We were sad to hear of the passing of our Life Member Delys Sargeant in late September.
Delys was a very well-known educator, medical scientist, health professional and advocate for change before she added championing older persons to her CV. The award of an OAM in 1993 recognised her pioneering work in the general area of community health, particularly sexuality and relationships education for people with disabilities. Since then she has co-authored a book on ‘remembering’, chaired the UN International Year of Older Persons Coalition in 1999, been the founding chair of the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s Older Persons Advisory Committee – and chaired COTA’s Board from 1994 to 2000. She came to COTA at a time when it was experiencing some of the tremors of organisational death – like having few funds! Since that difficult time, in the early 1990s, she has coaxed, urged, and pushed COTA into shaping itself for success.
There are thousands of older Victorians who might never know the contribution Delys has made to improving their lives – but we do, so we thank her.