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We value ageing — it's a time of possibility, opportunity and influence. COTA SA engages with diverse South Australians aged 50+ and is the peak body representing their rights, interests and futures.

Older person standing with arms folded loosely on dark background

COTA (Council on the Ageing) SA is an older people’s movement engaging with older South Australians across our state every day.

As a not-for-profit community organisation, COTA SA is independent and non-partisan and we have our sights firmly set on:

  • Calling out ageism
  • Overcoming disadvantage and inequality
  • Fostering respect for the diversity of ageing across our state
  • Offering unique programs that create new possibilities for and with older South Australians.

COTA SA is a proud partner in the COTA Federation, made up of COTAs in each state and territory along with COTA Australia. Together, our COTA reach and influence is felt both locally and nationally.

We were established in 1957 and continue to evolve and develop to ensure that we reflect modern South Australia.

Standing with older South Australians

COTA SA is the peak body representing the rights, interests and futures of more than 698,000 South Australians aged 50+, who together make up more than a third of our population.

Along with our range of engagement, policy and advocacy activities that ensure that the voices of older people are influential, COTA SA offers services, programs and information that connect with 100,000+ older South Australians each year and help all South Australians age well.

The Plug-in

The Plug-in, our consumer engagement and insights social enterprise, that provides opportunities for researchers, government and business to connect with, and better understand, older people.

Strength for Life

Strength for Life provides an affordable way for older people to get and stay fit at more than 100 sites throughout South Australia.

Rainbow Hub

Our Rainbow Hub and its influential Advisory Group provide support and enable a voice for LGBTI elders.

Peer education

Our peer education volunteers support thousands of older people to learn about ageing well, road safety, planning ahead, using aged care, medication use and misuse and preventing falls.

Let's Talk Aged Care

Our Let’s Talk Aged Care team offers programs, services and opportunities to understand and access aged care and other services.

Advisory groups

Our COTA SA advisory groups and round tables offer representation, contribute to policy advice and provide lived experience on topics that matter to older people

Staff and volunteers

Our staff and volunteers provide information by phone, email and face to face, and contribute to expos, presentations and webinars.

Social outreach program

Our social outreach program aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness including with older people who live alone and are not online.

Submissions and contributions

Our contribution to research, universities, reviewers and investigative bodies develops a better understanding of the needs and interests of older people.


Our advocacy on issues such as employment, housing, health, aged care, climate change, cost of living and transport, ensures that older people are front and centre for government and business.

Ageing in country SA

With 26% of older South Australians living outside metropolitan Adelaide, our ongoing campaign is to focus on older people in rural and regional South Australia, including through our our regional advisory groups and country listening posts.


COTA SA Members, Member Clubs and Supporters represent thousands of older South Australians and organisations across the state.


Partnerships with organisations and people that represent the diversity of older South Australians including CALD and First Nations


older South Australians represented by the work we do


hours of volunteer service every year supporting our work


participants get and stay fit through our affordable Strength for Life programs

Our Service Charter

COTA SA's Service Charter sets out our service principles and commitment to provide people with the service they expect.


  • We will listen to you.
  • We will communicate respectfully and we request the same in return.
  • We respect your privacy and have systems in place to ensure we protect all confidential information.


  • We celebrate and promote the rich diversity of older South Australians.
  • We respect personal and cultural preferences, practices, choices and needs.


  • We will treat every person equitably.
  • We will personalise our services and make them accessible to you as much as our resources reasonably allow.
  • We will ensure that information that is available online is available offline whenever required.


  • We believe that we can always achieve more through collaboration and partnership.
  • We work with older people, rather than for older people.
  • Our services aim to empower people to be informed, make decisions and take action for themselves.
  • We will regularly engage, co-design, consult with and evaluate what we do with older people as we strive to develop and improve our work.


  • We will provide information that is independent, honest, accurate, up to date and easy to understand.


  • We will respond to every enquiry we receive, doing so to the best of our ability, and as promptly as we reasonably can.
  • We take a “no wrong door” approach and if we can’t help you, we will do our best to refer you to a service that can.
  • We will be accountable in our actions to you.
  • If we fall short of your expectations and our standards, then please tell us — we welcome feedback and will use it to improve.

Our Patrons

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, and her husband, Mr. Rod Bunten are joint patrons of COTA SA. We are grateful for their support.

On the work of COTA SA, Her Excellency has said that, as both she and Mr Bunten have reached the milestone of their 60s, it “has been a prompt to look ahead to our future and how we wish to approach it”.

“It is very important to us that all South Australians have the opportunity to reach their potential and live fulfilling, meaningful lives – no matter their age or background,” Her Excellency said.

Feedback — compliments, complaints and suggestions

We welcome feedback as we use it to continuously improve our interactions with you.

If you are not happy with our service, we appreciate you providing us with an opportunity to resolve your complaint in the first instance. Clearly explaining the issue and what you think should be done to fix it will assist us in rectifying your issue in a timely manner.

We will respond to all formal complaints in writing and in line with our relevant policy and procedures.

We invite you to provide your compliment, complaint, or suggestion to us.

COTA Federation

COTA SA was formed in August 1957 following a public meeting 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 and have since been formed in all other states and territories and nationally through COTA Australia.

While the COTAs have developed differently in response to local needs, we share a common vision, mission and values. Together we make up the COTA Federation. With our partner COTAs, we engage and influence both locally and on a national basis.

In 2023, the COTA Federation released the 2023 State of the (Older) Nation report. It tells a story of an older generation often experiencing ageism, who less often perceive themselves as happy, healthy, financially secure or connected to community than the previous report.

Read more and download the full report, summary report, research presentation and the 2018 and 2021 reports at the link below.

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