Suncoast Community Legal Service has significant experience and expertise in the area of elder law; providing legal advice and some casework assistance to clients regarding:

  • Elder abuse – commonly financial, emotional and psychological;
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney;
  • Wills/intestacy;
  • Grandparents’ rights.

Our work in this area is based on the principle that all people have a right to live dignified, self-determined lives, free from exploitation, violence and abuse and that these rights do not diminish with age.

The Service has additionally undertaken special projects with a focus on elder law issues, including the stage play Piano Forte, in 2016:

 

 

In September 2016 Suncoast Community Legal Service presented an original stage production, Piano Forte, at local theatres – at Nambour, Buderim and Noosa.

Written and produced by our Project Officer, Toni Wills, and featuring professional actors and direction, Piano Forte used a fictional narrative to explore what happens when a family’s ambitions suddenly collide with the law – providing entertainment value but also cleverly imparting information about wills, enduring powers of attorney and the subtleties of elder abuse.  A facilitated Q&A session, involving a SCLS lawyer, was also held at the end of each performance.

We surveyed attendees and found that 65% of audience members were aged 55 years and over.  83% revealed that they learnt new legal information, and 65% advised that they would seek legal advice or further information about elder law matters.  Comments were overwhelmingly positive, and included the following:

This information needs to be more broadly communicated  ♦  Very well delivered!  ♦  Need more of this method of information  ♦   Well acted  ♦  Learnt about the Mini Mental Capacity Test –  helpful   ♦  Great idea doing a play, v. well done!  Thank you   ♦  I found this very enlightening!!  Thank you so much!!   ♦  Thank you  ♦  Thank you   ♦  Excellent production, very informative   ♦  Excellent way to educate – thanks   ♦  Loved it!  Well done.  I hope it goes viral!”  ♦ 

This project was generously sponsored by the Legal Aid Queensland Community Legal Education Collaborative Fund, the Regional Arts Development Fund through the Noosa Council, the Noosa Council Community Projects Grants Program, the Sunshine Coast Council Community Projects Grants Program, the IRT Foundation Community Grants Program, and the Buderim Foundation Community Grants Program.

 

Education resource now available

Video screen grab

 

In 2017, with the benefit of having filmed the play, and additional funding secured from Legal Aid Queensland, we have developed a powerful education resource.

Legal professionals should contact our Communications & Events Officer for more information and/or to apply for the use of this resource (email carolyn@suncoastcommunitylegal.org.au). 

Community members who have viewed the play and would like further information about the elder abuse issues it raises, or advice or referral assistance on any other aspect of this sensitive subject matter, please contact our office on telephone number 07-5443 7827 for a confidential appointment. Alternatively, you may contact the Elder Abuse Hotline (telephone 1300 651 192) or the Seniors Legal and Support Service (07-3214 6333).