Steering Committee

The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative (HARI) Steering Committee helps to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research by involving research staff from across University of Melbourne faculties, departments, and schools, and by facilitating connections and introductions with external researchers. It provides leadership and strategic advice regarding the development of HARI research clusters and projects.

Committee members

committee member's profile picture

Associate Professor Briony Dow - Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative Co-Chair

Briony Dow is co-chair of the University’s Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative and Associate Professor of Ageing at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.  She is also Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) where she manages a program of research encompassing improving care for older people in Victorian health services, falls and balance, healthy ageing, diversity in ageing, ageing and mental health (including carers’ mental health, elder abuse and intergenerational relationships). Associate Professor Dow is involved in a range of research projects focusing on older people’s mental health, including the Improving Mood through Physical Activity for Carers and Care Recipients Trial (IMPACCT), an NHMRC-funded study investigating the impact on depression of an individually tailored home-based exercise program that carers can do with the person they care for, and a beyondblue-funded study aiming to improve mental health outcomes for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. She recently completed a paper on mature age workforce participation for the Ministerial Advisory Council for Senior Victorians. Briony has been at NARI for 12 years during which time she has published over 40 peer reviewed publications and over 30 major reports to government. Briony is also President of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

committee member's profile picture

Associate Professor Clare Newton - Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative Co-Chair

Clare Newton is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Clare is an architect and teaches and researches in the fields of design and construction with particular focus on interdisciplinary research. From 2012 until 2014 she was Director of the Bachelor of Environments, a unique interdisciplinary undergraduate degree linking built and natural environments. She was first-named Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Linkage Projects funding three PhD students and multi-disciplinary research teams and a Chief Investigator on two further ARC projects. She led Smart Green Schools, looking at the links between pedagogy, sustainability and space which was awarded a Vice Chancellor's Engagement Award. She also led a second ARC Linkage Project that incorporated an ideas competition as part of the research process which led to the establishment of PrefabAUS, Australia's peak body for prefabrication. She is currently part of a research collaboration between academics and industry called Transforming Housing, which is focused on strategies for affordable medium-density housing. She has helped instigate three cross-faculty teaching collaborations and has received multiple learning and teaching innovation grants. Her most recent innovation grant enabled a 'flipped classroom' strategy for six hundred first-year students. Until 2015 she chaired the Validation Panel of the Commonwealth Association of Architects and was recently appointed to the Architects Registration Board of Victoria.

committee member's profile picture

Dr Ruth Williams - Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative Academic Convenor

Ruth Williams is the Academic Convenor of the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative and a Research Fellow with the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne. Ruth’s research on social gerontology focuses on the relationship between age and the labour market. She has project managed research exploring the experiences, meaning and importance of older worker’s work-life transitions, employer attitudes, workplace policy, the relationship between health and employment, and caregiving and labour force participation. She has also worked in collaboration with a number of industry partners and organisational case studies from domestic and international government, university and private sectors to identify and implement strategies to maximise the benefits of an ageing workforce. Ruth is the author of the Age Management Toolkit for Employers and has previously worked as a Research Fellow at the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre and in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University.

committee member's profile picture

Professor Simon Biggs

Simon is The Brotherhood of St Laurence Professor of Gerontology & Social Policy at the School of Social & Political Sciences, Melbourne University. His interests include the relationship between personal identity and adult ageing, including the analysis of international and national social policy and the changing adult life-course. He has previously worked as a Community Psychologist and for the UK Social Work Council, and was Director of the Institute of Gerontology at Kings College London. He has a number of continuing international links including the Universities of Heidelberg, Helsinki, University College Dublin, KCL and has participated in EU, NZ, Australian and Canadian Government briefings on aspects of population ageing. From 2008 to 2014 he was a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies. In Australia, his research has included the study of mature-age workers (ARC); intergenerational relationships (LMCF); Peri-urban growth (Vic Health) and social aspects of dementia (NHMRC). He is an Executive member of the National Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre. UK research covered the World Health Organisation’s ‘Age friendly cities’ programme; baby boomers; uses of adaptive technology, and the first national prevalence study of elder abuse and neglect.  Written work has extended to: community care policies; counselling and psychotherapy in later life; midlife and maturity; intergenerational relationships; spirituality and ageing; lifestyles and retirement communities; older workers and inequality; public policy toward old age; social theory and ageing.

