About Us

Key Staff

James Beckford Saunders BSc (Hons), MBA and GAICD
Chief Executive Officer
James is the CEO and Company Secretary of Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and the AAG Research Trust, as well as 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. Senior management responsibilities for policy, advocacy and funding at a state and national level, as well as change management, marketing, fundraising, operations and corporate services.


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.


Kate Gainer BSc/LLB, BA (Hons) Grad Dip Environmental Management and Development
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Tuesday afternoons plus Wednesdays & Fridays)

Kate had over 25 years of experience in public sector policy and program roles in the Australian Government agriculture, Prime Minister’s and environment portfolios before moving into the not for profit community services sector as a senior policy analyst and advocate specialising in areas including ageing and housing/homelessness. Kate specialises in advocacy based on a thorough understanding of social and economic theory, analysis of complex problems in terms of drivers and influencers and deep knowledge of how policy/program responses can be designed to deliver public good outcomes efficiently and effectively.

Primary focus - ageing in regional, rural and remote Australia, older people from both Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds

Secondary focus - End of life/palliative care; Care leavers


Sue Gherdovich BA (Hons), MCouns
Senior Policy & Research Officer

(Mondays & Tuesdays)

Sue has 25 years’ experience working in senior policy, research and program management roles in federal government and the not-for-profit sector, including in the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, the Black Dog Institute (NSW) and beyondblue: anxiety, depression and suicide. At beyondblue, Sue was Older Adults Program Leader between 2009-2014, coordinating national research, policy, programs and advocacy dedicated to improving the mental health of older people.

Primary focus - Social isolation and loneliness incl mental health and wellbeing

Secondary focus - Workforce, Dementia/cognitive impairment


Tonye Segbedzi BA/LLB, Grad Cert Management, Master of Social Policy
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays)


Tonye has 25 years in legal and policy roles in the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors, including senior roles at Philips Fox Lawyers, Victoria Legal Aid, Legal Services Board, Department of Human Services and Volunteering Victoria.

Primary focus - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex ageing; Intimacy; Housing and homelessness; Sexual abuse of older women.

Secondary focus – Elder abuse; Carers.


Dr Sandra South BSc (Hons), PhD
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Mondays) One day (Jan to April 2019 and then returning part time/full time (TBC) from Sept 2019)

Sandra has 14 years of international experience conducting, analysing, compiling and translating research across a wide range of research fields and organisations, including in her past roles as Research and Policy Manager at Audiology Australia 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 and her working group contributions include that with the Primary Care Safety and Quality Framework Committee with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Primary – Literature review for the LGBTI Research Position Paper, Women's healthy ageing; Reablement, Interface between the aged care, health, and disability systems; Financial disadvantage, SUBSTANCE Evaluation (with NARI)

Secondary - Assistive technologies (including aids and equipment), Data.


Tom Voigt BEd, Grad Dip Health Ed, Masters of Public Health, Masters of Health Management, Commendation for Brave Conduct (CBC) from the Governor General
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Monday and Tuesdays)

Tom joins us with over 30 years of practical experience in health service delivery including extensive experience working in State and Commonwealth governments. Tom has managed Community Health services in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales including community based aged care services, disability services, public health, mental health, community nursing, as well as health promotion programs.
Tom’s government roles have included Director Policy and Bilateral Agreements with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and State Director (Victoria) with the Commonwealth Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. Tom is also currently undertaking a part-time PhD by research through Deakin University.

Primary – Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities (incl AAG's ATSIAAG)

Secondary – Quality and safety including complaints, innovation and technology


Matthew Jones
Marketing & Administration 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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