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COTA life

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

Edition 19

5 February 2016

Late last month Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary-General of the International Federation on Ageing was in our office to review the abstracts received to date for the 13th Global Conference on Ageing which COTA Queensland will host at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre 21-23 June 2016. The program is shaping up well (see separate article) but there is still time to get abstracts in on any of the five themes.


We are very pleased that the State Government has adopted the WHO’s (World Health Organisation) Age-friendly principles to guide the development of the Seniors Strategy. COTA Queensland has been a strong advocate for age-friendly since WHO launched it’s Age-friendly Cities and Communities initiative in 2007. WHO are co-sponsoring the 13th Global Conference on Ageing and Dr John Beard WHO Director of Ageing and Life Course will be a featured speaker.


Earlier this week the Queensland Productivity Commission released the Electricity Pricing Inquiry draft report. The Queensland Productivity Commission was asked by the Queensland Government to consider a range of issues including the competitive electricity market, productivity growth, efficiency and reliability, environmental outcomes, vulnerable customers and responsible management of the State’s finance.  There needs to be further analysis of the options proposed before a decision is made but we’ve advocated that sufficient support should be made available to assist in the education of older people to enable them to be well informed about how they can be more energy efficient. We are currently exploring a new education program to assist older Queenslanders in this area.


Our Peer Education program trains older people to deliver free information sessions for their peers within their community. The program is currently offering free sessions on the changes to aged care services and the introduction of the new Home Care Package system. These sessions aim to increase the knowledge of older Queenslanders so they can maintain control of their own lives and become active partners in their own health care. In the past month we have trained older people to become peer educators on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Brisbane and Bundaberg.


Mark Tucker-Evans
Chief Executive


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Queensland Seniors Week Subsidies Now Open

In preparation for Seniors Week 2016 Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said seniors enrich our communities with their wide range of knowledge and experience, and Seniors Week is the perfect opportunity to show them our appreciation.


“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to establishing an age-friendly Queensland, where people of all ages can take part in local activities and enjoy quality of life, which is exactly what Seniors Week is all about,” said Mrs O'Rourke.

“These grants are a great way to help fund local events so that Queensland organisations can show their appreciation for seniors while encouraging them to take part in community activities.


“I look forward to an even bigger and better Seniors Week this year with hundreds of events expected to be held across the state.”


It’s on for young and old has become the catchcry of the event and will be used again in 2016 to build on its success over the past two years.


Starting on Saturday 13 August Seniors Week 2016 will run through to Sunday 21 August - 9 days of celebrations.


Read More 


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Tech Savvy Seniors – 17 February
Do you know someone who is interested in learning to use the internet but is unsure where to start?

COTA Queensland will be hosting a FREE Digital Ambassador session with Telstra Ambassadors Wednesday 17 February 2016 from 10:30 am - 12 noon in our Brisbane office located at level 1, 25 Mary Street.


This 90-minute session will introduce participants to the internet and is aimed at people with minimal or no digital literacy skills and will be presented in a small group format.


Each participant will use an iPad to navigate the web with an index finger, rather than a keyboard and mouse with expert guidance from Telstra Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that seniors are confidently surfing around the web via search and web address in no time.


iPads will be  provided for use in the session.


Seating is limited! To secure your spot contact us on 07 3316 2999.


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IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing 21-23 June 2016

The Conference will explore five themes:


Disasters and Older People

Disasters including epidemics impact communities across all age cohorts with devastating consequences.  Older people are a vulnerable group and their vulnerabilities are generally associated with advanced age, physical and sensory frailty, pre-existing health conditions, and social and economic constraints.  On the other hand active and healthy older people are an invaluable asset in reducing risk in disasters and make significant social and economic contributions to community and society with their years of knowledge, skills and wisdom. 


