Below is a list of current NARI executive staff members.
- Associate Professor Briony DowBSW MA PhDDirectorBriony Dow is Director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. At NARI Briony oversees a range of both social and clinical gerontology research programs, including her own research into elder abuse and carer mental health. Briony has been at NARI for 16 years during which time she has published over 70 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 of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and she represents NARI and the AAG on the Australian Government’s Aged Care data Advisory Group.
- 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.
- Dr Frances BatchelorPh.D B. App Sc (Physio), Grad Dip Ed (Sport Science), M. Hlth St.Director, Clinical Gerontology, Melbourne Ageing Research CollaborationDr Frances Batchelor is a Senior Research Fellow and 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.
- David RischbiethChief Financial Officer