A sustained low national birth rate and increased life expectancy means the ratio of those aged 65-plus increases significantly every year. As such, the laws around how our elderly population is housed and cared for effect more Victorians than ever before. These laws, however, can be quite complex and it is crucial that care receivers understand fully how the aged care system works and, particularly, how it is funded, since any move into this system will, likely, affect recipients for life.


Rebecca Edwards, Tabitha O'Shea, Andelka Obradovic and Julia Jeffries

Lawyers, Seniors Rights Victoria

Legal issues affecting older people: Contacts

Aged care

Australian Government Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
Tel: 1800 951 822
Email: info@agedcarequality.gov.au
Web: www.agedcarequality.gov.au

Through the commission, anyone can raise their concerns about the quality of care or services that are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Australian Government Department of Health
Tel: 1800 020 103; (02) 6289 1555
Web: www.health.gov.au

Centrelink – line for older Australians
Tel: 13 23 00
Web: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/financial-information-service; and https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/contact-us/phone-us#olderaustralians

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Tel: 1300 558 181
Web: www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)
Tel: 1300 372 888
Web: www.disputes.vic.gov.au

The DSCV deals with disputes in retirement villages between residents, and between a resident and an operator.

Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA)
Tel: 9602 3066; 1800 700 600
Web: https://era.asn.au

ERA is a free service that provides advocacy for people receiving residential and home care programs sponsored by the Australian Government.

My Aged Care
Tel: 1800 200 422
Web: www.myagedcare.gov.au

My Aged Care is the starting point to access Australian Government funded aged-care services.

Victorian Government Department of Health
Supported Residential Services
Email: srs@dhhs.vic.gov.au
Web: www2.health.vic.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/supported-residential-services

Age discrimination

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Tel (general enquiries): 1300 369 711
Tel (national information service): 1300 656 419
Web: https://humanrights.gov.au

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC)
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton Vic 3053
Tel: 1300 292 153
Email: enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au
Web: www.humanrights.vic.gov.au

Elder abuse

Integrated model of care for responding to suspected elder abuse
Tel (Western Health): 0432 842 103
Tel (Peninsula Health): 9784 7073
Tel (Monash Health): 0431 453 950 
Tel (Melbourne Health): 0400 544 530
Tel (Latrobe Community Health Service): 0427 031 541
Web: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/wellbeing-and-participation/preventing-elder-abuse/integrated-model-of-care-for-responding-to-suspected-elder-abuse

Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV)
Level 2, Suite 2.5, 424 St Kilda Road, Melbourne Vic 3004
Tel: 1300 368 821
Email: info@seniorsrights.org.au
Web: https://seniorsrights.org.au

Family violence

Tel: 1800 737 732 (24/7)
Web: https://1800respect.org.au

The Orange Door
Web: https://orangedoor.vic.gov.au

The Orange Door is a free service for people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence. There are several Orange Doors around Victoria. There is not a central phone number, but you can find the contact details of the Orange Door closest to you at https://orangedoor.vic.gov.au/find-a-service-near-you.

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre
Tel: 1800 015 188 (24/7)
Web: www.safesteps.org.au

Property disputes and housing

Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG)
Ross House, 247–251 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 765 178; 9654 7389
Email: haag@oldertenants.org.au
Web: www.oldertenants.org.au

VCAT – Building and Construction List
Tel: 1300 018 228
Email: civil@vcat.vic.gov.au
Web: www.vcat.vic.gov.au

Family dispute resolution and mediation

Better Place Australia
Head office: Level 1, 16 Park Road, Cheltenham Vic 3192
Tel: 1800 639 523
Web: www.betterplaceaustralia.com.au

Better Place Australia also has offices in metropolitan and regional Victoria; see the website for the addresses.

Better Place Australia’s Respecting Elders program
Tel: 1800 214 117
Email: respectingelders@betterplace.com.au
Web: www.betterplaceaustralia.com.au/elder-abuse-prevention-services

Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)
Level 4, 456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 372 888
Web: www.disputes.vic.gov.au

Relationship Matters: Counselling and Mediation
Head office: Level 4, 255 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 543 396
Web: https://relationshipmatters.com.au

Relationship Matters also has offices in Caulfield South, Frankston, Geelong, Hoppers Crossing, Moonee Ponds, Prahran, Reservoir and Wangaratta.

Relationships Australia (Victoria)
Melbourne Family Relationship Centre,
379 Collins Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 364 277; 8625 3666
Email: enquiries@melbournefrc.com.au
Web: www.relationshipsvictoria.com.au

Relationships Australia also offers elder mediation and family dispute resolution at their offices in Ballarat, Berwick, Greensborough, Kew, Shepparton, Sunshine and Traralgon.

Victoria Legal Aid’s Family Dispute Resolution Service
Tel: 1800 136 832
Email: fdrs@vla.vic.gov.au
Web: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/get-legal-services-and-advice/family-dispute-resolution-victoria-legal-aid

Legal advice

Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria
Tel: 9652 1501
Email: administration@fclc.org.au
Web: www.fclc.org.au/find_a_community_legal_centre

Use the Federation’s website to find a community legal centre near you.

Justice Connect
Tel: 8636 4400
Web: https://justiceconnect.org.au

Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV)
Tel: 1300 368 821
Email: info@seniorsrights.org.au
Web: https://seniorsrights.org.au

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA)
Tel: 1300 792 387
Web: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

VLA has offices throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria; see VLA’s website for addresses.

Law Institute of Victoria’s (LIV) Find a Lawyer Legal Referral Service
Tel: 9607 9550
Email: referrals@liv.asn.au
Web: www.liv.asn.au/find-a-lawyer

LIV’s Find a Lawyer Legal Referral Service is a useful way of finding a lawyer with appropriate specialisation.

Powers of attorney

Office of the Public Advocate
Tel: 1300 309 337
Web: www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

State Trustees
Tel: 1300 138 672
Web: www.statetrustees.com.au

State Trustees also has offices in Dandenong and Bendigo.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) – Guardianship and Administration List
Tel: 1300 018 228
Email: humanrights@vcat.vic.gov.au
Web: www.vcat.vic.gov.au

VCAT hears matters throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria; see VCAT’s website for addresses.

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Health, wills and other legal issues affecting older people