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April 16


Seniors Week- Easy as 1,2,3

The theme for Seniors Week 2013 is Respect and Social Inclusion. The World Health Organisation acknowledges that 'respect and social inclusion' are key features of an age-friendly community. Active and involved seniors are less likely to experience social isolation and more likely to feel connected to their communities.

Becoming involved in Seniors Week is as easy as 1, 2, 3. 

Step 1. Becoming a Partner
It costs nothing to become a Partner!  As a Partner, we can help you to publicise your Seniors Week Event with posters,  information, and the opportunity to apply for a Subsidy to help you to stage your Event.
Step 2. Registering your Event
Register all the Events your group or organisation will be holding to celebrate Seniors Week. When you have planned the Events you would like to hold between the 17th and 25th August 2013, complete the event registration form. This information will be used to promote your Event on our Seniors Week website and in the media. Remember, you can register as many Events as you like. Event registrations close Friday 2nd August 2013.
Step 3. Need a Subsidy?
A limited number of subsidies of up to $1000 are made available to encourage and facilitate groups to become involved in Seniors Week.  After reading the Guidelines, if you are eligible to apply for a 2013 Subsidy, complete the subsidy application form - include as much detail as possible about your event. The Subsidy is an especially good opportunity for groups new to Seniors Week to receive some assistance to hold their Event. Applications for subsidies close Friday 19 April 2013.

For further information, please contact Lisa Hodgkinson, COTA Queensland Information Officer, on 3316 2999 or 1300 738 348 (from a landline only), or email:

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COTA Queensland Pre-Budget Submission 2013-14

COTA Queensland has called on the Queensland Government to improve the health, security and participation of Queenslanders as they age, by:

• extending  transport and energy concessions to Centrelink Health Care Card holders;
• increasing the electricity rebate for seniors, pensioners and veterans;
• introducing Universal Design regulations in all forms of new housing as well as for new transport infrastructure;
• reinstate the Tenant Participation Program in public housing, and restore funding to the Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service Program;
• fund local government to develop and co-ordinate community transport.

All recent COTA Queensland submissions are available online.

If you would like to suggest ideas or priorities for future submissions to state and local governments, please contact Mark Young, COTA Queensland policy officer, at:

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We want to hear from you!

The Queensland Government is reviewing Retirement Villages legislation and COTA is seeking your views, concerns, questions if you live in a retirement village. 

Last year COTA made a submission to the Queensland Government's review of Retirement Villages in this State.  We highlighted  problems with the Public Information Document and residence contracts and pointed out that these documents need to be in plain English and in a range of community languages to be easily understood.  We also outlined some of the problems with exit fees including the need for consistency and for fees to be capped.  COTA also recommended that retirement village residents need to be involved in perusing and approving annual village budgets to improve financial transparency and accountability.  Our submission recommended that particular terms used in the legislation should be clarified  e.g. explain the difference between 'reinstatement work' and 'refurbishment'.  We  also highlighted the need for improvements to the dispute resolution process. 

COTA followed up our submission by appearing at the Government Public Hearing  where we highlighted the need to ensure consistency in retirement villages legislation across the states.
The Queensland Government has invited a number of seniors' and other organisations, including COTA Queensland, to be on the Retirement Villages Ministerial Working Party to consider the Government's response to the review.

We want to hear again from our members and friends to ensure our work is firmly based in residents' lived experiences.  We're very keen to have a conversation with you about your views and experiences and we're happy to do this either one-to-one or in a discussion group with you and other residents of retirement villages.  If you'd like to talk with us please contact our Housing Policy Officer, Anna McCormack, on 3316 2914 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.  Alternatively, email

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Aged Care Reform

Government Introduces Aged Care Legislation

Five bills were introduced into Federal Parliament on 13 March 2013 regarding the Australian Government’s $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms.

Minister for Ageing Mark Butler said the changes to the Aged Care Act 1997 were part of a 10-year plan to build a better, fairer, sustainable and nationally consistent aged care system to meet the challenges of the nation’s ageing population.

“The Government’s aged care reform plan will deliver more choice, easier access and better care for older Australians, their families and carers.” Mr Butler said.

“The reforms will replace an aged care system designed a quarter of a century ago and which is now ill-equipped to meet the needs of retiring baby boomers and their parents who are living longer and healthier lives.”

COTA Australia is an active participant in aged care reform through the National Aged Care Alliance. You can read about this here.

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The Queensland Plan

COTA Queensland has been invited by the Premier to play a key role in developing The Queensland Plan, a 30-year vision for our State. Mark Tucker-Evans, COTA Queensland's Chief Executive will join the leaders of other peak bodies in Queensland at a briefing session on 30 April. This briefing will inform planning for the Government's Mackay Summit to be held in May.

COTA is seeking suggestions for issues that should be addressed by the Queensland Plan. Please provide comments to

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Sexuality and Age

You wouldn’t be alone in feeling frustrated, isolated, devalued and depressed if you were suddenly labelled “asexual” at your next birthday. Millions of older Australians feel the same way when they’re suddenly assumed to be asexual at their 65th birthday.
But research shows that older people are sexual and that sexual expression is important for emotional well-being as we age.

