I’m delighted to acknowledge all our valued members and welcome them into what is shaping up to be a very exciting year for COTA Victoria, our members, volunteers, and the people we represent.
2022 was a year full of global and local challenges faced by older Victorians, it was a year that helped guide our focus on reviewing our strategic direction, vision, programs, and the way we engaged with our broader membership and key stakeholders. This sense of urgency has served to inform our key priorities from our return to work in January 2023.
This introspective process took a very close look at who COTA Victoria is, what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, WHY we do it. We must never forget why we are here. Our why was confirmed as advancing the rights, interests, and futures of Australians as we age. Our strategy is based on our positive and pragmatic perspective of ageing in Australia. We genuinely believe ageing is an opportunity for both Australia as a Nation and older Australians as individuals, albeit with significant challenges, just like any other life-stage.
We also reaffirmed our organisational Values:
• Respect – We respect and value the contribution and lived experience of Australians as they age and support each person’s right to make choices and to participate in their community
• Diversity – We value the great diversity that characterises Australians of all ages and are committed to genuine exchange and engagement with all older people in Australia
• Collaboration – We communicate and work collaboratively with older people, with each other, with our partners, and with the Australian community to achieve our Vision and Purpose
• Integrity – We operate ethically, openly, honestly and with accountability
My core focus as we commence a very exciting time for COTA Victoria is to ensure that we continue to be a values-driven organisation. An organisation that is not only striving to fulfill our WHY, but more importantly, to far exceed the expectations regarding all of the programs and services we provide across the state.
Underpinning our renewed strategic priorities for 2023 and beyond will be the following 4 main areas: Policy, Health and Wellbeing, Rights and Growth. These priorities align to and are informed by our Strategic focus on:
- Influence – We are thought leaders, and we influence government, business and community
- Sustainability – We are a dynamic and sustainable organisation
- Partnership – We seek opportunities to be a trusted ethical partner to deliver inclusive and positive outcomes for older people
- Empowerment – We enable older people to be empowered to be their own advocates and build respect in their communities
Within these areas we will develop and implement policies, programs and services designed to promote and present opportunities for older people, while protecting and promoting their rights. The main focus for my team in 2023 will be to ensure that we develop new, innovative, thought-leadership based programs and services for older Victorians. There’ll be a distinct focus on ensuring a community and social dividend with a lens on early intervention/prevention-based programs and services that are front of mind with older Victorians and governments.
I’m also excited to share that we have a full-time Senior Communications Advisor starting with COTA Victoria on February 6. Please watch this space for a significant ramp up in communications and services to our broader membership in 2023!
Thank you for your continued support of COTA Victoria and I look forward to meeting you some time in the future.