Policy Forum 2014

Policy Forum 2014

Making an Australia for all ages – what’s the plan?

When: 22 July, 2014
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: National Press Club, Canberra

It is expected that by 2056 one in four people living in Australia will be over the age of 65 and 1.8 million of them will be over 85.

This reality is the subject of much public debate and has been the focus of a number of recent publications which focus on the financial and working lives of older Australians and ask them to make significant sacrifices to manage this future. It was also at the centre of a number of recent budget measures.

COTA Australia sees the need for a more integrated approach. The event focussed on how ready Australia is to harness the potential and meet the challenge of this rapid change.

We want thank our speakers for sharing their thoughts and ideas, we know our audience very much appreciated your participation, as of course do we!

On this page we share our speakers’ presentations and note that though we they may not always reflect COTA Australia’s position they were the basis for robust and open conversation. A conversation that needs to be had if Australia is to move productively and sustainably through a period of significant demographic change.

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The need for a conversation about an ageing Australia
Ian Yates AM, CE COTA Australia

Ian Yates AM, CE, COTA Australia

Ian Yates is Chief Executive of COTA Australia, the national peak body for COTAs (Councils on the Ageing) in each State and Territory of Australia. Ian has played formal national leadership roles in COTA since 2002. COTAs are the peak aged consumer organisation in each state and territory, with over one thousands organisational members representing over 500,000 seniors, plus 40,000 individual older Australians as direct members.

Ian serves as COTA representative on a wide variety of federal government and aged sector national bodies – he is a member of the Federal Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee, the Federal Government’s Aged Care Financing Authority, member of the consumer advisory body to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Ian represents COTA on the National Aged Care Alliance and the. He was a Director of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd until 31 March 2014.

Among other roles in the community Ian is currently Deputy Chancellor and Strategic Resources Committee Chair of Flinders University in South Australia and Board member of the Aged Rights Advocacy Service.

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Age Australia Fair? Policy choices on demographic changes in Australia and abroad.
Travers McLeod, CEO, Centre for Policy Development

Travers McLeod, CEO, Centre for Policy Development

Travers McLeod is Chief Executive Officer of CPD. He has worked as a Policy Adviser for the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. There he focused on Now for the Long Term, the report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, chaired by Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Travers has taught in Australia and the UK, including nearly two years as a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Merton College, Oxford. He has also worked as a lawyer in Australia and London, including as an associate to Justice Michael Kirby in the High Court of Australia. Travers graduated from the University of Western Australia with honours degrees in arts and law. He completed a DPhil and MPhil (Dist) in International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

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The demography of Australian ageing over the next decade:
certainties, surprises and implications for Government
 Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre, University of Adelaide

Prof Graeme Hugo, Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre, University of Adelaide

Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow, Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide.

He is the author of over three hundred books, articles in scholarly journals and chapters in books, as well as a large number of conference papers and reports. He held an ARC Federation Fellowship between 2002 and 2007 and is currently Chair of the Advisory Committee on Demography and Liveability of the Commonwealth Department of Sustainable Environment, Water, Population and Communities and was appointed to the National Housing Supply Council in 2011. He was appointed Deputy Chair of the Aged Care Financing Authority and a member of the National Sustainability Council in 2012.

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Sustainable budgets and security for older Australians
John Daley

John Daley, CEO, Grattan Institute

Grattan Institute’s work is independent, rigorous, and practical and fosters informed public debate on the key issues for Australia, through both private forums and public events, engaging key decision makers and the broader community.

The current programs of Grattan Institute focus on productivity growth, cities, school education, tertiary education, energy and health. These programs were selected as important to Australia’s future, where fact-based analysis could assist the debate, and where it is believed key issues could benefit from further public debate.

John graduated from the University of Oxford in 1999 with a DPhil in public law after completing an LLB (Hons) and a BSc from the University of Melbourne in 1990.

He has 20 years’ experience spanning policy, academic, government and corporate roles at the University of Melbourne, the University of Oxford, the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, consulting firm McKinsey and Co and most recently at ANZ where he was Managing Director of the online stockbroker, E*TRADE Australia.

John’s current research and publishing interests include government prioritisation, the objectives of government, the situations in which government intervention is justified, and the limits to government.

John is also a keen amateur pianist and gardener.

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Culture and system – addressing the major barriers to employment opportunities for older workers
Kate Carnell

Kate Carnell AO, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Kate Carnell commenced as CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in May 2014. ACCI, Australia’s largest and most representative business organisation is the leading voice of business in Australia advocating for over 300,000 businesses across all industries. Kate is well known and respected in the not-for profit and business communities having served two years as CEO of beyondblue and previously four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council. Kate began her professional life as a Pharmacist.

She owned and managed pharmacies for some 20 years, was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Australian Pharmacy Guild and went on to become National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Ms Carnell served as Chief Minister of the ACT from 1995 to 2000. Ms Carnell was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.


  • Appointed CEO of ACCI in May 2014
  • CEO of beyondblue (2012 – May 2014)
  • CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (2008 -2012)
  • Awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2006
  • CEO of the Australian General Practice Network (2004 – 2008)
  • ACT Chief Minister (1995 – 2000)
  • Registered pharmacist
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Pensions are cheap, it’s superannuation tax concessions that Australia can’t afford
Richard Denniss

Dr Richard Denniss, CEO, Executive Director, The Australia Institute

An economist by training, Richard has worked for the past 20 years in a variety of policy and political roles. In recent years he has been at the forefront of the national policy debates surrounding climate change policy and the Australian mining boom. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.

Prior to taking up his current position Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Richard has published extensively in academic journals, has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review and was the co-author of the best-selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison).

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Financial security and longevity
Emily Millane

Emily Millane, Principal Research Fellow, Per Capita

Emily is Per Capita’s principal research fellow working on the Longevity and Positive Ageing project. Her current research focuses on the interaction between longevity and financial security.

Emily has worked at Demos, an independent think-tank in London. She practised as a lawyer for national law firm Maddocks between 2008-2013. Emily has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne and received first class honours for her thesis on comparative Australian and New Zealand colonial history. She holds an Australian Students’ Prize and a Premier’s Award for politics.

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Transition to longevity – a framework of action
Dr Kathleen Brasher, Manager Community Participation COTA Victoria

Dr Kathleen Brasher, Manager Community Participation, COTA Victoria

Member, Strategic Advisory Group for the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.

Whilst at The University of Melbourne, Kathleen undertook the original research for Melbourne’s contribution to the World Health Organisation’s Global Age-friendly Cities Initiative. Kathleen is currently leading the COTA Age Friendly Victoria initiative, training and supporting older people in 20 areas across Victoria to create age-friendly communities.

Download presentation (pdf, powerpoint: part 1, part 2, part 3)
An ageing Australia: preparing for the future
Mike Woods

Mike Woods, Deputy Chairman, Productivity Commission

Mike Woods was appointed as Deputy Chairman on 8 October 2008. Mike has been a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission since its inception in April 1998.

Previously he has presided on inquiries and studies across a broad range of issues such as Superannuation and Telecommunication and including also the Caring for Older Australians report at the heart of the current aged care reforms.

Mike mentors the annual review of the Financial Performance of Government Trading Enterprises and has had a similar role for various commissioned studies and research reports including Aspects of Cultural Change in Australia and Australian Health Workforce.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Developing Cities at the University of Canberra. Mike was Chair of the Financial Reform Implementation Committee for the China Australia Governance Program. His fields of research and teaching include public sector reform and infrastructure financing.

Mike was formerly the Secretary of the Treasury for the Australian Capital Territory. He has been a member of the Australian Statistical Advisory Council, Chair of the Government Sector Finance Task Force for the Securities Institute of Australia and a board member or shareholder of various government authorities and business enterprises. Mike has held senior executive positions in the ACT, Commonwealth and Northern Territory public services in the fields of economic policy, public finance and health. As Principal of Woods Financial Designs, Mike undertook assignments in Indonesia, China, Vietnam and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific.

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