LGBTI ageing remains a hot topic for the community with a forum next month looking at legal issues that impact upon elderly LGBTI people and their family and friends.

Organised by The Aged Care Rights Service in collaboration with ACON, the forum is part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival line-up.

Facilitated by broadcaster Julie McCrossin, guests on the panel include the Rights Service’s Kim Boettcher and Ken Beilby, from Tropical Fruits and the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre.

Joining them are Rochelle Stevens, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby founder Lex Watson, AIDS activist Lloyd Grosse, and Dorothy McRae McMahon, who is best known as the former Sydney Pitt Street Uniting Church minister and for being awarded the Australian Government Peace Award and Human Rights Medal for her commitment to social justice.

Diana Bernard, the project co-ordinator for Ageing and LGBTI rights at The Aged Care Rights Service, told the Star Observer the forum would  cast a focus on a number of key issues in an approachable and friendly way.

“Older people who identify as LGBTI have often experienced prejudice, discrimination, interventions and sanctions from government, legal, medical and religious institutions throughout their lives. There is now a dedicated national Strategy on LGBTI Ageing to ensure that LGBTI identifying people experience ageing in an inclusive manner. One of the problems is that there is no specialist area around LGBTI recognised by the NSW Law Society,” she said.

“Some of the issues that are pertinent for LGBTI include possible discrimination in regard to waiting lists for retirement villages and entering community aged care services and aged care facilities in general.”

Bernard said other issues that involved ‘planning ahead’ such as wills, power of attorney and advanced care directives will also be looked at during the evening.

The Aged Care Rights Service is a community legal centre that provides non-legal advocacy for residents of government-funded hostels, nursing homes and recipients of in-home aged care in NSW. The organisation also provides legal advice, advocacy and information for elderly NSW residents.

INFO: ‘Law and Older’ forum, 6pm-8.30pm, Thursday, February 13, NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, Surry Hills. Free, but RSVP essential. For details email [email protected].



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