NSW Division

New South Wales

The New South Wales Division of the AAG has an Executive Committee who meet bi-monthly in Sydney to design events about ageing that inspire and enlighten and to oversee representation of AAG in various NSW policy forums. 

We run a range of seminars and forums across NSW including Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. New ideas are showcased, interesting subject matter presented, exciting research findings are discussed and orations by leading specialists in their fields always ensure these events are well attended. An annual two-day Rural Conference is held in a different country town each year to bring city and country people together, to network with local communities and provide resources and new research direct to those working and living across the State.

We also have two Chapters based in the Hunter and Illawarra. These groups bring together local members and others with an interest in gerontology. Each Chapter hosts local seminars and events and offer a wonderful local networking opportunity.

We pride ourselves on providing good networking opportunities to our members and anyone interested in ageing issues. We encourage everyone to participate so you too can be kept up-to-date and inspired by greater knowledge about ageing.

Division Co-Chairs

Keryn Curtis works at The Benevolent Society as the communication and engagement specialist for the EveryAGE Counts campaign, targeting ageism in Australia. Previously she has been a writer and journalist and was founding editor of Australian Ageing Agenda magazine and website. She is a passionate advocate on the rights of older people and is personally part of a fledgling ‘seniors’ co-housing project in Sydney’s inner west called The AGEncy Project.


Joyce Siette is a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University. She merges neuropsychology and informatics research areas to improve care and outcomes for older adults in community and residential aged care. She is a strong advocate for addressing the needs of older adults and promoting transparency of quality in aged care. Her current work focuses on the role of social capital in dementia development and how electronic data systems can support providers to monitor and improve aged care quality . Joyce was actively involved in the organisation of this year’s AAG conference events, and is a member on the Emerging Researchers in Ageing committee.



Kylie Crnek-Georgeson has worked in the rural community sector (working with people living with a disability and people who are ageing) for over 30 years. As a Gerontologist, her main research interests are on suicide in older adults, retirement transitions and how changing working life affects people, physically and psychologically.
Her passion for research is linked closely to her belief in equality. “All are equal and deserve equal access to health and leisure services, employment opportunities, retirement benefits, education”. Whether living in urban, rural or remote parts of the country. Kylie has a particular interest in an individual’s ability to plan for retirement, as well as suicidal behaviours in older rural Australians. Kylie is a Post Graduate Teaching Fellow and is in the final year of her PhD in the Faculty of Health Science at Sydney University. Her thesis is titled "Retirement Pathways, mental well-being and suicidal behaviour in older rural Australians". She holds a Degree in Health Science (Leisure and Health) and a Master's Degree in Gerontology.

Treasurer and Student & Early Career Group Representative

Reza Kahlaee is currently a Post-doctoral research associate at the University of Sydney.
He has a BSc in Software engineering and MSc in AI and Robotics. His Ph.D. is focused on modelling an algorithm for a software screening tool to reduce drug-drug interactions and medication-induced falls in the older adults.
An AAG and committee member. He is interested in Biomedical engineering, Big data research, Statistical and analytical analysis especially in health science, Artificial intelligence, Cognitive, brain science, life science informatics, Health science, interdisciplinary research incorporating health science, computational methods in Biomedical Engineering & biology, aged care health, IP(Intellectual Property) and mental health. 
Reza is also interested and active in interdisciplinary collaboration across health and engineering/ technological sector to improve living and health conditions for older people.
Prior to his academic career, Reza has vast corporate experience as senior consultant, manager and technical manager in instrumentation, biometrics and bioinformatics, process automation, solution architect and policy manager.

Board Nominee

A/Prof Marguerite Bramble is a senior academic and leader in aged care with national collaborations across disciplines. An AAG member and committee member across Tasmania, Queensland and NSW, involvement has included leading hot topic events, coordinating the NSW Rural Conference 2018 and contributing to national working groups. As an author and peer reviewer for the Australasian Journal of Ageing her expertise provides leverage in translating aged care policy and governance to practice.
Prior to her academic career her corporate experience as a manager and consultant ranged from graduating as a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors to board membership and serving on a number of senior management committees linked to boards in both private and public sectors

Committee Members

Anthony Brown is the CEO of Health Consumers NSW and an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University. Anthony has over 30 years’ experience working with older people in both the community and university sectors. Including coordinating the NSW response to the United Nations International Year of Older People in 1999. In 2014 he completed a PhD looking at retired men’s community engagement and has also lead research projects into older men’s perception of health and wellbeing, and men’s access to aged care. Anthony has been an active member of the AAG since 2006, he is a former NSW Student Representative and former Chair of the NSW Division. In 2017 he was honoured as a Distinguished Member.

