Seniors safety a hot topic at Speak Up Now

A LIVELY Q&A session was a highlight of the Seniors’ Forum Speak Up Now, Maleny & Blackall Range Domestic and Family Violence group, held recently in the RSL Hall in Maleny.

The audience of more than thirty were keen to share their own stories and ask questions on their concerns, especially about the challenges of preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA). The Q&A session followed a video, Piano Forte, prepared by the Sunshine Coast Legal service, showcasing EPOs and incidents of coercive control on an elder person by their family.

The Speak Up Now committee was pleased with the response that reflected the need for a booklet they are currently preparing as a guide for seniors’ safety. This follows a popular handbook the committee produced recently on teenagers and young people starting or travelling on their dating journey.

Julian Porter, Managing Solicitor of the Sunshine Coast Legal service pointed out people can get free legal advice around elder law issues. He said the legal service provided  advice on a wide range of other issues, including domestic violence, family law, tenancy law and neighbourhood disputes. “People can call us to make an appointment on (07) 53767800, or online at,”  he said.

Also on the panel answering audience concerns were Senior Constable David Shoots of the Police Vulnerable Persons Unit, and Kirsty of Kirsty Mackie Solicitors.

Other speakers at the forum included Ben O’Rourke from Relationships Australia Queensland, a group funded by the Queensland Government that gives free advice including dealing with family disputes,  a subject also highlighted in the video Piano Forte.

   “If you are experiencing, or you think  you are at risk of, elder financial abuse, we can help you. We can give you a financial health check and help you ensure your income and assets are protected. Our service is free to Queenslanders aged 60 plus, or 50 plus for First Nations people, and they can get more information at or by phoning 1300 063 232,” said Ben O’Rourke.

Centacare Sunshine Coast can be accessed on (07) 54309300 or on