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COTA life

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

Edition 26

COTAlife a monthly E-newsletter, keeping you informed about how COTA is advancing the rights, needs and interests of people as they age and providing assistance to find services to enhance Queenslanders quality of life.

In this issue

• RAGE Against Ageism
• Human Rights for Older People
• International Day of Older Persons 2016

• RUOK Day
• Queensland's Age-friendly Community Action Plan
• Age Well
• It was on for young and old

• Queensland Aged and Disability Advocate Service (QADA)

• NDIS update

• Rules door-to-door salespeople must follow
• Regional Transport Plans

• LGBTI Seniors Community Visitor Service
• Peer Educators trained and ready to roll!
• Switched on communities
• Join our team!
• Notice of COTA Queensland’s 59th Annual General Meeting
• Clarion Awards
• Anti-Poverty Week
• Telstra 2G Network Closure
• Ergon Energy Community Fund

• RadioCOTA


RAGE Against Ageism

Last month’s Seniors Week brought out some interesting perceptions about seniors and ageing. We will be following this up over the next twelve months through continuing the 'Face of Ageing' campaign. The intention of this campaign is to challenge the negative attitudes and stereotypes faced by older adults.


Recent research by the International Federation on Ageing revealed that ageism was the most tolerated form of social prejudice when compared to gender or race-based discrimination. The Revera Report on Ageism: Independence and Choice As We Age released by Revera Inc and Sheridan Centre for Elder Research concludes that there has never been a better time to bring attention to the impact of ageism on our society.


Whilst this Report is based on research undertaken in Canada an April 2015 survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that 27% of people over the age of 50 had recently experienced discrimination in the workplace.


Currently in Australia just over 60% of Australians aged 55 to 64 are still working  yet a new report by consulting firm PwC found that if Australia increased the workforce participation of older workers, to that of Sweden with around three-quarters of its population aged over 55 employed, it could boost Australia’s economy by up to $78billion.


Jeremy Thorpe, PwC economics and policy partner said "the countries with the strongest record had taken similar initiatives. They encourage later retirement, lifelong education to improve employability and reducing employment barriers for older workers."


Among OECD countries, Iceland and New Zealand have the highest number of people aged over 55 in the workforce.


We have received many phone calls from older people excluded from the workforce following a segment on the ABC’s The World Today about the PwC Report.


If you are experiencing discrimination or ageism we are interested in hearing from you. Contact

Human Rights for Older People

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently published a critical Report of the Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons.


Among the Independent Expert's key conclusions are:
• Older persons face a number of particular challenges in the enjoyment of their human rights that need to be addressed urgently.
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) is not sufficient to ensure older persons' full enjoyment of their human rights.
• States must step up their efforts to strengthen the protection of older persons' human rights and to consider the various proposals that have been made, notably the elaboration of a convention on the rights of older persons.
• It is hoped that the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing will, in due course, present to the General Assembly a proposal containing the main elements of an international legal instrument to promote and protect the rights and dignity of older persons, which are currently not addressed sufficiently by existing mechanisms and, therefore, require further international protection.



International Day of Older Persons – Saturday 1 October 2016

Take a Stand Against Ageism


For older people, ageism exists - everyday, and yes, it’s challenging and heart-breaking.
More often than not, older people (50 years plus) are:
1. Overlooked for employment
2. Restricted from social services
3. Stereotyped in the media
4. Marginalised and excluded from their communities


Ageism seems to be everywhere – and quite often is socially normalised and accepted.
Ageism is portrayed from every angle – especially in the media, with characters who are older being seen as senile, nosey (remember Mrs Mangel from Neighbours?), annoying, interfering, foolish, etc.

These common attitudes, lead to the marginalisation of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being.  Older people who feel they are a burden may also perceive their lives to be less valuable, putting them at risk of depression and social isolation.

This year, we challenge everyone to identify and question these internalised ageist attitudes, and to understand the serious impact that these attitudes have.
"Take a Stand against Ageism" is the theme of the International Day of Older Persons for 2016.





RUOK? Day Thursday September 8

RUOK? Day on Thursday September 8, is a National Day of action, dedicated to inspiring all people to reach out to people in the community, friends, family, a colleague, a neighbour – and ask, “Are you OK?’’

The goal of RUOK is to start a conversation movement and inspire all people to have regular, meaningful conversations about life’s ups and downs.  It’s a national movement which aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.


For further information on RUOK Day, visit



Queensland's Age-friendly Community Action Plan

At the IFA 13th Global Conference, hosted by COTA Queensland the Honourable Coralee O'Rourke, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, announced the Queensland Government's Age-friendly Community Action Plan.


The Action Plan provides a clear way forward to direct the implementation and delivery of age-friendly communities in Queensland. The Action Plan includes activities and initiatives as committed in the government's response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy of existing financial protections for Queensland's seniors.

