News & Publications

04 Jun 18

Vale Emeritus Professor Hal Kendig

AAG are sad to let you know that our esteemed colleague and friend, Professor Hal Kendig died on Sunday (early hours of the 4th of June) . Hal had been unwell for some time, but he did not let that stop him in his commitment to gerontology.

Hal was a Life Member of the AAG, in recognition of his long and powerful influence in shaping a national discourse on ageing, and in advocating for the needs and rights of older people and for a lifecourse approach to ageing well. He was a passionate researcher, and a highly respected transdisciplinary scholar.

Hal’s most powerful and enduring influence is in the people he inspired. So many people have gratitude to Hal for his generosity and encouragement, and his personal and professional support.

Hal’s international work included multiple research collaborations, and key roles as an expert and advisor. He was Chair of the Social Research, Policy and Planning Committee of the International Association of Gerontology (Asia-Oceania), a sought after key note speaker at international conferences, and frequent advisor to the World Health Organisation and other groups focussed on the causes of older people.

Hal was an engaging and generous collaborator and a dedicated mentor to many gerontology researchers in Australia and around the world. His commitment was tireless, and his investments in guiding and developing future generations of researchers will benefit Australia for decades to come.

Later this year, there will be a memorial event for Hal, to be arranged in consultation with Hal’s family. We will let you know of further details.

If you have stories and pictures to share, please send them to here at AAG and we will pass on to Professor Julie Byles (who will be a key contact for the event). We know that there are many special memories to share in honour of one of AAG’s greatest treasures.

Picture: Hal with Immediate past presidents A/P Briony Dow and Dr Helen Barrie at the 2016 AAG Conference, Canberra

James Beckford Saunders


I was fortunate to count Hal as a mentor, and am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Hal, you'll be missed!

Chris Hatherly
Australian Academy of Science
Member, AAG

Thank you James, guys, AAG for the tribute to Hal. We go way back and his influence on me has been continuous and enormous over all that time - including the first funds to get  the “Aboriginal Health and Ageing” Research going at Neura

Tony Broe, AM
AAG President (2003 - 2006)

I am saddened to hear of Hal Kendig’s death. He was a giant among gerontology scholars in Australia and world wide. He will be remembered for his scholarship and generosity. 

A/Prof Valerie Wright-St Clair
 Co-director, AUT Centre for Active Ageing
University of Auckland, NZ

So very sad to hear of Hal's passing - he mentored me as an early career academic at the ANU and was involved in my appointment as a research fellow at the Ageing and the Family Project, which was led by Hal and god-fathered by Sidney Sax.
I always looked forward to our catch ups over the subsequent years and his inspirational approach to ageing and to life never left him.

Professor Marian Simms
University of Canberra


A generous and kind man.  He was very supportive to me, as a nurse, when many doctors did not want to see the progress of nurses into senior places in Academia.  My condolences to his family and friends. I valued his kindness and gentleness.

Jennifer Abbey
Retired Professor of Aged Care Nursing

Prof. Hal Kendig taught me briefly in the Graduate  program of Gerontology  at La Trobe University about 20 years ago.
He was inspiring and encouraging and impacted my life and practise in the understanding that most older people no matter the challenges they faced , age  well. I have thought of him often and followed his career for continued inspiration and  research outcomes.

Jane Lorbergs
Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
Member, AAG

I met Hal when I first started working in aged care in 1992 when I took over management of the HACC program in Victoria. He was a guiding light then and remained so over the ensuing decades. His contribution is immense and will remain so in his published work and in the many people he taught and mentored.

Greg Mundy
Telstra Health
Member, AAG

We are so very sorry and saddened to receive this news. Prof Hal Kendig was a wonderful man, a great contributor to society and a most generous spirit. His research lives on. May he rest in peace.

Aloma Fennell
Chair the Global Aalliance for the Rights of Older Persons (Australia)

His explanations of his research was inspirational.  His valuable research is treasured

Trish Bulbeck
retired, QLD

Hal was certainly an influential person in his years as head of Gerontology at Lincoln Institute, later La Trobe University. Lincoln/La Trobe offered excellent Post-graduate studies in Gerontology for some years.  It was through this teaching that I was privileged to come to know Hal and the rest of the Gerontology team.

Elizabeth Brown
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology, School of Life Sciences
La Trobe University

It saddens me very much to hear of the passing of Professor Kendig. Hal’s passion to make a difference through his tireless research was palpable. He will be sadly missed by not only the AAG family but all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Please pass on my sincere sympathy to his family.  May he Rest In Peace. 

Karen Martin
Strategic Partnerships & Development Manager
The Aged Care Channel

A great loss to research and the gerontology community, and a great sadness for Hal's family and friends

Susan Emerson
Director Care Environments & Service Strategy,
Helping Hand, SA

As the Accommodation Officer at NSW COTA I was introduced to Hal by Averil Fink (CEO of COTA). I will always remember as I presented a paper at the IB Fell Institute Conference on Retirement Housing (and very much out of my depth), Hal seated in the front row - smiled encouraging throughout the presentation. He was a delightful fellow, a champion for the aged and an all round compassionate person. He will be missed in the industry.

Jane Elliott (nee Chandler)
Northern Beaches Council - Community Services (Aged)


I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Hal.  I’d known Hal for the best part of 26 years and always admired his knowledge, research and papers. His contribution and his self will be sadly missed.

Richard Gray AM
Senior Aged Care Advisor
Catholic Health Australia


click here for more tributes posted by people that were influenced by Hal

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