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.


Division Chair

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.

Click here to Get to know Nathan D'Cunha



Mark Cooper-Stanbury recently retired from 30  years in the Australian Public Service, with the last 6 years being closely involved with aged care data through the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse. He is planning to undertake post-graduate research into the factors that enable equitable access to aged care, and has a broad interest in ageing and aged care.




Student & Early Career Group Representative

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.


Board Nominee & Treasurer

Chris Hatherly has been a member of the AAG since 2007 and served as ACT Division Treasurer from 2010 2012 and as ACT President from 2012 to 2015. He was also the AAG National Student Representative in 2009, and served a one-year term as a Director of the AAG Board when it was incorporated in 2012. From 2019 he is the ACT representative on the AAG Board and Research Trust.

Chris works as CEO of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and has also worked in research and policy roles at the Australian Academy of Science and at Dementia Australia. He has a PhD in psychology from the Centre for Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the ANU.



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.


Michael Yoon Kang is a Consultant Physician specializing in General Medicine and Geriatric Medicine at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and has memberships with various professional bodies including ANZSGM, IMSANZ and most recently with the AAG. His clinical research interests include wide arrays of topics within Geriatric Medicine, including polypharmacy, osteoporosis, geriatric nutrition, delirium and improving delivery of healthcare services to older adults. He joined the ACT division of the AAG in 2020 and hopes to bring relevant clinical perspectives to foster the collaboration between researchers and clinicians within Canberra.


Previous Committee Members

2020 Committee - We would like to thank Kasia Bail (former Chair)  and Cathy Gong (former Treasurer) for their wonderful contributions to the committee and their hard work behind the scenes. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

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.

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. 

2019 Committee - We would like to thank Susan McGrath (former Board Nominee)  and Nicole McDerby for their wonderful contributions to the committee and their hard work behind the scenes. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

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


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. 


2018 Committee  - 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.


Past Chairs: Richard Cumpston, Tracey Robinson



March 2021


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) 7th National Workshop).

Bursaries to attend the 2021 AAG Conference

The 54th AAG Conference – “Innovation in Ageing for the Future” will be held 9th-12th November 2021, with pre-workshops being held on 9th November 2021. Further information about the conference can be found here.

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) ACT Division is offering a number of bursaries to support your attendance at this conference.

For applicants who are accepted, conference registration fees will be paid directly through the Division.

Bursaries are offered in following categories:

  • Category I: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Category II: Student and Early Career Members
  • Category III: Carers, healthcare workers, and advocates for older people

When applying you will be asked to:

  • Provide details of any abstract accepted (desirable)
  • Describe in 100 words or less why you should receive this bursary and how it would benefit you, your research and/or your future career in gerontology.

Recipients of ACT AAG Travel Scholarships are required to:

  • Provide a brief report to the ACT AAG within 1 month of the conclusion of the conference

To apply please click here 

Applications must be received by Friday, 22 September 2021


Division events 2019

Art & Dementia Symposium September 2019

Forum: Promoting choices and building connection in older people’s intimate relationships July 2019

The Royal Commission on Aged Care: What can it do and how can you contribute June 2019

Eating and Ageing August 2019

Division events 2018

Time for Dementia: Development & Evaluation of an Undergraduate Curriculum for 21st Century Healthcare November 2018

Rethinking advocacy on ageing and work strategies for retaining and managing an ageing workforce - Presented by the 2018 AAG Glenda Powell Travelling Fellow October 2018

Ageing and Brain Health - Research Showcase September 2018

CHARM – Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting August 2018


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