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Patrons, Ambassadors and Honorary Medical Advisors

Dementia Australia enjoys the support of respected and high profile Australians who are motivated by the impact of dementia in their own lives, to help others.

They support our activities by raising awareness in the community and media, engaging in community events, championing our cause in our campaigns and participating in fundraising.

Our Honorary Medical Advisors provide expert media comment, guidance on research and represent our organisation attending and speaking at events.

They are valued by our organisation and speak on our behalf to encourage an ongoing conversation about important issues on dementia. Patrons, Ambassadors and Honorary Medical Advisors are voluntary positions.

Dementia Australia Patrons and Ambassadors share their lived experiences with dementia and why it is important to become a Dementia Friend.

Dementia Australia acknowledges and thanks all our Patrons, Ambassadors and Honorary Medical Advisors  for their commitment to making a difference to the lives of people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia their families and carers.

Patrons

Honorary Medical Advisors

Ambassadors

 

Patron-in-Chief

Our Patron-in-Chief is His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Patrons

Ita Buttrose AC OBE

Australian journalist, television personality and author

Ita Buttrose portrait wearing black clothing, smiling at the camera with arms crossed

Ita Buttrose AC OBE, has had a long association with Dementia Australia starting as a member of the NSW Advisory Committee (now disbanded), then later as National President of Alzheimer’s Australia from 2011-2014. Ms Buttrose is pleased to have the opportunity to continue her work with the organisation as a Patron.

“My father had dementia so I am all too aware of the impact it has not only on the person with dementia, but also on those close to them. It is important for people to know where to go to get help. No one has to walk the journey alone.”

Ita Buttrose, AC OBE, journalist, television personality and author

Allan Moffat OBE

Racing legend

Allan Moffat sitting in the driver's seat of an automobile with his hands on the steering wheel and smiling at the camera.

Allan Moffat OBE is a Canadian-Australian racing driver who has won the Australian Touring Car Championship four times, the Sandown 500 six times and the Bathurst 500/1000 four times. He is one of only two drivers to have won The Great Race at Bathurst in both formats-500 miles and 1000 kilometres. He was inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Mr Moffat first talked about his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in September 2019 and said he was honoured to be officially appointed as a Dementia Australia Patron. 

“By speaking up about my experience with Alzheimer’s disease, I can encourage others to seek support and know that they are not alone if they have concerns about themselves or a loved one.” 

 

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, Vale August 2023

Broadcaster, journalist and author

Sir Michael Parkinson, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Sir Michael Parkinson was an accomplished international broadcaster, journalist, author and a Dementia Australia Patron.

Sir Michael’s mother had dementia and was a passionate advocate for better care for people in hospital and in aged care facilities, and as the National Dignity Ambassador for the British Government’s Dignity in Care Campaign.

Sir Michael was delighted to be part of Dementia Australia’s Ambassador program and said it was an issue he held dear to his heart.

Sir Michael contributed through raising awareness, attending and speaking at major fundraising events and sharing his story in the media nationally and internationally helping people impacted by dementia around the world know they were not alone.

Vale Parky, August 2023

Graeme Samuel AC

Qualifications LLB, Master of Laws, Doctor of Laws honoris causa

Graeme Samuel Looking at the camera, smiling and wearing a black suit, white shirt and light blue tie.

Graeme Samuel AC is a Professor at Monash University’s Business School. He is Chair of the Dementia Australia Research Foundation, Chair of Australian Dementia Network Ltd (ADNet), Co-Chair of the National Network of Comprehensive Dementia Centres Steering Group,

Prof Samuel served as Chair of Dementia Australia 2014-2023, a period of significant change and growth for the organisation. He led the unification of the former federated Alzheimer’s Australia to become one national peak body and charity in October 2017. He was instrumental in securing the $229.4 million federal government allocation to dementia and Dementia Australia in May 2021.

Prof Samuel was inspired to become involved as a tribute to and in memory of his mother Shirley who had dementia. The Samuel family valued the support they received through the counselling and access to programs that made a difference to their lives. He committed to contributing to ensure all Australians knew this support was available and that they are not alone.

Here are links to the media release announcing the end of his term as Chair of Dementia Australia, his impactful National Press Club Address, April 2021 and the Dementia Australia Annual Reports.

