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Wicking Trust Symposium goes virtual to tackle the big question of quality in aged care

This year’s Wicking Trust Symposium, which brings together leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of ageing and Alzheimer’s’ Disease, will zero in on one of the hot topics of 2020 – quality in aged care.

“The quality of life experienced in our later years and how we care for older Australians that are in need of assistance are always important issues in our community.  However, this year interest has been significantly heightened because of the tragic deaths in aged care due to the pandemic, and the subsequent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearing and the special report on this subject recently released by the Commission,” said Jodi Kennedy, General Manager of Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Equity Trustees.

Held virtually tomorrow (14 October) the very timely panel session What’s quality got to do with it? will be led by moderator, Associate Professor Colm Cunningham, and Director of The Dementia Centre, HammondCare with panellists Professor June Andrews, Ian Henschke, Dr Stephen Judd and Professor Susan Kurrle (see full media release pdf below for speaker bios).

It will be followed by a keynote by world-renowned dementia researcher Professor Colin Masters AO presenting a session on Alzheimer’s disease - early diagnosis and how we will delay onset and slow progression.

The day will also include presentations from three impressive shortlisted projects spanning robotics, palliative care and homelessness – all vying for a 2020 Wicking Trust major grant in the order of $1.5 million over up to five years.

The J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust (The Wicking Trust) was established under the terms of the Will of the late John Oswald Wicking, following his death in June 2002. The major grants program aims to achieve systemic change in the areas of ageing and Alzheimer’s disease
“The Wicking Trust is now one of Australia’s most significant charitable trusts, distributing around $4 million annually, and has well-established partnerships with Vision Australia and the O’Brien Foundation (formerly the Microsurgery Foundation) – two charities John and Janet Wicking were particularly dedicated to,” said Ms Kennedy.
“Equity Trustees is proud to be a part of supporting how we, as a community, find ways to deal with the complex issues we face as a community in caring for, and dealing with, the many challenges that can come with ageing, and the many opportunities presented by a growing cohort of healthy and engaged older Australians,” she said.
More about the Wicking Trust is available here.

Download the full Media Release

Further Information


Alicia Kokocinski

General Manager – Marketing & Communications      

03 8623 5396 / 0403 172 024

Equity Trustees was established in 1888 for the purpose of providing independent and impartial Trustee and Executor services to help families throughout Australia protect their wealth. As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, we offer a diverse range of services to individuals, families and corporate clients including asset management, estate planning, philanthropic services and Responsible Entity (RE) services for external Fund Managers. Equity Trustees is the brand name of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615) and its subsidiary companies, publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT) with offices in Melbourne, Bendigo, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, London and Dublin. Philanthropy services are provided by Equity Trustees Wealth Services Limited (ABN 33 006 132 332) (AFSL 234528), part of the EQT group of companies.



Associate Professor Colm Cunningham (moderator) is a member of the Wicking Trust’s advisory panel, and the Director of The Dementia Centre, HammondCare and a member of the Wicking Trust Strategic Review Panel. He leads an Australian and International team of more than 200 staff involved in research, education, clinical care and consultancy. The Dementia Centre lead the Australian national dementia behaviour response services, Dementia Support Australia, with the aim of reconsidering the meaning and causes of ‘behaviours’.

Professor June Andrews is an authoritative dementia expert with a focus on improving the public understanding of dementia. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, the world's largest nursing union and professional body, and has been recognised as one of the most influential clinicians in the UK. As a professor emeritus she now advises the Dementia Services Development Trust, a charity that focuses on people affected by dementia and disrupting popular misconceptions about dementia. She was the head of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland before returning to practice as a Director of Nursing in the NHS. She was a senior civil servant in the Scottish Government, leading the Centre for Change and Innovation to foster improvement in delivery of health care, including cancer, diabetes, depression, and operational issues such as waiting times.

Her book, Dementia; what you need to know, and its UK version, Dementia the One Stop Guide, is a detailed guide to what makes a difference in the life of a person with dementia.

Ian Henschke is Chief Advocate for National Seniors Australia and spokesperson for the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System. He is a multi-award-winning former radio presenter and TV journalist, reporting for a range of programs including Today Tonight, 7.30 Report, Landline, and 4 Corners. He is also a former Staff Elected Director on the ABC Board. He is based in Adelaide and still a regular columnist for The Advertiser and the SA Weekend Magazine. For services to Australian society through broadcasting he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal. As Chief Advocate for National Seniors he is passionate about improving the lives of all older Australians.

Dr Stephen Judd has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare and information technology.  After about a career in the IT industry, he became Chief Executive of HammondCare in 1995.  Over the following 25 years, HammondCare evolved from serving fewer than 250 residents in care homes with an annual revenue of $8m to caring for more than 25,711 people in the community, in residential care homes as well as in sub-acute health and hospital services, with 2019-20 revenue of over just under $350m. Stephen stepped down as HammondCare’s Chief Executive at the end of August 2020.

He has authored books on dementia care, aged care design and the role of charities. Stephen has also served on a number of Government and industry committees, including the Aged Care Sector Committee, the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Advisory Council.

Professor Susan Kurrle is a geriatrician practising at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital in northern Sydney and at Batemans Bay and Moruya Hospitals in southern NSW. She is the Clinical Network Director for Rehabilitation and Aged Care in Northern Sydney Local Health District and she holds the Curran Chair in Health Care of Older People in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. Her current research and practice interests centre on frailty, dementia, and successful ageing.


Professor Colin L Masters AO is Laureate Professor of Dementia Research, The Florey Institute, The University of Melbourne, a consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and a member of the Wicking Trust Strategic Review Panel.

He has focused his career on research in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. His work over the last 35 years is widely acknowledged as having had a major influence on Alzheimer’s disease research world-wide, particularly the collaborative studies conducted with Konrad Beyreuther in which they discovered the proteolytic neuronal origin of the Aβ amyloid protein which causes Alzheimer’s disease. This work has led to the continued development of diagnostics and therapeutic strategies. More recently, his focus has been on describing the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease as a necessary preparatory step for therapeutic disease modification.