About the Conference


The 3rd Annual International Symposium on Ageing and Old-Age in Asia-Pacific was held in Melbourne, Australia, on 11-12 October 2017. The symposium brought together leading experts in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to facilitate exchange of the latest knowledge on the health, social, cultural, political, and economic challenges associated with ageing and old-age.

Host Institution

In 2017, the symposium was hosted by the John Richards Centre (JRC), a rural ageing research centre located at La Trobe University, Wodonga. The JRC was established in 2007, with the aim of developing and implementing a program of research that makes a difference to the wellbeing of a diverse range of older people living in rural communities. In 2017, La Trobe University celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the JRC celebrated its 10th anniversary.

This symposium is sponsored by La Trobe Asia.


Organising Committee

Associate Professor Irene Blackberry

John Richards Initiative, La Trobe University, Australia

Irene Blackberry is the John Richards Chair in rural ageing and aged care research and Director of John Richards Initiative at La Trobe University, Wodonga. She is a health services research and epidemiologist with significant expertise in designing and implementing pragmatic trials of complex intervention. Her research focuses on improving care delivery for older people with complex multi-morbidity in rural areas.

Irene is the President of Australian Association of Gerontology Victoria.

Professor Masa Higo

Kyushu University, Japan

Masa Higo is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy ay Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Dr. Higo’s research focusses on the roles of population ageing and economic globalization in creating and reproducing risks and inequalities in later life. Japan and other major East Asian countries are the primary region of the scope of his research.

Professor Thomas Klassen

York University, Canada

Thomas Klassen is a professor in the Department of Political Science, and the School of Public Policy and Administration, at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is also appointed to the School of Health Policy and Management in the Faculty of Health at York University.

Scientific Committee

Committee MemberUniversity
Professor Thomas Klassen (Chair)York University, Canada 
Professor Yvonne Wells Lincoln Centre for Ageing, La Trobe University, Australia
Dr Rachel WintertonJohn Richards Initiative, La Trobe University, Australia
Professor Masa Higo Kyushu University, Japan
Associate Professor Yang Cheng Beijing Normal University, China
Associate Professor Dr. Nopraenue Sajjarax DhirathitiMahidol University, Thailand
Associate Professor Yunjeong YangHankuk University of Foreign Studies, Republic of Korea