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Director's message

John Piggott CEPAR Director UNSW economist

Scientia Professor John Piggott AO, CEPAR Director, UNSW Sydney

Welcome to 2023! At last at universities, both in teaching and research, face-to-face interactions are occurring more frequently. This is especially important for a research organisation such as CEPAR, where so much original research starts with a conversation. International visitors are beginning to flow, and we are planning to hold a 3-day face-to-face international conference on the causes, consequences and responses to population ageing, in July at UNSW Sydney. Researchers from around the world and invited keynote speakers Norma Coe (Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania), Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz (Professor of Mathematical Economics, Vienna University of Technology), Duke Han (Professor of Family Medicine, Neurology, Psychology and Gerontology, University of Southern California), and Mo Wang (University Distinguished Professor and Lanzillotti-McKethan Emininent Scholar Chair, University of Florida) will present their latest research. Representatives from government, industry, academe and community will share their perspectives on key topics during a series of panel sessions to be spread through the conference. I very much look forward to coming together. Registration will open soon.

2022 was a great year for CEPAR, in spite of the challenges imposed by the pandemic. This is a testament not only to our senior investigators and researchers, who are collectively among the best groups focused on population ageing globally, but also to CEPAR’s students, early career and mid-career researchers, who bring such high commitment, talent, and energy to their work. That this has been maintained through the pandemic is inspiring, and I look forward to seeing our research performance lift further in the future, now that interpersonal contact is once again becoming the norm.

Among the many research achievements of 2022, I would like to highlight new projections for the Australian population and the new projections for the number of people with dementia released by CEPAR’s Principal Research Fellow Tom Wilson and Associate Professor Jeromey Temple and colleagues as part of the CEPAR Population Ageing Future Data Archive. As well, Chief Investigator Warwick McKibbin’s and his team’s work on the G-Cubed model to incorporate demographic change provides another powerful weapon in a steadily expanding arsenal to tackle the complexities of population ageing in a macroeconomic context, both in Australia and internationally.

The Ageing Asia Research Hub, which is hosted by CEPAR’s UNSW Business School node, continued to build its profile under the stewardship of Philip (Pip) O’ Keefe, who was appointed its Director in mid-2021. Under its auspices, an edited book on shaping long-term care policy in the emerging economies of Asia has just been published. The information and perspectives provided in the volume will inform what is currently a very unstructured debate.

I am especially looking forward to 2023, which I see as an opportunity to return to normal during the long pandemic challenge.  

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