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About this event

WEAAD 2022 Logo

ARAS has held an annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) conference for the past 16 years, and this year, similar to the past two years, will be hosting the conference online, with 'Building Resilience' as the theme.

The forum was held on Friday, 17 June 2022, from 10am-1pm (ACST) and was opened by the Honourable Chris Picton MP, Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

According to the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study 2021, one in every six people over the age of 65 experienced abuse during a 12-month period, whether it be psychological, neglect, financial or physical, with only a third of the victims seeking help from a third party. Elder abuse is more likely to be perpetrated by a person who the older person trusts.

COVID-19 continues to create significant uncertainty in Australia, especially amongst older people. Staff shortages due to increased community transmission of COVID-19 have left many older Australians waiting for long periods for aged care services or with their aged care services being impacted significantly.

As we all continue to live through COVID-19 and the transition into the new 'COVID normal' era, we need to come together to support each other and build resilience to strengthen our service responses, continue to build community awareness to create the momentum for change and strengthen safeguards for vulnerable older people.

We can all do our part to improve the overall wellbeing of older Australians. The support of family, friends and community services can assist older people in retaining control of their lives, enhancing their wellbeing and helping them to maintain their independence at home. Together we can work together to ensure older people are aware of the supports available, and how to access them and

  • build resilience to support older Australians experiencing abuse
  • build resilience in safeguarding older Australians from abuse
  • build resilience in providing a supportive environment, so older Australians have longer, healthier and more productive lives, free from abuse.

This year our speakers were:

  • Carolanne Barkla, Chief Executive, ARAS
  • Laura Mosqueda MD, Director, National Center on Elder Abuse, California, USA
  • Professor Susan Kurrle, Geriatrician at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in northern Sydney and at Batemans Bay Hospital in southern NSW
  • Duncan McKellar, Head of Unit, Older Persons' Mental Health Service, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Natasha Short, Managing Director, Kimberley Birds
  • Dr Rachel Carson, Executive Manager and Senior Research Fellow, Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse, Australian Institute of Family Studies
  • Er-Kai Wang, Solicitor, Older Persons ACT Legal Service (OPALS)

See it. Stop it. Prevent it. There's no excuse for abuse