We need to recognise the sexual rights of older people and to promote their health and well-being. None of us would want to be labelled asexual just because of our age.

Last month's SBS TV's Insight program discussed sexuality and age in their program called 'Good Old sex'. You can watch the program online.

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Great responses! Survey still open

Thanks for telling us about help for living at home and in the community. We would love to hear from you if we haven't already in the Community care survey. Responses to date have been very insightful and your contribution will be much appreciated.

More consultations coming!

Join Your Say Our Table  to have your say in new consultations.

We will let you know about new surveys, upcoming events and what people have been saying.

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Anzac Day

Anzac Day is our national day of commemoration. April 25 marks the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli in 1915.

Anzac Day commemorations traditionally begin with dawn services around Australia and at particular important sites across the globe. The service is held both at the
same time as the opening moments of the Gallipoli landings in 1915 and to coincide with the military tradition of ‘stand to’ at dawn; the time often chosen to launch an attack.

Anzac Day services are held in cities and towns across Australia – many hold marches for serving and former personnel. Family members and descendants of service personnel are also involved. Marches are usually organised by the Returned & Services League (RSL) of Australia.

For more information visit

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Anzac Day Posters

Each year the Department of Veterans' Affairs produces an Anzac Day poster commemorating a particular theme or anniversary in our wartime history.

This year the poster marks the 70th anniversary of the construction of the Hellfire Pass on the Burma-Thailand Railway.

The poster shows Australian POWs labouring on the railway and a train passing over a prisoner-built trestle bridge. Almost 10,000 Australian prisoners of war worked on the construction of the Burma-Thailand Railway in appalling physical conditions. Construction of the notorious Hellfire Pass began in April 1943, some 70 years ago.

Copies of the posters are available on request from the Commemorations Officer in each state and territory. Telephone 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers. Please note that the posters cannot be altered in any way and must be used in their entirety.

To download a copy of the poster here.

For more information about Australian Prisoners of War during the Second World War, please visit

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National Cyber Security Awareness Week

Stay Smart Online encourages all Australians to remember these ten simple tips to improve their online security:

1.Install and update your security software and set it to scan     regularly

2.Turn on automatic updates on all your software, particularly your operating system and applications

3.Use strong passwords and different passwords for different uses

4.Stop and think before you click on links and attachments

5.Take care when buying online - research the supplier and use a safe payment method

6.Only download "apps" from reputable publishers and read all permission requests

7.Regularly check your privacy settings on social networking sites

8.Stop and think before you post any photos or financial information online

9.Talk with your child about staying safe online, including on their smart phone or mobile device

10.Report or talk to someone if you feel uncomfortable or threatened online - download the Government's Cybersafety Help Button.

For more information or to become involved in Stay Smart Online and 2013 National Cyber Security Awareness Week, please contact:
Cyber Security Programs Section
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Tel: 02 6271 7062 Email:

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There's an App for that!

This month we took a look at Age- CAP (Age-friendly Community Assesment App)

Age-CAP is a cross-platform smart phone application which aims to create a crowd-sourced database of ‘age-friendly’ locations. It consists of survey styled forms which enable users to quickly rate a location or service. The criteria used for rating was developed using the World Health Organization’s age-friendly cities guidelines (WHO, 2007) and age-friendly community initiatives in other North American cities. Users are also able to browse submitted ratings to assess the age-friendliness of locations in their neighbourhood, providing them with information which was otherwise unavailable.

Age-CAP was designed using the universal design criteria, making it suitable for use by older adults. The participation of older adults in the development of age-friendly communities is an example of senior citizenship that fosters cohesive and inclusive communities.

The data does take a few days to become visible however the more data collected the more comprehensive this application becomes.

You can download the app for free through iTunes and  through Google play for Andriod enabled products.  

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COTA Insurance

If you are over 50, COTA Insurance can offer great deals, quality cover and competitive pricing no matter what type of Insurance you need. With a comprehensive range of insurance products including Home & Contents, Motor Vehicle, Travel, Caravan and Landlord Insurance, we’ve got all your insurance needs covered.

Since 1992, we have worked with our underwriting partners to develop our specialised insurance products.

To find out more visit

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Tell us what you think.

If you would like to contact us either to comment on an article or suggest topics then email:  or phone  Lisa Hodkinson on 07 3316 2999.




  1. Seniors Week- Easy as 1,2,3
  2. COTA Queensland Pre-Budget Submission 2013-14
  3. We want to hear from you!
  4. Aged Care Reform
  5. The Queensland Plan
  6. Sexuality and Age
  7. Great responses! Survey still open
  8. Anzac Day
  9. Anzac Day Posters
  10. National Cyber Security Awareness Week
  11. There's an App for that!
  12. COTA Insurance
  13. Tell us what you think.

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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