Carrie Hayter is a passionate advocate for the rights of people who use social care services. With over 27 years’ experience working in social care. She is the Managing Director of Carrie Hayter Consulting who has worked with over 500 aged care and disability services across Australia, in transforming how they work alongside older people, people with disability and their allies to create connected communities. She also works as a casual academic teaching in Social Work and Social Policy at the Australian College of Psychology in Sydney.
Carrie has a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) from the University of NSW, Sydney, a Masters of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney and is a graduate of the Sydney Leadership Program. An active member of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) since 2006, Carrie is the immediate past Vice Chair of the NSW Branch and in 2017 became a Distinguished Member of the AAG. 

Professor Vasi Naganathan MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MMed (Clin Epi), Grad Cert Med Ed is an academic at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Consultant Geriatrician at Concord Hospital in Sydney. His research interests are wide including: health of older men, oral health, falls, fractures and osteoporosis, pharmacology in older people and the application of evidence-based medicine to older people. Vasi collaborates with and exchanges ideas with some of Australia’s leading researchers and thinkers in Geriatric medicine and Ageing Research. He is a council member of the Australian New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine.


Dr Chris Shanley is an Industry Fellow in the Faculty of Health, University of Technology, Sydney. His professional background is in nursing and he has a long standing involvement in education and research in the fields of aged care, dementia care, advance care planning and end-of-life care.


​​​​​​Nicola Rosenthal is an experienced  leader with operational and business development experience in the aged and disability sectors. She has a passion for working with vulnerable communities, people with dementia  and those with long term mental ill health, as well as capacity building, strategic workforce planning, and people development. A long time Secretary off the Hunter AAG Chapter, Nicola is experienced in provision of care and services in metro, rural and regional areas. 


Paul Sadler is the Chief Executive Officer of Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT.  Presbyterian Aged Care serves around 2,000 older people through residential aged care, community care and retirement housing across metropolitan and regional areas of NSW and ACT.  Previously, Paul was CEO of Aged & Community Services NSW & ACT, the peak body representing not-for-profit aged and community care service providers.  He also held various positions on ageing and disability issues in the NSW Government, including Manager of HACC (Home and Community Care) and Ageing Programs, and worked as a social worker with frail older people, people with disabilities and their carers.  Paul is a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology and former President of AAG’s NSW Division.

Barbara Squires has over forty years experience at a senior level in ageing and aged care, in service development and provision (community and residential aged care, seniors’ housing), policy and research. Her passion is sharing her deep knowledge of older people and the ageing sector to improve outcomes for Australia’s rapidly ageing population.
Barbara has wide knowledge of social research in ageing, as a former National President and Board Board member of the Australian Association of Gerontology. She brings together a strong understanding of research methodology, the aspirations of older people and the needs of service providers.
Her major role in the planning for The Benevolent Society’s innovative Apartments for Life project gave her a deep understanding of housing issues and worldwide models of housing and care that can enhance older people’s autonomy, choice and quality of life.
She has had extensive experience in legal issues affecting older people, including planning ahead and responding to elder abuse. She has completed the Company Director’s Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is an experienced Board member. Barbara has a Bachelor of Social Studies (Sydney University) and is a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

Sharon Wall (Illawara Chapter Chair)
Sharon has worked in Ageing and Aged Care for over 40 years and is a long-standing member and inaugural fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and is the current chair of the Illawarra Chapter.
She is the director of Ageing by Caring Pt Ltd and is also the Project Coordinator of the Koori Dementia Care Project under the auspice of NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia). This project is translating research undertaken by the Koori Growing Old Well Study into capacity building and resources for Aboriginal communities.  


Sarah Fogg has thirty years' experience in the ageing field, having worked for older people's consumer organisations, government and service providers. Her particular focus and passion has been on public policy and consumer advocacy. She is currently a Community Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Guardianship Division.


