Policy Forum 2013

Policy Forum 2013

Rights, respect, recognition: a new deal for older Australians

When: Thursday 23 July, 2014
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: National Press Club, Canberra

The forum focussed on the human rights framework in Australia, and discussed such issues as the right to housing, employment and health as well as exploring what constitutes a reasonable standard of living.

View presentations, photos and program

Master of Ceremonies

peter maresPeter Mares, Broadcaster and social commentator

Peter Mares is contributing editor with the online journal Inside Story and adjunct fellow at the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University. Peter was previously Cities Fellow at the independent public policy think‐tank the Grattan Institute, and prior to that, a journalist and broadcaster with the ABC for 25 years.

During his time with the ABC, Peter served as a foreign correspondent and presented national radio programs including the daily regional current affairs program Asia Pacific and the weekly public policy discussion program The National Interest.

During his career Peter has combined journalism with public policy research, publishing articles in academic books and refereed journals, particularly on the topic of migration. He was the author of the first comprehensive analysis of Australia’s approach to refugees and asylum seekers: the award‐winning book Borderline (UNSW Press 2001 & 2002).

Election Panel

Participants had a unique opportunity to hear from and put their questions to a high profile panel on issues related to older Australians.

 Jacinta CollinsSenator the Hon. Jacinta Collins MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

From her early career as a social worker and welfare officer, Jacinta Collins has been a passionate advocate for Australians most in need of care and support. Jacinta Collins was first elected to the Australian Parliament, as a Senator for Victoria, in 1995. At the time, she was the only Victorian female Labor representative, and was also six months pregnant. She was appointed Minister for Mental Health and Ageing on July 1, 2013 and prior to that she was Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, where she played a leading role developing Labor’s “Better Schools” plan. Minister Collins was re-elected to the Senate in 1998 and again in 2007.

Before entering Parliament, Senator Collins was a social worker and union official and held several positions with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA), including as National Industrial Officer for five years. Her main policy interests are education and workplace relations, early childhood development and health and family policy. Minister Collins is passionate about ensuring vulnerable workers are protected and the workplace relations system promotes fairness and productivity.

A mother-of-three, she takes a keen interest in early childhood development and the importance of children having quality educational and development opportunities. In her new portfolio, Minister Collins recognises that mental health and ageing are sensitive areas which affect the quality of life of millions of Australians. Like so many Australians, she has had personal experience of needing aged care and mental health services for family and friends and knows that Australians deserve and demand improved access and quality of services at what is often a very difficult and emotional time.

In Parliament, Minister Collins has been active on many Senate Committees, including:

  • Chair of the Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education References Committee;
  • Chair of the Economics References Committee;
  • Deputy Chair of the Privileges Committee;
  • Member of the Finance and Public Administration Committee.
 Bronwyn BishopThe Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, Shadow Minister for Seniors

Download presentation (pdf)

Shadow Special Minister of State
Shadow Minister for Seniors
Member for Mackellar

Bronwyn Bishop began her political involvement with the Liberal Party while a law student at the University of Sydney. Mrs Bishop was elected to the Senate in 1987. Within eighteen months of her election, she was appointed Shadow Minister for Public Administration, Federal Affairs and Local Government. In 1994 Mrs Bishop was appointed Shadow Minister for Urban and Regional Strategy in
May 1994, was appointed Shadow Minister for Health and in January 1995 she became Shadow Minister for Privatisation and Commonwealth/State Relations.

Mrs Bishop resigned from the Senate in February 1994 and was elected to the House of Representatives in March 1994 as the Member for Mackellar in a by‐election and was re‐elected to her Federal seat of Mackellar in the 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 general elections. Following the election of the Howard Government in 1996, Bronwyn was appointed Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel, where she pioneered a ground breaking Defence Industry Policy framework, a first for Australia. It remains government policy, even today.

After the government’s re‐election in 1998, Bronwyn was appointed Minister for Aged Care where she brought a broad and progressive view to the needs of Australia’s ageing population. Bronwyn again led the way by introducing mandatory national standards for aged care providers ensuring that standards were lifted and maintained.

