The Hal Kendig Prize for the Best CEPAR PhD Thesis in 2021 has been awarded to Kofi Awuviry-Newton for his PhD thesis on ‘Needing, Providing and Supporting Care: A Mixed-Methods Study of Older Adults’ Functional Abilities and Care Needs, Caregivers’ Lived Experiences, and Social Workers’ Contributions in the Lives of Older Adults in Ghana’, under the supervision of CEPAR Associate Investigator Professor Julie Byles, Dr Meredith Tavener and Dr Kylie Wales.
“I feel very honoured to be awarded the Hal Kendig Prize and would like to thank my supervisors and the judging committee. I'd also like to take the opportunity to offer a heartfelt thanks to CEPAR’s mentorship in terms of educational support, travel allowances and conferences, to support my PhD journey,” said Dr Awuviry-Newton.
His PhD co-supervisor Dr Meredith Tavener said “Kofi’s research has enhanced current global understandings of older adults’ care and support needs in Ghana from a multifactorial perspective, including health and social influences, as well as how the older adults’ local environment impacted on quality of life.
“He also revealed important evidence towards the critical role that social workers can play in meeting older adults’ needs.”
His nomination noted that “impressively, Kofi’s research and interest in older adult care has led to the establishment of a young and vibrant research Centre at Winneba, Ghana, which aims to conduct research to improve the understanding of health and ageing related issues facing older adults in Africa.”
Dr Kofi Awuviry-Newton was awarded his PhD in Gerontology and Geriatrics from the University of Newcastle in 2021.
He is a social worker by profession, qualitative methodologist, and social gerontologist with expertise in applying mixed methods into studying functional ability and care needs among older adults in Africa, specifically Ghana.
He applies interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) and other qualitative analysis methods based on theoretical frameworks such as World Health Organisation International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, and Ethics of Care theoretical frameworks to understand the lived experience of older adults living with functional disability and lived experience of caregivers of older peoples. He employs critical analysis and discourse into understanding social workers role of healthy ageing. Currently, with the help of the internal funding from African Health and Ageing Research Centre (founder), Kofi uses secondary data from several longitudinal studies, which includes World Health Organisation Global Study on Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE Waves), to author papers and book chapters on the ageing and health related issues of older adults.
The Hal Kendig Prize is awarded annually in commemoration of the late Emeritus Professor Hal Kendig who was a CEPAR Chief Investigator and an important influence on the policy debate around ageing in Australia and internationally. Hal Kendig provided mentorship throughout his career and was especially active in mentoring PhD students.