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December 11


Coral Rizzalli - One of YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women

COTA Queensland congratulates Coral Rizzalli for her recognition as one of the YWCA Queensland's 125 Leading Women in 2013.

The YWCA celebrated 125 years of continuous work with and for the women of Queensland.  Each of the 125 Leading Women has contributed something significant to her community, and at the same time is the embodiment of one particular type, style or field of leadership

With the birth of her severely disabled son, John, in 1971, Coral found there was little help available for parents with disabled children in north Queensland and she set about to change that.

In 1976, Coral was a founding member of the Ingham Parents Support Group. The group succeeded in obtaining a number of services in the area, including a special school for severely disabled children (1981), an In-Home Respite Service (1987) and the John Rizzalli Respite Cottage (1989), as well as several supported accommodation houses and a community access service. 

Coral has also served on many health-related consumer groups over the years and presented rural and remote health issues on many committees. 

Her efforts have been further recognised  in 1993 when  she received an Order of Australia Medal.

COTA Queensland is proud that Coral joined our community education team 6 years ago and we congratulate her on this her latest achievements.

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Remembering Marcia Williamson (Better Hearing Australia)

COTA Queensland was sad to hear of the passing of Marcia Williamson on Sunday 27 October 2013, aged 77 years. Marcia’s dedication to Better Hearing Australia was highly regarded by all. She was a member of Better Hearing Australia since 1981, a member of the Board for 20 years, as well as  a member of the Social committee. 

Read more at "Let's Hear It!" 

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Reminder - Queensland Government Concessions and Services – Have your say

Have you done our survey and checked you aren’t missing out on concessions?

So far  350 people have!  We invite you to help us build on this strong result.  Share your experience on concessions and services such as Public Transport, Patient Transport and Health Care to help us make a difference.

Responses will help us with our submissions to the Government including our submission to influence the Queensland 2014-2015 budget.

The survey will close on Friday 20 December 2013

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Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003—Review

The Department of Housing and Public Works is reviewing the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003 to ensure it meets community expectations, protects residents, promotes fair trading practices and encourages the growth and viability of the residential parks industry.

The Department is seeking feedback by having those interested complete a survey.

You can complete the survey online or send in a written submission.

Submissions will not be made publicly available, but may be subject to disclosure under the Right to Information Act 2009 and access applications for submissions will be determined in accordance with this Act.

Submissions close at 5pm, 20 December 2013. 

This will not be your only opportunity to comment. There will be further community consultation as the review progresses.

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Clinical Senate asks Queenslanders to plan for the future

Former intensive care nurse, Sally Wecker will work with the Queensland Clinical Senate to encourage Queenslanders to have ‘courageous conversations’ when it comes to end of life planning.

A full-time carer for her late mother, Ms Wecker said having an advanced care plan wouldn’t necessarily lessen the grieving process of losing a loved one but it could make a difficult and sad situation dramatically easier to bear.

‘‘Exposure to an advanced care plan form can instigate communication between patients, patient’s decision- makers, their loved ones and health professionals,’’ Ms Wecker said.

‘‘These discussions can help to alleviate the fear of the unknown and allow patients, or their decision–makers, to make informed choices regarding the preferences for the patient’s end of life journey.

‘‘This allows the patient to have some control of their future and provide comfort for family members."

Read the full media release here. 

PICTURED Sally Wecker,  Dr. David Rosengren and Athena Ermides

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Seniors Week 2014

Seniors Week 2013 received significant media coverage, with a total of 228 items about Seniors Week appearing across print (211 items), radio (10 items) and television (7 items).  The total circulation was approximately 4.6 million people.

Thank you to all those organisations and people we worked with in 2013 to organize over 330 events throughout the state. We are in the planning stages for Seniors Week 2014, which will be held from Saturday 16th August to Sunday 24th August.

We have taken notice of what this year's Partners have told us and we've made adjustments to the  application process.  It is now Easier than 1,2,3 for you to become a Partner in 2014, apply for a  subsidy and to register your events. 

Stay connected through the Queensland Seniors Week Facebook page, the COTA Queensland website or by directly contacting our Communications Officer, Lisa Hodgkinson with any queries on 3316 2999 or by email

Forms will be available from 3 February 2014 and applications for subsidies will close on 28 March 2014.

PICTURED at the launch of Seniors Week in Rockhampton at Bauhinia House are President of the North Rockhampton Senior Citizens Col Ramsden, Most senior lady Maisie Hammond and the Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Clr Margaret Strelow

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QCOSS Community Service Map

The QCOSS Community Service Map is a tool for people working in the health and community services, clients and carers to access information about organisations and the services they provide. It has been specifically tailored to assist sector workers identify opportunities for client referrals.

The base data in this tool has been drawn from the Queensland Government's Open Data Initiative. Community organisations may further extend the information by directly editing their own records.

Service providers may claim ownership and then update their own details. They can also add additional records for services that aren't funded by the Queensland Department of Communities.

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The Holiday Blues

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and celebrations.  For some this time can be anything but.  On Christmas Day over 2500 people in crisis will call Lifeline.  

Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors such as physical illness or personal loss.

For more information visit or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Safety first when shopping this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to know how to shop safely. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have some helpful safety tips for buying toys for your children or grandchildren and advice for staying debt free for the start of the new year.

Read the full article here.

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QCOSS President

COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mark Tucker-Evans was elected President of the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) at their Annual General Meeting on Friday 29 November 2013. Mark has also been appointed to the Board of ACOSS.

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Best wishes for the season and closures

COTA Queensland's office will close at 5:00pm on Friday 20 December 2013 and reopen for business at 9:00am on Thursday 2 January 2014.

The Board, management and staff take this opportunity to thank members, volunteers and stakeholders for their support throughout 2013 and we look forward to working with you in 2014.

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  1. Coral Rizzalli - One of YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women
  2. Remembering Marcia Williamson (Better Hearing Australia)
  3. Reminder - Queensland Government Concessions and Services – Have your say
  4. Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003—Review
  5. Clinical Senate asks Queenslanders to plan for the future
  6. Seniors Week 2014
  7. QCOSS Community Service Map
  8. The Holiday Blues
  9. Safety first when shopping this Christmas
  10. QCOSS President
  11. Best wishes for the season and closures

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Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland

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