Other current roles include the Chair of Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) and Chair of Quipex Pty Ltd a building quality and health transparency company.

He was a member of the APRA Panel to conduct a Prudential Inquiry into the culture, governance and accountability of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and chair of the panel which conducted the Capability Review of APRA. He completed an Independent Review commissioned by the Commonwealth Government of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and co-lead a Commonwealth Government commissioned Review of the Defence Trade Controls legislation. 

He was Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Panel of Review of Australia’s Independent Medical Research Institutes and advisor to the Commonwealth Department of Health in relation to its review of private health insurance. 

Prof Samuel has held a number of other roles in public life including former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and President of the National Competition Council.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998. In 2010 he was elevated to a Companion of the Order of Australia "for eminent service to public administration through contributions in the area of economic reform and competition law, and to the community through leadership roles with sporting and cultural organisations".

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE

Racing legend

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE looking at the camera wearing a grey suit, white shirt and red tie.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE is recognised as one of the greats of motor racing. During his Formula One career, he was crowned World Champion three times and achieved a total of 27 victories, out of 99 races.

Sir Jackie said his motivation to find a cure for dementia comes from caring for his wife of 57 years, Helen, who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2014.

“Helen’s condition has had a devastating impact on my family, as it does for millions of families living with dementia around the world,” he said.

“I am very proud to be taking on this role as a Dementia Australia Patron and hope to continue to raise awareness and increase research into prevention and cure for dementia.”
 

Dementia Australia Honorary Medical Advisors
 

Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO

Portrait of Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO

Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO is a researcher, clinician, policy advisor and strong advocate for people with dementia and their carers. At UNSW Sydney, he is Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, and Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing. He has published extensively, is a senior psychogeriatrician at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney. He serves on multiple committees for the NSW and Australian governments and World Health Organization. 

He was previously President of International Psychogeriatric Association, Chairman of Alzheimer’s Disease International, and President of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and Australia.

Professor Amy Brodtmann (MBBS, FRACP, PhD)

Portrait of Professor Amy Brodtmann

Professor Amy Brodtmann is a stroke and cognitive neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Health, and Eastern Health, and a clinician-researcher and co-head of the Dementia Theme at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.  

Amy’s research focuses on identifying risk factors for and protective factors against late-life cognitive impairment and dementia, with a view to brain health promotion. 

With a special interest in frontotemporal dementia and vascular contributions to late-life cognitive impairment, Amy was a founding member of the Australian Frontotemporal Dementia Association, the inaugural Chair of the Australian chapter of the Organization of Human Brain Mapping, and the inaugural President of the Australian Cognitive Neurology Society. 

Amy has made significant contributions to dementia treatment, care, and research in Australia and internationally.

Dr Marita Long

(MBBS, FRACGP, DCH CERT S & RH)

Dr Marita Long looking at the camera and smiling

Dr Marita Long is a Victorian based GP and a lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

She works across clinical practice, medical education and research. While she enjoys the breadth of general practice, she has a strong interest in women’s health and has completed a Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive health. Her passion for dementia has grown from the interconnection between women’s health, preventative health and chronic disease management. She tries to work to support her patients to extend their health span not just their life span.

She is a current committee member for the Australian Society of Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a member of the WIGP RACGP committee and is the current Vic/Tas representative on the Board of the Australasian Menopause Society. 

Marita has developed and delivered many educational workshops both face to face and online and is passionate about upskilling GP’s to deliver the best evidence-based care to patients, especially women, who so often feel their voices aren’t heard. Marita is actively engaged in various projects related to dementia, is one of the cohosts of the podcast “Dementia in Practice”.

Professor Blossom CM Stephan

Portrait of Professor Blossom CM Stephan

Professor Blossom Stephan holds the inaugural Chair of Dementia (in partnership with Dementia Australia) and is director of the Dementia Centre of Excellence, at Curtin University. She is Chair of the Alzheimer’s Society UK Sub-Committee on Dementia Prevention. 

Her research focuses on risk prediction and risk reduction of neurodegenerative diseases including work using Artificial Intelligence methods to develop new dementia risk algorithms in culturally diverse groups. She has programs of research in high as well as low and middle-income countries.  

