Learning & events
On demand | Webinar | Developing policy to prevent and respond to ‘elder abuse’ (run in partnership with EMAN)
with Susan Cochrane, Nick Tebbey and Professor Dale Bagshaw
On demand | Online
Developing policy to prevent and respond to ‘elder abuse’ (run in partnership with EMAN)
Work continues in Australia and overseas to understand the prevalence of elder abuse, risk factors and protective factors. A robust understanding will enable governments and communities to develop effective policies and interventions.
Elder abuse takes many different forms and has diverse impacts. Common experiences can include neglect, emotional, verbal, financial and physical abuse.
In 2016, acknowledging demographic, health and social impacts of an ageing Australian population and increasingly complex family structures, Relationships Australia commenced trialling a counselling and Elder Mediation service to support families who needed help negotiating the often complex issues related to ageing.
The insights of our Elder Mediators and other practitioners informed policy development at the Federal and State levels across Australia, demonstrating that Elder Mediation is a much-needed component of any policy response to elder abuse. Abuse of older people often presents through acute needs, and often only after years of conflict and trauma. It arises from complex social and relational dynamics that can be inter-generational. The common denominator across each successful intervention (including Elder Mediation) is durable, relational change ‘below the water line’.
This presentation explores links between policy formation and Elder Mediation services in Australia:
- demonstrating the whole-of-society transformations required to respond effectively to elder abuse, and
- identifying rights-based, client-centred approaches needed to achieve enduring change by dismantling social norms and systems that give rise to abuse of older people.
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About the speakers
Susan F Cochrane BA/LLB(Hons), PhD
Susan Cochrane is the National Policy Manager of Relationships Australia.
Since leaving her role with the Attorney-General, Susan has worked for Relationships Australia as National Policy Manager, where she advocates for policies, programmes and services to support all Australians to create and maintain respectful relationships.
As a public servant and ministerial advisor, and more recently in her capacity at Relationships Australia, Susan is a passionate advocate for the fullest realisation of the rights and interests of older people, and for a national plan to address ageism and prevent, detect and respond holistically to elder abuse and neglect.
Nick Tebbey BAS/LLB(Hons), LLM
In his role as National Executive Officer at Relationships Australia, Nick is proud to be leading a team, and representing a Federation of organisations across the country, that is committed to social justice and inclusion, and promotes respect for the rights of all people, in all their diversity, to live with dignity and safety and to enjoy respectful relationships within their families and their broader communities.
This session was moderated by:
Professor Dale Bagshaw PhD
Dale is a nationally accredited mediator and an internationally Certified Elder Mediator (Advanced) with the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN). In 2013, she initiated and Chairs the Elder Mediation Australasian Network (EMAN), is a Board member of EMIN, a member of EMIN’s Certification Committee and a longstanding Member of the SA Department of Health and Wellbeing, Office for Ageing Well’s ‘Safeguarding the Rights on Older Adults’ Steering Committee. She is a Fellow of the Resolution Institute and has received two national and two international awards for her contributions to mediation and dispute resolution.