NZAG National Executive

Meet your current executive and find out about the goals they have for NZAG. Please click on the name to expand the profile.

Current National Executive Members:

President: Stephen Neville

I am an Associate Professor of Nursing and Co-Director of the AUT Centre for Active Ageing at Auckland University of Technology. I hold honorary appointments at the University of Queensland and University of Technology Sydney, and am an Associate Editor for the Australasian Journal on Ageing and Contemporary Nurse. My teaching, research and publications are in the areas of older persons’ health, marginalised populations and health workforce participation. I have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. My recent research and publications include loneliness in older people living in the community, retirement, attitudes of care staff toward sexual minority groups, the life experiences of gay men over the age of 65 years and why new graduate nurses choose not to work in residential care, mental health and primary health care settings. I feel very privileged to be the current President of NZAG and aim to facilitate achieving the goals and aspirations of our organisation. These include providing a platform where the views, as well as the issues that impact on the health and well-being of older people are not only heard but result in positive action.

 Vice President:  Dr Debra Waters, Dunedin

To help NZAG promote national and international research and education on positive active ageing. I am the Director of Gerontology Research at the University of Otago, which is a joint appointment across the Department of Medicine and School of Physiotherapy. I am also the Director of the University of Otago research theme called Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence (CARE) and the Deputy-Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. I work closely with Age Concern Otago and am part of the Southern wide multi-sector falls governance group. I also hold a research appointment at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in the US, and have collaborators in France and The Netherlands.  My areas of research focus are on falls prevention using community-based and peer-led models and body composition changes with ageing, how this impacts on physical function and frailty, and effective life-style interventions. Ageing well and staying independent is my overarching goal for older adults.

Committee Member: Diana O’Neill

rsz_diana-oneillTo promote the benefits of NZAG membership as part of a commitment to a healthy ageing society. My current position is in the primary health care team of the Ministry of Health based in Wellington. Previous to this role I worked in the recreation and sport sector for over 20 years. I work with GPs and nurses, encouraging them to refer patients to the exercise prescription initiative Green Prescriptions. I also manage other contracts with district health boards and am the primary care contact for the Ministry’s health of older persons’ team. My vision for healthy ageing is for New Zealanders to live as well as we can for as long as we can, adding life to years as well as years to life.

 Committee Member: Asmita Patel

rsz_asmita-patelTo help the Association promote the needs of older adults in New Zealand. Asmita was awarded her PhD in public health from AUT University in 2010. Asmita is currently working at AUT on a Cancer Society and Movember Foundation funded Prostate cancer study. This study is examining the benefits of physical activity and nutritional change for men undertaking androgen deprivation therapy. Why I have chosen to represent my segment and what change I am looking to bring to the sector by involvement on the Executive I would like to be part of an Association that is dedicated to bringing about positive change for older New Zealanders.

Regional Hub Representatives:

Northland/Auckland: Dr Kathy Peri, Auckland

rsz_kathy-peri

Dr Kathy Peri is the Regional Hub Representative for the Northland/Auckland region. Kathy Peri is a registered nurse, senior lecturer and Research Fellow at the School of Nursing, University of Auckland, New Zealand.  She completed her doctorate last year evaluating the effectiveness of physical activity intervention to promote independence for older people living in aged care. Her research interests are centred around improving health outcomes for older people and she is currently involved in a number of studies including improving medication compliance using health robots, dementia pathways in primary care and how organisational culture impacts on care delivery in aged care. Kathy was the Director of Nursing in Christchurch, New Zealand during the earthquakes and was recently awarded a grant to study the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes on the quality of life in community dwelling older people over the age of 75 years. Kathy has a passion to improve the health and well-being of older people and is on a number of service committees including trustee member of Aged Concern, quality improvement consultant for aged residential sector. Kathy will be a provide not only her expertise but also her drive and energy.

Lower North Island: Dr Judith Davey, Wellington

rsz_judith-daveyI would like to see NZAG broadening its scope to cover all aspects of Positive Ageing, which I am a strong advocate of. I am currently a Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. From 2002 to early 2007 I was the Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA) and, previous to that, Associate Professor in Social Policy, also at Victoria. My focus for research is the ageing of the population and its policy implications. Recently I have been looking at workforce ageing and age-friendly cities and communities. I have a regular research-based blog hosted by Age Concern New Zealand.

 

 

South Island: Linda Robertson

Linda RobertsonI am an Associate Professor at the School of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic where I also have the role of the research coordinator  in the school. My areas of teaching are Clinical Reasoning and Client Education. As a researcher my interest lies in older people and in critically exploring evidence based practice. My recent publications have been on the topics of how novices make sense of evidence based practice and the use of peer leader in community based falls prevention groups.

 

 

 

Co-Opted:

Carol Wham

CW 08

As Associate Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University Carol teaches gerontology nutrition and supervises postgraduate students undertaking research in this field. Carol leads the ENRICH study (Evaluating Nutrition Risk and Intervening to enCourage Healthy-eating) which aims to develop an innovative approach for preventing and reversing malnutrition among vulnerable older adults. She is also an  investigator for (LiLACS NZ)  “Life and Living to Advanced Age: a Cohort study in NZ”.  The dietary assessments undertaken in this study have provided novel findings related to the nutritional status of adults in advanced age and has helped identify modifiable factors related to risk of malnutrition. Carol is a member of Dietitians New Zealand’s Special Interest group in Gerontology Nutrition, an advisor to the Committee on Healthy Ageing of the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation and an Associate Editor for ‘Nutrition and Dietetics’. She is keen to support NZAG to foster improved health and quality of life for older people and support initiatives to enable older people to remain independent in their own homes.  In particular Carol is committed to improving the nutrition status of older adults through enterprises which improve the procurement, preparation, cooking and enjoyment of food.