Older Persons’ Action Centre Inc. established Residential Care Rights (RCR) in 1990 and auspiced the organisation for its first twelve years. Inaugural members of the Management Committee included Edith Morgan, Margaret O’Callaghan and George Rozensteins. These members were already actively involved in raising issues of concern for older people through membership of a variety of consumer policy forums, consulted by both state and federal government. While OPAC has now disbanded as an organisation, many of its members remain involved in a range of community organisations, and provided a strong resource to RCR.
This ongoing involvement and strong consumer focus has provided a strong base for our organisation to this day. Until his retirement in 2009, George Rozensteins, one of our founding members, was an active member of the Committee, serving as Treasurer for the first few years and providing valuable advice from his experience as a family carer. Our ability to contribute to government policy consultations at state and federal level has been well informed by both our advocacy practice, and the input of our Committee members. We have been fortunate that members have lived and worked (as volunteers) in aged care, and they therefore have a clear view of the issues related to residents and consumer rights.
In November 2002 RCR became a separately incorporated not-for-profit association.
In looking at the future for our organisation during 2006, it became clear to the Committee that our name needed to change to encompass the more extended role we now undertake under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program. Accordingly, in February 2007 the service commenced operating under the newly registered business name of Elder Rights Advocacy to reflect the scope of our work in the community.