Leanne Collingburn
Lawyer, Hopgoodganim Lawyers


Leanne is a leading pro bono lawyer, social impact and human rights advocate with responsibility for HopgoodGanim Lawyers’ pro bono legal contributions.

Leanne has been practising in pro bono exclusively since 2014 and has considerable experience in pro bono practice management, social impact and reconciliation programs.

Leanne has expertise working with First Nations peoples, supporting and advocating for victims and survivors of domestic and family violence and tackling legal issues associated with environmental disasters.

Elder abuse and coercive control reform in Australia

Older people are victims of coercive control and the abuse inflicted on them is most commonly at the hands of an adult child. Yet despite this, the abuse of older people, and relationships outside of an intimate partner setting, are either excluded or given minimal focus in the more recent coercive control reforms across Australia.

This is a problem because:
1. elder abuse is on the increase and as our population ages, we can expect it to increase;
2. psychological abuse is the most common sub-type of elder abuse in Australia;
3. elder abuse is serious, yet there is a reluctance to report it;
4. there is a lack of awareness of coercive control in an elder abuse setting;
5. perpetrators of elder abuse are rarely brought to account.

Our paper (https://www.hopgoodganim.com.au/page/knowledge-centre/publications/elder-abuse-and-coercive-control-reform-in-australia), examines in detail, where elder abuse sits within broader recent discussions in Australia about coercive control law and policy reform and, together with case examples, seeks to encourage key stakeholders, including national and state and territory governments, to continue to include elder abuse in these important reforms.