Sally called this morning to say she heard you on the radio with Katie Wolf and said you were doing a fantastic job with advocating for Seniors. She said she hasn’t always seen eye to eye with you, but what you do with COTA, thank you for all you are doing, and trying to achieve for the Seniors. She didn’t need you to call her back, she just wanted you to know there are people out there that appreciate you.
Housing advocacy for Members “Finally all the obstructions to enter my new residence […] have been resolved because you have done so much good work by contacting so many people in charge of this event…Many thanks to you and accept my sincere gratitude for compensation…!!!..When I have a spare time I shall drop in to the office and say “hello” to everyone…Christmas festivities are approaching and I will wish a “merry Christmas to all the staff present in your office…But,a special “merry Christmas” to you personally Sue who has performed so many good works….Thanks again…!!!.. L. M.
“I just want to acknowledge Sue Shearer C.E.O. of C.O.T.A. for supporting me through my ongoing issues by giving me through Her Window Of Time for Listening, Empathy, Understanding, Cups of Tea, Shared Tears, and Special Hugs. Much appreciated Sue , With Thanks and God’s Blessings . JA
On COTA NT’s Seniors Month activities and advocacy in Speech to the House of Representatives (7 September 2022)
Last week I attended the Seniors Expo in Alice Springs as part of Seniors Month. Organised by the Council on the Ageing, or COTA, it was a hive of activity. There were the information stalls one would expect, but as well there were live performances, entertainment, displays, talks and so much more. It was full of colour and life. Being able to meet and talk to some of the elders brought home to me the contributions they make, as senior Territorians and, indeed, senior Australians, not just to their families but to their communities. A lot of those seniors have lived in Alice Springs most of their lives and made an immense contribution to that community.
COTA NT spoke to me about a regular survey that they do, the Cost of Living Survey. They survey all of their members across the Northern Territory. Their latest one showed that many seniors do not have any money left after paying for basic expenses, and this survey was conducted before the massive increase in inflation. There is much to do to address rising costs, but I’m pleased that the Albanese government has made some big announcements. The increase to the age pension, cheaper medicines and the ability to earn more whilst keeping the pension will address some long-term cost-of-living problems.
It was great to interact and talk with those seniors. There is still a lot that they want to contribute, particularly to some of the increasing youth issues that we see across Alice Springs. They’ve lived there most of their lives, so it was great to have a discussion about that. This week’s announcement of an indexation increase to the age pension was so important. A rise of $38.90 for singles and $58.84 for couples will make a difference.
Another important decision that will help the financial health of older Australians is to allow those on a pension to earn more. Age and veteran pensioners will be able to earn an additional $4,000 over this financial year without losing any of their pension. Once the legislation is passed, they can earn up to $11,800 before their pension is reduced. Pensioners will also retain access to their pension concession card and associated benefits for two years. This is an important measure to ensure older Australians have the option to remain in the workforce, if they wish, without losing access to their pension and benefits.
The COTA Cost of Living Survey showed that medical expenses are a significant worry for seniors. The maximum cost to general patients for PBS medications has doubled since the year 2000—doubled, Mr Speaker!—and the previous government did nothing about it. This has resulted in seniors, and others, with medical conditions often delaying filling scripts or not getting medicines at all.
The government has made it easier for seniors. They will be among the millions of Australians who will pay less for their Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme scripts. The savings on just one medication script a month could be as much as $150 a year. This is a real saving that will make a difference to all Australians, but especially seniors. I’m pleased to be part of a government that is delivering a strong healthcare system and support to senior Australians.
