Below is a list of all ACcORD collaborators, if you would like to contact anyone in our team please email ACcORD@newcastle.edu.au
Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher AO is Director of the Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour at the University of Newcastle. His current research interests include exploring health care provider behaviour and adoption of best evidence practice, and the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions to improve health outcomes for vulnerable population groups.
Professor Balakrishnan (Kichu) Nair AM is a Senior Staff Specialist of Geriatric Medicine at John Hunter Hospital. Professor Nair’s significant contribution to the field of Geriatric Medicine and medical education includes publications in the areas of geriatric medicine, medical education and evidence based medicine
At present he is the Professor of Medicine and Deputy Head of School of Medicine (Clinical Education). He is the Director of the Centre for Professional Development of the HNE Health.
Prof Nair holds many senior roles with the Australian Medical Council, Royal Australian College of Physicians and many other organisations including the Medical Council of NSW and Medical Journal Australia.
He is a practicing Clinician who is passionate about holistic care of his patients.
Doctor Susan Koch retired in 2015. She has been in funded research projects or consultancies since 1987. Her research focused predominantly on clinical practice improvement in aged care. This includes increasing the extent to which health professionals – particularly nurses – base their practice on the best available evidence by undertaking systematic reviews in areas prioritised by industry and using action research methodology to facilitate change in practice. These included restraint use, medication management, dementia care and support measures for family carers for those from CALD backgrounds. Susan has published and presented at conferences extensively both nationally and internationally. Before retiring Susan was the Director of the Royal District Nursing Service Institute, Melbourne. Susan was appointed Co-Chair of the Australian Government Annual Ministerial Dementia Forum in 2014. She is currently a member of the executive committee for the centre “Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in the Elderly’ Partnership Centre.
Professor Danielle Mazza MD, MBBS, FRACGP, DRANZCOG, Grad Dip Women’s Health GAICD is one of Australia’s leading clinician researchers in general practice. She holds the Chair of General Practice at Monash University where she has been Head of Department since 2010.
Danielle has been highly influential in improving the quality of clinical care delivered in general practice through her contributions as a researcher and educator in the field of women’s sexual and reproductive health, preventive care and the early detection of cancer. She has attracted more than $20 million in competitive research funding as a Chief Investigator and has written 123 peer-reviewed publications. A strong proponent of evidence-based care, she has led and contributed to the development and implementation of key general practice guidelines used nationwide, and regularly provides expert advice on implementation to professional, government and policy groups.
Professor Julie Byles is Global Innovation Chair in Responsive Transitions in Health and Ageing, and Director of the Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing at the University of Newcastle. Professor Byles’ research interests include the role of health services, preventive activities, and treatments in maintaining quality of life for older people, and in determining physical, psychological and social factors associated with optimal physical and mental health of men and women as they age.
Professor Christopher Doran is a Health Economist and leader of the Health Research Economics group at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. He is an international expert in the area of priority setting and his research interests include capacity building, impact assessment and translational research.
Professor Catherine D’Este is Chair in Biostatistics at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. She has almost 25 years of experience in working in health and medical research. Professor D’Este has been involved in the design, conduct and analysis of a range of different types of studies, including observational and experimental designs in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, general practices, communities, defence personnel and the general community, nationally and internationally.
Associate Professor Craig Whitehead is Immediate Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine, and is a member of the Flinders University department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care in the Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide. His research interests include falls, residential aged care and health services for older patients.
Professor Sandra Eades is Domain Head of the Aboriginal Health program at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. Sandra is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia and is Australia’s first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (2003). Sandra was appointed an Initiating Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Sandra’s research career has focussed on the epidemiology of Indigenous child health in Australia. Over the past decade she has made substantial contributions to the area of Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal research. Sandra is strongly committed to capacity building. Sandra leads a current NHMRC CRE focused on Aboriginal child and adolescent health. She has previously led a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Population Health Capacity Building grant that funded a research training program for five Indigenous researchers and six non-Indigenous researchers many of whom now hold leadership positions in Universities, Medical Research Institutes and Government. She continues to supervise and mentor Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers making a contribution to the Aboriginal health.
