SA Policy Council
Terms of Reference

Terms Of Reference

COTA SA Policy Council

Published April 2014

The COTA SA Policy Council is the key public policy-making committee of the Board of COTA SA.


The policy council provides expertise and advice on issues of ageing to advance the rights, needs and interests of older people. It contributes to the achievement of the COTA SA strategic plan and adheres to the COTA SA constitution.

It achieves these through:

  • identifying issues for policy focus and research
  • advocating for policy reforms and outcomes
  • influencing decision-makers in the government, and community and business sectors.


To achieve its objectives, within the context of the COTA SA strategic plan, the policy council:

  • engages actively with older people and the community to bring a broad range of views to assist in identifying key issues and priorities for advocacy and policy development
  • identifies and supports individual and organisational partners to undertake joint opportunities in research, policy and advocacy
  • influences the research agenda on ageing, including through partnership and lobbying
  • identifies strategies for developing and advancing the policy agenda
  • works in association with COTA Australia on national policy issues, including on the National Policy Council
  • ensures that COTA SA's representation on external advocacy and advisory bodies reflects COTA SA's policy agenda
  • conducts policy forums that contribute to the advancement of the rights, needs and interests of older people.


The chair of the policy council is a member of the board.

The membership of the policy council shall be at least 15 and not more than 25 members, including the chair.

The membership of the policy council shall:

  • reflect the diversity of the South Australian community, including but not limited to gender, cultural and linguistic background, socioeconomic background, and geographic location. One or more representatives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community shall be appointed to the council
  • comprise no less than 75 per cent of members aged 50 years and over
  • be determined giving consideration to the skills, expertise and knowledge required by the policy council as it supports the organisation's strategic goals.

Members are appointed in accordance with the relevant clauses of the COTA SA constitution and shall be appointed to the policy council via a transparent and fair process and for a period approved by the board.

The board will formally ratify the appointment of policy council members.

Appointment will be for two years, with an option for a second two-year period.

The process and term of appointment may be altered from time to time, with the approval of the board.


Policy Council members are expected to:

  • attend meetings as required
  • prepare for meetings
  • participate actively at meetings
  • seek community views on public policy issues, including through the networks with which they are associated
  • avoid conflicts of interest
  • act in the best interests of the policy council and COTA SA.


The policy council will adhere to a code of conduct and the COTA SA constitution.

Policy council members and staff observe confidentiality in matters related to other agencies, individuals and identified organisational issues.


Meetings will be held bimonthly. Meetings will usually be held at COTA SA, 16 Hutt St, Adelaide, but may be conducted at other venues where agreed.