According to the United Nations, all societies in the world are in the midst of a longevity revolution.

By 2050, 22 per cent of the world’s population will be over 60 years old (compared to 8 per cent in 1950). It is the first time in our history that we have witnessed such a seismic shift in demographic and we’re still in the early stages of this phenomenon.

Every sector of our society will feel the impact of an ageing population and while the challenges are many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus on the advantages of maturity across a broad spectrum of industries and sectors.

In order to help bring to the forefront the positive contributions of older people to the society in which we live, COTA WA has formed the Positive Ageing Alliance under the patronage of our State Governor. Geoff Hutchinson from ABC Drive, as one of the members of the Positive Ageing Alliance, is looking forward to sharing his experience, and some of the topics discussed, with his listeners.

Following the recent state election and the retirement of former Minister Mick Murray, we welcome The Honourable Donald Punch MLA – Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Innovation and ICT; Seniors and Ageing. Minister Punch reached out to COTA (WA) in his first week in the job and we are looking forward to a productive relationship to benefit all seniors in Western Australia.

The COTA (WA) contract to deliver the Mentoring 2 Work program came to an end on 31 March. This initiative was developed in 2018 with our partners, the University of Western Australia (Centre for Social Impact) and United Way WA, with federal funding from the Department of Social Services Try, Test and Learn Fund. We are very proud of this unique model that demonstrated the value of intergenerational activity, pairing mature age mentors who used their work experience and life skills to guide young job seekers into employment or further study. Mentoring 2 Work became one of WA’s largest mentoring programs, supporting over 300 young people. With increasing numbers of older workers in the workforce, COTA (WA) is exploring a variation of the original model to support mature age unemployed people back into employment.

We’re delighted that the Bethanie Group is sponsoring our Mall Walking awards in 2021.  As with many other community activities, COVID-19 disrupted the Mall Walking program for much of the last twelve months. With social isolation one of the biggest concerns, many of our mall walkers went above and beyond to maintain contact with their fellow walkers during the lockdown periods and through the re-engagement phase. There are some wonderful stories that we’ll share in our next edition following the announcement of our award recipients to be determined between 19-27 April.

Our COTA (WA) Ambassador Professor Bob Ziegler has been out and about, talking to seniors about the benefits of physical and social activity. Bob is the epitome of an active senior as he heads toward his 92nd birthday.

Christine Allen, CEO