Women, ageing and disadvantage
Women, ageing and disadvantage

Women, ageing & disadvantage:
Caring in cultural contexts

Wednesday 6 March, 2019 from 10am – 12pm. Featuring a panel discussion with videos and Q&A. Participate in a lively conversation exploring the issues of older women as caregivers.

With panellists from a range of community organisations including: Islamic Womens Association Australia, Bankstown Older Womens Network, Carers NSW, Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC), Seniors Rights Service.


Facilitated by Diana Bernard

Expert panelists include: Anika Petkovski, Marlene Rouhana, Vivienne Manson, Wafa Zaim, Catalina De Cortes, Fay Daniels, Sadie Arida, Nalika Padmasena

Facilitated by Ellen Fanning

Expert panelists include: Dr Catherine Barrett, Sarah Lambert, Terrie Leoleos, Prof Deborah Loxton, Kimberley Olsen, Barbara O’Neill, Lesley Robson, Jody Broun, Prof Julie Byles, Angela Budai, Sam Edmonds, Katherine McKernan, Hon Susan Ryan AO

Women Ageing & Disadvantage symposium
November 2018

Why are older women the fastest growing demographic of people experiencing homelessness? Why are over 70% of older people who report abuse women? What can be done to halt the rapidly increasing number of older women experiencing social disadvantage?

Participate in two forums facilitated by Ellen Fanning to discuss these issues.


What is happening? What are the issues?

Panelists include:
Dr Catherine Barrett, Founder and Director of the OPAL Institute, Coordinator of The Power Project
Sarah Lambert, Director, Community Health & Regional Services, ACON
Terrie Leoleos, Project Manager, Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW
Prof Deborah Loxton, CoDirector, Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, Deputy Director, Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, The University of Newcastle
Kimberley Olsen, Founder and CEO, Trans Employment Program Australia
Barbara O’Neill, Aboriginal support worker, The Junction Neighbourhood Centre
Lesley Robson, Housing specialist, Baptistcare


What policies and research do we need to change this dynamic?

Panelists include:
Jody Broun, Director of Red Cross NSW and former co-chairperson of the National Congress of Australia’s First People
Prof Julie Byles, Director of Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle
Angela Budai, National Women’s Officer and National Industrial Officer, Finance Sector Union of Australia
Sam Edmonds, Silver Rainbow, National Project Manager, National LGBTI Health Alliance
Katherine McKernan, Executive Officer, Homelessness NSW
Susan Ryan AO, former Age Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights Commission

After a light lunch (12.15pm to 1pm) Seniors Rights Service will be holding their Annual General Meeting from 1pm to 3pm. You are welcome to stay and participate. You will be able to indicate this during your Registration.

Keynote Speakers

photo of Ellen Fanning

Ellen Fanning

Award-winning current affairs journalist

Ellen 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.

photo of Catherine BARRETT

Dr Catherine Barrett

Founder and Director of the OPAL Institute, Coordinator of The Power Project

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.

photo of Jody Broun

Jody Broun

Director, NSW/ACT, Australian Red Cross

Jody Broun has held various senior roles, including Executive Director Aboriginal Housing and Infrastructure WA; Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment WA; Director General, Department of Aboriginal Affairs (NSW). She has been responsible for delivering community and state-wide policy and programs, developing national policy reforms and negotiating national and state government agreements. In 2014, Jody joined Australian Red Cross as Director NSW/ACT to continue working with vulnerable communities, and to find new and different ways to strengthen social participation.

photo of Ange Budai

Angela Budai

National Women’s Officer and National Industrial Officer, Finance Sector Union

Angela is the Finance Sector Union’s National Women’s Officer and National Industrial Officer with oversight of the Insurance industry. Angela has a Masters Degree in Politics and Public Policy and a Honours Degree in Economics (Social Science). Angela has worked at the FSU since 1999 and has developed the FSU Women’s Agenda. The FSU Women’s Agenda has targeted three areas: eliminating the gender pay gap, which sits at 27% in the finance industry, improving the quantum and structure of paid parental leave to actively encourage the take up of paid parental leave by men, and finally improving women’s retirement incomes as women currently on average retire with less than half the retirement income of men.

