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COTA life

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

Edition 9

6 March 20015

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.

Q & A with the Hon Coralee O'Rourke MP  

As Minister O'Rourke settles into her new role as Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, we took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.


Q: How will you make ageing a priority in Queensland?


A: My role as a dedicated Minister for Seniors is to be the voice of seniors at Cabinet and ensure that their interests are considered in major decisions. I’m also here to listen, which is what the previous Newman Government got so wrong. I have expert advice from knowledgeable departmental advisors and I’ll also be listening to seniors and their representatives, as I have been listening to them in my own community. I have a personal interest and experience in the issues for seniors, as my own parents are now in their mid-70s.


Read more 


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Seniors Week: It's on for young & old


Apply for your subsidy today 


It's offical!  The theme for Seniors Week 2015 is: It's on for young and old.


Building on the success of Seniors Week 2014 Queenslanders will again get together to celebrate through many seniors events from 15 - 23 August.  


456 events were held last year from Thursday Island, to Cloncurry, to the Granite Belt. 

For some living in rural and remote areas, Seniors Week is the one time of year they get to catch up with current and long lost friends.  For others Seniors Week is a way to assist in combating social isolation through the discovery of programs and activities.

Applications for Seniors Week subsidies are open for social groups, community organisations and local councils to apply.  


Get in quick as applications close 27 March.

For more information phone COTA Queensland on 1300 348 738 348 or visit


Stay connect through the Queensland Seniors Week Facebook page


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Harmony Day 21 March - Celebrating 15 years of participation

Harmony Day,  held every year on 21 March to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


The message of Harmony Day is everyone belongs. It’s a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home.

Events are happening all around the country, from art shows and film festivals to community BBQs.

To find events near you
There are lots of great event resources as well.
Don’t forget to share your celebration with on social media using #harmonyday.


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National Youth Week

National Youth Week - It starts with us! 

National Youth Week 2015 will be held from 10 -19 April and the theme is: It Starts With Us!  This year we are celebrating volunteering and participation.


Youth Week is coordinated by the Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association (PCYC), which receives Queensland Government funding to collaboratively plan, run and subsidise Youth Week events and activities in partnership with community organisations.


Do you mentor or know a young person who volunteers that deserves their Face on a Case?


Read more 


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Join at the first of our regional forums for 2015 and let us know about the issues that are impacting upon Seniors in your region.


We are seeking your views on:

• The issues that are impacting on seniors in your region, for example patient travel and health concerns.
• How can we better safeguard seniors during and after natural disasters?


You will also:

• Receive an update on the Aged Care Reform being introduced on 1 July 2015
• Gain a better understanding of Consumer Directed Care


Presenters from COTA Queensland are Sarah Baker and John Stalker.


A complimentary morning tea will be provided.


Read more 


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The health system explained 

Sunshine Coast Medicare Local (SCML) in partnership with Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ) and Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service are providing 3 free health consumer education sessions for consumers. The first workshop was held on Tuesday 3 March and attended by twenty two local consumers and carers. Lisa Hodgkinson from COTA Queensland assisted with the workshop. 


The aim of the workshops is to provide participants with inside knowledge of the health care system and care pathways.  It is anticipated that by the end of the series, participants will have a better understanding of health services, care pathways as well as how consumers can work in partnership to build collaborative health care models.


The two subsequent workshops are being held 9.30am-12.30pm on Tuesday 17th and 31st March at Sunshine Coast Medicare Local, Maroochydore.  To register your interest to attend, click here.   


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Engage Community Forum 10 March 2015

Would you like to protect yourself from Australia’s most common form of cancer: Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer?


The Engage Community Forums are free events for anyone who wants to learn about GI cancer; whether you are living with cancer, have a loved one who is, or would like to find out about lowering your risk of developing cancer.


The event offers guests a chance to ask questions to both doctors and patients, and listen as to credible information.


Refreshments will be provided.


