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Passing the baton: new leadership for DAAC

The Dementia Australia Advisory Committee* introduces its new Chair, Bobby Redman, and Vice-Chair, Dennis Frost – both long-time dementia advocates

The Dementia Australia Advisory Committee (DAAC) is a national committee made up of people living with dementia. It provides strategic advice to Dementia Australia and other stakeholders on shaping dementia services, programs, policy development and advocacy goals.

The committee aims to be a catalyst of change, working towards an inclusive future, where people living with dementia are valued and respected.

DAAC meets at least monthly via Zoom with senior Dementia Australia staff and a Dementia Australia Board member contributing and observing.

Farewell Phil Hazell and Eileen Taylor 

The appointment of Bobby Redman as DAAC Chair and Dennis Frost as Vice-Chair at the end of 2021 follows the stepping down of dementia advocates Phil Hazell (Chair) and Eileen Taylor (Vice-Chair) after four years of leadership.

Phil and Eileen led the committee to substantial achievements through a period of transformation. We thank them for their accomplishments during their time of leadership, and the difference they have made to the lives of people impacted by dementia. Eileen is continuing on the committee as a member.

Outgoing DAAC Chair Phil Hazell (left) and Vice-Chair Eileen Taylor (right)

 

Introducing new Chair Bobby Redman 

Bobby is a retired psychologist and was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2015. Bobby sits on the Central Coast Dementia Alliance Committee and chairs the Central Coast Living with Dementia Advisory Group. She is involved in several research projects and is a member of a range of steering/advisory committees.

Bobby is a strong community member and is also a Rotarian and Red Cross volunteer. In 2020, Bobby was nominated for the NSW Senior Australian of the Year award for her advocacy work.

On her appointment as Chair, Bobby said, “I am extremely excited to be taking up the position of Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee (DAAC). It has been a great experience, working as part of this dedicated committee; watching it develop and strengthen under Phil Hazell and Eileen Taylor’s four years of leadership.

“It is daunting to be stepping into such big shoes, but I recognise the strong base that we now have to move forward and grow even further, with the aim of amplifying the voices of people living with dementia, around Australia.

“We hope that DAAC will earn the trust and respect of the dementia community to work with and for them to improve the lives of all those living with dementia and their care partners”.

New DAAC Chair Bobby Redman

Introducing new Vice-Chair Dennis Frost 

Dennis has had a variety of careers, working in education, petroleum exploration, and IT for more than 20 years. At 59 he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. Dennis is Chair of the Southern Dementia Advisory Group, an Editorial Advisor to the Australian Journal of Dementia Care and has spoken at conferences around the world. He has shared his experience working in dementia-friendly projects with many local community groups as well as several other dementia-friendly community initiatives.

On his appointment as Vice-Chair Dennis said, “There will likely be many challenges ahead for our group in expanding and consolidating its role and I am looking forward to helping overcome them.

“I see my role as evolutionary rather than revolutionary and know that we have a solid foundation in the members of the DAAC and the leadership roles that Phil Hazell and Eileen Taylor have established. I see part of our future in making our role more visible across the dementia community and hence being a stronger conduit for all our voices and helping us all live better.”

New DAAC Vice-Chair Dennis Frost

Connecting with DAAC

As the national advisory committee in Australia representing people living with dementia, it is important we hear from the dementia community. If anyone has issues or ideas that they would like to discuss with us, we welcome you to contact us. We are in a unique position to raise the voices of people living with dementia to a broad audience of Dementia Australia staff and leaders for consideration.

DAAC is currently working on several projects relating to topics such as dementia-friendly communities, increasing consumer involvement in decision-making aspects of research and building the capacity of advocacy work in Australia.

DAAC can be contacted via email DAAC@dementia.org.au or by phoning Secretariat Elena Sutcliffe on 0429 515 957. More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/DAAC-aboutus

*The article co-authors are Dementia Australia Advisory Committee members Bobby Redman (Chair), Dennis Frost (Vice-Chair) Eileen Taylor, Kevyn Morris, Juanita Hughes, Sarah Ashton, Ann Pietsch, Val Schache, and Jenni Lawson

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