Our people

Simon Biggs
Professor in Social Policy and Gerontology, University of Melbourne / Brotherhood of St Laurence

Professor Simon Biggs joined the Research and Policy Centre in September 2010 in a joint role as the Senior Manager, Retirement and Ageing, and Professor in Social Policy and Gerontology, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Formerly a community psychologist in mental health and adolescence, Simon has been the Head of Policy Development, UK Social Work Education Council, Professor of Social Gerontology, Keele University, and a visiting Research Fellow, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University. 

He was the UK representative on the EC Masters in Gerontology Program, and Professor of Gerontology at King’s College, London. In 2009 he was visiting Professor at the Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Gerontology at Jyvaskyla University. Simon has participated in EC and Canadian government briefings on dignity in later life and elder protection.

His research includes the World Heath Organization’s ‘Age friendly cities’ project, the ESRC study of baby boomers, uses of adaptive technology in later life, and the first national prevalence study of elder abuse and neglect in the United Kingdom.

See Simon’s academic profile »

Contact: sbiggs(at)bsl.org.au

Research interests

  • The relationship between social identity and adult ageing, including the analysis of international and national social policy
  • The changing adult life course
  • Social and personal experience of ageing


  • Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies

Selected publications

Biggs, S, Haapala, I and Carr A 2018, 'Generational perceptions of dementia: age, othering and generational intelligence', in G Macdonald and J Mears, Dementia as social experience: valuing life and care, Routledge, New York.

Carr, A and Biggs, S 2018, The organisation of risk: how do dementia care providers adapt ot regulation?, Brotherhood of St Laurence for the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre.

Biggs, S and Carr, A 2018, ‘Balancing compliance and care in dementia practice’, in Australian Journal of Dementia Care, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 26–30.

Biggs, S 2018, Negotiating ageing: cultural adaptation to the prospect of a long life, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

McGann, M, Ong, R, Bowman, D, Duncan, A, Kimberley, H and Biggs, S 2016, 'Gendered ageism in Australia: changing perceptions of age discrimination among older men and women', Economic Papers, Published online 26 September. DOI: 10.1111/1759-3441.12155

Bowman, D, McGann, M, Kimberley, H and Biggs, S 2016, 'Activation and active ageing? Mature-age jobseekers' experience of employment services', Social Policy and Society. Published online 20 June. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746416000245

McGann, M, Kimberley, H, Bowman, D and Biggs, S 2016, 'The netherworld between work and retirement', Social Policy and Society, FirstView article, published online 3 June.

Biggs, S. McGann, M, Bowman, D and Kimberley, H 2016, 'Work, health and the commodification of life's time: reframing work–life balance and the promise of a long life', Ageing and Society, FirstView article, published online 23 May.

Bowman, D, McGann, M, Kimberley, H and Biggs, S 'Rusty, invisible and threatening: ageing, capital and employability', Work Employment & Society, first published online 7 June

Biggs, S 2014, 'The promise of a long life? Cultural adaptation to productive aging, spiritual empathy, and a sustainable future', Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, no. 26, pp. 96–108.

Biggs, S 2014, 'Adapting to an ageing society: the need for cultural change', Policy Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 12–16.

Haapala, I, Tervo, L & Biggs, S 2014, 'Using generational intelligence to examine community care work between younger and older adults', Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, DOI: 10.1080/02650533.2014.950211

Biggs, S 2014, 'Adapting to an ageing society:  the stick or the carrot?'Global Policy, 31 July.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

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