Board Member Profile - Joan Hughes

We spoke with COTA NSW board President Joan Hughes on her career, key issues she is passionate about and the opportunities she's discovered with ageing.

Board Member Profile - Joan Hughes

Board Member Profile - Joan Hughes

Released: 15-Oct-2018

Event Date: to

Q: What motivated you to join the COTA NSW Board? 


I have been a CEO in the non for profit sector for over 23 years, mostly in Sydney and Canberra. On returning to Sydney in 2014 I applied for many CEO and other executive jobs with not much success. (I now have a 4 day week CEO job which I love so all is good). In my opinion, the main reasons for not being able to get paid work was due to my gender and age. So, I decided to put these experiences and my skills to good use by volunteering for a peak organisation dedicated to ageing issues. I joined the Board of COTA NSW in 2014 and became President in 2017. 



Q: What issue do you believe more people should be talking about? 


The importance of friends and networks as we age especially as we have to deal with the sadness of losing friends, especially for men;  innovative and age appropriate community based home options people for older people; ‘filling space as we get older….we suddenly are ignored, patronised, spoken loudly to;  end of life care and options.



Q: What are some of the opportunities that you’ve discovered with age? 


A renewed confidence that motivates me to talk to more people/strangers; being stronger about my beliefs;  finding old friends on Facebook and reconnecting with people after 20+ years, having more time to do social things with friends; never giving up; more time to volunteer!


Q: What's the story behind your flashback photo?


It was my first day at primary school in Toowoomba, Queensland. I was very scared as I was a year younger than the rest of the year one students. My nervousness was made better as my sister was at the same school. Seeing her at the end of each day in the first week was very important.



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