The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative (HARI) has been created to foster interdisciplinary research in ageing across the University community and beyond.
The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative assists University of Melbourne researchers in ageing to unite and pursue large-scale funding opportunities in collaborative frameworks. HARI has also supported research activities through smaller-scale incentives such as seed funding and facilitates connection between researchers and industry partners. HARI is a hub for information, resources, discussion forums and events for researchers and educators in ageing.
We invite you to engage with the HARI community here at the University of Melbourne and look forward to working with you.
Clare & Ruth
Associate Professor Clare Newton - Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative Chair
Dr. Ruth Williams – Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative Academic Convenor
The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative forms part of the University's Hallmark Research Initiatives, which aim to enable the maturing of focused research communities that build on existing strengths across the University and beyond. The Initiatives have been established in selected priority areas which have significant potential to harness cross-University capabilities and open up targeted funding opportunities.
The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative draws together research on ageing from across the University of Melbourne so that we can collectively make the most of opportunities and solve challenges associated with ageing. It is an interdisciplinary initiative that focuses on technology, design, health, leadership, demography, ageing in low and middle income countries, and social aspects of ageing across the life course. Over three years the Hallmark initiative has built on the University’s existing research strengths, consolidating and forming new internal and external partnerships in Australia and internationally.
The Initiative has an overarching vision to support collaboration across all disciplines to develop research initially across seven selected Research Themes - although these foci may not encompass all or preclude other topics of research in ageing. The current seven selected Research Themes are:
- Technology and Ageing
- Design for Ageing
- Ageing in Low and Middle Income Countries
- Leadership for Ageing
- Healthy Ageing
- Social Aspects of Ageing Across the Lifecourse
- Demography of Ageing
The Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative (HARI) Steering Committee assists to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research in ageing 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.
Associate Professor Clare Newton - Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative 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
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.
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.
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.
Dr Alysia Blackham
Dr Alysia Blackham is a Senior Lecturer and Discovery Early Career Researcher at Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne. Alysia's research uses empirical legal research methods to examine the intersection of labour law, equality law and public law, with a particular focus on age equality issues and the consequences of demographic ageing for labour law. In 2017 Alysia commenced the project DE170100228 ‘Addressing Age Discrimination in Employment’, funded by the Australian Research Council as part of the Discovery Early Career Researcher scheme. The project draws on mixed methods and comparative UK experiences to offer new empirical and theoretical insights into Australian age discrimination law. Alysia has previously worked as an employment law solicitor; a lecturer at Clare College, Cambridge, the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales; and as Executive Officer to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) at the University of Technology, Sydney.
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.
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.)
Associate Professor Briony Dow
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.
Professor Peter Gahan
As founder 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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Andrea Maier
Professor Andrea Maier graduated in Medicine at the Medical University Lübeck (Germany) in 2003 and registered as a specialist Internal Medicine-Geriatrician at the Leiden University Medical Centre (The Netherlands) in 2009. Her research is driven by her passion to unravel ageing mechanisms and the interaction of ageing and age-related diseases, with a particular focus on sarcopenia. In 2013, she was appointed as full Professor of Gerontology at the VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Since February 2016 she is Divisional Director of Medicine and Community Care at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor of Medicine and Aged Care at the University of Melbourne (Australia). During the last 8 years she conducted several national and European observational studies as well as clinical trials and published more than 175 peer reviewed articles in international journals. Her innovative, multidisciplinary @Age research team works in the Netherlands (@AgeAmsterdam) and in Australia (@AgeMelbourne). She is an invited member of several international research and health policy committees to eventually increase the visibility, quality and quantity of ageing researc
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.
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.
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.
Professor Rob Moodie
Rob Moodie is Professor of Public Health at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi, and Professor of Public Health at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. He was the inaugural Director of Country Programs for UNAIDS in Geneva from 1995-98, and was CEO of VicHealth from 1998-2007. He chaired the National Preventative Health Taskforce from 2008-2011. He chairs the GAVI Alliance’s Evaluation Advisory Committee, and advises the WHO in the areas of NCDs and Health Promotion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seven research clusters have been established within the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative - although these foci may not encompass all or preclude other areas of research in ageing. Each current Research Cluster explores issues in interdisciplinary research in ageing across the globe with a focus on Australia and Asia.
