Maree Bernoth


Associate Professor Maree Bernoth

RN, BHSc(Nurs), MEd(AdultEd&Training)(Hons Class 1), PhD

Associate Professor of Nursing, Indigenous Health
Wagga Wagga
Building 002 Room 302

Associate Professor Maree Bernoth is an academic in the School of Nursing Midwifery and Indigenous Health at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga NSW, Australia. She teaches ageing and research and has successfully supervised Higher Degree Research students from Honours to PhD. The research methodologies of the students are varied and cover a range of topics including nutrition, evidence based practice, cultural competence, migrant experiences and mental health.

She has been involved with the residential aged care sector as an academic and a Registered Nurse for 32. Her PhD explored what it means to be safe working in residential aged care. Maree was awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching Award in 2013 for her innovative approaches to teaching ageing. She has undertaken extensive research and practice development projects in the residential aged care sector, and is building collaboration with international aged care researchers in Canada and New Zealand.  She has led a number of research teams exploring rural ageing, mentoring nurses, partnerships and elder abuse. Currently, she is leading a team exploring the inclusion of older people in teaching ageing and in developing gaming as an approach to engage students learning about ageing. She is an author of numerous peer reviewed publications including a book, chapters texts related to ageing and research and has presented national and international conference papers in China, Sweden and New Zealand. Maree reviews for national and international nursing and education journals and has an extensive media profile.

Associate Professor Maree Bernoth is a member of the Australian Association of Gerontology. She is a Chair of the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network Aged Care Consortium, a member of the New South Wales Nurses Association Aged Care Consultative Group, is a member of the Institute for Land Water and Society at Charles Sturt University and represents Charles Sturt University on Standards Australia MB-27- Ageing Societies.

Achievements and innovations in teaching at Vocational Education and Training and university levels

  • Achieved Registered Training Organisation status for Catholic Care of the Aged, Newcastle and Allandale Aged Care
  • Was nominated to conduct one of the pilot programs for the Certificate 111 Aged Care Work, first nationally accredited aged care course
  • Commenced School Based Traineeships in aged care in the Hunter region
  • Established an aged care education focused business
  • In conjunction with the University of Newcastle School of Nursing, I was part of the team which commenced post graduate courses delivered multi-modally across New South Wales
  • In 2013, I won an Office of Learning and Teaching Award for innovations in teaching ageing. This included inviting older people into tutorials and taking students into public spaces to develop communication skills
  • The text I co-edited with Dr Denise Winkler was designed to attract students to learning about ageing through the stories and experiences of older people
  • In 2017, with a team from Charles Sturt University, I developed gaming as a means of learning ageing called GSELA
  • Currently, I am working towards developing resources that support educators, managers and older people as they co-produce education with the older person being an integral part of the activity


In 2018, in collaboration with staff from Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Western NSW Health District and the industry group, Piri, we were successful in being awarded a grant under the NSW Government, Translational Grant scheme to investigate - Supporting Isolated Women in NSW: An implementation research study for delivering an online treatment program for Postnatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA). This grant is worth $322,260 and is being conducted over two years.

A NSW Government Translational Research Grant application has been submitted for $970,000, if successful, will enable the exploration of Improving care of the frail elderly in NSW Emergency Departments through translation of the Geriatric ED Intervention. This grant application is a collaboration between nursing and medical staff at Wagga Base Hospital and academics in the SNMIH, and the School of Community Health at CSU.

A $5,000 grant from ILWS will assist in providing time for research and writing in 2018.


In collaboration with Associate Professor Marguerite Bramble and the Australasian Association of Gerontology, we were successful in winning a $40,000 grant from Destinations NSW to support the AAG Regional Symposium in Wagga Wagga.

A $95,000 NSW Family and Community Services Liveable Communities Grant supported a project which promotes older people as active participants in educating nursing students about ageing. The outcome is a web site entitled Older People, Teaching, Educating, Aged Care and Health (OPTEACH), the resources are freely available and can be accessed at

A $15,000 CSU Learning and Teaching Grant has enabled the creation of a game to engage students in learning of ageing. The outcome is a game called GSELA and is an important strategy in engaging students studying ageing. It has been incorporated into the NRS221 subject in the Bachelor of Nursing for two years and continues to evolve.


