Board Members

Board Members

Dr Helen Barrie (Nee Feist) - President
Helen is President of AAG and Acting Director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. Helen has been an active committee member of AAG at both state and national level since 2004, and is also an active member of the Institute of Australian Geographers and the Australian Population Association. Helen’s particular research and professional interests include place and ageing, rural issues and their influence on older people, community connectedness and the social networks of older people, and the demography of ageing. Much of this work has an emphasis on spatial analysis. Helen’s background is in community development, working in not-for-profit community based organisations for over 20 years, both in Australia and overseas.
A/Prof Christine Stirling - Vice President
Associate Professor Christine Stirling is the Vice President of AAG, Deputy Dean Graduate Research, Associate Head Learning and Teaching at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Christine has a career long interest in improving health care through workforce innovation and consumer research. She has a particular interest in supporting older persons to remain living in the community, in dementia studies, and in the future workforce innovations that can support improved health care. Christine’s published work covers volunteers, informal carers, consumer engagement, and memory clinics and how these can help to improve health services.
Claudia Meyer

Dr Claudia Meyer is a Research Fellow at the RDNS Institute in Melbourne. The RDNS is a community-based organisation delivering clinical nursing and care services to people in their homes across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Claudia combines her skills as an experienced physiotherapist with her research expertise, moving research into action for community-dwelling older people and their carers, specifically in the areas of equity in healthcare, falls prevention and dementia care. She draws upon her expanding network in the community care, hospital and academic sectors to drive her belief in reducing the gap between research and clinical practice. Dr Meyer is the current President of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Council of Student Organizations. She has been an AAG Victorian Executive committee member since 2008 and is immediate past National President of the Student and Early Career Group (position held in 2009-10 and 2013).

Anne Farthing
Annie has lived and worked in Central Australia since 1992, having moved here to work as a physiotherapist at the Community Health Centre. Since then, she has worked primarily with Indigenous people from Alice Springs and surrounding remote Indigenous communities with a focus on Aged and Disability services, more recently spending 5 years at a consulting therapist at a residential aged care facility for Indigenous Central Australians. She is currently working part time as an academic at the Centre for Remote Health and as a service provider for the Transitional Care Program. Annie has post graduate qualifications in Aboriginal Studies, as well as graduating from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an active member of Services for Australian Rural and Remote Health (SARRAH) which aims to represent the needs of Allied health professionals in the bush. Annie is also a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and the AAG, having really enjoyed the experience of being on the committee for the conference in Alice Springs.
Prof Leon Flicker AO
Leon has trained clinically in research in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne and was appointed inaugural Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia in 1998. He established a productive research unit aimed at translational issues focusing on the health needs of older people culminating in 2006 at the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing at the University of Western Australia. Leon remains a practicing geriatrician and is Head of Inner City Geriatric Services at Royal Perth Hospital. Leon has served on numerous government committees addressing the health needs of older people. He is a Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles addressing a wide variety of health issues in older people. In 2017 Leon was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for his work with people with dementia.
Dr Andrea Petriwskyj
Andrea is a research fellow at The University of Queensland. Her research focuses on engagement and participation, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion, conducted across the contexts of local government and communities, disability services, aged care, and membership organisations. She has served on the Queensland Division Committee since 2007. She brings to the board a critical socio-political perspective and expertise in practice-and-policy focused research.
Sue McGrath

Susan McGrath is the Canberra-based National Policy Manager for COTA Australia. Her role at COTA allows her to pursue a fervent interest in the wellbeing of older people and the issues facing an ageing society across social, economic, health and environmental policy. She is especially committed to ageing policy founded on a strong evidence base and engagement with those whose lives it affects. Sue has worked in many professional roles in government and the community sector, and as a consultant to both. She has contributed extensively to federal policy development and to improving government programs and administration, and to the effectiveness of a number of community organisations.

Also, in 35 years as a facilitator, Sue has helped to persuasively bring the views and ideas of many communities across Australia to government through consultation processes in health, communications, employment, industry development, regional development, housing and more.

Barbara Squires
Barbara has worked in the field of ageing for over 40 years and has been a member of the AAG all that time. Originally a social worker, she has worked at a senior level in community and residential services in NSW, and has experience in legal issues and housing policy. She joined IRT, a large service provider, in 2012 as Head of Research and Advocacy, leading the IRT Research Foundation.
Barbara has served on the NSW Division Committee since the 1990s, including as State President. She has been a member of the AAG Board (formerly Council) since1993, and is a former AAG National President. Barbara’s long involvement with the AAG has given her strong networks with researchers and policy makers. She has served on a number of steering and advisory committees concerned with older people’s issues, and is a Fellow of the AAG and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Heath
David Heath is the Honorary Treasurer of AAG. He is the Senior Actuary and Director at Cumpston Sarjeant Pty Ltd, an actuarial consulting firm. Most of David’s experience is in the area of long-tailed insurance and accident compensation, including motor bodily injury and workers’ compensation. David lectures at the University of Melbourne where he is an Honorary Senior Fellow. He is also a director on the TAC Board.

Despite being both an accountant and an actuary, he hopes he is not Australia’s most boring man.

February 2017

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