Professor Neil Rees is an Emeritus Professor of Law at both the University of Newcastle and the University of the Sunshine Coast. Professor Rees is a former Chairperson of the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC where he was lead author on a report which identified shortcomings in existing laws that deal with substitute decision-making. He has broad experience in health law particularly the law concerning people with a mental disorder.
Doctor William Browne is a Staff Specialist Geriatrician within Eastern Health, Victoria. Will Browne’s working career in medicine has been predominantly clinical, caring for hospitalised older people in the acute and sub-acute care settings. He has been involved in several site-specific research projects. Will Browne has been involved in developing local protocols for the management of delirium.
Professor Colette Browning is the Research Director of the International Institute for Primary Health Care Research, Shenzhen China. She holds Honorary Professorships at Peking University, Australian National University and Monash University. Professor Browning is recognised as a national and international leader in psychology and health with a special focus on healthy ageing. She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. Colette has held major competitive research grants from a range of agencies including the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and the Chinese National Science Foundation. She has over 200 refereed publications including journal articles, books and book chapters and has supervised to completion 31 higher degree students. Professor Browning is currently working on a range of innovative research translation activities with the Shenzhen Health Bureau including providing advice about primary care and aged care reform in China.
Associate Professor Roger Clarnette is a Consultant Physician in geriatric medicine and the coordinator of the University of Western Australia’s teaching program at Fremantle Hospital. AI Clarnette is the founder and director of the Clinical Trials Division, Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. As director, AI Clarnette is involved in trials evaluating the effectiveness of therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor Maria Crotty is a clinical academic and Rehabilitation Physician at Flinders University in Southern Adelaide. She is Director of Rehabilitation at Repatriation General Hospital, SA. Her research interests are in hip fractures, rehabilitation for people who live in nursing homes and health services research. AI Crotty is an investigator in the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Cognitive Decline and Related Functional Decline in Older People (CDPC). She leads the stream of research focusing on comparative effectiveness of nursing home models of care for people with dementia.
Dr Frans Henskens is a recently-retired computer scientist who was previously Assistant Dean of Information Technology, Deputy Head of School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Head of Discipline of Computer Science and Software Engineering, and Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle. AI Henskens is currently collaborating on a number of initiatives to improve the quality of health care, for which he is overseeing the design, programming and deployment of a software system that implements a web-based intervention portal.
Doctor Dianne Goeman is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, she also holds adjunct research positions at the University of Sydney and Monash University. AI Goeman is a health sociologist. Her research interests are on the priorities and unmet needs of those living with dementia, the delivery of optimal health care to this group and ensuring that people with dementia and their care partners are included in research through the use of co-design and participatory action research principles. As a researcher in the Pathways and Service Navigation stream of the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC) Dr Goeman was involved in the development of an optimised support worker framework for people living with dementia in the community.
Doctor Michael Lowe is a Community Geriatrician for the Top End of the Northern Territory. His current interests include clinical ethics, medical education, care of the elderly and Indigenous health.
Ms Sally O’Loughlin is an independent researcher and consultant in quality management, dementia, aged care and disability. Recently Sally has joined Air tasker and has been able to use her skills in a lateral way with success in different industries. Sally was the Regional Manager of Alzheimer’s Australia (now Dementia Australia) for the Hunter and Central Coast, and State Manager for the younger onset dementia Key Worker Program. She has worked in most of the Human service and health portfolios for over 32 years. This has been across not-for-profit in the community, state government, and volunteer board management roles. She is currently Vice Chair of the Hunter chapter of the Association of Gerontology and holds a Diploma in Health Counselling and a Bachelor of Social Science, is a National Accredited Mediator, and is finalising her Master’s Degree in International Health (Quality Management) at the University of New England (UNE).
