For more than 30 years, Elder Rights Advocacy has helped older people, their families and representatives in Victoria with issues related to aged care services. Our service is free, confidential, and independent of aged care providers and the government.
Older people have a right to be respected, to express their opinions, and to be heard.
We listen to you and advocate for safe, quality care that meets your needs.
Elder Rights Advocacy promotes the human rights of all older people, and works with, and for, older people and their representatives, educating the community, advocating for, empowering and supporting older people to achieve the support they want.
A diverse, vibrant, multicultural community, where older people are respected, heard and well-informed, and can exercise their rights and responsibilities with confidence.
We reflect the following values in all our work with older people:
We are founding members of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN). OPAN comprises nine state and territory organisations that provide free, nationally consistent advocacy, information and education services to older people across Australia.
OPAN is funded to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program, an Australian Government initiative.
|Australian Capital Territory
|ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS)
|Central Australia NT
|Aged Care Advocacy Service, CatholicCare
|New South Wales
|Seniors Rights Service
|Seniors and Disability Rights Service of Darwin Community Legal Service
|Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia
|Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS)
|Elder Rights Advocacy
Elder Rights Advocacy was established in 1990 as Residential Care Rights. In 2006, our name was changed to Elder Rights Advocacy, reflecting the fact that our work covers both home-based and residential aged care.
Inaugural members of our Board included the legendary activist Edith Morgan, Margaret O’Callaghan and George Rozensteins. Over the years, our strength as an organisation has come from the involvement of people like Edith, Margaret and George and many other talented and committed Board members and staff. Of particular note are Mary Lyttle Honorary OAM, our long-term CEO, who retired in 2017 after 28 years in the role, and our current CEO, Debra Nicholl, who has been with us since 2006.
In 2017, we became a founding member of the national Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), created to deliver the Australian Government’s National Aged Care Advocacy Program. We’re proud to be a member of OPAN, delivering the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) in Victoria alongside our partners in other states and territories.
The funding of advocacy services across Australia, for residents of Commonwealth funded aged care homes was undertaken by the Australian government through the Residential Aged Advocacy Services (RACASP) Program. The RACASP formed part of the fifth stage of an eight-stage reform strategy, commencing in 1986 and concluding in 1996.
Elder Rights Advocacy began in 1990, with the service name of Residential Care Rights (RCR). RCR was initially auspiced by the Older Persons’ Action Centre (OPAC), until 2002, working from Ross House in Flinders Lane, with many
other community and advocacy groups.
Share Project – State government nursing homes
Auspiced a report on RCR Regional Residents’ Councils
Mary Lyttle chaired Lessons Learned from Accreditation Working Group
RCR became incorporated in its’ own right, and moved to independent premises, while retaining some inaugural Committee members from OPAC.
The RACASP program also became the National Aged Care Advocacy program (NACAP) to reflect advocacy support being provided to consumers of both residential and community care.
RCR adopted the trading name of Elder Rights Advocacy, to reflect increased expansion of home care services by the Commonwealth government.
Participated in the Productivity Commission review of aged care with other NACAP services.
2011 – Began reporting to NACAP
Elder Rights Advocacy became a founding member of the national Older Persons Advocacy Network, along with eight other independent, not-for-profit organisations across Australia.
Mary Lyttle left the organisation after 28 years as ERA’s CEO to pursue other opportunities.
In September, coinciding with an ABC TV Four Corners program “Who Cares?,” the Australian Government announced a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Our advocates assisted many older Victorians in making submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
ERA established offices in Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon.
Received funding to provide the Aged Care Navigator Trial and Community Visitors Scheme (CVS).
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns and restrictions across Victoria significantly impacted older Victorians living in residential aged care, where many lives were lost. As a result, all older Victorians experienced unprecedented isolation and disconnection from loved ones and the community. ERA worked closely with OPAN, aged care providers, the Commissioner for Senior Victorians, and the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government to ensure that the voice of older people and their families was heard at this challenging time.
Final report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released.