About Compass

What is Compass?

Compass is a national website navigating elder abuse in Australia. Compass aims to create a national focus on elder abuse by raising awareness of this growing social issue, and simplify the process of connecting people to services and information tackling elder abuse.

Compass has been created by Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA), with funding from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.

Why Compass was created
Priority Area 2 of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians 2019-2023 outlines the Australian Government’s commitment to build a national elder abuse knowledge hub to consolidate a diverse range of information and resources about the abuse of older people, for the benefit of the community.

About Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA)

EAAA is a specialist organisation acting to eliminate elder abuse. Our work positively impacts the lives of older Australians, their families, communities and broader society.

What we do

Elder Abuse Action Australia—EAAA—was established to confront the often hidden problem of discrimination, neglect and mistreatment of older Australians.

As the national voice for action, EAAA campaigns for a society that respects and values older Australians and is free from elder abuse.

We use the tools of advocacy, policy development, research and capacity building to raise community awareness of elder abuse and improve the lives of older people.

Why we do it

Older people are among the most vulnerable of all Australians. As people age, they rely on family, friends and carers for additional support. But, for many, the experience of ageing is soured by discrimination, ageism, exclusion and abuse.

The fact is, older people have the same rights as everyone else. They have the right to be treated fairly, feel safe in their home and live with dignity and self-determination.

The abuse of older Australians affects individuals and society as a whole. It can limit the participation of the elderly in their communities and deny those communities the benefits of having older people fully contribute.

EAAA exists to give voice to the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

"EAAA is committed to producing powerful and lasting change through mechanisms for advocacy and support"


EAAA Board of Directors: 

Jenny Blakey – Co-Chair 
Russell Westacott – Co-Chair 
Carolanne Barkla 
Helen Wallace 
Vicki Wood 
Sue Leitch 
Clinton Bright 

EAAA Staff:

Bev Lange – Executive Officer
Katy Roy – Operations and Programs Manager
Brigitte Jonas – Events Manager

Compass Team:

Brett Osmond ­– Editor
Jamie Carroll – Content Producer

The National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians

On 19 March 2019, Australia’s first national plan to respond to the abuse of older Australians was publicly launched. The National Plan reflects the commitment of the Australian, state and territory governments to respond to the growing problem of the abuse of older Australians.

The development of a National Plan reflected the understanding that Australia’s governments needed to actively plan the best way to respond to an issue that will continue to grow with our ageing population. Where possible, this should be done in a nationally consistent way that is based on evidence.

Priority areas for action
Developing this first National Plan has been an opportunity for Australian, State and Territory governments to work together to identify how they will:

1. Enhance our understanding
a) Conduct a national prevalence study on the abuse of older people
b) Develop an agreed set of national research priorities
c) Improve our ability to share learnings from existing programs, in order to better target future program
d) Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the National Plan through monitoring and review

2. Improve community awareness and access to information build
a) Develop a communication strategy that integrates the views of older people, including diverse groups of older people, to increase the understanding and awareness of the abuse of older people in the community
b) Build a national knowledge hub that consolidates information and resources about the abuse of older people in one online location, including information and resources for diverse groups of older people

3. Strengthen service responses
a) Establish and evaluate front-line support services for older people experiencing abuse in a range of locations across the country
b) States and Territories continue to provide and strengthen front-line responses to emerging needs

4. Plan for future decision-making
a) States and Territories consider developing options for harmonising Enduring Powers of Attorney, particularly in relation to Financial Powers of Attorney, to achieve greater national consistency
b) Investigate the feasibility of developing a national online register of Enduring Powers of Attorney
c) Better inform people of their rights and obligations when entering into arrangements that enable others to make decisions on their behalf

5. Strengthen safeguards for vulnerable older people
a) Review State and Territory legislation to identify gaps in safeguarding provisions
b) Continue to reform the Commonwealth’s regulatory framework for aged care to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers

The National Plan describes why each of these priority areas is important and outlines high level initiatives for governments to pursue.

An Implementation Plan to support the National Plan was released in June 2019 and sets out the specific activities which will be prioritised by governments in line with each of the five priority action areas, commencing from 2019.

The Council of Attorneys-General (which includes Attorney-Generals from the Australian and state and territory governments) is monitoring progress under the National Plan and its associated Implementation Plan.

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