As we grow older, how we express our identities shifts as a result of mental and physical limitations, along with our response to the way society expects us to age.

LivingProof, an exhibition coming to the SAHMRI in 2022, shares the stories of 10 residents, consumers, family members, staff and volunteers of Bene Aged Care.

In the succinct words of writer Rosa Matto: “If we ignore our storytellers we are lost.” Rosa’s beautifully penned words, complemented by the poignant photography of Italo Vardaro, offer a window into the often over-looked moments of joy, beauty and life-affirming experiences in ageing.

From the 30-something chef Roberta who has found herself at home among older people and strives to bring joy to her diners with every meal to the 106-year old Winifred whose favourite invention is the Kindle, LivingProof uncovers an unquestionable sense of identity and a rich tapestry of relationships among our older people and those who care for them.

Co-presented by the SAHMRI, LivingProof also explores some of the lifestyle factors that influence lifelong health in panel discussions on The Do’s and Don’ts of Healthy Ageing and Dining, Dignity and Health. Leading SAHMRI researchers Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn, Dr Tim Sargeant, Associate Professor Gillian Caughey and Professor Geraint Rogers will feature alongside Professor John Coveney of the International Research Collective on Food Culture and Health, and food personalities Maggie Beer and Rosa Matto.

Panel Sessions

The Do’s and Don’ts of Healthy Ageing

2022 – DATE TBC  
SAHMRI Auditorium

Register for this FREE event here

They say ‘you are what you eat’. That’s certainly true to an extent, but there are many factors that determine how healthily we age. To celebrate the launch of Bene’s thought-provoking LivingProof photographic exhibition at SAHMRI, hear from three healthy ageing experts, Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn, Dr Tim Sargeant and Associate Professor Gillian Caughey, about what their latest research says we should and shouldn’t be doing for the best chance of maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle well into old age.

Dining, Dignity and Health

2022 – DATE TBC
SAHMRI Auditorium 

Register for this FREE event here

We all know that eating well is key to ageing well. But what does it mean to eat well? Professor Geraint Rogers offers his evidence-based insights on the many and varied benefits of the Mediterranean diet, while Maggie Beer and Rosa Matto share their passion for transforming health and wellbeing in ageing through food within the broader context of food as nutrition, culture and the dining experience. And in an engaging exploration of how we construct our social identities, our families and communities through food, Professor John Coveney takes a look at how food helps us to understand what it means to be human. 

Artists + Panellists

  • Rosa Matto

    Rosa Matto

    Rosa is a teacher, chef and writer. A career as a culinary educator and caterer has led to an understanding of consumer needs. She is interested in improving the dining experience and quality of food for ageing Australians, particularly for those from diverse cultural backgrounds. Recently, she has collaborated on projects that focus on food, notably the consumption of fish and pulse proteins, in health and disease. She is proud to represent Nonna’s Cucina meals delivery service and to be Bene Aged Care’s Food Ambassador.

  • Italo Vardaro

    Italo Vardaro

    Italo is an illustrative and portrait photographer, born in Rose Park, Adelaide and has lived in Western Australia and South Australia. He is a Master Photographer and a life member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) as well as an assessor for emerging photographers. His work has been featured in books and publications and he has a wide national and state client base. Italo is a passionate public art advocate and a contributor and life member of the Riverland Musical Society.

  • Associate Professor Gillian Caughey

    Associate Professor Gillian Caughey

    Gill is a Senior Research Fellow with the Registry of Senior Australians (ROSA) at SAHMRI. She and the ROSA team were significant contributors to the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and consistently publish impactful research that is improving the delivery of aged care services throughout Australia.

  • Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn

    Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn

    Leonie is the leader of SAHMRI’s Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory. She is running clinical trials that investigate the impact of diets including caloric restriction, intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating on health, in particular in relation to the development of type 2 diabetes.

  • Professor Geraint Rogers

    Professor Geraint Rogers

    Geraint is a molecular microbiologist and microbial ecologist and the Director of the Microbiome and Host Health Program at SAHMRI. His team runs a series of clinical trials within aged care facilities that deal with antimicrobial resistance and airborne pathogens. They are also preparing for a trial that investigates the many and varied benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet on health and happiness.

  • Dr Tim Sargeant

    Dr Tim Sargeant

    Tim is the head of the Lysosomal Health in Ageing research group at SAHMRI. The endosomal-lysosomal system is the ‘recycling centre’ of the body, breaking down and disposing of old or damaged cellular material. Tim recently led the discovery of a blood test to measure healthy ageing, which is being employed in an increasing number of clinical trials.

  • Professor John Coveney

    Professor John Coveney

    John is Professor of Global Food, Culture and Health at Flinders University, Adelaide. He has published more than 150 papers, sole-authored a number of books and has worked on major international projects and collaborations. John has research and education interests in public health nutrition; history of food and health; food policy; and social and cultural factors that influence food patterns and food intake.

  • Maggie Beer

    Maggie Beer

    Renowned ‘cook’, author and personality Maggie Beer established her foundation in 2014 to improve the food experiences of older Australians, especially those living in aged care homes. Maggie has made it her personal mission to link the latest research of how the food we eat can impact brain health and general wellbeing, with her innate knowledge of what good food can do for everyone’s emotional wellbeing – a truly nourishing mix, so much greater than the sum of its parts.

Artist Interview

Writer Rosa Matto and photographer Italo Vardaro talk about the LivingProof exhibition presented earlier this year at the Migration Museum.


Media Coverage