Development of a whole of community healthy ageing clinical placement model. Collaboration between MML and CSU SNMIH. Funded by HETI. This project examined novel clinical placement experiences for students studying ageing. A whole of community approach enabled students to encounter older people in the communities in which they live, accessing appropriate services as well as in residential settings. The outcomes of this research can be accessed on the HETI website. A number of other universities are using the model to provide their students with a wider experience of ageing.


Building communities of practice around the prevention of functional decline in the community: A regional approach. The aim of the Aged Care Workforce Reform Project is to implement and evaluate a number of evidence-based workforce redesign and reform projects, to increase sustainable and adaptable supply, and determine supports for national adoption. CareWest is managing one of 26 projects across Australia, funded by Health Workforce Australia. Our project seeks to trial a number of interventions (training, resource provision and structural change) and then study the outcome of these interventions. Information gathered through this process will inform national evaluations. This project is supported by a grant from CareWest. The research team is Professor Mark Morrison (Lead CI), Dr Oliver Burmeister, Dr Maree Bernoth, Dr Md Zahidul Islam, Dr Debra Da Silva, and Dr Bhanugopan Ramudu.


Healthy Ageing through ICT. This project aims to enhance independence and opportunities for social connection and information retrieval of older people through ICT. It involves employing a retired computer trainer (peer trainer) to train interested members of a regional senior citizens club, in the use of iPad3 tablet computers. Following the training, one iPad will permanently remain at the club, and the others will be lent to club members, who will have the use of the iPads for four months, with further training provided after two weeks and again after two months. The peer trainer will be available to other club members using the iPad at the facility for ad-hoc training once each fortnight, during the period of the research. The participants who borrow the iPads will be interviewed twice during the loan period, at two and four months. There will also be an initial survey including all club members, not only those who borrow the iPads. Participants will keep diaries concerning their iPad use during the four month loan period. Participants who use the iPad at the club will also be interviewed. This project is supported by a grant from the CSU Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences. The research team is Dr Oliver Burmeister (Lead CI), Professor Kenneth Russell, Associate Professor Elaine Dietsch, Dr Maree Bernoth

2011 -2012

Experiences of older people and their families/carers when aged care services need to be accessed outside of their inland communities. This phenomenological research project focused on giving a voice to older people living in rural areas of Australia. The experiences of older people, their families, carers and community leaders, captured through in-depth interviews, demonstrated the trauma when people were forced away from their communities because they were old and needed care. The outcomes of the research are articulated in the publication, Forced into exile: the traumatising impact of rural aged care inaccessibility, published in the journal Rural and Remote Health. This project was supported by a grant from CSU Faculty of Science. The research team was Dr Maree Bernoth (Lead CI), Associate Professor Elaine Dietsch and Carmel Davies.


The experiences of residential aged care. Perspectives of carers and families. This phenomenological research project explored what it is like to have a relative or friend in residential aged care. The outcomes demonstrated the need for improved care in a number of clinical areas and resulted in two papers and a conference presentation. The research outcomes formed the basis of my submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry –Caring for Older Australians.


'…and the word was made flesh.' ……….

The impact of discourses of embodiment in promoting safe manual handling practice in aged care. This thesis was submitted for the award of a PhD from Monash University, Churchill. As themes emerged, the methodology moved from phenomenology to post structuralist and then postmodern emergence. The research examined the outcomes of an education program designed to promote body awareness and demonstrated how unsafe the exposed body and the aged care environment is and the impact of neo-liberalist policies on those who work in aged care and those dependent on care.


Manual handling in aged care. The meaning and significance for practitioners. This thesis was submitted for the award of Master of Education with Honours (Adult Education & Training) from The University of New England, Armidale. The outcomes demonstrated that it was impossible to work safely when the aged care worker is not aware of the body that they inhabit and in an environment which potentiates disembodiment.


  • CSU, Institute for Land, Water and Society Research group
  • The Australasian Association of Gerontology (AAG)
  • Life member of the Hunter Wound Interest Group
  • Member of the NSWNA Aged Care Reference Group
  • Chair of the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network Aged Care Consortium
  • Represents Charles Sturt University on Standards Australia MB-027 Ageing Societies
  • Member of the Charles Sturt University Faculty of Science Honours Committee
  • Charles Sturt University Leader of the Country University Centre Liaison Team

Reviewer for:

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,

Journal of Rural and Remote Health,


International Journal of Nursing Practice,

Contemporary Nurse,

Health & Social Care in the Community,

Australasian Journal on Ageing,

Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations,

Annals of Long Term Care.

Journal of Population Ageing

Journal of Transcultural Nursing

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