University of Auckland
President, New Zealand Association of Gerontology
Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well
Public speaker, TEDx presenter, author, columnist and
talkback radio presenter
Professor Veronica Soebarto is a nationally and internationally renowned environmental design researcher, having published her work in numerous high impact journal articles and book chapters and supervised more than 20 PhD students to completion at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Adelaide. Veronica’s main research expertise and experience is in the areas of sustainable built environment, energy in buildings, environmental performance assessments of buildings, and human thermal comfort, by applying socio-technological approaches. In the past 6 years, this focus has been to look at the inter-relationship between building and human environment, not only at a building and site scale, but also at an urban scale, particularly in the context of older people.
She led an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery research “Improving the thermal environment in housing for older South Australians” (2018-2021) and is currently leading another ARC Discovery project “Developing resilient housing for low socio-economic older people” (2022-2024). She is also a Chief Investigator in an ARC Linkage project "Determining the social value of extreme, mixed-use urban developments" (2022-2024). With Dr Helen Barrie of The University of South Australia, she explored the use of citizen science to investigate the use of public spaces by older people and general public, in projects funded by Office for Ageing Well and SA Health (2018-2020), and is currently co-supervising a PhD candidate who is developing a citizen-science based approach to co-design green spaces with older people.
Helen's research investigates Australia’s changing population and the implications of this for society and communities. Much of this work involves an examination of population diversity; the interaction between people and the built environment; community connectedness, and social networks. My background includes a PhD in Human Geography and Honours in Social Policy.
Recent work explores how the built environment, especially green and public spaces, influence ageing well. This includes exploring housing choices such as retirement village living, vertical communities, inner city ageing and international comparisons of age friendly cities. My research often includes using innovative approaches such as citizen science, GIS and spatial analysis of social issues, ‘go-along’ interviews or photovoice.
Helen welcomes enquiries from Masters and PhD candidates interested in: ageing populations, the built environment, social networks and/or community connectedness, qualitative methodologies, social policy, and migration and mobilities
Cassie is focused on developing and implementing dynamic and innovative social policies and programs to support older South Australians to age well. She currently has portfolio responsibility for state ageing policy, SA Government aged care strategy, retirement villages, South Australian Seniors Card, ageing community grants and South Australia’s Adult Safeguarding Unit, established under landmark legislation. Cassie is also currently leading SA Health's COVID-19 response for aged care, working closely with the sector on prevention, preparation and management of COVID-19 in South Australian residential aged care facilities.
With degrees in Law, Education and Health Sciences, Cassie has previously held a range of roles across the SA Public Sector, including as Principal Advisor to the South Australian Chief Psychiatrist, Principal Policy Officer in Cabinet Office, and Manager, Service Reform in the Department for Human Services. She is passionate about raising awareness of issues affecting older people, and working collaboratively with government, non-government and the community to engage people in the decisions that affect them.
Dr Mark Gabbay MBChB, MD, FRCGP is Professor of General Practice at the University of Liverpool and an inner-city GP. At the University he holds a number of internal and external roles. He is Director of the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research, Applied Research Collaboration, North West Coast (NIHR ARC NWC), and leads the Health and Care Across the Lifecourse theme (one of 6 within the ARC NWC). He is also Associate Director of the NIHR Research Design Service NW and research lead for the University of Liverpool Dept of Primary Care and Mental Health. He is a mixed methods researcher with particular interests in health inequalities, mental health, addiction, implementing innovation, health and work. With the onset of the pandemic he pivoted to focusing on the impact on the pandemic for households, communities and employers, working closely with Dr Giebel on that of people living with dementia and their carers- in their home and residential care. He is a work-package lead on the main NIHR Long Covid Trial. Across his career his output is ~200 peer-review publications and >£150m PI/Co-I grants.
Sophoe has a lifelong passion for the environment and gardening in all its forms.
Starting out at her parents’ nursery in the Adelaide Hills, she has forged a career for herself in the gardening media as a popular national public speaker, TEDx presenter, author, columnist and talkback radio presenter including 17 years on the award-winning ABC TV’s Gardening Australia show. She enjoys her opportunities to connect with people from different walks of life.
Sophie is passionate about the role gardening can play in people’s lives as continued research highlights its benefits to mental and physical wellbeing. Recent events such as the pandemic, bushfires, drought, and floods have seen Sophie continuing to draw on her experience and expertise to initiate projects such as ‘reGrowth Garden Recovery’, creating a rapid response community garden following the Kangaroo Island bushfire and delivering gardening workshops and talks to support the fire affected community on the Island.
She believes it is necessary to work towards greening our environment, ensuring food security and actively promoting the benefits of gardening!
Dr Clarissa Giebel is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool and the NIHR ARC NWC. Her research explores inequities in dementia care, trying to enable people with dementia and carers live well at home and in care homes. She is leading on national and international research in the field, and has a special interest in working with lower- and middle-income countries to remove dementia care barriers
Ngaire is the Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well and a Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care. Since 2010 she has been co-principal investigator of a longitudinal study – Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACs NZ). Participants include 500 non-Māori who are now 90, and 400 Māori currently aged between 85 and 95 years.
Ngaire is recognised as an international expert in interrelated areas of research, and currently leads several research teams, each engaged in a number of research projects:
Maximising health for older people: an organised programme of research studying the pathway from impairment to dependence. Projects test activity based interventions to improve function in residential care and for those with depression.
Falls and older people: studies of falls in older people after stroke, in residential care and in a large sample of primary care patients have led to collaborative teams aiming to prevent falls through intervention development and testing.
The impact of physical activity on development of disability. Various physical activity trials have led to an understanding of the potential to prevent development of disability.
Developing Robot Technology for older people with dementia.
After being named in the New Year’s Honours as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Ngaire fell out of her feijoa tree while pruning it and was laid up with a leg wound. Not bad for a falls prevention researcher!
Ngaire is a practicing GP and President of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG).