Ms. Samantha commenced as the Manager Policy and Systemic Advocacy at the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) in March 2020. Prior to this, she was the Manager – Silver Rainbow at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia. Samantha also runs her own consultancy – Ageing with Pride, which works to ensure LGBTIQ+ inclusivity across the aged care sector.
She has extensive knowledge and experience in policy, advocacy, and human rights, and a strong commitment to inclusive aged care. She holds Masters Degrees in Social Administration, Politics and Public Policy, and International Relations. She currently sits on the Board of the International Federation of Ageing and on the Coordinating Committee for the Rights of Older Persons Australia.
Sam is a distinguished member of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and is the Convenor of the LGBTIQ+ Special Interest Group and Co-Convenor of the Elder Abuse Special Interest Group. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences on inclusive aged care for LGBTI older people and on upholding the rights of older people. She has previously been involved in research projects on LGBTI ageing and the needs of LGBTI older people and is currently involved in a range of research projects on key issues for older people such as redressing violence experienced in aged care for people living with dementia
Previously she chaired the Aged Care Diversity Sub Group, which provided advice on inclusive care to the government (the DSG ended in December 2019). Sam now Chairs the Diversity Consultative Committee that provides advice to the Department of Health and Aged Care on inclusive practices. In addition, she represents OPAN on numerous government and sector advisory and consultative groups. Her background is in health policy and social justice. She is passionate about ensuring the voices of older people are heard and making diversity a core business in aged care.