December 2021 Newsletter View in browser  |  Print
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Professor James Vickers

Welcome to our December newsletter

I appreciate that the COVID-19 pandemic has likely made 2021 a difficult year for many of our newsletter readers. There has certainly been a number of challenges for various parts of the operations of the Wicking Dementia Centre.

While our learning programs have continued to be successfully delivered online, there have been a range of impacts on our students as well as many of our staff, through to participants in our research studies. We are very grateful for everyone’s perseverance and for their continued support of the goals of the Wicking Dementia Centre in addressing important issues related to dementia.

We are also grateful to the many individuals who have supported the Wicking Dementia Centre through donations. These donations have come through from the MOOCs as well as in campaigns that involve a partnership with community members impacted by dementia. We are also really proud of our staff members (Jess, Josh, James and Edi) who have developed the RUN for the ISLAND initiative you can read about below. This will raise the profile of dementia as well as research into prevention across Tasmania, and is another important fundraising event that we hope the community will support. Philanthropy will be an important focus for the Centre over the next few years and will enable us to advance our strategic projects.

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RUN for the ISLAND
RUN for the ISLAND
RUN for the ISLAND team

Join our researchers as they prepare to run across Tasmania

RUN for the ISLAND is a new initiative of the ISLAND Project and aims to raise awareness of dementia risk reduction and promote physical activity in the community.

Four researchers from the Wicking Dementia Centre will down tools and don runners in December in a bid to raise awareness and funds for dementia research. They will run the Tasmanian Trail over 5 days from 18-22 December.

The 480-kilometre trail from Devonport to Dover will see each researcher tackle a 25km stretch of the trail each day, stopping off at designated regional population centres to promote health and wellbeing factors recognised as reducing dementia risk. 

The team will begin the run in Devonport on 18 December, finishing the trail on 22 December with people able to track their journey via GPS and live updates on Facebook. 

For more information on the run, runners, the ISLAND Project or to make a donation visit RUN for the ISLAND at


Are you interested in University study? FREE Understanding Dementia MOOC

Are you interested in University study?

FREE Understanding Dementia MOOC

Coming up to the holiday break you may be thinking about starting study in 2022. There is still time for you to apply for one of our courses starting in February 2022.

As an undergraduate you can study Dementia Care or Ageing Studies and Services. If you already have a tertiary qualification, you may be interested in our postgraduate study in dementia.

All our courses are fully online and for eligible domestic students, the Diploma of Dementia Care has a 100% HECS fee waiver – which means there are no tuition fees to pay.


Our February Understanding Dementia MOOC is now open for enrolments.

Understanding Dementia addresses the foremost issues surrounding dementia, providing avenues for discussion as well as rich global networking opportunities to engage with this major international health issue.

This FREE 7-week course opens on 8 February and provides knowledge designed to maximise the quality of life across the trajectory of dementia for people with the condition, their families and caregivers.

Food for thought: How does diet impact brain health? A snapshot of current research

Food for thought: How does diet impact brain health?

A snapshot of current research

Our latest webinar in the Wicking Dementia Centre Seminar Series will focus on diet.

Did you know that around 40% of cases of dementia can potentially be prevented?

Your diet can have a major role in many dementia risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Come along to this session to hear about some of the research in this area and explore what dietary changes you might be able to make to reduce your risk of dementia.


The Wicking Dementia Centre is at the forefront of translational research of relevance to people living with dementia and their caregivers. We undertake multidisciplinary research around key themes of care, cause and prevention of dementia.

We have created a collaborative environment of researchers and global specialists working together to advance the understanding of dementia.

We are currently updating our research website so please take a look at the range of research being undertaken. 


A big THANK YOU to all our donors

We’ve had a tremendous response from our supporters in 2021.

We would like to thank everyone who has donated during the year – we are extremely grateful for your continued support. This is crucial to our development, allowing us to continue to offer our free short courses on Understanding Dementia, Preventing Dementia and our new Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury was launched in June 2021 and will be offered twice from 2022 – in March and August.

Your support contributes to our mission to transform the understanding of dementia and risk reduction worldwide, enabling positive change in dementia research and care.

The following is a message from Rowena Howard, whose story we featured in our Annual Fundraising Appeal in September. Rowena was kind enough to share the challenges she faced caring for her father Roger, who is living with dementia, and how completing the MOOC’s gave her a better understanding of her father’s condition and the skills to help him continue to live life to the fullest. You can read more about their journey here

"I was touched by reading people's uplifting comments left on our youtube channel. It seems there are many people who lament wanting to care for their loved ones with dementia but haven't been able to navigate a way forward. Every person's situation is different. We are very fortunate in that farm life has been a way of life for decades and dad's illness benefits greatly from interacting with the dogs, horses, chooks and wildlife that live with our family.

 It is a roller coaster ride ...navigating the dementia landscape. But dad never thinks anything is wrong and truly lives for the next day. It's hard on carers knowing an end will come one day regardless of dad's positive outlook. All you can do is make the most of each day. Each sunrise and sunset. Watch the moon, marvel at the wind and rain and just be grateful for each day together."

Supporting the residential aged care workforce for COVID-19 recovery Print Radio Tasmania interviews

Supporting the residential aged care workforce for COVID-19 recovery

Print Radio Tasmania interviews

This project responds to challenges around the marginalisation of people working in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) by ensuring that their voices are respected and heard through exploring the personal and professional impacts of COVID-19 through one-hour semi-structured interviews with people working in Tasmanian RACFs during COVID-19.

Respecting and supporting the aged care workforce is crucial for recognising their contributions as essential workers, for safeguarding satisfying work, and ensuring the needs of people living in aged care are met. 


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

The last few Wicking Dementia Centre interviews for 2021 are available on the PRT website from Dr Peta Cook and Professor James Vickers. There is also an update from one of our RUN for the ISLAND runners.

We look forward to working with PRT in 2022 with new interviews from our researchers and research participants.

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