At first glance you may see wrinkled skin, grey hair or a walking stick but below the surface there is strength, experience, diversity and determination.
These people work hard, they all have unique stories to tell, and they all make huge difference in our community.
Bruce, 80+ lives in Morwell
Born in Foster originally, Bruce moved to Morwell almost 50 years ago to work as an Environmental Health Surveyor for Council. He continued to work across several areas in Gippsland, but eventually ended up back in Morwell, where he became involved in the Morwell Historical Society.
He’s been involved in the restoration of the Masonic Temple and now assists people interested in learning more about their ancestors. He also keenly promotes the history of the region, as it has such a diverse multicultural history.
Del, 83 lives in Morwell
Del was born in Broken Hill, NSW. Her father was in construction which meant moving around as a child. Del grew up in Falls Creek, VIC and came to the Latrobe Valley in 1956 at age 18. Del’s love of travel continued into adulthood with many tripsto Nepal, and she maintains that it’s the best way to learn about other cultures and people.
An avid gardener, Del became secretary of the Rose Society in 1992, and has taken an active part in the administration and maintenance of Morwell’s Centenary Rose Garden ever since. She has also inspired many in the community to become volunteers in the garden.
Ian, 72 lives in Jeeralang Junction
Growing up in Terang, Western Victoria, Ian moved to Melbourne to study, and ended up settling in the Latrobe Valley in the 1970s to work for the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education teaching economics. An avid cricket player, Ian has travelled the country playing cricket with the Gippsland Goannas cricket team, and has represented Australia playing internationally in the national over 70s side against England and New Zealand. To keep himself in good shape, Ian is also involved in the Churchill 5km Parkrun every week.
Aunty Vera Briggs, 66 and lives in Moe
Aunty Vera is a well-respected Gunaikurnai elder in the Latrobe community, and has lived in Moe since 1954. She has worked in the educational space for more than 40 years and in that time she has worked for the Department of Education and Training as a Koorie Engagement Support Officer. Using her position in the Aboriginal community, she’s now involved with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) teaching and educating families who have young children. She has also been a part of the HIPPY program, and has helped shape the program by continuing to give cultural advice and by supporting families to enrol and participate.
Peter, 65 lives in Churchill
After growing up in Yallourn, Peter did his PMG apprenticeship in Melbourne. Upon returning he settled in Churchill and has lived there for more than 40 years, working for Telstra. He got involved in radio through his father at the uni, using the broadcast equipment there on his days off, and now presents the breakfast show on Gippsland FM 104.7. After retiring, he got involved in many community projects such as Neighbourhood Watch and Meals On Wheels with his wife. And started his own audio company providing audio technical support.
Audrey , 74 lives in Yallourn Heights
Audrey came to Australia from England at age 15, the youngest of 5 girls. She moved to Moe in 1965, as her father worked for the SEC. In Melbourne, she gained qualifications in aged care, disability, home and community, lifestyle and leisure and became a grief counsellor at Bethlem Royal Hospital. She returned to the Latrobe Valley 15 years ago and retired. However, she’s busier now than she ever has been, as she works between her husband’s business and continues to work in a social support role for Council. She maintains keeping busy and helping people is what has always kept her going forward.
Maryanne, 50+ live in Traralgon at the Glenwood assisted living
Maryanne was born in the small town of Surat, QLD before moving to the Latrobe Valley some years ago. She’s a great lover of nature and animals, and loves to spend time amongst trees watching birds. She loves the sense of freedom she gets from being out on bushwalks in nature.
Maryanne lives with a disability and in her own words says, “I can’t read, write or spell. Sometimes I’m more like a child, but I am an adult.” She wishes people could experience what life is like for her and how she is sometimes treated. She doesn’t want people like her to be forgotten by society and is a passionate advocate for disability recognition and social change.
Soula, 70 lives in Narracan (Moe South)
A native of the Greek island of Corfu, Soula came to Australia in September 1964, and trained as a nurse as helping people is what she always wanted to do. She took up work in the Central Gippsland Hospital at Traralgon and worked full-time for 25 years, then at Maryvale Private and Moe Community Hospitals until she retired in 2008. Highly active in the local Greek community, she is a member and secretary of the Greek Orthodox community for Gippsland. In 2012, She joined the Regional Advisory Council, to advise the Victorian Multicultural Commission and provide insights into issues such as migrant settlement services, employment, education, housing, citizenship and connection to culture. Among many other achievements she became the first president of the International Women’s Group and has volunteered in many more community groups in Gippsland over the years.
Elder abuse has been defined by the World Health Organisation as 'a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person'.
Elder abuse can take various forms, including: financial, physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, or neglect. No older person should be subjected to any form of abuse
It is estimated that 1 in 10 older people will experience elder abuse. It can be carried out by someone known to the older person, like family members, friend, professional, or paid caregiver.
Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older. At its extreme, ageism contributes to elder abuse.
Elder abuse specific services
Elder Abuse is wrong and there are things that can be done to stop it. Please see a list of services available if you are concerned about yourself or someone else
If someone is in immediate danger call 000.
Senior Rights Victoria: 1300 368 821
Free information, advocacy and legal advice for older people or service providers
Elder Rights Advocacy: 1800 600 700
Free advice and support for older people accessing residential care or a home care package
CALD- In Touch: 1800 755 988
Family violence support service
Aboriginal inclusive service: 1300 946 337, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Gippsland Windemere Victims of Crime (all genders)
For more information on the campaign or the Latrobe Elder Abuse Prevention Network:
The Latrobe City Elder Abuse Prevention Network is one of ten Elder Abuse Prevention Networks funded by the Victorian state Government.