Enabling sub-units

Seven enabling sub-units in Research Methodologies, Management of Change and Workforce, Health Economics, Technology and Telehealth and Policy and Legislation,Consumers and Designated System Based Investigators will provide Lead Investigators with advice in their area of expertise as it applies to CDPC activities.

1. Research Methodologies

This enabling sub-unit will contribute by developing high-quality methodologies for the research and evaluation components of specific activities, while providing consultancy and advice on publishing and disseminating research results. The unit will help to ensure the scientific rigor of CDPC’s activities.

Lead Investigator: Professor Ian Cameron

Professor Ian Cameron

Professor Ian Cameron is a consultant physician in rehabilitation medicine and holds the Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine for Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. As Head of the Rehabilitation Studies Unit and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship holder, Ian leads a program of clinical and epidemiological research on themes such as rehabilitation, disability, musculoskeletal injury and catastrophic injury (associated with severe long-term disability).

Ian is also an associate editor for the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine and section editor of BMC Geriatrics, and holds several education-based roles for the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) and the University of Sydney Medical Program. He maintains a clinical workload through his role as Director of Medical Services at Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Sydney, and part-time positions at both the Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, and Southern New South Wales (NSW) Local Health District.

2. Management of Change and Workforce

This enabling unit will contribute to the activities of the thematic sub-units by developing strategies for implementation and uptake to ensure lasting and profound organisational and workforce transformation as a result of CDPC’s activities. It will be responsible for driving the translation of knowledge to practice on the ground.

Lead Investigator: Professor Anneke Fitzgerald

Professor Anneke Fitzgerald

Professor Anneke Fitzgerald contributes extensive expertise to the CDPC in the research fields of organisational behaviour in health care, organisational culture, professional identity, process innovation and dissemination and knowledge transfer. Based within Griffith Business School at Griffith University since 2002, she brings more than 20 years of experience in the health industry, including roles as a Nurse Unit Manager and Health Services Manager in the acute hospital setting.

With a PhD in Commerce, Anneke is able to apply her research on organisational behavioural studies and health management service innovation within a pragmatic paradigm. Among several national and international professional memberships, she is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Services Managers, a Director on the board of the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) and a member of the VET Industry Advisory Group within the Endeavour College of Natural Science. In addition to involvement in several large research projects, she has also supervised 12 higher degree by research candidates to completion and is currently overseeing a further seven PhD students.

Anneke is author or co-author of 10 books and/or book chapters, and more than 70 refereed journal and conference papers. In addition to university awards for teaching and research, she has received international awards including best paper awards at the ANZAM conference, and she was the recipient of the 2008 Tilde Press Research Excellence Award.

3. Health Economics

The purpose of this enabling unit is to contribute to the activities of the CDPC by determining the cost of various health and aged care models. It will ensure that economic data drawn from the CDPC’s activities is accurate, reliable and applicable in a range of policy and planning contexts.

Lead Investigator: Dr Tracy Comans

Dr Tracy Comans

Dr Tracy Comans is a research fellow at the Centre for Applied Health Economics in the School of Medicine at Griffith University. Her research expertise and interests are in the development of economic models to synthesise the costs and outcomes of health care interventions including programs and services in allied health and rehabilitation.

Tracy’s recent work includes the conduct of evaluations for a transition care program for older people in the community post-hospital admission, and new models of care utilising advanced allied health practitioners and nurse practitioners. Tracy holds formal qualifications in physiotherapy and economics (honours) as well as clinical experience as a physiotherapist with a special interest in aged care and rehabilitation.

4. Technology and Telehealth

This enabling unit will contribute to the activities of the thematic sub-units by developing technology solutions that connect regional, rural and remote communities into CDPC activities. It will take advantage of social media and emerging technologies for dissemination purposes, and also conduct work on the use of telehealth and assistive technology.

Lead Investigator: Professor Len Gray

Professor Len Gray

Professor Len Gray FRACP FACHSM FAAG FANZSGM is currently employed by the School of Medicine, University of Queensland as the Masonic Chair in Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine and the Centre for Online Health. His research focuses on improving the wellbeing of frail older people through improved service design and systems. He is interested in the process of structured assessment and care planning, clinical decision support systems, service design, new technologies and telemedicine.

Len is the Australian Coordinator for the interRAI research collaboration, within which he leads the interRAI Network of Excellence in Acute Care (hospital systems for older people). He is also lead investigator of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth.

