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 senior management responsibilities for policy, advocacy and funding at a state and national level, change management, marketing, operations and corporate services, through leadership roles at UnitingCare ReGen, beyondblue, University of Melbourne, Mental Illness Fellowship, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam Australia and Comic Relief UK


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
(Wednesdays, Tuesday & Friday afternoons)

Kate has 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 (incl AAG's RRR SIG), older people from both Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds (incl AAG CALD SIG), Financial disadvantage (shared), Women's healthy ageing - shared, Board policy updates

Secondary focus - End of life/ palliative care, Intimacy (support), Care leavers (support)


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

(Monday and 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 - Mental health and wellbeing, Reablement - shared, AAG Policy and Practice Updates

Secondary focus - Workforce (incl AAG AWE SIG), Dementia/cognitive impairment, Social isolation, Older people from both Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds (support)


Tonye Segbedzi BA/LLB, Master of Social Policy
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Monday, Tuesday & Wednesdays)


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

Primary focus - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex communities (incl AAG LGBTI SIG), Intimacy, Housing and homelessness - shared, Sexual abuse, Elder abuse (incl AAG elder abuse SIG).

Secondary focus – Carers including informal, Mental health and wellbeing (support), Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities (support).


Dr Sandra South BSc (Hons), PhD
Senior Policy & Research Officer
(Mondays)

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, Financial disadvantage - shared, Women's healthy ageing - shared, Reablement - shared, Housing and homelessness - shared, Interface between the aged care, health, allied health and disability systems - shared, SUBSTANCE Evaluation (with NARI) - shared

Secondary - Aged Care reforms including Consumer Directed Care, 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 has 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. More recent government roles include 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), Interface between the aged care, health and allied health systems -shared, Substance Evaluation (with NARI) - shared

Secondary – Interface between the aged care and disability systems, Quality and safety including complaints, innovation and technology


Sue Riley BBus, CA, MAICD
Chief Financial Officer

Sue is a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. She has worked mostly in the health sector as a senior finance manager for private hospitals, public hospitals, Victorian Government health departments and private consultants specialising in health. When not at work, Sue’s passion is golf and she is a member of Southern Golf Club.


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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