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Professor Hal Kendig
Member of the BSG will be greatly saddened to learn of the death of Hal Kendig, Emeritus Professor of Ageing and Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU).

Hal was a global leader in research in the field of social gerontology, and was regarded as a founding figure in the development of Australian research on issues relating to population ageing. His work represented an outstanding blend of high quality research, policy development, and advocacy for the rights of older people. His research interests were unusually wide-ranging, including pioneering work linking urban sociology and ageing, studies of the social determinants of health, inequalities in later life, family care-giving, social attitudes towards older people, and issues relating to intergenerational justice and demographic change. From all of these, and many other areas, Hal produced work of exceptional quality, drawing together his own disciplinary expertise in sociology, urban studies, epidemiology and public policy.


Alongside his research, Hal will also be remembered for his enormous contribution to building a number of outstanding research groups and collaborations. He had variously served as Head of the Ageing, Health and Work Research Unit at the University of Sydney, National Convenor of the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council Research Network on Ageing Well, Director of the ARC Key Centre in Gerontology at La Trobe University, and Chief Investigator for the ARC's Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR). He also played an important role in developing the research base of the social and health sciences during his time as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. Hal was also responsible for leading major international collaborations with  colleagues in China, the UK and USA, this work filling a major gap in the field of comparative studies related to ageing.


Integral to his many academic achievements was Hal’s mentoring and support to numerous colleagues in Australia and around the world. He made a huge contribution to building gerontology both through his own research and through inspiring others to follow his example. He exerted a major influence on the shaping of public policy for older people, in Australia and beyond. His legacy is a generation of researchers committed to challenging the inequalities still affecting many people in old age. Towards the end of his life Hal bore a debilitating illness with great bravery, writing, arguing and researching to the end. His loss to gerontology is great; his contribution though will continue through his writings, though the friends and colleagues he influenced, and through the policies and ideas he helped to create.


Chris Phillipson

Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology

The University of Manchester

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