I want to acknowledge Sue Shearer, who is the CEO of COTA NT, Fran Kilgariff and all of the other directors of the COTA board in Alice Springs for the important work and advocacy that they provide for senior Territorians in Alice Springs, and certainly for the work and advocacy they do throughout the Northern Territory. Marion Scrymgour MP, Lingiari (Download Speech on Seniors here)
“The Newspaper is excellent. Beyond my expectation…. congratulations, we are proud to be part of the initiative.” Marshall and Cherry Perron (talking about Seniors Voice)
I am in my 70’s and still work a few days a month to keep my brain working, also do some aqua and walking my red heeler Ruby. I am fortunate to live in Pearl Retirement Village so have that support as well. Just read the latest magazine and it is just great. All of you at COTA do such an amazing job. Every time I have asked you about issues I have received thoughtful helpful assistance. Thank you for all you do. Ciao Sally Gearin 18 April 2023 – (talking about Seniors Voice)
“Your journal [Seniors Voice] is a quality product. It’s a valuable voice and a useful tool in matters like fighting for affordable accommodation. Cheers and thanks again for getting back to me.” H. Rajala, Fannie Bay (talking about Seniors Voice)
“I was delighted to receive the first edition of Seniors Voice NT, with its texture, the smell, the overly large print size, and not needing to remember a password to log in to read it! This outstanding publication serves as a hub for important information to keep senior Territorians informed about the issues that matter most to them and as a place to share real-life stories and experiences that foster a sense of connection and belonging within our communities.” Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Government (talking about Seniors Voice)
“I’ve just read the new Seniors Voice magazine and want to congratulate the team for this professional and accessible publication. Bravo for seeing the gap and filling it with an easy-to-read and easy-to-use magazine. I love that it is available in hard copy, as a downloadable PDF and online in a very easy-to-use format which also enables printing of pages. I’m sending a copy to my 95 year old Mum in Perth!” N Hart, Palmerston (talking about Seniors Voice)
“Hi there, I just want to congratulate you on your first edition, I found it a great read and very informative. Keep up the great work.” G & P Timson (talking about Seniors Voice)
“Interesting reading with wide list of interesting items. Good most items used good sized font size. Well done and much appreciated.” K Cohalan (talking about Seniors Voice)
“Thank you for an excellent first edition, and for the multiple formats available on which to read the Seniors’ Voice. This edition is full of essential information presented clearly and effectively.” Susan Cameron, 2 March 2021 (emailing about Seniors Voice)
“Well done guys, it looks great.” Paul Kirby, Member for Port Darwin 2 March 2021, (talking about Seniors Voice – new style edition – on Facebook)
On My Story “What an excellent ‘life’ diary is your My Story. Getting thoughts, achievements, ambitions etc down on paper for posterity, and for they who come afterwards, is a wonderful idea, with the operative words being ‘on paper’. To borrow from the great movie, ‘Flesh for Frankenstein’: writing on a computer keyboard is for mortals; writing on paper with pen and ink is for immortals. The front-cover photograph is a classic. Your model makes readers want to immediately open the book.
Jotting down life’s advice and tidbits is not an idea that readily springs to mind, especially not now in the computer age. In this regard, My Story is a winner because inside are questions that only people with lived experience can answer, or at least opine on, with requisite consideration. Writing by hand is good brain exercise – like bicep curls and leg extensions for the body.
It’s a curious fact that people not inclined to write often discover the depths within and once they start, they can’t stop.
Congratulations on another gem of an idea COTA.” Hemsley R, Fannie Bay (October 2023)
On The Goodbye Guide “I attended the “getting ready to drop off ” meeting today at Spillet House… great. Thank you all.
