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.


Dr Sandra South BSc (Hons), PhD
Policy & Research Manager
Part-time (4 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.


Sue Gherdovich BA (Hons), MCouns, Master of Social Work
Senior Policy & Research Officer

Part-time (2 days per week)

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.


Tonye Segbedzi BA/LLB, Grad Cert Management, Master of Social Policy
Senior Policy & Research Officer

Part-time (2 days per week)

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.


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
Part-time (1 day per week)

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.


Chloe Merritt-Shadbolt Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Policy Communications Officer
Part-time (2 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
ATSIAAG Officer

(Wednesdays)

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.


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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