About Us

Key Staff

James Beckford Saunders BSc (Hons), MBA and GAICD
Chief Executive Officer
James Beckford Saunders is the CEO of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and AAG in its capacity as Corporate Trustee of the AAG Research Trust. James is also the Executive Officer for both the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics - Asia/Oceania Region and the International Longevity Centre Australia.

James has three decades of experience in not-for-profit, tertiary and commercial sectors in Australia, Europe and the UK including at UnitingCare ReGen, beyondblue, University of Melbourne, Mental Illness Fellowship, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam Australia, Comic Relief UK and Toshiba.

Catherine Stace
Executive Officer - AAG Research Trust

Part-time (2 days per week)

Catherine is the inaugural Executive Officer for the AAG Research Trust.

Catherine is an experienced health and medical research not-for-profit leader dedicated to improving health outcomes for Australians. Catherine believes that the interconnectedness of population health; burden of disease and quality of life in Australia will exponentially improve when innovative research and data are responsive to the unmet needs of our ageing population through policy and application.

The primary purpose of this new part time role is to build on the momentum of the AAG Research Trust, through leading the execution of the fundraising strategy and oversee established operations for the AAG Research Trust.

Michael Tan
BBus (Marketing & HR)
Head of Membership & Marketing

Michael has two decades in corporate and not-for-profits sectors including senior roles at a state and national level in marketing and communications, operations, policy, industrial relations and stakeholder management at Meat & Livestock Australia and Restaurant & Catering Association.

Dr Sandra South
BSc (Hons), PhD
Policy & Research Manager

Part-time (3 days per week)

Sandra has 20 years of international experience conducting, analysing, compiling and translating research across a wide range of research fields and organisations, including in her work as a consultant for allied health professional bodies and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Knowledge-Based Policy and Guidance at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden. She was a Board Director of the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions.

Chloe Merritt Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Policy Communications Officer
Part-time (3 days per week)

Chloe works as the policy communications officer curating the policy and practice updates and on behalf of the Policy & Research team. She is currently engaging in research to highlight the prevalence of ageing-specific content in tertiary social work degrees. Chloe is an Aboriginal woman who has experience working in the homelessness sector and in education. In this role she seeks to make resources accessible and engaging for people working with, or caring for, older adults.

Ellen Finlay Masters of International Relations, Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Politics) Honours in International Relations
Part-time (1.5 days per week)

Ellen is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group (ATSIAAG) Officer. Ellen works with the ATSIAAG, the CEO and the AAG Policy and Research team to facilitate the implementation of the Reconciliation Action Plan and the ongoing work of the ATSIAGG. She is a non-Aboriginal woman undertaking her PhD at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW. Her current research is in social and political power asymmetries in health outcomes between older Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, specifically focusing on rates of dementia. Ellen has experience in tertiary education and research where she previously looked at power asymmetries in relation to gender and security, and asylum seekers’ access to bodily integrity.

Cecilia Gomez-Inclan
Policy and Research Officer
Part-time (1 day per week)

Cecilia is one of our policy and research officers. She is working with topics related to using data capturing Australia’s cultural and linguistic diversity to improve the experience of ageing. Concurrently, she is a PhD student in the University of Queensland, where she is aiming to deepen the knowledge about the etiology of the ageing-associated Alzheimer’s Disease and Ataxia-Telangiectasia.

Matthew Jones

AAG - Marketing & Administration Officer & AAG Research Trust - Grants Officer

Matthew has over 20 years of experience in administration and office management roles. Formerly a senior barristers' clerk in London Matthew moved into quality assurance and change management. He has undertaken office management and business analyst roles in Perth and Malaysia since emigrating from the UK. For this role Matthew has returned to work following a spell at home as primary carer for his son.

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