Associate Professor Michael Woodward

Portrait of Associate Professor Michael Woodward

Associate Professor Michael Woodward is Director of Aged Care Research and the lead clinician at the Memory Clinic at Austin Health in Melbourne, Victoria. He is a specialist in geriatric medicine with major interests in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. He is Principal Investigator for numerous research trials of new therapies for AD and related disorders. He is also a Board member of the national Dementia Australia Research Foundation.

He was awarded his MD on the overlap between the dementia syndromes and how memory clinic data bases contribute to our understanding of the dementias. More recent research interests have focussed on characterizing the frontal (dysexecutive) variant of Alzheimer’s Disease. 

He is Chair of the (adult) Training Accreditation Subcommittee of the RACP and has been extensively involved with training bodies of the College and the ANZSGM for over 30 years.

On Australia Day 2016 he was honoured with the award of Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for his work in dementia and geriatric medicine, his contribution to these numerous professional bodies and his body of publications and other writings.

Ambassadors

Lyn Allison

Former Senator and Leader of the Australian Democrats

Lyn Allison Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Formerly a teacher, Lyn Allison was elected to the Senate in 1996 and was parliamentary leader of the Australian Democrats from 2004 to the end of her term in 2008. Lyn held the aged care portfolio for most of her time in the Senate and handled numerous legislative reforms and campaigns in aged care in that time, including more specialised support for people living with Alzheimer’s.

Lyn’s father and mother were both diagnosed with dementia giving her insights into service availability and the issues, particularly for carers. As the party’s national health spokesperson Lyn also initiated and chaired a major Senate inquiry into mental health services in Australia which triggered an additional $4b in funding from Commonwealth and State Governments in 2006.

Over many years Lyn has been an outspoken campaigner on health, education, greenhouse, nuclear and women’s issues. She was a member in Victoria of the Dementia Australia (former Alzheimer’s Australia Vic) board from 2008 to April 2015.

 

David Astle

Author and Broadcaster

David Astle looking at the camera, smiling and wearing glasses and a chequered shirt.

David Astle is a full-time word nerd, author and broadcaster. You may recall his face (or loud shirts) from SBS’ Letters and Numbers, where David played the role of dictionary umpire. Every Friday his crosswords appear in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, under the alias of DA, while his Wordplay column runs weekly in Sydney’s Spectrum lift out.

David has also written about the joys and treachery of English in such books as Riddledom, Cluetopia plus the memoir-cum-manual, Puzzled. Cluetopia in fact is dedicated to Captain Barry Astle, David’s dad who died in 2013, of frontal lobe dementia.

“Part of the struggle for all of us, dad included, was learning to understand precisely what we were tackling. No doubt the more we can share and understand as a village then the less anguish in store for everyone, from carer to the cared.”

David Astle, writer, broadcaster, puzzle-maker and Dementia Friend

Natarsha Belling

Journalist

Natarsha Belling Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Natarsha Belling, like thousands of other Australians, has had experience with people living with dementia. She is a national journalist, presenter and newsreader – currently with Triple M Breakfast.

Natarsha said it was imperative that awareness of the disease is raised in the community.

"Dementia can not only affect the elderly, it can also strike the young. As the people with dementia are affected, so are their loved ones and family,” she said.

“It's critical we fund vital research for a cure, but we also need to raise awareness about this debilitating disease, ensuring a growing number of Australians with the illness, and their families, receive the best possible treatment and support.”

Natarsha Belling, journalist and Dementia Friend

Stephanie 'Hex' Bendixsen

Television presenter and author

Stephanie Bendixsen Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Stephanie 'Hex' Bendixsen is an Australian television presenter, partnered Twitch broadcaster and author. She is currently in production on a new program for National Geographic.

Stephanie began her career in games media hosting and reviewing games for ABCTV's Good Game - and has since gone on to present and produce for Seven Network’s video game culture and esports show, screenPLAY.  She is a regular speaker at events surrounding tech, video games and women in the online space; regularly live streams on Twitch, and has also written a series of books for children called Pixel Raiders, Scholastic Australia. Stephanie is very active on social media.

Stephanie cared for her mother Wendy who died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2018. She is eager to share her experience to raise awareness about dementia and to help others impacted to know they are not alone.

