About us

We seek to develop and implement programs of research that makes a difference to the wellbeing of a diverse range of older people living in rural communities. When we were founded, we stated and continue to follow our main goals to:

  • Lead research and innovation related to rural aged care workforce and health delivery initiatives;
  • Promote interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration in developing, testing and implementing evidence based health care delivery solutions for older people in rural areas;
  • Establish a leading rural centre for honours, and postgraduate research training in rural aged care workforce and health delivery initiatives;
  • Develop a strategic direction for the initiative that:
    • Has strong links with consumers, industry and government;
    • Addresses Victoria and Australian government research priorities;
    • Develops and/or strengthens international links and undertakes comparative research; and
    • Takes account of La Trobe's strengths, other Australian centres of research excellence in ageing and situates and brands La Trobe in a competitive and unique position.

Who is John Richards?

John Richards was the 2007 recipient of the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for 'service to the community of the Moira Shire, particularly as a contributor to health sector development, and to the newsagency industry through the Victorian Authorised Newsagents Association.'

John Richards, a former jackaroo, soldier and farmer, was the inaugural president of the Yarrawonga District Health Service board of management, and from there was instrumental in the establishment of the Moira Healthcare Alliance. He was President of the Alliance from 2002 to 2005, and remains on the board to this day.

Among numerous health and community related positions, he was also a member of the Rural and Regional Council of the Victorian Healthcare Association from 2001 to 2006. In recognition of his active community involvement he was named Yarrawonga Citizen of the Year in 2004 and received the Rural Health Volunteers Award, Hume Region, from the Department of Human Services Victoria in 2005.

John Richards' vision to support ageing in country Victoria has been backed by a generous donation which has enabled the establishment of our centre within La Trobe University.

Our strategic direction

Based on the overall aims and objectives of the JRC, the following strategic directions are to be pursued:

  • Evidence-based research that will make a difference to the wellbeing of rural, older people.
  • Research directed in two strategic areas;
    • healthy ageing in rural communities
    • the delivery of appropriate health and aged care services in rural contexts.
  • Research that builds local, national and international partnerships and collaboration to further the outcomes of the JRI mission.
  • Research that addresses state and national research priorities; and responds to the University's priority areas.
  • Encouragement of a training environment for postgraduate studies.

All of these directives are important if we are to meet our mission, and address our overall aims and objectives.  They are also critical if external (and internal) funding is to be received to support our projects and outcomes.