Some Highlights From The History of the Council On The Ageing Western Australia:

Email: exec@cotawa.org.au

Security

1959

Old People’s Welfare Council of Western Australia established following 1958 creation of a national body largely based on an English model.

1961

The ‘Golden Age Visiting Service’ – for lonely elderly, using volunteer visitors.

1961

The first ‘Old People’s Week’ (forerunner of ‘Seniors’ Week’).

1962

Created and circulated a “Schedule of ‘C’ Class Hospitals” (nursing homes) for doctors and family members.

1966

Held convention in Perth Town Hall and argued for government sponsored home aid service for the aged. Also for lifting or abolition of retirement age.

1967

Established a committee on ‘Accommodation for the Frail Elderly’.
Encouraged establishment of Senior Citizens’ Centres at, for example, Bunbury and Waroona.
Established library specifically for literature on aged.

1968

Old People’s Welfare Council of Western Australia became Western Australian Council on the Ageing.

1971

*Established a ‘Pre-retirement Council’ (forerunner of the WA Retirement Education Service).

1974

*Established the “Residential Aged Care Association” which became Aged Care Western Australia Incorporated (now Aged & Community Services Western Australia Inc)
Production of “Directory of Services for Older People”.

1977

Established three Carers’ Support Groups in Perth (Selby, Cannington and Fremantle).

1978-79

In conjunction with the Uniting Church, established Trinity School for Seniors.

1982

Initiated and sponsored 6NR’s Aged Concern Radio programme.

1984

Successfully involved Government in the resumption of an annual “Seniors’ Week”.

1985

Brought “University of the Third Age” concept to WA and assisted (1986) the setting up of U3A (UWA).

1986

Published the report “Concerns and Issues Related to WA Retirement Villages and the Need for Legislation” from which the Retirement Villages Act (1992) originated.

1987

Initiated monthly (metropolitan) Seniors’ Forums.

1988

Created “Community Based Home Care Services Group” later incorporated as “WA Network of Community Based Home Care Services”

1989

Initiated, sponsored and then separately incorporated the Older Persons Rights Service.

1991

Initiated the steering committee charged with establishing WA Retirement Complexes Residents’ Association Incorporated.
Initiated, sponsored and then separately incorporated the WA Carers’ Network.

1992

In conjunction with the Advisory Council to the Minister for Seniors, held public consultations as a contribution to the State Strategy on Ageing.
Extensive consultations conducted with Aboriginal and ethnic elders in North West and Metropolitan regions.
Initiated, sponsored (for separate incorporation) the Intergenerational Activity Network of WA. Later to become the Intergenerational Advisory Network.

1993

Published a resource kit for ethnic seniors “Options and Services for Ethnic Seniors”.
Formally inaugurated the COTA Mandurah (Peel Region) Branch.
Convened (at Karratha) the first meeting of the Pilbara Seniors Council Steering Committee.

1994

With WA Council of Social Services, facilitated the establishment of a sector network, ‘Community Organisations for Older People’ (CO-OP).
Sponsored the COTA(WA) ‘Senior’s Education Association’
Established the School Volunteer Program with a Grant from the Gordon Reid Foundation for Youth and the Lotteries Commission.

1995

Awarded Certificate of Merit by the Australian Violence Prevention Awards for COTA’s Elder Abuse Prevention Program.

1996

Launch of the COTA Seniors Technology Centre with funds provided by Lotteries Commission for purchase of the necessary equipment and a seeding grant from Office of Seniors Interests.

1997

Award of Contract to run Seniors Week in 1997 and 1998
Established Interim Steering Committee for Coalition ’99 International Year of Older Persons.
Launch of Elder Protection Protocol for Government Agencies.

1998

Awarded Lotteries Grant for Phase I Expansion of Offices.
Awarded Grant for the Elder Protection Pilot Project.
Launch of COTA(WA) Website.

1999

Awarded Contract to Run Seniors Week 1999.
Launch of the 1999/2001 Strategic Plan for COTA(WA).

2000

Launch of COTA(WA) www Policy Bulletin Board
Presentation at the 2000 Fulbright Symposium on the digital divide

2001

The Seniors Technology Centre became a Registered Training Organisation with 10 nationally accredited computer courses.
Policies identified in pre budget submission incorporated into Government Policy
Awarded Lotteries Grant for Phase II Expansion of offices

2002

Completed Office refurbishment and expansion
Organised over 500 volunteers for the 6th Global Conference on Ageing

2003

Received funding to provide Computer Training Courses for Seniors with Disabilities

2004

Received funding for the Living Longer Living Stronger Programme
Received Project funding for First Click, Disabilities courses and Digital Divide courses.
Funded 86 Community groups for BankWest Seniors Week via Lotterywest and OSIV grants

2005

Chose to remain independent legal entity and withdrew from Merger with COTAs in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Received funding for the first Stay On Your Feet Week Community Grants
Secured significant funding to expand Living Longer Living Stronger
Entered into research partnership with Curtin University for the Behind Closed Doors project.
Joined the COTA Over 50s Alliance
Formed sister relationship with Singaporean Action Group of Elders

2006

Participated in International Federation on Ageing Conference in Copenhagen
Began partnership with beyondblue to deliver Beyond Maturity Blues
Succeeded in the We Can’t Wait campaign to establish a state funded continence product support program

2007

Moved to new premises in West Perth
Received Health Department 3 year contract to extend Living Longer Living Stronger 2007 to 2010
Ran Seniors Quality use of Medicine Program

2008

Computer Classes began
Fair Go for Pensioners campaign

2009

COTAWA celebrates its 50th Anniversary
Seniors week community grants now funded by Dept for communities and Lotterywest.  Still administered by COTAWA
COTAWA launches its Facebook site and converts newsletter to electronic format
Crime and Safety programmed developed and launched
Act Belong commit for seniors developed and launched
Murdoch University Social Isolation Program and research launched October, 2009
Establishment of the Seniors Alliance
The Workers compensation and Injury Management Act reformed to remove the age discriminatory provisions due in part to COTAWA active advocacy on this subject

2011

Establishment of the COTAWA Seniors Housing Centre in partnership with the Department of Commerce
Seniors housing research project on Tenure issues commenced

2012

Active Ageing Conference

2014

Fair go for Seniors Rally
Hands off the Pension Campaign launched

2015

Strategic Plan 2015-2018 Published
Security of Tenure for the Ageing Population in Western Australia report completed and Launched
Controlling My own Life: making the most of Consumer Directed Care (CDC) Peer education programme launched
COTA takes over and administers Mallwalking Program
Active Ageing and Seniors Card information talks commence
State Government abolished age related Mandatory driving tests

2016

Restructure of Living Longer Living stronger to help programme sustainability and longevity.
Cybercrime programme launched after successful grant application to Attorney General’s proceeds of crime fund.
Policy Council re structure to allow greater flexibility and response to state issues
Employment mentoring program pilot launched

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