The ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (the Council) provides strategic advice to the Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services on issues affecting older Canberrans.
The members diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, experiences and abilities reflects the varied seniors community of Canberra. The members bring expertise from across a broad spectrum in the fields of health, law, community services, finance, housing, human rights, government and non-government sectors, the arts, aged care and volunteering.
Currently, the Council is directing its attention to the issue of loneliness and the promotion of social inclusion for older Canberrans. The Council is considering this in the broader context, and in relation to the particular impact of COVID-19 and the importance of digital inclusion for older Canberrans.
The 2017 - 2019 Council had a key role in developing Age Friendly Canberra - A Vision for our city and the 2019 - 2021 Council provided input into the development of the Age-Friendly City Plan.
Links to research and resources:
The Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing Terms of Reference
Professor Diane Gibson (Chair)
Professor Diane Gibson is a Distinguished Professor (Health and Ageing) at the University of Canberra. She was the Inaugural Dean of the Health Faculty, implementing several new courses to meet health workforce shortages in our region. She established the ageing statistics and reporting functions of the Australian institute of Health and Welfare. A former Senior Executive in the Australian Public Service, Professor Gibson is an internationally recognised researcher and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.
Mr Gregory Burn
Mr Gregory Burn is a lawyer with over 30 years experience. Mr Burn operated a private legal practice in Sydney for 25 years before joining the NSW Trustee and Guardian and then the Public Trustee and Guardian for ACT. Mr Burn is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Elder law and Succession Law Committee and Pro Bono Assessment Panel. For many years, he has spoken with and presented to community organisations in NSW and ACT on elder abuse, planning ahead and making Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney. Mr Burn is committed to developing an understanding of supportive decision making within our community. Mr Burn is a Deputy Public Trustee and Guardian of the ACT.
Mr Grant Doran
Mr Grant Doran has an extensive career including in not-for-profit, government, corporate and consulting organisations. He has achieved results in aged care particularly in the areas of accreditation and compliance and cultural change. Mr Doran has managed many high-level projects using best practice to achieve positive outcomes. Mr Doran has both professional and personal exposure to dementia and is keen to assist with dementia advocacy within the community. Mr Doran is serving his second term on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.
Mr Chander Khera
Following a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service, Mr Chander Khera has immersed himself in local community services. These roles have a diverse focus including the Red Cross Telecross service, assisting victims of trauma, technology services for older people, policy development and human rights. Mr Chander Khera is serving his second term on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.
Mr Philip Piggin
Mr Piggin is currently Dance for Wellbeing Officer at Belconnen Arts Centre, overseeing dance programs for seniors, and for people with a range of health challenges. In 2014 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research dance programs for people with Parkinson’s, and in 2016 received a Life Membership from People Dancing, UK. He has worked as a dance artist in the UK and Australia, has been a board member for various arts organisations and funding authorities, has worked extensively across Australia as a Dance Educator, and is former Manager of Canberra Dance Theatre.
Ms Prue Power
Ms Power is a highly experienced retired healthcare executive. She finished her career as Chief Executive of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, and prior to that was Director of General Practice and e-Health with the Australian Medical Association. She has held many board directorship positions, including on the boards of the Community Services & Health Industry Superannuation Fund (HESTA) and the International Hospital Federation. In January 2012, Prue was made a Member in the Order of Australia for her services to the health sector.
Ms Helen Roberts
Ms Helen Roberts is an active member of the community and currently serves on the Australian Library and Information Association and the Canberra and Region Retirees Group. Ms Roberts has expertise and experience in the areas of law, librarianship and advocacy. She is also a member of the Australian Dystonia Support Group and has a passion for disability awareness, especially in regards to invisible disabilities.
Ms Elizabeth Samra
Ms Elizabeth Samra has extensive experience working with older people and has been active in advocating for the rights of older people for almost a decade. Prior to moving to the ACT, Ms Samra was the Principal Solicitor of a specialist elder abuse legal and advocacy service in Victoria. She is currently a solicitor at the Older Persons ACT Legal Service at Legal Aid ACT and a member of the ACT Elder Law and Succession Law Committee. Ms Samra is serving his second term on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.
Mr Mark Thomann
Mr Thomann worked in the public and community sectors in Canberra for over 30 years in social policy areas including aged and community care, disability services, Indigenous health, and housing. He held the position of First Assistant Secretary in Commonwealth departments including Finance and Health and Ageing, and was also formerly CEO of Havelock Housing Association
Ms Thi Nha Tran
Ms Tran considers herself to be a scientist (ex-CSIRO, ex-science teacher) in her head and an artist in her heart. She firmly believes people should be prepared to walk the talk when participating in committees or other bodies. She is passionate in doing good for others and seeks a holistic approach towards problem solving. She firmly believes and practices collaboration with peers, other bodies and clients. She is currently serving in a voluntary capacity with multiple organisations including ACT Health Services, Mental Health Australia, ACT Mental Health Consumer Network and ACT Community Coalition.
Mrs Barbra Williams
Mrs Williams brings experience to the council through her commitment to supporting the needs and wellbeing people living with dementia and their families and carers. Mrs Williams is currently the General Manager of Client Services ACT and NSW with Dementia Australia, is a professional social worker and has a commitment to enhanced positive ageing for all people. Mrs Barbra Williams is a returning member and is serving her second term on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.