In August 1957 a public meeting was held in Adelaide to gather support for starting the Older People’s Welfare Council in South Australia. Similar bodies had already been launched in Victoria and NSW.

The Older People’s Welfare Council became officially incorporated in October 1957. In 1969 it became the SA Council on the Ageing (SACOTA) and then Council on the Ageing (South Australia) in 1992, commonly known as (COTA SA).

August 2007 marked the beginning of COTA SA’s 50th birthday celebrations which concluded with the ‘Beyond 50’ Gala Dinner on 1 May 2008. Our 50th birthday celebrations offered the opportunity for review and renewal; past and current Board members and volunteers were honoured and COTA’s new branding and website were unveiled.

For a summary of COTA through the years, Click Here to download 'COTA Turns 50', originally produced to commemorate our 50th Birthday.  Please note this is a large pdf file.

Click Here to read a profile of COTA SA covering our history to November 2006.

Today there is a COTA in every state and territory; COTA Australia represents this federation at the national level; and COTA Member Services and COTA Insurance provide valuable and valued services to the growing individual membership of all COTAs.

COTAs have developed in somewhat different ways in the different states, and today still have varied roles, activities and methods of operation.

However in 2015 all COTAs have the same goals, act in similar ways to advance the interests of older people to state and territory governments and other key bodies, speak with one united voice at national level, have one national magazine and member services, and operate national programs such as Controlling My Life: Making the most of Consumer Directed Care: .

For various reasons by the mid-2000s COTAs were presenting ourselves to our members, and the wider community, with different logos, colour schemes, descriptive ‘straplines' and even names. Our branding had become quite diverse.

As part of our national Cooperation Agreement signed in mid-2009 we agreed to change that and create one name, logo and one colour scheme.

We reviewed our name and agreed to drop "Council on the Ageing" and become just "COTA", by which most people know us anyway. We also added the tagline "For older Australians" as describing succinctly and without spin precisely why we exist.