Luke Testa is a PhD candidate and Research Assistant at the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Australian Institute for Health Innovation, Macquarie University. He has a Master of Public Health with Distinction and a Master of Research in Health Innovation. Luke is currently investigating the effectiveness of hospital avoidance programs for older people residing in aged care facilities, and aiming to identify key factors that determine care decisions and care transitions for older people between aged care facilities and hospital services. His areas of interest include the interface between residential aged care and the hospital system, program evaluations, health systems improvement efforts and analysing and linking data collections.

Luna Xu is a Scientia lecturer with Heart Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at School of Population Health, UNSW. Luna\'s research focus on population health. She is interested in big data research in particular focus on exploring the importance of healthy eating for primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases in older people. She has PhD in Public Health (Australia), Masters of Public Health (Australia) and Nursing (United Kingdom), and Bachelor of Nursing (China). Luna has joined as AAG member since 2014, and involved as committee member at NSW division since 2018. She also involved in the Early Career Research group at AAG NSW division, and ECR representative for AAG Conference planning committee in 2019.


A/Prof Kathryn Goozee is the Director of Dementia and Clinical Research, Anglicare Community Services. She is affiliated with Macquarie University, NSW; Edith Cowan University, WA and is an authorised Nurse Practitioner. Kathryn’s work in dementia is underpin by four key themes, ‘Prevention, Detection, Research and Care’ and as part of this work, established in 2015 a highly active multidisciplinary clinical trial centre in Macquarie Park district, the KaRa Institute of Neurological Diseases Pty Ltd (KaRa MINDS). Since opening they have conducted more than 20 clinical trials, while also running brain training programs and memory clinic services. Kathryn’s commitment to aged care and dementia has culminated over the past 25 years, during which time she has been a prolific community speaker and also published broadly in books, journals and education material. Kathryn is uniquely positioned across university, industry and not for profit organisations influencing direct care and research translation.

Kristiana Ludlow is a PhD candidate and Research Assistant at the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Australian Institute for Health Innovation (AIHI), Macquarie University. She completed her Masters of Research in Health Innovation in 2017 and has a background in psychology, graduating in 2015 with First Class Honours. She is passionate about improving the care delivered to residents living in residential aged care facilities. Her research aims to provide a platform for the voices of residents and their family members by studying their views on care provision. Her PhD investigates how care is prioritisation by residents, family members and staff members, and what influences prioritisation decisions. Kristiana’s previous work explored the effects of residents’ hearing loss on person-centred care, specifically shared-decision making and preferences for receiving information. Her areas of expertise include residential aged care, health systems improvement efforts, person-centred care, missed care, Q methodology, mixed-methods, and systematic reviews.

Kim Delbaere is a Principal Research Scientist and Director, Innovation & Translation of the Falls, Balance and Injury Research Centre at Neuroscience Research Australia, and Associate Professor at University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship since 2012. Her research has contributed to the understanding of physical, psychological and cognitive factors causing falls. Her multidisciplinary approach incorporates elements from physiotherapy, psychology, brain imaging and software engineering towards preventing falls and promoting healthy ageing. Kim Delbaere is a leading international researcher in the area of falls in older people.


Anita Westera is a nurse, policy analyst and researcher who wishes to make a difference in the lives of older people and those living with dementia through influencing policy, service delivery and research. For the last (too many!) years I have been fortunate to be involved in front-line services, governance, political and academic roles that have given me a strong appreciation of how the aged care and health systems operate, and the opportunities for improvement. The multidisciplinary nature of the AAG acknowledges and enables all of us to contribute to building a better society for older people and those living with dementia; I’d love to be able to actively support its ongoing work.

Dr Louise Horstmanshof (BA, GradDipApPsych, MOrgPsych, PhD), has been researching and publishing for over 20 years, focusing on person-centred ageing and aged care. In 2018, she completed a comprehensive Realist Evaluation of the Dementia Literacy Toolkit Project for the North Coast PHN. She has led two Australian Department of Health (formerly HWA) grant projects for Southern Cross University. Her team won a community engagement award for their work linking professional entry students from Nursing and Allied Health with community aged care. Dr Horstmanshof is highly esteemed both within the University and the sector more broadly. She is the Director of Postgraduate Education and Chair of the School Board (School of Health and Human Services) and co-leader of the ANZAHPE University Health Clinics Collaborative. She serves on the steering committee for the Ballina Dementia Friendly Alliance and on the Regional Executive of the United Protestant Association (UPA), North Coast Region, NSW.

