Our team includes staff and an Advisory Board, comprising Fellows of the Elder Leadership Academy as described below.
Dr Catherine Barrett, Director and Founder
I love working with older people, and have been doing so for over 40 years. I began my professional career as a nurse in aged care. I left to undertake a Ph.D and worked at La Trobe University as Senior Research Fellow coordinating a sexual health and ageing program. When I left academia to establish Celebrate Ageing, I wanted to make sure the work I did led to culture change - or respect for older people.
As a story teller and artist I love exploring how powerful these approaches are in engaging critical mass for change.
This work makes my heart sing.
I believe respect for older people starts with me - my attitude to my own ageing. I understand my ageing as a privilege, and that influences the work I do and the way I do it. I am so proud of this revolution and our team. I know we are making a difference. Full CV here
Sarah Liversidge, Strategy and Governance
Sarah is a member of the Institute of Practicing Accountants (MIPA FAFA) and has a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). She has spent more than 20 years working in a variety of sectors developing skills in NGO governance, commercial business management, business technology implementations, training and small practice accounting.
From delivering world class international arts projects to working within a grassroots community context, Sarah’s wealth of business leadership and project development experience ensures she brings an innovative approach to strategy development.
Sarah’s specialises in supporting businesses to become financially sustainable and improve their business systems and long-term strategy.
June Lowe, Intergenerational Projects
June is a long term social and environmental activist with a passion for creating social and environmental justice. Over 40 years she has explored what it takes to create change - and believes as individuals we need to understand our power to improve the world, especially in collaboration with others.
Her work includes promoting Geriactivism, or activism by older people to improve the world.
June was the Chair of GRAI (GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc) for 6 years and a Board member for 13 years. Her work included organising outreach activities and intergenerational projects providing information and social connections for older LGBTI people. She also developed and delivered courses in LGBTI inclusivity for aged care service providers and others.
June assisted in developing Celebrate Ageing’s Gen K program and has a particular interest in meaningful intergenerational activities and combatting ageism.
Robyn Smith, Projects and Evaluation
I believe in the power of storytelling to reach people and prompt change. Everyone has the potential to make a positive difference in the world – from offering small acts of kindness in daily life to working together to advocate for major societal shifts.
With more than 30 years experience in health care, aged care, public health, research and evaluation and a strong interest in community advocacy and the arts, working with the Celebrate Ageing team is a joy. Here I have a unique opportunity to support the development, implementation and evaluation of creative, innovative and meaningful programs, to work with and advocate with older people, and to actively celebrate my own ageing journey.
I'm able to apply my skills and expertise towards challenging ageism and building kind, strong and welcoming intergenerational communities.
Melissa Williams, Media and Communication
Melissa began her professional career as an Early Childhood Educator in Australia and the UK. For the past 15 years she has been working for Positive Attitude Inc., an organisation providing social and practical support for people living with HIV. Melissa’s work was inspired by former President and founder Yvonne Gardner; and she agreed to take on the Presidency following Yvonne’s death in 2018 at age 79. Melissa coordinates a team of volunteers, engaging community support, providing weekly lunches, advocacy and fundraising at Positive Attitude.
Melissa is a writer, who understands the power of words to inspire and change people’s hearts and minds. She enjoys writing stories for children and has articles published in the Queer press. She is passionate about social justice, promoting respect for older LGBTIQ+ people and preserving Queer history. Melissa enjoys engaging service providers and community members in the work of Celebrate Ageing.
Chris Franklin, Film and Photography
Chris Franklin is an award winning film maker photographer whose film Melbourne on Dylan won Best Documentary Short, London Independent Film Awards and was a semi finalist in Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and AFIN International Film Awards. His film Yellow also won Lift Off Festival Season Awards in London and Melbourne. Chris has produced a range of documentary films for Celebrate Ageing, including Margarita, Older Ladies Dancing and Kinfolk. He has documented our events, including Embolden Festival and Fashion Parade, and our webinars. In 2022 Chris produced The Roar!!! and The Dinosaur SQUAD, two animations focused on an intergenerational pride fairy tale. We love working with Chris because his creativity draws people into our work - and because he is an effective communicator and team player. Check his work here
Program Advisory Board
Our Advisory Board provide specialist skills and knowledge to our work, related to the communities they represent. All Advisory Board members are current or graduated members of the Elder Leadership Academy. Our first two Advisory Board members have been appointed and we look forward to appointing more members soon.
Shirley Glance OAM
Shirley's Fellowship focused on promoting inclusive communities and services for people ageing with Post Polio Sydrome. She is the current President of Post Polio Victoria and a past president National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, Vic.
Kathy's Fellowship focused on education for families, family relationship services and aged care service providers on gender inclusive services. She is currently the cochair of OPAN's National Older Person's Advisory Committee.