Academic Profile


• Development of a Post-Graduate program for newly graduated nurses working in Residential Aged Care.
• Lead of the Community Engagement Team
• Development of collaborations with Residential Aged Care Facilities
• Member of the NSW Committee for the Australasian Association of Gerontology
• Member of the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network Aged Care Consortium


• Provided verbal input to The Australian Law Reform Commission in the inquiry into elder abuse.
• Granted SSP for 201630
• Publication of aged care text that I co-edited
• Reviewer for TEQSA aged care course
• Collaboration with Murrumbidgee Local Health District in relation to improving the system to facilitate clinical research
• Provision of expert advice for Centacare


• Submission to the NSW Government inquiry into abuse and neglect in residential aged care
• Invited member of the NSWNA Aged Care Reference Group
• Written submission to the NSW Upper House Inquiry into Registered Nurses in NSW Nursing Homes
• Building research links with Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Murrumbidgee Medicare Local
• Developing gaming as learning strategies for teaching statistics and for engaging students with ageing and collaborating with older people
• Collaborating with Dr Travis Ingersoll from West Chester University, Pennsylvania in writing, teaching and future research opportunities
• Development of the online aged care subject for the new curriculum in the BN course at CSU – NRS221.


• Development of a whole of community healthy ageing clinical placement model.
Collaboration between MML and CSU SNMIH. Funded by HETI
Working with other academics across CSU to establish a partnership between Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS) and CSU
• Working with Education For Practice Institute on a scoping document about clinical preceptors’ experiences of their supervision practices and seeking grant opportunities to develop this into a research project
• Lead on a steering committee to submit a grant application for research into developing a model for delivering aged care in rural and Indigenous communities.
• Supported students enrolled in Bachelor of Oral Health to undertake research related to periodontal disease awareness amongst third year nursing students. The paper from this research has just been accepted by Contemporary Nurse, a peer reviewed nursing journal.

Development of a whole of community healthy ageing clinical placement model. Collaboration between MML and CSU SNMIH. Funded by HETI. This project examined novel clinical placement experiences for students studying ageing. A whole of community approach enabled students to encounter older people in the communities in which they live, accessing appropriate services as well as in residential settings. The outcomes of this research can be accessed on the HETI website. A number of other universities are using the model to provide their students with a wider experience of ageing.


• Provision of clinical education to staff at Camarra Lodge, Leeton and provision of clinical expertise to Loreto Home of Compassion, Wagga Wagga.

Building communities of practice around the prevention of functional decline in the community: A regional approach. The aim of the Aged Care Workforce Reform Project is to implement and evaluate a number of evidence-based workforce redesign and reform projects, to increase sustainable and adaptable supply, and determine supports for national adoption. CareWest is managing one of 26 projects across Australia, funded by Health Workforce Australia. Our project seeks to trial a number of interventions (training, resource provision and structural change) and then study the outcome of these interventions. Information gathered through this process will inform national evaluations. This project is supported by a grant from CareWest. The research team is Professor Mark Morrison (Lead CI), Dr Oliver Burmeister, Dr Maree Bernoth, Dr Md Zahidul Islam, Dr Debra Da Silva, and Dr Bhanugopan Ramudu.


• Collaboration with CSU Media, promoting the role of CSU Media to other academics and HDR students.
• Promotion of the Bachelor of Nursing course through the Nursing Expo in Canberra, TAFE Information Day and Science Unleashed
• Working with Sub Dean, Learning & Teaching to further develop the aged care DVD.

Healthy Ageing through ICT. This project aims to enhance independence and opportunities for social connection and information retrieval of older people through ICT. It involves employing a retired computer trainer (peer trainer) to train interested members of a regional senior citizens club, in the use of iPad3 tablet computers. Following the training, one iPad will permanently remain at the club, and the others will be lent to club members, who will have the use of the iPads for four months, with further training provided after two weeks and again after two months. The peer trainer will be available to other club members using the iPad at the facility for ad-hoc training once each fortnight, during the period of the research. The participants who borrow the iPads will be interviewed twice during the loan period, at two and four months. There will also be an initial survey including all club members, not only those who borrow the iPads. Participants will keep diaries concerning their iPad use during the four month loan period. Participants who use the iPad at the club will also be interviewed. This project is supported by a grant from the CSU Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences. The research team is Dr Oliver Burmeister (Lead CI), Professor Kenneth Russell, Associate Professor Elaine Dietsch, Dr Maree Bernoth

2011 – 2012

• Provision of clinical education to staff of Cooinda Court Aged Care Facility, Junee.
• Working safely in aged care – A collaboration with Bushland Health Group, Taree.
• Participated in the course review of the Master of Nursing, SNMIH, CSU.

Experiences of older people and their families/carers when aged care services need to be accessed outside of their inland communities. This phenomenological research project focused on giving a voice to older people living in rural areas of Australia. The experiences of older people, their families, carers and community leaders, captured through in-depth interviews, demonstrated the trauma when people were forced away from their communities because they were old and needed care. The outcomes of the research are articulated in the publication, Forced into exile: the traumatising impact of rural aged care inaccessibility, published in the journal Rural and Remote Health. This project was supported by a grant from CSU Faculty of Science. The research team was Dr Maree Bernoth (Lead CI), Associate Professor Elaine Dietsch and Carmel Davies.


• Worked with the School of Communication and Creative Industries to develop a DVD related to aged care which has been used for the teaching and assessment in NRS375 Health Optimisation 1: Gerontic Nursing Care. The filming process was used as an assessment for the students in the School of Communication and Creative Industries.

The experiences of residential aged care. Perspectives of carers and families. This phenomenological research project explored what it is like to have a relative or friend in residential aged care. The outcomes demonstrated the need for improved care in a number of clinical areas and resulted in two papers and a conference presentation. The research outcomes formed the basis of my submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry –Caring for Older Australians.


‘…and the word was made flesh.’ ……….

The impact of discourses of embodiment in promoting safe manual handling practice in aged care. This thesis was submitted for the award of a PhD from Monash University, Churchill. As themes emerged, the methodology moved from phenomenology to post structuralist and then postmodern emergence. The research examined the outcomes of an education program designed to promote body awareness and demonstrated how unsafe the exposed body and the aged care environment is and the impact of neo-liberalist policies on those who work in aged care and those dependent on care.


Manual handling in aged care. The meaning and significance for practitioners. This thesis was submitted for the award of Master of Education with Honours (Adult Education & Training) from The University of New England, Armidale. The outcomes demonstrated that it was impossible to work safely when the aged care worker is not aware of the body that they inhabit and in an environment which potentiates disembodiment.


Achievements and innovations in teaching at Vocational Education and Training and university levels

  • Achieved Registered Training Organisation status for Catholic Care of the Aged, Newcastle and Allandale Aged Care
  • Was nominated to conduct one of the pilot programs for the Certificate 111 Aged Care Work, first nationally accredited aged care course
  • Commenced School Based Traineeships in aged care in the Hunter region
  • Established an aged care education focused business
  • In conjunction with the University of Newcastle School of Nursing, I was part of the team which commenced post graduate courses delivered multi-modally across New South Wales
  • In 2013, I won an Office of Learning and Teaching Award for innovations in teaching ageing. This included inviting older people into tutorials and taking students into public spaces to develop communication skills
  • The text I co-edited with Dr Denise Winkler was designed to attract students to learning about ageing through the stories and experiences of older people
  • In 2017, with a team from Charles Sturt University, I developed gaming as a means of learning ageing called GSELA
  • Currently, I am working towards developing resources that support educators, managers and older people as they co-produce education with the older person being an integral part of the activity