Dementia Care Sydney – Keynote Speakers

Dementia Care Sydney

Professor Meera Agar, Associate Professor Andrew Cole and Dr Martin Kennedy are the four researchers who are responsible for the development of dementia care in Australia. Andrew is also a Conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Kensington, St George, and Hammondville campuses. Andrew has lectured in Japan and Thailand, among other countries. Dementia is a growing problem for both doctors and caregivers, and it’s important to find the right care for your loved one.

Professor Meera Agar

Professor Meera Agar, Dementi a Sydney-based clinical academic, is the recipient of the 2014 EAPC Early Researcher Award for her work in dementia care. She is a clinician-scientist and has held academic appointments at both Flinders University and the University of NSW. A keen researcher, she has been instrumental in the development of innovative methods of providing health care services to those suffering from advanced illness. In 2014/15, she led several research projects, including a trial of medicinal cannabis for the terminally ill.

Associate Professor Andrew Cole

In his new role as Chief Medical Officer of HammondCare, Associate Professor Andrew Cole will be responsible for research, education and the development of positive ageing models. He will also continue to work at the Dementia Care Sydney Dementia Care Sydney site and will be responsible for a range of clinical activities. The HammondCare Clinical Training Centre will be situated on its Hammondville campus in south-west Sydney.

Dr Martin Kennedy

Dr Martin Kennedy is a palliative medicine physician, staff specialist for Hammond Care in Sydney. He has academic appointments at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University and has extensive experience in specialist sub-acute medical care. He has worked in rehabilitation units, acute care hospitals and public hospitals for over twenty years. He is passionate about compassionate care and team-based subacute care. Read on to learn more about Dr Martin Kennedy’s experience and qualifications.


The keynote speaker for the conference was Joanna from Dementia Care Sydney. Joanna has worked in the elder care industry for over 15 years and knows the ins and outs of this condition. Her passionate approach to dementia and its many challenges has made her a compelling speaker. Her knowledge and expertise can be invaluable to both family members and caregivers. Joanna is passionate about helping others cope with dementia, and has been active in the community by conducting seminars, providing training, and frequently attending corporate events.

Professor Andrew Cole

The Grand Designs International Dementia Conference is coming to Sydney this year. In addition to his role as Chief Medical Officer at HammondCare, Andrew Cole is also a Senior Staff Specialist and Conjoint Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of New South Wales. He convenes the Aged Care & Rehabilitation teaching block for the UNSW MD program and regularly teaches medical students at the UNSW Kensington campus and Hammondville campus. In addition, he regularly presents continuing education programs on the subject.

Dr Janine Stevenson

Among Dr Janine Stevenson’s accomplishments is her extensive knowledge of dementia and its impact on people’s lives. She has been involved in many research and advocacy projects and is the author of several books. Dr Stevenson is a senior fellow of the Dementia Care Sydney research institute and has received numerous awards. She is a well-respected speaker and regularly publishes new research on dementia.


At the heart of the care program at Dementia Care Sydney is the work of psychologist Melanie Smith. Her treatment program focuses on maximising people’s functional and social returns. She helps clients maintain meaningful relationships with their family and friends. Melanie enjoys working with families, support teams and other therapists. She has also supported her clients to provide education to young drivers and traffic offenders. In addition to her work at Dementia Care Sydney, Melanie has a private practice in Canberra.

Associate Professor Janine Stevenson

Dementia is a chronic illness that affects approximately one million people in Australia. There is a wide range of treatment options available to those who are living with dementia and their families. One treatment option is the cognitive behavioral therapy. Other treatments include psychotherapy and medications. A cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective in improving the quality of life of people with dementia. However, patients should not be put in a coma in order to receive care. In addition, a caregiver needs to be able to interact with the patient and their family on a daily basis.