Read more 


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How do you feel about your medicines?

An individual’s medicine use will change with time and involve starting as well as stopping medicines. Dr Emily Reeve a researcher with the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre at University of Sydney is interested in how older people feel about their medicines and having changes made to their medicines. They believe that this will provide them with information to better manage individuals and their medicines in the future.

Participating in this research will involve filling out an anonymous questionnaire. It will take about 15 minutes to complete.


Read more 


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Helping older people stay socially active – beyondblue booklet

A new, free booklet (Connections matter – Helping older people stay socially active) to help show older Australians how to connect with their community, ward off loneliness and increase their protection against depression and anxiety has been launched and will soon be distributed to community aged care providers.

Read more


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CDC Sessions - have you booked yours yet? 

By 1 July 2015 all new and existing Home Care packages, will be Consumer Directed Care packages.


COTA is providing free, interactive Controlling My Own Life: Making the Most of Consumer Directed Care information sessions to enable consumers to prepare for this change.


To find out more or to book your session, contact Marianne Wright, COTA Queensland Volunteers Coordinator, at or by phone on 3316 2905 or toll free on 1300 738 348.

All sessions are supported by resources from Home Care Today.


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Senior Correspondents wanted

Are you connected to a seniors group within your community or are simply passionate about seniors issues? COTA Queensland is seeking volunteer Seniors Correspondents to inform our policy and advocacy work.


The time commitment can be as little or as much as you like. We simply ask that you tell us about what is happening and the impact it is having on seniors in your community. It could be the high price of fuel, electricity or that seniors are actively saving the environment. Simply email your issues, ideas and solutions to and our policy team will follow them  up.

You can also join more than 500 older people who participate on our Consumer Reference Group. They contribute through identifying issues that affect them, responding to surveys or participating in focus groups.


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Give back to your community

COTA Queensland is currently looking for  volunteer peer educators  to deliver talks on a range of topics to community groups. 


Full training will be provided per topic, so if you're comfortable talking to groups, large or small, have your own transport, and would like to volunteer some of your time to help spread the word, please contact Marianne Wright on (07) 3316 2905 or


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The Commonwealth Home Support Program commences on 1st July, 2015

The Draft Programme Manual and the Draft National Fees Policy have been released for comment.


COTA Queensland will be providing feedback to the Department of Social Services on a number of fronts, if you wish to contribute to this, please email your feedback to  ASAP and we will incorporate your feedback into our response.


Alternatively, you can provide your own feedback to

The consultation period on these documents will close on 15th April.

Additional information is available on the DSS CHSP webpage.


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National Aged Care Quality Indicator Programme Pilot

The voluntary National Aged Care Quality Indicator Programme will be piloted in 2015.


The objective is to implement a voluntary national quality indicator programme that comprises a set of evidence based quality indicators that are reliable and valid and supported by practical and reliable data collection.


Minister Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services announced that in the first stage of the National Aged Care Quality Indicator Programme, pressure injuries, unplanned weight loss, physical restraint and quality of life/consumer experience indicators will be piloted.


Read more 


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Best Practice HACC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service delivery models

You can now access a series of resources that showcase best practice HACC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service delivery models. The three booklets tell the stories of innovative and positive service delivery practices that meet the cultural needs of their communities. Through these publications, HACC organisations and service providers have the opportunity to showcase their initiatives and to learn of activities and service models other HACC services are implementing.



You can read the whole range of best practice stories here:
Home and Community Care Services Best Practice Stories: Part 1
Home and Community Care Services Best Practice Stories: Part 2
Home and Community Care Services Best Practice Stories: Part 3


Read more 


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Elderly people and chronic homelessness in Brisbane

Please join us for Seeking Solutions: a forum series contributing to the Community Action Plan to end homelessness in Brisbane.


