Elder Abuse Helpline
1800 ELDERHelp
(1800 353 374)
Elder Abuse Action Australia

Our Team

EAAA exists to make real and meaningful change. We do this primarily through advocacy, publicity and practical guidance.
Our Team
EAAA exists to make real and meaningful change. We do this primarily through advocacy, publicity and practical guidance.
Phillipa McDonald

Jenny Blakey


With more than 18 years’ experience managing not-for-profit community services, Jenny is a foundation board member of EAAA and a part time consultant. She played a key role in the formation of EAAA and achieving federal government support for the national body.

Jenny was the manager of Seniors Rights Victoria for ten years until December 2020. Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.

Previously, Jenny held management roles in community services in the alcohol and other drug sector, as manager of Outreach Services at Windana and manager of Mary of the Cross, part of CatholicCare. Prior to this, Jenny worked in community legal centres for 15 years, including three years as a manager at Fitzroy Legal Service and several years as a manager at the Welfare Rights Unit (now Social Security Rights Victoria).

Jenny has held various board and management committee roles, including three years as the chair of the Fitzroy Legal Service board and two years as the chair of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (VAADA) board.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Graduate Diploma of Business (Management).


Sue Leitch

Sue Leitch


A pharmacist with a health policy background and extensive experience in health and ageing policy, Sue was the CEO of COTA Tasmania from 2012-2022. She has a Masters of Ageing from University of Melbourne.

Sue has senior management experience in a number of organisations including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and has served on several boards across her career, contributing to policy and participating in projects and programs that benefit the community.

She is the past chair of major disability provider Li-Ve Tasmania and is a member of the Community Council of Primary Health Network Tasmania.

Sue is a mosaic artist and is currently studying a Diploma in Fine Arts with a focus on painting and printmaking. She 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.


Phillipa McDonald

Russell Westacott

Russell was a founding member of EAAA and is a co-chair of the organisation. He is a member of the advisory board of the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission.

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

In 2020, Russell completed a ten-year tenure as CEO of Seniors Rights Service where he worked proactively with stakeholders to build a community-led response to elder abuse.

During this period, Russell contributed to the development of the Older Persons Advocacy Network, which 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 remains involved as a community representative in the United Nations process towards the development of an international convention for the rights of older people.


Phillipa McDonald

Carolanne Barkla

Carolanne has more than 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. Her experience includes guidance, expertise and program management with multiple stakeholders using best evidence, research, innovation, online platforms, applications and web-based apps providing services, resources, information and education.

Carolanne has worked in rural and metropolitan environments in SA and NSW as well as with CALD, ATSI communities and veterans. She is recognised for academic excellence in elder law, comparative aspects of Malaysian law and legal research on compulsory reporting in aged care.


Phillipa McDonald

Helen Wallace

Helen has 40 years’ experience working in human services delivery, social policy and planning, and community development in large and small government and non-government entities.

Her current role (since 2015) includes direct service delivery to older Australians experiencing abuse using a lawyer–social worker model where human rights, protection and autonomy are key considerations.

Helen is a collaborator across sectors for raising awareness of elder abuse and law and policy reform to prevent abuse and improve Australian responses to it.



Phillipa McDonald

Vicki Woods

With more than 30 years’ experience as an owner/operator of a multi award-winning hotel in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Vicki has expertise in, and a passion for, the hotel, restaurant, wine, tourism, disability support and research industries.

She has more than 30 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, particularly those with disability and mobility issues. She has strong corporate governance skills, including risk management, strategic and operational skills including financial 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 has a track record of successfully lobbying Federal, State & Local Government.  Vicki sits on several boards, holds roles as an Ambassador & Peer Support worker & has been a Director of EAAA since 2019.


Phillipa McDonald

Bev Lange

Executive Officer

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 roles, community organisations and private companies demonstrates her 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 splits her working life as a business coach and executive officer with EAAA.


Katy Roy image

Katy Roy

Operations and Programs Manager

Katy brings twenty years’ experience working across the health and community sectors, 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.


Phillipa McDonald

Brigitte Jonas

Brigitte is a freelance festival and event producer based in Sydney. With more than ten years’ industry experience, Brigitte has been involved in the planning and delivery of some of Australia’s largest and best-known events.

Her 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 in project management, planning, IT systems, business administration, sponsor activation and budgeting.