Jun 222021

The Space/Broomhouse Hub, EH11 3RH

Portrait of Lorna Prendergast in her graduate cap and gown with a background of musical notations
Lorna Prendergast by Kerry Wilson; image by Chris Scott Photography

At 90 years old, Lorna Prendergast graduated from Melbourne University in 2019 with a Master’s Degree in ageing. She dedicated her degree to the memory of her late husband Jim, who she was married to for 64 years. Jim had lived with dementia and when Lorna visited him in his nursing home, she realised that he and the other residents responded well to music they had enjoyed earlier in their lives. This sparked her interest in studying ageing, which she did remotely, learning new technology along the way. She has inspired Australians, many of whom live far from universities, to also continue education. Now Lorna is continuing her investigation into the correlation between music and dementia symptom relief via a music therapy trial which started in July 2020. At 90, she’s proving, “no matter your age, whether young or old, you can make a difference in the world.”