Coburg hearing on support for older Victorian migrants and refugees

17 March 2022 Older Victorian migrants and refugees inquiry website icon

Watch UNITED Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre, Western Health & Moreland City Council recount their evidence..

A parliamentary inquiry assessing support for older Victorians from migrant and refugee backgrounds has heard directly from people in Melbourne's inner-north. 

The Legislative Assembly Legal and Social Issues Committee met with elderly residents, carers, local council & advocacy groups at the Coburg Concert Hall.

The Covid-19 pandemic emerged as a prevailing issue, impacting the lives of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Moreland City Council called for the extension of funding for its Moreland Connectors program and for it to be replicated and rolled out in municipalities across the state. 

"We cannot just rely on information online," Petr Svoboda, Moreland City Council said.

"We need to use local community members who need to be resourced and well trained and supported to do that work for us and and work with us."

UNITED Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre outlined the needs of their ageing community, including culturally sensitive support, digital literacy and aged care services.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us,"

Barbara Leon, UNITED Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre

Western Health's Carla Wilkie said elder abuse is largely underrecognised, underreported and unresponded to, especially in disadvantaged communities. 

"We would hope for a commitment, a long-term commitment to funding important models of care that really seek to understand what's happening elder abuse wise with migrant and refugee populations," she said.

West Metro Elder Abuse Prevention Network comprising Western Health and Merri Health, Victorian Arabic Social Services, Arabic Welfare, PRONIA Australian Greek Welfare Society and Alevi Community Council of Australia were also represented at the day-long hearing.

Full hearing transcripts from the Coburg hearing have been made available online at parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic-la/inquiries/article/4780. 

The inquiry has received more than 70 public submissions and plans to hold regional hearings in Geelong and Ballarat, before tabling its report in Parliament by mid-2022.