Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for monitoring the progress of the CDPC’s activities, as well as making key decisions regarding the approval of new research projects and the allocation of resources.


Professor Susan Kurrle

Professor Susan Kurrle

Professor Susan Kurrle holds the Curran Chair in Health Care of Older People in the Faculty of Medicine (Sydney Clinical School Northern) at the University of Sydney. She also continues to work as a specialist geriatrician in both hospital and community at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in northern Sydney, and at Batemans Bay Hospital in Southern NSW. She is the Clinical Director of the Aged Care and Rehabilitation Network for the Northern Sydney Local Health District, and she is a member of the Governing Board of the Northern Sydney Local Health District and of the District Clinical Council. She has a visiting academic appointment at the Leyden Academy of Vitality and Ageing, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Professor Kurrle has had a long involvement with dementia management and service development and has developed memory clinic services at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital and Batemans Bay Hospital, and more recently as a telehealth clinic at Armidale in northern NSW. She leads the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Dementia Clinical Trial Centre and has been involved in 38 international drug trials for dementia. She has been a member of the Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre where she recently completed publication through Cambridge University Press of a book on Physical Comorbidities of Dementia. She has researched extensively in the area of elder abuse and has been successful in bringing this issue to the attention of government, the medical profession and the community generally. She has been involved in the development of an Australian hip protector, and has been an investigator on several completed hip protector studies. She has recently completed work on the recognition and management of frailty in transition care patients and the use of accelerometry in rehabilitation patients, and is currently working on an intervention study for pre-frail older people.

Professor Kurrle has a wider community role as an advocate for older people and is a professional member of the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW. She was selected to lead the Partnership Centre Investigator Team in 2012 and as the Chief Investigator and Director of the Centre is responsible for leading the Investigator teams over the next five years.


Professor Simon Biggs

Professor Simon Biggs

Professor Simon Biggs is a Professor of Gerontology & Social Policy in the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He has participated in numerous European, Australian and Canadian government briefings on topics such as population ageing, dignity in later life and elder protection, and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies.

Simon’s most recent research has included the World Health Organization’s ‘Age friendly cities’ project; The Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) study of baby boomers; studies into the uses of adaptive technology in later life, the first national prevalence study of elder abuse and neglect in the United Kingdom; Australian research on mature-age workers, urban growth corridors, intergenerational relationships, and the social aspects of dementia.

His research interests include the relationship between social identity and adult ageing, including the analysis of international and national social policy, the changing adult life-course, and social and personal experiences of ageing.


Professor Maria Crotty

Professor Maria Crotty

Professor Maria Crotty FAFRM (RACP), FAFPHM is a rehabilitation physician and Director of the Rehabilitation Studies Unit at Flinders University, based at Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide. This unit delivers postgraduate training courses in clinical rehabilitation, and runs inter-professional training for nursing, allied health and medical students. She also sits on the Executive of the Fragility Fracture Network (FFN) an international group dedicated to improving care of older people with hip fractures.

Maria has expertise in multidisciplinary research focused on the implementation of rehabilitation programs for older people, particularly those with dementia. She has an interest in the use of new technologies to provide greater access to rehabilitation, and is an author on the recent Cochrane Reviews on Virtual Reality in Stroke and Telehealth in Stroke.

She is also an experienced health service researcher with expertise in implementing rehabilitation and restorative care models in intermediate care and community settings. She has previously undertaken pragmatic trials to evaluate home rehabilitation, day rehabilitation, pharmacy detailing and residential transition care programs.


Dr Susan Koch

Dr Susan Koch

Dr Susan Koch is the Director of the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) Institute, an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides home nursing and health care to more than 9500 people throughout Greater Melbourne, parts of regional Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand.

Susan is an Adjunct Associate Professor at La Trobe University and brings more than 26 years of experience in research and knowledge of clinical issues to the CDPC. She has previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Gerontic Nursing and Director of Postgraduate, Research and Higher Degrees for the La Trobe University’s Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care (ACEBAC), and has served as President for Alzheimer’s Australia’s Victoria.

Susan is currently the Chair of the Commonwealth’s Minister’s Dementia Advisory Group and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and Australian Association of Ageing. She has being involved in numerous research projects as a lead and co-investigator, and acted as a consultant at a state and national level. Her research to date has focused on clinical practice issues including the use of restraints, elder abuse, general care and medicine management for people living with dementia.


Anne Cumming

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 Principle Advisor, Cognitive Impairment, to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, where she also held the role as the Project Manager for ‘Improving the Management of Cognitive Impairment’ project being conducted using the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

Anne's previous roles include 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.


Ms Joan Jackman

Ms Joan Jackman

Joan Jackman is an occupational therapist who was previously employed as the Head of Department for South-Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service – Northern Hospital Sector. In mid-2010, Joan resigned from this role to care for her husband full-time during the end stages of a Younger Onset Dementia that was diagnosed in 2001.

Joan has been actively involved in consumer advocacy activities with Alzheimer’s Australia New South Wales (NSW) since 2007, including participation in the first Alzheimer’s Australia National Younger Onset Dementia Summit in Canberra held in 2009, as a member of the University of New South Wales’ Dementia Collaborative Research Centres (DCRC) Advisory Committee as a consumer representative since 2010, and as a member of the Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN) since 2011.

Joan holds a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies (Health Education) from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Health Personnel Education and Master of Arts (Interdisciplinary Studies) from the University of New South Wales.

As the CDPC’s Lead Consumer Investigator, Joan will be responsible for ensuring that the perspective of consumers is represented and integrated into the centre’s activities, with the support of a sub-group of the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN) and the Alzheimer’s Australia National Research Manager, Dr Chris Hatherly. She will also be responsible for coordinating and facilitating the inclusion and active involvement of consumers from the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN) across all relevant activities conducted by the CDPC.


Mr Jan Van Emden

Jan

Jan Van Emden is the project manager for research and student participation at Helping Hand Aged Care, working closely with local and national universities, vocational training providers and secondary schools to provide the opportunity for over 1000 students annually to gain invaluable hands on experience in age care.

Jan has a background in physiotherapy service provision, management and education. He has worked within acute health care facilities as well as aged care residential and community based settings, within urban metropolitan areas as well as rural and remote locations in Australia and the USA.

His current professional interest include facilitating student experiences within the aged care environment, research activities that link researchers and clients collaboratively and the development of resource conservation and management practices within Helping Hand Aged Care.