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 an education resource guide.
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.
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.
The video preview of Piano Forte is here:
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.
The full length video is here:
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).