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Staff awards and distinctions

Fiona Alpass and Christine Stephens


The HART team was awarded the prestigious 2012 Gold Team Research Medal by Massey University. 


The HART team was recognised by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) as a Centre of Excellence in research in social gerontology. The team has also been confirmed as a member of the IAGG’s Global Ageing Research Network (GARN) which seeks to: exchange information about all types of topics related to ageing; set up contacts between professionals, specialists, academics, industry, health authorities, and other scientific networks; and build collaborative research programmes.

Dr Fiona Alpass was appointed as an adviser to the World Health Organisation and invited to participate in a consultation of 18 experts entitled “Informal Experts’ Consultation on Healthy Ageing in the Western Pacific Region”, Manila, Philippines, May 7-12, 2011.


Dr Alpass was asked to attend the invite-only World Health Organisation technical meeting: Aging and health: from evidence to policy (Technical Meeting), Geneva, 2-4 June 2010.

Dr Christine Stephens was invited to act as a guest editor of a Special Issue of the Journal of Health Psychology (2010): “Health and ageing - challenges for health psychology”.


Dr Stephens and Dr Alpass were members of the organising committee and the science committee for the 2009 New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG) Conference. NZAG is a multidisciplinary organisation committed to understanding ageing and promoting the interests of older people and is an affiliated member of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG). This is a biannual conference and is the premier conference event in New Zealand for those in the ageing area.

The journal article by Dr Jack Noone, Dr Christine Stephens and Dr Fiona Alpass (2009) “Preretirement Planning and Well-Being in Later Life A Prospective Study” published in Research On Aging in 2009, was the most cited article in this journal of all articles published in 2009 and 2010.


Dr Alpass was invited by Mr Michael Papesch, Head of the Older Person’s Policy Team, Ministry of Social Development’s to participate in a meeting at the Ministry entitled “Research on Ageing: a way forward”. As an outcome of this meeting Dr Alpass, Dr Stephens and Professor LaGrow were invited by the then Minister for Social Development (the Hon. Ruth Dyson) to be members of a working group to advance the research on ageing sector.

Dr Andy Towers was selected to attend the 2008 Australian National Conference of Emerging Researchers in Ageing co-hosted by Curtin University, the University of Queensland and the Australian Research Council Research Network in Ageing Well.


Dr Fiona Alpass and Dr Christine Stephens were both invited to become members of the Asia-Pacific Population Research in Ageing (APPRA) network, hosted by the Oxford Institute of Ageing.

In recognition of their roles as Principal Investigators on the FRST-funded NZLSA project, Dr Fiona Alpass and Dr Christine Stephens were both made members of the BRCSS Research Platform and BRCSS Research College.

Dr Fiona Alpass and Dr Christine Stephens were both invited by Mark Prebble (State Services Commissioner) and Professor Gray Hawke (HoS, School of Government, Victoria University) to participate in the 2007 Chief Executive’s Leadership Forum with the Victoria University School of Government – “The Ageing Population: Implications for Policy and Practice.

Dr  Andy Towers was selected as one of only 50 international emerging researchers in ageing (and the sole candidate from the Southern hemisphere) to attend the 2007 14th annual RAND Summer Institute on Ageing at the RAND Institute in Los Angeles, California.


In 2006 Dr Alpass was invited by Professor Gary Hawke, Head, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, to be a member of the Advisory Board for the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing. The Advisory Board was chaired by Diana Crossan, Retirement Commissioner, and included representatives from the New Zealand Association of Gerontology and the Ministry of Social Development. Dr Alpass continued to be an Advisory Group member until the Institute was disestablished in 2009.

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