WA Division

Western Australia

The Western Australian Division of the AAG is a committee with a diverse mix of gerontologists, academics, health care providers and advocacy groups who all value strongly the importance of expanding knowledge on ageing. The committee meets bi-monthly to organise a range of forums to provide opportunities for members and the wider community to become engaged with issues relevant to the field of ageing. The WA Division often collaborates with other organisations to develop these forums and welcomes the opportunity to work with other organisations both locally and nationally who are interested in gerontology.

The Division is also committed to supporting students and early career researchers and for several years has been sponsoring several awards for postgraduate students, including the ‘Australian Association of Gerontology Prize’ at Edith Cowan University which is awarded to the student receiving the highest mark in the unit “Health and Health Challenges for older adults.” The Division is keen to welcome new students to join the committee who are interested in meeting new people from a diverse range of backgrounds and working together to support networking and promoting research in the field of ageing.

Division Chair

Elissa Burton is a Sport Scientist and currently works as a Research Fellow at the School of Physiotherapy & Exercise Science, Curtin University. Elissa is working with Professor Keith Hill in the areas of exercise with older people, healthy ageing, falls prevention, and interventions to assist people living with dementia and their carers. Elissa has collaborated with a number of home care organisations and has conducted much of her research with older people receiving home care services. Her research focus is the promotion of physical activity and exercise in older people to assist them to live independently, in their home, for as long as they choose.


Hilary O'Connell is an Occupational Therapist with 30 years’ experience as a clinician, manager and project leader in the United Kingdom and Australia across the disability and aged care sector. Her passion rests with enabling/wellness focused service models in community care.
Hilary’s UK OT career included centre based neurological rehabilitation, specialist advisor determining medical housing needs, and as a clinician and Occupational Therapy manager for Adult Social Care Services in London.
In Australia Hilary has worked across a number of clinical and community settings. Hilary’s aged and community care knowledge has enabled her to pioneer the implementation of a number of major reform projects. Including research and development of the nationally recognised Silver Chain Home Independence Program and whilst at CommunityWest working in partnership with the WA HACC program to develop and implement the Wellness Approach and the Western Australian Assessment Framework (WAAF).
Since joining the Independent Living Centre (ILC) WA in 2014 Hilary has led a project team working in partnership with the WA HACC Program on a best practice Home Modifications and Assistive Technology service delivery model for WA HACC clients.
Her current role as an ILC service manager includes oversight of the ILC Regional Assessment Service and Allied Health Services and continued research and service development in the areas of reablement, falls and home modifications and assistive technology.


Kristen De San Miguel



Student & Early Career Group Representative

Chiara Naseri is an experienced physiotherapist and is in her second year as a PhD candidate at Curtin University.  She was awarded a prestigious NHMRC funded Scholarship in 2016 through the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science and she will submit her PhD in March 2019.  Chiara’s research forms a part of a large NHMRC project led by Associate Professor Anne-Marie Hill, and is evaluating a falls prevention intervention for older adults returning home from hospital (n=390).
Chiara was actively involved in the organisation of this year’s AAG Student Early Career Group conference events including the Breakfast with the Stars, and is also a member on the Emerging Researcher’s in Aging conference organising committee.
While the majority of Chiara’s clinical experience is in geriatric rehabilitation, she has an interest in falls prevention education and collaborating across disciplines to enhance older adults’ self-efficacy to remain safe and maintain their quality of life. 

Events and Uni Sponsorship Awards

Sheridan Read is a PhD candidate in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine at Curtin University.  She has a keen interest in advocating for people living with dementia and has worked in the field for over 15 years.  Her PhD topic explores person centred planning in dementia care from the perspectives of people living with dementia and family carers.  She has received funding support from the Western Australian Nurses Memorial Charitable Trust to complete the study. Sheridan has previously been employed by Curtin University as a Research Assistant working on a project which developed an intervention to support family carers of older hospital patients experiencing delirium.  She also has experience as a sessional academic. Currently Sheridan is employed by Juniper Aged Care organisation as a Dementia Specialist. Sheridan is the student representative on the WA Division of the Australian Association of Gerontology and is also a part of the Australian Hartford Consortium in Nursing Care of Older People.


