Elder Abuse Prevention Support

In partnership with Relationships Australia Queensland, we provide legal information and advice to those at risk of experiencing elder abuse.

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 2017, with the benefit of having filmed the play, and additional funding secured from Legal Aid Queensland, we have developed a Community Legal Education Resource Guide.

PIANO FORTE is a legal education play written by Toni Wills and developed in partnership with the Suncoast Community Legal Service Inc. The play uses a fictional narrative form to highlight the subtle way elder abuse can occur, in addition to exploring the role and responsibilities of an Enduring Power of Attorney.

The game show scenes throughout the plot contain legal information of benefit to both the character on stage and the live audience. 

Development of the play is based on the general 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.

Additionally, the play seeks to explore whether people appointed to the role of an Enduring Power of Attorney have sufficient knowledge of the nature of the appointment and the duties and responsibilities involved.

This resource guide is to be used following a viewing of a live performance or video screening of Piano Forte. The document aims to assist facilitators to conduct Q&A style discussions about the key topics raised in the play. Community organisations and other groups using this guide will be facilitating discussions for a range of purposes and are encouraged to tailor the guide to their individual needs, however the presence of a lawyer with some experience in elder law is highly recommended.

Please note that this resource is intended as a guide only. The format and length of Q&A discussions following the viewing of the play is at the facilitator’s discretion and will also be dependent on the level of audience participation. The contents of this resource kit should be regarded as legal information only and not legal advice. Legal advice happens when a client speaks to a lawyer one on one in a confidential setting.

About The Production

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.

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.

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 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).

The Piano Forte Video Resource and the Resource Guide are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License. Persons or organisations intending to utilise the Video Resource or the video resource and Resource should consider the terms of the license particularly in relation to attribution and non-commercial use. Additionally SCLS requests to be informed and provided with details of intended screenings for the purpose of determining the reach of these resources.