Since the last election, Bronwyn was appointed as Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs until late 2008. In late 2009, recognising that senior Australians are a wealth of knowledge and experience with ideas and solutions to shape our nations’ future, Tony Abbott appointed Bronwyn to be Australia’s first Shadow Minister for Seniors. Bronwyn has held a number of other leadership positions within the Parliament including Chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services from 2004 to 2007, where she had completed a number of parliamentary inquiries, including into family work balance, effects of illicit drugs on families and finally into overseas adoptions. In the time she has been in Parliament, Mrs Bishop has managed to establish a reputation as one journalist writing in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “an indefatigable and formidable advocate.”Her contribution to ensuring accountability by the Executive and the bureaucracy has been recognised through work on Senate Estimates Committees and Joint Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts.

Mrs Bishop maintains her involvement in professional and community interests by her membership of legal, cultural, charity, women’s community and sporting committees. She is also a solicitor, mother of 2 daughters & a grandmother of 1 granddaughter

 Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on ageing

View presentation (link)

Senator Rachel Siewert is a dynamic member of the Australian Greens in Parliament who works hard for people both at home in Western Australian and across the country. Rachel is the Australian Greens Whip, she holds a number of portfolios for the Australian Greens, the relevant ones for today being aged care, community and family services and disabilities. She also Chairs the Senate Community Affairs References Committee and is deputy chair of the community affairs Legislation Committee. As part of her work as Chair, and deputy she has done extensive work on the Forced Adoption Inquiry, the National Disability Insurance Scheme,  and Aged Care Reforms


 Carol BennettCarol Bennett, CEO Consumer Health Forum

BA (Health Sciences),  MA (Public Policy), MAICD

Carol Bennett is the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) – the peak national organisation for health consumers in Australia. She leads CHF’s work to ensure a strong consumer voice and consumer participation in health reform through advocacy, policy development and consumer research.

Carol has worked at the executive level in health organisations for more than 15 years, including as CEO of peak national and state health  bodies, and major consultancy roles with organisations including beyondblue. She is involved in a number of key national and international bodies including as a Council Member of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Council on Strategy and Innovation in Human Services , and a Board Director of the International Alliance of Patients Organisations.  Carol works collaboratively with those at the most senior levels ofgovernment, as well as representatives from key health industry and professional groups and is committed to the role of non‐government organisations as drivers of improved outcomes for their communities.

 Ross ClareRoss Clare, Director of Research, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia

Download presentation (pdf)

Director of Research, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Ross Clare joined ASFA in 1996 and has been Director of Research since 2006.  In this role he has been responsible for preparation of research papers across a range of superannuation and retirement income issues, including adequacy of retirement income and the structure of the Australian retirement income system.

He has served on a number of advisory committees established by the Australian government and was a participant in the 2011 Tax Forum convened by the then Australian Prime Minister and Treasurer.

Prior to joining the staff of ASFA he held senior positions with the Australian Treasury and an Australian Government research agency, the Economic Planning and Advisory Commission.  Ross Clare has degrees in Economics and Law from the Australian National University.

 jennifer clarkeJennifer Clarke, Policy and Research Officer, Homelessness Australia

Jennifer Clarke is policy and research officer at Homelessness Australia, the national peak body providing systemic advocacy for the homelessness sector. In her past lives she has been a lawyer, legal academic and public servant. She has also worked in publishing and hospitality ‐ including stints as a rural journalist and a school canteen ‘lady’ ‐ and has longstanding interests in the needs of Aboriginal people and those from ‘CALD’ backgrounds.

 brian howeThe Hon. Brian Howe, Member of the Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing

Download presentation (pdf)

Brian Howe is a Professorial Associate in the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne.  He was a member of the Government’s Advisory Panel On the Economic Potential of Senior Australians ( Turning Grey into Gold 2102) and is on the ongoing committees advising the government on ways of implementing our recommendations.  Most recently Brian chaired the ACTU  panel investigating  Insecure Work in Australia whihc was responsible for the Report, Lives on Hold, Unlocking the Potential of Australia’s Workforce.(2012)

 pino migliorinoPino Migliorino, Chairperson, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)

Download presentation (pdf)

Mr Pino Migliorino is a leading commentator, researcher and consultant in the area of ethnic affairs and multicultural policy, with over 30 years of multicultural community involvement and working in multicultural affairs across three sectors. Pino is currently the chairperson on FECCA (the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia), elected in October 2009.

Pino is passionate about multicultural affairs and social justice and provides an informed voice in advocating for the needs and interest of our diverse cultural, linguistic and religious communities.

