Long-serving research member farewelled

The Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation farewells Professor John McKellar AM ED, one of the Foundation’s longest serving members. Professor McKellar has retired as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, after some 16 years of dedication to the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation. 

Professor John McKellarThe Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation funds researchers across all stages of their careers, but maintains a particular focus on capacity building of new and early career researchers and students.

This year, the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation will be offering just over $1 million in research funding for Australian researchers who are exploring the causes, care, prevention and treatment for dementia.

All funding for the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation is donated by members of the public and by private and philanthropic organisations. 

Professor McKellar joined the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation in 2000 as Dementia Australia SA’s member representative of the Foundation.

Professor McKellar went on to become a Director in 2004 and Vice Chair in 2010.

Having helped establish the Rosemary Foundation in 1998, Professor McKellar was an advocate for the Rosemary Foundation Travel Fellowship, which enabled an Australian dementia researcher to travel and learn from some of the brightest minds overseas.

These grants have supported the development of many early career researchers such as Dr Belinda Brown, NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow from Edith Cowan University, who was awarded a Rosemary Travel Fellowship in 2014 to visit The University of Pittsburgh in the U.S.

“This was a fantastic opportunity that helped me grow as a researcher in many ways. I have developed a collaboration with a fantastic team at the University of Pittsburgh, and we have numerous plans to continue our work together in the future. During my time at the University of Pittsburgh I was also trained in functional magnetic resonance imaging acquisition and analysis: I am currently in the process of having this imaging modality set-up in Perth, for use in our studies of ageing and Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Brown said. 

Some 21 Travel Fellowships and Research Grants (over $165,000 worth of funding) have been awarded through the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation’s Dementia Grants Program on behalf of the Rosemary Foundation since 2004.

Professor McKellar joined Dementia Australia SA in 1990 after his wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with early stage dementia. Over the years Professor McKellar has served on a number of Boards and Committees including the Dementia Australia SA Board (President, 2000-2012), Dementia Australia National Board (Vice-President, 2001-2004) and the Dementia Australia SA Carer Advisory and Advocacy Committee (Chair, 2001-2009).

Professor McKellar is currently the Deputy Chair of the Rosemary Foundation, Deputy Chair of the National Board of the Order of Australia Association (and Chair of the South Australian Branch) and Deputy President of the Adelaide Universities Regiment Association.

The Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation also farewells Directors Dr Sean Maher, Mr David Nathan, Dr Ron Sinclair and Dr Andrew Watt.

Together with Professor McKellar, and with almost 35 years of experience between them, they have made a significant contribution to the Foundation and have helped establish the Dementia Australia Dementia Research Foundation as a substantial funder of new and emerging dementia researchers.