Dr Alison Rahn


Senior Research Officer, Sociology (SSAP)


Dr Alison Rahn is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow researching social approaches to end-of-life care in marginalised populations.

Alison is also Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of New England, working on projects related to older age sexuality in clinical and aged care settings. As a researcher and former sex therapist, she is passionate about shining a light on social ‘taboos’ and starting the difficult-but-necessary conversations that tend to be avoided. Her research interests include social justice issues faced by older adults in health and aged care settings related to exercising their personal agency, especially in terms of their sexual relationships, death and dying, and end of life.

In 2018, Alison won the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal at the University of New England for her PhD thesis, "Behind closed doors: Exploring ways to support partnered baby boomers’ coupledom in residential aged care settings". Also in 2018, she was recipient of the Australian Association of Gerontology's Strategic Research Grant for her project "Permission to speak: Giving older adults a voice in teaching health and aged care providers how to communicate about intimate matters".

Research Interests

  • Older adults’ intimate relationships
  • Older adults’ sexual health
  • Sexual health education for health professionals
  • Palliative care, dying, death and grieving
  • End of life planning

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Association of Gerontology (2014)
  • Gerontological Association of America (2017)

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD University of New England
  • MHSc(Sexual Health) University of Sydney
  • BArch University of Sydney
  • BSc(Architecture) University of Sydney

Research & Publications

Contact Details

Telephone+61 2 4736 0056