Our Education Team is planning a number of exciting projects this year to continue to raise awareness about the rights of older people and the growing issue of elder abuse in Australian society.
In April, a new shopfront will be opening at Northcott Towers in Surry Hills, which will offer a range of services for residents of social housing. Seniors Rights Service will run a legal clinic here once a week, which we hope will not only be of direct service to many of the older people living in the Towers, but will help engage and educate community members about seniors’ rights in general. The shopfront is a collaboration with the Department of Family and Community Services, which has run a similar program at Redfern.
Read about Wills Day at Northcott Community Centre – a collaboration in October 2017 between Seniors Right Service, Family and Community Services and Legal Aid.
We are looking forward to moving into Phase 2 of our award-winning Borrowers Beware project. The project first started in 2015, with the aim of providing information via radio broadcasts to older Arabic and South Eastern European people across NSW to help prevent financial abuse. This next phase, which we are running in collaboration with Legal Aid NSW and funded by Family and Community Services, will target Arabic, Mandarin and English speaking older people. Listen out for our tips on SBS Radio and on Macquarie Media radio stations in regional NSW.
In April and May we are working with the LGBTI community in The Hunter and in the Northern Rivers on 2 forums Future Proofing where ageing, planning ahead and the rights and concerns of LGBTI people will be discussed in relation to these issues. The forums are being organised with input from local the LGBTI community with the participation of a range of service providers and community organisations coming together to hear the needs and concerns of older LGBTI people as they plan for the future. In February we partnered with ACON’s The LOVE Project on the day-long event Planning for the Future. There was a terrific turnout and the community engaged in some great discussion about ageing and related topics.
We are also planning another forum with the Indian community in Blacktown in June on the issue of financial elder abuse. Late last year we ran a large community forum in Sydney’s Pennant Hills – Everyone Deserves Respect – which included an in-depth panel discussion on this topic. The feedback we received from the audience was that shame prevents many people talking about these issues, and the more we can run forums of this type, the more it helps people to seek assistance from organisations such as Seniors Rights Service.
On a different note (if you’ll excuse the pun…), we were excited to recently discover Piano Forte, a new and engaging way of engaging way of interacting with the community about seniors’ rights. Piano Forte is a play developed by Suncoast Community Legal Centre in Queensland, to explore legal issues that older people and their families experience when planning the future. Over the coming months, Senior Right Service will be collaborating with Legal Aid NSW to offer a series of free screenings of the play, along with interactive panel discussions, for older people in regional and metropolitan regions throughout NSW.
For free screenings of Piano Forte and questions developed for discussion with a panel of professionals as conversation starters contact Seniors Rights Service on 1800 424 079.