Technology and ageing
Cluster Leads: Associate Professor Kathleen Gray and Dr Jenny Waycott
Emerging developments in information and communication technology are significantly affecting the way we communicate and engage in society. Understanding the design, use and impact of emerging technologies in an ageing society is essential. As we age, technologies will provide increasingly new opportunities to be active and to interact in private life, in community, in the economy, and in the natural and built environment. For example video-based interactions may sustain older people’s connections with family and friends over distance, and online social networks may sustain their involvement in communities of interest, when transport and travel become more taxing or less affordable. Technology will contribute to addressing the health and wellbeing challenges of an ageing population. For example sensors and robots may support increasing numbers of older people to have more autonomy and live more independently while maintaining fitness, self-managing chronic illness, or accessing specialist advice and high dependency care.
Technology also presents risks and possible conflicts with the lifestyle needs and preferences of older people. For example, consumer technologies may assume levels of IT literacy uncommon among older people; digital devices may not be designed for usability by older people with physical or cognitive impairments; technology-mediated interactions may be an unsatisfactory substitute for social contact. Technological advances may be heralded in some quarters but considered dystopian in others. For example, new decision-support tools may give older people more autonomy in making choices at the end of life; new forms of digital augmentation may prolong physical and mental functioning or usher in ‘the end of ageing’.
Research areas in the Technology and Ageing cluster include (but are not limited to):
- Use and Access - What do older people use information and communication technology for? What do older people want from new technologies?
- Impact - How does technology affect the quality of life of older people? What is the interplay between chronological age and other factors in the way that we experience technology in our lives as we age?
- Design - What constitutes good practice in design, development, implementation and evaluation of information and communication technology that is aimed at improving the lives of people as they age? What does evidence show about what works and doesn’t work?
- Governance - How can we gain deeper insights into the dynamics of advancing technologies and ageing societies? What are the consequences of balance or imbalance in this relationship, for individuals and populations? What might it mean for technological advancements to revolutionise the experience and future of ageing?
Design for ageing
Cluster Leads: Professor Alan Pert and Associate Professor Clare Newton
Demographic ageing is creating a shift in how we think and define homes, cities and public spaces. This research cluster explores sustainable approaches to enabling the older segment of the population to stay physically and socially active. Innovative changes in design can lead to significant advancements in service delivery, transportation access, and homes to minimise stress on people as they age, and to support ageing in place. There are research opportunities to consider in areas such as:
- Residential options across the income sectors.
- Factors influencing how, why and when elderly people change residence.
- How design, policy, economics and technology might interact to facilitate ageing in place.
- Ways to future-proof today's designs to accommodate an ageing population.
- Design strategies such as the 8-80 approach, age-friendly cities, universal design, design for dementia and design for disability.
- Changes in the design of high care and medical settings.
- How are demographic shifts affecting the way we define homes, cities and public spaces?
- How can we keep the older segment of the population physically and socially active through the built environment?
Ageing in low and middle income countries
Cluster Lead: Professor Barbara McPake
The Asia Pacific region is now almost entirely a middle income region, with only three low income countries remaining. Epidemiological and demographic transitions are advanced as are other economic and social transitions. However, health systems have been slow to respond. In many countries they remain focused on addressing health in the early years and in reproduction, and respond inadequately to the complex health problems of later life. Universal Health Coverage is a goal signed up to by Health Ministers in most of the world's countries and is embedded among the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals. It implies that health policies and provisions need to close such gaps in health system coverage but there are many constraints in relation to financial barriers to accessing effective care; service delivery networks that are too far for older people to reach or inadequately equipped to offer appropriate care; to the range of interventions for chronic and non-communicable diseases that are affordable for middle income countries; and in the intersection of the issues of ageing, disability, mental health and chronic illness that make new demands for health systems to encompass cross-disciplinary perspectives. There are research opportunities in each of these challenges including:
- Evaluation of countries' experiences of reducing financial barriers to access.
- Identifying the trade-offs and tensions in extending health networks; improving infrastructure and transport links to health institutions; and costs of health systems.
- Identifying institutionally feasible and affordable interventions in the ageing, disability, mental health and chronic illness nexus.
- Improving quality of care and measuring improvement.
Leadership for ageing
Cluster Leads: Professor Peter Gahan and Dr Joshua Healy
The Leadership for Ageing Research Cluster aims to explore how the ageing population translates into an ageing workforce including changing patterns of engagement with work and life and implications on the capacity for organisations to recruit and retain a skilled workforce. All of these issues will require adjustment – by individuals who rethink their employment and retirement choices, the organisations that employ them, and national governments seeking to redress the labour market (and other) policy issues that arise as a consequence of these changes.
