Professor Lily Xiao

Professor & Matthew Flinders Professor

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

+61 8 82013419
place Sturt North (N310)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Professor Lily Xiao has teaching and research interests in the areas of caregiver support in dementia care, chronical disease management, cross-cultural dementia care, dementia education for health professionals and caregivers and other forms of dementia and workforce development in aged care. She has an established track record in cross-cultural care for older people and people with dementia. She has in-depth knowledge about the impact of increased cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the consumers and the workforce on care models, communication and quality of care in aged care and dementia care. Methodologies she has applied to research projects include qualitative studies (phenomenological study, critical ethnography), quantitative studies (cross-sectional study, randomised controlled trial) and critical action research.

Lily is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing. Her significant contributions to aged care and dementia care have been recognised by the Chinese Society in China. She received a Fellowship at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2014 and was awarded Honorary Adviser by the Academy of Cognitive Disorder of China & Chinese Geriatrics Society in 2016.

She is also passionate about health equity in global health. She was selected to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) Nursing and Midwife Scholar Programme in the WHO Headquarter in Geneva in 2015. She is a Key Contributor to the WHO iSupport program, a global online program for caregivers of people with dementia. She led the development of Human Resources for Health Observer No 22 entitled ‘Optimizing the contributions of the nursing and midwifery workforce to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals through education, research and practice'.

RN, MNg Flin, PhD Flin, FACN
Honours, awards and grants
  1. 2022 - 2026: Matthew Flinders Professor, Flinders University.
  2. Present: Fellow, Australian College of Nursing and member of the Healthy Ageing Policy Chapter.
  3. Guest Professor:(1) Xiang Ya Nursing School, Central South University, China (2019-2024); (2) West China School of Medicine/West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China (2020-2029).
  4. 2016: Honorary Adviser, the Academy of Cognitive Disorder of China & Chinese Geriatrics Society.
  5. 2014: Fellow, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
  6. 2013 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards (research) winner.
  7. 2003-2006, International Postgraduate Research Scholarship.
  8. 2001, Outstanding Nurse Award, Department of Health, Sichuan Province, P.R. China.
Key responsibilities

Professor Lily Xiao's responsibilities in teaching, research, community and professional engagement are outlined in the following:


  1. Supervising PhD and Master’s students in research projects in the areas of (1) dementia care and caregiver support, (2) education intervention for health professionals in dementia care and aged care, (3) health care for older people (4) chronic condition management and (5) global health: health issues in developing countries and nursing workforce development to address these issues.
  2. Developing, coordinating and delivering topics in (1) health care for older people, (2) dementia care and (3) evidence-based practice in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.


  1. Leading research teams to apply for research grants and implement research projects in the areas of (1) aged care workforce development, (2) dementia care and caregiver support, and (3) cross cultural care.
  2. Facilitating collaborative research projects with overseas universities through (1) research grant application, (2) co-supervision of Cotutelle PhD students and (3) cross-national comparative studies in aged care and dementia care.

Community and professional engagement:

  1. Developing partnership with (1) culturally and linguistically (CALD) diverse communities, (2) aged care service providers in community and residential care settings.
  2. Facilitating the uptake of research evidence by health care and social care providers.
  3. Contributing to global health, professional organisations and peer reviewed journals through a range of activities, for example, developing articles, Observer Series, reviewing reports and manuscripts.
Teaching interests

Teaching areas include (1) a nursing practicum topic entitled 'Nursing Care of Older People with Complex Health Needs' for Registered Nurses enrolled in Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Master of Nursing program (2) Writing Research Proposals for Ethical and Funding Requirements; (3) Leadership in Health Studies; (4) Research projects in Master of Nursing program.

Supervisory interests
Aged care
Chronic condition management and self-management
Cross-cultural health care
Dementia care
Gerontological nursing
Nursing workforce development
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Poststroke hospital to home transition care (1), Aged care services (1), Mentorship for nurses in hospitals (1), Dementia care (4)
Principal supervisor: Chronic disease management (1), Poststroke hospital to home transition care (1), the care of older people with urinary incontinence (1), Dementia care (4)
Associate supervisor: Nursing education (1), Chronic disease management (2)
Expert for media contact
Available for contact via
+61 8 82013419
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Ageing
  • Dementia
  • Nursing