Congratulations to the 2018 Positive Ageing Award winners

2018 Award winners

Senior Achiever Award

The Senior Achiever Award recognises the outstanding contribution made by an older person to the Canberra community. 

Sponsored by ActewAGL

Beverley Flint

Beverley has committed herself to a lifetime of volunteering her time, skills, expertise, knowledge and wisdom to others. As a state registered nurse, Beverley worked at the Queanbeyan and Canberra Hospitals and was as a nurse manager in a private medical/dental practice. She has supervised a private day care centre at Curtin and was the Deputy Director of the semi-nursing service Care at Home Agency. She has been an administrator of the Canberra Branch of the Australian Trade Union Training Authority, was President of her son's rugby league team and was a member of the Curtin pre-school committee.

Beverley is currently the 2nd Vice President and Public Officer for the Tuggeranong Community Council (TCC). She is also runs the Community, Health and Education Sub Committee of the TCC, has been an active member of the Tuggeranong Lake Carers, is the Convenor of the East Greenway Action Group and assists in running the Tuggeranong Branch of Sing Australia.


Intergenerational Award

The Intergenerational Award recognises a person or group who has worked to foster and improve relationships across multiple generations.

Deborah Evans

Deborah is a Gija/Djaru Aboriginal woman and a survivor of the Stolen Generation.

Deborah has devoted her life to educating Aboriginal people in schools, prisons and in the community. Concerned about the increasing rate of Aboriginal incarceration, she worked to establish a community organization, TJILLARI Justice, to support the families of Indigenous detainees.

Its aim is to break the cycle of Intergenerational offending in the ACT. The service has been established for 4 years and is now calling for older Indigenous to assume their cultural place and support and nurture the younger generations.

Age Friendly Canberra Award

This Award recognises a person or group which has worked to enhance opportunities for seniors to lead full and satisfying lives.

Sponsored by Capital Chemist

Philip Piggin

Philip is a dance instructor who teaches dance at the Belconnen Arts Centre and Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Twice a week, Philip teaches dance to people living with dementia as part of VIVACITY, Dementia Australia’s dance group. VIVACITY is the ACT’s first dementia friendly dance group, created in conjunction with Dementia Australia.

Philip’s passion for what he does, his pride in seeing people enjoying life through dance and his enthusiasm for encouraging people to come together to participate in and enjoy the physical along with the social interaction is to be commended.

Seniors Advocate Award

The Seniors Advocate Award recognises an outsanding commitment by a person or group in advocating for seniors. 

Sponsored by Goodwin Aged Care

Norma Sumner

Norma has endless energy and enthusiasm towards her work with residents, staff and visitors to Mirinjani. Norma is well regarded by all and goes out of her way to make sure that people are heard and treated like an individual. Norma is very professional in her approach and manages a range of sensitive and often complex issues with care and compassion.

Norma assists with the health, wellbeing, education and social situation of residents in Mirinjani by being very aware of individuals and their needs.  Norma makes sure that each person is able to enjoy activities as much as possible by understanding people as individuals. 

Transport Services Award

The Transport Servces Award recognises a person or group who, in their professional capacity, has provided outstanding service to older people. 

Sponsored by The Flexible Bus Service

Legacy Canberra Legacy Team

Legacy Canberra Legacy Team works to organise group outings, meetings and gatherings for the members of the South Canberra Laurel Club.  

In 2017 Mary Parker and Tom Wharton approached the Flexible Bus Team for help to transport ladies from the South Canberra Laurel Club to regular meetings in Deakin. By travelling together in a bus the meetings generated more participation and the bus trip becomes part of the whole occasion and people are discovering each other beyond what happens at the meetings and events themselves.

The team comprises:

Co-Captains: Mary Parker, President of Canberra Southside Laurel Club and Tom Wharton, Member of Legacy’s Welfare Committee

Troops: Bob Cox,  Heather Pietsch and Cathy Clifford


COTA ACT thanks Steve Doszpot MLA

VALE Steve Doszpot.

