News & Publications

08 Jun 18

Vale Emeritus Professor Hal Kendig

AAG is sad to let you know that our esteemed colleague and friend, Professor Hal Kendig died on Sunday 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 made a Life Member of AAG in recognition of his long and powerful influence in shaping a national discourse on ageing as well as his advocacy for the needs and rights of older people. 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 shown 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.

There was a memorial event On 24th August 2018 to celebrate the life and work of the Late Emeritus Professor Hal Kendig (please click here for further information).

If you have stories and pictures to share, please click here and we will pass on to Hal's family. 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


It's so bad to hear Professor Hal Kendig passed away.
He has been one of resourceful colleagues and a good friend in IAGG community for last several decades.
I will miss his passionate activities to promote gerontological research and training for the mission of  International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Heung Bong Cha
Immediate Past President of the IAGG


Dear Friends and Members of the IAGG AOR:
We are profoundly saddened to hear about the passing of Professor Hal Kendig as we are no longer able to realize our dream of working in person with one of the most respected researchers in the international community of aging studies. On behalf of our fellow members at the IAGG 2019 Local Organizing Committee and the Taiwan Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
While we will miss Professor Kendig dearly, we are comforted by the knowledge that his accomplishments and contributions will continue to embody and inspire the very best in aging studies. In memory and honor of Professor Kendig, we will continue pursuing the goal of health aging as a lifelong calling.

Prof. Long-Teng Lee
President, Taiwan Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics Superintendent, Taipei Jen-Chi Hospital Department of Family Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan


The bad news of Professor Hal Kendig’s passing shocks us with great sorrow. It is such a great loss to those who knew him. Professor Hal Kendig is the great man who played a very vital role in strengthening gerontology in Asia/Oceania region. On behalf of the Asia/Oceania IAGG and Thai Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics, we express our deepest condolence to his family.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, and will always remain in the hearts and souls of all of us.

Prasert Assantachai
Thai Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics 


It was a privilege to have Hal as an examiner of my PhD thesis. He was very generous in his critique of my work and his professional advice to an emerging researcher in ageing issues. It was quite a few years ago now, but I will never forget one particular piece of feedback from Hal on my work. It has never left me, and continues to influence how I work to this day. My thesis had reported a series of personal interviews with people around Australia, including my letter to each, inviting them to share their opinions on ageing with me. In my interpretation and discussion I did note that the interviews seemed to be lacking a certain conjectural tone. Hal pointed out that I invited people’s opinions and that was what they gave me, so I shouldn’t pass judgement on them for not giving me something I didn’t ask for. He was right. I have used Hal’s wise advice many times since with my own students and in my own work. I think of him every single time. Thank you Hal.

Meredith Tavener
University of Newcastle

Hal was a friend and colleague, going back several decades, who I will miss greatly. He was always positive and always generous with his time. In recent times he thought it ironic that his immense efforts on ageing and disability policy now had a personal application - a situation that we ageing academics all may face - hopefully with the fortitude and grace shown by Hal.

Judith Healy
Australian National University

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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