Between the Lines gives an up-to-date snapshot of the issues surrounding older Tasmanians in the community 

Central city commemoration for Linda Jamieson

Former colleagues and associates of the late Linda Jamieson now have a place to reflect about  Linda’s passionate and tireless advocacy for seniors during her career in Tasmania, firstly with the Seniors Bureau and then with COTA Tas before her untimely passing in August  last year.

COTA Tasmania collaborated with the Hobart City Council to arrange for a tree to be planted at Mathers Place in central Hobart – a longtime and popular meeting place for seniors visiting the city.

On Monday 17 March many of Linda’s family, friends, former workmates and associates gathered at Mathers House in the popular walkway to Mathers Lane to see her close family members, led by her husband Phil, plant a flowering gum tree and unveil a special plaque designed by landscape architect Rebecca Doblo.

This followed an address by COTA Board member Jean Walker who reminded the large gathering about Linda’s many achievements for senior Tasmanians, and a speech by Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas who highlighted Linda’s selfless contributions as a citizen of the city.

The ceremony was concluded by an emotional and stirring performance by the Sing For Your Life choir.

COTA at the Quadrant Superannuation Retirement Expo

COTA Tasmania was one of almost 20 local organisations that participated in the recent inaugural Retirement Expo conducted by Quadrant Superannuation at Wrest Point Convention Centre.

The day kicked off with an engaging presentation by veteran Australian journalist George Negus, who later took time out to meet COTA staff Natalie Lo and Jane Bowman who, along with fellow staffer Debra Lewis enjoyed speaking with many of the several hundred people who attended the event.

COTA would like to thank the many people who expressed an interest in volunteering or participating in future focus groups.

Congratulations to Phil Parker of Kingston who has won a 12-month COTA Membership.

Date change for Seniors Week in 2014

The popular Seniors Week program conducted annually by COTA Tasmania has been moved from its traditional early October slot to later in the month – now commencing Monday 13 October.

Since its inception 17 years ago the popular statewide events and activities program has commenced on the first of October in recognition of the International Day of Older Persons, which is celebrated on this date.

However, with a change to a four-term school year, the school holidays clashed with last year’s Seniors Week program, impacting on the ability of a number of organisers and patrons to organise or attend a Seniors Week event.

COTA surveyed patrons and organisers during and after last year’s program and the overwhelming response was to move the program away from school holidays.

The new date means Seniors Week 2014 starts on the Monday following the end of the October school holidays and ends on the Sunday before Hobart Show Day.

The production schedule is still being finalised but it’s anticipated that it will be similar to last year, with event registrations commencing in May and closing in early July.

COTA is also hoping to arrange a special event on 1 October to formally launch this year’s program to the media and general public.
COTA will be enacting a communications strategy to inform as many stakeholders as possible about the new Seniors Week commencement date for 2014. Monday 13 October – spread the word!

New website especially helps migrants and refugees

Former refugees and migrants now established in the Tasmanian community can now find it easier to access important information and services thanks to a new website developed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Users can quickly and easily find information about things such as interpreting services, housing and accommodation, health, community, education, managing money, transport and settlement support.

There is a section for seniors with contact details for various multicultural community organisations, community care and support, and advocacy services.

Fire safety in the home: Peer Education sessions are back

Seniors are over-represented in home fire incidents so COTA is pleased to announce that we’ve received funding to continue our popular Peer Education sessions about fire safety in the home, again in collaboration with Tasmania Fire Service.

Twenty sessions are being planned statewide, with training for Launceston’s volunteer peer educators commencing next week.

The sessions are again very popular but there are still a few spaces available. If you’re interested in arranging one for your group, contact COTA’s Peer Education Coordinator Jane Bowman on (03) 6231 3265 or email

Facing the Future is “long overdue”

COTA Tasmania’s acclaimed demographic profile of older Tasmanians launched late last year has been described as ”long overdue” and “wonderful work”  by an enthusiastic government department user.

Facing the Future continues to win praise from government, commerce and the not-for-profit sector.

At 203 pages, it’s not a quick read because it was designed to be the most credible information source of its type currently available.

COTA CEO Sue Leitch says the organisation is very pleased that a wide cross-section of the community, especially those with a special interest in seniors welfare and planning has enthusiastically embraced the document.

“COTA worked very hard on Facing the Future for almost a year and collaborated with some of the state’s foremost experts in this field to develop it, so our team is very gratified that it’s so widely accepted, and indeed, informed the principal political parties’ policies ahead of the recent state election.”

The main report and the accompanying easy-to-read and colourful fact sheets are available for download on the COTA Tas website –

Copies are also available on USB stick by request to the COTA office (03) 6231 3265 or

TasCarepoint an easy “one stop shop” for home care assistance

These days there are many services available to assist seniors in living longer in their own homes when they age, become frail or their health deteriorates.But for many people, accessing this myriad of services can be difficult and daunting. That’s why TasCarepoint is such a boon.

TasCarepoint is a joint initiative of the state and federal governments, which enables people to make a single phone call to enquire about information or referrals for home and community care services.

TasCarepoint can be accessed by those needing assistance, their families, carers, health professionals and other service providers.

Home and community services that TasCarepoint can assist with include:

  • Domestic assistance
  • Nursing and personal care
  • Centre-based daycare
  • Meals and other food services    
  • Respite care and transport
  • Home maintenance

Contact TasCarepoint for the cost of a local call on 1300 769 699 or email on  8.00am to 6.00pm weekdays (except public holidays).

Award-winning financial elder abuse education program continues

COTA Tas is going full steam ahead on planning up to 42 sessions of its award-winning You’re Worth It peer education program, which addresses financial elder abuse.

Last year this innovative program won the Lake Maintenance Innovation award for Service Excellence and COTA is pleased that further funding was allocated to allow the popular program to continue and be expanded statewide.

COTA-trained volunteer peer educators attend many and varying groups to educate patrons about the vagaries and pitfalls of financial elder abuse.  They attend groups such as LINCs, neighbourhood centres, community organisations and Probus clubs. 

To enquire about a You’re Worth It session for your group, contact Jane Bowman at COTA (03) 6231 3265 or

Downstairs, upstairs for Sophie

Popular former COTA Tas staff member Sophie Cashion has concluded her temporary assignment with COTA as Conversations with the Community Project Officer and occasional Peer Education coordinator.

But she hasn’t gone far.  Sophie has stayed in the Westella building, moving upstairs to join Community Transport Services Tasmania as a project officer.

We wish her well.

The Glenorchy LINC is seeking volunteers with IT skills

Any volunteers with skills in the use of scanners, iPads or tables, E-readers, internet , website navigation, Facebook Skype and/or the Microsoft Office Suite are encouraged to pass on their knowledge to LINC users.
Contact Kathie at Glenorchy LINC.  Phone 6165 5941 Monday to Thursday.

Free UTAS course on understanding dementia

The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania, is now offering Understanding Dementia, a free massive open online course (MOOC) commencing on March 31st.

The Understanding Dementia MOOC is delivered by 12 experts in the field of dementia including professors, neuroscientists, health scientists, clinicians, dementia care professionals and people with dementia.

The 9-week curriculum covers all aspects of dementia including basic brain anatomy, pathology, dementia research, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, medical management, living with dementia, progression and staging, palliation, behaviours and therapeutic approaches.

Understanding Dementia presents a rare opportunity to engage with current information from dementia experts, for free, from anywhere in the world.

Registrations are now open for Understanding Dementia:


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