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COTA life

Advancing the rights, needs and interests of Queenslanders as they age

Edition 11

6 May 2015

We have amalgamated our newsletters into one to keep you up to date without additional mailbox clutter.

COTAlife, will continue to include articles to assist you  to enhance your quality of life, news about upcoming events and how COTA is advancing the rights, needs and interests of people as they age in Queensland. The COTAAGENDA  section will provide information about Queensland Government programs, policies and priorities for older people, analysis of issues and current trends relating to ageing and older people's issues.

Message from Coralee O’Rourke MP - Queensland Seniors Week

With Seniors Week (August 15-23) just around the corner, it’s time to again celebrate the valuable contributions of seniors in our communities.

The importance of Seniors Week grows each year because the ageing population in Queensland, like the rest of the country, is growing.

The number of Queenslanders aged 65 years and over is projected to increase by more than 160 per cent in 25 years from 2006 (Source: ABS).

Seniors Week also helps to build stronger relationships between older and younger Queenslanders which is acknowledged in this year’s theme: ‘It’s on for young and old’.

The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting our seniors through important initiatives like Seniors Week.  I look forward to a bigger and better Seniors Week with hundreds of events being run throughout Queensland communities.

Coralee O’Rourke MP


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IFA 13th Global Conference, 21-23 June 2016

Announcing A Dedicated Conference Track
"Age-friendly Cities and Communities - From Guide to Ground to Sustainability"


As part of the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing, the IFA and COTA Queensland, in collaboration with the WHO, are pleased to announce the inclusion of a specific track on Age-friendly Cities and Communities.  This will be the global opportunity in 2015 - 2016 to share policy, program and practices with colleagues from across the globe and to help build a sustainable knowledge mobilization network.

Call for abstracts are now open at
Areas and topics of interest:
• Sustainability and evaluating success;
• Age-friendly Business development;
• Communication, technology and innovation;
• Urban and regional planning, housing design and the built environment;
• Smart city innovation.


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Where's the party?


Is your club or organisation planning an event for Seniors Week this year? We want to know about it!  Seniors Week event registrations are now open for the largest week-long seniors' event in the state.

Queensland Seniors Week (15-23 August 2015) provides the opportunity to unite all Queenslanders to celebrate the valuable contributions seniors make in their communities.  Whether they are volunteers or paid, seniors draw on their experience and knowledge in all sorts of ways - as community leaders, carers, grandparents, mentors, and advocates. 

To register your event visit or phone 1300 738 348  for a hard copy event registration form.


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Live Happy Give Happy 

This May 11-17 is National Volunteer Week.  Established in 1989, National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia, and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our community and to say thank you to the more than six million Australians who volunteer.

It is through the generosity of COTA Queensland's volunteers that we are able to connect with the community, facilitate peer education sessions, plan and coordinate events, bring about changes in policy, and have effective governance in our organisation.  All of which supports us in building an Age-friendly Queensland. 

On behalf of all us of COTA Queensland, we thank you.

If you would like to get involved in building an age-friendly Queensland with us please contact Marianne Wright, Volunteer Coordinator on 07 3316 2905, 1300 738 348 or


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Safeguarding Assets in Retirement

It takes up a lifetime to accumulate retirement nest eggs but they can be lost within weeks, leaving us without a home or an income. 


Every day peak agencies such as COTA and Carers Queensland hear harrowing stories of older Queenslanders losing their nest egg or house to various scams or otherwise unsavoury behaviours. And the unfortunate reality is that it is more common than we would like to think. So much so, the Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee of Queensland Parliament is inquiring into the adequacy of existing financial protections for seniors.


COTA and Carers Queensland will be making a submission to the inquiry – highlighting the problem, its impact and what can and should be done to strengthen financial protections for seniors.


Read more 


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Unfinished Business

Eyeworks is working on a new documentary series based on helping people to find and meet up with someone from their past, and in doing so, to complete some unfinished business.


Do you have unfinished business? 

It might be a stranger who appeared from nowhere and saved your  life or performed some other selfless act.

Or it might be someone you  feel you wronged and want to catch up to apologise to and make amends.

Either way, using Eyeworks' resources, can help you find that person and make the connection  you need.  With just the smallest of leads.

This could be a great opportunity to empower and provide you with the opportunity to tell your story. 


If you are interested please contact Jack Bromhead  by Friday 15 May   on  (02)  8425 2925  or email


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Where do older people live?

A family can be described as the basic social unit consisting of parents and children.  It could also include other relatives and may not just be those living "at home". Mum and Dad may be living in the home but the children have left, married and have children of their own. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 2011 Census recorded that most older people live with family members in private dwellings.  In 2011, 56% of people aged 65 years and over lived in a private dwelling with a husband, wife or partner, but only 23% of people aged 85 years and over did so. One quarter of older people lived alone in a private dwelling with 8.2% living with other relatives such as brother or sister or their children.


Read more 


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Trust your instinct to help prevent domestic and family violence

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. 


Domestic and family violence is a serious problem in our communities, with a profound and increasing impact on the health, safety and economic prosperity of Queenslanders.


As part of a state-wide program of events and activities during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May, the Queensland Government is implementing the Trust your instinct campaign.


