We’ve commenced the first few months of this new financial year with purpose, rigour, vision and a sense of optimistic excitement. It’s been a profoundly busy and focused time for all COTA Victoria staff, stakeholders and volunteers, as well as the broader COTA Victoria community.
In the next few months there will be many events and initiatives happening across our state that will have a positive impact on the older Victorians we represent; events and initiatives that will bring to the fore matters that affect all our lives.
Understanding and trying to access the aged care system can be complicated, confusing and overwhelming. To help, we have been running the Aged Care System Navigator trial throughout Victoria for several years. Our Aged Care Navigators will continue to be available to assist people to understand, register for and access local aged care services until December 2022.
During September, we will be preparing responses to multiple tender requests for a significant increase in the provision of the Aged Care System Navigator services across Victoria. If successful, we will be able to increase the services we provide for vulnerable older Victorians who slip through the gaps and cannot access the crucial services found via My Aged Care.
I had the honour and pleasure of presenting the belated 2021 Senior of the Year Award at the Geelong Town Hall to an incredibly deserving and inspirational older Victorian, Ken Mansfield. Please take the time to read the story of Ken’s amazing life dedicated to volunteering and the community in the Geelong Independent.
This year the Victorian Seniors Festival turns 40, returning in October with a huge month-long program. This major statewide festival held for and with seniors puts the emphasis on fun and good times. COTA Victoria will be front and centre at Celebration Day and throughout the first week of October at the Festival Hub. Come and say hello, grab some information or have a chat with one of our friendly staff or volunteers. We’ll also be hosting some special talks and presentations on the main stage at Deakin Edge.
We will be launching our platform for the November state election entitled Make Victoria Age Friendly: What older Victorians need from an incoming Government during the Victorian Seniors Festival. Register to join us online on 5 October to hear what older people want from the incoming government in relation to:
• Information Access
• Assistive Technology
• Elder Abuse
• Oral Health
My team and I will also be meeting with the Hon Colin Brooks, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, to discuss a briefing paper we recently provided to him on the concerns of older people. I will continue to update you on the progress of our election asks.
We have our Annual General Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 23 November. The meeting will be conducted in an online or video streaming capacity only. Meeting papers will be available for download from our website after 23 October.
I would like to thank our dear members, volunteers, staff and broader community for your ongoing support of the very important work we do at COTA Victoria.
CEO, COTA Victoria