June 2021 Newsletter View in browser  |  Print
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Professor James Vickers

Welcome to our June newsletter

I hope that you enjoy the June edition of our Wicking Centre newsletter. There is news about a new short animation that describes the issue of social isolation for people with dementia. Many readers will be aware that the symptoms of dementia can contribute to withdrawal from social engagement, and the stigma of dementia often poses a barrier to social interaction. The stigma and social isolation of dementia is an area we tackle through our MOOCs on dementia, and we hope this short animation may help in reducing the risk of isolation. 

Wicking Centre researchers have a particular interest in the link between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and risk of dementia. We are also aware that the wider public knowledge about TBI could be improved. We have now collaborated with leading researchers and clinicians to produce a MOOC on this condition, which includes information about dementia risk, as well as particular forms of dementia related to repetitive forms of TBI.

This newsletter also contains research news, including opportunities to become involved in new studies. You can also catch us at some community events, and hear about the Centre’s work through our collaboration with Print Radio Tasmania.

Professor James Vickers signature

Rosa & Max

Rosa & Max is an animated short film designed to highlight the risk of social isolation for people living with dementia, and how those around them can support people with dementia to remain engaged in the community and in their everyday lives.

The film follows Rosa, a fictional character inspired by the real experiences and stories shared by participants in the online course, Understanding Dementia. It has been produced by award-winning Tasmanian animator Amara Gantz, in collaboration with the Wicking Dementia Centre.  

The Centre’s Professor of Dementia Studies and Education Fran McInerney said the film aims to raise awareness and encourage people to learn more about dementia. 


Study dementia care with a 100% HECS waiver Join our webinar

Study dementia care with a 100% HECS waiver

Join our webinar

For domestic students commencing study in semester 2 2021, we are pleased to offer the Diploma of Dementia Care with a 100% HECS waiver (conditions apply).

To obtain the 100% HECS waiver you must initially apply for and complete the Undergraduate Certificate in Dementia Care. This equates to the first four units in the Diploma of Dementia Care. Upon completion of the Certificate, you will transfer to the Diploma and study the remaining four units.


We have two Diplomas that are particularly relevant for carers, aged care and community health workers, and anyone with an interest in learning more about dementia and ageing.

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday 9 June 2021 at 12pm AEST to hear from our Course Coordinators about the differences between the Diploma of Dementia Care and Diploma of Ageing Studies and Services and who they are targeted to.

Launching TBI MOOC Stress and dementia

Launching TBI MOOC

Stress and dementia

The Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) MOOC is a new FREE, online course. It aims to raise awareness and build knowledge to reduce risk and improve management and rehabilitation outcomes for people who have experienced a TBI.

This free, 5-week course, is easily accessible and is suitable for anyone with a personal or professional interest in learning more about Traumatic Brain Injury.

Enrolments are now open – follow the link below to find out more and enrol.


Can bushfires and other stressful experiences increase our dementia risk? How can we turn challenging experiences into opportunities for growth?

If you are interested in these questions, join us for a webinar on Monday 21 June at 12.30pm AEST.

Dr Duncan Sinclair and Dr Penelope Jones from the ISLAND Resilience Initiative will discuss how bushfires and stress impact our brains as we get older, and will explore ways you can begin to build your resilience.

Outstanding PhD research award Work4Dementia research study

Outstanding PhD research award

Work4Dementia research study

In 2021, the Emeritus Professor Lloyd and Ann Smythe Prize in Dementia Studies has been awarded to Barbora Fulopova.

Barbora is in her final year of her PhD, focusing on Alzheimer's disease, at the Wicking Dementia Centre.

The prize was instigated by Lesley Rowe, a graduate of the Bachelor of Dementia Care, in memory of her parents. Her father Professor Lloyd was a well-known Australian chemist and the University of Tasmania’s first PhD recipient, while her mother Ann was the family’s rock of support and eventually had to navigate living with dementia.

We would like to thank the family of Emeritus Professor Lloyd and Ann Smythe for their ongoing support to research students in progressing our understanding of the dementia diseases.  

Photo: Assoc Prof Alison Canty and Barbora Fulopova


The aged and dementia care workforce is one of the fastest-growing occupational groups, but it is not growing fast enough.

This project investigates the challenges of recruiting and retaining workers in this sector and how this has a flow-on effect on the quality of care for older adults, including those living with dementia.

Social ties with clients provide meaning in care work and the relationships care workers have with their clients are a motivating factor to participate in the job.

However, there is a need to support care workers who feel isolated and to look for continuing professional education and training. This research will help to identify strategies to best reduce job stress, enhance work engagement and reduce turnover, improving the quality of care.

Greater accessibility with Print Radio Tasmania Returning to community engagement!

Greater accessibility with Print Radio Tasmania

Returning to community engagement!

We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Print Radio Tasmania (PRT) to disseminate more-widely the activities of the Centre. 

Print Radio Tasmania is a community radio station providing a reading and information service for people who have difficulty accessing and reading printed material.

We will be working with PRT on a number of activities including a series of interviews with our staff on various aspects of our education and research. 


The Wicking Dementia Centre attended Agfest this year – one of our first outreach events in over a year.

It was great to be in amongst the vibrancy that surrounds Agfest and we had some terrific conversations with current and potential MOOC participants.

The ISLAND Project received lots of interest from visitors and we hope this translates to an increase in participants.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

ISLAND Project
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