Honorary Elders

Honorary Eldership is the highest honour we can award to individuals.

It recognises significant and/or sustained contributions to the mission and vision of Meaningful Ageing Australia.

In considering nominations for an award of Honorary Eldership, reference is made to the following selection criteria:

  1. Significant contributions in a voluntary capacity over and above professional responsibilities.
  2. A significant contribution through outstanding service to advance the vision, mission and values of Meaningful Ageing Australia beyond their organisation.This may include contributions in a range of areas, such as:
  • service to the Board
  • service development that epitomises best practice in spiritual care
  • improving equity of access to spiritual care for older Australians
  • increasing community awareness regarding the importance of spiritual care
  • quality improvement, research and policy development in relation to spiritual care

3. A sustained contribution exceeding 10 years by the person.

Elizabeth MacKinlay

2021 Elder

Elizabeth is both a registered nurse and a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. She was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra 2001 to 2012. She is an Adjunct Research Professor, Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre, Charles Sturt University and Director, CAPS (Colloquium for Aging Perspectives and Spirituality) Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, CSU. She researches and teaches in issues of spirituality, wellbeing, frailty, dementia and ageing. The book: Finding meaning in the experience of dementia. (MacKinlay and Trevitt) was awarded the 2013 Australasian Journal of Ageing book prize. A companion book 2015 is titled: Facilitating spiritual reminiscence for people with dementia: A learning guide. A second edition of Elizabeth’s book: The Spiritual Dimension of Ageing 2nd edition was published in 2017. Her latest completed research was a PaCT funded study (2019): Finding meaning in the experience of frailty. Elizabeth was instrumental in the establishment of our organisation and served on the board for a number of years.
John Ireland

2021 Elder

John has four decades of experience and active involvement in aged care leadership roles ranging from chairman of the UPA Board for ten years to CEO Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT for 23 years. John has been actively involved in sector leadership as NSW President of ACS for ten years, national president of ACSA for three years and on the Board of the International Association of Housing and Services for the Ageing for six years. He has a passion for quality accommodation care and support for those in our society who are vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged. John has an enduring passion for pastoral and spiritual care. He has also been a member of the task group that led to the establishment of Meaningful Ageing Australia and has continued as a Board member since its formation as an association in 2013. John continues to be actively involved in aged care by mentoring leaders in the sector and regularly visiting residents in three aged care facilities. In the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours, John was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for his services to the community particularly through Aged Care Australia and through social welfare, youth and church groups. John was also a key person in the establishment of our organisation.