Watch the webinar, access key information, resources and service providers that specifically cater for the older LGBTQIA+ community.
LGBTQ Abuse – An often unacknowledged form of elder abuse
By Claire Allen
National Program Manager, Pride in Health + Wellbeing
ACON Pride Inclusion Programs
Around 40 per cent of people living in Australian aged care facilities experience emotional or physical abuse and/or neglect. (Note that other forms of abuse such as financial abuse, social abuse and sexual abuse are not included in this statistic, which means the overall rate of abuse is higher than 40 per cent.) However, there is very little reporting on elder abuse specifically related to the abuse of sexuality diverse or gender diverse people, also known by the acronym LGBTQ, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Read more.
Julie McCrossin AM is joined by Joe Ball, Jude Munro AO and Paul van Reyk, with contributions by Aunty Vanessa in this insightful conversation about the issues, concerns and opportunities that directly affect the older LGBTQIA+ community. (See bios below).
About the participants:
Jude Munro AO was formerly CEO of Brisbane City Council from 2000 to 2010. This included managing a $2.6bn budget, tunnels and bridges, and more than 10,000 employees. Jude is an experienced Non-Executive Director and board chair. As a Co-Founder of Gay Liberation in Melbourne in 1972 as a 21-year-old, she then went on to more activism including publishing the Young, Gay and Proud publication. Jude participated in the 1978 Mardi Gras march.
Paul van Reyk is happy to admit to being 68 years old, a father to six children, a grandad to one child, shares his house and dogs with a straight female friend and has never used Grindr. He has been an LGBTIQ activist since 1980. Paul is also on the Inclusivity Working Group of the Seniors' Rights Centre.
Joe Ball is the ever passionate and committed CEO of Switchboard Victoria. Switchboard Victoria is a leading LGBTIQA+ community organisation based in Melbourne that provides peer-driven support services to LGBTIQA+ people, their families and their communities. Joe believes in grass roots solutions to systemic issues and draws upon LGBTIQA+ history and the wisdom of LGBTIQA+ elders to guide their work. Joe spent their youth and teenage years volunteering as an Australian Surf Lifesaver, these days they incorporate a range of sporting activities into their life for both health and happiness. Joe identifies as trans non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them.
A Noongar Sistergirl of the Kaneang people in Western Australia’s south west, Aunty Vanessa has been a LGBTIQ+ activist for more than 20 years. Aunty Vanessa has served as Chair for the Indigenous Committee and the Gay Men and Sistergirls Steering Committee for AFAO, helped set up the National LGBTI Health Alliance, Elder Representative for TEKWABI GIZ (Mindout’s Indigenous Advisory Committee for the National LGBTI Health Alliance), on the board of Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Medical Service, and working with Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) and Gay and Lesbian Equality (GALE) in the 80s & 90s.
Julie McCrossin AM gets people talking. After over 20 years as a broadcaster with ABC Radio National, ABC TV and Network Ten, she is now a freelance journalist and broadcaster. Julie also facilitates conferences and seminars. Julie has qualifications in the arts, education and law. After treatment for stage four throat cancer in 2013, Julie is now an Ambassador for Head & Neck Cancer Australia (formerly BeyondFive), Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research. Julie hosts the podcast series, The Thing About Cancer and The Thing About Advanced Cancer for Cancer Council NSW. Julie also hosts the new podcast series produced for patients and family members by Head & Neck Cancer Australia. In 2019, Julie was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community, particularly through LGBTIQ advocacy roles and to the broadcast media.
There is a wide variety of organisations that are dedicated to understanding, preventing and responding to abuse of older LGBTQIA+ people that can be found on the Support Directory page on Compass. Simply select 'LGBTQIA+' in the 'Addressing in Particular…' field and click 'Find Services'.
On the Support Directory page you can also find other helpful organisations right across Australia that work to end elder abuse.
Compass has collated the latest Resources that have been created to raise awareness of, prevent and respond to the abuse of older LGBTQIA+ people. These Resources can be found on the Resources section of Compass under LGBTQIA+.
You will also find a raft of other resources about elder abuse in the Compass Resources page.
 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Research Paper 17 – Experimental Estimates of the Prevalence of Elder Abuse in Australian Aged Care Facilities, 2020.