Call for Abstracts

Please note: Abstract submission has now closed.

It is a pleasure to invite you to ‘Be the change’. This 17th biennial conference organised by Alzheimer’s Australia will take place in Melbourne between 17 and 20 October 2017.

It will provide a unique opportunity to explore leading approaches to supporting people living with dementia to live engaging and rewarding lives. Given the unprecedented changes in aged care services, with the move to consumer directed care, this conference will have a very practical focus on supporting participants to ‘be the change’. This conference will provide participants with the opportunity to be touched, moved, inspired and to ‘be the change’ in their respective sphere of influence through a diverse range of practical and interactive sessions.

Alzheimer’s Australia represents the more than 413,000 Australians living with dementia and the estimated 1.2 million Australians involved in their support. We advocate for the needs of people living with all types of dementia, and for their families and carers, and provide support services, education and information.

The conference will bring together both national and international leaders in innovative dementia research and practice, and provide an opportunity for health professionals, people living with dementia, families and carers to explore how they can ‘be the change’ and improve the lives of people living with dementia. Keynote speakers will challenge preconceived ideas of dementia care and inspire participants to do what they can to enable people living with dementia to live life to the full.

Dates and Deadlines

Call for abstracts opens 19 October 2016
Call for abstracts closes 28 April 2017
Abstract Notifications 4 August 2017
Presenter registration deadline 31 August 2017

Abstract Submission Details

  • Only abstracts submitted in English will be reviewed. (Please note below that assistance can be provided with this requirement).
  • Abstracts should be original work.
  • An abstract must be submitted by the presenting author.
  • A maximum of two (2) abstracts can be submitted per presenting author.
  • Abstracts must not exceed 250 words (excluding the title, authors and affiliations) and should follow the instructions within the submission portal.
  • All abbreviations must be spelled out on first use.
  • Abstracts should be thoroughly checked for spelling and grammar.
  • Abstracts must be submitted by midnight AEST Friday 28 April 2017 for consideration by the Abstract Review Committee. Authors will be notified of acceptance of abstracts by Friday 4th August including the presentation type it has been accepted for.
  • To be formally accepted, abstract authors must have registered and paid to attend the Conference by Thursday 31 August 2017.

General Information

  • Limited references should be used (e.g. Smith 1999) and only if necessary.
  • Only those abstracts formally accepted will be published in the Conference Proceedings as submitted. Should you wish to make changes you can do so via the Presenters’ Portal until Friday 28 April 2017. Please ensure you check your data carefully before submitting as changes or additions will not be accepted after the call for abstracts closes.
  • Any initially accepted authors who do not register and pay by Thursday, 31 August 2017 will have their abstract/s withdrawn.

If you are from a non-English speaking background and would like assistance with English language editing prior to submission, please feel free to contact prior to submission.

Abstract Themes

Across all the themes outlined below we are interested in hearing about how the needs of specific groups are being addressed. These groups include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; homeless people; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people and those living in rural and remote communities.

  • The voices of people with dementia
  • Innovative approaches to support
  • Dementia-friendly communities
  • Support for carers
  • Understanding changed behaviour
  • Engagement
  • Freedom, autonomy, independence and risk
  • Prevention and treatment
  • Palliative support
  • Environments
  • Young people
  • Technology

The voices of people with dementia

In keeping with the conference theme ‘Be the change’, people living with dementia can show us how they are at the centre of being the change. We are keen to hear how people with dementia are shaping how they want to be supported to live their lives.

Innovative approaches to support

Models of support for people with dementia have been widely discussed for many years, conceptualised and many have been put in to practice. Have we got it right? What is working well?

Dementia-friendly communities – spaces, places and people

A dementia-friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. Papers will be considered related to the spaces, places and people that make communities more dementia-friendly.

