2016 Conference Planning Committee
Dr Danny Hills (Conference Planning Committee Chair)
Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Dr Danny Hills is a Registered Nurse and has worked as a clinician, manager and educator in mental health and clinical governance, both in rural and metropolitan community and hospital settings. His academic teaching and research roles have focused on mental health and aged care workforce development, health sciences and nursing. His primary research interests are in health services research, workplace aggression, mental health, ageing and aged care, and health workforce development, performance and outcomes. He currently leads a Cochrane Review of studies on education and training for preventing and minimising workplace aggression directed toward healthcare workers.
Dr Jane Sims (Scientific Committee Chair)
Senior Research Fellow in the Healthy Ageing Research Unit (HARU), School of Primary Health Care, Monash University
Honorary Senior Fellow, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne
Dr Jane Sims has been involved in teaching and research in gerontology for the past two decades. Her area of expertise is healthy ageing, especially physical activity promotion in older people. She has been an Executive Committee Member of the Australian Association of Gerontology’s (AAG) Victorian Division since 2004, served as Hon. Secretary and Vice President and is currently President. She was Scientific Program Coordinator for the IAGG 2011 Asia Oceania Regional Congress and was part of AAG’s National Council prior to the recent constitution change.
Dr Briony Dow
Director of Health Promotion (NARI)
Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, University of Melbourne Psychiatry and Social Work
Briony has been an AAG member since 2003, on the Victorian Committee since 2007 and the National Council (Board) since 2009. She was Victorian President from 2009 to 2012 and is the previous AAG President. She has contributed to 10 AAG conferences since 2003 and is a regular contributor to the AJA, as an author, reviewer and substitute committee member.
Briony has over 15 years’ experience as a social worker in community care and rehabilitation. She is particularly interested in older carers. She was a Carers Victoria Board member from 2008 to 2013 and her PhD and much of her subsequent research has been about carers. She is also interested in health policy and reform and has worked closely with the Department of Health Victoria for the past 10 years on improving health care for older people She has over 30 peer reviewed publications and as many government reports.
Dr Kim Keily
Postdoctoral research fellow, Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW), Australian National University
Kim is a postdoctoral research fellow within the Centre for Research on Ageing Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW), whose research is orientated by a contextualised perspective to human development across the life-course. He currently holds a Fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, and was recently awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to commence in 2015.
Kim’s core research interests cover aspects of healthy and productive ageing, focusing on the social, functional and cognitive impacts of sensory loss in late life. He also maintains a strong interest in psychiatric epidemiology, and is involved in a research program investigating the mental health of welfare recipients.
Policy Manager, Consumers Health Forum of Australia, ACT
Josephine Root Josephine is the Policy Manager for the Consumer Health Forum of Australia. Prior to this role, she was the National Policy Manager for COTA Australia, a national peak consumer organisation for older people. She has been in this role since September 2009 and in that time has worked on a range of issues affecting older people including mature aged employment, pensions, age discrimination, aged care reform and housing. Prior to that, she worked for the Queensland Government and in the Australian Public Service.
Josephine has worked in aged care policy for 20 years and is passionate about combating ageism and age discrimination and ensuring older people are able to participate in all aspects of society and lead good lives. Josephine has had extensive Board experience, including having been on the Board of Amnesty International Australia for a number of years in many roles including National Secretary. She is currently on the Board of TADACT and a committee member of the AAG ACT Division.
Director and Company Secretary, Schlim Pty Ltd, Western Australia
Frank Schaper is the previous Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer's Australia WA, a position he held for 16 years. Born in Holland, he came to Australia with his family in 1954. He was educated at the Christian Brothers College in Fremantle and trained as a teacher. Frank spent fourteen years in the classroom, including one in England. From teaching, he move to local government (nine of those in South Australia), and served a stint in the commercial sector before taking up a number of
assignments in the not-for-profit sector. This included COTA, Family Planning, Greening Australia, an employment agency and finally Alzheimer's Australia WA Ltd.
He has served on a multitude of government bodies, advisory groups, Ministerial committees and industry Boards and currently serves on the WA Aged Care Advisory Committee that provides advice to the Minister for Health. In his position as CEO of Alzheimer's Australia WA, he has seen the organisation change and grow and has played a leading role in setting a new direction for the organisation by establishing a Centre for Excellence in Dementia Care on the campus of the Curtin University of Technology. This will transition the
organisation from a service provider to a capacity builder by researching and validating care practices and using those findings to improve dementia care practices. He has also promoted
strong partnerships with other national and regional organisations in the Asia Pacific region.
Frank is passionate about improving the care and support of people living with dementia especially those in the more marginalised groups such as those from smaller ethnic communities.
Assistant Professor Tracy Robinson
Assistant Professor in Nursing, University of Canberra
Tracy is an Assistant Professor in Nursing and is convenor for the post graduate programs in the Discipline of Nursing. She has extensive research and teaching experience at several universities in Australia. Her PhD focused on assessing the impact of an emotional resilience program with adolescents in rural and remote NSW. More recently, Tracy completed a post doc fellowship in implementation science at the Faculty of Medicine (University of Sydney). This involved working closely with clinicians and quality improvement staff at Westmead and Nepean Hospitals to build their capacity for conducting implementation research.
Tracy has worked and taught across the spectrum of mental health including promotion, prevention, early intervention and recovery and has also lead the development and research of programs for the rural and remote workforce. She worked for six years at the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (University of Newcastle) where she lead the development and research of education programs for the rural and remote workforce. She has a particular interest in leadership and organisational change and is keen to further pursue research that explores how to promote resilience at both the individual and organisational levels.
Tracy teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate units with a focus on mental health, leadership and management, implementation science (evidence based care) and health education and service evaluation. In the past, Tracy has also taught foundation programs such as academic writing skills and has extensive experience at working with first generation university students, Indigenous students and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Tracy has a particular interest in mixed methods research, health education and health service evaluation. She is currently an associate investigator on a study with the University of Sydney that is exploring how to embed translational research in multi -disciplinary models of cancer care. She is keen to consolidate her research in emotional resilience and to further her work in implementation science and quality improvement.
Writer, editor, advocate on positive ageing
Keryn Curtis is a Sydney based journalist, editor and communication strategist with a background in social policy, disability, health, and ageing issues. She was the founding editor of Australian Ageing Agenda magazine and news website, the most respected mainstream resource on ageing issues and aged care in Australia – a role she performed for almost ten years, until the end of 2013.
Keryn spent a decade as a communications strategist and consultant in the corporate sector with a leading international agency, working predominantly in the health, disability and social affairs area with both commercial and government clients. She also spent three foundational years in the Commonwealth government in in Canberra as part of a graduate cohort, working in social security policy, government communication and speechwriting.
Keryn understands a wide breadth of ageing related issues in Australia and internationally and is a passionate advocate for positive ageing and the policy settings that can enable it. She is currently about to launch a new online project called Frank & Earnest – a web based platform for engaging the community in conversations about living well in our 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
Dr Sophia Lindeyer
Secretary, AAG ACT Division
Dr Sophia Lindeyer is an experienced policy analyst with a passion for aged care advocacy, innovation, and multi disciplinary knowledge transfer. She is currently the secretary for the Australian Association of Gerontology's ACT division. She completed a PhD in science from the Australian National University in 2004 and was awarded various international prizes enabling her to conduct research overseas in Switzerland and Québec. She has held the position of Parliamentary fellow at the Australian Federal Parliamentary Library and for several years was the policy analyst for the Australian Academy of Science. In 2015 she was awarded the Executive Dean's award in Gerontology from Charles Sturt University.