Professor Lily Xiao


College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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

Dr Lily Xiao has a teaching and research interest in the areas of caregiver support in dementia care, chronical disease management, cross-cultural dementia care, dementia education for health professionals and caregivers, nursing care of people with Alzheimer's disease 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.

She is the Fellow of Australian College of Nursing and serves on the Healthy Ageing Policy Chapter. She is Member of The NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research in Australia. 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 one of Key Contributors to the WHO iSupport, a global online programme 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’. She serves on the WHO Dementia Knowledge Exchange peer reviewer panel.

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

Dr 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) health care for older people, (2) dementia care and caregiver support, (3) chronic condition management, (4) education intervention for health professionals in dementia care and aged care, 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 organisations.
  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.
Research expertise
Aged care
Chronic condition self-management
Cross-cultural care
Dementia care
Gerontological nursing
Health services research
Multicultural workforce development
Online learning
Research interests

Research areas:

Dementia care including people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Health care for older people; Workforce development; Transcultural nursing; Comparative studies of the care of older people in Australia and China; Comparative studies of nursing education in Australia and China.

Methodologies used:

Qualitative research using hermeneutics, case studies and narratives; Quantitative studies using randomised controlled trial and questionnaire survey; Critical theory applied to action research.

Recent research projects:

  1. Moyle W, Ownsworth T, Jones C, Grealish L, Tuffaha H, Sattar A, Dong JS, Beattie E, Parker D, Sung B, Liddle J, Xiao L, Robinson N, Todorovic M, Estai M. Australian Aged Care Technologies Collaborative (AACTC), 2019 MHIQ Capacity Grant Scheme, $200,000, chief investigator.
  2. 2019-2020: Developing cross-cultural care skills in aged care staff to improve residents’ choice and control over care services: a feasibility study, Flinders University Innovation Partnerships Seed Grants Scheme, $30,000, project leader.
  3. 2015-2017: Developing the multicultural workforce to improve the quality of care for residents, Australian Government Department of Social Services, $566,574, project leader.
  4. 2016-2019: Prof Kostas Mavromaras, Prof Julie Ratcliffe, Dr Stephane Mahuteau, A/Prof Ann Harrington, A/Prof Lily Xiao, Dr Linda Isherwood. Achieving a skilled and sustainable aged care workforce for Australia, Australian Research Council linkage (LP150100330), $195,000, chief investigator.
  5. 2017-2018: Xiao L & De Bellis A. 2017-2018, Adapting the World Health Organisation iSupport for Dementia to the Australian socio-cultural context, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Grants. $22,000.
  6. Feng H, Xiao LD & Liu Y, 2018-2020, Aged Care Clinical Mentoring Model of Change in Nursing Homes in China: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial, Central South University in China and Flinders University in Australia. China Medical Board Open Competition Grants (USA-based), $80,000 USD, chief investigator.
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) a theory-based topic entitled ‘Writing Research Proposals for Ethical and Funding Requirements’ in the Master of Nursing program; (3) NURS9126: Leadership in Health Studies; (4)Independent studies and research projects in Master of Nursing program.

Topic coordinator
NURS9221 Writing Research Proposals for Ethical and Funding Requirements
NURS8707 Nursing Care of Older People with Complex Health Needs
NURS9126 Leadership in Health Studies
Topic lecturer
NURS9614 Research project in master of nursing
NURS9221 Writing Research Proposals for Ethical and Funding Requirements
NURS8707 Nursing Care of Older People with Complex Health Needs
NURS9126 Leadership in Health Studies
Supervisory interests
Aged care
Chronic condition management and self-management
Cross-cultural health care
Dementia care
Gerontological nursing
Multicultural nursing workforce
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Dementia care (1), Poststroke hospital to home transition care (2)
Associate supervisor: Nursing education (1)
Principal supervisor: Dementia care (3), Chronic disease management (1)
Associate supervisor: 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

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