Meet the team
Shaping Connections brings together academics and stakeholders with a variety of expertise in areas such as consumer behaviour, social marketing, consumer culture theory, and design innovation management.
Meet our seniors
U3A Network Victoria was established in 1988. It operates under a volunteer Committee of Management, elected from interested members of U3As. The U3A movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As, life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery!
Members are enthusiastic in countering the negative stereotyping of ageing at a time of physical and intellectual decline. They respond positively to a mode of learning uniquely adapted to the needs and circumstances of older people.
Diane is a Professor of Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. Diane’s expertise is in ethnographic and qualitative research in the areas of consumer behaviour, new market development and sustainability. Her award-winning scholarship is published in numerous journals in marketing and communication.
Mike is a Professor in Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. His research encompasses social marketing areas of food literacy, consumer food choice, obesity and behaviour change, and healthy middle-aging.
Mr Glen Wall
Vice President, U3A Network Victoria
President / Chairman, Whittlesea U3A
Glen Wall (U3A Network Vic Inc) developed the program ‘Building Community Engagement”. It focused on the improvement in digital literacy of seniors to better connect to the broader community to improve their wellbeing.
A leader of the City of Whittlesea "Strengthening Seniors Inclusion and Participation in Local Communities" initiative. Glen has established a network of volunteer community connectors which support socially isolated and lonely seniors to participate in activities.
Larissa Hjorth is Distinguished Professor and Director of RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platform, Design & Creative Practice. Hjorth is a digital ethnographer, creative practitioner and media researcher. She co-founded the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) at RMIT with Heather Horst in 2011. Hjorth has successfully led 20 international and national grants—projects which have focused on intergenerational and cross-cultural approaches to digital ethnography. With psychologist Prof Cumiskey (CUNY), Hjorth conducted a two-year study into the role of mobile media for loss in different countries (see Haunting Hands, Oxford Uni Press, 2017). Hjorth has expertise in understanding around grief and media use during crisis (Fukushima 3/11). Hjorth represents RMIT on the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC) steering board and has conducted digital ethnography of older adults in museum engagement with the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI).
Dr Mark Buschgens
Mark Buschgens is a recent PhD graduate at RMIT University’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. He has research expertise and teaches in the areas of buyer behaviour, consumer culture, marketing communication and branding.
Jacob Sheahan is a PhD Candidate, Research Assistant for the Shaping Connections research program, and Sessional Lecturer in the School of Design at RMIT University. A trained Industrial Designer with a design anthropology and interaction design skillset, his research practice focuses on the future of ageing, emerging technologies, and design for health and wellbeing.