Tuesday 5 March 2024

Media Release

Australia’s leading independent ageing, health and aged care research agency, the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), has announced Professor Tracy Comans as its new Director.

A UQ Amplify Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research, University of Queensland, and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Professor Comans is known for her innovative application of economics in health services, and for developing the prototype for the aged care star ratings system.

With qualifications in physiotherapy and economics, and a clinical background specialising in aged care, dementia, and rehabilitation, Professor Comans brings a unique perspective.

Professor Comans is joining NARI at a pivotal time in its almost 50-year history. Ongoing innovation and investment are needed to ensure the continued delivery of translational research and evidence-based programs that benefit older people, improve the standard of in-home, community, hospital and residential aged care services and ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of the paid and unpaid workforce.

Professor Comans will be taking on the role in May when existing NARI Director, Professor Briony Dow, retires. Professor Dow has spent more than 20 years at NARI, including leading the organisation for the past decade.

During that time, Professor Dow helped cement NARI’s position as Australia’s preeminent ageing, health and aged care research institute, known for practical, translatable research that improves the lives of older people and those who care for them around Australia and across the world.

"I am delighted to welcome Professor Comans to NARI. Her experience and expertise ensure we are well positioned to continue to deliver innovative translational research that allows older people to spend less time unwell and in hospital; and more time healthy and connected.

"Professor Comans’ qualifications in economics and physiotherapy are particularly useful as our population ages and the demand for high-quality health services for older people and the need for advocacy and collaboration increases.

"Under Professor Dow’s leadership, research on reducing falls in hospitals, person-centred care and elder abuse have led to policy and practice changes benefiting tens of thousands of older Australians – as well as those who treat, love and care for them – every year.

"I thank Briony for her 20 years of dedicated service to NARI and wish her well for her future endeavours."

- President NARI Board, Associate Professor Michael Murray AM

"I am honoured to step into the role of Director at NARI, an esteemed institution that I have long admired. I look forward to playing my role in ensuring NARI continues to build on its legacy, working with our staff and partners to deliver improved outcomes for older people across Australia and around the world."

- Professor Tracy Comans, incoming Director of NARI

Media contact: Rachael Dillon — 0437 233 932