23 May 2017
This article was originally published in the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Annual Report 2015 – 2016 (PDF).
Thirty years ago, a passionate academic doctor had a vision... for dementia research in Australia to thrive. That individual, Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty AO became the driving force behind what is today the AADRF. After three decades at the helm of the AADRF, Professor Brodaty felt it was time to pass the baton and retire as Chair of the Board of Directors.
Professor Brodaty said back in 1984 the principles were simple, money raised for research should go to research. “Australia was too small scientifically to support state–based research, so we would just have one pool and we wanted to encourage new researchers to the field of dementia. The Dementia Research Foundation started very small and with a committee of one (me), meetings were short!”
Professor Brodaty’s extraordinary level of commitment, foresight and passion for building research capacity and translating research into practice has played a significant role in the AADRF becoming a major player in the field of dementia research in Australia.
As well as heading up the AADRF, Professor Brodaty’s illustrious career also includes Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, University of New South Wales; Consultant Psychogeriatrician, Aged Care Psychiatry; and Head of the Memory Disorders Clinic, Prince of Wales Hospital. He is the Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre (Assessment and Better Care) and Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at UNSW.
Professor Brodaty is immediate Past-President of International Psychogeriatric Association. He has served on several New South Wales and Commonwealth committees related to ageing and dementia. He is also the past Chairman of Alzheimer's Disease International, representing over 85 national Alzheimer Associations and past President of Alzheimer's Australia and Alzheimer's Australia (NSW). Publishing over 500 papers and book chapters, Professor Brodaty is on the editorial board of several journals and has been the recipient of a number of awards – most recently Henry was honoured with the prestigious Ryman Prize for 2016, in recognition of his three decades of tireless work in dementia research. Professor Brodaty’s lifetime achievements were recognised with the award of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2000. In 2013, his dedication to a lifetime of leadership, clinical excellence and research to improve the quality of life of people with dementia was recognised when he was honoured with the Lifetime Alzheimer’s Australia Award.
It is with sincere gratitude and respect that we celebrate the role of Professor Brodaty as the original pioneer of the Foundation. We are pleased that he will continue his association with the AADRF as its first Patron and take on the important role of a National Ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia.