Committee fights for elder rights

elder abuse

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It’s a day to shine a spotlight on the different forms of abuse experienced by older persons and listen to the voices of some of our most at-risk citizens.

Elder abuse is an issue at the front and centre of the Queensland Law Society Elder Law Committee’s work. QLS supports a whole-of-government strategy to respond to elder abuse, focussing on prevention, education, training, collaborative frameworks, elder abuse interventions, responses and redress across a range of stakeholders.

The committee’s recent advocacy in relation to elder abuse includes:

  • Appealing for more funding of services to support older people experiencing abuse, including more legal services;
  • Highlighting the potential for financial abuse to occur when an attorney acts under an enduring power of attorney, and advocating for an extensive and effective training and educational campaign aimed at the financial services sector about legal capacity and the use of enduring powers of attorney;
  • Advocating for the rights of older people subject to guardianship and administration orders in QCAT;
  • Calling for a reduction in the use of restrictive practices in aged care.

Committee Chair Rebecca Anderson and committee members Bill Mitchell and Nicky Mitchell will be sharing their many years of experience representing older people at the QLS Elder Law Breakfast and Workshop on Friday, 14 June.

Nicky Mitchell

They will be joined by Dr Anne Louise McCawley to discuss key controversies and hot topics in the context of elder abuse, followed by a workshop on how to apply best-practice principles when working with older people.

Dr Ann-Louise McCawley

To commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, QLS will hold a breakfast with guest speaker, Robert Fitzgerald AM from the Australian Human Rights Commission.


Robert Fitzgerald

The newly appointed Age Discrimination Commissioner will reflect on current issues, his recent visit to the United Nations Headquarters in New York and his visions for the role. Find out more and register here.

Interested in joining the committee?

In addition to elder abuse issues, the committee advocates for the rights and responsibilities of older persons in relation to:

  • human rights
  • legal capacity, enduring powers of attorney, guardianship and administration
  • housing in retirement, including the regulation of retirement villages, manufactured homes and aged care
  • health care, including advanced health directives and restrictive practices
  • the National Disability Insurance Scheme 
  • combating ageism
  • superannuation
  • voluntary assisted dying.

The committee is a collegiate and welcoming group of experienced elder law practitioners from all areas of the profession, including private practice, the community sector and academia. It holds virtual meetings five times per year and works on key advocacy issues as they arise throughout the year.

QLS welcomes applications to join the committee from members with experience working in elder law. If you would like to join the committee, send a brief email outlining your expression of interest and a copy of your CV or professional profile setting out your skills and expertise in elder law to Regional and remote practitioners are encouraged to apply.


Further information about QLS Policy Committees can be found here.

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