Membership Overview

Getting to know you ..... Nathan D'Cunha

Mr Nathan D’Cuhna recently became the new Division Chair. Nathan is one of the 2018 RM Gibson Research Fund Recipients for his project Effects of an art gallery intervention on stress and inflammatory responses in people with dementia. Listen to Nathan (fast forward to 27.12) provide an overview of his project at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, September last year.

What’s your day job and how do you engage with AAG?

I am a PhD candidate in Geriatrics and Gerontology and sessional academic in the Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra. My PhD is supported by Dementia Australia and the AAG to investigate the National Gallery of Australia Art and Dementia program. I am also working on projects using technology to engage people living with dementia in residential aged care, and the effects of nutrition on cognitive performance. I recently became chair of the AAG ACT committee. Since joining the committee, I have been responsible for our monthly newsletter and I help organise local events.

How did you hear about AAG and why did you join?

Kasia Bail (immediate past ACT Division Chair) has been known to strategically place AAG materials around campus. I previously worked in residential aged care and had research interests in ageing, so becoming a member and getting involved was a natural fit for me.

What is the biggest challenge and opportunity for gerontology?

Changing the way we care for the most vulnerable older people and those in care and considering the whole person rather than physical needs alone.

What is your favourite thing about your career?

Working in this area enables me to spend a lot of time around older people, and people who are passionate about working with older people. As a teacher, I really enjoy working with students who are new to research.

What does AAG and gerontology mean for you?

A supportive environment where I can share in an area I am passionate about and learn from many members who have a range of backgrounds and experiences.

Who is your “hero” (not necessarily in the ageing space) and why?

I used to be obsessed with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning until he retired. His worth ethic was inspiring and I admired the way he responded to adversity in his career.

What is your passion?

I feel very lucky to be able to focus on research in this field. It took me a while to find my passion, but once I started down this path, I knew it was for me.

What really makes you angry?

Most things when I don’t get enough sleep.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere where it snows! I think we are fortunate to get all four seasons in the ACT, but it would be perfect if there was more moisture around in winter so we had snow capped mountains.

Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?

None of the above. I have fairly long legs, so I don’t mind walking.

Who is your favourite author?

I don’t really have one, but I have been known to read a few too many self-help books.

In three words, how would your friends describe you?

Tall, optimistic, reliable.

What makes you laugh the most?

It is hard to go past the TV show “The Office” (US version) for a laugh. It is the only TV show I have watched more than once.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done?

Due to a cancelled flight, I once drove alone through a snowstorm during the middle of the night so I could watch the aforementioned Peyton Manning in his second last game

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