Forum #1: elderly people and chronic homelessness in Brisbane


This event is an opportunity for people in the aged care, community and homelessness service sector to hear about Wintringham, a highly successful response to elderly people who are homeless, and winner of the United Nations Habitat Scroll of Honour Award for human settlements in 2011.


Read more 


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Call for abstracts now open!


The Program Committee invites authors to submit abstracts for oral,  poster, symposium and workshop presentations for the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing, Disasters in an Ageing World: Readiness, Resilience and Recovery.


The building blocks of this conference include accurate and insightful risk reduction, readiness to provide effective responses in diverse environmental and population situations, with dedicated time and resources toward a journey of full recovery.  Together the building blocks give rise to individual and community resilience – sometimes against all odds, yet reflecting the power of the human spirit. This global conference provides a vibrant opportunity for stakeholders including content experts, decision and policy makers, service providers and practitioners, consumers, advocates, and academics to come together to present and debate on age related issues, policies and practices as it is related to disasters and older people more generally.

More information


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Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and COTA Victoria wish to invite you to join us for the Let’s Talk About Sex Conference taking place at the Pullman on the Park, Melbourne, Australia on the 8-9 September 2015. The inaugural Conference aims to challenge many of the assumptions, taboos and stereotypes when it comes to older people and sexual intimacy.


The Right to Choose   
Safety and Health  
Attitudes and Values   
Having the Conversation


Submission is open and we look forward to receive your contribution to the program.

More information


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QCOSS calls on Ergon Energy to consider low-income households in its future network strategy

In their submission to Ergon Energy on its future network strategy, QCOSS calls on Ergon to ensure that its future network tariffs are embedded with consumer related principles of bill stability and simplicity.

As electricity is an essential service that households rely on every day QCOSS believes that is important to provide a voice for residential consumers, and particularly low-income and disadvantaged households. With many Queensland households now struggling to pay their electricity bills QCOSS is especially keen to ensure that any decisions made by Ergon and the Australian Energy Regulator on future network tariffs are equitable and do not result in worse outcomes for low-income and vulnerable regional Queenslanders.


Read more from QCOSS 


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It's time to act! Shaping your culture and practices to be CDC ready.

If you missed the workshops in late 2014 but would still like to review the workshop content, a recording of the workshop and associated video clips is now available on USB or DVD, together with the Workshop Manual that can help you with planning your Consumer Directed Care (CDC) transition.

Simply complete the Workshop DVD/USB Order Form to receive your free copy.


Read more 


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Workshop outcomes: Questions, challenges and strategies

In 2014 Home Care Today delivered 18 It’s Time to Act workshops nationally, designed to promote a culture and the practices that support CDC in Home Care provider organisations. The mood of the workshops could be summarised as one of collaborative generosity where nearly every provider was keen to share where they were at. This included people feeling completely overwhelmed about where to start and recognising that to do this well it was going to require a lot of time as it affected many stakeholders across the organisation.

This resource is aimed at those organisations that are still shaping their approach to CDC. The strategies come from the 195 organisations that participated in the workshops and the links in the document provide other resources that organisations have found useful in getting ready for CDC implementation by July 1 and beyond. To see the workshop summary report click here.


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CDC finanaces webinare for small providers - 17 March 2015 (One session) 1-5 PM (AEDST) $200

CDC Finances Webinar - March 2015 Flier


Registration form for CDC Finances Webinar - March 2015. This includes a recording of the webinar, 100 page report and training spreadsheet). (If you are paying by credit card please go to


If you are unable to attend on 17 March you can purchase the recordings and resources for the same cost of $200.


Registration form for March Webinar - Recording Only

If you are interested in purchasing the resources and recordings of the Two Part webinar series held in Jan/Feb please see link below.


Order Form - Recordings for Jan/Feb Webinar


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Have you asked your Consumers what they think about your service?


To get some ideas on how to engage your consumer see the Home Care Today  publication The Voice of Consumers in Home Care: A Practical Guide


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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