Professor Leon Piterman AM is Pro Vice-Chancellor at Monash University. Previous appointments include Professor of General Practice, Head of the School of Primary Health Care and Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. AI Piterman has published over 160 refereed papers, book chapters and co-edited General Practice Psychiatry. His research interests are in mental health and chronic disease management.
Trevor Crosby lives in Sydney with his wife Jill, they have three adult children and two grandchildren. Trevor lived in Mudgee for a good part of his life as a farmer and a businessman, participating actively in the community. Now in retirement he lives by the beach and fills his week with numerous activities such as cricket, yoga, sailing, bridge, golf and the occasional game of bowls.
In 2014, Trevor was diagnosed with younger onset Lewy Body Dementia. He is an enthusiastic Dementia Advocate for Dementia Australia NSW, he has spoken at conferences and NSW Parliament House, has had an opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald and has represented us and other consumers on a national and state level to lobby government for change and ensure people with dementia are getting a fair deal.
Trevor’s optimistic and determined attitude inspires us all!
Roslyn Dent is a dedicated Community Care Worker with aged people, working for HammondCare in the Newcastle area since 2013. She is primary carer of her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. Her professional goal is to continue furthering her education in the area of dementia and ‘one-day’ be a dementia care specialist. A key interest is being part of Australian research into dementia; including dementia care, caring for carer’s and quality of life. Her life passions are; living as part of a loving community of family and friends, going to the opera with mum, having fun with daughter Louella, attending community events with husband Marcus and enjoying Church fellowship.
Danijela Hlis (QLD): When I joined the Consumer Dementia Research Network, I was caring for my mother, in Tasmania. I lost her to dementia a few years ago and last year I moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I have been a member of the Consumer Dementia Research Network since its beginning and have so far participated in many research projects. I am also trying to be of help to my aunt who also has dementia but is in a residential facility in France. I believe that a lot of my aunt’s psychotic episodes and her at times aggressive even violent attacks on staff, are linked to her not being loved and or understood. Feeling abandoned. Cultural diversity for people with dementia and their carers can be a big added problem. I am especially interested in all matters relating to dementia and the needs of people with dementia and their carers who are of culturally and linguistically diverse background. My passion in life now is in enlightening our society (through my poetry and prose and my work in the dementia field) about our duty to EMPOWER the person with dementia, ASSIST the carer, and ACCEPT that unconditional love and compassion, respect and social inclusion are equally important to standards and accreditation’s (if not even more!). Danijela is eager to actively participate in research projects covering quality of life and care and ensuring inclusion for people of culturally and linguistically different (CALD) background. Living well for us all is our human right.
Prelude to love:
In this far away country of sheep and eucalypt
my mother’s wrinkled face smiles:
“Bog me ima rad ker mi je dal TEBE. Vsak dan je Nedelja”. *
Our days are spring and winter in one.
We hug. Tight knots of yesterdays. Fold after fold of muffling web of memories drifting.
My mother tells of the spiders in her brain…and asks again: “Are you my mother?”
Danijela Hlis 2012
*Slovenian: God loves me because he gave me YOU. Every day is a Sunday.
Barbara is a part of the ACcORD to help create and influence positive change for people with a diagnosis of dementia. Recently, she went through the process of having a parent diagnosed with dementia. She came across many gaps in the journey to get diagnosed which caused a huge amount of distress. She hopes to help influence future interactions for families who may go through the same.
Barbara is a carer for a parent which means her time is somewhat limited, but she loves to travel, mostly to warm destinations. She also loves history, art and just sitting in cafes watching the world go by. Barbara is half Swedish so of course Scandinavia is her favourite destination, where her favourite tourist attraction is the Vasa Museum.
