- Distinguished Member Award conferred on Charles Sturt academic for outstanding service to the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG)
- Lecturer provided extensive leadership, professional development, and mentoring support to students and emerging researchers in gerontology
- All AAG members can access and benefit from professional development opportunities, regardless of their geographic location
A leading Charles Sturt University gerontology expert has been recognised for her contribution to advancing the care of older Australians and the enhancement of research and training for professionals and students working in the field of gerontology.
Dr Belinda Cash (pictured), Senior Lecturer in social work and human services in the Charles Sturt School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Albury-Wodonga, has been recognised with an Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Distinguished Member Award, which is awarded for outstanding service to the AAG over many years.
Dr Cash is also a member of the University’s Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS).
The AAG award reflects Dr Cash’s extensive voluntary work within the peak national body for gerontology since 2011.
This work included six years as National President for the AAG Student and Early Career Group, where she led a major restructure to ensure greater equity of access to professional development and networking opportunities for members across Australia.
The AAG said Dr Cash’s passion for improving the lives of older adults has contributed to the provision of extensive leadership, professional development, and mentoring support to student and emerging researchers in gerontology.
“It is such an honour to have my work with the AAG recognised in this way,” Dr Cash said.
“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity through the AAG to pursue my passion of supporting students and emerging researchers in gerontology.
“I love working with the breadth and depth of different professional disciplines that come together through the AAG to understand and improve the lives of older adults in Australia.
“As a rural researcher, I was particularly concerned about the issues of access to professional development and networking opportunities being hosted by state-based divisions.”
Dr Cash said professional development events were primarily held in capital cities and were difficult to access for students, researchers and practitioners who lived outside those cities.
“I am proud that my legacy as President was to restructure the Student and Early Career Group,” she said.
“I led a team of wonderful volunteers to form national working groups of members who design and deliver both online and face-to-face events, including specialised networking opportunities at the AAG national conference each year.
“This restructure has significantly increased engagement with events and the breadth of what can be offered, as it ensures all members can access and benefit from opportunities, regardless of their geographic location.”