Institute for Health & Ageing

Promoting positive ageing and an age friendly society

Live Long Live Well Colloquium Series 2017: March - December

The Institute for Health & Ageing (IHA) is pleased to present monthly talks from colleagues and collaborators working across a range of disciplines relative to the pursuit of healthy and active ageing.

We invite you to join us for these seminars, in person or online. All presentations are followed by an opportunity for discussion.

What: Live Long Live Well Colloquium Series
Where: Rm 6.02, Level 6, 215 Spring Street Melbourne.
When: 2-3pm Melbourne time, first Wednesday of every month

Coming up


Wednesday December 6th, 2-3pm: Dr Tanya Davison

Addressing the challenge of depression in residential aged care settings

Tanya landscapeIHA’s Dr Tanya Davison is the lead investigator on an NHMRC-funded research project that will develop and evaluate an innovative program to reduce depression in residential aged care, targeting newly admitted residents who are a high-risk group. The Program to Enhance Adjustment to Residential Living (PEARL) is the first early intervention and prevention approach for depression that is designed specifically for the aged care setting.

Depression is common in residential aged care facilities, affecting approximately one third of older adults who can no longer live independently at home. This problem is likely to grow as our population continues to age. This presentation describes the residential aged care setting and the current model of care for residents with depression. The available evidence on risk and protective factors for depression for this population will be reviewed, and an alternative approach proposed to address the high rates of depression, focusing on the most vulnerable subgroup – newly admitted residents. The Program to Enhance Adjustment to Residential Living (PEARL), a novel intervention will be presented, considering strategies to embed this approach into routine care.

Please contact IHA as per the details below to obtain dial-in details for joining a colloquium via audio-visual link from an ACU location, or via teleconference from another location.

ACU colleagues are encouraged to dial in from a campus A/V meeting room, or by using Polycom Realpresence on their computer desktop.

A/V room bookings can be made via or by calling 07 3623 7272. The Servicedesk can also assist with Polycom installation on your PC or laptop.

(NB: these presentations are scheduled on Melbourne time).

Register your interest in attending with / 03 9230 8170.




Wednesday October 4th, 2-3pm: Associate Professor Sunil Bhar

An overview of counselling approaches and delivery models within residential aged care

Sunil BharSunil Bhar is an Associate Professor of Psychology and head of the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology. He co-founded the  Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults, an innovative counselling service for older adults living in residential settings.

His research  focuses on the emotional wellbeing of older adults and the mechanisms of reminiscence and cognitive-behavioural therapies. He is a diplomat of the Academy of Cognitive Therapies, having spent 4 years working with Aaron Beck, MD investigating the efficacy of cognitive therapy for older adults. His talk presented an overview of counselling approaches and delivery models within residential aged care.

Wednesday 6th September, 2-3pm: Dr Klaus Gebel

The role of neighbourhood environments and physical activity intensity in healthy ageing – Findings from the 45 and Up study

Dr Klaus Gebel is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Australian Catholic University and also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Sydney School of Public Health of the University of Sydney and at the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention of James Cook University. His main research areas are the relationship between built environments, physical activity and health and health effects of physical activity. Klaus has studied and worked at seven universities in three countries and has received multiple grants, scholarships and awards. Through the media, his 2015 paper in JAMA Internal Medicine reached more than 1.1 billion people and he was also invited to present the findings from this study in a TEDx talk. Recently Klaus co-edited a book entitled “Walking – Connecting Sustainable Transport with Health”, which brings together experts from urban planning, transportation and public health.

Brennan_February 2014On the 2nd of August IHA Honorary Fellow Dr Sharon Brennan-Olsen presented on Bone health: Reflecting the social mosaic. In the musculoskeletal field it is becoming increasingly clear that human skeletal health is influenced by a mosaic (or combination) of social and biological factors: indeed, the human skeleton could be considered a reflection of our social lives.

In this presentation, Dr Brennan-Olsen summarized the evidence-base regarding social disadvantage and associations with lower bone quality, an increased fracture risk, and a greater prevalence of arthritis diseases. She presented results from a selection of studies that she and her team have conducted regarding social determinants and musculoskeletal health, including the role played by childhood adversity, chronic stress and inflammation on bone and joints.

