New Ambassador for Elder Abuse Announced.
On Friday December 2nd, Fiona Richardson, the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, re-announced the Victorian Government’s $1m investment in initiatives to prevent elder abuse and announced that Gerard Mansour’s role will include being Victoria’s ambassador for the prevention of elder abuse. Gerard Mansour is currently the Victorian Commissioner for Seniors.
The funding will support programs to raise awareness so older people, their carers and family members are aware of the rights of senior Victorians and how to seek help. It will also support programs to prevent perpetrators from committing family violence against older Victorians and encourage bystanders to speak out.
Ms. Richardson said, “Elder abuse is a form of family violence that must be addressed as a priority to ensure older individuals are kept safe.”
The announcements were part of a morning tea held at the McCrae Yacht Club for local community representatives and seniors of the Mornington Shire as part of the Victoria Against Violence 16 days of Activism Campaign. In collaboration with Seniors Rights Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula Shire, through the Peninsula Advisory Committee of Elders (PACE), has a significant history in raising awareness of elder abuse amongst seniors. Around 30% of the Mornington Peninsula area population is over 60 years of age.
The Victorian Commissioner for Seniors, Gerard Mansour, in accepting the role of Ambassador said, “One of my priorities as Ambassador will be to work on the prevention of elder abuse, and the best way to do that is to get the issue out in the open, rather than something that is locked up in families.”
Jenny Blakey, the Manager of Seniors Rights Victoria, thanked the Government for the funding and congratulated Gerard Mansour. Ms. Blakey said, “the State Government’s 10 year plan for Change – Ending Family Violence, is an inspirational plan. The government ought to be acknowledged for its strong commitment to tackle family violence including elder abuse, particularly the priority to prevention.”
Ms. Blakey also recognised and paid tribute to Jeanette Lane, the Chair of the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Advisory Committee for Elders, “As a significant contributor to local community life, Jeanette demonstrates qualities of being a healthy older person. Her enthusiasm and example inspires all generations to reject ageist stereotypes, which encourages her peers to adopt successful strategies for healthy living.” Jeanette currently sits on the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council representing Seniors Rights Victoria and provides a special perspective on the elder abuse perspectives of family violence. Jeanette was awarded the COTA “Senior Achiever Award” at the 2014 “Victorian Senior of the Year Awards”.