ACT Division

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory Division of the AAG provides Canberrans with a personal or professional interest in ageing with opportunities to get together on a regular basis to share information and to learn more about the latest in ageing research, policy and practice. Canberra is the seat of Federal Government, and the Australian Capital Territory Division takes full advantage of this in organising policy relevant events and engaging with Federal Members. Canberra is also home to some of Australia’s leading ageing research institutions, and we work regularly with AAG members in these organisations to advance knowledge and understanding of ageing within the wider Canberra community.

The Australian Capital Territory Division has an active committee and a diverse membership including students, academics, health professionals, policy makers, and members of the public. The ACT Division hosts 4-6 events each year on topics of current interest.

New members are always welcome, and there are many opportunities to contribute and to get involved in an existing network of those working in or interested in gerontology in the local region.

Diary dates:

30th July 2018 - ACT AAG Poster and presentation prizes for best ageing research at Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting 

1st September 2018 - ACT Bursary Applications for Conference Attendance due.

20th September 2018 - ACT AAG AGM and Student/ECR Presentations.

November 2018 (TBC) – Michael Marmot, the 2018 Gary Andrews International Fellow.

Division Chair

Kasia Bail’s primary work interest as Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra is to improve sustainable acute care health delivery for an ageing population. Her clinical experience includes general medical and acute palliative care, and has always been complemented by research roles. Her peer reviewed publications range from undergraduate nursing, aged care nurse practitioners, prognosis communication, policy analysis, dementia care in hospitals, and nurse-sensitive outcomes. Kasia has demonstrated a passion for identifying and researching the structures and processes which impede or enable quality patient care, and sharing her learning and inquiry with nursing students, industry and professional groups. She continues to work occasional shifts as a hospital nurse, with a particular interest in acute admissions with multiple comorbidities.


Nathan D’Cunha is a PhD student at the University of Canberra (UC) investigating the effects of the National Gallery of Australia Art and Dementia program people living with dementia. Nathan’s primary research interests relate to ageing and nutrition, particularly interventions that may serve to prevent or delay age-related conditions such as dementia. Nathan also teaches into the UC Faculty of Health in Nutritional Science and Food Science, and currently holds a Dementia Australia Research Foundation PhD scholarship. Read more about Nathan’s PhD project here.




Dr Cathy Gong is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW) at the Australian National University.  She joined the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) since August 2013 and mainly worked on two CEPAR projects “Healthy and Productive Ageing” and “Comparative Ageing in Asia”. Her research interests include life course impacts on late life health and wellbeing; social determinants of healthy and productive ageing; intergenerational support relationships; health services use; international comparison of ageing in Asia; age friendly communities; inequality and mobility in health, employment and wellbeing; as well as labour market participation and retirement choices in late life. 

Student & Early Career Group Representatives

Janet Maccora has a background in epidemiology with an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She lives in Canberra and is enrolled as an external PhD candidate at UNSW, affiliated with Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).  Her broad research interest is factors for maintaining cognitive health in later life. She is now in the second year of her PhD candidacy and her topic is looking at how education is associated with “SuperAgeing”, using data from the Personality and Total Health (PATH) cohort that has been running in the ACT and Queanbeyan since 1999. Janet also works as a research officer at National Seniors Australia, where she has contributed to reports on issues affecting older Australians such as the digital divide, experiences of aged care at home, and planning for longer lives.


Nicole McDerby is a second year PhD candidate for the pharmacy discipline at the University of Canberra. Nicole’s work is centred on investigating the potential for integrating clinical pharmacists into residential aged care, to work with the clinical and allied health teams, to improve medication management. The scope of practice for pharmacists in Australia is expanding across various settings; therefore working towards the development of a residential care practice pharmacist is a logical role for pharmacists to look towards. Aged care facility residents are among Australia’s highest users of prescription medications and are the demographic at highest risk of medication misadventure. Nicole loves the unique challenges associated with prescribing in the older population, and hopes that her work will demonstrate the value of clinical pharmacy services becoming a routine part of resident care. Nicole also works as a clinical pharmacist at the Canberra Hospital, and is AACP accredited in medication review. 