Stephanie Bendixsen, presenter, broadcaster, author and Dementia Friend

Christine Bryden AM

Author and Dementia Advocate

Christine Bryden looking at the camera, smiling and wearing glasses and a red jacket

Christine Bryden AM is a dementia author, advocate and speaker living in Queensland. Christine was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 1995 and has published two books, a selection of talks and a personal memoir. She is passionate about standards of palliative and residential care, reducing stigma, the need for dementia-friendly communities, early diagnosis and treatments, and the need for a cure of dementia.

Christine was the first person living with dementia to give the plenary address to the international conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) in 2001, and the first person living with dementia to be elected to the ADI in 2003. In 2014, she was featured on the ABC’s Australian Story.

In recent years, Christine involved herself in research proposal assessments and decision making – a passion of hers before her diagnosis. She was a member of the Steering Committee of the Qld Statewide Dementia Clinical Network, a Consumer Member of Caboolture Hospital Clinical Council and a member of the Cognitive Impairment Advisory Group. Additionally, she was a member of the Dementia Australia Consumers Dementia Research Network from 2010 – 2015.  Christine is continuing to speak out for those unable to do so, despite her battle against ongoing cognitive damage, as a Dementia Australia Ambassador.

 

Ben Crocker

Former AFL player

Fornmer AFL footballer Ben Crocker staring at the camera wearing a Collingwood football jumper.

Ben Crocker is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Collingwood and Adelaide Crow’s Football Clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL). Most recently he has played in the Victorian Football League (VFL) with the Carlton Football Club Reserves and Collingwood Football Club Reserves.

In 2018, Ben became an Ambassador for Dementia Australia and shared the experience of his father Paul, who was diagnosed with younger onset dementia in 2014 at age 59. Sadly Paul died in November 2020.

“My former teammates at Collingwood, and Adelaide, have been so supportive of me and my family. It really made a difference in helping us to best enable Dad to stay at home and remain engaged with his family - that was so important to him and all of us.”

Ben Crocker, Collingwood FC and Dementia Friend

Terence Donovan

Actor

Terence Donovan outside looking at the camera, smiling and wearing a light blue shirt

Terence Donovan is a British-born Australian actor. He has had major roles in many Australian TV drama series, including Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Home and Away and Neighbours.

Following his time as a regular on Neighbours as Doug Willis from 1990-1994, Terence reprised his role as a guest in 2014. The return of the character Doug gave Terence the opportunity to play a man experiencing the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Like most Australians, I have encountered dementia amongst my loved ones,” Mr Donovan said.

“I know from experience that a diagnosis can not only impact on the individual but also their families and carers. The importance of this issue became even clearer to me while playing Doug.”

 

Mark Gibson

Broadcast Journalist

Mark Gibson, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Mark Gibson has been a broadcast journalist since 1991, working mainly as a news and current affairs reporter and presenter as well as a sports broadcaster. Currently Mark is ABC Radio Perth’s Breakfast presenter.

From 2001 - 2023, Mark was a recognisable face on Channel Seven in Perth across 7 News, Today Tonight and Telethon, and on 6PR Perth radio using his profile to support a number of charities.

Mark was extremely close to his grandmother Eileen who lived with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Watching Nan succumb to Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 was one of the hardest things my family and I have endured,” he said.

“I’m very proud to be taking on this role as Ambassador in honour and memory of both my grandmother and grandfather, who was the most wonderful carer.”

Mark is keen to share his story to help other families and to support the wonderful Australian researchers hoping to eradicate dementia.

 

Geraldine Hickey

Comedian

Comedian Geraldine Hickey looking at the camera wearing a dark blue shirt, red pants and sneakers, standing in front of a pink background.

Geraldine Hickey is an award-winning stand-up comedian and is beloved for her ability to turn low-key yarns into high-stakes, endlessly funny rollercoasters. She was the winner of Most Outstanding Show Award at the 2021 Melbourne Comedy Festival, and has performed around the world at festivals such as Just For Laughs Montreal and Edinburgh Fringe.

She has also appeared on popular TV programs such as Thank God You’re Here, Have You Been Paying Attention, Question Everything, The Hundred with Andy Lee and countless more.
 
Geraldine was inspired to support Dementia Australia after her father was diagnosed with dementia in 2017.
 
“When Dad was first diagnosed with dementia, we didn’t really know where to turn. I ended up accessing The Dementia Guide through Dementia Australia and that changed everything.” Geraldine said.

