COTA’s Age Friendly Initiative

What is an Age Friendly Community?

Age friendly cities and communities are places where older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved. Guiding the development of Age Friendly places is a process that actively involves older people in decision-making, implementation and evaluation of a plan of action to bring about sustainable change.

Why is Age Friendly important?

People across Victoria are now living longer and healthier lives. This exciting change in the makeup of our society means there will soon be as many older people as there are children. People aged 80+ are the fastest-growing age group and this is bringing major social change. Many generations are now living, learning, working and socialising together.

An Age Friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. In Age Friendly communities older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved.

A brief history

In 2006 the World Health Organisation brought together 33 cities of varying sizes throughout the world to discover what makes a city a good place in which to grow old. Crucially, this initiative involved older people at every stage. In the same year, using the same approach, the Canadian Government worked with small rural communities to find out what small communities are age friendly. The recommendations from this work were released in 2007 in the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide and Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide.

Eight key domains were identified:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Social participation
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services.

Supporting communities to become age friendly is one of the most effective strategies to promote active ageing. Policies to create age friendly communities contribute to sustainable, healthy

In 2006 COTA, in partnership with the Municipal Association of Victoria, joined the WHO as one of two Australian cities in the international project on Age-friendly Cities. The McCaughey Centre at The University of Melbourne undertook the research on behalf of MAV/COTA with the City of Maribyrnong.

The COTA Age Friendly Victoria initiative was launched in March 2013. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided $300,000 to us to develop a more supportive and inclusive society.

COTA and the Municipal Association of Victoria worked together for over five years to promote the concept of Age Friendly Communities.

In 2016 COTA signed the Statement of support and partner endorsement with the Victorian Government and MAV.

Since 2006 we have worked with the following ——– to create Age Friendly communities

What is COTA’s partnership approach?

We work with older people to establish local networks across government, business and community to develop an action plan to bring about positive change.

We mentor, train and support older people to act as consumer representatives on advisory groups and committees.

We work with local governments and community groups to engage local communities to develop Age Friendly cities.

What our partners say about COTA Age Friendly

[We have] appreciated COTA’s partnership and support … with the development of the Age Friendly Champions program through the delivery of the training workshop during the consultation phase of the Active & Healthy Ageing Initiative. Maroondah considers COTA Victoria to be an important partner in the Age Friendly space.

– Maroondah City Council

COTA Vic was engaged to assist us in consulting with our community in regard to the Age Friendliness … The staff and volunteers were knowledgeable, professional and receptive to our needs … and were able to engage with the community in a variety of methods to ensure a high level of participation. We received positive feedback from the community regarding COTA’s presentation and engagement methods and the information collected was presented to us in a useful manner, which has assisted the development of strategic documents for our organisation in regard to Age Friendliness.

– Moira Shire Council

I would like to acknowledge the support Cota staff provided for our communities in East Gippsland … we are grateful for the assistance to focus our efforts on working with such a large socio-demographic change. The work undertaken in East Gippsland by COTA staff has assisted communities to understand the concepts of what an Age Friendly community entails and how their voices can be heard in the ongoing discussion.

– Cr Joe Rettino, Mayor, East Gippsland

How can you create a more inclusive community?

Follow the link for more information about the Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Information Kit for Local Government Councillors and Senior Management

or download pdf of our Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Information Kit for Local Government Councillors and Senior Management

Need support to became an 
Age Friendly Community? 

Download the The COTA Age Friendly Initiative flyer.

Contact us for more information


p: 9655 2100

8 Responses to Age Friendly Cities and Communities

  1. Jan Pagliaro says:

    Could you please advise me which are the seven municipalities where voted aged friendly cities.

  2. Hi Juan,

    thank you for your comment. I just sent you a email with some information.
    Kind Regards,

    COTA Vic Team

  3. Casey says:

    I would also like to know which of the 7 municipalities were voted as aged friendly cities too, please.


  4. Hi Casey,
    Thank you for you comment. Please go to the following for information about your request.

    Have a wonderful day!

    COTA Vic Team

  5. Cecily Fletcher says:

    I am undertaking some research on Age Friendly Cities and Communities towards completion of my Masters in Community Development. I live in Victoria, and am very interested in what you have learned through implementing this project.
    Have you undertaken any monitoring and evaluation throughout the project, and are you in a position to release/share any results?

  6. Hi Cecily,
    Thank you for your comment. One of our staff members will be in contact with you soon.
    COTA Team

  7. Annie Warner says:

    I recently took part in an on line course on Successful Ageing through Trinity Dublin. We looked at age friendly towns, cities and one point that came up for many was the fact that:
    our cities and towns are far busier now than ever
    pedestrian crossings have remained same size/width
    people tend to cross in a very haphazard fashion that could be daunting for someone infirm, with walking or sight difficulties
    this could be overcome simply by indicating on road large direction arrows for pedestrians and where possible making the ramps on/off road wider for motorized wheelchairs and mobility scooters as well as to accommodate the added volume of people on foot

  8. Hi Annie,
    thank you for taking the time to inform us of your Age Friendly experience and the issue of increasing traffic and pedestrian crossings. We are very aware of the need to ensure that the needs older people and people with disabilities are met.

    – We have developed a resource in conjunction with the Municipal Association of Victoria called Age-friendly Cities and Communities – Information Kit for Local Government Councillors and Senior Management This provides local governments with the tools to build and make their municipality age-friendly.

    – We will be responding to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport/Mobility Scooters Inquiry and will raise the issue you have identified

    – We have worked with Victoria Walks on the research project Safer road design for older pedestrians and will continue to work with them to ensure we can provide a safe road environment for all

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