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LGBTI+ information

Welcome to the LGBTI+ section of our website. On this page you will find details of how you can have your say on the issues that matter to you, along with information, resources and links for the LGBTI+ community aged 50+.

2 older people at stall with rainbow flag

COTA SA is committed to ensuring that the many and diverse voices of older South Australians are heard. Providing a voice for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) people in South Australia is an ongoing priority for COTA SA, and we are committed to having LGBTI+ representation, both on our Policy Council and through The Plug-In, which invites its Influencers to have their say on the issues that matter to them.

We have delivered important projects in collaboration with LGBTI+ elders in SA including inclusive end of life planning project Rainbow Horizons, the Rainbow Rights toolkit, which aims to empower LGBTI+ to assert and safeguard their rights over a lifetime and the Rainbow Dog project which focuses on emotional wellbeing.

Five years ago COTA SA created the Rainbow Hub advisory group to advise us on the issues that matter to the LGBTI+ community aged 50+ and help to inform our policy work in this area. Under COTA SA, the Rainbow Hub went from strength to strength delivering not only advocacy, but also programs, services, events and activities for the LGBTI+ community.

In June 2024, we were very pleased to announce that next phase of growth of has seen them become independent, they are now operating as Rainbow Hub SA, an independent volunteer-run organisation. COTA SA will continue to support Rainbow Hub SA in their evolution as an independent organisation. You can expect to see many collaborations and synergies between our two organisations going forward.

We will continue to host information and resources developed by, or in collaboration with, the Rainbow Hub here on our website - you will find them below.

Rainbow Hub SA will continue to host their popular monthly lunch and we will continue to take registrations, visit Upcoming Events for more information and to book your spot.

Upcoming Events

Programs and services

The Rainbow Hub included a number of programs and services focused for the LGBTI+ community aged 50+

Silver Rainbow

COTA SA previously offered Silver Rainbow LGBTI+ Aged Care Awareness Training. This was available to aged care providers and delivered by qualified trainers with lived LGBTI+ experience.

Rainbow Dog

Our Fay Fuller Foundation Spark Grant project, Rainbow Dog, will explore the impact of unexpected changes on our emotional wellbeing.

Through this project we gathered stories from LGBTI+ elders about the impact of these events on them and/or their friends, and explore what happened as a result, what helped them, what got in the way and what could have helped them get through.

Rainbow Memories Matter

In March 2021, we were pleased to hold our Rainbow Memories Workshop: Challenging invisibility and celebrating our histories. While this initial event has now passed, the aim remains important. See the tips handout below for information about why it matters to preserve these memories and ideas of how you can.

Rainbow Horizons

Inclusive end of life care and planning

COTA SA places great importance on creating an inclusive society that moves beyond ageism, and enables the participation of older South Australians as co-producers of change, including end of life planning.

The Rainbow Horizons project was an important initiative designed to create greater cross-generational support in relation to end of life planning, care and dying for LGBTI+ people.

The project included a number of key contributors, download the list here.

The two year project was supported by Office for Ageing Well, SA Health with a specific focus on:

  • Facilitating conversations in LGBTI+ communities across generations
  • Building an intergenerational compassionate community model that can be adapted, and
  • Engaging with service providers.

Support this work

You can support this work in a number of ways:

Pictured left: Some Rainbow Horizons Trial Group members with Jackie Wurm at the debrief session

Rainbow Horizons Useful Resources

  • Rainbow Horizons LGBTI+ Community Forum - Don’t leave me this way – honouring our lives in community, February 2022

The Rainbow Horizons project complements work being undertaken by organisations, including interstate and overseas.

Rainbow Hub Advisory Group

The Advisory Group works closely with COTA SA to guide the Rainbow Hub programs and lead advocacy priorities and engagement. The Advisory Group also liaises with other key LGBTI+ stakeholders such as the South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA).

Watch a recent video message from the Advisory Group by clicking play in the image to the left. Running time 20 seconds.


Below are details of some of the COTA SA submissions that the Rainbow Hub has contributed to.

Feedback on the Spent Convictions Act 2009 — Amendment Bill

Letter from COTA SA and the Rainbow Hub Advisory Group confirming that it is our position that all convictions for homosexuality be automatically expunged from the record.

Read the full letter

SA Gov Website Spent Convictions information

Removing homosexual convictions — South Australian Government factsheet

Removing homosexual convictions — South Australian Government factsheet — Easy read version

If you need help to apply to spend a historical homosexual conviction, contact the Legal Services Commission or a community legal centre.

The South Australian Joint Statement against the Religious Discrimination Bill

COTA SA was one of 14 signatories to the joint statement. Jane Mussared, COTA SA Chief Executive said. "The Religious Discrimination bill has worried a generation of people who have vivid memories of the discrimination, hurts, abuse and lack of safety that has been the experience for most of their lives. They worry that the bill, as law, would legitimise that all over again".

Read the Join Statement against the Religious Discrimination Bill

COTA Australia's Submission to the Religious Discrimination Bill's 2nd Consultation Draft

This was developed with our input including a letter from COTA SA's LGBTI+ Advisory Group

Read the submission

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety — National LGBTI Health Alliance Submission

In September 2019, the National LGBTI Health Alliance came to Adelaide to speak with LGBTI+ older people and elders, and their carers. This consultation, along with others in Melbourne, Canberra, Tasmania and on the Sunshine Coast informed the submission.

Read the submission

The LGBTIQ People Ageing Well Project

The LGBTIQ People Ageing Well Project has concluded, with the final report sent to government and key stakeholders in August 2018.

The main aim of the project was to engage with older people from South Australia’s LGBTIQ communities to find out what matters most to them as they age to better inform policy and create a groundswell for change to the policies that impact on the lives of older LGBTIQ people.

The project also celebrated the lives and contributions of older LGBTIQ people. Their stories and lived experiences have the power to promote a greater understanding of a unique set of issues, but also the power to create changes that will support and enhance the lives of South Australia’s older LGBTIQ population.

Through the project COTA SA and co-authors the SA Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) wanted to make sure there were opportunities for people to celebrate their achievements and to come together in a forum where their many and varied contributions could be appropriately acknowledged.

This report makes a number of recommendations that can and will make a significant difference to the lives of older LGBTIQ South Australians, and must be addressed by all levels of government and the ageing and aged care sector.

COTA SA will now work alongside SARAA to push for actions in line with the recommendations detailed in the final report.

As the peak body for older South Australians, COTA SA is committed to ensuring all older South Australians have an opportunity to be heard about what matters to them as they age. For more information about COTA SA's continued work on issues for older LGBTIQ people, please contact us.

The LGBTIQ People Ageing Well Project full report

Rainbow Hub e-news

Stay up-to-date with news and events for LGBTI+ elders by subscribing to the Rainbow Hub e-news. Simply complete and submit the form below.

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Previous editions

More information

Subscribe to the COTA SA E-newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest news and events

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