I am a Senior Lecturer and Head of Course in Occupational Therapy at the Bundaberg campus. An occupational therapist with over 36 years’ experience as a clinician, educator and researcher, my passion is aged care, in particular care of people with dementia. I have worked clinically in both residential and community settings.
I have a Master’s Degree in occupational therapy research as well as a PhD; my research has covered residential care issues, care of people with dementia, care quality, rural health, respite care, and clinical teaching. My current research is in the areas of living well with dementia, meaningful occupation, sexuality, travel for people with dementia, and the establishment of “Dementia Friendly” environments.
For more information about dementia friendly air travel, please see:
Clinically I have worked as an occupational therapist in residential aged care settings, community rehabilitation, and specialist mental health for older people. I have set up dementia programming and contributed to the education of aged care staff about how to work effectively with people with dementia. My focus is on engagement, participation and agency.
I spent 15 years as a research-only academic engaged in projects focusing on ageing and dementia, including five years working with the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration at Queensland University of Technology.
The University of Queensland, St Lucia (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Master of Occupational Therapy)
Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove (Doctor of Philosophy)
University of Queensland
Queensland University of Technology
NNIDR DCRC. Capacity Building in Care Research (CBCR) Fellowship, 2019-2021
CQUniversity Opal Awards. Finalist: Engaged Education and Training; as part of the “Science Rocks” team, November 2017.
QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award. Team award for the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre/ Dementia Training Studies Centre team in the School of Nursing, QUT. Awarded November 2011.
QUT Faculty of Health, Executive Dean’s Commendation Award. For PhD thesis entitled “Clinical indicators of quality for Australian residential aged care facilities: Establishing reliability, validity, and quality thresholds”. Awarded May 2011.
COTA Over 50s Postgraduate Research Award. Paper entitled “Clinical outcomes in residential care: Setting benchmarks for quality”. Presented at the Emerging Researchers in Ageing Master Class, Feb 2009.
"Allied health experts advocate for accessible tourism" CQUni News, 4 November, 2022; https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/stories/research-category/2022-research/allied-health-experts-advocate-for-accessible-tourism
"Opening the door to leisure travel for people living with dementia" CQUni News, 22 October 2021; https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/stories/research-category/2021-research/opening-the-door-to-leisure-travel-for-people-living-with-dementia
"Let’s talk about sex: Occupational therapists just need ‘to do it’" CQUni News, 25 February 2021; https://www.cqu.edu.au/cquninews/stories/research-category/2021-research/lets-talk-about-sex-occupational-therapists-just-need-to-do-it
"Covid 19 Special"
Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio, 30 May 2020; https://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/alzheimers-speaks-radio-covid-19-special-053020/
“The emergence of dementia-friendly holidays” (featuring interview with Dr Maria O’Reilly)
Health Times, Haley Williams, 23 Oct 2018
“Navigating the joys and stresses of travel while living with dementia”.
Radio National, Life Matters, 7 Aug 2017
“Researchers hope to cure fear of flying”
Channel 7 News, Brisbane, 21 May 2016
“Airlines unprepared for increasing number of travellers with dementia.”
Radio National, Breakfast (Early), James Carleton 23 Jun 2015 6:43 AM
Registered Occupational Therapist: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Australian Association of Gerontology,
OT Australia (member, Aged Care National Reference Group)
International Dementia Scholars' Collaborative
International Dementia Travel (I-D-Air Travel) Collaborative
Dementia Friendly Airports Working Group (USA)
Facilitated endorsement of Brisbane Airport as Australia's first "Dementia Friendly" Airport.
I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:
At the level of Principal Supervisor
Other Medical and Health Sciences - Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Occupational Therapy; dementia care