Valerie Wright-St Clair


Department of Occupational Science and therapy, and Co-director, AUT Centre for Active Ageing

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext7736


Physical address:
Room AA239, AUT North Shore Campus, 90 Akoranga Drive, Northcote, Auckland, New Zealand

Postal address:
A-11, Department of Occupational Science and Therapy
School of Clinical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
AUT University, Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Links webpages:

Twitter: @vwstclair
Linked in
Research Gate


PhD, Master of Public Health, Diploma of Professional Ethics, Diploma Business Studies, Diploma in Occupational Therapy


Co-director, AUT Centre for Active Ageing

Past-president & member New Zealand Association of Gerontology

Global Ageing Research Network, of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics

New Zealand Registered Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy New Zealand member

HOPE Foundation for Research on Ageing Trust Board member

Journal of Occupational Science, Editorial Board Business Manager

Brazilian Occupational Therapy Journal Editorial Board


Dr Valerie A. Wright-St Clair is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy, and Co-director of the AUT Centre for Active Ageing at AUT University. Her research and thesis supervision span studies in social gerontology, including the relationship between older people’s everyday lives and health, community inclusiveness and loneliness, quality outcomes in residential aged care, and older immigrants’ participation in communities; engaging cross culturally; values-based ethical reasoning; and occupational science. She teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in older adult health and wellness, research philosophies and methods, evidence-based practice, as well as professional ethics and ethical reasoning.

Teaching Areas

Qualitative research methodology & methods

Writing research proposals

Professional ethics

Enabling older adults’ participation

Research Areas

  • Social gerontology, and occupational science, including: Inclusive, age-friendly communities; older immigrants’ community participation; older Māori and non-Māori valued occupations; older adults’ social isolation and loneliness; living well in advanced age; living well in aged care; service evaluation research

Research Summary

  • Systematic literature reviews in older adults’ community integration following traumatic brain injury, loneliness and older New Zealanders, and age-friendliness in communities
  • Outcomes in residential aged care, Evaluation of the Ministry of Health audit processes
  • Supervising mixed methods studies, and qualitative research methodologies, particularly interpretive phenomenology, and participatory action research
  • Older Asian immigrants’ occupations, including their contributions to civic society; the utility of the Korean Activity Card Sort with older Korean immigrants in New Zealand
  • Cross cultural research, including older Thai, Kentucky and New Zealand women’s preparing and sharing celebratory foods

Current Research Projects

Co-researcher for:
  • Pacific Islands Families: Healthy Pacific Grandparents (PIF: HPG) Study

Supervising postgraduate student projects in:
  • The transition of Whare Aroha Care residents to a new dementia-friendly village;
  • The experience of older adults participating in their urban neighbourhood;
  • The work of the Health Care Assistant in aged residential care;
  • The experiences of senior Chinese-speaking migrants accessing health & support services in New Zealand;
  • Measuring and ameliorating loneliness for older Chinese immigrants;
  • How people aged 65 to 74 years old engage socially within the Warkworth community; and
  • Patient and clinician beliefs and expectations regarding the management of osteoarthritis in New Zealand


