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 Keryn Curtis is a consultant writer and communication and engagement specialist who has specialised in ageing across a number of roles for the last 20 years. From 2016-2020 she worked at The Benevolent Society developing the coalition-led EveryAGE Counts campaign against ageism.  She was previously a journalist and founding editor of Australian Ageing Agenda magazine and website. She is a passionate advocate for 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.



Kim Keily is a senior research fellow at UNSW and hold conjoint appointment at Neuroscience Research Australia. Kim has a PhD in lifecourse epidemiology and cognitive ageing. His primary research interests cover aspects of healthy ageing, focusing on i) the social, functional and cognitive impacts of sensory loss in late life, and ii) social determinants of healthy life expectancy. Kim's research is supported by the ARC, NHMRC and Dementia Australia.  Kim has been an active AAG member since 2009, and after a brief hiatus due to relocating to NSW in 2018, Kim is keen to reengage with the AAG via contributing to the State committee and local Illawarra chapter.   Previous roles with AAG include: ACT division as student representative (2010-2011), ACT general committee member (2012-2015), and national conference committee member (2016). Awarded RM Gibson in 2014.Kim is currently serving a three year term on the AAG Research Trust Grants Committee reviewing RM Gibson grants.


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.

Student & Early Career Group Representative

Dr 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.

Board Nominee

Anita Westera
Anita’s passion is improving the care and support of older people through strengthening the nexus between research, policy and practice. She is an academic, registered nurse and former policy adviser to the Commonwealth, NSW Governments and NSW Parliament. As a Research Fellow at the Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong, she undertakes applied research and evaluation projects regarding older people, aged care, dementia and mental health services, including supporting the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Her 2020 election to the AAG Board of Directors and Trustees of the AAG Research Trust builds on over two decades involvement within the NSW and Illawarra AAG Commitees

Committee Members

Dr Anthony Brown is the CEO of Health Consumers NSW, he is an Adjunct Fellow at the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong. 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 led 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 Linda Rosenman - Chair of the Trustees of the AAG Research Trust and AAG appointee to the AJA Inc Management Committee
Professor Linda Rosenman has been a member of AAG for 25 years. She has recently retired after an academic and senior management career at University of Queensland where she is professor emeritus, Victoria University (Melbourne) and Charles Darwin University where she is a professorial research fellow. Her research focuses upon superannuation and retirement incomes, financial elder abuse and intergenerational transfers of care and wealth.


Dr Kylie Crnek-Georgeson is a Social Gerontologist, Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow at Sydney University and Casual Academic at Western Sydney University. Her main research interests are suicide in older adults, retirement transitions and how changes in local and global retirement trends affect the psychological and physical well-being into older age. She is a Junior member of the International Academy of Suicide Research, current Secretary to the NSW Executive Committee of the Australian Association of Gerontology, Member of the International Association of Suicide Prevention and Member, Friends of the Alliance and Assistant to the international Chairs for the International Research Group on Suicide in Older Adults. Her passion for research is linked closely to her belief in equality. All people 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 healthy ageing and suicidal behaviours in older adults. Kylie recently received her Doctorate through the Faculty of Medicine and Health at Sydney University. Her thesis is titled "Retirement Pathways, mental well-being and suicidal behaviour in older rural Australians".  

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.


Paul Sadler is the Chief Executive Officer of Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT.  Presbyterian Aged Care serves around 4,000 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.

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.

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.


Mr Md Mijanur Rahman. My research background is multi-disciplinary with a mixture of statistics, gerontology, and public health. I am interested in modeling the ageing experience of older people and their health service utilization. I am also interested in applying different statistical techniques in all areas of medical and health research, for example, clinical trial and intervention, and prospective longitudinal research. I have enough experience of teaching in statistics, leading an academic department, and managing project on higher education quality enhancement. I have published 14 articles in the different international peer-reviewed journals.


Kylie Sullivan is a proud Arrernte woman from the N.T whom lives and works on beautiful Gumbayngirr country on the Mid North Coast of NSW. She has been working within the local Aboriginal communities for the past 4 years at two of the local Aboriginal health services. Kylie now works fulltime with Neuroscience Research Australia as a Research Assistant in the Aboriginal Ageing team. She is currently undertaking a Diploma of Dementia and was a proud recipient of a Lowitja scholarship which will enable her to undertake a Cert IV in Project Management. Kylie is also a participant of Milparanga Leadership program and is passionate about addressing some of the many health disparities her people endure and hopes to make a difference by raising awareness and increasing education specifically around dementia.


