The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards acknowledge older Victorians who volunteer to assist, support and encourage others in their communities. The Awards also recognise community organisations or businesses that create age-friendly communities through inclusion and active ageing. The Awards are a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services and COTA Victoria.
There are six award categories:
- Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year – Outstanding contribution to local community and Victoria
- Promotion of Multiculturalism Award – Significant contribution to promoting the benefits of cultural diversity
- Healthy and Active Living Award – Helping to create active and healthy communities
- Veteran Community Award – Exceptional contribution to the veteran community
- COTA Victoria Senior Achiever Awards – Significant contribution to local communities
- Age-Friendly Victoria Award – Organisation that has promoted active ageing
Nominations for the 2020 awards
Nominations open each year in May, with nomination forms made available on the Seniors Online website.
Ms Brenda Appleton, COTA Senior Achiever Award winner
Brenda Appleton, 67, of South Yarra, is a staunch advocate for older members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex community.
After retiring nearly ten years ago, Brenda became involved with Transgender Victoria, and is the Chair of Transgender Victoria and co-chair of the Victorian LGBTI alliance. Brenda works tirelessly to promote community awareness and understanding of the experiences of trans and gender diverse people. A leading figure in bringing about cultural change in the community, in aged care services, and community health services, Brenda inspires others by generously sharing her own journey.
Brenda also supports the LGBTI community through education and professional training and has taken part in a range of research projects with the National Ageing Research Institute and COTA Victoria.
Brenda’s dedicated volunteering and collaboration with COTA Victoria secured funding to produce Safeguarding the End of the Rainbow, a guide to help LGBTI people plan an end of life of their choice. The guide was well-received across the community and furthers Brenda’s advocacy for human rights, dignity and respect for the LGBTI community.
Brenda also speaks on positive ageing issues both nationally and internationally, advocating articulately for the rights, dignity and respect of LGBTI people.
Brenda was nominated by the National Ageing Research Institute.
Other COTA Senior Achiever Award winners
All 2019 Award winners
All 2019 Award winners are profiled on Seniors Online.