Abuse of older people appears to be on the rise in Australia. It is currently estimated that between 2% and
14% of older Australians experience abuse in any given year, with the prevalence of neglect possibly higher
(Australian Government – Australian Institute of Family Studies [AIFS]).
In response to this concerning trend, a number of community and government organisations have come
together to establish network s in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven to work collaboratively to address the issue.
In the Illawarra, the Prevention of Older Person Abuse (POPA) n etwork comprises of representatives from an
extensive number of government and non -government organisations, including Local Government, Health.
Police and Aged Care providers. The network is supported by Community Industry Group.
In the Shoalhaven, the Shoalhaven Elder Abu se Prevention and Awareness Network (SEAPAN) attracts a
SEAPAN and POPA have come together to showcase the issue though Expo s to be held in the Shoalhaven
and in Shellharbour. Community Industry Group CEO Nicky Sloan said, “The aim of the Expo is to explore the
iss ues associated with elder abuse. Attendees will learn to recognise the signs of abuse of older people, and
most importantly how to respond effectively.”
“We are very excited to present the issue in the form of a H ypothetical, ” added Christine Racar, Policy and
Project Officer for Community Industry Group. ” The hypothetical will feature a panel of specialists and
service providers who will explore a case study to demonstrate the role of various organisations in
rec ognising and responding to older people who are victims of abuse. ”
“Abuse takes many forms,” Nicky Sloan said. “Research shows that f inancial abuse is the most common form
of abuse experienced by older people. But incidence of physical abuse and psychological abuse are also
concerning. As family members are often involved, much of this goes unreported either due to fear or
“Sadly, t he problem remains largely hidden,” said Christine Racar. “We hope that these Expos and
Hypotheticals will help inform the carers and workers who support older people, particularly those in their
own homes, and give them avenues to seek support.”
Managers and staff from Aged Care organisations are strongly encouraged to attend these free events.
Date: Wednesday 16 October
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Venue: Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, 42 Bridge Rd, Nowra
Date: Thursday 17 October
Time: 10am – 1pm
Venue: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Ave, Shellharbour City Centre
About the Community Industry Group
Community Industry (formerly known as Illawarra Forum) is the peak body working for community services
and organisations in the South East of NSW. It supports community organisations, promotes expertise and
innovation in community development, fosters industry development a nd provides advocacy for social
justice. Community Industry Group is an independent organisation governed by a committee of
management elected annually by the membership.
Community Industry Group represents the non -government community services industry in the South East
of NSW, which consists of a pproximately 300 organisations, and works closely with numerous organisations
which provide support to vulnerable people across the region.