Dr Felicity Barr (Hunter Chapter Chair) is a social gerontologist with a long history of service to AAG, most recently as President of the Hunter Chapter in NSW.  Building on her successful career with DVA, she is now Deputy Chair of HNE local health district board and sits on other government and NFP committees.



Hamish Robertson is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney. I am also a medical geographer with experience in health, ageing, disability and multicultural issues. I have worked in the NSW healthcare system including a decade in ageing research at Prince of Wales Hospital. My PhD research was on the geography of Alzheimer\'s disease in New South Wales. I am interested in spatial science applications in the health, ageing and disability sectors including spatial visualisation as a tool for collaborative research, analysis and service development. I also write in areas such as big data, health informatics, and cultural heritage issues. I am a Board member of SHARE, a small NFP that runs exercise classes for older people. I also work with Meals on Wheels NSW in my academic role and am a member of Nutrition Australia. My professional memberships include AAG, HSRAANZ, ACHSM and I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).

Rik Dawson is a gerontological Physiotherapist with extensive experience working with older Australians. He has over 25 years of professional experience, dedicated to enhancing physical wellbeing through exercise and education. An experienced business owner and company director with comprehensive experience of managing large teams and advocating for sustainable aged care reform. He has enrolled in a HDR program at The Institute of Musculoskeletal Health, USyd focusing on Telehealth Physiotherapy with older people. He is the current Vice President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Dr Kristie Weir is a postgraduate researcher at the Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a research associate at The University of South Australia. She has a PhD in public health (The University of Sydney) Masters of Public Health (University of New South Wales) and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Population Health (University of Wollongong). Her research interests include health communication and shared decision making with older adults in the context of polypharmacy.

Dr Louise Lavrencic has a background in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and undertook her PhD at the University of South Australia investigating structural and functional correlates of cognitive reserve in older adults. She is passionate about understanding the factors that affect cognitive ageing and dementia in late life, and how we can help people to age well. Louise currently works across a number of research and translation projects being run by the Aboriginal Health and Ageing Team at NeuRA, including implementing a co-designed and culturally-grounded stress reduction program in collaboration with Aboriginal communities.


Dr Piers Dawes, his research concerns i) understanding causes and impacts of hearing impairment, particularly in the context of multimorbidity in older age, ii) prevention and treatment of hearing impairment, and iii) service development and evaluation.
Piers was a 2013-2014 US-UK Fulbright scholar, and was awarded the British Society of Audiology's Thomas Simm Littler Prize in 2014 for his work on the epidemiology of hearing loss and acclimatization to hearing aids.
He is Director of Research for the Department of Linguistics, an executive member of the Macquarie University Centre for Ageing and Mental Well-being, the NSW Division of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and the AAG Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) special interest group.

Past Chairs:

Carrie Hayter & Anthony Brown (co-chairs) 2016-2020

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 Chair

Felicity Barr







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



for students and early career researchers to attend the

AAG 54th National Conference 2021

The AAG NSW Division Committee is currently offering free registration and up to $500 to assist with transport or accommodation for up to three NSW Division members to attend the 2021 AAG National Conference on the Gold Coast in November.

The scholarships are open to AAG members in NSW who are students or early career researchers who meet the criteria below. One of the three scholarships is specifically available to people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.


To be eligible to apply for one of the conference travel scholarships, you need to:

~ Be a current member of AAG (NSW Division)

~ Be a student or early career researcher

~ Have submitted an abstract to the 2021 conference

~ Have no other source of financial support (eg.from your employer or university/institution) to attend the conference

If you are not already a member of AAG, you can join now. Student and Early Career memberships are available. The Student and Early Career Group (SECG) has an active membership within AAG and you are encouraged to participate in that group as part of your membership.

Find out more about the AAG Conference 2021 and how to submit your abstract at this link. The direct link for abstracts is also provided below.

To apply, please submit a short expression of interest of no more than 500 words detailing:

~ How you meet the above criteria;

~ How attendance at the conference will assist in your own practice, research or community;

~ Any past involvement with AAG activities;

~ How you would like to contribute to AAG in the future.

The successful applicants will be required to provide feedback on their conference experience by either a short written report or a verbal account.


click here to submit your abstract:

What to do

Applications should be emailed to the AAG NSW Division Secretary, AAG NSW Committee, Dr Kim Kiely: k.kiely@unsw.edu.au

*Please cc your application to Dr Reza Kahlaee: reza.kahlaee@gmail.com

If you have questions, please contact NSW Division Co-chair, Dr Joyce Siette on 02 98502456 or NSW Division Treasurer, Dr Reza Kahlaee on 0424 530 364

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