Executive & Team
GAICD, MPH, BA, BTheol, GradCertMgt, GradDipEd
Ilsa has over twenty years experience in health, community services and aged care, and commenced in 2016 as CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia. Ilsa serves on the Palliative Care Australia board and is Chair of the Australian Association of Gerontology Victorian Executive Committee. Ilsa is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Prior to joining Meaningful Ageing, Ilsa worked in strategic and operational leadership in a range of senior roles in aged and community services including research, social policy, sustainability, spiritual care and community engagement. Before beginning work with the aged care sector, Ilsa had a parallel career teaching migrants and refugees.
She is a strong strategic leader, clear and creative communicator as well as being collaborative and a positive innovator. Ilsa has extensive experience presenting at conferences and forums Australia-wide.
Ilsa lives in a multi-generational household in Melbourne’s north.
Specialist Educator (Muslim)
Mahjabeen co-authored the first report on Muslim aged care in South Australia–Muslims in Australia and their Aged Care Needs: An Exploratory Study with Reference to South Australia included in the Review of Australian Research on Older People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds, Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), 2015. Prior to moving to Australia, Mahjabeen taught as full-time faculty in undergraduate, graduate, and executive MBA programs at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Bangladesh’s leading business school at the University of Dhaka.
She is a seasoned and very successful communicator about the needs of older Muslims in aged care, and Muslim cultural awareness more generally for staff in a range of sectors. Mahjabeen was the winner of the Governor’s Multicultural Award (inaugural Aged Care—Individual category) in South Australia.
Mahjabeen is a strong advocate of cultural appropriateness in care situations for the Muslim community and, as part of her advocacy role, she has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences.
Claire has worked in administration in Australia and overseas, in various sectors for over 20 years. She studied Illustration at Queensland College of Art, has illustrated a children’s’ book about Dame Nellie Melba as well as a self-published book about 20 women in Australian history. Alongside her work as an illustrator, Claire supports the Meaningful Ageing admin team.
The Little Things - Lead Trainer
MA (Applied Linguistics), GradDipEd (TESOL), BA, Cert IV TAE
Pip takes the lead on The Little Things: Intercultural communication for personal care work in aged care workshops, whether train the trainer or sessions with direct care workers. She was the project coordinator, principal researcher and a training materials developer for The Little Things, 2018-2020. She has worked as an English as an additional language teacher and education manager in community settings and in ELICOS over the past 20 years. She works at a TAFE as a language, literacy and numeracy support teacher for students enrolled in CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support. She has also facilitated various adult community education projects with people experiencing homelessness or living in rooming houses, people with psychiatric illnesses, Indigenous Australians, migrants and refugees. Throughout her career, Pip has valued drawing on the experiences and perspectives of others to support meaningful engagement.
BA, DipAppSci (Nursing), GradDipEd (Health), GradDipHealth (Palliative Care), DipMissiology
Jenika is an experienced palliative care nurse, who has also had numerous roles in the aged care sector, both in residential care and in the community. She spent thirteen years working in Nepal, and helped establish the first palliative care training there. She continues to run workshops in Australia, Nepal and India on a wide range of topics, and in particular palliative care and communication skills. Jenika enjoys integrating spiritual care into her professional practice in these different cultural contexts. Jenika is passionate about adding meaning and purpose to life, in all its stages, through interpersonal connectedness and meaningful community. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and four children.
BA Hons Theology; DipM; Cert IV TAA; MAVP (Aid and Development)
Brian has over twenty years’ experience of the publishing industry, having worked with small family owned companies, through to large multinational corporations. During this time, he also ran his own business specialising graphic design and marketing consultancy for the publishing, arts and church sectors. His re-location to Australia in 2008 provided the opportunity for a new direction, allowing Brian to work in international aid and development.
For the last 10 years, he has worked in communications and community engagement for two development agencies. The role of Project Officer for Meaningful Ageing Australia brings together two key passions: a concern for human flourishing with learning materials that transform.
Educator and Senior Consultant
BA, BTheol, Dip.Min (Honours), MA (Research), JP
Kim has found himself in the company of older people throughout his life. He loves to learn from seniors – and highly values the opportunity to be with them. Kim has worked for Eldercare (South Australia) since 2010 as a residential care chaplain and, more recently, as both a chaplain and a project manager – assisting with the development of a ten year strategic business plan for the organisation. Kim is also a serving chaplain with the RAAF and was a police chaplain for over ten years. He has worked as an electorate officer, co-manages a small hospitality business and worked in a number of innovative faith communities both in Victoria and South Australia. Kim has wide-ranging experience as a spiritual care supervisor, key-note speaker and conference presenter. His subject matter has ranged from peace activism, spiritual care of people living with dementia, spirituality and postmodernity and, the intersection of faith and politics in Australian history. Kim has extensive and diverse experience in project management and consultancy – in community, government, faith community and corporate contexts. He is also an amateur astronomer and is involved with the Planetarium at the University of South Australia. Kim is currently working on a PhD thesis through the department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University.
MA (App Ling), Grad Dip Div, Grad Dip Soc Sci (Adult Lit Ed), BA Lang, Dip Mus (Jazz)
Kemeri returns to spiritual care after a number of years as a lecturer in the Division of Health Sciences of UniSA in the areas of Indigenous student success, intercultural communication for healthcare professionals and community engagement. Prior to this, Kemeri held a state lead role with the Uniting Church in South Australia in strategic intercultural engagement with CALD communities. Kemeri is currently an aged care spiritual care practitioner based in Queensland and has worked in a number of pastoral and spiritual care contexts in Bluecare, Wesley Mission Qld Aged Care, Hummingbird House Children’s Hospice and Uniting Care Qld Prison Chaplaincy.
Kemeri’s expertise includes sociolinguistics and intercultural engagement and she has a background of consultancy in CALD perspectives in organisational leadership, workplace communication and CALD community and leadership development. Passionate about culturally relevant care in the context of pastoral and spiritual care, Kemeri loves engaging with diverse staff cohorts in raising aspiration and capacities to incorporate effective spiritual care in relational engagement within aged care. Dignity, relationship, identity and sense of purpose are among some of the values Kemeri holds most dear in her work. Kemeri is blessed to be raising six children with her patient husband in her Latino-Australian household in Brisbane, connecting regularly with the Spanish and Portuguese migrant communities of Queensland.
BBus, PGradDipBus, MCom(HRM)(Dist), FCPA, GradDipChap, MChap,MSCA
Marilyn’s early career was spent in accountancy practices, including 16 years in her own taxation and business services practice. She then obtained post-graduate qualifications in both Business Management and Human Resource Management, leading to roles in: Corporate Services; Company Directorship; Adult Education; Group Facilitation; Negotiation, and Mediation, as well as expanding her financial advisory services to include Deceased Estate and Succession Planning.
Marilyn became increasingly aware that maturing people were seeking not only sound financial and estate planning advice, but also the meanings of their lives, and spiritual wellbeing. She then made the move to multi-faith chaplaincy and pastoral care, and ended her long commercial career in order to study the new Master of Chaplaincy course available in Perth. During this time she completed a research project focused on assessing the spiritual needs of people living in residential aged care.
Marilyn works part-time as a Chaplain in Perth’s Prisons and serves on committees for: professional standards; Spiritual Care Australia; prison and aged care chaplains; and community seniors’ interests. Marilyn, her two adult children, and her five grandchildren all reside in a coastal region south of the Perth metropolitan area.