committee member's profile picture

Associate Professor Marie Bismark

Marie Bismark is a public health physician and health lawyer, who leads the Law and Public Health Group at the University of Melbourne School of Global and Population Health. Her research focuses on the role of patient voice in improving the quality and safety of healthcare. Marie has previously worked as a doctor in a number of New Zealand hospitals, served as a legal adviser to the Health and Disability Commissioner, been a solicitor with a leading New Zealand law firm, and completed a Harkness Fellowship in Healthcare Policy at Harvard University. In addition to her academic role, Marie serves as a non-executive director on the boards of a number of health sector companies. She has published widely on no-fault compensation, patient safety and healthcare complaints resolution.

Christina Bryant 2

Associate Professor Christina Bryant

With a background in clinical psychology, Associate Professor Christina Bryant has a long-standing interest in the mental health of older adults, and worked for over 10 years as a clinician in old age psychiatry and physical health settings. Christina’s later research led to being appointed as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Lifespan Disorders Work Group of the American Psychiatric Association’s committee for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).  Christina has maintained an interest in anxiety in the mental health of older adults, which includes research with the National Ageing Research Institute into topics such as the assessment of anxiety and depression in a cross-cultural context, and an intervention to support the mental health of carers.

Christina has a joint academic position with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Christina teaches into the Masters of Clinical Psychology and supervises a number of PhD students on topics relating to ageing such as end-of-life decision making for people who are terminally ill, investigating women’s memory performance and concerns during the menopausal transition, and intergenerational relationships and their association with mental well-being. In recent years, her research interests have moved towards the theme of healthy ageing, including the need to establish healthy trajectories during midlife, and the powerful role of attitudes on emotional and physical health.  Christina is also interested in the critique and limitations of the concept of “successful” ageing, and, together with a colleague at Manchester University in the UK, is developing a programme of research in this area.

Andrew Dawson

Professor Andrew Dawson

Andrew Dawson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. He has conducted three major ethnographic projects in England, Ireland (north and south) and Bosnia & Herzegovina and amongst its diasporas. His work focuses largely on identity politics, and human mobility. However, an interest in human ageing cross-cuts his work and has resulted in a number of publications, including the book Ageing and Change in Pit Villages of North East England. Much of Andrew’s work also has an applied focus, and he has conducted research on migration and asylum-issues, including on experiences of ageing amongst older asylum-seekers, for a range of non-governmental and governmental bodies, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (U.K.)

committee member's profile picture

Professor Peter Gahan

As founder and Director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership and Professor of Management at the University of Melbourne, it is safe to assume that Peter Gahan is passionate about all things ‘work’ related. Peter began his career with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) at the University of New South Wales and, since then, has held academic positions at UCLA, Monash, Deakin, UNSW and The European University Institute. Peter has added extensive hands-on experience in business management training to his CV along the way, including four years as Director of Workplace Innovation in the Victorian Department of Industry, Innovation and Regional Development (DIIRD). Peter has published over 70 journals, books and reports commissioned for both State and Commonwealth governments. Peter’s expertise covers high performance work practices, managing conflict and negotiations, management and leadership, industry trends and labour markets, employment relations.