Timeframes for progressing actions are outlined in the accompanying Implementation Schedule for 2016-17 and 2017-18. Please refer to the Queensland: An Age-friendly Community website for more information.

If you would like to stay connected with seniors news and activities in Queensland, please visit Queensland Seniors on Facebook.


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Age Well Working Group

In August 2016, the Queensland Mental Health Commission and COTA Queensland co-hosted the first meeting of the Age Well Working Group.


The working group brings together government agencies and their non-government partners to support the implementation of the Early Action: Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Action Plan 2015-17, through a focus on the mental health and wellbeing of older Queenslanders.


The first meeting comprised representatives from:
• Queensland Mental Health Commission
• Council on the Ageing Queensland
• Aged and Community Services Australia
• Ageing Mind Initiative: University of Queensland
• Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
• Carers Queensland
• Department of Communities, Child Safety & Disability Services
• Department of Health and Ageing (Australian Government)
• Department of Social Services (Australian Government)
• Older Person’s Health Clinical Network
• Statewide Older Persons Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Clinical Group
• Queensland Aged and Disability Advocacy
• Queensland Health
• Queensland Men’s Shed Association Inc.
• Brisbane North Primary Healthcare Network


The working group was provided an overview of current strategies, practices and research on improving older person’s mental health and wellbeing. Discussion focused on what we are doing well for mental health and ageing in Queensland, what we need to do better, and what role the working group can play.


Next steps
The Ageing Well Working Group will continue to inform the implementation of Early Action: Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Acton Plan 2015-17


The group will also help shape the future of the Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-19 and associated action plans. Further advice will be provided on the process for reviewing of the Strategic Plan in the near future.


The next meeting of the Ageing Well Working Group will be in early 2017.


It was on for young and old

Queenslanders across the state celebrated Seniors Week during the period 13-21 August 2016. Over 500 events were held throughout Queensland.


We take this opportunity to thank all the partners who worked with us and the Queensland Government to make this year’s Seniors Week and outstanding success.


Next year Seniors Week will be held between 19-27 August 2017.

We are seeking partners to sponsor this outstanding statewide program. Seniors Week provides your organisation with the opportunity to raise your profile in the important and growing seniors market.


For further information contact: Lisa Hodgkinson, Seniors Week Coordinator on phone 1300 738 348 or email


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Queensland Aged and Disability Advocate Service (QADA)

The Queensland Aged and Disability Advocate Service (QADA) have made the decision to rebrand, driven by the desire to work more closely with the Federal Government on disability and Aged Care issues. 


From the 1st of September, QADA will be known as ADA Australia, Your Aged and disability Advocates.

This new national identity demonstrates their ongoing commitment to providing crucial advocacy services to older people and people with disability, regardless of geographical location.  While the name is new, the purpose and passion remains the same – to provide crucial advocacy services to older people and people with disability.  ADA will be better positioned to give vulnerable Australians a louder voice on the issues that matter most.

If you have any issues or concerns, please contact the Your Aged and disability Advocates (ADA) team on phone 1800 818 338.

NDIS Update

When a person has been diagnosed with a disability, they may have been placed on the Register of Need through the Department of Communities, Child Safety, and Disability Services (Qld).

If this person is nearing the age of 65, and is on the Register of Need, however, due to funding restraints, has not been receiving supports or services, should they be turning 65 six months prior to the NDIS rolling out in their area, they should contact the NDIS and request an Access Request Form.

The person will need to complete the Access Request form and return it to the NDIS prior to them turning 65 years of age.  If the person meets all of the other eligibility criteria, and has returned the completed Access request Form prior to them turning 65, they may be eligible to participate in the NDIS.


For more information visit the website or contact the NDIS phone 1800 800 110 or email



Rules door-to-door salespeople must follow

When you deal with door-to-door salespeople, your rights are different from when you visit a store or shop online. This is because you did not seek out (‘solicit’) the business to buy from them. We call these types of sales 'unsolicited consumer agreements'.


A door-to-door sale is unsolicited when: a business or their agent approaches you without your invitation. This is usually at your home but it can also happen in public places like the common area of a shopping centre the agreement involves a cost of more than $100, or has an undetermined price.


Door-to-door sellers must obey clear rules around:
• contact hours
• disclosure (what they need to say)
• written agreements
• cooling-off period


Door-to-door sellers must not approach any residence displaying a do-not-knock notice.  You can order your do not knock sticker here.



Regional Transport Plans

Transport is one of the eight domains of Age-friendly communities and is a key concern for older people.


During 2016-2017 the Department of Transport and Main Roads in collaboration with local government is developing Regional Transport Plans for all districts across Queensland. These plans will define the priorities for developing the transport system in the district by outlining the planning actions and opportunities that will deliver the right investment solutions.


