We spoke with Daryl Bates AM DSM, Vice-President and Co-opted Director of COTA NSW Board about his work with COTA NSW and the opportunities he's discovered with ageing.
Board Member Profile - Daryl Bates AM DSM
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Q: What motivated you to join the COTANSWboard?
In my mid-50s I suddenly became aware of a range of issues affecting older Australians. Both my wife’s and my parents were in their 80s and struggling to come to terms with living in a highly digital age, adjusting to diminishing reserves of cash and facing the prospects of needing to dramatically change their living circumstances as their health and mobility declined. It was clear to me that society was not concerned, or even aware, of the challenges for older Australians and what needs to be done to improve the circumstances of one of our most vulnerable community groups. I decided to lend my weight to this effort and was very pleased when COTA NSW accepted my request to join the Board.
Q: What issue do you believe more people should be talking about? Housing affordability. If an older person on the pension does not own their own home, outright, when they retire from the workforce, it is nearly impossible to live. This is certainly the case in Sydney. More needs to be done to ensure these people can continue to live in their communities.
Q: What are some of the opportunities that you’ve discovered with age? For me, age has brought a different perspective. I am as active as I have ever been – full time work (running my own business), several charitable/voluntary activities, travel, pursuing past-times and interests – but now I have more balance. I’m taking time to smell the roses, something I should have done through my life but, as the adage goes, you can’t put an old head on young shoulders.
Q: What’s the story behind your flashback photo? I actually have very few photos of myself when I was young, as I lost a lot of my valuable possessions in a fire. The attached photo (from about 1980) was recently sent to me by a friend. It is of myself (centre) and several good mates at sea, undergoing training in the Royal Australian Navy. I ended up spending 40 years in uniform, and loved it!