Epidemics and pandemics can be disasters in their own right, with increased risks in disaster and post disaster situations. The importance of immunization to minimize major preventable health issues must be a priority across all sectors of society and recognized as a significant preventative strategy.  Current advocacy efforts to promote the importance of immunization have largely focused on children (and appropriately so), yet research suggests that older people have an increased risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.  Adult immunization rates will not be increased until the fundamental lack of awareness about the benefits of vaccinations and failure of individuals and health practitioners to adhere to research based recommendations about vaccines are addressed.  It is unacceptable that these diseases continue to adversely affect the quality of life of older people when solutions are known, easily accessible and cost-effective. 


Abstracts that focus on older people in disaster situations are highly sought.


Income Protection and Security

Pension Design and Sustainability - Building an efficient and sustainable pension system is predicated on a complex set of factors and relationships including: the state of the economy, cultural differences, the structure of the labor force, population ageing, and the political situation. Over the past twenty years, many different pension systems have been implemented, and in an environment of economic instability, reforms are essential. Recent reforms, such as the new scheme in Sweden, linked with the GDP, show that traditional schemes are no longer sufficient and demonstrate again the impossibility to design a "one size fits all" system.


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COTA Queensland welcomes new Peer Educators

COTA Queensland’s Community Education program has trained and welcomes a new cohort of Peer Educators to their team. The COTA Queensland Peer Education program trains seniors to deliver free information sessions for their peers within their community. The program is currently offering free sessions on the changes to aged care services and the introduction of the new Home Care Package system. These sessions aim to increase the knowledge of older Queenslanders so they can maintain control of their own lives, live in their own homes for longer and become active partners in their own health care.


"Aged Care Reforms are changing the way home care services are delivered in Australia giving older people more choice and control over the services they receive at home. We are excited to expand our current program and to have a diversity of new volunteers covering the southeast corner of Queensland, from the Gold Coast up to Bundaberg and out past Toowoomba. Following the training the new Peer Educators will join our team of volunteers who are equipping older Queenslanders with information to navigate the reforms to home care packages and the introduction of consumer directed care”, said Kerryn Clarke, Community Education Coordinator.

To host a free information session delivered by a Peer Educator in Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Gold Coast or Townsville regions visit or phone 1300 738 348.


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Queensland: an Age-friendly Community

The Queensland Government is looking for ideas on how communities can work together to make our state a place that welcomes and supports people of all ages. These ideas will be used to develop a new strategy for older people called Queensland: An Age-friendly Community.


An age-friendly community encourages people of all ages to take part in community activities. It is a place where people are treated with respect, regardless of their age or ability; where they can stay in touch with people they care about and find the services and support they need. Age-friendly communities are more liveable for everyone and are particularly beneficial for older people.


To access the survey click here


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Consumers Input Wanted

COTA Australia’s Home Care Today program wants to interview older people who have been assessed as eligible for a Home Care Package and have a level of income above the age pension. We are also interested to speak with those in your personal support network who may be assisting you with making decisions.
How can you assist us?


We would like to interview you. The interview will take approximately 45 minutes and can be over the telephone. The purpose of the interview is to find out what is important to you when making decisions about aged care supports. This will help us to tailor our information to meet your needs.


How to contact us to take part in this project?

Call (03) 9909 7910 and ask for Anna or Iris to talk about your experiences. All information will remain strictly confidential and we will explain to you how the information will be used.


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Carer Gateway launched
New Australian Government funded service supports carers

The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Alan Tudge MP, has launched Carer Gateway making it easier for carers to access practical information and advice and connect with services in their local area.

Carer Gateway comprises a national telephone service, website and an interactive service finder to help carers locate their nearest existing support services.


Australia’s 2.7 million carers now have access to a new service to support them in their caring roles. An initiative of the Australian Government, Carer Gateway provides information about the services and support available for people who care for someone with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness, or who are frail due to age.


Carer Gateway will provide information for carers online and by phone:

• Telephone: Carers can call 1800 422 737 from Monday to Friday between
• 8am and 6pm for information about services and support available.
• Website: A range of information including practical advice on how to care, details about financial and respite support, and how to adjust when caring ends, can be accessed at
• Service finder: Carer Gateway website has an interactive service finder to help carers identify local services, including Commonwealth-funded organisations delivering carer support services.


