SA Division

South Australia

The South Australian Division of the AAG has a program of thematically linked meetings for its members and members of associated organisations consisting of seminars, symposia and special interest meetings, including seminars in rural areas.

In addition, we run an annual one day scientific conference that includes the "ACH Group Sir Keith Wilson Oration". This conference is considered by many as the premier conference on ageing in the State and constantly attracts over 200 delegates.

Division President

Lui DiVenuto has been an active member of the South Australian committee since 2003 and has been president of the division since 2014.
Lui is the Team Leader of the Active Ageing and Disability Programs with the City of Onkaparinga since 2016. The City of Onkaparinga is South Australia’s largest council with a population of 169.000.
Prior to that he spent 14 years with the Eastern Collaborative Project facilitating sector development with Aged care service providers across the Eastern Metropolitan region of Adelaide.
He has extensive experience in Community Care and service development with Local Government in South Australia, and Social Services in the United Kingdom.


Vice President

Dr Edoardo Rosso is a social geographer with a strong background in qualitative research, participatory approaches, strategic planning and innovative thinking in the Human Services. Edoardo has over ten years of experience in addressing issues of social inclusion/exclusion, social development, social health and social capital, and he is passionate about community, partnerships, capacity-building and self-determination. He has a passion for empowering different groups of people to live well in their communities through social, cultural, recreational, vocational and civic engagement. Currently, Edoardo works as a Service Design Manager – Research & Innovation for leading South Australian aged care provider ACH Group.




Dr Claire Hutchinson is a Senior Research Fellow and mixed methods social scientist in the Health and Social Care Economics Group at the Caring Futures Institute, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University. She has a PhD in psychology and a pre-academic background in organisational consultancy and project management. Her research focuses primarily on the lived experiences of social care consumers (older people, people with disabilities), quality of life, psychosocial wellbeing, and the social return on investment (SROI) of health and social care programs and interventions. Claire has been a member of the committee since 2019 and is currently Treasurer. She has been on committees for AAG awards at state and national level and is a previous recipient of the AAG Research Trust Hal Kendig Research Development Program Award.

Action noter

Miia Rahja is a post-doctoral research associate with Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute. She completed her PhD in December 2019 evaluating the implementation of an evidence based occupational therapist-delivered reablement program for people living with dementia in Australia. She now conducts research in aged and dementia care with a focus on evaluating the economic and social impacts of new program implementation. She is the South Australian coordinator for two Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) initiatives (Registry, and Screening and Trials).



Student & Early Career Group Representatives

Nicky Baker Nicky’s current PhD research exploring balance sway to prevent stumbles or near falls is informed by more than 25 years of clinical experience as a physiotherapist. Her investigation of opportunities for, and barriers to, good balance contributes to the broader understanding of healthy ageing and avoiding pre-frailty. Nicky is passionate about person centredness and has a collaborative and interprofessional approach to link across industries.




Board Nominee

Victoria Cornell  is the Research Manager at ECH, one of the largest providers of independent living and aged care services in South Australia. I manage ECH's research activities, a role that straddles academic and service-based research and development. As a social gerontologist, my areas of research interest include community aged care service provision, community connectedness, the built environment and housing - especially alternative models of housing, and housing for vulnerable older people.   I am a peer reviewer for several journals, including the Journal of Public Health, BMJ Open, The Gerontologist, The Journal of Aging and Social Change and Social Inclusion. I am a Board member - Australian Board of Directors of the Association of Gerontology and Trustee of the AAG Research Trust; the founding member and Convenor - Housing and Built Environment Special Interest Group, AAG; and a committee member - SA AAG. I Chair the Southern Fleurieu Positive Ageing Taskforce. 

Research Award

Ruth Walker has been an active member of the SA Division since 2013 and served as Secretary/Action Noter until 2019. She is currently Convenor of the Robert Penhall Early Career Research Award. Ruth is a Social Gerontologist with a background in Public Health, Psychology and Rehabilitation Counselling. She is currently Associate Professor in Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. Her research focuses on life transitions associated with ageing as well as later life caregiving and the intersection between disability and ageing. She conducts qualitative research which gives voice to underserved groups of older people and which helps to shape practice and policy.



Committee Members

Monica Cations is a Research Fellow in the Department of Rehabilitation, Aged and Extended Care at Flinders University where she coordinates an NHMRC-funded translational study aiming to improve dementia care. She completed her PhD in Public Health in 2016 with research interests including dementia epidemiology, young onset dementia, and the impact of psychological trauma in old age. Monica is also a registered provisional psychologist and holds a clinical role with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Memory Trials Centre. Monica has worked with people with dementia and their carers for many years across clinical, community, and research roles.

Dr Debbie Faulkner is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Adelaide. Her research foci in the field of ageing include the aspirations and expectations of older people and the baby boomers with respect to housing transitions; the impact of appropriate housing and service provision on health and wellbeing; the vulnerability of low income older people in the housing market; social networks and connections; and older peoples’ understanding of, access to, use and demand for aged and community care services.

Dr Ashleigh Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology who has positioned her research at the nexus of neuroscience, cognitive ageing and exercise physiology. Her research interests are broadly centered around dementia prevention. Since 2013 she has been awarded >$3 million as a chief investigator in competitive grant funding from the NHMRC, ARC, Alzheimer’s Australia and Judith Jane and Harold Stannett Williams Foundation.



Tim Windsor's research interests are in the area of lifespan developmental psychology, with a focus on social relationships, well-being, and how people successfully adapt to ageing-related transitions.


Professor Renuka Visvanathan is a geriatrician and is the Chair of the AAG Grants Committee which has oversight of the RM Gibson Research Fund, Strategic Research Grants and the Hal Kendig Research Development Program. She is passionate in improving the wellbeing of older people and is the Project Lead to the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. She is also the Head of Unit of the Geriatric Medicine Service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Central Adelaide Local Health Network.


