In last month’s message, I provided an overview of the extensive work we have undertaken within COTA Victoria over the past 8 months to significantly re-think our strategic direction. This introspective look at our 71-year history, programs, services and the outstanding work performed by our state-wide community legal centre, Seniors Rights Victoria, culminated in an entire new strategy, new goals, priorities and actions for implementation across our organisation over the next 12 months and beyond.
We’re very proud of our action-based strategic direction; please take the time to review it in detail.
At the same time, COTA Victoria’s submission to the Victorian State Government — Priorities for older Victorians — was submitted on 10 February 2023 and provided a key list of funding initiatives that warrant serious consideration across Victorian Government portfolios. We have focussed on four priorities that require timely attention over the next year – in the 2023-24 Victorian State Budget and beyond. These build on issues profiled in COTA Victoria’s 2022 State Election Priorities and on opportunities to capitalise on concurrent reforms at both state and Commonwealth level. These include, but are not limited to, programs that would be delivered by COTA Victoria itself.
COTA Victoria also provided a response to the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care regarding the Assistive Technologies & Home Modifications Scheme (AT-HM) for In-Home Aged Care report. The ATFA alliance has addressed a variety of key points in the documents to help form and guide further development of the scheme.
ATFA acknowledges the inclusion of key elements within the paper, and would like to see the following areas of concern addressed in the next stage of development:
- The affordability of AT-HM in the absence of a fully subsidised model.
- The lack of attention to the vital role of informal carers in defining AT-HM needs and accessing and applying relevant products.
- The potential negative impact of specific restrictions, such as a central loan pool.
- The risk of digital exclusion through the scheme’s heavy reliance on services and products being accessed online.
- Further detail on various key aspects of a future AT-HM scheme.
To top off a very busy and exciting month, COTA Victoria is pleased to welcome three new appointments to its Board of Directors: Hayley Hunter, Tanya O’Connor, and Mark Stokes. These appointments build upon the diverse backgrounds and skills within the COTA Victoria board. Our new board members will add a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove invaluable to the ongoing work of COTA Victoria.
There’s never been a better time to join and support COTA Victoria! Our future direction and clearly defined representation of older people lays the foundation for another 70+ years of being the peak body in Victoria.
Thank you for your continued support of COTA Victoria and I look forward to meeting you some time in the future.
Chief Executive, COTA Victoria