In the handout was a booklet, The Goodbye Guide and in the booklet is an invaluable list of checklists…” John P (September 2023)
“Dear Ian, As long-term COTA NT members we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the CEO, Ms. Sue Shearer, the Chair Ms. Jan Jewell and team for the very positive achievements in recent years. COTA NT has become the focal point for the Seniors. Kind regards”” Franz and Vera Kratschmer, Darwin NT 0800 (writing to COTA Australia CEO)
“The way in which COTA is wrapping around the needs of all seniors across the Territory is laudable. The organisation is especially mindful and caring towards the needs of indigenous and multicultural members. The aim of the Council in wanting to embrace the NT’s seniors citizens as a group in oneness and unity is being well and truly met.” Grateful Oldster (30 September 2020 in Letter to the Editor, NT News)
“I would however like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you for everything you do to help make life that little bit easier for seniors in the Territory.” Barbara Grant (September 2019)
“I thank everyone who provides frank feedback about seniors policy, particularly COTA…” Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (speech during Seniors Month 2018)
On Seniors Voice “Congrats on a great article for COTA in the SUN paper.” Maggie Carter
On the review of the Northern Territory Pensioners and Carers Concessions Scheme “WELL done to COTA ..and others..who worked so hard! Congrats” Fiona DarcyOn the review of the Northern Territory Pensioners and Carers Concessions Scheme “Hi Cota, great to see you are pushing back to the value of keeping older territorians in the Territory. Hundreds of our mates have headed to the Sunshine State and other places. Keep up the good work.” Roger Steele
On COTA NT News “Thank you to all COTA NT staff and volunteers for keeping us up to date, especially with things relating to NT seniors.” Lorraine Donfeld
On Grandparents Day 2023
“I went with only five of my grandkids last Sunday and they thoroughly enjoyed the Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. Hopefully another event similar can be organized to this one in the future…” Stephen Skultety
“Well done COTA NT on such a great initiative of Grandparents Day and the thought that went into the competition concept.” Kind regards, Joanne Scott Taminmin Community LibraryOn SENIORS EXPO 2023 (Alice Springs – August 2023)Seniors EXPO in Alice Springs 2023 brought together over 500 Alice Springs seniors and 56 exhibitors
“The excellence of the Seniors Expo is quite a talking point in town at the moment.” Lesley“A great day had by all.” Alice Springs Seniors Citizens
“Seniors Expo in Alice Springs 2023 brought together over 500 Alice Springs seniors and 56 exhibitorsWe had a great day at the Seniors Expo organised by COTA NT and Alice Springs Town Council. There was some dancing, live music and more than 50 information stalls.” Mental Health Association Central Australia
“I just wanted to reach out and congratulate you on an absolutely fantastic event yesterday. The turnout and vibe was great, and most importantly we got to connect with many potential clients and other stakeholders to let them know what we’re all about and how we can help. Thank you so much for having us.” Services Australia
“Enjoyable and had a great time.” Teresita F
“Very impressed with the number of stalls giving a huge variety of helpful information. “ Sue A
- “Listening to the good old songs what the Pearl Choir were singing and the displays.” Lucy S
- “Some highlights were: Driving the mobile scooters, visiting all of the stalled, listening to the band and the outside morning tea but loved it all.” Liz C
- “Getting to know what was available, being able to talk to people at tables/displays that were relevant to me. ” Denyse B
- “Seeing what was on offer for Senior Territorians and having everything in one place.” Sharon Challen
- “Wandering through the stalls, but I equally enjoyed the entertainment and free bbq!” Caroline B
- “Accessing so much information on what is available now that I’ve retired and moved up here.” Suzanne Shute
- “I found all the stalls with information relevant, interesting and sometimes aboutthings I didn’t know.” Mara Dobrini
“It’s always a very positive event. I have enjoyed attending the last few and think the venue is perfect. ” Audika
“As always every thing appeared to run very smoothly, the layout is great and assistance always on hand if required. Job well done COTA team :)” Greenfields Living
“Well organised and coordinated event.” Darwin Community Legal Service
I just wanted to say Thank You to you and staff and volunteers for organising such a brilliant EXPO. It seems to get better each year and this was no exception. As a representative of the four TOP END Probus Clubs we all enjoyed the EXPO ourselves but we also enjoyed the opportunity to share information about our clubs. Everything was provided for us and there was so much entertainment and food and drinks supplied in addition to the information and giveaways. You all did such a good job, it is a major event in the top end and it is not easy motivating seniors but you mastered it. Thank you again, well done. Regards Marilyn Roberts, Palmerston Probus Secretary
On COTA NT’s Grandparents Day 2022 event “On behalf of my Family and others who attended Sunday’s Grandparents Day at Casuarina Movies, I would like to say a HUGE Thank You to COTA NT & everyone who assisted to make it a memorable day for everyone.
