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Director's message

John Piggott CEPAR Director UNSW economist

Scientia Professor John Piggott AO, CEPAR Director, UNSW Sydney

Let me begin by wishing you all a new year filled with joy and fulfilment. For universities, both in teaching and research, 2023 was much better than 2022 in terms of the improvement in face-to-face engagement, and university life is back to normal.

In terms of engagement, 2024 is another year packed with opportunities.

In February, we are co-hosting a Data Workshop, along with Chief Investigator Warwick McKibbin’s Centre for Applied Macroeconomics Analysis (CAMA) and the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute (TTPI) at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, and are involved with the inaugural Conference on Work Design being organised by Chief Investigator Sharon Parker’s Centre for Transformative Work Design at Curtin University.

In May, we have scheduled a Policy Dialogue, jointly hosted with CAMA at ANU, focused on migration and migrant populations in the context of population ageing, and we will also launch new CEPAR resources on the diversity of Australia’s ageing population.

And June brings the International Pension Research Association’s annual conference, co-hosted by the OECD in Paris/France. This has become a calendar event for both pension researchers and regulators, and often more than 50 countries are represented in the participation list.

Later in the year, there is a workshop on home-based aged care, jointly mounted with the Chinese Australian Service Society (CASS), a Sydney-based organisation concerned with aged care delivery to ethnic minorities, especially, but not exclusively, Chinese. In August, we have the CEPAR research showcase event to share highlights from the research program over the past seven years, and then the annual Colloquium on Pensions and Retirement Research.

Our research program continues: over the period of this final seven-year funding term under the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence (CoE) Scheme, CEPAR has accumulated more than 1,000 research publications, many in top-ranked journals, as well as a range of translational documents, and publicly accessible databases, such as the CEPAR Population Ageing Futures Data Archive and the Healthy Ageing Toolkit.

And our researchers continue to accumulate prestigious roles and honours. Just in the last couple of months, Kaarin Anstey was appointed – as the first Australian academic – to the World Dementia Council, and Peter McDonald was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). Both these Chief Investigators have been involved with CEPAR since its first CoE funding term in 2010, and have contributed immensely to its reputation. In addition, Sharon Parker was recognised as Curtin University’s 2023 Researcher of the Year in recognition of her outstanding leadership and research. Congratulations to all.

I look forward to staying in touch throughout 2024, and beyond.

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