Media Releases

Up to 10% of older Australians could experience Elder Abuse this year.


On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018, UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the need for greater awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and our shared responsibility to look out for each other.

It is likely that between 2% and 10% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, and the prevalence of neglect is possibly higher[1]. This figure indicates that we need to do more to strengthen the connections that build safety and security within our community.


[1] Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2015). Elder abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Ensuring every child’s, a winner in the birth lottery

This week is National Families Week and the aim is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.

When it comes to families, the Government’s Budget makes it clear that it sees the provision of incentives for those earning wages as more important than providing a liveable level of income support to those who are under- or un-employed.

“This leaves the future of children overly dependent on the birth lottery” says Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia. We know that there is a social gradient in child health and child development, with those at the bottom of the scale doing worst and being most in need of increasingly expensive and difficult interventions to reduce the impact of adversity as they age.



A stronger economy for the haves, but little hope for the have nots

UnitingCare Australia tonight welcomes the government’s commitment to older Australians and their care. The extra 14,000 home-care packages go some way to relieving the pain for those 105,000 people still waiting for support. The many other measures in More Choices for a Longer Life package such as the rural and remote initiatives, indigenous funding, investment in mental health services, and the $50 million Quality Care Fund are all positive and reflect the growing ageing demographic in the community.

A healthy budget means everyone should benefit

On Tuesday the Turnbull Government will release its 2018-19 Budget. With an expected windfall in revenue this is the time to direct spending to the people most in need.

Inequality is growing in Australia with over 3 million people living below the poverty line.  UnitingCare Australia calls on the Federal Government to use the Budget funds to invest in programs and services that support individuals and families that are struggling. 

UnitingCare Australia joins today’s call for an urgent rise in the level of welfare payments. This would: 
1. Stimulate the economy by placing greater spending power where it is most needed.
2. Relieve chronic financial stress on those genuinely seeking work and their families.
3. Enable part-time students to spend more time learning, rather than earning, to survive.
Funding a gold standard NDIS – a budget priority
UnitingCare Australia is pleased that funding of the NDIS is receiving attention in the lead up to this year’s Federal Budget and the Treasurer’s announcement today that there is adequate funding for the Scheme going forward.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

UnitingCare Australia congratulates the Turnbull Government and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt for creating the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This is a step in the right direction for a country that needs to strengthen the provisions around caring for all of us as we age.

This morning Minister Wyatt visited Resthaven – a member of the UnitingCare Australia network of services – to announce a number of responses to last year’s Carnell-Paterson report on Quality Regulation in Aged Care. The Government has also accepted recommendations to increase transparency around quality for consumers, and to appoint a Chief Clinical Advisor to review certain clinical decisions in residential care.

UnitingCare National Director Claerwen Little said “UnitingCare Australia believes the creation of an Australian Aged Care Commission with responsibilities, including quality improvement and complaints management, has the potential to be a positive and effective way to improve quality and consumer protection arrangements for aged care residents.

“We have been increasingly concerned about the anxiety that negative coverage creates for residents and families, as well as the stress that it creates for our staff. This is the first step in re-establishing confidence in a system which, by and large, works well.

“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that these measures effectively complement the expertise within the sector. Creating a single agency can promote efficiency in the regulatory system. It is critical however that it all areas are properly resourced, with assurance that field staff have the skills and experience for the job.

“Every older person who needs care and support, whether at home or in a residential facility, should have confidence that the services they receive are high quality and represent value for money. High quality care must be accessible regardless of a person’s financial and personal resources, where they live, or their cultural background” said Ms Little.

The peak body for not-for-profit aged care providers, Aged & Community Services Australia, is calling on the government to consider reforms to tackle the increasing number of older Australians waiting to access appropriate home care.

Media Releases


UnitingCare Australia congratulates the Federal, State and Territory Governments for committing to work together to tackle this serious problem of elder abuse in our community.

Elder abuse is a serious issue facing too many vulnerable people and has ongoing negative effects on their lives that ripple through communities.

It is criminal behaviour that is wrong on every level

ational Director of UnitingCare Australia, Claerwen Little, said today that action to reverse the growing gap in child removal rates between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australian children was needed immediately.

‘We acknowledge that resetting the Closing the Gap Strategy must be undertaken by Federal, State and Territory governments in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities. What we need right now are clear targets to address child protection added to the Closing the Gap strategy.