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.




Claire Hutchinson (newly appointed - page under reconstruction)



Action noter






Student & Early Career Group Representatives

Anna Mooney





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.  



Seminar Coordinators

Mitchell Goldsworthy's research employs various non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS, tES) and recording (EEG) techniques to characterise the neurophysiological determinants of cognitive function in healthy ageing and dementia. The overarching aim of this research is to provide new mechanistic insights into the roles of brain connectivity and plasticity in supporting later life cognitive health, with the potential to inform novel strategies for dementia prevention and therapy.



George Opie




Research Award

Hannah Keage
Hannah is a cognitive neuroscientist and holds a NHMRC Dementia Research Leadership Fellowship at the University of South Australia.  Her work focuses on cognitive ageing and dementia in late-life, including the role of vascular risk factors and cognitive reserve.



Committee Members

Dr Linda Isherwood is a Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Employment and Skills Research Centre, University of Adelaide. Prior to that she was a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University. Linda’s research focuses on the aged care and disability sector workforces. She is currently a chief investigator on an ARC Linkage Project looking at recruitment, retention and skills within the aged care workforce. Linda has been an active member of the AAG since 2011. Along with her current role as Treasurer of the SA Division, she is also a co-convenor of the Ageing, Workforce and Education Special Interest Group.  Linda is an AAG Fellow and Distinguished Member. She is also a recipient of the AAG SA Division Early Career Research Award.

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.

Ruth Walker has been an active member of the SA Division since 2013 and has been Secretary/Action Noter since 2014. Ruth is a social gerontologist with a background in Public Health, Psychology and Rehabilitation Counselling. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Disability and Community Inclusion and Head of Teaching Section for Applied Gerontology within 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.

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 an NHMRC-ARC funded Dementia research development fellow who has positioned her research at the nexus of neuroscience, cognitive ageing and exercise physiology. Since 2013, she has been awarded >1.4 million as a chief investigator in competitive grant funding from the NHMRC, ARC, Alzheimer’s Australia and the Judith Jane Mason and Harold Stannett Williams foundation. Her NHMRC funded research program aims to optimise exercise prescription for brain health in older adults at risk of dementia. This involves optimising the type, intensity and the environment of exercise for brain health. In addition Ash is working closely with information technology academic collaborators to develop novel applications using virtual and augmented reality technologies that may assist in earlier and more accurate diagnosis, quantification of symptom progression and therapeutic aids for late-life cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases including dementia.

Haiping Tan



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.


Didy Button



Helen Barrie


Ivy Diegman



Jenny Hayes

Kathy Williams

Ayesha Mohammed


Morgan Pankhurst

Peter Bastian

Stephen Richards

Sue Roberts



Cathy Lock




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


Page under reconstruction Feb 2021

 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 10th September 2021 

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 $1000
  • One-year membership subscription to the AAG
  • The opportunity to present a paper at the 55th AAG Conference in Adelaide in 2022.

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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