More specifically, the Leadership for Ageing Research Cluster aims to investigate challenges that individual workers face including how they negotiate late career transitions while balancing other aspects of the ageing process from prime age and into retirement; how organisational management oversees a diverse workforce with different needs across the life-course in an attempt to increase older worker productive labour force participation; and how governments will prioritise the need for a broad range of interconnected policy responses.
There are research opportunities to consider in areas such as:
- What are the major social and policy issues associated with a worldwide ageing population and workforce?
- What are appropriate organisational and institutional responses?
- Are social attitudes towards older workers changing over time?
- What are the consequences of stereotyping for labour market opportunities for older workers?
- What do older workers want?
- How does ageing influence employee performance?
- How do organisations adjust to different age profiles of their workforce?
Cluster Lead: Associate Professor Briony Dow and Associate Professor Christina Bryant
With population ageing, we have also seen a shift from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases as the main causes of mortality and morbidity in older age. The good news is that many of these diseases can be prevented or at least delayed by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Longitudinal and epidemiological studies have clearly demonstrated the benefits of smoking cessation, regular physical activity and a healthy diet in reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline. However, there is still a lot to learn about behaviour change - how to convince and motivate people to adopt healthier lifestyles and exactly what the timing, dose and prescription should be for diet and exercise. Some of the questions that this cluster will seek to answer are:
- What are the most effective ways to promote health amongst older people, including older people from a range of cultural backgrounds and in rural and remote areas?
- At what age do healthy lifestyle habits need to be adopted in order for them to be effective in preventing or delaying diseases associate with older age?
Social aspects of ageing across the life-course
Cluster Leads: Professor Simon Biggs and Professor Andrew Dawson
Global trends reveal that people are generally living longer, wealthier and healthier lives. There are relatively fewer younger adults while numbers of the very old are rapidly increasing and education and retirement tend to occupy more of our time than that of our predecessors. Consequently, the major points of transition over the life-course are changing to reflect wider perspectives which encompass different experiences for different people at different points in time. The population is more diverse than ever before, reflecting various cultures and social groups who have wide-ranging perspectives about what it means to age. This research cluster focuses on exploring how age is socially and culturally constructed across adulthood, from midlife into deep old age, and examines how particular aspects of ageing are emphasised in terms of social policy intervention, interpretation and innovation.
Some of the specific research questions include:
- How does retirement affect mature age people’s sense of identity and expectations about growing older?
- What are the social equity considerations of ageing – for example, ageism/discrimination; ensuring dignity and the human rights of older people?Social aspects of ageing across the life-course
Demography of Ageing
Cluster Leads: Professor Peter McDonald and Associate Professor Jeromey Temple
This theme focusses much of its work on analysing and monitoring the changing demography of Australia (as well as other OECD countries), with a particular focus on population ageing. Although population ageing is a global phenomenon, the timing and dynamics of ageing differ across countries. Many societies, especially in developing countries, are experiencing hastened rates of population ageing with this evolving age structure reflecting rapid shifts in the relative numbers of children, working-age population and older persons. This has numerous implications for individuals, communities, organisations and governments.
The theme closely monitors demographic trends in Australia including birth rates, death rates, rates of internal and international migration, the age structure and other important characteristics of the population and population growth in cities and regions.
The work focuses upon several broad areas:
· Australian demographic trends
· Immigration: demography, economy and settlement
· Population ageing and economic demography
· Retirement income, savings, work and retirement
· Comparative studies of ageing in Asia and Australia
· Service utilisation of the older population
· Generational wellbeing and equity
The following is a list of successful HARI Seed Funding projects from 2016 and 2017
(10 x grants have been awarded totalling around $210,000)
Attitudes to ageing in Australia
Sexual health and healthy ageing over the life-course – what can general practitioners (GPs) do?
Self-compassionate ageing: A brief intervention to promote heart-health and happiness in older adults
The role of cultural institutions in facilitating an age-integrated society
Design for building an engaged, inclusive and resilient residential aged care workforce
Promoting healthy ageing in Vietnam veterans
Reframing stroke rehabilitation spaces: The role of learning in recovery and its implications for design evaluation
The role of masculinity in the suicidality of men aged 80 or more
Active-VR for engaging older adults with dementia in residential aged care
Intergenerational co-housing: Perspectives among older adults
There are a number of ways to connect with the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative, and we would love to hear from you!
For general enquiries and to subscribe to the Ageing Industry Network Newsletter, contact
Dr Ruth Williams, HARI Academic Convenor
Journal Articles and Books
Social Aspects of Ageing Across the Life Course
Biggs, S., Carr, A. (2016) Age friendliness, childhood and dementia: toward generationally intelligent environments. In Thibauld Moulaert and Suzanne Garon (Eds): Age-friendly cities and communities in international comparison. Geneva: Springer International.
