CHeBA Fitness Ambassadors

  • image - Heidi Mitchell 2
    from Heidi Mitchell, CHeBA's Marketing & Communications Officer "In the context of getting older, Positive Ageing is the holy grail and a Healthy Brain is essentially how we get there. With more and more evidence suggesting that many of the risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer's disease don't just point to genetics but are lifestyle-related, it is imperative that we take steps from an early age to work toward not just a longer life, but a more enjoyable and capable one. Increased cardiovascular health, regulated blood glucose levels and a healthy blood pressure are important components... Full Details
  • image - Kelly Stubbins
    "After seeing a segment about CHeBA on Channel 10's 'The Project' I was surprised to discover it is possible to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and dementia by living an active, healthy lifestyle.  Being a professional swimmer, I live a very active lifestyle, not only due to my rigorous training schedule but also because being active is what I like to do in my free time.  I love the outdoors and being active with friends, not only for the physical benefits but also the social/mental benefits.  I'm passionate about healthy eating but like most people I could easily cut some sugar out of my... Full Details
  • image - Nardia Norman
    "I lost my beautiful grandmother to Dementia, and whilst I had heard of this condition this was the first time I had experienced it first hand.  To watch a loved one lose their cognitive function, and then all function, is heartbreaking.  Seeing my once strong, exceptionally opinionated, articulate Nana reduced to the personality and function of a young girl, was difficult.  The worst part was during the early phase where she was aware that she was moving between the two worlds of clarity and lucidity.  Health, fitness and wellness is what I live and breathe, and when I saw an opportunity to... Full Details
  • image - Tanya Duckworth CHeBA Championcrop
    "I will never forget the day that my mother, sister and I arrived at our Great Nanna's houseto visit when I was 10. She did not recognise any of us, yet let us into her home and offered us tea, which she made with cold water and milk. She offered dog biscuits to my sister and I to eat with our cold tea, which she had retrieved from a bag that she kept in her oven. At our young age we thought this was all very strange, and admittedly, a little bit funny. Yet it wasn’t funny to our mother, as she left the house concerned for the safety and wellbeing of her Nan, and with tears in her eyes.... Full Details
  • image - Profile Katrina Birrell2
    "I have a family history of dementia. My maternal grandfather passed away in 2009 after having dementia for about four years. Watching him slowly deteriorate was emotionally straining for my family, particularly my grandmother. My paternal grandmother is now suffering from dementia. She volunteered for over fifty years and did a lot of great things for her community; it is hard to see someone who did so much for so many people, now struggle to look after herself. Being a fitness ambassador for CHeBA is a way of taking control of the modifiable risk factors associated with dementia, while also... Full Details
  • image - Ricky Kitay
    "In July 2011, my mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  As such, this disease has had an obvious tangible effect on my life and that of my family's, which increases my desire to have an involvement in a cause that could help prevent or reduce this disease.  Since my mother's diagnosis, and notwithstanding the fact that the effects of this disease were experienced some time before the diagnosis was made, my day to day life has been substantially altered.  Now the majority of my time is made available to my mother to ensure that she is taken care of, along with the help of... Full Details
  • image - Candice Miles2
    "Being in my 20s I strongly believe that the lifestyle I lead now will greatly determine the state of my wellbeing in the future, which is why I wanted to become a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA and help create awareness for younger generations to live an active lifestyle in the hope of a healthier future.  It appears to me that for most people, Alzheimer's and dementia are diseases that are only a concern in later years.  I feel as though people think Alzheimer's is a dreadful disease which just happens with age and there is nothing we can do about it.  I believe that through healthy living... Full Details
  • image - Karina Bunker Final
    “After leaving a high stress demanding job I decided I wanted to take control of my life and my health so I started running. Within months I found that the running helped me to not only lose weight and improve my fitness but it had a significant impact on my cognitive abilities as well. I found myself to be happier, more alert, have improved creativity and improved memory. This triggered an interest in me to learn more about the brain and the impact exercise has on healthy brain functioning.   Now I am passionate about sharing what I have learned and encouraging others to embrace exercising... Full Details
  • image - Lara Molle
    "As a high school student I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do in life, and have come to the conclusion that Neuroscience is a big interest of mine. I would love to know more about the brain and how it works. CHeBA does incredible work in the area of Neuroscience and, having done my work experience there, I would love to do more for healthy brain ageing." What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me? "I think looking after your brain and staying physically active is a big part of the ageing process and ageing well. I think it's important for positive ageing to be... Full Details
  • image - Stephanie Campbell
    "I share a personal connection with dementia having lost my grandmother to the condition on 11 September 2012.  An attractive and intelligent woman with a heart of gold, I witnessed her cognitive function gradually deteriorate over the eight year period following her diagnosis, with debilitating accompanying changes to her behaviour, mood and capacity to take care of herself.  Her decline in 2012 was particularly rapid and after a period in hospital due to various health complaints, the move from her home of over 60 years to a high care dementia care facility, although necessary, was... Full Details
  • image - Profile Shot Cropped
