Keynote Speakers


Billie Jordan

After surviving an abusive childhood and repeated trauma in the Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand, Billie Jordan used these experiences as a catalyst for improving the lives of people in her community. She established The Hip Op-eration Crew; a hip hop dance group consisting of members aged 73 to 98 years old. Billie was the New Zealand Woman of the Year in 2017, is a recipient of a Queens Honour (MNZM) and received the New Zealander of the Year award in the Local Hero category in 2015. She is the star of an award winning feature documentary called Hip Hoperation and Hollywood have purchased her life rights to make a block buster film based on her life story. You can watch Billie’s Ted Talk about the Hip Op-eration crew here

Dieneke Smit

Dieneke Smit graduated in General Health Sciences and Gerontology at the VU university of Amsterdam. From 2007-2012 she has been a research associate at the Program on Ageing at the Netherlands Institute for Mental health and Addiction (Trimbos-insitute). Here, she worked on a large national study on different types of nursing home care for people with dementia. When studying Health Sciences, Dieneke got confronted with the disease process of her grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Based on her experience that a care environment could make or break a person with dementia, she got inspired to create her own care facility for people with dementia with help of her father. In 2006, they wrote their first business plan for a small scale care farm for people with dementia, based on the person-centred care theory of Kitwood. In 2013, the dream of Dieneke and Henk came true as they opened their care farm ‘de Reigershoeve’, for 27 residents with dementia. Today, also day care is provided. Although Dieneke stopped as a research associate of the Trimbos-institute in October 2012 to become manager of De Reigershoeve, she picked up her study in 2014 and published her PhD thesis ‘Seize the Day, activity involvement for people with dementia living in care homes’ in 2018.

To download Dieneke’s presentation click here


Sabina Brennan

Sabina Brennan (PhD., C.Psychol.,PsSI.) is a psychologist, innovative public educator and experienced communicator with a unique skill mix acquired over her career working in the private sector, in media and most recently in academia. Her scientific research at Trinity College Dublin has focused on understanding dementia risk and protective factors to establish how decline in cognitive function might be prevented or delayed. She is passionate about engaging people in an educational preventative context. Dr Brennan attended university for the first time at the age of 42, graduating from NUIM in 2007, coming first in class with a first class honours degree in psychology. The same year she was awarded a Government of Ireland, PhD Scholarship (Irish Research Council of Science Engineering and Technology) which she completed at Trinity where she continues to work. She is passionate about lifelong learning and encourages older adults to return to education and has enjoyed meeting them as students in Trinity. Sabina is founding director of Trinity Brain Health and Adjunct Assistant Professor, ADAPT Centre, Trinity College Dublin.

Stephen Deazley

Stephen Deazley is an award-winning classical composer, educationalist, choirmaster and presenter. His work as a choirmaster focuses on inclusion and community participation, and includes appearances on BBC Proms in the Park, and for the Edinburgh International Festival in 2017 and 2018. He curated a community singing event cultural festival for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow reaching 40,000 people, and has presented the School Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Stephen has been commissioned and performed by Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Music For Youth, National Youth Choir of Scotland, UNESCO, Sage Gateshead, BBC Radio 4, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, and Opera North, was a featured composer at Bath International Music Festival, and has premiered works at The Royal Festival Hall. He is founder and director of the music education charity Love Music, and directs a 330 strong community choir at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, believed to be the largest community choir in the UK.

To download Stephen’s presentation click here