50
th aag conference
Ageing: the golden opportunity 8-10 November 2017 CROWN PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Keynote Speakers

The AAG Conference is the place to hear from leading experts in the area of ageing. In 2017, the program will include presentations and discussions led by respected researchers, academics, policy makers and practitioners.


AAG 2017 Conference Keynote Speaker

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health

Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, an electorate South East of Perth, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives. In September 2013 Ken became the first Member for Hasluck re-elected for a second term. Since his election to Parliament in 2010, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate and to help build a stronger local community.

In 2015 Ken again made history as the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health. Ken is responsible for Aged Care service delivery and implementation, as well as for Dementia.

Before entering politics Ken worked in community roles in the fields of Health and Education including the District Director for the Swan Education District, Director of Aboriginal Health in New South Wales and Western Australia.

Not only has Ken had an extensive career in health and education, he has also made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people. This was recognised in 1996 when Ken was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Later, in 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for ‘his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health.’

Ken brings his knowledge in the areas of Health and Education to his role as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, as well as a lifetime of experiences in raising a family and being part of the local Perth community.


2017 Gary Andrews International Fellow
Prof Sube Banerjee
University of Sussex

Sube Banerjee is Professor of Dementia and Deputy Dean at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, directing its Centre for Dementia Studies. Clinically he works as an old age psychiatrist. He served as the UK Department of Health’s senior professional advisor on dementia leading the development of its National Dementia Strategy. He is active in health system development and works with industry and governments on health systems, policy and strategies to improve health for older adults with complex needs and those with dementia. An applied health researcher, he focusses on quality of life in dementia, evaluation of new treatments and services, and the interface between policy, research and practice. He has been awarded national and international awards for work in policy and research in dementia.


2017 David Wallace Address
Prof Billie Giles-Corti

RMIT University

Professor Billie Giles-Corti is the Director of the Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT University, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. For two decades she and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and post-graduate research students have been studying the impact of the built environment on social and health and wellbeing outcomes. A leading public health researcher in Australia who is recognised internationally for her research, Professor Giles-Corti has published over 300 articles and reports and for the last three years has been named as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (ranking her in the top 1% in the social sciences field). She is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, an Honorary Fellow of both the Planning Institute of Australia and the Public Health Association, and in 2008 was a Fulbright Senior Scholar. She works on research projects across Australia as well as in Canada and the UK, including an evaluation of the impact of relocating low-income families into social and affordable housing in the athletes’ village as part of the London Olympic Legacy.


Mary Bronson
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Mary undertook her Registered Nurse Training in NSW, decided to move to Perth on completion, where she had the opportunity to work in the Spinal Unit at Royal Perth (Rehabilitation) Hospital (RPRH) during the 1980’s.

Taking the opportunity to travel overseas in the latter part of the 80’s and following registration with the Californian Nursing Board Mary gained some amazing experience as an Afternoon Nursing Supervisor in a rehabilitation unit in the Bay Area for several years.

Mary returned to Perth to start a family and commenced working in a General Medical ward at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH), thus ending a 15 year journey in serendipity that realised her passion for care of the older person and the challenges they face in an acute care setting.

Mary returned to study completing her degree in nursing in 1996; Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing: Substance Abuse and gaining her Masters in Nursing; Nurse Practitioner in 2013, before stepping into the role of Deputy Nurse Co Director, in the Medical Division at SCGH.  This role has given Mary the opportunity to guide the transition of nursing research to practice in the area of older adult care through a wonderfully collaborative relationship with the Centre for Nursing Research at SCGH.


Dr Michael Preece
Alzheimer’s Australia

Michael is a doctoral qualified Registered Nurse with more than 20 years senior management experience in the health care industry, including hospital management, human resource management and risk management.   Michael has worked in Aged Care for the past 10 years, with 5 years as CEO at Maurice Zeffert Home.

Michael is a Director on three Community Boards, including Alzheimer’s Australia WA, Aged and Community Services WA and Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation.


Penny Flett AO
Brightwater Care Group

Penny graduated in Medicine at the University of Adelaide in 1971, and after some years gaining broad experience, including general practice, RAAF, and hospital appointments, Penny 'found' her professional home in geriatrics.
She has spent the last 38 years in aged care, in both clinical and management roles, and last year retired from full time work as CEO of Brightwater Care Group.
She has devoted considerable effort in promoting the importance and credibility of aged care and its provision in the broader business world, in education, and in support of those who work in the sector.

Penny says she is grateful for living and working at a time of such major change, with constant challenge, and but replete with great opportunities.

