COTA Australia backs ‘YES’ campaign for a Voice to Parliament

COTA Australia, the leading advocacy organisation for older Australians has officially thrown its support behind the Voice to Parliament.

Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, said the organisation support a ‘yes’ vote in the lead up to the upcoming referendum on 14 October 2023.

“COTA Australia strongly believes that publicly supporting a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum is the right thing to do,” Ms Sparrow said.

“This wasn’t a difficult decision for the COTA Australia Board to make. When you look at the core values of our organisation, providing support for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament became very clear. At COTA we understand the importance of consultation and in providing everyone with the means to have a say in matters that affect their lives and communities. It’s central to who we are as advocates for older people. We see those values reflected in the Voice to Parliament.”

Ms Sparrow said COTA Australia’s eyes are open to the differing views on the Voice currently held within the community and urged respect across the Board.

“Everyone will make their own decision come referendum day. We see COTA Australia’s role as providing as much clear and factual information as possible to help people ensure that they’re making an informed decision when they head to the polling booth on 14 October 2023. It is important for COTA Australia to always be transparent and clear in its actions and to stay true to its values, which is why we’re publicly stating our support for the Voice.”

“While we of course respect everyone’s right to their opinion, we are hoping for a large ‘yes’ vote from all Australians, including older people.

“This is an historic opportunity to create a better, fairer Australia for everyone.”

Media contact: Tamara Kotoyan, 0430 291 890 or Alana Mew, 0419 929 722 Authorised by Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia, 17b/16 National Circuit Canberra.

For more information

T: 02 6154 9740



COTA Australia Statement on Constitutional Recognition and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

After over 65,000 years of continuous living culture, it’s time to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s 122-year-old Constitution. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want recognition and a practical say on the issues and policies that affect their lives.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and can be read at

For too long Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been denied a seat at the table in decisions that affect their own lives.  Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can meaningfully participate in decision-making that affects them is the key to better outcomes for all, including Elders. The Voice will provide advice only to the Federal Parliament and Government.

Consistent with fundamental democratic principles, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia puts older people at the centre of its advocacy and that is why COTA Australia supports a Yes vote. It aligns with our reason for existing. It aligns with our values of caring about people, equality and fairness. The Voice will ensure the Parliament and governments of the day hear from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a way that has eluded successive governments.  The quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people can, and should be better.

We recognise and respect that our supporters, Australians over 50 years old, will have a range of views on how they will vote in the referendum. We encourage all older people to inform themselves about the referendum to make sure their vote counts.

COTA Australia will seek to inform our supporters about why more than 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are asking all Australians to vote Yes. COTA Australia will do this by promoting information sources in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and other groups.

Authorised by Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia, 17b/16 National Circuit Canberra.

To download COTA Australia Media Release about the Voice Referendum

To download COTA Australia Position Statement about the Voice Referendum

To download Questions and Answers

For More Information


T: 08 9472 0104






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