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COTA life

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

Edition 18

8 January 2016

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland is the state-wide seniors peak organisation dedicated to advancing the rights, needs and interests of Queenslanders as they age.


Since 1957 COTA Queensland has been representing older Queenslanders working in partnership to challenge and influence all levels of Government, the business sector and the general community to create positive social change together.


Together with our members COTA Queensland continues to co-crate an age-friendly Queensland representing seniors in a broad number of areas.

A New Year Begins 

The Christmas-New Year break is already just a fond memory of a chance to reflect and refresh for the busy year ahead.

Last year ended on a sad note with former COTA Queensland President, Clyde Gilmour ISO, AM, passing away on 16 December 2015 just two weeks short of his 92nd birthday.

Clyde Gilmour began his career as an apprentice fitter with the Brisbane Tramway Trust. During this time he began studying for a Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. In 1943 he joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and was subsequently deployed to Winnipeg in Canada. Returning to Australia he completed a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education with Honours in Mechanical Engineering. He began lecturing at the Central Technical College (CTC) and the University of Queensland. In January 1963 he was appointed Principal of the CTC. One of his first tasks as Principal was to visit overseas technical institutions and his report on these institutions was used to restructure technical education in Queensland. The main focus of this restructure was to establish independent institutes of technology.

In 1972 Mr Gilmour was appointed Deputy Director-General of Education in Queensland and in 1976 he became the Director-General of Education. He remained in this position until 1983.

In the 1985 he was appointed President Council on the Ageing Queensland and represented Queensland on the Australian Council on the Ageing Board of Directors. In 1993 Clyde Gilmour was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Mr Gilmour was interviewed by Roger Scott and Ann Scott in September 2009  about his reflections as a long serving Director-General of Education (1976-83) for Queensland Speaks. I encourage you to visit


We are off to a great start to 2016 with the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirming their co-sponsorship of the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing to be hosted by COTA Queensland in Brisbane 21-23 June 2016. IFA Secretary-General Dr Jane Barratt will be in Brisbane later this month to work with us on finalising the Conference program. Early bird registrations are now open and I encourage you to visit

Also the State Government confirmed that COTA Queensland will continue to coordinate Seniors Week for the next three years. This year Seniors Week (in reality 9 days) will be held 13-21 August 2016. Last year 737 events were held across Queensland during Seniors Week. We look forward to continuing to work with the State Government and our partners to build on this success and to celebrate the contribution older people continue to make to their communities.


Mark Tucker-Evans
Chief Executive


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Get Redy Queensland 

Five years ago floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities across Queensland. Over 200,000 people were affected with damaged at over $2.3 billion.

When it comes to extreme weather events in Queensland it’s not so much as matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The more prepared we all are the faster we’ll bounce back afterwards.

COTA Queensland is hosting the International Federation on Ageing’s 13th Global Conference on Ageing with the theme Disasters in an Ageing World.


Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction will be one of the keynote speakers at the conference which will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre 21-23 June 2016. Ms Wahlstrom organised the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held from 14-18 March last year in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Heads of State and Government, Ministers and several thousand delegates participated under the umbrella of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. The Sendai Declaration, adopted at the Conference recognised the increasing impact of disasters and their complexity in many parts of the world and declared the intention to enhance efforts to strengthen disaster risk reduction to reduce disaster losses of lives and assets from disasters worldwide.

IFA’s 13th Global Conference on Ageing will explore the impact of disasters on older people locally and across the globe as well as advancing the Age Friendly Cities and Communities; Care and Support for Older People (Community & Residential); Elder Abuse, Law and Rights; and Income Protection and Security agendas.

The World Health Organisation’s Director of Ageing and Life Course Dr John Beard will speak on the recently released World Report on Ageing and Health.

For further information


To discuss Sponsorship opportunities contact Drew Whait +61 488 205 570


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Looking Forward/Looking Back 

We are often so focused on the things we need to do that we don't stop to celebrate the things we've achieved.


COTA Queensland will celebrate our 60th anniversary in September 2017 and long term volunteer Sue Bowles is currently compiling our history.


One of our objectives is to auspice and resource new organisations within the aged sector at State government and local government level to enable those organisations to operate independently.


Did you know that COTA Queensland helped to establish Queensland’s:
 first Senior Citizens Club
 first Meals on Wheels
 Aged Care Queensland (now LASA-Queensland)
 Older Women’s Network Queensland
 U3A (University of the Third Age)
 Volunteering Queensland
 Health Consumers Queensland.


One of the things that has become apparent to Sue is that there are very few photographs in our archives.


If you through your involvement with COTA have any photos that you think could add to our photographic records Sue would love to hear from you. She works most Tuesday's between 10:00-4:00pm and can be contacted on


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COTA Peer Education Network

Our Community Education program is delivered by trained volunteers providing free information sessions for groups of older people. The current topic is on the reforms to the aged care system and home care packages, ensuring people have accurate information to access the system and know their rights under the new system. The sessions increase the knowledge of older Queenslanders so they can maintain control of their own lives and become active partners in their own health care and support needs. Sessions run for an hour and are conducted by a trained COTA Peer Educator.

We are seeking to work with organisations, seniors groups, service providers and individuals to host information sessions for seniors on the reforms to the aged care system. If you would like to host a session in 2016 contact Kerryn on 1300 738 348 (toll free) or


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Do you know someone who is interested in learning to use the internet but are 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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Seniors Week 2016 - Let's come together Queensland

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

Last year 737 events were held from the Northern Peninsula Region to Mount Isa, Cairns to the Granite Belt and Gold Coast. 

Seniors Week provides the opportunity to unite all Queenslanders to celebrate the valuable contributions seniors make in their communities.  Whether as volunteers or in the workforce seniors utilise their experience and knowledge as community leaders, carers, grandparents and advocates. 

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of many groups and countless volunteers across the state, Seniors Week is now a major event each year.

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, creating new friendships and remaining an active member of society.

To continue the momentum of previous years we encourage you wherever you are in the state to support your local community organisation to plan and host a Seniors Week event this year.  

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland coordinates Seniors Week and receives Queensland Government funding to collaboratively plan and subsidise Seniors Week events and activities. 

The Queensland Government has provided $100,000 to subsidise events and activities held during Seniors Week 2016. Applications open 1 February 2016 for community organisations and local councils to apply for a maximum of $1000.  


Get in quick as applications close 31 March 2016. 

For more information about Seniors Week call COTA Queensland on 1300 738 348, email or visit


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Join Our Seniors Week Team

Seniors Week Coordinator, Lisa Hodgkinson, is looking for a volunteer to join her team to support the state’s largest seniors celebration. 

Are you a skilled administrator, with a good eye for detail, have computer literacy skills with 7 hours a week from February to the end of October to volunteer? 

If you would like to join the team that creates this state-wide event, contact Lisa on 07 3316 2908 or email  

The successful applicant will work with the team from our Brisbane office.


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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