The National Ageing Research Institute’s story began over 40 years ago when our predecessors recognised that the population was ageing and that we did not have good systems in place for managing older people’s health and wellbeing.

Mr Lionel Adams, Vice President of Mount Royal Special Hospital for the Aged, joined forces with the Victorian Government and the University of Melbourne to appoint an inaugural Professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Professor Derek Prinsley, who later became our founding Director.Early version of NARI logo

Professor Derek Prinsley was instrumental in introducing teaching into the University of Melbourne’s curriculum as well as changing attitudes about aged care. He began work at NARI 1976 and led the Institute until 1986, building its international reputation in ageing research.

NARI’s original objectives were not that different to our current strategic vision and goals. Although the words ‘translational research’ were not in vogue then, NARI’s research was and continues to be interdisciplinary and practical, able to be directly applied to policy and practice, and to provide education to health professionals.

Our work has been pioneering. We have been responsible for setting up memory clinics, pain clinics and falls and balance clinics – initially in Victoria, but since replicated across Australia and internationally. Our research has also contributed to the establishment of the Aged Care Assessment program, a model that is considered international best practice. We have led the field in areas where there is very little Australian research, such as elder abuse, the needs of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and the older person/technology interface.

Today our work remains at the forefront of ageing research as we promote healthy ageing and a positive image of older people.

Annual seminar photo Briony Dow and Derek Prinsley

Current NARI Director Professor Briony Dow with former Director Professor Derek Prinsley in 2016.