Everything was so well organised, the Movie was exciting, there was popcorn & drinks, tea & biscuits provided, so everyone felt included. We are very grateful to you. Kind Regards,” Linda Jones & Alf Andreassen. (Happy Grandparents of Hamish & Idris).
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “Mr Deputy Speaker, this evening I speak about a few things that have happened since Parliament last time. As the month of August comes to a close so does the Seniors Month calendar. It was a pleasure to attend COTA’s Seniors Expo in Darwin earlier in the month. It was a great morning with so many more stalls than last year, singing and dancing by the seniors—which was fantastic—to the old music, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There were many service providers there also to assist seniors in a number of ways. ” Mrs Jo Hersey, MLA Katherine to 14th Assembly 55th Session, 30 August 2022 (Adjournment Speech)
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “Congratulations on a fantastic event, it was a great effort by all concerned. The program was well put together & I can imagine the work that went on behind the scenes to deliver it. The venue chosen was ideal being in doors out of the weather, secure & ease of movement for those needing care & assistance. There were an amazing number of exhibitors, well done to the organisers for getting them together. There were some I didn’t know we had in town or other services I didn’t know were available to seniors…The food was very good & plenty of it. The entertainment & promotion of activities from the various groups was excellent. It was great to see the audience get involved & appreciate the groups participating.. Again congratulations on a wonderful event, you can all be very proud of your efforts. I look forward to next year’s event.” Coral Allan
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “Found everything satisfying” T Pratt
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “I liked the stalls – there was so much information” J O’Reilly
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “Dear Friends, Congratulations to COTA NT on the good work in Alice.” M Clinch
On Seniors Expo 2022 (Alice Springs) “We’re having a grand time with volunteers and participants alike” Neighbourhood Watch Alice Springs
On AGED CARE FORUM August 2022 (Alice Springs) “Hi Deb, I really enjoyed the forum yesterday, the calibre of the speakers was excellent. Although not in the “system” yet I was heartened to hear of the improvements across the board in aged care. Congrats to all involved. Cheers” Pat McDonald
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “The Darwin Expo likely better than the one organised in Adelaide.” Pat Simmons
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “Went to the Expo, though it was great. Plenty information on every stall. Will be there next time.” B O’Doherty
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “Congratulations on such a successful event, what a great turnout!” Ana Nunez, Volunteering NT
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “COTA management, staff and many volunteers need to be congratulated on the delivery of another great community project. The CDU Netball Stadium at Marrara, is an ideal venue as it is accessible, spacious, airconditioned with all the required amenities and ample free parking spaces. Our information stall was in a clearly visible location and staffed by Monica, Allan, John S and Don. We had very good discussions with many people, probably the best we have experienced so far, which was very pleasing. As well, practically all our hand out literature was taken up.” Don Lockyer, Prostate Cancer Support
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “Thank you again for inviting MVR to be a part of the Seniors Expo. We received positive engagement from the 2,500 Seniors in attendance and were asked a lot of questions which we were able to answer. We also registered some customers in the MVR database so they will receive their vehicle registration and driver licence concessions in the future. It was a great opportunity and we really appreciated your offer to join along so thank you.” Road Safety NT, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
On SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “Thank you COTA. And Congratulations. COTA has done it again. Seniors ‘ expo is always a great success. The highlight of the year. Always enjoy it. And the venue is super with plenty of car parking. All the best.” May and John HulmeOn SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who helped make the Seniors Expo at the Netball Stadium an outstanding success. The number of people attending this event is increasing each year and its popularity is spreading.