Kate commenced her professional career as a nurse, specialising in dementia and aged care, and then operating theatres. She has also worked as a chef and as an executive in health care, retiring due to the diagnosis of a younger onset dementia when she was 49. Post-diagnosis she completed a BA and BPsych and is still studying. She has written many published articles and a poetry book and given numerous media interviews about living with dementia, and submitted a private submission to the Inquiry into Dementia. She has presented nationally and internationally about dementia, and spoke at the inaugural Fight Dementia campaign rally in Canberra in 2011. Domiciliary Care SA has produced a staff training DVD featuring her story. She is an active member of the community advocating to break down the barriers and stigma of dementia. Kate is also patron to the Urban Myth Drama Group and ECH play The Visitors, a theatre production in 2013 about younger onset dementia. She is Co-Founder and Chair of Dementia Alliance International, and the first elected Chair of the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Advisory Group, set up in 2013. Kate’s website and blog Creating Life With Words is at http://kateswaffer.com.
Elaine Todd (NSW): I have a background in administrative accounting. I left my Queensland home in April 1996 to be with my mother, following my father’s debilitating stroke, when I noticed some quizzical behaviours being exhibited by my mother. I joined Alzheimer’s Australia essentially to utilise the library, but attended a number of carer education courses. These courses enabled me to identify what was happening and assisted me to seek out a diagnosis for my mother in 1998 via Prof Brodaty’s team at Prince Henry Hospital (formerly part of Prince of Wales Hospital). My mother’s condition progressed slowly, and due to my own needs I placed her in to residential care in February 2008. I became very interested and active with Alzheimer’s Australia NSW being an inaugural member of the NSW Consumer Reference Group and then to the CDRN when it was established in 2010. I support some others who are dealing with family members with dementia by advising them of and transporting them to education days and support group meetings. I get a great deal of satisfaction from being involved in the research side of Dementia and look forward to seeing some of our projects put in to best practice. My mother passed away August 2012 just short of her 100th birthday.
UoN Research Team
Doctor Allison Boyes is a NHMRC Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Her research encompasses mental health, quality of life, social support, coping and health risk behaviours of people living with chronic diseases and caregivers. It spans the disease continuum with an emphasis on the treatment and rehabilitation phases. She has a special interest in the use of information and communication technologies to deliver support and promote wellbeing.
Doctor Jamie Bryant is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow at the Health Behaviour Research Collaborative, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle. Her diverse range of research interests include cancer prevention (particularly related to smoking cessation), improving evidence-based healthcare, the wellbeing of people with dementia and their caregivers, and Indigenous health.
Associate Professor Mariko Carey is a senior research fellow working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Key research interests include health behaviour interventions, measurement of patient reported outcomes, multidisciplinary care, systems of care, evidence-based practice and quality of care. Her work has a strong on improving quality of care, behavioural and psychosocial outcomes for people with chronic diseases.
Doctor Andrea Coda is an energetic and enthusiastic Italian lecturer and Early Career Researcher at the Faculty of Health and Medicine. Dr Coda is a member of the Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI). Andrea established new strategic links between the ‘European Dementia Consortium’ and HMRI. As an Associate Investigator, Andrea was involved with a successful NHMRC grant (APP1137807) ‘Boosting Dementia Research Grant’ ($1,312,455) that aims to implement a web-based program to detect and meet the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers living in rural-areas.
Doctor Elise Mansfield is a Post-Doctoral Research Academic working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests include quality of care, wellbeing, and medico-legal issues for older adults and individuals with chronic disease and their caregivers.
Doctor Amy Waller is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Her research focuses on behavioural aspects of health, decision-making and quality of care issues. She has a special interest in research that aims to improve the end of life outcomes of older people and their families.
Doctor Alix Hall is a Post-Doctoral Research Academic working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests include psychosocial well-being, quality of life, unmet needs assessment, psychometrics, measure development, statistics and global health. She has experience in longitudinal, cross-sectional, intervention, psychometric and international comparative research studies. While the majority of work thus far has focused on cancer, Dr Hall is working to expand her repertoire of skills across other disease groups.