Dr Mikaela Jorgensen is a research fellow and Stream Lead of the Aged Care Evaluation and Research Team at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University. She is passionate about improving the care and outcomes of older adults across the health and aged care systems. Mikaela has expertise in the management and analysis of large and linked routinely-collected administrative health datasets for monitoring and evaluation. She leads and collaborates on a number of projects with aged care providers, Primary Health Networks, government agencies, peak bodies and older Australians, with a focus on information and communication technology to monitor and improve wellbeing for those living at home. Mikaela is currently seconded part time to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.



Rhonda Smith



Dr Jed Montayre is a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Jed has a strong clinical background in gerontology and medical-surgical nursing.  He is an experienced nurse academic, who have worked in the Philippines and New Zealand. Jed’s teaching areas include biosciences for nurses, gerontology and aged care nursing. Jed’s research focuses on population ageing, cardiovascular health of migrant populations, nursing policy and workforce issues.
Jed has written and published several research papers on influence of culture to health, transitions, adjustments and acculturation experience of older immigrants into the mainstream societies. Jed is an associate editor of Australasian Journal on Ageing.


Page last updated 20th May 2020

AAG Hunter Chapter operates in partnership with Hunter Ageing Research (HAR), a network of clinicians, practitioners and researchers interested in ageing issues which aims to advance collaboration between individuals and organisations in the Hunter region. HAR produces a quarterly Newsletter in partnership with AAG Hunter Chapter which highlights recent research and advertises conferences, educational activities and other news within the ageing sphere. HAR organises invited speakers and provides a forum for sharing recent and emerging research at their bi-monthly seminar, which is followed by the AAG Hunter Chapter business meeting.

The Chapter has also shared organisation of the AAG Rural Conference with NSW Division committee every second year, over the last few years. The annual RM Gibson Oration, given by invited speakers of national reputation in ageing, is a highlight of the year of activities for the Hunter Chapter.

The Hunter Chapter includes clinicians, practitioners and researchers interested in ageing issues, who provide volunteer expertise within the spheres of residential aged care, aged care and rehabilitation medicine, academic research, tertiary education, community associations, health services, and government policy advice.

Chapter President

Felicity Barr


Sally O'Loughlin

Judy Lindsay

Nicola Rosenthal


The Illawarra Chapter is a newly formed Chapter of the AAG. The Illawarra consists of the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven. The Chapter includes academics, clinicians, practitioners, researchers and older members of the community interested in ageing issues that impact on the Illawarra area of NSW.

A small but energetic committee continues to forge valuable collaborations with academics, researchers, clinicians and service providers in the area. We also aim to bring national and international experts in health and ageing to present at events across the region, to enable local people to keep up to date with major research, policy and service delivery developments.

Localised research and programs have been featured through regular forums held in partnership with the University of Wollongong Global Challenges Program and IRT.

Further collaborations and partnerships will continue to be explored to ensure that issues of ageing are addressed holistically and responsively for members of the AAG in the Illawarra.

Chapter Chair

Sharon Wall has worked in Ageing and Aged Care for over 40 years and is a long-standing member and inaugural fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and is the current chair of the Illawarra Chapter.
She is the director of Ageing by Caring Pt Ltd and is also the Project Coordinator of the Koori Dementia Care Project under the auspice of NeuRA (Neuroscience Research Australia). This project is translating research undertaken by the Koori Growing Old Well Study into capacity building and resources for Aboriginal communities.  


Anita Westera

Jacquelin Capell


NSW Scholarships to attend the AAG National Conference

The 2020 AAG National Conference will be held fully online because of the COVID pandemic. The program will include over 250 presentations, workshops, symposia and online social networking activities; and will run between 18-20 November. There will also be a number of online workshops  9,10 & 17 November. Further information about the conference can be found here.

The NSW Division has awarded 10 scholarships that cover full registration for the 2020 AAG National Conference. The successful scholarship recipients are listed below.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander member recipients are:

  • Terry Donovan
  • Lauren Poulos
  • Deleila Roberts
  • Deborah Kenna
  • Kylie Sullivan


The student and early career member recipients are:

  • Ellen Finlay
  • Louise Lavrencic
  • Cassie Curryer
  • Kristie Weir
  • Jane (Ye In) Hwang

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