About us

ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL VOICE RESPONDING TO AND PREVENTING ELDER ABUSE

Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) is the national voice for action to eliminate elder abuse through systemic advocacy and policy development, best practice and research, and education and capacity building. EAAA is a specialist organisation with knowledge of issues that impact older people and their families, communities and broader society. Our board represents advocacy groups and individuals who are strong advocates on elder abuse in their jurisdictions.

Participants at previous National Elder Abuse conferences, advocated the need for a national and collegiate approach to working on elder abuse and in 2018, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department recognised the need for a national approach.

Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) aims are to:

  • Develop and promote systemic policy reforms regarding elder abuse to national government, non-government institutions and the business community;
  • Raise community awareness and educate the community regarding elder abuse; and
  • Communicate, share and co-ordinate information, resources and practice for national consistency and efficiency.

Mission

A national voice for action that eliminates elder abuse.

Vision

A society that respects and values older Australians and is free from elder abuse.

Statement of Principles

EAAA promotes, recognises and advocates for the agency of older people and their rights to live free from abuse. The actions in our Strategic Plan aim to:

  • Tackle ageism
  • Address discrimination
  • Educate, inform and engage older people on their rights
  • Ensure older people live lives free from abuse
  • Enable the engagement of all older people, especially the most vulnerable, in national discussions and reforms
  • Foster the autonomy of older people
  • Achieve equitable access and outcomes for older people from diverse communities

EAAA’s Commitment (Core Values)

  • Social justice and the rights of older people
  • Respect for difference and inclusion
  • Collaboration with services, older people, their supporters and industry stakeholders
  • Accountability and integrity
  • Evidence based practice and research
  • Innovation and forward-thinking

Position Statement

EAAA believes in the rights of older Australians, and our actions will seek to eliminate elder abuse.  Our campaigns, advocacy and policy development positively impacts the lives of older Australians, their families, communities and broader society.

EAAA will aim to address elder abuse and protect the rights of older Australians by drawing on expertise across our networks within government, community and business sectors. We will consult extensively to ensure we represent the needs of our stakeholder groups.

The activities of the EAAA are to:

  • Promote the health, equality and independence of elderly Australians;
  • Develop and promote systemic policy reforms regarding elder abuse to national government, non-government institutions and the business community;
  • Raise community awareness and educate the community regarding elder abuse;
  • Communicate, share and co-ordinate information, resources and practice for national consistency and efficiency;
  • Build capacity through a community of practice which supports mutual learning and consistent good practice;
  • Collaborate and encourage research to build evidence bases, responses and prevention strategies; and
  • Advocate for the collection of nationally consistent data on elder abuse.

Board members

Foundation members

Diedre Timms, CEO, Advocare – EAAA Co-Chair, Public Officer

Summary

Diedre has over 20 years’ executive level management and community development experience in the not-for-profit sector in rural and metropolitan environments. 

She has managed programs and organisations in the areas of disability, women’s health – establishing the South West Women’s Health and Information Centre in Bunbury and is immediate past chair of the Fremantle Women’s Health Centre board, aboriginal health – working with the Noongar community to establish the South West Aboriginal Medical Centre and a conduct a Commonwealth Coordinated health care trial, aged care and community care – past CEO of Volunteer Task Force and previous Head of Metro Social Care at Silver Chain, and international emergency response – as Indonesian Desk Officer for the Australian Red Cross Tsunami Response team. Diedre is also a director of a boutique software house, Configurable Software Solutions, a non-executive director of Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and co-chair of Elder Abuse Action Australia.

Diedre is a passionate advocate for social justice and is CEO of Advocare, Western Australia’s peak advocacy agency for older people’s rights. She has a Bachelor of Education and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Russell Westacott, CEO, Seniors Rights Service – EAAA Co-Chair

Summary

Russell was a founding member of Elder Abuse Action Australia. He is currently co-chair of the organisation. Russell is also a member of the Advisory Board of the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission.

Russell has 35 years experience of working with vulnerable and marginalised communities. His background spans across HIV prevention and health promotion in both Australia and the USA. Russell has also worked on broader health and wellbeing programs across the wider LGBTIQ+ community.

Over the last ten years Russell was CEO of Seniors Rights Service, completing that tenure in November 2020. During that time Russell was extremely proactive in working with other stakeholders in building a community led response to elder abuse.

During his period at Seniors Rights Service, Russell was very pro-active in the development of the Older Persons Advocacy Network. That network delivers aged care advocacy to recipients of Commonwealth funded aged care services across Australia.

Russell continues to be active in Australia’s national elder abuse prevention responses. He also remains involved as a community representative in the United Nations process towards the development of an international convention of the rights of older people.

Jenny Blakey, Manager, Seniors Rights Victoria – EAAA Board Director

Summary

More than 18 years’ experience managing not for profit community services. Jenny has experience across AOD, community legal centres and outreach services. She is a former Chair of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association. Additionally, Jenny has extensive experience and high-level skills in advocacy, policy, community work and management.

Helen Wallace, Senior Social Worker, Family Domestic Violence and Elder Law Practice, Caxton Legal Centre – EAAA Board Director

Summary

Over 30 years in human services delivery, social policy and planning and community development in large and small, government and non-government entities..

Full time focus on abuse of older people since 2015 with a focus on lawyer-social worker interventions.

