Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2014 Contents The Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing focuses on the factors
affecting the health and wellbeing of people as they age, health and aged care services,
and the ways in which communities and organisations respond to an ageing population.
We specialise in the longitudinal analysis of large data sets to provide information for
planning and evaluation of health and aged care, including community and residential
aged care, Medicare services, prescribed medications and hospital services.
Data are linked with the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's
Health, which includes survey data from four cohorts of women born
1921-26 (now aged 88-93) 1946-51 (now 63-68), 1973-78 and 1989-95.
The Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing
• How well do we understand the pathways into aged care?
• What do we know about aged care services?
• What health care is needed for our ageing population?
Contact: Professor Julie Byles, Director
P: (02) 4042 0671
represented by then president Gill Lewin.
Elsewhere, Squires says one of the
AAG's main roles has been to provide the
opportunity for the work of academics,
clinicians and practitioners to be shared.
"If you think back to the 1960s, the
conferences were very important for
bringing together people who could share
the latest developments. People could
come and take that learning back to their
workplaces. That has been AAG's main role,
that educational role; research underpinning
practice and service development."
RESEARCH TO PRACTICE
Former AAG president Tony Broe, who is
Conjoint Professor of Geriatric Medicine at
NeuRA and the University of NSW, credits
members such as Anna Howe, Hal Kendig,
Dick Lefroy, Len Gray and Dick Gibson
as among those who helped to drive the
association's focus on practice.
He says multidisciplinary teamwork
was a powerful approach underpinning
the translation of research to practice.
"When you think of Dick Gibson, you
think of his social worker Grace Parbery.
When you think of Dick Lefroy, you think of
his social worker Jennifer Paige. And when
you think of Tony Broe, you think of his
social worker Jeannie Rowe," says Broe.
"While the doctors got the glory, the
social workers often did the work. I think
that is particularly true of Dick Gibson and
Grace Parbery. I think Dick and myself ran
the system we set up, but Grace was an
enormous power in the land."
More broadly, Broe says epidemiology
has been very important in the AAG, in
terms of examining the nature of what
causes disability and fragility in ageing and
devising and implementing appropriate
services and interventions.
"Gary Andrews was very important
in that with the Australian Longitudinal
Study of Ageing. We contributed a lot
through the Sydney Older Persons Study
and Leon Flicker in WA has done a lot of
epidemiology. Hal Kendig in Canberra has
really concentrated our thinking about
sociology and ageing in Australia."
Indeed the multidisciplinary approach
is seen by many members as one of the
greatest attributes the AAG gradually
acquired since its formation in 1964.
Ruth Inall, a founding member and long-
serving secretary treasurer of the AAG,
was the first non-medical professional to
become secretary treasurer of "what was
then a medical association."
"We were the first organisation on
ageing in Australia to have doctors,
nurses, biologists, physios, OTs and social
workers all at the same conference and all
listening to the same thing," says Inall.
"In fact, to make our own organisation
aware of that, I organised the first seminar
where we started off with a biologist who
explained what ageing was, followed by a
doctor who talked about the clinical aspects
of ageing, a nurse who talked about what
it was like to look after an aged patient, an
OT who talked about what an older person
could and should still be doing, and a social
worker who talked about social aspects and
This demonstrated to AAG members
what a multi-professional approach
to ageing should be about, Inall says,
adding that this is one of the aspects
the AAG has brought to each of the
countries in the region which it has
helped form organisations. (For more, see
'International outlook' section).
Inall highlights that previous AAG
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