COTA ACT extends their condolences to Steve Doszpot's family and friends following his passing.

Steve was a tireless advocate for older Canberrans since being elected to the Assembly, in his capacity as MLA and Shadow Minister for Seniors. Some of the important issues he advocated on include age discrimination, the amenity of Canberra suburbs and transport for older Canberrans.

COTA ACT would like to thank Steve for the work he has done with COTA ACT and as Shadow Minister for Seniors to improve the lives of the older members of our community.


Changes in age eligibility for ACT Seniors Cards

Changes in age eligibility for ACT Seniors Cards

From 1 July 2017, the eligibility age for applying for an ACT Seniors Card will increase to 61 years.
This follows an announcement in the 2016-17 ACT Budget, where the eligibility age for the ACT Seniors Card will be gradually increased to 65 years by 1 July 2025.
The change in eligibility age will not impact current Seniors Card holders.

Read the full media release here.


New members appointed to Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing

COTA ACT is pleased to announce that CEO, Jenny Mobbs, has been appointed to the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA).

The Council provides strategic advice to the Minister for Ageing on issues affecting older citizens in the ACT. The Council had a key role in developing the ACT Active Ageing Framework 2015 - 2018 and continues to provide advice on its implementation.

Read the full media release below.

Released 01/06/2017

Minister for Veterans and Seniors, Gordon Ramsay, today announced the appointment of eight members to make a new ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA).

The MACA provides strategic advice to the ACT Government on issues affecting older people in the ACT. The council assists the Government to develop and implement positive ageing policies, in order to advance the status and interest of older people.

“Today we welcome Fiona May (Chair), Professor Robin Creyke (Vice Chair), Sue Schreiner, Jennifer Mobbs, David Rymer, Greg Fraser, Elizabeth Samra, and Chris Redmond as members to the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing,” Mr Ramsay said.

“It is wonderful to welcome such an experienced and diverse group of representatives to the council as a link between older members of our community and the ACT Government.

“The new council brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas such as law, advocacy, and the community sector. The members have all demonstrated their on-going commitment to seniors’ affairs in their professional or personal lives – together they make a very impressive advisory council.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to the outgoing Council members, particularly to the outgoing Chair David Lawrance and outgoing Deputy Chair Viola Kalokerinos.”

The MACA performs a range of important roles for older people in Canberra in line with the ACT Active Ageing Action Plan 2015-2018 including to:

  • Undertake research, monitor and provide advice on positive ageing matters referred by the Minister for Veterans and Seniors or raised as a result of community consultation;
  • Evaluate and provide advice on ACT Government positive ageing policies and programs affecting the community and recommend changes where necessary; and
  • Consult with relevant community organisations and individuals to identify concerns  and propose action, and act as a link between these organisations and the ACT Government.

For further information on the MACA go to:


Sign the petition: Nursing Home Residents Deserve Better Access to Mental Health Care

Is the mental health of older Australians living in care any less important than for everyone else? 

Over 175,000 older Australians living in residential aged care are ineligible to access Medicare-funded mental health treatment through the Better Access to Mental Health Care program.

Please sign the petition calling on the new Health Minister to step in and fix it:

The new Minister for Health needs to make this an urgent and early priority. We are calling on him to take it to Cabinet where the government must agree to reverse this so that nursing home residents have the same access to mental health services as everyone else.

Older Australians and their families are calling for him to support this; and the mental health community are also championing the need for change.

Our frailest older Australians deserve the best care we can offer.


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Join the COTA ACT Policy Committee

COTA ACT is looking for enthusiastic, engaged individuals to join our Policy Committee. We seek candidates with a range of skills.
Policy Committee members need to be motivated to share COTA ACT's values and aims about promoting seniors’ needs & rights in the ACT community. We seek to empower ACT seniors to play a greater role in influencing their lifestyles and future wellbeing as ACT residents. We want to deliver high quality services that are tailored to individuals' needs throughout the ageing spectrum. A good policy & research base is essential for this to happen. We're also working to diversify COTA ACT to effectively represent all areas of the ageing journey. Important populations for COTA ACT include people over 50, those that experience marginalisation in our community, those that have specific needs or simply those who require a stronger voice.