photo of Julie Byles

Prof Julie Byles

Director of Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle

Professor Julie Byles BMed PhD FAAHMS, is Global Innovations Chair in Responsive Transitions in Health and Ageing, and Director of the Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing – a Priority Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, and a Director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. As a clinical epidemiologist, Professor Byles’ interests are in risk determination, health assessment, health care use, measurement of health outcomes, and other health care evaluation. As a Gerontologist and Fellow and Life Member of the Australian Association of Gerontology, Professor Byles’ research interests in ageing include the role of health services, preventive activities, and treatments in maintaining quality of life for older people, and in determining physical, psychological and social factors associated with optimal physical and mental health of men and women as they age. Professor Byles is also Head of the International Longevity Centre – Australia (ILC-Aus), Chair of the International Association of Gerontology (Asia Oceania) Social Research and Planning sub-committee, and a frequent advisor to the World Health Western Pacific Region, and Department of Ageing and Lifecourse (Geneva), assisting with translation of evidence on health and ageing.

photo of Samantha EDMONDS

Sam Edmonds

Silver Rainbow, National Project Manager, National LGBTI Health Alliance

Sam 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.

photo of Sarah Lambert

Sarah Lambert

Director Community Health and Regional Services, ACON

Sarah is ACON’s Director Community Health and Regional Services with ageing health promotion (LOVE Project), regional teams, Pride Training and client services including the Community Visitors Scheme in her portfolio. Sarah’s professional background is an occupational therapist working clinically and in health promotion, community development and management roles. She has been at ACON for over 6 years previously working in mental health, alcohol and other drugs and disability in government and community-based services.

Photo of Terrie Leoleos

Terrie Leoleos

Project Manager, Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW

Terrie Leoleos is the project designer and project manager for the innovative Speak My Language project with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW. Ms Leoleos has worked in the community-care sector for more than two decades in various roles, including senior management and community development roles working with youth, families, ageing and disability and alongside new and emerging communities. Throughout her career, Ms Leoleos has been driven by her passion and commitment to community harmony, social cohesion and celebrating Australia’s cultural diversity. She has completed studies in social sciences, including associate diplomas in community services, frontline management and workplace training and assessment, and is currently undertaking studies through Wollongong University to complete her masters degree in management, majoring in corporate policy and strategic change.

photo of Prof Deb Loxton

Prof Deb Loxton

CoDirector, Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, Deputy Director, Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, The University of Newcastle

Professor Deborah Loxton has conducted research into women’s health and wellbeing for over 15 years. Her research has informed superannuation policy, and highlighted the financial needs and high degree of stress among sole mothers in young and middle age. Deborah’s research into the impact of violence and abuse revealed the lifetime detrimental impact on women’s physical and mental health. Her work in abuse in older age has shown coercion is associated with mortality and earlier onset of disability. By using quantitative and qualitative research methods, Deborah’s continuing ambition is to determine factors allowing women to live their best life, and to recover from the impact of detrimental life events.

photo of Katherine McKernan

Katherine McKernan

Executive Officer, Homelessness NSW

Katherine joined Homelessness NSW as the Chief Executive in February 2015 and has been a member of the Homelessness Australia Board since 2016. During this time she has overseen a number of research and policy projects including the Inner City Sydney Registry Week, A Plan for Change: Older Women and Homelessness, Debt, Set, Unfair and the NSW Homelessness Industry and Workforce Development Strategy. Katherine has previous experience in working to end homelessness in NSW through having worked on the NSW Homelessness Action Plan and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness NSW Implementation Plan as well as overseeing service delivery models such as Staying Home Leaving Violence and Way2Home (and earlier models of this). She also has experience in working more broadly with the NGO sector and has experience in social policy areas such as mental health, preventing violence against women and disability.

photo of Kimberly Olsen

Kimberly Olsen

Founder and CEO, Trans Employment Program Australia

Kimberly is founder and CEO of Trans Employment Program Australia a program to assist with recruitment of transgender people in the workplace. For the previous three years she has worked on a range of diversity initiatives, has spoken at Diversity Council Australia (DCA) Seminars on gender diversity, has spoken at several conferences and universities on gender diversity and LGBTI inclusion. She has provided thought leadership on many diversity topics and has been a subject matter expert on the Rainbow Tick Accreditation and the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people within the workforce. Kimberly received the 2018 Sapphire Inspire Award at the Australian Workplace Equality Awards for excellence in LGBTI inclusion by a lesbian, bisexual or transgender woman.