Below is a list of current NARI executive staff members.
- Professor Briony DowBSW MA PhDDirectorBriony Dow is Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Honorary Professor at the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University. At NARI Briony oversees a range of both aged care and social and clinical gerontology research programs, including her own research into elder abuse and carer mental health. Briony has been at NARI for 17 years during which time she has published over 80 peer reviewed publications and over 30 major reports to government. Prior to her work at NARI, Briony practised as a social worker in community aged care. She is a past President and Life Member of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and she is on a range of national advisory groups, including the AIHW Aged Care Data Advisory Group and Elder Abuse Action Australia Advisory Committee.
- Debra O'ConnorBSW, MSW, MBL, (GAICD)Deputy Director, Executive ManagerMs Debra O'Connor is the Executive Manager and a Deputy Director of NARI. Ms O’Connor joined NARI in 2007 and is a member of the executive team and is responsible for all the operational and research governance functioning of NARI as well as supporting the Board and their subcommittees. She also manages the education and professional development program. Ms O’Connor maintains a strong interest and some advisory roles in psychosocial research undertaken by NARI. As part of her role she oversees fundraising and communications programs and external relations and partnerships development. Ms O’Connor’s career path has included managing health services as well as lecturing. She is currently a member of the RMIT Social Work Program Advisory Committee and has recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is the NARI Company Secretary.
- Associate Professor Frances BatchelorPh.D B. App Sc (Physio), Grad Dip Ed (Sport Science), M. Hlth St.Director, Clinical Gerontology, Melbourne Ageing Research CollaborationAssociate Professor Frances Batchelor is the Director of Clinical Gerontology at NARI, as well as research lead for the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration. She is both an academic and clinical physiotherapist. Her research interests include falls prevention after stroke; falls prevention in community, residential care and hospital settings; identification and management of mild balance dysfunction in cohorts such as minor stroke and transient ischaemic attack; and the interface between technology and ageing. Before coming to NARI, Frances worked in neurology and aged care in Australia, Germany and England in both acute and sub-acute settings. She was awarded her PhD in 2010 from the University of Melbourne on the topic of “Falls Prevention After Stroke”.
- Dr Bianca BrijnathBA (Hons) PhDDirector, Social GerontologyBianca Brijnath is the new divisional director of social gerontology at NARI. Her disciplinary training is in primary healthcare, public health and medical anthropology and her research expertise is in mental health and care in primary care and community-based settings. Within these disciplinary and contextual boundaries, she has undertaken several studies exploring mental health and culture, mental health and the life-course, and mental health and compensable injury. Over the course of her career, she has helped secure approximately $4.2 million in research funding, including fellowship support from the NHMRC for her research on depression and help-seeking among South Asian and Anglo-Australians. She has methods expertise in qualitative methods, systematic reviews, and quantitative techniques and her research is multidisciplinary and applied. Bianca has authored over 60 publications, including a sole-authored book with Berghahn Books and is section editor for BMC Public Health. In recognition of her talents, she was accepted into the International Primary Healthcare Leadership Programme delivered by the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.
- Dr Joan OstaszkiewiczM. Nursing Research, PhD, GC (Higher Ed. Learning & Teaching)Director, Aged CareDr Ostaszkiewicz is a Registered Nurse and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research- Barwon Health Partnership. Joan contributes to leading innovative clinical and translational research that makes a difference to older people, particularly those with dementia and who are dependent on a carer. Her research is aligned with national and international priorities for research that have a positive impact on communities and directly impacts the quality, safety and experience of health care. Using a knowledge translation framework, her current research involves developing and evaluating methods to translate principles about dignity related to continence care into practice in residential aged care homes.
- David RischbiethChief Financial Officer