Research and Study Leave, semester I, 2017


  1. Wright-St Clair, V. A., Neville, S., Forsyth, V., White, L., & Napier, S. (2017) Integrative review of older adult loneliness and social isolation in New Zealand. Australasian Journal on Ageing,
  2. Shordike, A., Hocking, C., Bunrayong, W., Vittayakorn, S., Rattakorn, P. Pierce, D., & Wright-St Clair, V. A. (2017): Research as relationship: Engaging with ethical intent. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, online. Doi: 10.1080/13645579.2017.1287874
  3. Wright-St Clair, V. A., Rapson, A., Kepa, M., Connolly, M., Keeling, S., Rolleston, A., Teh, R., Broad, J., Dyall, L., Jatrana, S., Wiles, J., Pillai, A., Garrett, N., & Kerse, N. (accepted). Ethnic and gender differences in preferred activities among Māori and non-Māori of advanced age in New Zealand. Journal of Cross-cultural gerontology,
  4. Kerse, N., Teh, R., Moyes, S. A., Dyall, L., Wiles, J. L., Kepa, M., Wham, C., Hayman, K. J., Connolly M., Wilkinson, T., Wright-St Clair, V., Keeling, S., Broad, J. B., Jatrana, S., & Lumley, T. (2016). Socioeconomic correlates of quality of life for non-Maori in advanced age: Te Puawaitanga o Nga Tapuwae Kia ora Tonu. Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ). The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 129(1441), 18-32.
  5. Erlam, G., Smythe, L., & Wright-St Clair, V. A. (2016). Simulation and millennials: The perfect storm. Open Journal of Nursing, 6(9), 688-698. Doi 10.4236/ojn.2016.69071
  6. Wright-St Clair, V. A., & Nayar, S. (2016). Older Asian immigrants’ participation as cultural enfranchisement. Journal of Occupational Science, Doi 10.1080/14427591.2016.1214168
  7. Kelly, R., Losekoot, E., & Wright-St Clair, V. A. (2016). Hospitality in hospitals: The importance of caring about the patient. Hospitality & Society, 6(2), 113-129,
  8. Hollands, T., Sutton, D., Wright-St Clair, V., & Hall, R. (2015). Māori mental health consumers' sensory experience of Kapa Haka and its utility to occupational therapy practice. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(1), 3-11.
  9. Hocking, C., Kronenberg, F., Nayar, S., Stanley, M., Wicks, A., Wilson, L., Wright-St Clair, V., Erlandsson, L-K. (2014). Addressing diverse occupational needs: What new knowledge do European and New Zealand occupational therapists need? New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61(2), 4-12.
  10. Kent, J., Wright-St Clair, V. A., Kersten, P. (2014). Older adults’ experiences of community integration following traumatic brain injury. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 42(2), 148-153.
  11. Wright-St Clair, V. A., & Newcombe*, D. (2014). Values and ethics in practice-based decision making. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(3), 154-162. doi:10.1177/0008417414535083.
  12. Wright-St Clair, V., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Klinger, L. (2014). Time to advocate for policy promoting seniors’ occupational participation to enable aging well. Occupational Therapy Now, 16(2), 10-12.
  13. Wright-St Clair, V. A., Grant, B. C., & Smythe, E. A. (2014). Narratives in research: Story as ‘showing’ the eminently ordinary experience of ageing. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33(2), 132-135. DOI: 0.1111/ajag.12132
  14. Ritchie, L., Wright-St Clair, V. A., Keogh, J., & Gray, M. (2014). Community integration following traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the clinical implications of measurement and service provision for older adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95, 163-174. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.08.237
  15. Wright-St Clair, V. A., Malcolm, W., & Keogh, J. (2013). The lived experience of physically active older prostate cancer survivors on androgen deprivation therapy. The Aging Male, Early Online, 1–6. Doi: 10.3109/13685538.2013.818113
  16. Wright-St Clair, V. A, Pierce, D., Bunrayong, W., Rattakorn, P., Vittayakorn, S., Shordike, A., & Hocking, C. (2013). Cross-cultural understandings of festival food-related activities for older women in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Eastern Kentucky, USA and Auckland, New Zealand. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 28(2), 103-119. Doi: 10.1007/s10823-013-9194-5
  17. Hayman, K., Kerse, N., Dyall, L., Kepa, M., Teh, R. O., Wham, C., Wright-St Clair, V. A., Wiles, J., Keeling, S., Connolly, M., Wilkinson, T. J., Moyes, S., Broad, J., & Jatrana, S. (2012). Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand - Te puawaitanga o nga tapuwae kia ora tonu, LILACS NZ: study protocol. BMC Geriatrics, 12:33. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-12-33
  18. Wright-St Clair, V. A. (2012). Being occupied with what matters in advanced age. Journal of Occupational Science, 19(1), 44-53. Doi: 10.1080/14427591.2011.639135
  19. Wright-St Clair, V. A., Kepa, M., Hoenle, S., Hayman, K., Keeling, S., Connolly, M., Broad, J., Dyall, L., & Kerse, N. (2012). Doing what’s important: Valued activities for elder New Zealand Māori and non-Māori. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 31(4), 241-246. Doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2011.00583.x
  20. Townsend, E., van Bruggen, H., Wicks, A., & Wright-St Clair, V. A. (2012). Imagining occupational therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(1), 42-44. Doi: 10.4276/030802212X13261082051490
  21. Wright-St Clair, V, Kerse, N., & Smythe, L. (2011). Doing everyday occupations both conceals and reveals the phenomenon of being aged. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58(2), 88-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2010.00885.x
  22. Shordike, A., Hocking, C., Pierce, D., Wright-St Clair, V., Vittayakorn, S., Rattakorn, P., & Bunrayong, W. (2010). Respecting regional culture in an international multi-site study: A derived etic method. Qualitative Research, 10(3). 333-355 Doi: 10.1177/1468794109360145


2013: Scholar in Residence award, School of Occupational Therapy, Western University (UWO), London, Ontario, Canada

2004: Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for Best Research Team: V. Wright-St Clair & C. Hocking

2000: Frances Rutherford Lecture Award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Assoc. of Occupational Therapists

1996: Public Health Prize for outstanding achievement in the Degree of Master of Public Health