Have a question about COTA?
What does COTA stand for?
COTA is an abbreviation of our original name, Council on the Ageing. In 2009 it was decided to be known simply as COTA as we felt that the original name no longer accurately reflected that we work on behalf of people over 50. Today we no longer think of people over 50 as ‘the ageing’ and we now use the tagline ‘for older Australians’ to more accurately reflect our work.
COTA is the national peak body dedicated to representing the interests, views, circumstances and wellbeing of older Australians. Our work draws on the opinions of today’s older people and concerns for future generations. COTA informs & influences all levels of Government, the Business Sector and the Community in general to deliver better outcomes for people aged 50 and over.
How long has COTA existed?
COTA was established in 1957. COTA has made a great deal of progress, but there is still a lot more that needs to and can be done.
What philosophy does COTA work under?
COTA’s work is guided by the following principles:
- maximising the social, economic and political participation of older Australians,
- promoting positive views of ageing, rejecting ageism and challenging negative stereotypes,
- formulating and presenting fair and responsible policies to Government and Business,
- raising awareness of the ongoing value and contribution of older Australians, and
- maintaining and extending services and programs that are used and valued.
What are examples of the issues and outcomes COTA fights for?
- Mature Age Employment – ensuring older people fully participate in the labour force,
- Retirement Income – maintaining the pension against the real cost of living in retirement,
- Age Discrimination – reducing deeply instilled ageist attitudes in the community,
- Public Transport – providing more investment towards innovative community transport options,
- Housing – increasing the supply of affordable and appropriate housing,
- Aged Care and Health Services – providing more control for people to remain in their community,
- Essential Services – ensuring concessions maintain their real value.
Is COTA an independent organisation?
COTA will always be a fiercely independent organisation, with no political or social bias or allegiance.
How does COTA lobby Government on behalf of its members and the general public?
The interests of people over 50 are represented by COTA via a wide range of forums, committees, consumer advisory groups and research bodies. COTA for example, currently sits on over 50 government and non-government committees to represent older Australians.
How does COTA fund its activities and pay for staff?
COTA is a registered charity and so, a not-for-profit organisation. It receives financial assistance from both State and Federal Government and some corporations, but there is no certainty and consistency to this funding.
How does COTA help the concerns of older people be heard?
Older Australians are represented because COTA is invited to sit on a wide range of forums, committees, advisory groups and research bodies, both Government and non-Government. These are groups that have the power to bring about change. COTA provides members with the chance to belong to an organisation that works with and for them.
In what other ways does COTA support older Australians?
COTA delivers innovative programs and provides information to thousands of older people that:
- promotes health and wellbeing,
- enhances quality of life,
- increases participation in the community, and
- overcomes social isolation by creating opportunities for people to meet and connect with others.
How is the work of COTA Australia funded?
COTA Australia receives government funding through the Health System Capacity Development Fund and is also funded by levies on each state/Territory COTA organisation. COTA Australia has also received specific funding through the then Department of Health and Ageing to facilitate consumer engagement in aged care reform.
How are the State and Territory COTAs funded?
State and Territory COTA’s receive funding through a variety of sources including membership.
Is there a COTA in every state/Territory?
Yes, there is a COTA in every State/Territory of Australia.
What kind of things can COTA help me with?
COTA Australia is an advocacy organisation which lobbies for action at a national level on issues affecting seniors. Older Australians requiring assistance for specific issues should contact their local State/Territory COTA which will be able to provide information and advice on an extensive range of issues affecting older people.