May 11, 2022

Ian Yates AM to leave peak body for older Australians, COTA, after 20 years

Ian Yates COTA

Yates told HelloCare he and COTA had been in discussions about transitioning to a new Chief Executive and made the decision last year he would step aside in 2022.

“I don’t feel any particular need to go now but the point is, as you get older, you don’t know. It’s been 20 years and if we keep waiting and keep waiting, and something goes wrong, then the organisation’s in a bit of trouble,” he explained.

“Replacing someone who’s been there for 20 years and in the movement for over 30 is trickier.”

Yates said it was better to make the announcement prior to the election to avoid speculation – “with all the trolling that goes on” – that it may have been a political decision.

Yates said he was “very grateful” for the “very large number” who had been in touch since the announcement was made.

Yates will remain “in the game” with roles as Chair of the Council of Elders and as a member of the National Aged Care Advisory Council.

He will also be open to “new ventures”.

“I get approached regularly to sit on boards, to write books or chapters, to get involved with the university. I always have had to say no because I just do not have time,” he told HelloCare. Now those options might look “attractive”, he said.

The change is also welcomed by his family, who “complain enough already” they never see him, and Yates’ wife hopes it will present the opportunity to take a long holiday. Yates has not had more than the Christmas break off during the three years of the royal commission and pandemic.

COTA Australia Chair, Jane Halton AO, PSM said, “It would be great if Ian could go on forever, but the real world is not like that, and Ian and the Board have agreed that this year is the right time for the transition to a new Chief Executive.

“Yates’ contribution to the COTAs and to the welfare of older Australians has been immense over 33 years,” she said.

Yates will step aside this year and assist in the transition to a new leadership of the peak body for older Australians. He said it is preferable when succession occurs as a “planned process”.

Yates has been Chief Executive of the national arm of COTA since mid-2002. He was appointed Chief Executive of the state body, COTA SA, in June 1989. 

In announcing he would be stepping aside, Yates said, “Leading the peak national consumer policy and advocacy body for older Australians for two decades has been simultaneously a privilege and a challenge.”

Under Yates’ leadership, COTA made significant contributions to broad-ranging reforms, including:

  • the 2009 age pension increase by $30 per week
  • the 2012 Living Longer Living Better reforms of aged care
  • the successful Hands Off the Pension campaign in 2014
  • the 2015 superannuation reforms that have continued right up to the last Budget
  • the 2018 Budget package More Choices for a Longer Life; and 
  • the 2021 Federal Budget measures in response to the Royal Commission into Quality and Safety in Aged Care

While Yates acknowledged his contributions, he said “there are many things we have yet to achieve”.

COTA’s board has engaged executive search consultant Ian Hansen to assist with the recruitment of a new Chief Executive. The succession is expected to be completed this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banner Banner
Advertisement
Banner Banner
Advertisement

“We are all watching you”: Threatening note left on disabled driver’s windscreen

A 78-year-old man who has had a stroke and uses a walking stick had a threatening note placed on his windscreen suggesting he was misusing his disabled parking permit. Read More

Perth grandmother dies after waiting two and half hours for an ambulance

An 80-year-old grandmother has died while waiting for an ambulance that took two and half hours to arrive. It was also revealed that St John WA was urged to utilise firefighters to help cover the shortage of ambulance drivers but they have not yet used them. Read More

Frustrated aged care workers speak out: ‘There are major gaps in the budget’

The government’s shiny new figure of $17.7 billion to fund aged care might solve some problems in the sector, but will it help put an end to the horrifying stories of neglect and mistreatment we continue to hear about? Workers on the frontline in aged care tell us what the budget means for them. Read More
Banner Banner
Advertisement