Kate Swaffer is an award winning international dementia and disability rights campaigner, a past care partner of three people with dementia, and a retired nurse having worked in dementia and aged care, then operating theatres.
Swaffer is an Ambassador for the Australia Day Council (SA) and for Step Up For Dementia Research in Australia, has a Master of Science in Dementia Care, a Bachelor of Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, all having been completed post diagnosis of younger onset dementia.
Swaffer is a co-founder, and the current CEO and past Chair of Dementia Alliance International, an elected board member for Alzheimer’s Disease International, and an International Fellow, Impact Research Group, University of East Anglia. She has played a key global role in campaigning for the human and legal rights for people with dementia including equal access to the CRPD, reframing dementia as a disability, and rehabilitation for people with dementia.
Swaffer has contributed to key national and global policy documents including work for the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Quality Rights initiative, and the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) for dementia. Having had two honorary university positions, Swaffer has been very active as an independent researcher, and is a highly published author and poet. Her incomplete doctoral work, and other research projects includes Dementia as a Disability, Disability Rights, Human and Legal Rights, Stigma, Quality of Life, and the Public Discourse of Dementia. She is also a peer reviewer to two journals, including the SAGE Dementia Journal.
Swaffer will draw on her professional and personal expertise, international and national advocacy and knowledge to contribute to key aspects of the project. These include designing research questions and methods attuned to the needs and experiences of people living with dementia and any care partners; assisting with recruitment of participants from the dementia community; data analysis; and knowledge translation. She is already familiar with the issue of redress for residential neglect and abuse, having previously raised it in her blog and in her evidence to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
With the Dementia Redress Project Swaffer will be reprising her role of Associate Investigator as she did with Dr Steele’s 2019 DARF project: ‘Safe and Just Futures for People Living with Dementia in Residential Aged Care’. Since the completion of that project, Steele and Swaffer have continued to collaborate, having subsequently made a joint submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission on the topic of redress.