OAM, MA (Oxon), M.Ed. (Tas).
Rowena's PhD research aims to investigate to what degree participation in a community organisation run by and for older people influences the perceived health and wellbeing of the members. It is designed to complement and build on her M.Ed (Research) thesis, completed in 2010, which explored older people's views on their participation and the benefits they said they derived from belonging. The issues of self-assessed health and wellbeing, which emerged from the previous study, are the focus of the present study. The proposed research method is in-depth semi-structured interviews with current and former members, older people who have never belonged to a community group, and with relevant service providers.
Since leaving paid work twenty years ago, I have been involved as a member and organiser of older people's voluntary self-help groups, as an advocate for learning opportunities for older people, and as a member of State and local committees promoting Positive Ageing. In 2007 I was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to adult and community education. I see my research as a complement to and further development of my strong interest in older people's leisure and learning activities and the empowerment of older people.