    After having problems with her memory, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  This has been quite traumatic for her and our family and I feel it is my duty to help raise awareness about Alzheimer's as well as support others who find themselves in the same situation, I wanted to become a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA so that I can help raise money to support research in to Alzheimer's and dementia / ageing brain research so we can improve the quality of life for elderly people in the future.  I love to get outdoors, be active and encourage others to do the same, as there is nothing... Full Details
  • image - Warren King
    "Having previously studied the human brain to some extent, and having a family history of Alzheimer's, this kind of research is something I feel is very important and can affect anyone.  I also recently had a good friend in hospital for a considerable length of time with a brain issue and it was frustrating as they still do not know what caused the initial problem. I've felt the importance of a healthy brain become paramount to living a full and happy life into the future, and it's something I'm hoping to make more people aware of in my endeavours with CHeBA." What does "Healthy Brains.... Full Details
  • image - Caroline Joy2
    "I love running and exercise and am always pushing myself and getting involved in fitness events.  When I was told I could continue doing what I love whilst helping to raise awareness and funds for the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing I could not say no.  Alzheimer's and dementia are such awful illnesses that affect so many people, and I am proud to be able to contribute to making a difference.  My Mum works in a retirement village on the Northern Beaches and has seen firsthand the effects of dementia and how it affects not only the person, but the family and those around the sufferer, and... Full Details
  • image - Naomi Mbakwe
    "It appears to me that the majority of young, fit people are focused only on how they look now and how strong they feel now, rather than being conscious of what they are doing for their future.  We tend to forget that what we do now for our bodies not only gives our muscles and bones strength when we age, but also our brain, and without a healthy and strong mind in old age, a strong body means nothing.  These factors are what have inspired me to become a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA." What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me? 'Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing' to me means being... Full Details
  • image - Jason Tremain3
    "As someone whose major passions in life revolve around my mental capacity and require a certain standard of health-consciousness, I have become progressively more interested in the understanding, and practice, of healthy living in both body and mind.  I believe it is important for people to be knowledgeable about how to care for themselves and understand the repercussions for not doing so.  By being a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA I am able to make a contribution in support of those people uncovering and disseminating the information." What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me?... Full Details
  • image - Ella McGrath3
    "I would like to help spread the word about the importance of keeping healthy and fit for long-term brain health.  Until quite recently I didn't realise that a person's twenties and thirties are a vital time for reducing their risk of dementia.  My grandfather suffered with dementia for many years.  His loss of memory and independence was heartbreaking for my family and revealed to me the cruelty and sadness which surrounds this illness.  CHeBA is fighting against this disease, through preventative education and ground-breaking research and I am excited at the prospect of joining this fight... Full Details
  • image - Evelyn Miles
    "To be able to do activities that keep me fit and assisting in raising funds and awareness for CHeBA is a win win for me. I couldn’t be more excited to come on board as a Fitness Ambassador. We are living in quite a scary time as a working population in Australia. We not only have an ageing population that is going to put enormous strain on the health system and economy, but we are also a generation that are really pushing ourselves hard with long hours at work. This imbalance of work takes a toll on our lifestyle choices such as eating habits and exercise, the two factors that we are... Full Details
  • image - Edwina Fetherston
    "Watching the ones I love withdraw from daily activities they enjoy like walking for leisure and cooking for the entire family due to gradual memory loss has influenced me to become a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA.  It is so hard watching the ones you love slowly deteriorate mentally.  This is why it's so important for everyone, of all ages, to maintain brain power and regular physical activity so as to prevent the chance of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in later life.  Everyone deserves to live a happy and healthy life!" What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me? To me, "... Full Details
  • image - Ali Cavill4
    "Throughout my life I have always thrived on sharing my fitness and health expertise and one of my greatest gifts lies in my ability to motivate and inspire others to live their best and healthy life.  I have an extremely positive disposition and awake each day with the desire to not just exist and enjoy the world, but to try to improve upon it, whether it be training clients and building their self esteem through changing their body, centre stage leading group fitness classes, participating in fundraising efforts for chosen charities, loving my family and friends, learning new things and... Full Details
  • image - Nick Hume
    "After researching dementia and Alzheimer's disease, I discovered how much more research is required about these cognitive diseases, and that there is no cure.  I recalled my mum who ran a home nursing practice under the Department of Veteran Affairs would care for patients with a variety of conditions, and dementia was quite common and a major burden on nurses like her.  If I can do a little bit by being a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA, it will hopefully raise more awareness of these diseases and help out others who donate so much of their time, with limited funding." What does "Healthy... Full Details
  • image - Monica Cations %28Fitness Ambassador%29
    “I’ve spent several years working with older people and people with dementia, hearing their stories, their wisdom and their fears. I’ve learned that there is so much that we can do when we’re young to ensure a happy and healthy life when we are older. I’m originally from Adelaide, and I love being fit and living healthy. But it hasn’t always been that way! I spent many years being very overweight and unhappy, until I realised that my mental and physical health relied on daily physical activity and a healthy diet.    I moved to Sydney in early 2014 to start my PhD project in younger... Full Details