Support for carers

Supporting people with dementia to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own homes for as long as possible drives many carers to keep going, often in challenging circumstances. We will consider papers on the issues that carers face and practical programs of support, as well as how to successfully navigate the changing services landscape in a consumer directed world.

Understanding changed behaviour

We know a lot about what contributes to the behaviours that many people living with dementia experience and we are interested in hearing about new and innovative approaches which not only challenge thinking in this area but achieve better outcomes for people living with dementia.


Engagement is critical for us all to enjoy a fulfilling life. We are interested in hearing about approaches which engage, enable and empower people living with dementia to lead fulfilled lives.

Freedom, autonomy, independence and risk

Too often considerations around issues such as risk can limit the choices and options open to people living with dementia. We are interested in hearing about approaches that recognise the centrality of risk to a life well lived.

Prevention and treatment

There continues to be significant advances in the prevention and also treatment of dementia. We are interested to hear about approaches that address the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Palliative support

Many people with dementia struggle to get access to support that responds to their needs and respects their wishes, particularly at the end of life. We are interested in hearing about approaches which take a palliative approach to supporting people living with dementia to die a dignified death.


We know that environments have a critical role to play in reducing behaviours of concern and promoting a better quality of life for people living with dementia. We are interested in hearing about examples of good design that has created environments that enable people living with dementia to flourish.

Young people

Young people often bring a unique perspective when considering how best to support the person living with dementia. We are keen to hear from young people who are working to implement creative solutions for people with dementia, their carers and their communities.


Technological advances provide a unique opportunity to engage people in different ways. We are interested in hearing about uses of technology that enable people living with dementia to be supported in ways previously not considered possible. We are also interested in the use of technology to help aid the understanding of dementia.

Presentation Types

The Conference Committee invites you to submit an abstract for consideration as an oral, workshop or digital poster presentation at the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia National Dementia Conference.


A 30 minute spoken presentation, including question and answer time (i.e. a 25 minute presentation plus five minutes for questions and answers). Presenters show the research and/or findings of their accepted abstract in a Power Point presentation.

Digital Poster

Digital poster presenters will be allocated a specific time to present within the Conference program. Accepted presenters will be provided with a template to create the appropriate presentation file. Delegates will be able to view all accepted posters at the Conference.


A 90 minute session. Workshops vary from other presentation types in that they aim to provide participants with the opportunity to develop new knowledge or skills. This may take the form of a combination of some limited didactic presentation combined with activities, interactive group or individual work. Presenters should identify learning objectives in their abstract and how they propose to make the workshop interactive.


Stories and narratives are an important evidence source in many cultures. This presentation type provides an inclusive space for conference participants to share stories in an informal way. It is envisaged that stories will be no longer than 20 minutes in length followed by 10 minutes of open discussion with session participants. Story sessions may involve multiple contributors.

While every effort will be made to accept an abstract for the presentation type selected during the submission process, the Conference Committee reserves the right to allocate a different presentation type if it is felt to be more appropriate, and if program space is limited.

Terms and Conditions

The submission of an abstract indicates an understanding of the following rules for participation in 17th Alzheimer’s Australia National Dementia Conference.

  • All author(s) approve submitting this work for presentation.
  • The author(s) transfer(s) all copyright ownership of the named abstract to Alzheimer’s Australia.
  • The author(s) agree(s) to materially confine their presentation(s) to information in the abstract if accepted. If an author has more than one abstract accepted, each presentation(s) will be materially confined to the information in the abstract selected for the specific session.
  • At least one author will be available to present the abstract if selected for the program. The authors will immediately notify the Conference Secretariat if they are unable to present an abstract or if the presenting author is changed. The organisers reserve the right to remove a presentation from the program.
Click here to view
Digital Posters

Extracted from Maggie's Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP AU$39.99 or NZ$45.00.
Photography © Dragan Radocaj

Key Dates

Contact Us

If you are living with dementia or caring for someone living with dementia; would like to talk to someone about this conference or have other questions - please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, or visit the