Board Nominee

Susan McGrath is the Senior Policy Advisor – Older Australians, at The Benevolent Society. Her role 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



Diane Gibson is a Distinguished Professor of Health and Ageing at the University of Canberra. She has held senior appointments in both the university and public service sectors. Her strong interest in the policy/research interface has characterised her work across the sectors of health, ageing, gender and social policy. Professor Gibson is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and has previously served as a Member of the AAG national Council and as Editor-in-Chief of the AJA.


Outgoing Committee Members

We would like to thank Dr Sarang Kim and Connor Lynch for their wonderful contributions to the committee and their hard work behind the scenes. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

Dr Sarang Kim is a research fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University. She is currently managing a lifestyle management program, e-Lifestyle Management Programs (e-LMPs). The e-LMPs team is evaluating the efficacy of health promotion interventions in adults with risk factors for dementia, recruited in general practice setting. She is also leading an online intervention program, Dementia Stigma Reduction (DESeRvE), that is designed to reduce dementia-related public stigma amongst the general public.



Connor Lynch predominantly engages with health and ageing as a clinician. He is a registered nurse and currently in his second rotation of a New Graduate Nursing year at Canberra Hospital working in the Coronary Care Unit. Connor plans to complete further study through the University of Tasmania in Cardiovascular Nursing, aligning with his interest in cardiovascular health and ageing. Second to his clinical work, Connor grows a large range of fruits, vegetables and herbs at his home in O'Connor and engages in a growing community in Canberra passionate about local, organic and urban production of seasonal vegetables. Connor has an interest in food security particularly amongst vulnerable ageing populations, and the effects of access to food on the health of ageing populations. Read more about Connor’s work here.




December 2018


National Conference
Travel Scholarship Strategy

Depending on the budget, the ACT AAG may offer travel awards each year to support ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Higher Degree student and/or Early Career AAG members engaging with research on ageing to attend the AAG annual conference. The purpose of these scholarships is to enable the development of relationships within the national research community, as well as utilisation and extension of research in the ACT community. A preference is given to those presenting at AAG conferences. This Travel Grants Strategy has arisen from AAG National Office increasing their support and facilitation of Indigenous attendees. (For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group’s (ATSIAAG) 5th National Workshop,

How to apply

Please email the ACT AAG Chair ( prior to the closing date 1st September 2019, and attach:

  • Your curriculum vitae
  • A 1-page dot point document outlining the need and benefits of attendance at the AAG conference
  • Please include a dot point indicating you have discussed this and have support from your nominated supervisor



The award will be available each year to those who:

  • are an ACT Aboriginal OR Torres Strait Islander AND
  • are able to present on research and/or policy and/or practice issues regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ageing in the ACT and
  • have not previously been the recipient of an ACT AAG grant.


  • are enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research program or employed as an early career researcher in a research institute; and
  • are conducting or can demonstrate recent/current application of research into ageing and the ageing population in the ACT; or
  • are attending, and presenting a paper at one of the AAG national conferences; and
  • have not previously been the recipient of an ACT AAG grant; and
  • are a current financial AAG member.
Basis of Selection

Applications will be assessed on:

  • Quality of the application;
  • Explanation of how attendance at AAG conference will enrich the applicant's research project or early career development

Maximum funding is determined by the available funding and the cheapest travelling arrangement, which might cover conference registration, accommodation and airfares up to $500 per applicant for 2019.


Recipients of ACT AAG Travel Scholarships are required to:

  • Attend the AAG conference in full to the best of their ability
  • Attend AAG meetings held at the conference, such as AGM and Early Career Researcher networking meetings
  • Provide a brief report to the ACT AAG within 1 month of returning from the conference
  • Be prepared to present to the Committee a short 15 minute presentation outlining the conference experience and benefits, or on a key presentation of the conference
  • Be prepared to present their conference presentation, if relevant


CHARM Winners 2018

Poster: Nikki Johnston and team
Integrating specialist palliative care into residential aged care
for older people: a randomised stepped wedge trial

3MT: Rebecca Lawrence – Paying attention to healthy ageing, visual area attention


National Conference Travel Bursary Winners

Janet Maccora

Marion Carter
Vera Buss

Nicole Ee
Nicole McDerby 


page currently under construction August 2019


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