Walks Against Elder Abuse

Walks Against Elder Abuse

Walks Against Elder Abuse

One in six Australians aged 65 or over living in the community are abused every year. If this appals you, help COTA Tasmania make it stop.

Save the date now to join a Walk Against Elder Abuse in Launceston, Burnie or  Hobart on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15 June 2024.

Every year on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, families, students, community members, workers and volunteers unite to raise awareness of elder abuse and the ageism that drives it.

Ageism makes it seem okay to ignore older people, and this can have terrible consequences. If older people are ignored and undervalued, it is more likely others will turn a blind eye to elder abuse.

Older people have the right to live with dignity and safety, just like people of every other age.

The walks are supported by the Tasmanian Government, and all end with a free morning tea provided by our Council partners.

For more information about elder abuse awareness and prevention, click here.

For more information about ageism, click here.

Past Walks Against Elder Abuse

The Tasmanian Community has been Walking Against Elder Abuse with COTA Tasmania since a Burnie walk in 2015. In that time, the number of walkers has swelled year on year, and progress has been made:

  • new Tasmanian and national elder abuse prevention strategies were launched
  • a new Statewide television, radio and print elder abuse awareness advertising campaign was funded by the Tasmanian Government
  • the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety presented its scathing report
  • the Tasmanian Public Trustee was reviewed
  • there was an inquiry into the Roy Fagin older persons’ mental health facility
  • COTA Tasmania co-hosted a national conference on elder abuse in Hobart, with more than 450 registrations.

We’ve helped achieve a lot together, but so much more needs to be done, because older Tasmanians are still being discriminated against, isolated and abused.

Walks Against Elder Abuse keep governments focussed on fixing the problem. They attract media attention that increases public awareness far beyond the walks themselves. They maintain the pressure for more effective action at all levels of society. And they spread the message that every one of us can take a step towards a safer world by stamping out ageism now.

2023 walks







2021 walks

In 2021, COTA Tasmania’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day activities included walks,  a showing of the Ageing My Way exhibition in Burnie, and the second free online event in the Walk the Talk Forum Series 2021, Driving Long-Term Change: Australia’s Response to Elder Abuse.

You can read about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day here.

Due to the restrictions associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020, we could  not walk against elder abuse so we asked people to talk against elder abuse instead.

2019 walks

Sing For Your Life Choir at the 2019 Hobart walk

In 2019, marchers in the Hobart walk were inspired by a beautiful song from the Sing For Your Life Choir, led by Jane Christie-Johnston. You can watch a video of the event on our Facebook page. The choir was joined by students from Kingston High School’s Z Club, who kept singing as they walked through the Elizabeth Street Mall and on to Mathers Place.

Kingston High School students singing as they walk
Z Clubs are the student arm of Zonta International, which works to empower women and girls through support and advocacy. The Ogilvie and Kingston High Z Clubs have been valued participants in the Hobart walks for two years now, helping to raise awareness among younger generations. In 2019, the Ogilvie students presented an excellent video they had made to promote awareness among their peers. You can view the video here.
Minister Jaensch launching Tasmania’s revised elder abuse strategy
In 2019, the Minister for Human Services, Roger Jaensch, took the opportunity of the Hobart walk to launch Respect and Protect Older Tasmanians: Tasmania’s Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy 2019-2022.
COTA Tasmania CEO Sue Leitch

COTA Tasmania CEO Sue Leitch spoke about the links between ageism and elder abuse, while the Deputy Lord Mayor of Hobart, Councillor Helen Burnett, outlined the Council’s commitment to positive ageing and described the great work done by our City of Hobart partner Mathers Place.

Tasmania Police’s Commander Brett Smith (pictured) joined this year’s Launceston walk, and Deputy Commissioner Ross Tilyard walked with us in Hobart

The Launceston walk was longer and stronger in 2019, led by Mayor of Launceston Alderman Albert van Zetten, Member for Braddon Joan Rylah MP, West Tamar Mayor Christina Holmdahl and COTA Tasmania Board member Glenda Daly.

Riverside High School head prefects Ella Griffin and Will Flemming sign Every Age Counts’ anti-ageing pledge after the Launceston walk

We were very pleased in 2019 to welcome head prefects from Riverside High to the Launceston walk. At the reception hosted by our partners the City of Launceston after the walk, the students signed an anti-ageism pledge that has been promoted  Australia-wide by the Every Age Counts campaign.


If you or anyone you know is experiencing elder abuse,
please call the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline
on ‪1800 441 169‬


COTA Tasmania supports Tasmania’s elder abuse prevention strategy.


Our activities associated with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day  are supported by the Tasmanian Government, the City of Launceston, the City of Hobart and Mathers House and Burnie City Council.