Older People’s Peer Education Scheme

Older People’s Peer Education Scheme

SCALES Community Legal Centre (SCALES) has partnered with the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC) to develop the Older People’s Peer Education Scheme.

On Wednesday the 17th of August 2016, Hon Tony Simpson MLA attended our offices to present NSCLC and SCALES with a LotteryWest grant in support of the program.


Hon Tony Simpson MLA (R) presenting Karen Merrin (L) with the LotteryWest Grant.


Funded by the WA Department of the Attorney General Criminal Property Confiscation Grant Program and Lotterywest, this two year pilot project will focus on five local government areas, Joondalup, Stirling and Wanneroo in the north and Kwinana and Rockingham in the south.

Two part time coordinators will be employed to coordinate, train and support the 30 volunteers who will provide the peer education to individuals, seniors groups and organisations and seniors support services over the five areas.

The staggered project will allow reflection and review as the project progresses.

A target of 2,000 older people will be informed about the issues and types of elder abuse.  This will be both a preventative measure as well as giving older people information about where they can seek assistance if they find themselves experiencing elder abuse.

The long term intention is that OPPES will have a comprehensive project kit including an ePortal developed and attached to the services’ websites to allow the low cost project to be easily rolled out throughout the state.  The NSCLC Older People’s Rights Service (OPRS) will maintain the integrity of the project kit and ePortal with regular reviews of content.  The OPRS will also accept referrals from people needing assistance and advice about their own elder abuse situation.

The Project

The word “peer” means a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background and social status and the peer education program involves people volunteering and giving information to others from backgrounds similar to their own.

In this program the “peer” is an older person who, when provided with the skills and tools to identify the risk of elder abuse, will educate other older people (their peers) within their communities.

Older people, seniors groups and support services will have the opportunity to hear about elder abuse, the diversity of the abuse and services that assist people when abuse occurs.

The project partners are the SCALES Community Legal Centre (SCALES) and the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre (NSCLC).

Objective and Outcome

The objective of OPPES is to increase the awareness of older Australian on the risks of elder abuse and provide them with information and strategies to prevent and reduce the incidence/severity of abuse happening to them.

By increasing awareness, the outcome will be that older people will be able to have improved overall sense of wellbeing and quality of life to such an extent that individuals are able to exercise their independence safely to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

Older People’s Rights Service

The metropolitan wide OPRS based at the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre is a legal service for older people experiencing Elder Abuse or at risk of experiencing Elder Abuse.  The wrap around service also includes counselling (non-clinical), support, information, education and referrals.  Seniors are assisted directly through an intensive casework and support model that assists them at an individual level to resolve their Elder Abuse issues.

People can self-refer or be referred by agencies, services or individuals as well as through the OPPES volunteer peer educators and project officers.


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