The Launch of Independent Voices

26 Jul 2016

HAAG hosted the launch of our new report on the 26th July at the Multicultural Hub on Elizabeth St in the city. We had a good attendance of about 40 people.

HAAG’s Chair Daisy Ellery opened the event by welcoming everyone. She explained that the project had come about as low-income residents of ILUs were approaching the organisation with stories of exploitation and mistreatment. HAAG’s retirement housing Officer Shanny Gordon and HAAG’s Independent Living Unit Working Group wanted to see if their experiences were shared by other ILU residents across Victoria, and if yes, they needed more evidence to back up their advocacy work.

Daisy thanked the many people who contributed to the project, the author Aoife Cooke, Shanny Gordon and the members of the ILU Working Group; Loc Tran, Akeeb Abao, Kirsten Day, Naseem Ahmadpour and Alen Kiernan of the Centre for Design Innovation at Swinburne University. Thank you also to Denise Boyd of the Consumer Action Law Centre. HAAG is grateful to Kerryn Jones and all at the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation for recognising that older people’s voices must be heard on issues that affect them, and funding this important project.

Aoife Cooke, the Project Officer for ‘Independent Voices’ then spoke, and outlined some findings from the report, which are also included in this newsletter. She was followed by the Hon. Marlene Kairouz, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation. We are grateful to the Minister for joining us and addressing our gathering for the event. We are looking forward to working well together in the future. 

 The next speaker was Kerryn Jones from the funders for this project, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. She is the Program Manager for Homelessness & Affordable Housing, and spoke of their support for HAAGs work, and the importance of older people’s housing.

Our final three speakers were Barney de Wit, Kathy Barnes and Vicki Gutsjahr, members of the Independent Living Unit Working Group.  They presented case studies from the report – stories of the difficulties that residents of ILUs are encountering. These stories, like many of the case studies and quotes in the report, show us the human impact of weak regulation, bad management practices and the strain of unaffordable housing. Thankfully, the report also highlights the positive aspects of life in an ILU.


More Photos

Read the report

Time: 10am-12pm

Location: Blue Room, Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD

Morning tea will be served

Please RSVP to 0416 476 640 or