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Sydney Dementia Network Launch

The future of Australia's health

The University of Sydney, with hosting partner, the Brain and Mind Centre, a global leader in research and treatment of conditions that affect child development, youth mental health and brain ageing, has officially launched a Sydney Dementia Network.  

The Sydney Dementia Network has been established to maximise collaborative gain and resourcing for dementia across the University. It will link Sydney University dementia researchers with local health districts as well as provide a forum for more direct public engagement and partnerships. The Network will also be able to identify important gaps in dementia research that the University can prioritise. 

Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) formally launched the Network on Friday 9 November at Sydney University.

“Dementia is one of Australia’s greatest health challenges, with over 425,000 living with this disease, costing the community nearly $15 billion,” Prof Ivison said at the launch event. 

“1700 Australians are diagnosed every week and by 2056 there will be 1.1 million Australians living with dementia, the cost is predicted to outstrip spending on any other health condition. 

“Research can change this and the University of Sydney is committed to partnering with the community to tackle big challenges.” 

The Sydney Dementia Network will provide a University-wide structure to allow dementia researchers to connect with researchers in other fields to benefit dementia research by partnering with each other and those in the community. 

NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research and Alzheimer’s Australia Director of the NNIDR, Janice Besch, was at the launch event and outlined that with dementia’s enormous cost to society, it’s critical that research efforts are focused. 

“We need to focus on immediate improvement of diagnosis, care and treatment of people living with dementia as well as prevention,” Ms Besch said.

Through developing current and future leaders in dementia research, the University aims to reduce the burden of dementia. The Network will allow a more coordinated approach towards dementia research and provide a forum for coordinating national and international collaborations and partnerships.

Professor Glenda Halliday, Chair of the Executive Committee for the Dementia Network, encouraged the audience to get in touch if they would like to input into ideas. 

“Hopefully you have all had a fantastic launch, congratulations, the success of the network is dependent on all of you,” said Prof Halliday. 

“A network is about making sure everyone is involved and not just driven by a few people so I look forward to working with you.”

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Dementia is one of Australia’s greatest health challenges, with over 425,000 living with this disease, costing the community nearly $15 billion
Professor Duncan Ivison