Sue Shearer

Sue Shearer

Chief Executive Officer

Sue joined COTA NT as the organisation’s CEO in February 2017, a strategically important time in the development of the organisation and its advocacy role for Territory seniors.

Six years later, Sue’s role has grown exponentially as COTA NT’s advocacy and opinion is increasingly sought by seniors and stakeholders in the NT. COTA NT has hugely extended its programs (to include the NT Seniors Card and Aged Care Navigator programs), increased its staff and continues to innovate as it develops its reach, its impact and its relevance across the Territory.


In 2019, Sue was awarded Darwin’s Citizen of the Year – for “speaking out for those who need a voice.” 

  • One of the strongest advocates for seniors in the Northern Territory
  • Invited to the Expert Advisory Panel for Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation in the Northern Territory
  • Nominated as the 24th most powerful women in the NT by the NT News to mark International Women’s Day 2021
  • Nominated as the 50th most influential person in the NT by the NT News in 2020
  • Darwin Citizen of the Year 2019.

As the spokesperson for COTA NT, Sue is frequently contacted by Territory and national media to comment on both federal and local issues affecting Territory seniors; she also presents at forums and regularly attends numerous NT business networks including the PRBA and Chamber of Commerce.

  • Implemented new initiatives such as NT Grandparents Day and NT Seniors Voice (community engagement platform and print news sheet).
  • Consulted with Territory government to implement a new and improved concession scheme for seniors.
  • Acquired management of the NT Seniors Card to help reduce the cost of living.
  • Acquired Federal programs in access to aged care, health and wellbeing and advocacy and support for multicultural NT seniors.
  • Petitioned to enable repeal of Petition to Repeal Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978.
  • Speak regularly to Territory and national media.
  • On average, conduct more than 20 media interviews a year and make numerous submissions to local, Territory and Federal government.

Sue also attends numerous committees, working and advisory groups including the Expert Advisory Panel for Northern Territory Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Legislative Consultations, Ministerial Advisory Council – Senior Territorians and Seniors Concession Scheme Expert Reference Group to ensure seniors’ voices are heard in regard to topics as wide ranging as: access and inclusion, employment, housing, power and water, crime, justice and safety, veterans’ issues, voluntary assisted dying legislation and more. She meets regularly with Ministers, Territory and local government representatives.

Previous experience

  • casa Services Board (disability support NGO) Member 2021 to date
  • Chair of the Integrated Disability Action Board 2014-2020
  • General Manager at Netball NT
  • Business Manager, Guide Dogs NT
  • Senior Business Advisor to Ministers in Clare Martin government (2001 to 2007)
  • CEO Real Estate Institute NT

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