With over 30 years experience as a social policy researcher and analyst, Dr Kate Barnett OAM has made a long term contribution to health and aged care.
In the late 1960s Dr Barnett (BA ’70, DipEd ’71, MEd ’77) was in the second intake of students at Flinders and one of the first for Flinders Drama Centre.
Following her graduation with a Diploma of Education in 1971, Dr Barnett taught for two years before returning to Flinders for the next five years, working as Study Skills Counsellor in the Health and Counselling Service, and completing her Master of Education and the Social Policy component of the Social Administration program. This led to her work as a policy officer in the Youth Bureaux of the SA and NSW governments.
In the late 1980s Dr Barnett returned to Adelaide to establish one of Australia’s first social policy research and evaluation consultancy businesses. Over the next 25 years she increasingly specialised in ageing and aged care policy and her specific knowledge of the teaching nursing home model saw her being awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2014. From 2006 -2016, Kate was Deputy-Director of the University of Adelaide’s Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre (WISeR).
Dr Barnett’s long term contribution to the field of gerontology has been, and continues to be, of significant value to the community, on both a state and national level.
Australia’s ageing population presents both challenges and opportunities. It will have unprecedented impact on health, aged care and fiscal decision making in coming decades, but will also bring a growing number of purchasers of a range of products, making a positive contribution to the economy that is being felt now as the first wave of Baby Boomers reaches their mid-sixties. Dr Barnett’s ongoing research in this field will ensure that best practice is taken into account by governments and community organisations.
For ten years Dr Barnett was a member of the Flinders University Alumni Association Executive and at the time of the University’s 40th Anniversary in 2006, she was appointed by the then Vice-Chancellor to be one of 40 Flinders Ambassadors supporting the milestone.
Wishing to blend her policy and writing skills, in 2016 Dr Barnett established a technical writing business called Stand Out Report.
Dr Kate Barnett OAM was awarded a Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017 for her significant contribution to the community, the state, and the nation as a social policy researcher in the areas of ageing and multiculturalism. In 2018 she was acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to aged welfare.