Membership Overview

Getting to know you ..... Professor Debra Waters

Professor Debra Waters is the new Editor in Chief for the Australasian Journal on Ageing (AJA). Debra is from the University of Otago in New Zealand as the Director of Gerontology Research. Debra is also the Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) who AAG works closely with. NZAG is a partner in our bid to win the 2029 IAGG World Congress.

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

I have served on the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) executive since 2013 and have been Vice President since 2014, so naturally, I know about AAG through that role.

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

I am the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago and part of that role is my service to NZAG. I primarily engage with AAG through NZAG and also my current work with AAG and ANZGM on the IAGG World Congress bid in Sydney and Queenstown in 2029. This engagement will expand with my role as Editor in Chief for the Australasian Journal of Ageing. .

What’s something exciting that’s happened to you recently?

That would be being offered the role of Editor in Chief of the Australasian Journal of Ageing.

What is the biggest challenge and opportunity for gerontology?

Attracting the best and brightest emerging talent to the field of Geriatrics and Gerontology. We are fortunate to have a very active group of early career and emerging researchers in Australia and New Zealand who will become the future leaders in the field.

What is your favourite thing about your career?

In academia, it is the freedom to pursue our individual research passion and to pass this passion along to students. Also, the opportunity (until recently) to travel the world meeting other researchers and clinicians who are passionate about improving the lives of our ageing populations.

What does AAG and gerontology mean for you?

I have been impressed with the work that AAG has accomplished in the field of gerontology and how they continue to expand “the reach” of this important field through regular webinars, events and publications.

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

My current hero is our New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden. She is a strong, but compassionate leader in these unprecedented times.


18 February 2021

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