Carer Gateway website also has information for different types of carers including young carers, older carers, working carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, and culturally and linguistically diverse carers.

This new service does not affect how carers currently access their existing support services.

For more information about Carer Gateway, visit


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NDIS Update

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way of providing individualised support for people up to 65 years of age with permanent and significant disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities.


The NDIS will be a significant source of support for participants. However, is not intended to replace other mainstream supports.

People with disability should be supported to access supports from mainstream systems and wherever possible, the NDIS will assist participants to access these systems.

If another system is responsible for a support, the NDIS cannot fund that support. Not stepping in to replace other systems is a critical principle to ensure people with disability continue to have access to mainstream systems and the NDIS is financially sustainable.

Like all Australians, NDIS participants are likely to need healthcare services throughout their lives. Participants may also have more complex healthcare needs associated with their disability. The NDIS will fund supports that assist a participant to undertake activities of daily living required due to the person’s disability, including supports such as aids and equipment, home modifications, allied health and other therapy required.

More information on the responsibilities of mainstream systems is available at  and


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The Queensland Rail Mobile App

Exciting news for rail travellers!  Queensland Rail has released the ‘Queensland Rail Mobile App’.  The App is an easily accessible information centre providing vital information about your rail journey – at the touch of your fingertips. 

The App is FREE and simple to use, including great features such as:
• How to report maintenance issues which have occurred on a train, train station or within the rail corridor
• Instant access to the Qld Rail lost property form to report a lost item
• The ability to find your local station to view the location, station hours and facility information; and
• Easy access to the TransLink journey planner

The Queensland Rail Mobile App has been designed for iPhone and iPad, as well as for Smart phones.  To download the App, visit the Apple iTunes or Google Play store and search for ‘Queensland Rail’.

The app has undergone extensive testing to ensure the highest security standards have been met.

Further information can be found at


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2016 Census Area Supervisor jobs now open - apply today!

August 9 is Census night in Australia and the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is seeking motivated, community minded project managers to work on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.
Census Area Supervisors are responsible for recruiting, training and managing a small team of temporary field staff to help deliver the 2016 Census.


If you, a friend or a family member, or a member of your organisation is looking for a challenging and rewarding job then look no further. Apply today!


To apply:
1. Go to
2. Select your State or Territory
3.  Complete and submit your application


The ABS will notify you once they receive your application.
Job seekers from diverse backgrounds, including non-English speaking backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, are encouraged to apply.


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Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month - Trust your Instinct Campaign

The Trust your Instinct Campaign intends to prevent domestic and family violence and elder abuse by encouraging friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues who suspect someone they know is being abused, to trust their instinct and call DVConnect for support to prevent serious harm occurring.


These often unseen forms of violence are affecting our neighbourhoods, our workplaces and our communities.


The campaign supports community activities during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May and extends the focus to elder abuse in the lead up to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June.


In an emergency call 000

Elder Abuse Helpline Call 1300 651 192 (Queensland) or 07 3867 2525 (rest of Australia).


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Alzheimer's Queensland - Dementia Forum for Carers

Date:  Friday 12th February 2016
Time:  9:00 am – 2:45 pm (registration from 8:30am)
Location:  Pacific Golf Course, 430 Pine Mountain Road, Carindale.
Cost: Free
RSVP: Friday 5th February 2016
Ph:  (07) 3349 0875 for more information
Morning tea and lunch provided.


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Alzheimer's Queensland - Dementia Forum for Service Providers

Date:  Thursday 11th February 2016
Time:   9:00 am – 2:30 pm (registration from 8:30am)
Location: Pacific Golf Course, 430 Pine Mountain Road, Carindale.
Cost: Free
RSVP:  Friday 29th January 2016
Ph:  (07) 3349 0875 for more information
Morning tea and lunch provided.
RSVP Essential


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You are encouraged to provide any feedback about how we can improve or add value to life.


Contact Lisa Hodghkinson at with your feedback.  

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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