Ivy Diegman



Jenny Hayes

Kathy Williams


Morgan Pankhurst

Peter Bastian

Cathy Lock has extensive experience in clinical social work services, elder abuse response and policy development, and management of a range of projects in community aged care services. She was most recently Consumer Engagement Manager with Domiciliary Care and RDNS in SA, and is currently providing Customer Engagement consultancy for Meals on Wheels South Australia. Cathy is a past President of the SA Division of the AAG.



Andrea Planamente


Dennis Asante


Julie Wilhelm is currently a project officer with the State-wide Collaborative Projects funded by the Department of Health for Sector Support and Development for aged care service providers who deliver Commonwealth Home Support Program services. She has had an interest in health, wellbeing and human behaviour for over 30 years. With a private business in health and wellbeing and ongoing upskilling, she has been able to incorporate her knowledge and expertise in all her various roles. She is a health and wellbeing coach, is a registered personal trainer and has a Bachelor of Psychological Science.

Dr Jo Anne Dumalaon-Canaria is a User Researcher for the Global Centre for Modern Ageing. She specialises in integrating empirical research and user experience (including facilitating co-design workshops) to deliver commercial insights and enterprise-based reports. She is passionate about working with multi-stakeholders to develop better products and services for older people and their intergenerational connections.
Jo Anne obtained her PhD from the School of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University. She is also a former recipient of the prestigious International Endeavour Fellowship.    

Page under reconstruction May 2022

Former office holders
Linda Isherwood - Treasurer 2018-2021
Cathy Lock - VP 2020
Ruth Walker - Action noter 2019
Ivy Diegman - Action noter 2019
Lynsey Brown - Board Nominee and SAGe Convenor 2019
Erica Tilley - SECG rep 2019
Monica Cations SECG rep 2019
Anna Mooney SECG rep 2020-2021
Mitchell Goldsworthy & George Opie Joint Seminar co-ordinators 2021
Hannah Keage commitee since 2018 - Resaecrh Award 2019-2021

Thanks to previous Committee members (from 2021)
Linda Isherwood
Haiping Tan
Didy Button
Helen Barrie 2018-2021
Stephen Richards
Sue Roberts



 The South Australian Gerontology (SAGe) Conference will be held on Friday 23 July 2021. Two prizes will be awarded at the conference:

  •  Gary Andrews Student Award:
  • Awarded to the best student presenter at SAGe 2021
  • Work presented must have been undertaken in SA while the presenter was a researcher under supervision for work in a field of gerontology
  • Eligible presenters must still be a student or be within 12 months of the award of their degree
  • $500 prize and 12 month AAG membership

*NEW PRIZE* Innovation in Service Provision for Older People Prize:

  • Awarded for the best innovation in service provision presented at the SAGe 2021
  • Winning organisation will receive a trophy and two individual AAG memberships for 2021/22



Applications close 9th September 2022 

To promote gerontological research in South Australia, the Australian Association of Gerontology SA Division is offering an award to researchers developing a research profile in gerontology. Students currently undertaking a PhD or those who have been awarded a PhD in the last five years are eligible to apply.  

The purpose of the award is to recognise the achievements of South Australian researchers, to encourage people to undertake and continue their research activities, and to encourage the dissemination and promotion of current research.

The award is offered to researchers who have published or formally presented work in one of the following categories of research:

Applied – original work undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new methods or ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.

Strategic – (in human services field) generates knowledge about specific health and well-being needs and problems. These may be conditions, risk factors or sources of inefficiency or inequity.

Evaluative – work designed to allow judgements to be made about a program, project or service. Evaluation uses a range of methods to monitor the process and impact of a project or program against predetermined objectives and indicators.

Fundamental/Basic – this research generates knowledge about problems of scientific significance

 The award will include

  • A certificate of achievement
  • A prize of $1,500
  • One-year membership subscription to the AAG
  • The opportunity to present a paper at the 55th AAG Conference in Adelaide in 2023.


Click here to download criteria, rules and procedure documentation and for an application form

For further information or submission of applications please contact:

The SA Division of the AAG provides several forms of financial support to its student and early career members each year. This includes financial support to encourage student members to attend and present at the AAG national conference. Two research awards (Gary Andrews Student Award and Robert Penhall Early Career Research Award) are also offered annually to promote and further gerontology research in SA.

The 2021 AAG National Conference will run between 9-12 November.  Further information about the conference can be found here.

AAG Conference Support

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) SA Division is offering bursaries to our SA student members to support their attendance at this year's conference:

  • Financial support is available to all SA student members who are presenting at the conference (and who do not have access to financial support from their university or workplace)
  • Up to $4,000 of support will be provided with a maximum of $500 per person - we will be in contact with all eligible student members prior to the conference

For further details please contact: Linda Isherwood (Treasurer):

Student/Early Career Research Awards

Gary Andrews Student Award:
  • Awarded to the best student presenter at the SAGe conference
  • Work presented must have been undertaken in SA while the presenter was a researcher under supervision for work in a field of gerontology
  • Eligible presenters must still be a student or be within 12 months of the award of their degree
  • $500 prize and 12 month AAG membership


Robert Penhall Early Career Research Award:
  • Award is open to researchers developing a research profile in gerontology
  • Applicants must be students currently undertaking a PhD or have been awarded a PhD in the last five years
  • $1,000 prize and 12 month AAG membership

Please see separate tab for specific information regarding the 2020 Robert Penhall Award Award

For further details please contact:

Lui DiVenuto (President):

Linda Isherwood (Treasurer):




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