Robert Hardy
Director Training And Capacity Building, Lgbtiq+ Health Australia


Robert Hardy is the Director of Training and Capacity Building at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia. Robert has 30-years’ experience working across the disciplines of occupational therapy and health promotion. As an occupational therapist, he worked in various aged care settings including acute, sub-acute, rehabilitation, residential and community settings in Australia and the U.S. He has worked in health promotion roles for the past 20 years including 15 years’ experience in management positions. His health promotion experience includes the areas of LGBTIQ+ health, HIV prevention, reproductive and sexual heath, people with disability and older people.

Fit for Purpose: Reforming the Silver Rainbow program to meet the needs of LGBTI older people in aged care

Historically, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have a shared experience of discrimination and prejudice. Many older LGBTI people have experienced violence, isolation, and stigma throughout their lives. These older people often do not or cannot disclose their identities or histories to services and can remain invisible in the aged care sector and broader community.

The Silver Rainbow program was designed to improve the experiences of LGBTI people as they age and enter the Australian aged care system. Australia was the first country to have a National LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care Strategy. Combined with other legal reforms, over time this has resulted in the need for the ageing and aged care sector to be increasingly focused on inclusive practice. Despite good intentions, more work is needed to meet the health and wellbeing needs of older LGBTI people receiving aged care.

As the aged care sector is reforming so too is the Silver Rainbow program. The program is being redesigned to better meet the needs of the aged care sector and align it with the tools and frameworks that are readily available to aged care providers in the provision of high-quality care and in the reform that is still to come.

This presentation will outline the transformative journey that Silver Rainbow is on and will demonstrate why it is important that specialist training is made available to the aged care sector on the needs of LGBTI older people. There will also be an opportunity for delegates to contribute to the future of Australia’s leading LGBTI training and capacity building program for the aged care sector.