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COTA life

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

Edition 20

4 March 2016

Register today and save with an early bird registration

Register today and save with an early bird registration
Don't pay full price! Register today to secure your registration at the early bird discounted rate. Early bird registration is only available until Tuesday 22 March 2016. For more information or to register, visit

All presenting authors are required to register and pay to attend the Conference. All authors accepted in the Call for Late Abstracts are required to register by Tuesday 22 March 2016.


Program Highlights
At the Conference you will have the opportunity to listen and learn from:

• Dr John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life Course, World Health Organization (WHO) opening the IFA Conference discussing the pivotal World Report on Ageing and Health

• IFA's United Nations Representatives, Ms Helen Hamlin, Ms Valerie Levy and Dr Cynthia Stuen along with AARP's, Ms Erica Dhar to discuss the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

•  Dr Jennifer Campbell from Grantmakers in Aging along with IFA's Mr Shaw, Dr John Beard and Pfizer's Mr Christopher Gray talking about creating a framework for sustaining Age-friendly communities

• Dr Catherine Barratt and colleagues to discuss the then and now of older LGBTI people's rights

•  Prof Lisa Brown from Palo Alto University and Prof Christine Stephens, Dr Sally Keeling and Dr Brendan Stevenson from New Zealand will share lessons learnt from earthquakes and hurricanes and suggest targeted strategies and programs for older adults to minimise the too often deadly impacts


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We're Live!

COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland is the Seniors Peak giving older Queenslanders a voice on issues that affect them.

Radio COTA, a weekly podcast available on SoundCloud will focus on topical and relevant information for older Queenslanders.


COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mark Tucker-Evans said  "We are excited to be connecting with and informing communities throughout the state and we invite people to join us every Wednesday by tuning into Radio COTA." 


In the first episode listeners will learn about COTA Queensland’s history, present and future and hear  about  Age-friendly Cities and Communities with Dr Kathleen Brasher, a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group, Global Network Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

"We are the legacy of 100 years of extraordinary, fantastic, public health measures and good approaches to health and to growing old."  Dr. Brasher said.

"When Australia was first federated in 1901, only 4% of the population was over 65.  Within 100 years we are up to about 15% of the population as a whole, as a country being over the age of 65.  And by 2525, will be a quarter of the population." - An exert from our interview with Dr Kathleen Brasher.

Radio COTA is hosted by media veteran Andy Neil and can be accessed through any mobile device or computer.

"In the following weeks you can look forward to some fantastic interviews and a wealth of information leading up to the 13th Global Conference on Ageing in June and Seniors Week in August."  Mr Neil said.


For more information visit or subscribe to our channel on SoundCloud.


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COTA Queensland extends our sincere condolences to Radio COTA host and producer Andy Neil and his wife Kath on the sudden death of their grandson Patrick. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

There is still time to get your Seniors Week subsidy application in! 

‘It’s on for young and old’ has become a 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.

The Queensland Government has provided $100,000 to subsidise events and activities held during Seniors Week 2016.  Applications are now open for community organisations and local councils to apply for a maximum of $1000.   Get in quick as applications close 31 March 2016.


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Financial protection for Queensland seniors

The Palaszczuk Government has agreed to take action to provide greater financial protection for older Queenslanders.


Seniors Minister Coralee O’Rourke said a Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy of existing financial protections for Queensland seniors had made 43 recommendations to protect older Queenslanders from serious financial mismanagement, exploitation or abuse, and the Government was responding.


“Sadly, older people can be vulnerable to financial abuse, with 1377 reported cases of elder abuse in Queensland last year - and many of these coming from a family member,” Mrs O’Rourke said.


The Palaszczuk Government supports or supports in principle 41 of the 43 recommendations. Two recommendations were not supported by the Government, because one relates to Federal Government responsibilities and the other would duplicate powers already in place in Queensland. 


The government has carefully considered the recommendations and committed to:
• developing a whole of government strategy for seniors
• exploring options to formalise family agreements
• developing a housing strategy which encourages affordable and accessible housing options to support seniors to live safe and independently
• developing financial resilience and inclusion strategies including credit and insurance needs
• improving pathways to link older Queenslanders with safe, affordable, alternative financial service products
• supporting seniors to engage with computer and internet technologies, and
• developing a program that promotes awareness of elder abuse and powers of attorney

COTA Queensland is bringing  thogether  leaders from the United States, Canada, China, New Zealand, Japan, United Kingdom and Belgium to Queensland in June for the 13th Global Conference on Ageing to lead discussions and challenge our opinions and knowledge on elder abuse, neglect and rights with question such as:


• Is legislation the panacea against elder abuse?
• What are the most effective evidence based elder abuse programs?
• Are legislative and administrative frameworks adequate?
• Can a rights based approach make a difference?
• Should legal safeguards be mandated?
• What is the function of the UN Open-ended Group in Ageing?
• Is there an opportunity for the WHO Strategy and Plan to put elder abuse on the global agenda?
• What strategies are effective for those older persons most at risk?
• How can stronger legal rights be established?

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Let’s Put An End To Alarmist Pension Headlines And Review Retirement Incomes Properly

Media Release: COTA Australia 2 March 2016


Leading seniors advocate, COTA Australia, today renewed its call for a considered, holistic and independent Retirement Incomes Review in light of yet another round of exaggerated claims about the age pension.


COTA Australia CE, Yates said, that despite alarmist media headlines today claiming pensioners are demanding more than their fair share of tax-payer dollars, the Centre for Independent Studies report to which they refer, actually makes some reasonable recommendations about our retirement incomes system which an independent review should seriously consider.


"It is disappointing that yet again we are seeing such alarmist claims about the impact of the pension on the federal budget's bottom line," Mr Yates said.


"The fact is, access to the pension was significantly tightened only last year and all the expert reports consistently show we have one of the most modest and targeted pension systems in the world.


"The OECD's 2015 Pensions at a Glance report shows that Australia's pension system is sustainable over the long term, spending just 3.5 per cent of GDP on age pensions, compared to the OECD average of 7.9 per cent.


"The OECD also recently found that more than one third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line, ranking the country among the worst for ensuring financial security for the elderly.


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Human Rights Act for Queensland

Queenslanders are being given the opportunity to have a say on the possible implementation of a Human Rights Act in Queensland thanks to an inquiry launched by the Queensland Government. In December 2015, Queensland Attorney-General, Yvette D’ath announced that the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee of State Parliament would hold an inquiry to determine whether a Human Rights Act is the best way to protect human rights into the future. The committee is due to report back to the Legislative Assembly by 30 June 2016.

The ADCQ is assisting Queenslanders to understand what a Human Rights Act would mean in practice by holding free public information sessions across the state in February and March.  If you are interested in attending a public information session, click on the links below to book or email If you require an interpreter please advise at the time of booking.

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New translated resource available – The service we offer you

Source: Australian Human Rights Commissioner

There is a new addition in our range of translated resources. The service we offer you factsheet is now in seventeen translated community languages including Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Dutch, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Macedonian, Maltese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish and Vietnamese.

The service we offer you describes what the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner can do for people raising concerns or complaints about Australian Government funded aged care and the service people can expect from us.

You can order this factsheet or any other resources for free using our online resource order form.


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The National Disability Insurance Agency registrations for Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC)

Face-to-face consultation sessions in Brisbane and Townsville.




At the end of last year, the NDIA released a consultation draft of the ILC Commissioning Framework. The Framework outlines how the Agency will fund and manage ILC activities in the future. 

In July 2015, all governments in Australia agreed to the ILC Policy Framework.  The policy has now been given to the Agency to implement.

The Agency has already completed some work on the framework, however, before this is completed, the Agency would like to talk more with people with disability, their families and carers as well as people who work in the sector about some key parts of the Framework.

What is the consultation session about?


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“Universal Housing Design (UHD) refers to designing Australian homes to meet the changing needs of home occupants throughout their lifetime.”


The Universal Housing Design recommendations include ‘easy living’ features that aim to make homes easier and safer for all occupants, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of:


• people with disability
• ageing Australians
• people with temporary injuries, and
• families with young children


A universally designed home should:

• have easy access entries
• be easy to move in and around
• be capable of easy and cost-effective adaptation; and
• be designed to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of home occupants

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Retirement Living Options

Park and Village Information Link (PAVIL)  is a specialist advice and information service, offering assistance to residents and prospective residents of retirement villages and manufactured home parks in Queensland. We are a free, state-wide service funded by the Department of Housing and Public Works. We are part of Caxton Legal Centre, a community legal centre located in South Brisbane.

PAVIL is focused on providing tools for park and village residents to ‘self-resolve’ problems as much as possible. This is a very efficient and effective way of providing our services as our client group is generally well equipped to self-advocate once armed with relevant knowledge and information, and it also enables us to provide advice to a greater number of people overall.


Learn about key features of retirement villages and manufactured homes parks in a legal information session.

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New Legislation Gives Older Australians Real Choice And Control Over Services And Care In Their Home

Media Release: COTA Australia 4 Macrh 2016 

Legislation passed in the Senate yesterday giving older Australians more choice about their home care services is a very welcome improvement to our aged care system, leading seniors advocate COTA Australia said today.

COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said the new provisions will for the first time allow older people to choose their services and who provides them, rather than having services determined for them.

The new legislation will allow people who are unhappy with the services they are receiving, or who need to relocate out of the area, to change providers and keep their package.

