Researcher biography

Dr Maree Petersen is a lead investigator on a number of research projects concerned with housing and older people. A program of research over the past six years has comprised three projects concerned with understanding older people's homelessness in Australia, addressing the housing and support needs of older women experiencing homelessness, and advocating for the intersection of housing, homelessness and aged care policy. A new ARC Discovery grant will add to this program of research with a large qualitative study examining the life course circumstances that result in insecure housing tenancy in old age. The project aims to identify the critical points at which intervention will prevent the emergence of housing disadvantage.

Maree has a longstanding interest in older people's access to community aged care. She was a CI on an ARC project concerned with rural older Australian's wellbeing seeking to understand the experience of growing old in rural and remote areas, and access to health and aged care services. A project concerned with how older renters manage their health in private rental housing, in particular accessing home maintenance and modifications, extends her concern with the wellbeing of poor older people.

How older people manage the financial and contractual obligations in retirement village life brings attention to the difficulties people with limited resources experience in managing their residency.

A social work background brings a focus on disadvantaged older people to her research, in particular the connections between health and wellbeing of poor older people, housing, and the community they live.

Dr Petersen teaches in social work, and supervises students in social gerontology; and housing, homelessness research. She is Program Lead for the Masters of Social Work Studies program.