18 years ago Pino founded and still leads Cultural Perspectives and CIRCA Research which are sector leaders in researching and communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia.

While Pino has expertise across a number of policy and practice areas, he has a passion and particular expertise around issues relevant to older people from CALD backgrounds. Pino has undertaken important research in the area of dementia, mental health and planning ahead issues for this area group and has been involved in both the theoretical development and practical implementations of aged care programs in CALD communities. Of particular note is his involvement in key advisory bodies in the ageing area including:

  • Chairing the NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on Ageing (2008 – 2011);
  • Chairing the National Cross Cultural Dementia Network (2010 – current);
  • Co‐chairing the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing’s Steering Committee for the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Backgrounds (2012);
  • Participating in the Federal Government’s Ageing Consultative Committee (2009‐2011);
  • Chairing National Prescribing Service Multicultural Think Tank (2009 – 2013);
  • Being Treasurer for INAS and Italian ‘Patronato’ assisting older Italians with their overseas pensions inquiries (2008 – current).

Prior to working in the private sector, Pino held important positions in the third sector and in government including Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, NSW Regional Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Senior Conciliator at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Principal Policy Officer of the Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW.

 ashley mooreAshley Moore, Associate Director, Urbis

Download presentation (pdf)

Ashley Moore is an Associate Director at Urbis, one of Australia’s largest social research organisations.  Ashley has been working in social and market research in Australia and in the UK for more than a decade and during that time he has conducted research across a range of topic areas including ageing, discrimination, aged care, access to justice services, disability, homelessness, financial services and health.  During his career, Ashley has worked with many corporate and government clients, including DoHA, FaHCSIA, DEEWR, the ACMA, the NHS, Westpac, RBS, Phoenix, Challenger Financial and The Financial Services Authority and has consulted with a broad range of research cohorts, including older Australians, people with drug or alcohol addictions, young people at risk of violence, teen parents, ex‐offenders and the very long‐term unemployed.

Urbis recently worked in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission on Fact or Fiction: stereotypes of older Australians.  This national study aims to provide insight into community and business perceptions of older people and the role that the media plays in contributing to stereotypes.  More specifically, the findings of the study provide insight into how older Australians are viewed by members of the community, perceived limitations which are associated with ageing and the role that age‐related stereotypes have in decision making.  The research report was launched by the Age Discrimination Commissioner, The Hon Susan Ryan  AO, on 21 June and Ashley will present the key findings from this important national study.

 simon riceProfessor Simon Rice OAM

Download presentation (pdf)

Simon Rice, OAM is a Professor at the ANU College of Law, where he is Director of Law Reform and Social Justice.  He chairs the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council.  Simon has practiced, advocated, researched, written and taught extensively in human rights and anti‐discrimination law.  He was for 16 years a judicial member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal in the Equal Opportunity Division, and sits as an ad hoc hearing Commissioner in the Northern Territory Anti‐Discrimination Commission. Simon is a co‐author of the text books, The International Law of Human Rights, and Australian Anti‐Discrimination Law.

 ian yatesIan Yates AM, CE COTA Australia

Ian Yates is Chief Executive of COTA Australia, the national peak body for COTAs (Councils on the Ageing) in each State and Territory of Australia. Ian has played national leadership roles in COTA since 2002.

COTAs are the peak aged consumer organisation in each state and territory, with thousands of organisational members representing over 500,000 seniors, plus 45,000 individual members of COTAs.

Ian serves as COTA representative on a wide variety of federal government and aged sector national bodies ‐ he is a board member on the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, consumer representative on advisory bodies to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Energy Regulator.  Ian represents COTA on the National Aged Care Alliance.  He was a member of the Ageing Consultative Committee to the Minister for Ageing and subsequently in August 2012 was appointed to the Federal Government’s Aged Care Financing Authority and the Aged Care Funding Instrument Monitoring Group.

Among other roles in the community Ian is currently:

  • Deputy Chancellor and Resources Committee Chair of Flinders University
  • Board member of the Aged Rights Advocacy Service

Over the last decade Ian has been Chair of the Cancer Council SA; Deputy Chair of the Repatriation General Hospital; Deputy Chair of the SA Council of Social Service; Board Member of the Southern Adelaide Health Service and member of the SA Government Health Performance Council.

Ian holds a BA from Flinders University; is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and was awarded Membership in the Order of Australia (AM) in 2005.