Past activities include

  • Inaugural Chair of the Standards and Accreditation Agency, after the 1997 Aged Care Act;
  • President of WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Member, Chief Executive Women
  • President, Zonta International
  • 1998 Telstra National Business Woman of the year
  • 2008 WA Australian of the year

Current appointments include

  • Senate member and ProChancellor of UWA
  • Chair , WA Aged Care Advisory Council
  • Chair, Bravery Decorations Awards Council (Australian Honours)
  • Board member NNIDR. (National NH&MRC Institute for Dementia Research)
  • Chair of Council, Methodist Ladies College (Perth)

Prof Julie Byles
University of Newcastle

Professor Julie Byles is director of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health at the University of Newcastle. Her main interest is in the oldest cohort, which involved 14,342 women who were aged 70 to 75 years at baseline in 1996. She is also closely involved with the NSW 45 and Up Study, a longitudinal study involving over 266,000 men and women across New South Wales, as a member of the Scientific Steering Committee, and as a co-investigator on an NHMRC funded project to follow-up the first 100,000 participants to determine social, environmental and economic factors and their relationships with health and ageing.


A/Prof Briony Dow
National Ageing Research Institute

Briony Dow is Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Associate Professor of Ageing at the University of Melbourne.  Her main research interests are older people’s and carers’ mental health and wellbeing. She is immediate past President of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG).


Barbara Squires
Housing Action Network

Barbara has over forty years experience at a senior level in ageing and aged care, in service development and provision (community and residential aged care, seniors’ housing), policy and research. Her passion is sharing her deep knowledge of older people and the ageing sector to improve outcomes for Australia’s rapidly ageing population

Barbara has wide knowledge of social research in ageing, as she is a long standing Board member of the Australian Association of Gerontology and a former National President. She brings together a strong understanding of research methodology, the aspirations of older people and the needs of service providers.

Her major role in the planning for The Benevolent Society’s innovative Apartments for Life project gave her a deep understanding of housing issues and worldwide models of housing and care that can enhance older people’s autonomy, choice and quality of life.

She has had extensive experience in legal issues affecting older people, including planning ahead and responding to elder abuse. She has completed the Company Director’s Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is an experienced Board member. Barbara has a Bachelor of Social Studies (Sydney University) and is a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology.


Mark Elliott
Chair ATSIAAG

Mark Elliott is a Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal man whose family are the Trevorrow’s from the Coorong area of South Australia. Mark spent the 6 years as the Aboriginal Community Development Officer for the Adelaide Hills Community Health Service and recently retired from full time employment to spend some more time with his family. His role within Country Health SA included promoting the Health Service to local Aboriginal people and increasing the awareness of non-Aboriginal Hills residents about Aboriginal culture. As part of this role Mark has helped to organise major events in Mt Barker to celebrate NAIDOC and Reconciliation week winning a state award for best community event in 2010. Mark was  a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dementia Advisory Group (NATSIDAG) since its inception until it wound up in 2015/16 and continues to have a passion for working in the area of dementia, especially within Aboriginal communities and has facilitated training in the Dementia Learning Resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities on behalf of Alzheimer’s Australia South Australia in conjunction with the Aboriginal Health Council of SA. Mark also chairs the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group (ATSIAAG) which is supported by the Australian Association of Gerontology and is the Public Officer of the TURKINDI Aboriginal Information Network SA Inc.

Mark currently works part time for the Catalyst Foundation (formally Seniors Information Service SA) as the Aboriginal Project Officer and is tasked with working towards a culturally secure service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers.


Dr Victoria Cornell
The University of Adelaide

Victoria is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Adelaide. Her research is investigating the implications of new policy reforms in aged care on housing policy and agencies, specifically as relates to older people on low incomes and living in precarious housing situations. Victoria’s broader research interests include issues of vulnerability, resilience, the built environment, community wellbeing and ageing; with an interest in reshaping academic debate and policy against the significant demographic changes we have started to experience, and will continue to experience, with an ageing population.


Dr Rachel Winterton
La Trobe University

Dr Rachel Winterton is a research fellow at the John Richards Initiative, La Trobe University, Wodonga. Her research focuses on how rural communities, governments and organisations are managing and responding to challenges posed by population ageing through systems of governance, health and social infrastructure.


June Lowe
Chair GRAI – GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc

June Lowe has been involved in advocacy for LGBTI elders’ rights since joining GRAI in 2009. She was part of the national advocacy efforts for law reform to achieve legal protections against discrimination in aged care, and continues to work with federal government policy makers as part of the national LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy working group.

She coordinates and delivers training on LGBTI inclusivity to the aged care sector, and recently initiated a Community of Practice to promote LGBTI inclusive practice and policy development within the sector in WA.

June collaborates with academic researchers both nationally and internationally on projects to further understanding of LGBTI elders’ needs.

She also coordinates social events and community outreach for LGBTI elders in Perth, with a particular interest in community building and mitigating social isolation.


Dr Jane Sims
Australasian Journal on Ageing

Dr Sims has an established track record in research on ageing, primary health care research, including health service evaluation, and the delivery of quality education programs for health professionals and service providers.

Jane is committed to the conduct of high quality research and evaluation programs. She has a broad range of research expertise, consultancy skills and strong knowledge of the health sector, particularly primary and community health. She has collaborated effectively with a range of organisations on local and national projects, and managed projects in a challenging health environment for almost three decades.