and/or the developer arising from collective sale or redevelopment proposals under the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW). Our services are free and confidential.
 
Contact the Strata Collective Sales Advocacy Service to discuss your issue:
Ph: 1800 424 079
Fax: (02) 9281 3672
Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS): 13 14 50

Advocacy

Seniors Rights Service is an advocacy service for people living in aged care homes or receiving in-home care. This means offering free and confidential support to aged care recipients and also promoting the rights of older people to aged care service providers. These services are funded under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP).
 
Seniors Rights Service operates in NSW only. See the National Advocacy Network for contact details for similar agencies in other states.
 

The National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP)

The NACAP is a free and confidential service that promotes the rights of people receiving aged care services. It aims to:
 

  • Provide information and advice about the rights and responsibilities of aged care recipients
  • Support older people to be involved in decisions affecting their lives
  • Assist residents to resolve problems or complaints about the aged care home where they live
  • Promote the rights of older people to the wider community.

 
The NACAP is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.
 

 
Click on your state or territory for more information:
 

ACT

 
A.C.T. Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)
Residential Address: 2 Atherton Street, Downer ACT 2602
Postal address: PO Box 144, Dickson ACT 2602
Telephone: (02) 6242 5060 TTY: (02) 6242 5065 Fax: (02) 6242 5063
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.adacas.org.au
 
A service for people with disabilities, older people and their carers.

Northern Territory

 
Aged and Disability Rights Team (ADRT)
Darwin Community Legal Service
Residential Address: 8 Manton Street, Darwin NT 0800
Postal Address: PO Box 3180 Darwin NT 0801
Telephone: 08 8982 1111 Freecall: 1800 812 953 Fax: 08 8982 1112
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.dcls.org.au
 
A service for people with disabilities, older people and their carers.

Queensland

 
Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy Inc (QADA)
Residential Address: 121 Copperfield Street, Geebung Q'ld 4034
Telephone: (07)3637 6000 or 1800 818 338 Fax: (07) 3637 6001
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.qada.org.au
 
A service for older people or their representatives who are receiving in-home services or living in aged care homes.

South Australia

 
Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
Address: 16 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Telephone: (08) 8232 5377 Fax: (08) 8232 1794
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.sa.agedrights.asn.au
 
A service for older people or their representatives who are receiving in-home services or living in aged care homes.

Tasmania

 
Advocacy Tasmania Inc.
Residential Address: Suite 6, Mayfair in the Bay, 236 Sandy Bay Road Sandy Bay,
Tasmania, 7005
Postal Address: P.O. Box 426, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7006
Telephone: (03) 6224 2240 Freecall: 1800 005 131 Fax: (03) 6224 2411
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.advocacytasmania.com.au
 
A service for people with disabilities, older people and their carers.

Victoria

 
Elder Rights Advocacy
Postal Address: Level 4, 140 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9602 3066 Freecall: 1800 700 600 Fax: (03) 9602 3102
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.era.asn.au

Western Australia

 
Advocare
Address: Level 3 Kings Complex, 517 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000
Telephone: 08 9479 7566 Freecall: 1800 655 566 Fax: 08 9479 7599
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.advocare.org.au
 
A service for older people or their representatives who are receiving in-home services or living in aged care homes.

Education

Seniors Rights Service aged care advocates and solicitors travel across NSW to hold information sessions for aged care homes, retirement villages and community groups. These sessions aim to raise awareness about the rights of - and common concerns among - older people living in aged accommodation or receiving in-home care.
 
The sessions are offered to service providers and service users and their relatives and carers, as well as in-home aged care service providers, seniors groups, professional groups and others.
 
Popular topics are:
 

  • Aged care advocacy
  • Retirement village living
  • Legal issues affecting older people
  • Seniors Rights Service - who we are and what we do
  • Supporting diversity

 
Seniors Rights Service also delivers online information sessions via Skype and webinars.
 

The Older Persons' Legal and Education Program

This program aims to improve older people’s access to legal services through advice, assistance, advocacy, representation, referral and education. The program is delivered by Seniors Rights Service in partnership with Legal Aid NSW.
 

Seniors Rights Service speakers list

Seniors Rights Service maintains a list of people who have expertise in dispute resolution and how to use complaint handling bodies and related agencies. These speakers are happy to give talks to community groups and agencies, not-for-profit organisations, government and non-government agencies, social groups and business and professional groups.
 

Supporting diversity

Seniors Rights Service offers information sessions about respectful treatment of aged care recipients who come from diverse communities including people who are:
 

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)
  • Indigenous
  • Care givers
  • Live in remote locations
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual or intersex (LGBTI).

 
See the Seniors Rights Service publications Q&A for LGBTI and Multilingual Information Sheet for more information.

 

Community education and events

Seniors Rights Service provides information, publications and advice about the rights of older people at expos, open days, forums and conferences.
 
To book a Seniors Rights Service information session, fill in the booking form or contact:
 
Manager Education, Promotion & Special Projects
Seniors Rights Service
Level 4, 418A Elizabeth St. 
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Phone: 1800 424 079

Fax number: (02) 9281 3672

Email: [email protected]


Community Outreach

How do I book an information session or workshop?

Use our online form to book a Seniors Rights Service information session or workshop for your aged care service or community group. A great way to find out more about older people’s rights.

Make a booking

 
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Contact TARS

Contact us

You can contact Seniors Rights Service by phone, email or Skype. All calls are confidential and your privacy will be protected.

Contact us

 

  • Seniors Rights Service 1800 424 079
  • Interpreter Service (TIS) 13 14 50
  • TTY users call 13 36 77
    (then ask for 02 9281 3600)
  • Office Hours 9am - 5pm
  • Seniors Rights Service
    1800 424 079
  • Interpreter Service (TIS)
    13 14 50
  • TTY users call
    13 36 77
    (then ask for 02 9281 3600)
  • Office Hours
    9am - 5pm

Email us

Please note: Seniors Rights Service does not provide legal advice by email. Please include your phone number so that we can talk directly to you. If you have a concern/complaint about our services you can call Seniors Rights Service or send us an email using the form below.
 
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Our address

Seniors Rights Service
Level 4, 418A Elizabeth St,
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Office hours 9am - 5pm

Book an information session

Complete the form below to submit a request for a Seniors Rights Service education session at your organisation, community group or event.

*Required feilds








  • :

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Have a compliment or concern about Seniors Rights Service?

Seniors Rights Service invites any person who is not satisfied with the service that has been provided to them to express their concerns. This communication is strictly confidential.
 
You may do this by completing our online complaint form, telephoning Seniors Rights Service (02 9281 3600 or 1800 424 076), or by writing to Seniors Rights Service, Lvl 4, 418A Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010.
 
Your concern will be taken seriously and you will be contacted about the issue by a Seniors Rights Service manager.