  • image - Michael Bates %28Fitness Ambassador%292
    "The primary driver for me becoming a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA is my mum, Michelle Bates, a social worker acting in the role of Dementia Coordinator for Chesalon (a subsidiary of Anglicare). Through our discussions, I have learnt about the increasing prevalence of dementia/Alzheimer’s and the huge impact it has not only on the individual, but also on their family and their community. Once it became known to me that dementia/Alzheimer's can, to a significant degree, be prevented or delayed through a healthy lifestyle, it motivated me to spread to the word!" What does "Healthy Brains.... Full Details
  • image - Sarah Thompson2 1
    "I decided to become a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA because it means I get to spend more time with Heidi!  More seriously, the mother of one of my closest friends suffered from dementia in the final years of her life and if there's a way to prevent this happening to future generations, then I'm all for it." What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me? My life is extremely busy....long hours at work with my job often requiring me to go out in the evening as well.  Exercising for an hour a day and working on my cardiovascular health means - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that I'm able... Full Details
  • image - Jessica Belcher 0
    "I wanted to be a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA because I am really passionate about health and fitness. Physical and psychological health (i.e., dementia, depression) will be an issue for many of our ageing population and keeping fit through regular exercise is one simple and rewarding activity everyone can engage in to some extent, in order to help in both of these aspects of health. I would like to help motivate people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and raise awareness of the benefits of fitness to healthy ageing." What does “Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing” mean to me? To me “Healthy... Full Details
  • image - Craig Douglass4
    "One of my major reasons for becoming a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA, apart from thinking that the partnership between Professors Henry Brodaty and Perminder Sachdev is an extremely promising one for brain ageing research, is that I'm concerned about the state of our health system.  I now recognise how much trouble it's in if we don't take positive steps to reverse current trends in age-related brain diseases.  Also, from a personal perspective, I have someone in my life that I love whole heartedly and I want to enjoy health and youthfulness of mind for as long as possible with her. ... Full Details
  • image - Chris Forward 0
    "Although I haven't experienced the effects of Alzheimer's or dementia through my own family, I have come across it through friends and have seen how it has affected the individual and the loved ones around them.  Through witnessing the experiences that their families have had to go through I decided that I wanted to be a part of this research Centre to strengthen my knowledge on the human brain and to promote CHeBA by raising awareness about the importance of ageing brain research." What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me? Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing is a motto that people... Full Details
  • image - Jesse Ingrey Arndell2
    "With my mother being an aged care assessment nurse for the past 20 years (her specialty being in dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia in patients), I have been privileged enough to have heard about the patients my mother has been responsible for evaluating.  From listening to the experiences her patients face, and assessing the impact their brain ailments have, not only on their lives but also the lives of their loved ones, I have gained a newfound appreciation and understanding of the importance of preventing such brain diseases by adopting a healthy lifestyle.  For the last few years, I... Full Details
  • image - Simone Hunjak2
    "I have always been health conscious but recently my health journey has taken me to a whole new level not only with my own health but also that of my family's and my grandmother's.  My grandmother is probably the most stubborn woman I know and also the strongest, thanks to her Croatian heritage.  She has overcome some pretty intense health conditions and now with dementia she is still fighting strong.  Seeing the condition and its effects firsthand, I am curious as to how we can help get a better understanding of it, how it can be prevented for my parents, for myself and for generations to... Full Details
  • image - Keri Kitay
    "My Mum was diagnosed with early onset aggressive Alzheimer's and since then, my family and I have been coming to terms with the prognosis of my Mum's future.  Over the years, she has not responded to her medication and is deteriorating quite rapidly and it has become increasingly frustrating not being able to do anything and there being no cure for Alzheimer's.  I have been looking for a way to get involved to raise awareness and the much needed funds for research and development for one day finding a cure and when I saw the segment with PJ Lane on The Project, I immediately felt a... Full Details
  • image - Nirmala Perera3
    "I love the outdoors, sports and am passionate about a healthy lifestyle.  I believe that through healthy eating, being physically active and having a positive outlook on life we can live an enjoyable and rich life, full of adventure.  I started my own non-profit health consultancy/promotion service called HealthyU.  This service is aimed at motivating people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity/exercise, healthy eating and mental wellbeing for people in all walks of life, across all age groups.  My grandpa was a farmer who led an active... Full Details

CHeBA Champions

The CHeBA Champions are Fitness Ambassadors for the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.  These fitness professionals and enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s are championing healthy brain ageing through healthy lifestyles from a young age. 

Official Ambassador

PJ Lane

Actor, Entertainer

CHeBA Directors

image - 3   Perminder Sachdev Bio Inset Photo 1
Scientia Professor
image - Prof Henry Brodaty
Scientia Professor
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