Professor Henry Brodaty wins the 2016 Ryman Prize

22 Jun 2016

CHeBA Blog: Professor Henry Brodaty wins the 2016 Ryman Prize


Professor Henry Brodaty, Co-Director of the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) at UNSW Australia and world-class researcher, clinician, advocate and pioneer, has won the 2016 Ryman Prize as recognition of his three decades of tireless work into ways to combat dementia. 

The Ryman Prize is a $250,000 international prize which rewards the best work in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people. It is the world’s richest prize of its type and was established to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for people working in the field of the health of older people.

Ryman Prize Juror Dr David Kerr said Professor Brodaty was a worthy winner.

“We had an incredible field this year and there were some strong contenders from all over the world. Professor Brodaty’s nomination was a standout, his dedication and achievements are truly world-class. He is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia in Australasia and his influence has been felt around the world.’’

Professor Brodaty said it was a wonderful honour.

“We are all ageing. Older people are the fastest growing sector of our population and mental health is the largest contribution to disease burden as we age,’ he said. “I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award. The Ryman Prize highlights the importance of enhancing the profile of research to improve the quality of life for older people.”

Professor Brodaty is a psychogeriatrician who has spent his career working on ways to enhance the quality of life of older people with dementia and their families. He has also been a strong advocate for their rights.

As well as treating thousands of patients at his clinic, he has been a pre-eminent researcher into ways to improve diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

"Over the last three decades, I have been privileged to have worked with wonderful, talented, very bright and committed people dedicated to research, clinical care, advocacy and improving the lives of older people with mental illness and those with dementia and their families," said Professor Brodaty. 

"Age care is core business for health care and dementia is central to aged care," he said.  "I hope this will advance the profile of dementia research globally.  Research feeds innovation and improvement."

He was a founding member and president or chair of the NSW and Australian Alzheimer’s Associations and Alzheimer’s Disease International. He is immediate past president of International Psychogeriatric Association and has been a member of numerous Australian and international committees aiming to advance the mental health of older people globally.

Professor Brodaty is a highly respected teacher and presenter who has inspired generations of dementia researchers to follow in his footsteps. He is a prolific writer and has published extensively.

At the University of New South Wales in Sydney, he is Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, the founding Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Co-Director of CHeBA, the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.

As a busy clinician looking after patients, he established the Aged Care Psychiatry department at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney where he is a Senior Consultant Psychogeriatrician and heads the Memory Disorders Clinic.

About The Ryman Prize

The Ryman Prize is administered by the Ryman Foundation. The annual prize consists of a $250,000 grant which is awarded to the best invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize is awarded in New Zealand but is open to anyone, anywhere in the world with a bright idea.

The prize is a philanthropic initiative aimed at improving the lot of those over 75 years of age. In Western countries such as New Zealand and Australia this is a significant demographic, this is set to triple in numbers over the next 30 years. The rapid ageing of the population will be even more pronounced in the developing world. The prize pool has come from an anonymous donor and the prize is administered with support from Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator.

The inaugural Ryman prize was won by Gabi Hollows. Gabi is a founding director of the Hollows Foundation, which has restored sight for more than a million people.

The Ryman Prize jury includes

  • Professor Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
  • Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
  • Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
  • Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.
  • Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Media Contacts

David King | Ryman Prize Director | NZ 03 366 4069 (00643 3664069) or 021 499 602 (006421 499 6902) |

Heidi Douglass| Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA | +61 2 9382 3398 | 0435 579 202 |