COTA Senior's Conference

The COTA Senior’s conference was held on 31st May in Melbourne and addressed challenges and experiences of older workers and jobseekers

COTA Conference

Image L to R: Dr Ruth Williams, University of Melbourne; Dr Joyce Jiang, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health; and Dr Harriet Radermacher, Research and Evaluation Consultant.

Recommendations from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Willing to Work Inquiry was presented by Marlene Krasovitsky, Director of the Inquiry, and included establishing a Minister for Longevity, developing national action plans, expanding the role of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, national education campaigns and targets for employment and retention of older people.

Dr Harriet Radermacher reported on her findings in her latest research report Time of Our Lives, applying a gender lens to employment discrimination and the impact on employment and economic and social participation. Dr Joyce Jiang presented findings from a partnership research project which  addressed migration and employment patterns and the shift of the CALD workforce into aged care. The employer’s perspective was given by Dr Ruth Williams regarding implementing sound age management policies and practices to facilitate recruitment and retention of mature age workers. Dr Dina Bowman, Dr Helen Kimberley, Dr Michael McGann and Ms Agathe Randrianarisoa discussed their research on workforce vulnerabilities in mid-life and beyond from their findings outlined in the report Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire whichconsiders mature age job seekers and employment services.

Overall, the speakers addressed the interconnection between work, age and identity and the importance of gender and class in shaping older workers. The conference contributed to raising awareness on current and shifting employment patterns across sectors and the role of employers, government and organisations in taking meaningful action to address systemic age discrimination. Approximately 100 people attended the event.