COTA Queensland will participate in a workshop looking at statewide and cross-regional transport networks to identify shared priorities for the development of integrated transport system.


If you are interested in contributing to COTA Queensland’s policy and advocacy work contact or join our Consumer Reference Network.

LGBTI Seniors Community Visitor Service

The Seniors Community Visiting Service is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, and matches trained volunteer visitors with LGBTI senior clients who feel alone or isolated from their community due to health, mobility or other issues.


The service supports clients to stay connected with others through having regular contact with their visitor for conversation, social support and/or outings.


It operates alongside, but not in place of, other in-home care and support services that clients might receive or be looking to access.



Peer Educators trained and ready to roll!

COTA Peer Educators are now trained to deliver a new information session topic and ready to start sharing it with their communities. The new information session titled Your Wellbeing, Your Plan is a new, free interactive information session for older Queenslanders.


The session will include discussion of the possibilities and advantages of staying well as you aged and options for increasing your wellbeing, including accessing aged care services if need be.


Peer Educators are able to deliver sessions for seniors groups and aged care providers in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Gold Coast, Logan, South Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba from September 2016 to June 2017.


Invite a COTA Peer Educator to speak with your group for a free, one hour interactive session by downloading the booking request form by clicking from here and emailing it to



Switched on communities

COTA Queensland was successful in obtaining funding, provided by AGL and the Queensland Government, to empower seniors across southeast Queensland to be informed and active consumers in the energy market.


We are currently developing a community education program, utilising volunteer peer educators, COTAlife monthly email newsletter, COTA’s partnerships with community, aged and community care services and senior’s stakeholder groups.


For further information contact 1300 738 348 or email

Join our team!

Are you...
• Looking to make a difference? 
• Passionate about creating an age-friendly Queensland

Do you have experience or knowledge of community education approaches working with volunteers? 


COTA Queensland is expanding our Community Education program and this could be a great fit.  


For more information, click here or phone 1300 738 348 or email


Applications close at 9 am on Monday 12 September 2016.

Notice of 59th Annual General Meeting

The 59th Annual General Meeting of Council on the Ageing Queensland Ltd will be held on  Tuesday 18 October 2016 commencing at 2:00pm at Unit 12 Level 1, 25 Mary Street, Brisbane QLD 4000. The AGM will be followed by drinks and canapés.


RSVP Friday 7 October 2016 via phone (07) 3316 2999 or email

Clarion Awards

COTA Queensland sponsors the Clarion Awards, Queensland's major awards for journalistic excellence, which are administered by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA). 


Finalists in  Regional & Community - Print /Text: Feature Article or Opinion sponsored by COTA are:
• Kylie Bartholomew & Annie Gaffney, ABC Sunshine Coast, Queensland kindergarten gives toy gun licences to kids
•  Sherele Moody, APN Australian Regional Media, Learning to live life in the face of death
• Vani Naidoo, APN Australian Regional Media, Pucker up for progress, Giving the homeless hope, Laying cancer bare


The Awards will presented on 10 September.

Anti-Poverty Week

Poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians.  Around the world more than a billion people are desperately poor. 


During Anti-Poverty Week, help fight poverty and hardship.


Show your support for Anti-Poverty Week from the 16th to 21st of October.  More information can be found at

Telstra 2G Network Closure

The Telstra 2G mobile network is closing on 1 December 2016.


This means that customers who are connected to 2G will no longer be able to make or receive phone calls on their mobile phone. Customers will know if they’re currently using the 2G network as they will have a 2G icon at the top of their phone screen.


It’s important that 2G customers understand what they need to do to switch to 3G or 4G services before 1 December 2016. Making the switch is easy and service providers are here to help.


If a customer is connected to 2G we encourage them to visit a Telstra store or contact their service provider as soon as possible to avoid any disruption to their service.


For more information please visit

Ergon Energy Community Fund

Ergon Energy will be providing a total of $50,000 in funding for not-for-profit community groups and organisations for projects designed to empower groups in your local community to create change for the better.


Eligible projects should provide some kind of lasting community benefit such as those that reduce energy consumption, or upgrades to equipment and facilities. They may include educating kids about sustainable gardening, provide emergency equipment, encourage people to change the way they use energy, or promote renewable energy alternatives.


If you have any queries regarding the Ergon ENergy COmmunity Fund, please contact: Community Fund Secretariat

Phone: (07) 3851 6318



Radio COTA

Radio COTA is a free podcast focused on topical and relevant information for older Queenslanders. It is an “on-demand” radio show accessible from your computer, smart phone or tablet. Available on Sound Cloud, iTunes and the COTA Queensland website


We encourage you to provide feedback about what you’d like us to cover in these podcasts. You can have your say by contacting us on  1300 738 348 or email us at

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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