Ali Gordon is a highly skilled therapeutic clown, one of only a handful in Australia who specialise in the field of Aged Care. She plays the autoharp, sings and brings a subtle and kooky style of clown off the stage and into real life contexts.

Her work is informed by world first quantitative research – the SMILE Study. The study measured the impact the Humour Foundation’s Elder Clown program had on residents living with dementia in aged care facilities.

Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the study was led by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at the University of NSW.


The core findings from the study showed that agitation levels of residents significantly decreased to the same extent as using anti-psychotic drugs – but without the side effects – The Humour Foundation

Ali also works as a theatrical clown, creating performances for many different spaces and contexts. She has extensive experience performing outdoors, online and in traditional theatre venues. All of this work centres on highly sensitive style of clowning that creates and authentic connection between audience and performer. Her work results in performances that transcend every day life using the visual poetry of the clown.