There’s a blue chair in my lounge room. The stuffing is gone and the upholstery is thinning, but it still smells like my grandfather. A self-made man, with strong hands and a full head of white hair, he taught me to crack macadamia nuts with a brick and bought me books about feisty, independent, young women. As I grew, he aged and eventually our roles were reversed. I became the carer and was honoured to repay even a small portion of the love and kindness he had shown me.
My grandfather, who was already in his 70s when I was born, inspired my interest in the health and wellbeing of older adults. And now I spend my days researching and teaching topics in ageing and family care. But in the daily grind of academic life – get the money, do the research, write the paper, rinse & repeat – it’s easy to forget your inspiration.
This website brings together my publications and presentations and provides links to media coverage of my work. It is also home to reflections on my research and related current events, and resources for students and other researchers. This website is about ensuring that the people who have the most to gain from my research – carers, older adults, people with dementia, advocacy organisations, clinicians, and policy makers – are able to access it. And that students and early career researchers are able to benefit from my experience. It is also about stepping off the merry-go-round of academic life for a moment and acknowledging the man who inspired my career, the people who so generously participate in my research, and the people whose lives will be affected by it. It is about doing research that cares.