WEAAD 2019

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight one of the worst manifestations of ageism and inequality in our society, elder abuse.

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person and is carried out by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend. The abuse may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect.

WEAAD was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011. Rates of elder abuse are under reported, but the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14 per cent of older people in Australia are affected.

Around Victoria, a variety of events and activities are being organised. This year’s events include information sessions and forums covering topics from how to recognise elder abuse, to how to protect your rights and where to find help.

Groups and individuals are encouraged to wear the symbolic purple colour of WEAAD and share information with their friends, families and communities. Melbourne Town Hall will be dressing for the occasion on June 15, with WEAAD banners on display and purple lights illuminating it.

It’s easy for anyone to get involved in WEAAD. Our toolkit has been updated for 2019 and is full of ideas and resources to get you started. It includes information on how to order merchandise like purple ribbons, along with links to posters, social media and web banners. We’ve also included our Finish the Sentence poster from 2017.

If you are active on social media, join Seniors Rights Victoria on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date. We love seeing what activities everyone gets involved in, so make sure you tag or share your photos with us.

If you are an older Victorian experiencing elder abuse or are concerned about an older person, call Seniors Rights Victoria’s confidential helpline on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.


New report for WEAAD: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”

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On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) the National Ageing Research Institute and Senior’s Rights Victoria  released  their new report: “The Older Person’s Experience – Outcomes of Interventions into Elder Abuse”.

The study aimed to better understand the older person’s experience of elder abuse, the interventions used to address elder abuse and the outcome of the intervention for ex-clients who contacted Seniors Rights Victoria. It makes for very interesting and informative reading, and is the only Australian study we know of that looks at elder abuse from older peoples’ perspective. The report also contains recommendations, formed from the advice of the courageous participants, which will be of great use to both older people and policy-makers alike.

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WEAAD 2016 – Whitehorse City Council

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For WEAAD 2016, Whitehorse City Council, in partnership with Celebrate Ageing, undertook the “My Cosy Project ”, whereby adults share things they love about their own ageing.

We asked people from various community groups (e.g. Neighbourhood Houses and U3A Nunawading) to write down what they liked about ageing and encouraged people to wear purple. We also had three delicious purple cakes made for Council staff and PAG participants at Mountain View Cottage.


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WEAAD 2016 – Mildura Rural City Council

World Elder Absue Expo 2 17062016 World Elder Abuse Expo 17062016 We lit up some buildings in purple on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and also held a Mini Expo in the mall on Friday that was very successful. We spoke to many people about Elder Abuse as well as services that are available and where to get more information. We also had some people come specifically to get information and support as they had seen the advertising for WEAAD.See our Media.



WEAAD 2016 – Yarra Ranges Council

YRCThis year there were many ‘We can stop elder abuse’ awareness raising activities throughout the Yarra Ranges Council including purple biscuits created by Tasty Az catering. Information flyers, purple ribbons and bookmarks were available for residents and staff. On 15 June, Leading Senior Constable Linda Hancock presented at Council’s “We can stop elder abuse’ lunch. She provided data on reported elder abuse in Yarra Ranges and the Yarra Ranges Police Community Safety Register. Yarra Ranges Council’s You Tube clip for WEAAD has been praised widely for it’s innovative nature.


WEAAD 2016 – Knox City Council

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At Knox we had a display board in our main reception area and all counter staff had ribbons and leaflets to distribute during the week.  The WEAAD information was also shown on the LCD screen behind reception and on the KCC website homepage, and a message was included on our on-hold call service.

We also distributed around 500 ribbons and leaflets to staff and posted WEAAD facts every day for a week on our Intranet.  We held a Morning Tea at the Civic Centre, with 500 purple themed biscuits and had a ‘best dressed in purple’ award. We also put up a display in the Active Ageing and Disability Services Department. The Active Communities Team held a presentation by a representative of Seniors Rights Victoria at the Bayswater Senior Citizens Centre and also promoted awareness of the issue during their Planned Activity Groups.

We worked closely with our Communications Team to connect with the community and raise awareness of elder abuse via social media.  The promotion included: five Twitter posts; four Facebook posts, with a total of 22 likes and 7 shares; and an Instagram post, with 23 likes.  The Mayor of Knox City Council, Cr Tony Holland, was also quoted talking about elder abuse in LG Focus (Australia’s National Local Government Online Newspaper).


WEAAD cake

WEAAD 2016 – cohealth

WEAAD cake WEAAD Lunch






On June 16, cohealth organized a PURPLE lunch event at 94 Ormond Street Kensington. Eighty Chinese and Vietnamese residents attended. An elder abuse awareness information session was presented in Mandarin and English via a Vietnamese interpreter. Videos of cases were shown and a lawyer from Justice Connect presented on the rights of seniors. This was followed by lunch and the sharing of a purple cake.

The message of WEAAD is about all of us working together to bring greater recognition of the mistreatment of older people wherever they live, and to highlight the need for appropriate action.


WEAAD 2016 – Melbourne Library

WEAAD1Melbourne Library Service hosted Gary Ferguson from Seniors Rights Victoria for a community information session on Enduring Powers of Attorney at our East Melbourne branch on Tuesday 21 June.

Seventeen people (most of them seniors) attended this session. Gary delivered an engaging presentation and fielded questions from the audience throughout the session. Attendees were treated to a morning tea and a copy of the Take Control: A guide for making Enduring Powers of Attorney kit. They were informed about how Seniors Rights Victoria can advise them and how they advocate on behalf of older Victorians. They were also brought up to date on changes to laws affecting powers of attorney, and suggestions on what to consider when deciding who to appoint. The group clearly enjoyed the presentation, with many of them staying behind to speak with Gary or chat amongst themselves over morning tea.

A big thank you to Seniors Rights Victoria for offering these free information sessions!



WEAAD 2016 – Slater and Gordon and CPA Australia

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On 15 June, in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Slater and Gordon and CPA  Australia came together to address the growing problem of elder financial abuse. Slater and Gordon hosted a seminar attended by over 40 CPA Australia accountant members that provided information on:

  • – identifying the signs of elder financial abuse

– potential legal issues that may be encountered when dealing with elderly clients

  • – protecting elderly clients’ rights and interests.

With accountants often playing a frontline role in identifying elder financial abuse, this seminar highlighted the various legal avenues available to assist older people to recoup their financial losses. The seminar also addressed a toolkit developed by CPA Australia to assist their members who find themselves advising an elderly client who has potentially suffered financial abuse.

The photos are of presenters Diana Young, Associate, Slater and Gordon, and Richard Blakeman, CPA Australia.



A Frayman, S  Furman, M Cooklin, Y Hersham, A Lewin, A ShniderTaskforce WEEAD Morning Tea

WEAAD 2016 – Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence

A Frayman, S  Furman, M Cooklin, Y Hersham, A Lewin, A ShniderTaskforce WEEAD Morning TeaDr Anita Frayman, from Elder Solutions, spoke at a morning tea workshop run by the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence. A group of approximately thirty people from organisations in the South Eastern region attended the workshop in a private home. This WEEAD function was a follow up on the WEEAD  event that Dr Frayman and the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence held last year. The workshop discussed the elder abuse issues raised in the “Within My Walls”  video produced by the ECCV and Seniors Rights Victoria.