In May 2023, the Seniors Rights Service team came together in Sydney from all over New South Wales for two days of learning and collaborating.
Day one opened with a heartfelt and eye opening welcome to country from Uncle Brendan Kerin. We met our facilitator, Nigel Collin who enthusiastically guided us through the coming days. The always fascinating Jane Caro set the tone with a keynote speech tackling the ongoing issue of ageism with anecdotes and learnings from her own personal experiences and illustrious career.
The Conference was addressed by Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM, Ageing and Disability Commission who shared wisdom and learnings from the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Day one included breakout sessions with Dr Gordon Spence on The Psychology of Ageing and its empowering possibilities, Emeritus Professor Andrew Byrnes presented on the recent international developments on the human rights of older persons and a wonderful storytelling session with Uncle Brendan Kerin.
The afternoon team challenge session provided the team the opportunity to get to know each other better through problem solving in teams of people they may not have worked with before. The staff showed how well they worked together and how much fun can be had while collaborating and team building (as well as a bit of competition!).
Day one closed with a “Meet the Board Session” where staff enjoyed getting to know the Board Directors with an introduction piece by each Board member followed by a Q and A session.
Later in the evening, the Board Directors joined the whole team where they enjoyed a meal together at our themed ‘Go for Gold’ Dinner. Board Directors and Staff relished in the opportunity to meet each other in a social setting and share a lot of fun in the “Go for Gold” photo booth!
Day two commenced with the Older Persons Advocacy Network CEO Craig Gear OAM, who provided insights on the future directions and focuses of the national advocacy network.
We were joined by Ann Wunsch, Executive Director Aged Care and Quality Safety Commission who provided advice on current statistics and reportable conduct.
The breakout sessions featured Lauren Absalom, Solicitor Estate Planning NSW Trustee and Guardian discussing decision making authority for older people, and Russ Gluyas with an overview of ACON’s LGBTQ ageing initiative the Living Older Visibly Engaged (LOVE) Project.
After lunch the team got to show off their musical talents with a drumming workshop. The drumming workshop was team building session which produced some great rhythms, great staff participation and much energy and laughter!
The day closed with Sarah Lambert presenting our final session discussing increasing team care, eliminating burnout and growing together. Sarah shared some takeaways staff can incorporate into their everyday lives.
The conference was a fantastic success and we thank all the staff for their passion and dedication to protecting and advancing the rights of older people.