“Having a better understanding of dementia is an integral part of dealing with it.”

“Sadly, we lost Dad in 2023. It's very mixed emotions with dementia because we had been saying goodbye to him for years.”   
"I'm very proud to be taking on this role as Ambassador in honour and memory of my Dad."

Takaya Honda

Actor

Takaya Honda, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Takaya Honda, played Dr Tanaka in Network Ten’s popular soap opera Neighbours, made his debut as an Ambassador at a Memory Walk & Jog in Templestowe in 2017.

He joined fellow Ambassadors Nicola Stevens and Amy Jackson. Takaya said he became involved with Dementia Australia as a result of his mum being diagnosed with younger onset dementia in her early 50s. Sadly, Takaya’s mother Rhonda passed away in 2023.

"From then until now, I have been looking for a way to positively contribute to raising awareness for Dementia Australia,” Takaya said.
 

Takaya Honda, actor and Dementia Friend

Amy Jackson

Melbourne Victory FC, W-League

Amy Jackson Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Amy Jackson is a mid-fielder in the W-League Melbourne Victory Football Club. Amy was born and raised in Melbourne but has spent time overseas in recent years including time spent playing in the Netherlands and in South Korea.

Amy has diverse interests which see her working part time as a business analyst and studying an MBA. Amy’s grandmother died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. She was struck by the impact the disease had on her whole family but especially her mum who was her grandmother’s primary carer.

Amy is particularly passionate about advocating for the needs of carers and spreading awareness about the services available to support people affected by dementia.

Amy Jackson, Melbourne City FC, W-League and Dementia Friend

Wally Lewis AM

Former rugby league footballer and sports commentator

Dementia Australia Ambassador Wally Lewis AM

Wally Lewis AM was a titan of Australian Rugby League in the 1980s and 90s. He came to embody State of Origin football, making 31 appearances for Queensland between 1980 and 1991 and winning eight man-of-the match awards. It was his domination on the field during State of Origin that earned him the nickname, 'The King'.

Internationally, his dominance was just as monumental. He played in 33 tests for Australia and captained the Kangaroos 23 times. Following his retirement, a bronze statue was erected at Lang Park, (now known as Suncorp Stadium), in Queensland, and in 1999 he was named an "Immortal" of rugby league. 

In 2023, Wally revealed he had been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - brought on by years of head knocks across his storied football career.   

Wally was appointed as a Dementia Australia Ambassador during Parliamentary Friends of Dementia 2024. He has made the decision to donate his brain for research and hopes to create awareness by sharing his story.

 

Sam Mitchell

AFL Brownlow Medalist, Coach Hawthorn FC AFL

Sam Mitchell, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

Sam Mitchell is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club and the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). In 2021 Sam was appointed Head Coach at Hawthorn Football Club.

He first stepped into his role as an Ambassador in 2014 and has raised awareness of dementia in memory of his mother-in-law, Valda, who was diagnosed with younger onset dementia.

“Everyone deserves to live their life with dignity and raising awareness about dementia is a small way of helping those affected with the illness to be treated with compassion, understanding and care,” he said.

Sam Mitchell, AFL Brownlow Medalist, Assistant Coach West Coast Eagles AFL and Dementia Friend

Andrea Nicolas

Reporter

Andrea Nicolas, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

Andrea Nicolas is a senior reporter for the Seven Network, based in Adelaide. With over 10 years’ experience as a journalist, she has worked for leading media organisations including the BBC and the ABC.

Supporting those living with dementia is important to Andrea whose father was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 56.

"I know first-hand how crucial it is for families to have support during the difficult time of having a loved one diagnosed with dementia."

"Dementia Australia was a huge help to my family, putting us in touch with the correct agencies and resources."

 

Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, The Veronicas

Musicians

essica and Lisa Origliasso, The Veronicas, Dementia Australia Ambassadors portrait.

Internationally-renowned music artists Jessica and Lisa Origliasso of The Veronicas are one of Australia’s most successful international acts, with top ten and number one hits around the globe.

Like many other Australians, Jessica and Lisa’s family has been impacted by the disease, with their mother having been diagnosed with a type of dementia called Lewy body disease.

