Kate Swaffer

Author and advocate for living beyond dementia

2017 SA Australian of the Year

A humanitarian, advocate and activist for people with dementia, Kate Swaffer was diagnosed with the disease in 2008, just before her 50th birthday. Refusing to be defeated by the diagnosis, Kate has helped redefine the way the world views dementia and has driven improvements to services and outcomes for the 354,000 Australians currently diagnosed. Since then, Kate has completed three degrees and is currently undertaking her PhD. As Chair, CEO and Co-founder of Dementia Alliance International, Kate is a voice for the 47.5 million people worldwide living with dementia. She sits on numerous committees and councils, and was the first person with dementia to be a keynote speaker at a World Health Organisation conference. An accomplished author and poet, Kate has written a number of books and articles, including What the hell happened to my brain: Living beyond dementia. Teaching others they can live with dementia, not only die from dementia is what really motivates her to have become the catalyst for major change in the dementia sector. By transforming tragedy into triumph, Kate is changing society for the better and showing others how to lead remarkable lives despite the obstacles.