The message to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours is ‘Don’t let your concern become regret. Trust your instinct — call DV Connect’. Domestic and family violence includes non-physical violence such as controlling behaviour, stalking, threats and verbal abuse. These behaviours can quickly turn into physical abuse with sometimes fatal consequences.


For information about domestic and family violence visit


Join in the Facebook conversation during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month and like the Trust your instinct Facebook page



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500 Lives 500 Homes Aged Care Working Group

Last month COTA Queensland sponsored  a forum on elderly people and chronic homelessness in Brisbane organised by Micah Projects. Bryan Lipmann the CEO and Founder of Wintringham Housing Ltd  presented as the keynote speaker.

Following on from the Forum an Aged Care Working Group has been formed which will be co-chaired by Micah and COTA.

The purpose of the 500 Lives 500 Homes Aged Care Working Group is, through collective impact and collaboration, to improve the options available for age-appropriate care and support for older people who are homeless or at risk of homeless.

"COTA is pleased to be working with Micah Projects on this workinggroup as part of our Inner Brisbane Safe & Confident Living program" said Mark Tucker-Evans, Chief Executive COTA Queensland. 


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Older Australians need national plan to address chronic housing stress

Leading seniors advocate, COTA Australia, today joined Anglicare in calling for a national plan for affordable housing, with the latest housing snapshot showing just 3.4% of rental properties nation-wide were affordable for people on an aged pension.


COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said Anglicare’s Rental Housing Snapshot released today highlights the need for urgent action to address the impact of housing costs on people on low incomes, including older Australians on pensions.


The Snapshot shows that couples on an aged pension would find just 3.4% of properties suitable on the survey weekend and less than 1% of the listed properties were affordable for single people on government payments, including Newstart.


“Older Australians fare slightly better than many other household groups in the snapshot but most pensioners in the private rental market are in urgent need of help,” Mr Yates said.


“We know that the risk of poverty increases exponentially for older people if they are not home owners, particularly if they rent privately, however almost 1 in 5 over sixty-fives does not own their home outright.

Read more


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Analysis of Dementia Programmes and Services funded by the Department of Social Services

KPMG has been engaged by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to undertake an analysis of the dementia programmes and services that are currently funded by DSS. The analysis will be used to inform future dementia programme and policy development by the Australian Government.


This conversation starter is the first part of that analysis. It provides a summary of an initial stocktake of the various programmes and services that are funded by DSS, informed by a review of programme and funding agreement documentation provided by DSS and supplemented with a review of relevant public information such as websites.


Read more 


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Home Care Package Providers Consultation

Service Providers are invited to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the User Rights Principles 2014 which will reflect the requirements of consumer directed care (CDC).

This consultation paper describes the extension of CDC to all home care providers and consumers, and also how the requirements of CDC will be made more transparent and streamlined, through changes to the Aged Care Principles that are made under the Aged Care Act 1997.

The Department would like feedback on whether the proposed changes operate as intended and whether there are any gaps or areas which require further clarification in order to be readily understood by providers and consumers.  

The consultation paper, along with the Exposure draft, identifies the areas of change in the User Rights Principles 2014.  

You can view the consultation paper and provide direct feedback at  

Feedback is due by close of business on Wednesday 8 May 2015.


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Tender results for Regional Assessment Services announced

Minister Fifield has announced the 13 organisations that have been selected to operate the RAS, following an open tender process. A number of specialist services and community organisations had formed consortia to offer a tailored capability to support indigenous populations, culturally and linguistically diverse populations and people with dementia. The RAS will complement the existing Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) which undertake assessments for higher intensity home care and residential care services.

The media release can be read here.


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Commonwealth Home Support Programme – update on consultation process and next steps

At the start of March, the Department of Social Services released for comment three core documents for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme:
• The draft Commonwealth Home Support Programme Manual;
• The draft Good Practice Guide for Restorative Care Approaches (incorporating wellness and reablement); and
• A consultation paper on fee arrangements for the CHSP.


The Department has provided some feedback and information about the next steps.


Read more


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The Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants (ACSIHAG) outcome has been released. The funding will be shared between 54 organisations for both national and state and territory projects that focus on aged care.

The media release (with a link to the listing of successful grant recipients)  can be read here.


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Department of Social Services Newsletters

Department of Social Services has released Part 1 of a series of fact sheets on the implementation of CDC for home care providers. These fact sheets are aimed at assisting Home Care Providers with being ready for the full introduction of Consumer Directed Care Packages on July 1.


The fact sheet can be found by clicking here


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Support Our Work and Get Involved

Our aim is to help create a more just, equitable and caring community in which older people are actively involved and have access to appropriate support, services and care. You can help us to continue to fight for an Age-friendly Queensland by:


Leaving a bequest in your Will to COTA Queensland
Donating today through PayPal or by shopping online with Shopnate
Joining as an individual and receiving a wide range of  benefits through the COTA Rewards and Savings program
Joining as an organisational member and contribute to our information exchange, policy development and service development
Joining over 500 Queenslanders in our Consumer Reference Network to enable you to contribute your knowledge and experiences to the development of our submissions in response to those issues impacting on people age they age in Queensland


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Level 1, 25 Mary Street, Brisbane QLD 4000
PO BOX 15525, City East, QLD 4002
Office: +61-7-3316-2999
Toll Free Number (within QLD): 1300-738-348
Fax: +61-7-3316-2900