The abuse of older Australians and how to prevent it will be the main focus of the 7th National Elder Abuse Conference this week of which Age Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Kay Patterson AO is the Walk the Talk Ambassador.
Older Australians are spending longer in the workforce than ever before, but all too often their contribution is overlooked. Today, as we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, the Australian Human Rights Commission is calling on all Australians to recognise the incredible benefits older people offer our society, culture, the economy and so much more.
Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner is visiting the Northern Territory to explore the growing challenges of elder abuse and the increase in the number of older women at risk of homelessness.
Dr Kay Patterson AO is meeting with older Territorians, advocates and service providers in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.
Both the study of gerontology and issues of ageing have shaped where I am today and my current role as Age Discrimination Commissioner.
Background – gerontology and ageing advocacy
The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO delivered the keynote address at the launch of the Respecting Elders: Support and Conflict Resolution Services. The new service will be delivered by FMC Mediation and Counselling in partnership with Seniors Rights Victoria and Eastern Community Legal Centre (ECLC), with a grant by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation's.
The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO delivered the keynote address at The Australian Industry Group's 2017 PIR (Policy Influence Reform) Conference on 2 May 2017 in Canberra.
The PIR Conference is a leading forum for senior industry people to meet and discuss important contemporary workplace relations and human resources issues. 120-150 senior workplace relations and human resources practitioners from large and significant Ai Group member companies were in attendance.
Speech given at the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) Inclusion and Diversity Conference 2017.
AHRI is the national association representing human resource and people management.
Commissioner Patterson AO addressed the issue of age discrimination in the workplace and the role of employers, HR and government in her speech to an audience of 200-250 inclusion and diversity practitioners, HR professionals and senior business leaders.
“The ageing revolution is not over”
Check against delivery
Last time I spoke here I called my address “the longevity revolution”, and asked, “crisis or opportunity?”.
I intended that question as a challenge but it seems my challenge has not been met. We are as a community, still floundering on the crisis side of the binary. Our approach is still steeped in the language of “burden” and “deficits”. We are still failing to realise the opportunities that longevity can create for us.
I would like to start by acknowledging and paying my respects to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, and their elders past and present.
I congratulate the Attorney General, the Hon George Brandis QC on his opening remarks and I hope we all accept the challenges he has set us to find effective ways of tackling the widespread and damaging incidence of elder abuse throughout the Australian community.