Caryl NowsonIn July we welcomed Professor Caryl Nowson who holds the Chair in Nutrition and Ageing, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Research School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University. She has a research program spanning more than 30 years that has focused on two major diseases of ageing: nutrition related to hypertension, and nutrition related to bone health. She is a qualified dietitian who has worked in aged care settings and conducted a number of nutrition interventions, some combined with exercise, with older people both within the community and within residential aged care. She has a particular interest identifying lifestyle factors that contribute to health outcomes of older people that impact on quality of life. Caryl will be presenting on Optimal Nutrition for Healthy Ageing: More or Less?

Xianwen Shang

June’s Colloquium on Wednesday the 7th at 2pm, was presented by Xianwen Shang from the University of Melbourne. He discussed Protein intakes from different sources and cardiometabolic disorders in community-dwelling Australian adults.

Cardiometabolic disorders including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and obesity are major causes of mortality and morbidity. Few studies investigated the relationship of protein intakes from different sources with incident diabetes and the results are inconsistent. The association of protein intakes from different sources with incident metabolic syndrome remains to be explored.

This presentation discussed the findings of a study which prospectively examined whether protein intakes from different sources are differently associated with cardiometabolic disorders using the data from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS) of 41,514 participants. Data on dietary intakes, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome were assessed at both baseline (1990-1994) and follow-up (2003-2007). A meta-analysis that included the results from this study’s cohort and from 10 previous prospective studies was also conducted to examine the association between protein intakes and incident diabetes.

James (Jim) Sallis, Active LIving ResearchOn the third Wednesday of May – the 17th – Professor Jim Sallis of IHA and the University of California discussed The importance of built environments for physical activity and obesity across the lifespan: US studies.

In this presentation, Professor Sallis described the rationale, methods, and selected results of a series of studies his team conducted on the relation of built environments to physical activity. These studies were based on ecological models, so they included a wide range of potential correlates, including psychological, social, macro-level environments, and micro-level features. The studies were conducted with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults, providing an opportunity to take a life course perspective in examining the results.

Ego Seeman pictureApril’s presentation fell on the third rather than the first Wednesday of the month.  On the 19th of April IHA’s Professor Ego Seeman presented: The Seven Deadly Sins of Imaging Bone Morphology. 

Bone is no lifeless rock orbiting earth in the dark side of silence.  Yet in the contemporary mind’s eye, it is an impenetrable hard and forbidden place made so by a push button era, a truth delivered by two dimensional imaging using radiation transmission; bone densitometry.  The images produced are shadows, insightful as is the shadow of the earth on the dark side of the moon, blind to the three-dimensional world of mountains, forests and rivers projected on the lunar landscape.  Hidden are the triple helices of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen amino acids of collagen, impregnated by calcium diamond crystal chandeliers hung on protective elastic springs.

The bone mineral density printout is blind to these noncollagenous proteins protecting the crystal platelets of mineral, blind to the extracellular fluid-filled canals and water ways, blind to a milky way of sentinals, the osteocytes in an Amazonian jungle of interconnecting canaliculi journeying around the sun, locating and signalling damage to acid firing dragons dissolving damage and the osteoblasts in servitude to the Ancient promise of reassembly bringing new skin for the old ceremony.

Imaging has blinded us to the biology of bone and will ensure no thought, no question asked and no exploration of courage.

Believe nothing.

Cassandra SzoekeOn Wednesday the 1st of March IHA’s Professor Cassandra Szoeke presented Predictive Factors for Verbal Memory Performance Over Decades of Ageing: Data from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project.

The risk of cognitive decline and dementia increases with age. However abnormalities in brain structure and function known to underpin cognitive decline can occur several decades prior to the onset of symptoms. It is in the preceding decades that an intervention to delay or prevent cognitive decline is most likely to be effective. It is imperative that successful interventions are therefore informed by an understanding of factors contributing to the progression of cognitive decline and dementia. This presentation will examine the timing and exposure of factors contributing to memory performance in ageing, using data from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project.


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