Announcing our new Independent Chair, Hon. Christopher Pyne

COTA Australia, the peak body representing older Australians, has announced the appointment of the Hon. Christopher Pyne as its new independent chair.

Mr Pyne replaces outgoing independent chair, Jane Halton AO PSM, who has served in the position since 2017.

Mr Pyne, a former Federal Minister, including in health and ageing portfolios, has a long history of dedication to public welfare in his political life as well as through roles including as the Chair of Vision 2020 Australia and as a member of the advisory board of the mental health body, the Orygen Institute. Mr Pyne was also instrumental in the creation of HeadSpace.

Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, said she looks forward to working with Christopher Pyne to deliver for older Australians.

“Christopher brings a wealth of experience to COTA Australia, extending across multiple federal governments and various sectors, including public, academic, and social spaces,” Ms Sparrow said.

“His expertise is an asset that aligns seamlessly with our focus on championing the concerns of ageing individuals and older Australians nationwide.

“We believe that his leadership will further elevate our mission to create positive change and advocate for policies that enhance the lives of older Australians.”

Ms Sparrow also acknowledged the exceptional contribution of outgoing independent chair, Jane Halton AO.

“Jane Halton has been an incredible asset to our organisation. Her extensive knowledge and wealth of experience has been a driving force behind COTA’s advocacy success. Jane Halton has been, and will no doubt continue to be, an incredible advocate for older Australians. We extend our heartfelt thanks for her incredible service.”

Reflecting on her time at COTA, Ms Halton said:

“During my time as Chair, COTA Australia has gone from strength to strength and been influential in the review of retirement incomes and through the Aged Care Royal Commission. I am proud to have played a role in these areas which have such a critical impact on people’s lives. The successful transition from a long-standing CEO to a new CEO and changes to the Constitution provided a solid foundation for the future.”

“I have full confidence that with Christopher’s leadership, COTA Australia will continue to thrive, and I look forward to its continuing positive impact on the lives of older Australians.”

The Hon. Christopher Pyne said he was looking forward to taking on the important role of COTA Australia independent chair.

“There’s no doubt there are many challenges facing older Australians and, as the leading advocacy voice of older Australians, COTA Australia certainly has a big task ahead of it in the coming years. I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping meet those challenges for the benefit of older people across the country.

“One of the major challenges we’re facing as a country is how we tackle ageism. Ageism is endemic in Australia and addressing it needs to be a key focus not just for COTA, but for governments, businesses and society broadly.

“By addressing systemic ageism, we’ll help unlock the potential of older Australians. That’s not just important for older Australians themselves, but for people of every age.”