About Us

Welcome to the Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, The University of Melbourne

For more information on the AUPOA, please click on one of the options below:

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Our Team


Professor Nicola Lautenschlager

Deputy Director

Associate Professor Kathryn Ellis

Research Fellows

Dr Alex Bahar-Fuchs (PhD)

Dr Terence Chong

Dr Amit Lampit (PhD)

Dr Anita Goh (DPsych)

Dr Emily You (PhD)


Dr Eleanor Curran

Alissa Westphal

PhD Candidates

Associate Professor Ravi Bhat

Mei Zhao

Dr Terence Chong

Research Assistants

Rhoda Lai

Stephanie Perin

Jenny Southam

Julieta Sabates

Marjolein Barendse

Administrative Staff

Kathleen Denney (Executive Assistant to Director)

Joy Preston

Honorary Research Fellows

Dr Samantha Loi

Dr Ian Thompson (PhD)

Emeritus Professors

David Ames

Edmond Chiu

History of the Academic Unit

The Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age (AUPOA) at the University of Melbourne, was established in 1989 at two sites: Mont Park Hospital under the leadership of Professor Edmond Chiu, AM, who at that stage was also the Director of the Aged Psychiatry Service, North Eastern Metropolitan Psychiatric Service (NEMPS), and at Royal Park Hospital (Parkville), under the leadership of Professor David Ames.

In 1995, the Mont Park AUPOA site moved together with the NEMPS to St. George's Hospital in Kew, and in 2001, became part of the St Vincent's Aged Mental Health Service.

In April 2005, after Professor Chiu's retirement, Professor Ames was appointed as head of the AUPOA. Both AUPOA sites were centralised at St George's Hospital in Kew following Professor Ames' appointment as director of the Academic Unit.

In July 2008 Professor Nicola Lautenschlager took on this role, when Professor Ames became the director of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI).

In July 2015, the AUPOA moved back to the Royal Park Campus (now Royal Melbourne Hospital), to become an integral part of the Aged Person's Mental Health Program (APMHP) at North Western Mental Health (NWMH) as part of Melbourne Health.

In 2010, a book outlining the history of the Department of Psychiatry as told through personal reminiscences of past and present staff was published. This book, entitled: "The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne 1964-2009 - Personal Reminiscences" is currently available through the Department of Psychiatry and AUPOA. Please contact Joy Preston for more information via email: jpreston@unimelb.edu.au.