Dr Xiaoping Lin is a Research Fellow at the Department of General Practice, Monash University. Her main research areas are mental health, dementia, cancer, and health service development and evaluation. Being an immigrant herself, Xiaoping has a particular interest in research with people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds and has extensive links with the CALD community in Melbourne. Over the years, she has helped secure more than $500,000.00 in research funding, including a recent grant from the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation as the chief investigator. She has received a pilot grant in 2017 from ACcORD program for her project entitled Prioritising the National Dementia Guideline Recommendations in general practice: the views of people with dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds and their family members.
Nola Ries is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney. She has expertise in health law and policy, with a particular focus on law, ageing and health. Her current research focuses on elder abuse, advance care planning, and decision-making capacity. She has a special interest in dementia and the inclusion of people with cognitive impairment in research. Nola advocates for interprofessional collaboration across health and legal sectors to improve access to services and outcomes for older people. She publishes widely in legal, health and policy journals, with over 50 peer-reviewed articles and approximately 45 book chapters and commissioned reports. Nola previously practiced law in Canada.
Alison Bowman is a recipient of an ACcORD scholarship for PhD studies. She is a registered nurse with Nurse Practitioner qualifications and has over twenty years’ experience working in the clinical area of Palliative Care working in the community in the Port Stephens LGA. Over those 20 years, Alison has seen the area of Palliative Care develop and progress as a health care specialty offering more defined and evidence-based approaches to care of people at end-of-life. She strongly believes Advance Care Planning has become an important area informing public health policy and improving choices for people at end-of-life. Investigation into how, when and by whom Advance Care Planning is approached and facilitated for people with Dementia is the basis of her PhD studies.
Caroline Gibson is passionate about facilitating marginalised people to have a voice in the development and delivery of health services that meet individual needs and the connection between community and health. Currently she works as a Practice Nurse at Ballarat Community Health (BCH) GP Clinics. Caroline is the lead nurse for the ‘Improving dementia care in primary practice – a nurse-enhanced model of care’ project at BCH (recipient of a Nursing in Primary Health Care (NiPHC) Commonwealth Program grant). Caroline received an ACcORD scholarship and recently commenced a PhD at the University of Newcastle with the provisional aims of investigating relationship-centred care as a framework for primary health care delivery which better utilises the role of the Practice Nurse, includes impact of cognitive impairment in chronic disease self-management and provides people living with dementia with agency in making health care decisions.
Shin Hwa Kang-Breen is a nurse practitioner for acute Aged Care in the Central Coast Region. Her PhD research topic is related to multimorbidities, geriatric syndrome and preventable hospital presentations for elderly people suffering predominantly with dementia. Through this research topic she is endeavouring to identify their unmet health needs and the perspectives of healthcare professionals. She will also investigate strategies to provide the most appropriate care, in the right place and at the right time. This is an important strategy, as these conditions are directly and indirectly related to their quality of life.
Stephanie Lithgow is a speech pathologist who has a special interest in aged care and neurological conditions. She has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom, specialising in adult cognitive impairment. She expanded her experience providing care service coordination and case management to adults in the community aged care sector and working with people with dementia and their caregivers. Stephanie’s special interest in dementia care led her to recently commence her PhD with the ACcORD in August 2017. Her research interests include fluctuating capacity and independence, caregiver education and support, and elder abuse identification and prevention.
Ms Maria Romiti (Research Program Coordinator) is new to the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has worked previously in the area of sport injury prevention as a research assistant and research coordinator. She has experience in managing intervention studies in sport injury prevention and is eager to transfer her skills to the area of dementia care research.
Ms Rochelle Watson (Program Manager) is a Senior Research Officer working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has significant experience in developing and managing multi-centre descriptive and intervention studies with vulnerable populations. She is also currently undertaking a PhD exploring experiences of caregivers of people with dementia regarding time to diagnosis, the way the diagnosis was communicated and issues faced as a result of the diagnosis.
Ms Lucy Boyd is a Research Assistant working within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has a strong interest in improving healthcare.