committee member's profile picture

Lena Gan

Lena Gan is the Program Director for the Master of Ageing courses. She has consulted for over 25 years in sustainable community planning and development, business, marketing, management and quality assurance. Sectors include: financial services, technology, state and local government, not-for-profit arts, academia, architecture, hospitality, health and fitness, and education. She has developed community plans and Positive Ageing Accords, facilitated forums around ageing, and undertaken reviews in the ageing sector for local government. She holds a Master of Environment and Project Management Professional qualifications. Lena worked for eight years in Paris, Barcelona and Brussels in the marketing and design sectors with multi-national clients on pan-European projects. She has also held executive director roles in the not-for-profit arts sector in Australia and worked as a researcher in education and architecture at the University of Melbourne. Areas of interest include interdisciplinary practice and wicked (societal) problems such as ageing and climate change.

committee member's profile picture

Associate Professor Kathleen Gray

Kathleen Gray is a Senior Research Fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, and the coordinator of the university’s postgraduate programs in ehealth and biomedical informatics. She holds a PhD in Science and Education from the University of Melbourne, as well as Masters degrees in Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia and Environmental Science from Monash University. She is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Informatics and an active member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia and Health Libraries Australia. She has over 100 peer reviewed publications, and her research has been funded by the Australian Department of Health, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian Research Council, and Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society. Her research interests include: patients’ and citizens’ use of Internet technologies for health information and communication; influences of the Internet on health workforce professional learning and development; and conceptual frameworks for understanding and evaluating the effects of the Internet on health service provision.

committee member's profile picture

Dr Joshua Healy

Joshua Healy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Workplace Leadership, University of Melbourne. He has long-standing research interests in employment relations, labour studies and applied economics. His recent publications deal with minimum wages, gender pay inequality, skill shortages and the performance of the Australian labour market. Dr Healy has led or taken part in many research consultancies for the Australian Government, employers, unions and other research organisations. His consultancy reports include detailed studies of paid-care workforce issues in the aged, community and disability sectors, the settlement experiences of new immigrants to Australia, health and safety in the natural resources industry, public sector productivity, and the measurement of skill shortages. Much of Dr Healy’s research involves designing and analysing complex survey data. His earlier studies of the aged and community care workforces involved large, linked employer-employee surveys. He was also involved in designing a similar study of the disability workforce as part of the independent evaluation of the trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Dr Healy is a frequent commentator on Australian labour market issues, and his work has been reported in The Conversation, ABC Radio and the Australian Financial Review.

Peter McDonald

Professor Peter McDonald

Peter McDonald is Professor of Demography and Head, of the Demography and Ageing Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is also Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. From 1995 to 2016, he was Professor of Demography at the Australian National University. In 2015, Peter McDonald was awarded the Irene B. Taeuber Award by the Population Association of America, given in recognition of either an unusually original or important contribution to the scientific study of population or an accumulated record of exceptionally sound and innovative research. He was elected as President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the years, 2010-13, by the world’s demographers. He is one of only three demographers in history to have received both the Taeuber Award and to have been elected as IUSSP President. In recognition of both his academic and policy impact, McDonald was awarded an Order of Australia in 2008.

committee member's profile picture

Associate Professor Rosemary McKenzie

Rosemary McKenzie (BA; PG Dip HP; MPH) is an evaluator, social health researcher and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at The University of Melbourne. Rosemary is Chair of the Steering Committee for the Master of Ageing, an innovative on-line multidisciplinary graduate program that commenced in 2015. Rosemary has previously been project leader for national and state public sector evaluations with a focus on ageing, health promotion and organisational capacity building, including the evaluation of the National Dementia Support Program; evaluation of the Well for Life Initiative, a health promotion program for frail older people in public sector aged care settings In Victoria, and the Support and Evaluation component of the Older Persons Health Promotion Program, also in Victoria. Recently Rosemary has lead the national evaluation of the After Hours Primary Health Care Program, incorporating an evaluation of the After hours GP helpline, and has developed a clinical review model for Healthdirect Australia’s primary care telephone advice services. Rosemary’s current research focuses on after hours primary care policy and innovations in telemedicine that improve access for high need population groups such as the elderly.

