Capturing the meaning of ageing through co-designed visual narrative portraits

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Findings of the recent Aged Care Royal Commission highlight the importance of older adult service users being actively engaged in co-design of meaningful service responses, including research informing policy and practice priorities. The Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre opened in July 2019 and aims to conduct innovative research that transforms future approaches to health and ageing. Drawing on the five core principles of co-design (inclusive; respectful; participative; iterative; outcomes focused), the new RAIL team and a narrative research methodologist worked with multiple stakeholders to co-produce a set of powerful photographic narrative portraits. The portraits aim to visually capture what ageing means to each stakeholder and inform and guide the vision and future research of the RAIL Research Centre. Viewers will be invited to immerse themselves in four strengths-based, themed visual portraits complimented with a plaque and short narrative. The portraits – part of a larger set across themes of rehabilitation, ageing and independent living – represent diverse perspectives of ageing. They include active ageing fitness instructor Joy: Live for today (older person); Professor Keith Hill: Going beyond research (RAIL Centre Director); Leslie & Noel Hill: The older I get the better I was (Keith’s parents); Bernadette & Peter: Take things as they come (older couple living in the community).The series of narrative portraits widens the lens around ageing; connects end-users, research, policy and practice; and demonstrates how co-creative approaches can produce valuable experiential knowledge and new meanings that provoke reflection on ageing and inform research centre vision and actions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2021
EventAustralian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference 2021: Innovation in Ageing: For the Future - Digital event
Duration: 9 Nov 202112 Nov 2021
Conference number: 54th


ConferenceAustralian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference 2021
Internet address


  • Ageing
  • Narrative approaches
  • Photography
  • Rehabilitation
  • disability / disabled persons

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