Biggs, S., McGann, M. (2016) Retirement and Social Policy, In ( Ed Alpas, F) Encyclopedia of Gero-psychology. NY: Springer
Biggs, S., McGann, M., Bowman, D., Kimberley, H. (2016) ‘Work, health and the commodification of life’s time: reframing work–life balance and the promise of a long life’, Ageing and Society, doi: 10.1017/S0144686X16000404.
Dow, B., Joosten, M., Biggs, S., Kimberley, H. (2016) Age Encounters: Exploring Age and Intergenerational Perceptions, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 14(2): 104-118, DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2016.1160731
Dow, B., Vrantsidis, F., Evans, C., O’Brien, M., Joosten, M. (accepted for publication August 2016) Elder abuse policy and practice in Australia, In (Ed Mala Kapur Shankardass) Elder Abuse: International perspectives. Springer.
Gan, L., (2016) Population ageing as catalyst for social change - the case of cultural institutions - a literature review, International Gerontechnology Journal: http://journal.gerontechnology.org.tw/currentIssueContent.aspx?aid=337
Leadership for Ageing
Gahan, P., Harbridge, R., Healy, J., Williams, R. (2016) The Ageing Workforce: Policy Dilemmas and Choices, Australian Journal of Public Administration, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8500.12232
Bennell, K., Ahamed, Y., Bryant, C., Hunt, M., Kenardy J., Forbes, A., Akram, M., Harris, M., Metcalf, B., Egerton, T., Keefe, F. (2016) Physiotherapist-delivered pain coping skills training and exercise for knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial, Arthritis Care and Research 68 (5), 590-602.
Bryant, C. (2016). Natural and premature menopause. How they affect psychological health. Medicine Today, 17 (5), 41-45.
Bryant, C. (in press). The Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults. In (eds. Pachana, N. and Byrne, G.) Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults, New York, Cambridge University Press.
Bryant, C. (in press). Psychological Interventions for Older Adults, In (eds. Chiu, H. and Shulman, D.) Mental Health of the Elderly, New York, Springer. In series Mental Health and Illness Worldwide, ed. Sartorius, A.
Chan, W., Lautenschlager, N., Dow, B., Ma, S., Wong, C., Lam, L. (2016) Home-based exercise intervention for caregivers of persons with dementia: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17(1) 460.
Cyarto, E., Dow, B., Vrantsidis, F., Meyer, C. (2012) Promoting healthy ageing: Development of the Healthy Ageing Quiz. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 30(4): 200-225.
Dow, B., Cyarto, E., Batchelor, F. (2016) Healthy ageing. In P. Liamputtong (Ed.), Public health: Local and global perspectives (pp. 281-299). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dow, B., Malta, S. (In press, accepted for publication Nov 2016) People with Alzheimer’s disease and their spouse-caregivers: differences in perceptions of sexual satisfaction? (Commentary paper) International Psychogeriatrics.
Gilson, K., Bryant, C., Judd, F. (In press). Understanding older problem drinkers: the role of drinking to cope, Addicitive Behaviors http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.032
Haralambous, B., Dow, B., Goh, A., Pachana, N., Bryant, C., LoGiudice, D., Lin, X. (2016) Depression is not an illness. It’s up to you to make yourself happy. Perceptions of health professionals and community workers about older Chinese immigrants’ experiences of depression and anxiety. Australasian Journal of Ageing. DOI: 10.1111/ajag.12306
Huang, S., Griva, K., Bryant, C., Yap, P. (In press). Non-use of Day Care Services for Dementia in Singapore - A Dilemma for Caregivers. International Psychogeriatrics.
Lin, X., Bryant, C., Boldero, J., Dow, B. (In press). Psychological well-being of older Chinese immigrants living in Australia: a comparison with older Caucasians. International Psychogeriatrics DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216001010
Lin, X., Haralambous, B., Pachana, N., Bryant, C., Lo Giudice, D., Goh, A., Dow, B. (2016). Screening for depression and anxiety amongst older Chinese immigrants living in Western countries: the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 8 (1), 32-43.
Lin, X., Bryant, C., Boldero, J., Dow, B. (2016). Psychological wellbeing of older Chinese immigrants living in Australia: a comparison with older Caucasians. International Psychogeriatrics, 28(10): 1671-1679.
