TAS Division


The Tasmania Division of the AAG provides local events for members. We provide opportunities to hear from international, national, and local speakers about innovations and research in the field of ageing. Our events also provide networking opportunities for our diverse membership, which includes aged care workers, allied health professionals, nurses and medical professionals. Basically, anyone interested in improving the experience of ageing. We provide links to the national body and scholarships to help members attend the annual national conference. We are a group of friendly people who endeavour to provide connections locally and nationally for people interested in gerontology.


Ngaire Hobbins is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has enjoyed a widely varied career in nutrition for more than 30 years, specialising in gerontology, aged care and brain health for two decades.
During her time working in this field, Ngaire has, been a consultant across community and residential aged care, lectured in Nutrition, Ageing and Dementia in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre at the University of Tasmania, maintained a clinical practice and published 3 books: Eat To Cheat Ageing, Eat To Cheat Dementia and Better Brain Food (published in USA as Brain Food).
The books are the result of Ngaire’s frustration with the paucity of health messages specifically for older people. They present the science of nutrition, ageing and brain health in an engaging and reader friendly style.
Ngaire’s passion is in helping older people know what they need to eat and do to enjoy maximum health, independence and vitality in their later years.
Ngaire is a sought-after speaker to professional and non-professional audiences, campaigns against ageism and advocates for age-friendly communities and active ageing initiatives. 



Laura Tierney Laura Tierney is a researcher with a passion for improving the lives of older people and those who care for them. Her key research interests are quality of life and engagement of people living with dementia as well as education and capacity building among those who provide care and support to older people.


Finance & Communications Officer

Joanna Sun is a PhD candidate at University of Wollongong and a project officer at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. She is undertaking a research project on adapting a dementia enabling environment audit tool for Singapore. Her background as a care assistant, nurse, healthcare administrator and life experiences with dementia has led her to develop a passionate and active involvement in the aged care industry especially in the areas of dementia care.


Student & Early Career Researcher Representative

Azam Bazooband is a PhD student, working and studying in Wicking Dementia Research Centre. She is undertaking her PhD researching community-based arts activities for older people with dementia. She also works as casual teaching staff  in Wicking Dementia Centre and the Faculty of Health. She has several years of experience working as a researcher & lecturer, deputy director, team manager and administrator in various health care settings in Iran. 



Community Engagement Officer

Debra Thurley. As a former Alderman of the Clarence City Council including Chair of the Access and Disability Committee, Debra is particularly passionate about Community and inclusiveness.  As a former Executive at the Legislative Council and as a member of several women’s groups Debra has created an extensive network which includes Local, State & Federal elected members and Community Leaders.
Debra brings a broad perspective gained through knowledge of Government, Small Business Directorship/Management, public and private Administration, Finance, Human Resource, Communication and Community Engagement.
Debra holds a Masters of Employment Relations (formerly Industrial Relations) , Diploma of Business, Diploma of Business Management, Diploma of Human Resources and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Debra recently completed 2 MOOC courses via UTAS – ‘Preventing Dementia’ and ‘Understanding Dementia’ .

Board Nominee

Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott is a Researcher in Dementia Care at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre in the University of Tasmania, AAG's Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) and a registered Clinical Psychologist. Since 2015, she has chaired the AAG’s Tasmanian Division, working closely with the Committee to hold events about gerontology. Last year, Prof Alex Kalaché spoke to Tasmanian members about his work on age friendly cities at the International Longevity Centre in Brazil and the World Health Organisation, which attracted attention from the local media. Her current role is National Health and Medical Research Council/Australian Research Council (NHMRC-ARC) Research Fellow where she leads Work4Dementia, a project that aims to develop an evidence-based intervention that could help build capacity and resilience for the Australian dementia care workforce.


