Blog | Who are we and what matters to us

Who Are We and What Matters To Us

31/3/2015 - Jane Mussared, CE, COTA SA

Jane MussaredThank you for your interest in COTA SA, I'd like to launch our blog by introducing you to COTA SA and telling you what matters most to us. COTA SA is the peak body promoting the rights, needs and interests of older South Australians. We regularly engage with older people across the state and with decision makers which enables us to influence policy at both state and national levels.

One of the biggest challenges facing older South Australians is the outdated way in which they're often viewed. A decade ago our older years were seen as little more than a period of passing time, with little left to contribute or achieve. This absolutely isn't the case. Our 50s, 70s, 90s and even our 100s are as rich and full of potential as our younger years. It's time to change our thinking - our later years are no longer a time of being done ‘to' or ‘for', rather it should be ‘with' and ‘by'.

At COTA SA, We aim not only to represent the interests of older Australians but also to promote and engage older Australians as vital and valuable members of and contributors to our multi-generational community. The fundamental needs of life, to learn and earn, to look after our health, to have friends, to enjoy families and to contribute and influence are equally important at any age; older age should not deny us access to any of these.

Our most fundamental challenge going forward is to ensure that SA is a community for all ages - whether male or female, rural or metropolitan, rich or poor, gay or straight, born here or overseas. Our four immediate priorities are:

  • Mature aged employment: Many more people in their 50s, 60s and 70s want to work longer but are finding it tough - tough to keep jobs and tough to get jobs. Indeed some are also often having a tough time convincing employers to invest in their ongoing career development.
  • Affordable living: An important consideration for all South Australians. COTA SA will be paying close attention to the things that contribute to cost of living including retirement income, housing options, the cost of power and water, continued access to concessions, opportunities for employment and fair taxation treatment. We are also very mindful of the continuing gap between men and women in terms of income as we age.
  • Health and well-being: Health is a priority for older people and we aim to improve access to information on this, as well as a full range of health promotion, recovery and treatment services. Our Strength for Life program is an example of our ongoing commitment to this.
  • Eradicating age discrimination: Discrimination that prevents people from accessing proper health care, discrimination that stops people from getting jobs, discrimination that devalues and marginalises - indeed any discrimination on the basis of age, particularly when it interferes with people's entitlements and opportunities.

We would love you to be part of COTA SA - as a member, volunteer, as part of one of our programs or in providing feedback to us at any time. Please contact us and help us ride the wave to a whole new way of thinking about our ageing.

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