Dr Imogen Clark wins the Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care


Dr Imogen Clark of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at the University of Melbourne has been awarded the prestigious $50,000 Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care from Dementia Australia Research Foundation (DARF) to explore the potential of group songwriting as a means for improving social connection, mental health, wellbeing and quality of life for people with dementia and their family carers.

Dr Imogen Clark.

“The songwriting process is expected to help families and couples living with dementia to explore personal resources and challenges, and may assist them to continue living together in a loving and mutually supportive relationship for as long as possible.

“Songs written during the project will be performed and recorded to increase public awareness and understanding about what it is like to live with dementia,” she said.

Dr Clark’s award comes hot on the heels of several successful Music Therapy research initiatives at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

In August last year, Dr Felicity Baker secured a substantial grant from the National Health and Medical Research Courncil (NHMRC) for a world-first study into the use of music therapy for people with dementia.

The Faculty’s Dr Jeanette Tamplin, meanwhile, has extended her successful program of dementia choirs, Musical Memories, for people and carers living with dementia in Victoria and Tasmania.