committee member's profile picture

Professor Barbara McPake

Barbara McPake is the Director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne. She is a health economist specialising in health policy and health systems research. She has 30 years’ experience in these areas based in four university departments. She was the Director at the Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh until 2014, and held posts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine including as Head of the Health Policy Unit and Director of the Health Systems Knowledge Program until 2005. She is one of two Research Directors of ‘REBUILD’, a UK Department for International Development funded Research Programme Consortium on health systems development.

committee member's profile picture

Professor Elizabeth Ozanne

Elizabeth Ozanne is a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Social Work, in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Melbourne.  She has a BA, BSW from the University of Melbourne and an MSW and PhD from the University of Michigan, USA.  Professor Ozanne specializes in the areas of gerontology and organizational administration. She has published six books and numerous chapters and journal articles on aged and community care policy in Australia.  Her 2007 book on Longevity and Social Change in Australia won the Australian Association of Gerontology Book of the Year Award.  Her current areas of research relate to the comparative analysis of long term care systems, technological innovations in ageing societies, the politics of ageing, new risks in ageing societies and ageing and climate change.  She currently serves on the Boards of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), Wintringham, an innovative housing provider for the homeless aged, and is a member of the think tank Per Capita’s Longevity Forum.

committee member's profile picture

Professor Alan Pert

Alan Pert was appointed Director of Melbourne School of Design in October 2012, where he is also program coordinator for Urban Design.  The appointment followed 6 years as Professor of Architecture and Director of Research in Glasgow, Scotland.  Alan is also the founding Director of NORD (Northern Office for Research by Design) with offices in London and Glasgow.  NORD were crowned Young British Architect of the Year in 2006 and in 2013, a new studio complex for Artists in Glasgow won the highly acclaimed Doolan Prize (www.nordarchitecture.com).   Alan aims to carry out practice-based research, analysing and forging propositions across writing, discourse, exhibitions, education and building.  Alan is currently a research partner in an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project exploring the design of hospitals.  The research project is investigating the direct effect of the environmental design of healthcare facilities on the wellbeing of patients and their families.  It has been shown that poorly designed environments exacerbate patient anxiety and stress and can diminish their healthcare experience.

Jeromy Temple

Associate Professor Jeromey Temple

Jeromey Temple is Associate Professor of Economic Demography at CEPAR, located in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Temple is one of Australia’s few economic demographers and leads the Australian National Transfer Accounts (NTA) project. The NTA seeks to improve our understanding of the generational economy through documenting the economic lifecycle in a manner consistent with the system of National Accounts. The Australian NTA forms part of a large international effort with research teams on the NTA covering over 80 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Americas, Europe and Africa with a total population in excess of 6 billion people. Jeromey also works on a range of other research projects, mainly at the intersection of demography, economics and public policy – and their relationship to ageing at both the individual and population level. Jeromey is currently supervising a number of Ph.D students on topics including population ageing and equity market performance, microsimulation models of aged care and the economic contribution of migrants to the Australian economy. Over the past decade, he has completed over forty research projects for Australian Federal and State governments as well as private sector clients.

Jenny Waycott

Dr Jenny Waycott

Jenny is a lecturer in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. She works in the interdisciplinary field of human-computer interaction, conducting research at the intersections of technology and society. Jenny’s research is broadly  concerned with understanding the role technologies play in people’s learning, work, and social activities, and determining how technology can best be designed and deployed to improve people’s lives. In particular, she examines creative opportunities that digital technologies can provide for fostering social connections and empowering people who are marginalised, while also critiquing the ethical challenges that new technologies can introduce in sensitive settings. Her recent work has focused on the design and use of social technologies for older adults, particularly for supporting older adults who are socially isolated. Jenny teaches Technology and Ageing in the Master of Ageing course, and Interaction Design and Human-Computer Interaction subjects in the School of Computing and Information Systems.