About The Lantern Project

The Lantern Project - Australia

The idea for The Lantern Project was conceived by Cherie Hugo, an Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 15 years' experience in private practice, director of My Nutrition Clinic and PhD Scholar on the topic of Quantifying the Value of Nutrition in Aged Care. Cherie and her My Nutrition Clinic team consults to more than 15 residential aged care facilities in Queensland and New South Wales.  Cherie is passionate about ensuring aged care residents are well nourished and excited about eating.

Good food is often the highlight of the day for aged care residents. Sadly, sometimes the food served to residents can be a disappointment for them, so I started the Lantern Project to help turn this around. The concept was bigger than me so I decided it needed a larger than life team of experts to make it a reality - that's how The Lantern Project collaboration was formed.

The Lantern Project now has over 450 members across Australia and internationally with many aged care organisations, peak industry bodies, allied health, researchers and resident advocates involved. The collaboration meets on a monthly basis (the first Friday of each month) focusing on key priority areas and actively welcomes new members to join in the conversation. The project has 3 working groups currently underway around the areas of Dining Experience, Legal and Quality Food Issues and Food Activities Connecting Generations and is demonstrating simple ways to meet the vison of improving older Australian's quality of life through the joy of food.


Our purpose is to shine the light on the issue of food in aged care using good old-fashioned fresh, local produce, utilising the wisdom of our older residents (some have been cooking for more than 80 years) and do this in a collaborative way.

The lantern shines in all directions. I believe to come up with solutions we need to draw on the wisdom of as diverse a collective of experts associated with aged care to develop novel ways to improve our residents' lives through great food.


To improve the quality of life of older Australians through good food and nutrition.


Objective 1 – To quantify the value of good nutrition in aged care through The Lantern Project research.
Objective 2 – To advocate for more of a focus on nutrition in the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) and accreditation process - currently does not focus on nutrition.
Objective 3 – To advocate for the development of healthy eating guidelines for the elderly – focus on flavour/the joy of eating.
Objective 4 – To empower the RACF catering staff – education, food fortification Vs supplements
Objective 5 – Edible Gardens – actively involving residents, outdoor activity, fresh air, connection with food and sense of purpose.
Objective 6 – Involve and empower residents and their families in food decisions.
Objective 7 – Support the use of Australian produce – bargain for better contracts, access better quality food.


Original Founding members of The Lantern Project collaborative were:


  • Ita Buttrose - National President for Alzheimer's Australia
  • Glenn Rees - CEO Alzheimer's Australia
  • Roger Hughes - Deputy Dean Research, Faculty Health Science and Medicine
  • Dr Chris Del Mar - Bond University