It’s November already and we’re almost at the end of what has been an incredibly eventful year – one full of exciting changes, challenges both local and global, and, for COTA Victoria, an operational and strategic review of the critical programs and services we provide for older Victorians. Throw in an election at the end of this month and you can see why it’s been a very busy period for our dedicated staff and volunteers.
I’m so proud of our organisation and its resilience in the midst of significant change. There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved with the wonderful work COTA Victoria does. I believe that with all my heart, and I’m driven to grow our organisation and seek long-term funding for its work. Our proud 71-year history is testament to the vital work we do and serves as a solid foundation for our work in the coming decades.
The viability and quality of our work also depends on our relationships. I’m grateful for the productive and strong working relationship we have built with the Victorian government. As we move into the new year, a key focus for the Board and I will be further strengthening our relationships with federal, state and local governments, community and health services, philanthropic trusts and businesses.
I regard the growth in the impact and effectiveness of Seniors Rights Victoria as an important achievement for our organisation. For 13 years, this statewide, specialist community legal centre has been working to prevent elder abuse and protect the rights of older people. One of the four pillars of COTA Victoria’s strategy in relation to rights is to maintain SRV’s position as Victoria’s leading provider of information and casework in this area. There is no doubt that the work of this unique service is vital, as elder abuse remains a scourge on society.
It’s also important to acknowledge some of the other important work we do at COTA Victoria. Work such as:
- launching our election platform in the lead-up to the November 26 Victorian election, underpinned by six specific policy asks
- meeting with and briefing Minister Colin Brooks on the urgent need for increased funding to support critical COTA Victoria services, such as SRV and our helplines
- formally requesting millions of dollars of increased funding to support our critical ongoing work, as well as working towards ensuring our organisation and people have stable, longer-term funding
- our Locals Working Together program, led by the Education and Engagement team
- the Assistive Technology for All campaign, led by our Policy team
- our continued response to and involvement in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Royal Commission
- our promotion of healthy living through Living Longer Living Stronger
- our increased emphasis on Older Men: New Ideas (OM:NI) groups.
We have our AGM scheduled for Wednesday 23 November 2022. The meeting will be conducted in an online (video streaming) capacity. There’s still time for COTA Victoria members to register to attend.
We won’t be distributing a comprehensive newsletter in December; however, I will send a brief message towards the end of the year.
I would like to thank our dear members, volunteers, staff and broader community for your ongoing support of our work.
CEO, COTA Victoria