It is because of dedicated COTA Staff and Volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into this event that make it the great event it is becoming. THANK YOU very much from the bottom of my heart for all your effort it is very much appreciated. Cheers” Jan Jewell, COTA NT ChairOn SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “Most enjoyable, well done and the band from Pearl was great.” Angela JOn SENIORS EXPO 2022 (Darwin) “This was my first time attending the Seniors Expo and I have to congratulate everyone involved in organising this event. My friend and I had a great time and picked up some really great information about what is available to Seniors. So thankyou so looking forward to next years already.” Sharon C
On SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Alice Springs) “Need a massive shout out too, to organisers and those who gave their time for our information and entertainment and chance to meet friends. Congratulations to all” Rosalie BreenOn SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Alice Springs) “Thankyou COTA for a wonderful day, it was great to see so many friends , looking forward to seeing everyone next year” Phyllis Prescott
On SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Darwin) “Congratulations to all at COTA NT for the great job at Seniors Expo. We enjoyed it very much. The venue was great and spacious with ample of underground car parking. The exhibits were good and informative. Lots of presents. The COTA staff were very helpful. Plenty of entertainment. It was a great success. Thank you.” May HulmeOn SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Darwin) “Congratulations COTA on a successful 6th annual Seniors Expo. Well done to all involved. … Board, staff, and volunteers.” Maria ScarlettOn SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Darwin) “A great event, the COTA organisers have excelled themselves, creating a hard act to follow in 2022. Many thanks.” Allan Mitchell
On SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Darwin) “Thank you for a great event. Thanks especially for the children’s activities, my little grandsons had a ball.” Patricia Stephenson
On SENIORS EXPO 2021 (Darwin) “It was great..thanks everyone!” Fiona Foster Darcy
2016On SENIORS EXPO “Thank you to everyone who helped in such a fantastic day.” Robin KnoxOn SENIORS EXPO “I thought it was a great day and appreciate the effort and planning that is behind pulling the Expo together. Well done. Sharon TentyeOn SENIORS EXPO “GREAT EXPO TODAY!!!! It was really well organised and just a lovely venue and day.” Tania Roberts
On SENIORS EXPO “…very special community event.” Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong LimOn SENIORS EXPO “Thank you Steph, Can I just say that programme looked absolutely incredible! What a FANTASTIC job you and the team have done!” Miriam NuttallOn SENIORS EXPO “Really good event at the Seniors Expo! We signed plenty of new clients and tested over 40 people throughout day! All your hard work really paid off” Faye Dickson, Australian HearingOn SENIORS EXPO “Hi Sue, Lina and Steph, Yesterday’s Expo was a very successful event. I know how much effort is put in by Sue, LIna and Steph especially pulling all this together. On behalf of the board and myself I would like to thank you and all the volunteers who helped to make this the success it was. It certainly puts COTA’s name out there in front of seniors and organisations as the peak body for seniors in the Territory. Once again thank you very much for all your efforts.” Jan Jewell Chair, COTA NT
On Bunnings craft workshop “To all of you our sincere thanks for this weeks arrangements. It was great to enjoy COTA’s hospitality. Today’s Bunnings session very enjoyable. Have a lovely weekend,” Vera and Franz Kratschmer
On DCA weaving workshop “It was a fun morning. Thanks ladies.” Carol Ohh
On Devonshire morning tea fundraiser “Very enjoyable morning, thanks” Angela James
On iPad training “Thanks for the last few weeks. Have really enjoyed and learnt.” Marg EldridgeOn Fit for Life programming “Attended my first Chair Pilates class last week and loved it. I felt this class would suit people who have back issues and are unable to do exercise on the floor. Sharon was terrific and I was surprised how hard we worked. I intend making it a regular when I am in town. Thanks Steph and Sharon.” Suzie BergerOn Seniors Month BCC movie and morning tea “Great film thank you very much.” Denis Newsham
