COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria are proud to highlight twenty-one years of service from the invaluable Karen Ivanka.
Karen started at COTA Victoria in 2002 on what was meant to be a five-month contract. Since that time, her enthusiasm, energy, and willingness to adapt to the needs of older Victorians has seen her work on a variety of health and wellbeing publications and programs, appeals, and associated work in communities all across the state.
Starting in 2004, Karen became the lynchpin of our Peer Educator program, coordinating over 3,500 presentations dealing with the quality use of medicines, and anxiety and depression alone. To this day, the mention of her name brings a noticeable smile to our dedicated volunteers.
Karen shifted to the Aged Care Navigator trial in 2019; her tremendous work now finds her in the role of Team Leader inside our Care Finder program.
“Karen’s exemplary work in so many different facets of COTA Victoria speaks for itself,” said CEO, Chris Potaris. “She is the go-to person for everyone in our wonderful organisation.
“She’s played an integral role in programs such as Older Men; New Ideas (OMNI), contributed to the Victorian Government’s Senior of the Year Awards program year after year, pitches in at annual conferences, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day events, and so much more,” Mr Potaris continued. “Her knowledge and experience are second to none.”
“It’s been a journey,” Karen said, summarising her years of service. “There’s never a dull moment.
“My time here has been full of challenges,” she continued, “new learning opportunities, interesting and engaging work, travel to many parts of Victoria, partnerships with other organisations, community networks, and working with a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers and staff.”
Karen made sure to highlight the efforts of COTA Victoria’s Peer Educator volunteers through the years.
“They’ve been the core, heart, and soul of our organisation,” she said. “They’re the reason our projects and programs have been so successful.”
We at COTA Victoria and Seniors Rights Victoria wish to thank Karen for her twenty-one years of dedicated service (and counting!).