Dementia Advisory Committee

Dementia Australia Advisory Committee

The Dementia Australia Advisory Committee provides a national platform for people living with dementia to advocate alongside Dementia Australia on matters important to them.

The group, previously known as the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Advisory Committee, was founded in 2013. It was established in response to people with dementia around Australia who wanted to be involved in advocating for the needs of people with dementia and their families.

Committee members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and use their skills, lived experience and connections as community leaders to represent people living with dementia.

As a formal group, the committee provides strategic advice to Dementia Australia and other stakeholders on shaping dementia services, programs, policy development and advocacy goals. The committee aims to be a catalyst of change, working towards an inclusive future, where people living with dementia are valued and respected.

Members meet monthly via video conference with one or two face to face meetings a year. If you would like to get in touch with the committee please email [email protected].

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DAAC Members 2020

Photo: DAAC Members at February 2020 Face to Face Meeting in Sydney

 

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Photo: DAAC Members and Dementia Australia staff at February 2020 Face to Face Meeting in Sydney. Credit: Kevyn Morris

Meet the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee

Phil Hazell

Phil HazellPhil is a busy and enthusiastic Advocate for Dementia Australia and one of the first to be partnered with an Assistance Dog. Phil is Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee and participates in research projects. He has spoken at numerous forums and events and has actively represented people with dementia in media interviews, focus groups, program development and research projects. Phil has travelled extensively presenting at Low Vision Conferences in Japan, New Zealand, United States and Thailand. His major subject was Electronic Magnification for those living with Macular Degeneration.


Eileen Taylor

Eileen TaylorEileen lives in Queensland and is a retired health professional with over 20 years’ experience as a Personal/Rehabilitation Counsellor. Eileen has been actively involved internationally and presented at numerous national and overseas conferences. Eileen is a Board Member of Dementia Alliance International and hosts their Australia online weekly support group. Eileen is the Vice-Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee.


Roberta (Bobby) Redman

Bobby RedmanBobby is a retired psychologist, living on the Central Coast of NSW. Bobby who was diagnosed with fronto-temporal dementia, in 2015, is passionate about her consumer advocacy work. She is on the Board of Dementia Alliance International, sits on the Central Coast Dementia Alliance Committee and chairs the Central Coast Living with Dementia Advisory Group. She is involved in several research projects, sitting on a range of Steering/Advisory Committees. Bobby is a strong Community Member and is also a Rotarian and Red Cross Volunteer. In 2020 Bobby was nominated for the NSW Senior Australian of the Year award.


Dennis Frost

Dennis FrostDennis was born in country NSW in the mid-1950s, and is old enough to have witnessed the Luna Landing in 1969 but young enough to have avoided conscription. He has had a variety of careers, working in education, Petroleum Exploration and IT for more than 20 years. At 59 he was diagnosed with frontotemperal dementia. In 2014 he became involved in the Dementia Friendly Kiama Pilot and was elected chair of the Advisory Group. He is an active advocate for all with dementia.


Kevyn Morris

Kevyn MorrisKevyn is a retired furniture maker, artist and an experienced businessman who was originally diagnosed with MCI in 2015. Now living in Wodonga, Victoria, he has always been an active health advocate, having helped established a men’s indigenous health group in Northern Queensland in the past. He has also established an online group for people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, which has members from across the globe. Kevyn is a member of the NNIDR Consumer Reference Group, OPAN National Older People’s Reference Group, Dental Health Victoria’s Advisory Committee and Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE) Clinical Advisory Group.


Val Schache

Val SchacheVal is a retired farmer / health professional with 32 years’ experience including as a community physiotherapist in Ballina, NSW and many local organisations. Val, who is living with dementia, is a passionate advocate. She is on the initial National Dementia Friendly Communities Advisory Committee and promotes Dementia Friendly Communities through her role and is now the Co- chair of the local Ballina Shire Dementia Friendly Community Alliance. Her strengths are to be a team player and bring grass roots views to DAAC.


Sarah Ashton

Sarah AshtonSarah worked for more than 40 years with NSW Health. Diagnosed with the symptoms of younger onset dementia caused by hydrocephalus in 2013, she had to medically retire at this time. Since then Sarah has actively worked as a Dementia Advocate. Sarah is working on a number of committees with Mid North Coast Local Health District and Dementia Australia. Sarah and a small group of enthusiastic gardeners also volunteer with caring for the dementia garden at Port Macquarie Dementia Australia branch office.


Ann Pietsch

Ann PietschAnn has been an advocate for Dementia Australia for many years. She has attended consumer summits, contributed to media activity and supported many events and activities in Adelaide. Ann is also a member of the NNIDR Consumer Reference Group, Dementia Australia Research Foundation Scientific Panel, the ADF2020 Committee and OPAN National Older People’s Reference Group. Ann trained as a general nurse and midwife and later gained a Bachelor Degree in Applied Science - Nursing Administration with a special interest in gerontology. Ann was 59 when she was diagnosed with younger onset dementia – Alzheimer’s. It now appears that she has Lewy Body Dementia. Ann is happy to share her insights with a view to helping others understand dementia.


Juanita Hughes

Juanita HughesJuanita has a strong family history of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD); from her grandfather, and his older brother; her father, his brothers and a sister; and Juanita herself as she was diagnosed in 2019. Because of this history, Juanita’s family has extensive involvement in scientific research into bvFTD and it led to Juanita’s academic interest. Juanita has commenced studying a Master of Diagnostic Genomics, with a plan to continue into a PhD program.


Thank you to past members of the committee

We would like to thank the following past members for their expertise and significant contributions.

Chairs:

•  Kate Swaffer (inaugural)
•  Ian Gladstone

Vice Chairs:

•  Eric Garnett

Members:

•  Kerin Glennen
•  John Hiller
•  Di Harris
•  Maxine Thompson
•  David Waddell
•  Steve Coleman
•  Edie Mayhew
•  Keith Glance
•  Glenda Parkin
•  Judy Galvin

Resources developed by the committee

•  Let's Talk Brochure
•  Using Zoom – Guidelines For Meetings
•  Zoom tips – How to join a meeting
•  Zoom tips – How to get the best out of the experience
•  Zoom tips – On holding a dementia friendly meeting
•  Zoom tips – Tools and examples