"These changes are about giving older people back significantly more control over their lives when they need home care, and are a long overdue ," Mr Yates said,

"Currently aged care packages are allocated by government to aged care service providers, so when an older person is assessed as eligible for support in their home they then have to find a provider in their area who has a package available and hope the provider is responsive to their needs.

"Under this new legislation funding will follow the consumer not the provider, allowing people to be given the package and choose the care provider that best suits their individual needs."


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Webinar invitation: Increasing Choice in Home Care – Stage 1 – Legislative changes

Source Department of Health, Ageing and Aged Care Group

You are invited to attend a webinar on 11 March 2016 about the proposed legislative changes to home care arrangements as part of the first stage of the home care reforms announced by the Government in the 2015-16 Budget.

The webinar will cover the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Increasing Consumer Choice) Bill 2016 that was introduced into Parliament on 11 February 2016.

The webinar will explain the changes proposed in the Bill and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions.

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Ageing Survey

Keeping My Place in the Community

People aged 60 and over are needed to contribute to a study about health, wellbeing and quality of life.


This study aims to explore health and social issues faced by people as they age. Most people want to stay living in their own home as long as possible, but sometimes there are not sufficient resources, family, or community services to support them to do that.

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Screening: The Lady in the Van  

Home Instead Senior Care in the Maroochydore area hosting a screening of 'The Lady in the Van' on March 9th,  raising funds to support Orange Sky Laundry, a world first mobile laundry service for the homeless in Brisbane started by two young guys.


Lady in the Van is based on a true story of a woman who lived in a van for 15 years in the driveway of someone who happened to be an author.


To book your tickets go to


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Seniors as Lifelong Learners

'Seniors as Lifelong Learners' is a hot topic for educational and cultural institutions, local government, state policy makers and community builders/bodies.

Learning through life and into the post-retirement years is essential to maintain active minds and quality of life. The OECD has found a significant link between continuing to learn for one’s own interests with improved wellbeing, health, sociability and empowerment. The converse is that in the absence of learning and poor education, there is an association with loneliness and decreased cognitive function.

Mr Peter Kearns OAM, FACE will introduce panel speakers for this 'Seniors as Lifelong Learners Symposium' and also will facilitate a conversation in response to the stimuli from panelists. Those involved in fostering lifelong learning out of diverse settings will find this conversation about embedding a learning culture for a strong learning society to which we must aspire, a valuable professional learning experience.


Registratiosn close 22 March.  Contact ACE National Offcec to register on (03) 9035 5475 or email


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Free Online LGBTI Aged Care Training 

Strategy: We educate and inform service providers, policy makers, and L-G-B-T-I people and communities about changes to inclusive practice in the Australian aged care sector.


Eductaion: Silver Rainbow is delivering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) aged care awareness training to a broad range of staff working in ageing and aged care, students studying aged care and aged care assessment teams nationally. Silver Rainbow educates and informs service providers, policy makers, and L-G-B-T-I people and communities about changes to inclusive practice in the Australian aged care sector. Silver Rainbow is a national partnership between Alliance members in every state and territory.


By celebrating and embracing diverse genders, bodies, sexualities, and relationships, this combination of training and education will foster better health and wellbeing outcomes for older Australian’s.


More info and regostrationss email


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Inclusive Healthcare in Community Aged Care

Exploring  how we can work together to identify diversity characteristics among older people and how they may impact access to appropriate healthcare


The Royal District Nursing Service is a not-for-profit provider of home nursing and healthcare services, at the forefront of developing innovative home healthcare programs. Through funding from the Department of Social Services, the RDNS Institute and Education & Learning Centre are charged with developing and delivering comprehensive diversity training for community aged care workers.

In this interactive workshop you will:
• Examine the meaning of diversity with other healthcare workers
• Explore how diversity characteristics relate to the healthcare needs and services available for older people
• Discuss what you and your organisation can do to positively impact an older person’s healthcare


Be part of the diversity and inclusion practice and policy change in your organisation and help set the standard across our communities

Who should attend?

Frontline community care staff, including care workers, nurses, social workers, allied health professionals . All those working behind the scenes, including managers and supervisors.

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Support Our Work and Get Involved

Our aim is to help create a more just, equitable and caring community in which older people are actively involved and have access to appropriate support, services and care. You can assist by:

Leaving a bequest in your Will to COTA Queensland
Donating today through PayPal or by shopping online with Shopnate
Joining as an individual member and receiving a wide range of  benefits through the COTA Rewards and Savings program
Joining as an organisational member and contribute to our information exchange, policy development and service development
Joining over 600 Queenslanders in our Consumer Reference Network to enable you to contribute your knowledge and experiences to the development of our submissions in response to those issues impacting on people age they age in Queensland
Joining our team as a volunteer. Our volunteer program enables you to play a role in a range of areas

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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