Lin, X., Bryant, C., Boldero, J., Dow, B. (2016). Older people’s relationships with their adult children in multicultural Australia: a comparison of Australian-born people and Chinese immigrants. Ageing and Society, published on-line 8/2016.
Lin, X., Haralambous, B., Pachana, N., Bryant, C., LoGiudice, D., Goh, A., Dow, B. (2016) Screening for depression and anxiety among older Chinese immigrants living in Western countries: The use of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) Asia Pacific Psychiatry, 8 (1), 32-43.
Mastwyk, M., Dow, B., Ames, D., et al.,(2016) Why attend a memory clinic? What do patients and their families want and/or expect? Australasian Journal on Ageing. Published on-line 11/04/2016.
Meyer, C., Hill, K., Dow, B., Hill, S. (2016) The right way at the right time: Insights on the uptake of falls prevention strategies from people with dementia and their caregivers. Frontiers in Public Health, 4(244).
Mohlman, J., Bryant, C. (2016). Anxiety Disorders; chapter in Encyclopaedia of Aging (ed. Whitbourne, S.), New York, Wiley.
Unkenstein, A., Bei, B., Bryant, C. (In press) Enhancing memory self-efficacy during menopause through a group memory strategies. Menopause.
Unkenstein, A., Bryant, C., Judd, F., Ong. B., Kinsella, G., (In press). Understanding women’s experience of memory over the menopausal transition: subjective and objective memory in pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal women. Menopause, 23, e-pub ahead of print.
Technology and Ageing
Cyarto, E., Batchelor, F., Dow, B., Baker, S. (peer reviewed conference paper) Active Ageing with Avatars: A virtual exercise class for older adults. OzCHI 2016 Connected Futures.
Waycott, J., Davis, H., Vetere, F., Morgans, A., Ozanne, E., Pedell, S., Kulik, L. (2015) Ethics in Evaluating a Sociotechnical Intervention With Socially Isolated Older Adults. Qualitative Health Research, 25(11): 1518-1528. doi:10.1177/1049732315570136
Waycott, J., Vetere, F., Pedell, S., Morgans, A., Ozanne, E., Kulik, L. (2016) Not For Me: Older Adults Choosing Not to Participate in a Social Isolation Intervention. In Proc. of CHI 2016: ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. doi:10.1145/2858036.2858458
Demography and Ageing
Beaujot, R., McDonald, P. (2016). Comparative demography of Australia and Canada. Canadian Studies in Population, 43(1-2): 1-4.
Kendig, H., McDonald, P., Piggott, K. (eds.) (2016). Population Ageing and Australia’s Future. Canberra: ANU Press, 317p +xix.
Kendig, H., McDonald, P., Piggott, J. (2016). ‘A multidisciplinary approach to ageing’ In Kendig, H., McDonald, P., Piggott, J. (eds.). Population Ageing and Australia’s Future. Canberra: ANU Press, pp. 65-83.
McDonald, P. (2016). Demographic change in the Asian Century: implications for Australia and the region, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 3(2): 155-172.
McDonald, P., Beaujot, R. (eds.) (2016). Demographic Trends in Canada and Australia. Special Issue Dedicated to Graeme Hugo. Canadian Studies in Population. 43(1-2).
McDonald, P. (2016). ‘Ageing in Australia: Population changes and reponses’ In Kendig, H., McDonald, P., Piggott, J. (eds.). (2016) Population Ageing and Australia’s Future. Canberra: ANU Press, pp. 65-83.
- Seniorpreneur: we need you - by Dr Ruth Williams
- Tackling elder abuse in residential care requires systemic culture change - by Sue Malta and A/Prof Briony Dow
- Ageing activism: Why we need to give voice to the new third age - by Dr Ralph Hampson
- Shifting views on the over-50 crowd - by Dr Ralph Hampson
- Connecting online can help prevent social isolation in older people - by Dr Jenny Waycott
- Tackling hidden issues for older workers delivers wide-ranging returns - by Dr Ruth Williams
- Why are we abusing our parents: The ugly facts of family violence and ageism - by A/Prof Briony Dow
- How can we best design housing for Australia’s ageing population? - by A/Prof Clare Newton
- Graying Japan Tries to Embrace the Golden Years - by Jacob Schlesinger and Alexander Martin
- An Emotional Vignette of Growing Old - Voyager
- Female doctors in Australia are hitting glass ceilings – why? - by A/Prof Helen Dickinson and A/Prof Marie Bismark
- A wealth of knowledge walking out the door - by Dr Ruth Williams
- Older Workers Need New Workplace Solutions - by Dr Ruth Williams