In the Australian Capital Territory, COTA is the peak organisation concerned with all issues related to ageing. It is an independent, non-party political and non-religious organisation working to protect and promote the well-being, rights and interests of all older people in the ACT irrespective of socio-economic, ethnic, religious or cultural background.
COTA ACT is a member of an Australian wide organization – COTA Australia – and contributes to the development of national policies and agendas.
What COTA Does
COTA ACT talks to Governments, the media and the community about issues of direct concern to all older people in the ACT. We make regular submissions to government on issues affecting older people.
As a member of several ACT government standing committees, such as the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, and special committees of enquiry, COTA ACT can have an ongoing input into the advice going to government.
COTA ACT also provides services – some on behalf of government – for Canberra citizens.
History of COTA
COTA has been servicing the needs of older people in the ACT since 1973. Over 2,000 people are members of COTA and benefit from a range of additional services available only to members.
COTA has traditionally sought to identify gaps in services and policies. Programs have then been developed in response to identified needs. Part of the response has been to ensure that appropriate and effective structures are developed. In this regard, COTA has been involved in the development of more than a dozen service groups and organisations in the ACT.
COTA was involved in starting Meals on Wheels, Home Help, Handy Help, Carers ACT, SHOUT and Community Options, to name a few of the ACT organisations. The University of the Third Age was also established in the ACT by COTA.
The Seniors Information Line, Housing Options Advisor, Seniors Week, Seniors Day and Seniors Day at the Royal Canberra Show are some of the mechanisms which COTA uses to address needs. In the past, COTA developed the CLASP safety and security program in response to a survey of members. COTA also participated in the development of Digital Divide computer training for older people.
Surveys and focus groups have been used to assess gaps and to develop publications or policies. In recent years this has occurred in relation to medical services, transport and road safety.
For more information about COTA membership click here
Services Offered by COTA
COTA Provides a range of services to older people in the ACT:
- The Seniors Information Line offers information and advice on services available to older people. The line receives over 1000 enquiries a month Phone: (02) 6282 3777
- Housing Options Advice
- Seminars and local education courses an topics relevant to seniors, like health and computing. Information sessions on the Quality Use of Medicines, Falls Prevention, choosing between Brand name and Generic Medicines and beyond maturity blues: Depression and Older People.
- Information on ACT Seniors Week, coordinated by COTA
- Management of the ACT Seniors Card Scheme on behalf of ACT Government
- Publications, including the Directory of Services for the Ageing in the ACT, A Guide to Resident Funded Retirement Villages in the ACT and Queanbeyan, Older Driver Handbook, Retiring From Driving Handbook, Scooter Safe – A Scooter Driver’s Guide, Home Safety & Security Handbook, ACT Seniors Card Directory
COTA ACT Staff
All COTA ACT staff can be contacted by email, or by phoning the COTA office on (02) 6282 3777
Housing Options Advisor
Community Education Managers
Vicki Di Scipio
Elizabeth Hughes & Raina Johnston
Policy Development Officer
A range of volunteer support staff
COTA ACT Board
COTA is an incorporated association governed by a board of 7 members. The board meets regularly to decide on the directions of COTA·
For 2011, the board members are:
Vivienne Sinderberry – President
John Ling – Treasurer
Immediate Past President
Elizabeth Grant AM