5. Policy and Legislation

The purpose of this enabling unit is to contribute to the activities of the thematic sub-units by developing translating findings from project evaluations and business cases into relevant and constructive policy documents aimed directly at key decision-makers. This sub-unit will be responsible for the CDPC’s top-down approach to changing practice.

Lead Investigator: Ms Anne Cumming

Ms Anne Cumming

Anne Cumming holds a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) and a Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector). Her expertise is in the realm of public policy for dementia and ageing. She is currently on secondment to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, as the Project Manager for ‘Improving the Management of Cognitive Impairment’ project being conducted using the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Prior to her secondment, Anne was employed as Principal Policy Officer for the New South Wales (NSW) Dementia Policy Team, responsible for the development of the NSW Dementia Services Framework 2010-15.

Anne has also held a variety of management and senior policy positions in the NSW Health Department and the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care in the areas of dementia, carers, disability, and palliative care, as well as 10 years of experience as a social worker for younger people with disabilities and people with dementia and their families in both England and Australia.

6. Consumers

The purpose of this Enabling Sub-Unit is to facilitate the involvement of Consumers, in all of the Activities of the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre. The Consumer representatives in this sub-unit are members of the Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN), and with Alzheimer’s Australia support as a funding partner, involvement of these members should be implicit in and integral to each of the CDPC's activities: from planning through to execution and dissemination.
The Consumer Enabling Sub-Unit will be led by the PC-Consumer Investigator (first point of contact for Lead Investigators and others looking to engage with Consumers) and will be supported by a working group of members of the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN), who are personally experiencing cognitive and related functional decline – or are providing care for someone experiencing these changes. The Unit will also draw on the experience and expertise of Consumers involved in Alzheimer’s Australia National and State Advisory Committees, when relevant and necessary.

Lead Investigator: Joan Jackman

Ms. Joan Jackman

Joan Jackman is an Occupational Therapist by professional background, who left her position as the SESIAHS-Northern Hospital Sector, Occupational Therapy Head of Department, in mid-2010, to look after her husband full-time, when he was in the severe / end-stages of a Younger Onset Dementia, which was diagnosed in 2001.
Joan has been involved in Consumer Advocacy with Alzheimer’s Australia NSW since 2007; participated in the first Alzheimer’s Australia National ‘Younger Onset Dementia Summit’ - Canberra, in 2009; joined the DCRC (Assessment and Better Care)(UNSW) Consumer Advisory Committee in 2009; became a member of the DCRC Advisory Committee (UNSW) [Cons Rep]) in 2010; became a member of the Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN) in 2011; and was appointed as the Partnership Centre’s ‘Consumer Investigator’ in mid-2012. Joan’s personal experience in looking after her husband with her two children, during the course of his condition of more than ten years, together with her professional health background, supports an informed perspective on the ‘lived experience of dementia’. As the Partnership Centre’s Consumer Investigator, Joan will be responsible for bringing the consumer perspective to the work of the Centre, supported by a CDRN Sub-Group of six consumers and the AA National Research Manager. Joan will also be responsible for facilitating, coordinating and supporting consumer involvement, from the CDRN and other Consumer Networks, in the Partnership Centre’s Major Activities. Joan has a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies [Health Education] (SydUniv); a Masters Degree in Health Personnel Education [WHO] (UNSW); and a Master of Arts [Interdisciplinary Studies](UNSW).

7. Designated System Based Investigators

The purpose of this Enabling Sub-Unit is to provide collaborative support to Project Leads/Chief Investigators, through helping to refine research questions and methodology to assist in the success of the research; to provide access to relevant resources within the Partner Agencies and to have a role in supporting the translational capacity of research findings.

Lead Investigator: Rebecca Forbes


Wendy Hudson is an occupational therapist with over 20 years experience. She has held various roles with government, non-government and not for profit organisations. These include Respite Manager for Alzheimer’s Australia WA and Manager of Policy and Quality; Senior Occupational Therapist with Hall and Prior, the Independent Living Centre and Disability Services Commission; Program Manager with Rockingham/Kwinana and Canning Divisions of General Practice; and Rehabilitation and OS&H Consultant with BankWest, Coles Supermarkets and the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service. Wendy is currently studying a Masters of Ageing and is passionate about implementing a rehabilitative approach to supporting people living with dementia.

In her current role as Wellbeing and Dementia Support Coordinator at Brightwater Care Group she supports the continuing development of a social and psychological environment that enables people to live well within their home environment, both in the community and in aged care residences. The role has a particular responsibility for people living with dementia.