"Until we went through this with our mum and started talking to others about dementia, we had no idea of the enormity of the issue and just how many other people are going through what our family is, every day."

"After four years of misdiagnosis, we were heartbroken when we received the diagnosis and found it difficult to find information about what was going on. We felt so powerless."

"But by talking openly about it, and sharing our story, we hope we can let others know they are not alone and that there is help and support available.”

The Veronicas, musicians and dementia friends

Felicity 'Flick' Palmateer

Professional Big Wave Surfer

 

Felicity Palmateer looking at the camera, wearing an akubra hat, an orange floral print dress and a grey and white jumper tied around her waist.

Felicity ‘Flick’ Palmateer is a professional Big Wave Surfer and two-time contestant on Network Ten’s Australian Survivor.

In 2021, while filming season six of Australian Survivor, Flick was told by producers that her mother, Pauline, had passed away. Pauline was 52 and had been living with younger onset frontotemporal dementia. Flick had the option to leave the show but, with the support of her family, decided to stay on and use it as an opportunity to raise awareness about dementia and her and her family’s experience.

Flick became a Dementia Australia Ambassador in 2023 in honour of her Mum and hopes by sharing her story, she will raise more awareness of younger onset dementia and show anyone impacted by dementia that they are not alone.

 

Sue Pieters-Hawke

Author, Speaker and Consultant

Sue Pieters-Hawke looking at the camera, smiling and wearing a red top.

Sue Pieters-Hawke is a speaker, writer and consultant. An activist for dementia reform, she is a committed Dementia Australia Ambassador.

Sue wrote the biography Hazel: My Mother’s Story, which tells the story of her mother, Hazel Hawke AO, who was an advocate for tolerance and fairness and who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Sue Pieters Hawke, speaker, writer, advocate, educator, and consultant

Jessica Redmayne 

Actress

Jessica Redmayne looking at the camera and smiling.

Jessica Redmayne is a stage and screen actress currently starring in Home and Away.

Jessica spent her childhood training in all genres of dance and went on to study musical theatre. She travelled extensively overseas hosting various children’s stage productions before returning home to make her professional screen debut in 2017 in the Channel 7 family drama 800 Words. Other screen credits include Fisk, Five Bedrooms, Wentworth, Neighbours and The InBESTigators.

Jess was appointed as a Dementia Australia Ambassador during Dementia Action Week 2023 in honour of her mother Christine who lived with dementia. By sharing her story, Jess hopes to inspire the community to better understand dementia and take steps to create a more supportive community, and show others impacted by dementia that they are not alone.
 

Andrew 'Reidy' Reid

Lifeguard and media personality

Andrew 'Reidy' Reid, looking at the camera, smiling with his arms folded, wearing a white Dementia Australia hat and a white Dementia Australia t-shirt.

Born and bred in Bondi, home of Australia’s most famous stretch of sand, Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid is a lifeguard and media personality, most well-known for appearing on Channel 10’s Logie Award-winning reality show, Bondi Rescue. Being a fitness enthusiast, Reidy counts cycling, running, swimming and open ocean paddling among his favourite ways to keep in shape. In his spare time, he can be found with a camera in his hand, with his work appearing in various media outlets and galleries throughout Australia.

Andrew has supported many charities over the years, with Dementia Australia being one of them. Shortly after he began taking part in the annual Bondi2Berry ride, which raises funds for Dementia Australia, his mum was diagnosed with dementia. In 2020, his fundraising organisation Splash Series will host an event to raise funds for Dementia Australia.

 

Mark Seymour

Musician

Mark Seymour, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait

Mark Seymour is best known for his role as front man of band Hunters and Collectors. He is a musician and vocalist now enjoying success as a solo artist. Mark won an ARIA award for Best Adult Contemporary Album in 2001. Mark wrote the song, Classrooms and Kitchens about his mother Paula’s experience with dementia.

"I am passionate about sharing my personal experience to help others to realise they are not alone. Support and information is available through Dementia Australia and I encourage anyone with concerns for themselves or someone special to them to contact the organisation. As it is for all chronic diseases, accessing information, medical and counselling support early in your experience will improve the quality of life and care for the person living with dementia, their families and carers."

