Dementia Centre Director joins Wicking Trust review panel

Colm Cunningham, Director of HammondCare's Dementia Centre, has been appointed to the seven-member multidisciplinary Wicking Strategic Review Panel.

The panel is to be chaired by the CEO of Helping Hand, Ian Hardy, and Mr Cunningham will provide expertise with other panel members across Alzheimer's disease, dementia, social innovation, evaluation, neuroscience and communication. The expert panel will advise the JO and JR Wicking Trust on priorities for its $4 million innovation-in-ageing grants program.

Mr Cunningham said it was a privilege to be involved in the panel as it provides advice on social and policy trends in the sectors of interest to the trust.

"The JO & JR Wicking Trust is an outstanding resource for innovation in aged and dementia care and I am excited to join with fellow panel members in providing advice on ageing research priorities for the trust's grant allocations," Mr Cunningham said.

"My involvement with the panel fits well with my role as Director of The Dementia Centre which likewise is committed to encouraging innovation and best practice in dementia care."

Panel will lead innovation

New chairman, Ian Hardy, told the Australian Ageing Agenda that it was the panel’s unique model that piqued his interest in the role.

“Appointment of expert advisory panels to assist in grant determinations is nothing new. However, the difference here is that our panel will not directly make grant recommendations or determinations, but provide advice on social and policy trends in the sectors of interest to the trust,” Mr Hardy said.

“This model is designed to elicit frank and fearless feedback. I am looking forward to assisting the evolution of the panel to become a recognised leadership force in the field,” he said.

The six “outstanding panel members” are:

  • Dr Amy Brodtmann, co-division head, Behavioural Neuroscience, Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Colm Cunningham, director, The Dementia Centre, HammondCare
  • Prof Colin Masters, executive director, Mental Health Research Institute
  • Prof Margaret O’Connor, Vivian Bullwinkel chair in Palliative Care Nursing, Monash University
  • Prof Lynne Parkinson, professorial research fellow, Health Collaborative Research Network, CQUniversity