Collaborator across sectors for awareness raising of elder abuse and law and policy reform to prevent abuse and improve Australian responses to it.

Carolanne Barkla, CEO Aged Rights Advocacy Service – EAAA Board Director

Summary

20 years’ experience as a registered nurse, lawyer and executive spanning health, aged care, legal, not for profit peak body, policy, sector development and social justice. Experience in providing guidance, expertise, and managing programs with multiple stakeholders utilising best evidence, research, innovation, online platforms, applications and web-based apps providing services, resources, information and education. 

Experience working in rural and metropolitan environments in SA & NSW as well as with CALD, ATSI communities and Veterans. Recognised for academic excellence in Elder Law, Comparative aspects of Malaysian law and legal research on Compulsory Reporting in Aged Care.

Vicki Woods – EAAA Board Director

Summary

Thirty years’ experience as an owner/operator of a multi award-winning hotel in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Expertise in, and a passion for, the hotel, restaurant, wine, tourism, disability support & research industries. Over 28 years board and committee experience in statutory authorities, not-for-profit, local government and industry organisations.

Vicki is passionate about the welfare and care of older people with a disability & mobility issues. She has strong corporate governance skills including risk management gained through board experience and completion of the AICD Company Directors Course.

Vicki has demonstrated and successful fundraising and marketing abilities across various organisations and sectors. She brings excellent strategic and operational skills gained through business, board and committee experience.

Vicki high profile with networking skills across the hotel, restaurant & wine industry.

Sue Leitch – CEO COTA Tasmania, EAAA Board Director

Sue Leitch has been the CEO of COTA Tasmania since 2012. Sue is a pharmacist with a health policy background with extensive experience in health and ageing policy.  She has a Masters of Ageing from University of Melbourne. She has senior management experience in a number of organisations including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. She has served on a number of Boards over her career, contributing to policy, and participating in projects and programs which benefited the community. She was past Chair of major disability provider in Li-Ve Tasmania. She is a member of the Community Council of Primary Health Network Tasmania and is a board member of EAAA (Elder Abuse Action Australia). She is also a mosaic artist and is the Tasmanian representative and Secretary of the Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand. Sue is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Her special areas of interest are ageism and its mental health impacts, health literacy, arts and wellbeing, and the role that age friendly communities and inclusion can play to benefit the health and wellbeing of older people. She is currently studying a Diploma in Fine Arts.

Clinton Bright – General Manager Commercial and Risk, Royal Flying Doctor Service, EAAA Board Director

Summary

Clinton’s career commenced with one of the big 4 accounting firms affording him the opportunity to build a unique skillset across various functions including finance, procurement, IT, risk and governance, payroll, administration, supply and distribution, property, project management and patient transfer operations.   

He’s been fortunate to lead and motivate teams across this diverse portfolio. He’s also been privileged to mentor several trainee accountants who have gone on to complete their accreditation and enjoy successful careers. Clinton’s strong set of values, commitment to people and broad set of technical skills honed working across varied functions and sectors have been key contributors to the team successes he has enjoyed during his career.  

As an experienced executive, Clinton has developed the skills required to both create and deliver on organisational strategies. He has a successful record of developing and maintaining professional relationships across a range of stakeholders, both internal (e.g. Boards, Audit Committees and National Offices and Committees) and external (e.g. ACNC, Department of Health, ATO).      

Staff

Bev Lange, Executive Officer

Summary

A highly experienced consultant, senior executive and company director, Bev is a recognised leader, coach, influencer, and innovator. 

Her success as a senior executive and leader in government and community organisations, and private companies attest to her pedigree and commitment to community service and excellence.

As a consultant, Bev has assisted organisations with workplace productivity coaching; communication planning; governance; strategic development and general management.

Bev now splits her working life as a business coach and since July 2018 as the Executive Officer with Elder Abuse Action Australia.

Katy Roy, Project Manager

Summary

Katy brings twenty years’ experience working across the health and community sector from direct engagement with health consumers to more recent leadership roles with national peak body organisations focused on policy, advocacy and program delivery.

She has experience working in clinical workforce settings as well as patient and consumer focused organisations managing programs that improve clinical care and an individual’s health and health literacy.  

Katy has in depth experience implementing organisational change and supporting teams in the adoption of new processes and technology to improve efficiency and more sophisticated reporting with benefits for regulatory and other governance requirements.

Brigitte Jonas, Business Support

Brigitte is a freelance festival and event producer based in Sydney. With over ten years of industry experience, Brigitte has been involved in the planning and the delivery of some of Australia’s largest and most well know events.

Projects include national celebrations, music, car, and cultural festivals as well as event presentation services for major sporting events across Australia and abroad.

Through Brigitte’s events experience, she brings skills including project management, planning, IT systems, business administration, sponsor activation and budgeting.


Constitution

About Compass

Compass is a national website navigating elder abuse in Australia. Compass aims to create a national focus on elder abuse by raising awareness of this growing social issue, and simplify the process of connecting people to services and information tackling elder abuse.

Compass has been created by Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA), with funding from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.

Why Compass was created
Priority Area 2 of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians 2019-2023 outlines the Australian Government’s commitment to build a national elder abuse knowledge hub to consolidate a diverse range of information and resources about the abuse of older people, for the benefit of the community.