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What is 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.

 

About Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA)

EAAA was incorporated in May 2018 and commenced operations on 1 July 2018.

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

Our mission
Be a national voice for action that eliminates elder abuse

Our vision
A society that respects and values older Australians, and is free from elder abuse

Our commitment
We are committed to:

  • Social justice and the rights of older people
  • Respect for difference and inclusion
  • Community collaboration to eliminate elder abuse
  • Accountability and integrity
  • Evidence-based practice and research
  • Innovation and forward-thinking

EAAA structure

Co-Chairs

  • Diedre Timms, CEO, AdvoCare, WA
  • Russell Westacott, CEO, Seniors Rights Service, NSW

Board Members & Foundation Directors

  • Carolanne Barkla, CEO, Aged Rights Advocacy Service, SA
  • Jenny Blakey, Manager, Seniors Rights Victoria, COTA, VIC
  • Cybele Koning, Caxton Legal Centre

Individual Directors

  • Vicki Wood
  • Peter Ricketts

Executive Officer

  • Bev Lange

 

The National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians

On 19 March 2019, Australia’s first national plan to respond to the abuse of older Australians was publicly launched. The National Plan reflects the commitment of the Australian, state and territory governments to respond to the growing problem of the abuse of older Australians.

The development of a National Plan reflected the understanding that Australia’s governments needed to actively plan the best way to respond to an issue that will continue to grow with our ageing population. Where possible, this should be done in a nationally consistent way that is based on evidence.

Priority areas for action 
Developing this first National Plan has been an opportunity for Australian, State and Territory governments to work together to identify how they will:

  1. Enhance our understanding
    a) Conduct a national prevalence study on the abuse of older people
    b) Develop an agreed set of national research priorities
    c) Improve our ability to share learnings from existing programs, in order to better target future program
    d) Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the National Plan through monitoring and review

  2. Improve community awareness and access to information build
    a) Develop a communication strategy that integrates the views of older people, including diverse groups of older people, to increase the understanding and awareness of the abuse of older people in the community
    b) Build a national knowledge hub that consolidates information and resources about the abuse of older people in one online location, including information and resources for diverse groups of older people

  3. Strengthen service responses
    a) Establish and evaluate front-line support services for older people experiencing abuse in a range of locations across the country
    b) States and Territories continue to provide and strengthen front-line responses to emerging needs 

  4. Plan for future decision-making
    a) States and Territories consider developing options for harmonising Enduring Powers of Attorney, particularly in relation to Financial Powers of Attorney, to achieve greater national consistency
    b) Investigate the feasibility of developing a national online register of Enduring Powers of Attorney
    c) Better inform people of their rights and obligations when entering into arrangements that enable others to make decisions on their behalf 

  5. Strengthen safeguards for vulnerable older people
    a) Review State and Territory legislation to identify gaps in safeguarding provisions
    b) Continue to reform the Commonwealth’s regulatory framework for aged care to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers

The National Plan describes why each of these priority areas is important and outlines high level initiatives for governments to pursue.

An Implementation Plan to support the National Plan was released in June 2019 and sets out the specific activities which will be prioritised by governments in line with each of the five priority action areas, commencing from 2019.

The Council of Attorneys-General (which includes Attorney-Generals from the Australian and state and territory governments) is monitoring progress under the National Plan and its associated Implementation Plan.