Board Nominee

Professor Keith Hill is Head of the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University (since Jan 2012). He is a physiotherapist and senior researcher, with 36 years clinical experience in rehabilitation and aged care, and an extensive recent track record in implementing and completing range of falls prevention, rehabilitation and physical activity research programs for older people in the community, hospital and residential aged care settings. Professor Hill has 230 peer reviewed publications, and has received over $17 million of research funding as a Chief Investigator. He has supervised 16 PHD students; 2 Professional Doctorate Students; 5 Masters Students; and 7 Honours students to successful completion. He has been President of the Victorian Division of AAG (2006-2009). He was Chair of the IAGG Asia Oceana Council (2013-2017), and has a strong interest in supporting collaborative research within the Asia Oceana Region.


Committee Members

Leon Flicker AO has trained clinically in research in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne and was appointed inaugural Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia in 1998. He established a productive research unit aimed at translational issues focusing on the health needs of older people culminating in 2006 at the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing at the University of Western Australia. Leon remains a practicing geriatrician and is Head of Inner City Geriatric Services at Royal Perth Hospital. Leon has served on numerous government committees addressing the health needs of older people. He is a Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles addressing a wide variety of health issues in older people. In 2017 Leon was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for his work with people with dementia.


Jennifer Grieve



Roger Warne




Ann Zubrick’s interests and professional experience lie in diverse aspects of health, education, community and service planning, including service development. As a qualified speech pathologist and lifecourse developmental psychologist she has more than forty years of experience in education and service program development in different countries, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA. From 1998-1993 she worked for and with the World Health Organisation training health personnel to establish community based rehabilitation programs throughout China.
Currently she is an adjunct professor in the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies, a part of Charles Sturt University’s Canberra campus. Her writing and teaching focuses on the care of older persons with dementia and mental illness, their family and other care partners.
Ann’s diverse governance and board experience includes Council on the Ageing (WA); COTA Australia; National Aged Care Alliance;  The Brightwater Care Group; disability and refugee organisations; schools and educational institutions. For the past two years she has been a judge for the Better Practice Awards in Aged Care.


Chris Toye is Associate Professor, Older Persons’ Health Care, in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine at Curtin University. She is also a Research Consultant in the Centre for Nursing Research at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Chris worked in a clinical capacity in hospitals and residential aged care until undertaking her PhD (awarded in 2001) but has held academic teaching and/or research roles since that time. Chris has a special interest in palliative care for frail and unwell older people, including people living with severe dementia, and was involved in the development of NHMRC approved guidelines for a palliative approach in residential aged care and the companion guidelines for community aged care. Much of her recent research has addressed care transitions for older people between the community and the hospital setting as well as the support of their family caregivers within that context.


Carol Douglas started her nursing carer in Tasmania.  Since then Carol has worked in various clinical and management roles in the acute, community and residential setting.  Here passion for working with older people lead her to return to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in 2004 to implement the Residential Care Line program.  More recently Carol completed her Masters in Nursing (Aged Care) Nurse Practitioner.




WA will confirm the composition of their 2019 Committee in the new year.


The 51st AAG Conference "Coming of Age Together: New Ways of Knowing & Acting " will be held in Sydney from 5th-8th November 2019.

The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) WA Division is offering two grants to support your attendance to this conference

One grant each up to the value of $1250 will be offered to:

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ASTI) delegate
  • a student delegate. 
To be eligible for the grants Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) applicants must:
  • Submit an expression of interest before the 17th May 2019 outlining a brief overview of Indigenous ageing research in Western Australia (maximum 300 words).
  • Consider giving a short presentation at the conference (approximately 15 minutes) on what is happening in Indigenous ageing research in Western Australia.
  • Attend the ATSI workshop at the conference representing the WA division of the AAG.

To be eligible for the grants student representative applicants must:
  • Submit an expression of interest before the 17th May 2019 outlining their interest in ageing and why they would benefit from attending the conference (maximum 300 words).
  • Attend any student workshops at the conference representing the WA division of the AAG.
  • Present a short report on their experience at the conference at a WA AAG committee meeting.


Successful applicants may also like to consider submitting an abstract to present at the conference (abstract applications close April 23, 2018)

Please forward an expression of interest to Sheridan Read at sheridan.read@juniper.org.au by the 17th May 2019.

The application window for 2019 bursaries has now closed.



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