Dementia Australia 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
 

Eileen Taylor

Eileen Taylor

Eileen 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 has been a member since 2016 and held two terms as Vice-Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee from 2017 – 2021.

 

Roberta (Bobby) Redman

Roberta (Bobby) Redman

Bobby 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 Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee, 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 Frost

Dennis 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 frontotemporal 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. Dennis is Vice-Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee.

 

Kevyn Morris

Kevyn Morris

Kevyn is a retired furniture maker, artist and an experienced businessman who was originally diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment 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.

Kevyn is a member of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee, 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 Schache

Val 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 Ashton

Sarah 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 the administrator of a popular online support group for people who have dementia and/or are carers and friends of those who have dementia called Joining the Dots for Dementia and is currently a member of the Port Macquarie Dementia Friendly Committee. Sarah has been actively involved with two documentaries for dementia, now available on YouTube - Sarah’s Story: Living with Dementia and The Fifth Season.

 

Ann Pietsch

Ann Pietsch

Ann 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 Dementia Australia Research Foundation Scientific Panel, ADNet Registry Steering Committee, and OPAN National Older People’s Reference Group. She has a special interest in dementia research and in quality dementia care.

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 Hughes

Juanita 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 completed a Graduate Certificate in Diagnostic Genomics, to better understand genetic dementia diagnosis; with a plan to continue into graduate Business courses in Philanthropy and Non-profit studies to contribute additional skills to the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee.

 

Jenni Lawson

Jenni Lawson

Jenni lives in Queensland and was diagnosed when she was 56, initially with Vascular Dementia, but this later changed to Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinsonian features. She worked for 36 years as a Registered Nurse in Australia, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia, and held senior nursing positions in the field of Mental Health Nursing.

Jenni is a passionate Dementia Advocate and represents the LGBTQI community on the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee. She is actively involved in research, volunteer work, and creative endeavours – including as a podcaster ‘Heckle’ on the popular ‘Talking Dementia with Heckle and Jeckle’ podcast. Jenni believes in contributing now to ensure that things are better for those that follow. In her spare time, Jenni enjoys contemporary dance, yoga, arts, crafts, and her lush tropical garden.

 

Natalie Ive

Natalie Ive

Natalie Ive is a former Special Education/Early Years Childhood Teacher who is passionate about guiding children with disabilities to be confident learners. She’s also a carer for her eldest daughter who lives with autism and other mental health issues. Aside from these important roles, Natalie also loves to travel, craft, keep fit, and catch up with friends and family over dinner and a movie.

Natalie believes sharing her story as a Dementia Advocate at Dementia Australia is key to raising awareness in the understanding of the challenges that she has faced, and also to be recognised for the many abilities she has as a person living with younger onset dementia / primary progressive aphasia.

 

Thank you to past members of the committee

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

Chairs:

  • Phil Hazell
  • 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