Concession travel on the NSW Opal public transport network

Concession travel on the NSW Opal public transport network is now a whole lot easier for ACT Seniors Card holders.

From Monday 31 October 2016, Transport Canberra has partnered with Transport NSW to automatically validate ACT seniors' eligibility for concession travel in NSW. Transport NSW has also removed the 60 day expiry on ACT seniors' Gold Opal Cards.

“COTA ACT has been working with Transport Canberra for close to a year to make applying for a NSW Opal Card easier for Seniors Card holders in the ACT. The new process is just one example of how COTA ACT partners with government to improve services for seniors in the ACT.

“Seniors with an early ACT Seniors Card (ie one that has six numbers, as opposed to nine in the current cards) will need to apply for a card upgrade in order to apply for an Opal card. New, replacement and upgrade ACT Seniors Cards are available from the COTA ACT office in Hughes, at ACT Libraries and Access Canberra shopfronts,” 

If you are over 60, a permanent resident of the ACT and working 20 hours or less each week, you are eligible for an ACT Seniors Card* and a Gold Opal card, giving you concession travel capped at $2.50 a day** across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

**Excludes Sydney Airport Station access fee

Download the media release here.


OPAL card registration not working?
  • How many numbers are on your Seniors Card? The new system requires your card to have nine numbers to be processed. If you have an older card with five numbers you will need to upgrade your card.
  • When did you apply for your Seniors Card? It takes up to 7 business days for the Transport Canberra and NSW Opal Card databases to sync details so you can apply for an Opal card.
If you have confirmed all of this and your registration is not processing you will need to confirm your card validity (see section above 'Why is my Seniors / MyWay Card not working": This can be done through the COTA ACT Office on 6282 3777.


 News / 03.11.16
*Eligibility age for ACT Seniors Card will be gradually increased to 65 years by 1 July 2025. Please check the current age eligibility before applying. 


2017 Seniors Expo

Get on Board for Seniors Week 2017 

ACT Seniors Week Logo 2017

The 2017 Seniors Expo is fast approaching!

In 2016, the Seniors Expo exhibition's maxed out well before the Expo. This year we are opening up exhibition bookings early to give organisations the ability to plan in advance.
The Seniors Week Expo is one of the highlights of the Seniors Week calendar, attracting more than 2,000 seniors who connect with the 150+ exhibitors. To be held on Thursday 23 March 2017, Seniors Week Expo, at Exhibition Park Canberra, the Expo will enable you to target the largest, growing sector of consumers in Australia. 
Download our Seniors_Week_Expo_registration_2017.pdf to book your spot now. For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Can't make it to the Expo?
No problem! There are a number of ways you can get involved.

ACT Seniors Week is an annual celebration featuring hundreds of free events held across the ACT by government, community and commercial organisations.

The objectives of Seniors Week are:
  • Encourage older people to live healthy an active lifestyles all year round.
  • Demonstrate that older age can be a time of learning and adventure.
  • Celebrate older people and their continuing contribution to family, friends, workplaces and communities, and across generations



Spotlight on Elder Abuse

The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated each year on 15 June to highlight the often silent suffering of older people. The Day was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.

This is the one day of the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some defenceless older people. As former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002: “We will all grow old one day — if we have that luck.”

In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. It is a global social issue which affects the health and human rights of millions of older persons around the world.

Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo, mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world. Evidence is accumulating, however, to indicate that elder abuse is an important public health and societal problem.


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  • ACT Seniors Cards
  • ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory
  • The Seniors Information Service
  • Housing Options Advisory Service
  • Information on services for older people and their carers
  • Community education, information sessions and events
  • Community centre hire


Subscribe to the COTA ACT Newsletter to stay up-to date with all our latest news and events.



Council on the Ageing (ACT)
Hughes Community Centre
2 Wisdom Street Hughes ACT 2605
Telephone: 02 6282 3777
Fax: 02 6285 3422
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