Tuesday, 21 June 2022


Elder abuse

Elder abuse

Mr KENNEDY (Hawthorn) (19:17): (6433) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Prevention of Family Violence. The action I seek is that she join me in my electorate of Hawthorn to see the results of funding granted to the southern Melbourne partnership as part of the elder abuse prevention network. All of us in this chamber are familiar with the Royal Commission into Family Violence and our government’s work to implement all 227 recommendations contained in the final report. Whilst I am proud of the progress made in this area, elder abuse remains an unrecognised form of family violence. As a senior member in this chamber and a resident of a retirement home, I would like to emphasise the insidious threat this abuse poses to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society. The royal commission reported that up to one in 20 older people can experience elder abuse, with around half of that abuse potentially taking the form of financial abuse. Let me repeat that: around one in 20 older Victorians is a victim of elder abuse. This is quite unacceptable.

I have been contacted by older constituents who have been subject to this abuse and exploited due to their advanced years. These cases are truly heartbreaking, as it is often those they trust to protect them that are in fact exploiting them. That is why I am glad to support the elder abuse prevention and response initiative, part of our response to the royal commission. As part of this initiative, 10 elder abuse prevention networks, including the southern Melbourne partnership, have been established.

My electorate of Hawthorn is home to a vibrant community of senior Australians, and I would be glad to see how these networks have affected them. I have recently visited groups like my local Greek seniors group, and I am looking forward to visiting the Italian and Peppercorn groups in coming weeks. Organisations like these are essential, and I personally attend regular seniors groups when my parliamentary duties allow. They are a cornerstone of our community, and I thank them for their work in helping some of our most vulnerable Victorians.

I would also like to thank our aged care workers, who are underappreciated despite the vital work they do caring for our elderly citizens. I look forward to the minister’s visit and to seeing firsthand the work of the elder abuse prevention network.