Mark Seymour, musician and Dementia Friend

Nicola Stevens

St Kilda Football Club AFLW

Nicola Stevens, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

Nicola Stevens is a professional AFL Women’s Football player for St Kilda Football Club. In 2017 she was awarded with All-Australian Honours and won Collingwood Football Club’s best-and-fairest before being traded to Carlton Football club where she played 5 seasons. In 2022, her first season in her new colours at St Kilda FC, she was inducted into the leadership team despite her short time at the club.

Outside of football, Nicola is a qualified Osteopath having taken on a role with medical technology company Stryker, where she is the go-to clinical consultant in complex knee and hip replacement surgery. 

Nicola's mother Ann was diagnosed with younger onset dementia at aged 52 and sadly passed away in 2023. Nicola has been an ambassador of Dementia Australia since 2017 where she hopes to, by sharing her story, reduce the stigma and common misconceptions of dementia and to help others feel like they're not alone.

Nicola Stevens, AFLW player and Dementia Friend

Denis Walter OAM

Radio presenter, media personality and singer

Denis Walter OAM looking at the camera, smiling, wearing a black suit jacket and a grey and white striped shirt.

Denis Walter is an Australian radio presenter, singer, recording artist and media personality. Walter spent many years presenting the weather on Nine News in Melbourne and reading the new on WIN TV Victoria. He was awarded an OAM in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Since November 2008 he has been hosting the afternoon shift on radio 3AW. Denis is an accomplished singer, recording 16 albums in his career and performing regularly including on the annual Carols By Candlelight.

"It is imperative that awareness of the disease is raised in the community. Dementia can not only affect the elderly, it can also strike the young. As the people with dementia are affected, so are their loved ones and family. It's critical we fund vital research for a cure, but we also need to raise awareness about this life limiting disease, ensuring a growing number of Australians with the illness, and their families, receive the best possible treatment and support."

 

The Hon. John Watkins AM

Former Deputy Premier of NSW

The Hon. John Watkins, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

John Watkins is a former Deputy Premier of NSW and a former CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

In 2015 he received an Order of Australia (AM) for his service to aged care, community care services and tertiary education and he continues to serve as a company Chair, ambassador and patron on several expert panels, boards and committees in the health and charitable sectors.

John plays an active role in advancing dementia awareness in Australia and understands the challenges faced by those people living with dementia as his mother lived with dementia for several years.

"Following mum’s death, I felt that I had a responsibility to advocate for other Australians living with dementia. As an Ambassador for Dementia Australia, I hope to make a contribution to the lives of those living with dementia. We owe it to those who are in need to offer a helping hand."

 

Pat Welsh

Sports Editor and Media Identity

Pat Welsh, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

For 47 years Pat Welsh was a Sports Commentator at the 7 Network. He covered nine Olympics starting at Barcelona in 1992, including Sydney 2000. He was the Sports Reader at Channel 7 Brisbane for 40 years. Pat covered international golf, cricket, tennis and rugby league across five continents for his entire career. Pat retired from Channel 7 in 2023 and is now hosting a Breakfast radio show with ex-Test cricketer, Ian Healy on SEN Sports radio broadcast across many Queensland markets.

Now, in partnership with Dementia Australia he uses his media profile to bring much needed awareness to brain health.

“Watching my father live with dementia showed me how important programs and services were to my mother and him in helping them retain their quality of life," he said.

“I want to use my profile to help eliminate the stigma around brain health and start a conversation in the community. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, and we all need to understand what we can do to reduce our risk.”

 

Doris Younane

Stage and Screen Actress

Doris Younane, Dementia Australia Ambassador portrait.

Actress Doris Younane, whose mother had dementia, said that that she hopes that as an Ambassador she is able to help promote a better understanding of dementia in the community.

“Dementia is so prevalent it’s almost inconceivable that it has remained a taboo illness for so long,” said Doris, well-known from her roles on TV’s McLeod’s Daughters, Seachange, Five Bedrooms and Frayed.

“It’s not until you have been touched personally by the disease that you begin to understand just how common it really is and how many families it affects. Thankfully there is support available for those trying to deal with an ever-changing illness.”

“I cannot stress enough how beneficial it has been to talk to professionals and counsellors from Dementia Australia who can guide you through the often rugged terrain of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Doris Younane, actor and Dementia Friend
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Last updated
1 February 2024