Committee Members

Prof Christine Stirling is the President of AAG, and a nursing academic at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Christine has a career long interest in improving health care through workforce innovation and consumer research. She has a particular interest in supporting older persons to remain living in the community, in dementia studies, and in the future workforce innovations that can support improved health care. Christine’s published work covers volunteers, informal carers, decision aids, and memory clinics and how these can help to improve health services. Christine joined the AAG in 2009 as a member of the Tasmanian Division, serving as Treasurer 2010-2011, then State President 2011-2013. She was an inaugural co-convenor of the Gerontological Nursing Special Interest Group in 2014. She has served on the National Board (previously Council) since 2011 and was Vice President 2013 - 2017

Associate Professor Marguerite Bramble is Vice President of AAG & AAG Research Trust and 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.

Dr Sarang Kim is a research fellow at the Wicking Dementia Education & Research Centre, University of Tasmania working mainly on the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). She is interested in the field of dementia and ageing, particularly in dementia risk reduction and dementia-related stigma reduction. She has extensive applied research experience managing large-scale trials, dementia risk reduction intervention programs (Body Brain Lifestyle – GP and BBL-Fit) and collaborating with health professionals. She also led a first dementia-related stigma reduction project, Dementia Stigma Reduction (DESeRvE). Dr Kim is also interested in conducting cross-cultural/national studies and research involving people from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background.


Clare Combey




Wendy Tempest




Page last updated 30th Oct 2020 . More information to follow.


Previous committee members

We would like to thank the following for their contributions to the committee and their hard work behind the scenes. We wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

The following stepped down from the Committee in October 2020:

Dr Juanita Breen's (formerly Westbury) background is as a military, community, government and research pharmacist, with a particular research interest in the management of old age mental health.
After completing a Masters of Science in the U.K. examining medication adherence in older people she returned to Australia to start a doctoral thesis. As part of her PhD, an intervention program, ‘RedUSe’ (Reducing Use of Sedatives) in Long Term Care, was developed; for which she was awarded an International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) Junior Research award in 2009 and a National Medicinewise Award in 2012. RedUSe is an interdisciplinary, multi-strategic 6-month program comprising of audit/feedback, interactive staff education and sedative review. The RedUSe program was subsequently funded by the Australian Government Department of Health for a national expansion and has been implemented in over 150 long term care homes across Australia from 2014-2016. The program significantly reduced antipsychotic and benzodiazepine use in residents, with a high degree of health practitioner satisfaction. She was also a recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship in 2014 and a Mental Health Services (TheMHS) award for Education, Training or Workforce development. Juanita currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania and continues to strive to ensure appropriate medication use in aged care.

Andrea Price is a lecturer with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre at the University of Tasmania, and is undertaking a PhD researching residential dementia-care units.  A registered nurse with post-graduate qualifications in mental health nursing, health services management, aged care nursing, and a Master of Nursing, Andrea has held varied nursing roles in Australia and England over a period of more than 20 years. Her professional interests focus on the care of people who are living with dementia, including developing staff knowledge to enhance care and support for people who are living with dementia.



Feng Pan




Jane McDougall



Danielle Walker




Past Chairs:
Juanita Breen (formerly Westbury)

AAG Tasmanian Division
Bursaries to attend the 2021 AAG Conference

The 54th AAG Conference – “Innovation in Ageing for the Future” will be held 9th-12th November 2021, with pre-workshops being held on 9th November 2021. Further information about the conference can be found here.

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) TAS Division is offering a number of fully funded individual registrations to support your attendance at this conference.

For applicants who are accepted, conference registration fees will be paid directly through the Division.

Scholarships are offered in the following categories:

  • Category I: Student (including university and TAFE) and early career members
  • Category II: Members working in the aged care sector (including direct care workers, nurses and allied health professionals)

Selection criteria include:

  • Current AAG membership
  • Current enrolment in a field of study directly related to ageing, aged care or gerontology OR current employment in the field of aged care
  • A demonstrated interest in issues of ageing and career aspirations relating to ageing, aged care or gerontology

We strongly encourage those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background and/or those researching or working on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing issues to apply.

When applying please:

  • Include a CV with relevant education and work experience (one page max.)
  • Describe in 100-150 words or less why you should receive this bursary, how it will benefit you and your future career and how you meet the selection criteria

To apply please click here  

Applications must be received by Monday, 27 September 2021.

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