John Ward

Geriatrician and co-founder, Hunter Ageing Alliance

2024 NSW Senior Australian of the Year

John Ward has devoted his life to providing outstanding medical care for disadvantaged people and ageing Australians – often at personal cost and with little recognition. 

As director of the Prison Medical Service, he provided care to inmates – despite few resources – and advocated for prison reform to protect this vulnerable group. 

Focusing on geriatric medicine and aged care since the mid-1980s, he advocates for older Australians and the importance of social determinants of health such as social connection, exercise and accessible environments. 

His integrated, collaborative approach to dementia care for patients and their carers has made the Hunter region a leader in this field. 

John also co-founded the Hunter Ageing Alliance, which calls for governments, businesses and organisations to better focus on older people’s needs. The organisation has eight programs in planning or implementation stage to create age-friendly communities, tackle elder abuse and end social isolation of older people.