Following COTA NT’s decision to keep providing an Aged Care Navigator service (January 2023): “Dear Sue, Congratulations on your decision to continue with ACN in the face of losing the tender for ‘care finder’. You have an exiting successful program, and to not be awarded the new contract is just another example of the Territory’s appalling tender process that appears to be solely based on cost rather than proven performance. Keep up with the good work and the turn-around that you and your team have achieved in recent years.” Regards Richard Layton
“Wonderful news thank you. ” Di Rowley
“A sincere thank you. I am so glad we still have a local contact with a phone number everyone knows, even if we haven’t met Debbie yet. Thank you, Sue and Debbie. Thank you to everyone involved.” Kind regards Rosemary Coppock
- “The customers who use this discount are very happy that they can use it with us as most of the time they need their glasses to see and at some points they can be quite expensive if they don’t have private health and/or the northern territory concession scheme which can greatly help patients in the scheme and/or the northern territory concession scheme which can greatly help patients in the scheme.” Elizabeth, OPSM
- “It helps customers to get items at a discounted price.” New Age Mobility
- “It’s been good so far considering the industry we are in.” Territory Funerals
- “…it is a great initiative and we are grateful.” C Mallett
- “As a resident of Wagait Beach the seniors card give free travel on the ferry.” C Dunne
- “Useful for public transport.” M. James
- “Provides valuable discounts, including when interstate. I tend not to use for local small businesses but very valuable with entrance to museums, theatres, got 30% off train travel in Canada/US, discounts on public transport interstate. The scheme is widely recognised and supported.” J Munday
- “Good financial help with discounts in rates, PAWA, telephone and some retail shops.” A Tan
- “It is useful when traveling, even overseas.” D Stafford
“Dear COTA Northern Territory, Thank you for the COTA resources including the Spring September-November addition and the Cultural Background Resources 2022. These resources will be displayed in the Arnhem electorate office for constituents. I want to express my appreciation for NT COTA’s work and advocacy for Senior Territorians.” Selena Uibo MLA, Member for Arnhem (writing to COTA NT CEO, Sue Shearer)
On volunteering “A very caring and loving team to be working with.” Di Barclay
On volunteering “…feeling proud to be part of such a caring, sharing team with so much passion for helping our Senior Territorians.” Yvonne Smith
COTA NT’s staff and volunteers offer support and assistance to seniors online, on the phone and for face-to-face meetings (appointments may be required). It publishes INFORMATION to inform and empower seniors on its website on a wide variety of topics.
On Consumer Directed Care “Hi Lina, Thank you so much for your response. I nearly cried reading your email. I was wondering, if I brought some of mum’s current contract and paper work in regards to her package and what she is currently receiving, would you mind going through this with me. Even if it is to just explain what means “what”. Once again, thank you so much for responding. Kind Regards” Coleen Harris
On providing support for Danila Dilba renal group “I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank and acknowledge the support COTA has provided for our clients to continue their physical activity program and how welcoming and professional the team have been to us and our clients. Many thanks Kind regards” Karrina Demasi, Chronic Disease Care Coordinator Danila Dilba Health Service
On the year’s work “Wishing Stephanie and COTA (NT) team A Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year 2017. Thank you all for your great job, for looking after the Senior Territorians in 2016.” Regards, John and May Hulme
Read more about COTA NT membership
On receiving COTA invitation to DEC “Am just back from the Peking Opera – was fabulous! everything about it was great, from the fabulous costumes, amazing facial expressions, acrobatics and all the dance! Thanks for the opportunity/ticket. Merry Christmas!” Frances AbbottOn receiving COTA invitation to DEC “Thank you COTA for the tickets to the Peking Opera. It was a magnificent event. Happy Christmas from us both.” Fred and Lyn BarlowOn receiving COTA invitation to DEC “For now, a BIG THANKYOU to Cota for organising the morning. I really enjoyed the performance, as did all I saw there and have been able to ask. Again, many thanks. “Fred MitchellOn receiving COTA invitation to DEC “Good Morning Stephanie, Just a note to thank you for the opportunity to attend this most enjoyable event. My friend and I really appreciated it, as well as the ideal seat allocation.What a great idea to be able to offer such an opportunity. Regards” Sandra Parker