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Working Together to Tackle Elder Abuse

An Interdisciplinary Approach

This page has an article, webinar and resources by the Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW team.

An Interdisciplinary Approach

This page has an article, webinar and resources by the Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW team.

Working Together to Tackle Elder Abuse by the Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW

The Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW team uses an interdisciplinary approach which allows for the complexities in elder abuse to be supported and for the client to be at the centre of decision making. Elder abuse is a human rights issue and any intervention needs to balance the tension between promoting a life free from abuse but also acknowledging the older person’s right to self-determination. Read more.


Watch the Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW team discuss how their interdisciplinary approach has enabled them to better understand, prevent and respond to elder abuse. The team consists of Mary Lovelock, Senior Solicitor, Tanya Chapman, Solicitor and Lynn McLennan, Social Worker.

In the Compass webinar they provide an example of how their interdisciplinary team works together to provide the best solution for the client. An interdisciplinary team is defined as a group of professionals from diverse fields who work in a coordinated fashion towards a common goal for the client.

About the participants:

Mary Lovelock

Mary Lovelock is the senior solicitor for the Elder Abuse Service. Mary has worked in a number of senior positions in Legal Aid NSW for 13 years including 8 years working as the solicitor in charge of civil law services in south west Sydney. Prior to working in law Mary was a registered nurse. Since working with Legal Aid NSW Mary has always been interested in the intersection between health and law, having been involved in a number of Health Justice Partnerships.

Tanya Chapman

Tanya Chapman is a solicitor in the Elder Abuse Service. She brings to the team four years’ experience specialising in elder law, retirement villages, and wills and estates. Before that, Tanya was the senior content developer for the College of Law Masters programs for several years. Tanya has a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law with Honours, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Masters of Law.

Lynn McLennan

Lynn McLennan is a social worker with the Elder Abuse Service at Legal Aid NSW. She comes to the team with over 15 years of experience in social work, the majority of which has been in NSW health. Within NSW health Lynn has worked in both general and mental health, including eight years in a rural hospital in which she learnt ways to provide more creative interventions to clients. Lynn has experience in developing pathways within services to improve a client’s journey, via processes which include collaborative multidisciplinary approaches, best practice interventions and collaborative goal planning.

Speak Up Campaign

The Speak Up-Campaign is a community campaign aimed at raising awareness of elder abuse. The campaign is being run across the Central Coast of New South Wales. Click here to read more about this campaign and to see the campaign creative.

A Compass Guide

Working Together to Tackle Elder Abuse: A Compass Guide includes an original article, the details about a webinar and resources that have been produced by the Elder Abuse Services team, Legal Aid NSW. 


The following featured resources have been produced by the Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW team to raise awareness of, prevent and respond to elder abuse. For more information and resources about elder abuse, visit Compass' Resources page.

Hard Conversations
Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW has produced a series of episodes for the ‘Law for Community Workers on the go’ podcast. The series is called ‘Hard Conversations’ – it explores elder abuse in all its complexity. You will hear from lots of different people about their understanding of elder abuse, the ways they think about it in their communities and how we can start to address it together.

Age, Abuse and Justice
Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW are producing short videos where they summarise elder abuse cases in order to demonstrate what elder abuse can look like and how the law deals with it. Trying to make the law around elder abuse easier to understand and more interesting.

Elder Abuse Training Package: If You See Something, Say Something
Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW have a video training package which comes in 5 parts:  

Episode 1: What is elder abuse and the types of elder abuse

Episode 2: What are the signs of elder abuse and why don’t older people report abuse?

Episode 3: Brainstorming 3 case studies

Episode 4: Having conversations about abuse

Episode 5: Information, resources and where to go for help

They wanted to make the training materials accessible so that they can be given to any new staff or volunteers.

Elder Abuse E-Newsletter
Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW have a monthly e-newsletter which focuses on a different aspect of elder abuse in each issue. Each newsletter has a different theme and is filled with links to vulnerable resources, information about available services and interesting information.
Click here to subscribe

One Year of Service, A Snapshot
Although, we have only been in our first year of operation, we have gathered some interesting statistics. Click here to read.


To find other Organisations across Australia that also work to tackle elder abuse visit Compass’ Support Directory.