PROF. KERRY ARABENA, Onemda Vic Health Koori Health Research
Unit, UM VIC
PROF. KERRY ARABENA is a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait. She has a Doctorate in Human Ecology and an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research. Her work has made significant contributions across many states and territories in areas like gender issues, social justice, human rights, access and equity, service provision, harm minimisation, and citizenship rights and responsibilities. She was appointed Chair for Indigenous Health and Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Research Unit, University of Melbourne and was previously Professor and Director of Indigenous Health Research in the School for Indigenous Health, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University. She's the inaugural Chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, a national Indigenous representative body established in 2010 and the inaugural CEO of the Lowitja Institute. Kerry has represented Australia in international forums on HIV/AIDS, and climate change. Her professional experience has seen her recognised as an Australian of the Year Finalist in 2010, recipient of the prestigious JG Crawford Prize for Academic Excellence at Australian National University in 2011, and a nomination in the bulletin magazine's 'Smart 100 Australians' - Health and Medical Research Category, in 2004.
DR. NERELLE POROCH, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service ACT
DR. NERELLE POROCH has worked in Aboriginal research for eight years and has contributed to the Footprints in Time Study, Trachoma Studies, Sexual Health research and an AIATSIS Grant Study about Aboriginal Youth communicating with Centrelink. Her research work at Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service has been in the areas of Aboriginal prison health care and the connection between spirituality and social and emotional wellbeing.
ANNETTE HUCKS, Cairns Base Hospital QLD
ANNETTE LOADSMAN HUCKS works as a Registered Midwife for 18 years and is currently working for Qld Health at Cairns Base Hospital. She strongly believed that we needed to reach the young people much earlier with good pre-emptive Education on Pregnancy, Birth and Early Parenting in both school and community settings e.g. Cairns, Cape York Peninsula, Yarrabah, Atherton Tablelands.
She has travelled interstate to assist with co-presentation of education for young Aboriginal people in remote NT communities and co-presented with the Core Of Life Program Directors at The International Midwives Conference in Durban, South Africa in 2011. As a Core of Life Facilitator / Instructor, she assists with running national 2 day facilitator training workshops for people with youth, health and education backgrounds.
PROF. MICK DODSON, AM Chief Investigator IOHR-CBG & Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies ACT
MICK DODSON is a member of the Yawuru peoples – the traditional owners of land and waters in the Broome area of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the ANU and Professor of law at the ANU College of Law. He was Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and was Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations 6 Indigenous Voluntary Fund and later an expert member on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He is a chief investigator and member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
DEBBY PATTRICK, Youth and Family Education Resources, NSW
DEBBY PATTRICK, RN RM IBLC is currently residing on the Central Coast, NSW, Deb has spent 15 years of her midwifery career as an independent midwife, and hospital based midwife, working with families both in NSW and Victoria. Deb’s main focus has always been to provide services for women and their families in place based community settings. Deb is one of the Directors of Youth and Family Education Resources and co-founder of their main education program called Core of Life (COL) pregnancy and parenting program. The Core of Life program initially began in 1999 and is now delivered nationally. While working with this program Deb has worked within many indigenous communities throughout Australia, both training local community members and running education sessions alongside these new facilitators for groups of teenage young people and parents about pregnancy, birth and parenting issues. Deb is passionate in assisting young people to provide better health outcomes for their children.
JOCELYN JONES, National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University WA
JOCELYN JONES is a senior researcher with many years of experience in the prison and health sectors in Western Australia. She also has experience of clinical service provision as an enrolled nurse and was manager at the Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service. Jocelyn currently holds an adjunct position at the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University and is a doctoral candidate at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia. She is conducting research on “Pathways to Contact with the Juvenile Justice: Developing a profile of the risk and protective factors to support a strategy for change”. Jocelyn a team investigator and member of the Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
DR. LOUISE ORMEROD (PhD), Nutrition Plus Ltd NSW
DR. LOUISE ORMEROD is presently the CEO of Nutrition Plus Ltd, an Australia wide registered charity, based in Newcastle NSW. Louise along with her husband Peter Glennie are also owners and directors of NSA Australia and New Zealand, the suppliers of Juice Plus+® products.In 2008, Louise was able to act on a life-long passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues, and started Nutrition Plus, having found a fruit and vegetable based product (Juice Plus+®) that can significantly change the health status of those that consume it, and is backed by a body of published research in medical journals. Louise is also passionate about developing practical skills relating to growing and consuming nutritious foods, including local bush-tucker and providing nutritional education to support the skills that are being learnt in their school-based programs. Prior to her present work, Louise had successful careers as an academic lecturer, researcher and consultant and has presented to many audiences including international conferences.
SHARON THORPE, Victoria Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (VACCHO) VIC
SHARON THORPE is a Gunnai / Kurnai woman who has been working in Aboriginal Health for over 30 years. She has worked at different Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services around Victoria and has been in her current role at VACCHO for over 6 years. Sharon has completed a Diploma of Food and Nutrition and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Health. She recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion at the University of Sydney.
VICKILEE MACKAY, South Western Sydney Local Health District NSW
VICKILEE MACKAY is a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Credentialed Diabetic Educator working for South Western Sydney Local Health District. For the last 10 years, Vicki has been working on the “Marrin – Geen “Aboriginal Chronic Care Program. Vicki has presented numerous times at national conferences during her time with the Chronic Care Program. Vicki has a strong focus in Aboriginal Health, Chronic Disease and self management. Vicki's aim is to help contribute to Closing the Gap in chronic disease.
GARY ROBINSON, Menzies School of Health Research NT
GARY ROBINSON is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Child Development and Education at Menzies in Darwin where he heads the Indigenous Parenting and Family Research and Suicide Prevention Research programs. He was a Program Leader, Social-Emotional Wellbeing in the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, has participated in a number of national advisory forums on Indigenous health and wellbeing and published on early intervention, suicide and social-emotional well-being.
He is actively engaged in the implementation of preventative early intervention programs and leads the Let’s Start Parent-Child Program which has been successfully implemented in the Top End of the Northern Territory. He recently led the team undertaking national consultations to inform the development of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy on behalf of the Australian Government.
MS. LISE LAFFERTY, Team Investigator IOHR-CBG NSW
MS. LISE LAFFERTY has a background in community development, having worked with people with disabilities, youth and people with complex needs. She holds a Master of Indigenous Studies and a Master of Social Development through the University of NSW. She is the Research Associate on the Social and Cultural Resilience and Emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal Mothers in prison research project and PhD candidate based at the Kirby Institute. Her PhD examines hepatitis C treatment in prisons. Lise is a team investigator and member of the Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
JASMINE TIGHE, Vision Australia NSW
JASMINE TIGHE is a descendent of the Yuin nation, and has lived in the Illawarra her whole life. Jasmine is a Community Development Worker with Vision Australia, and works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are blind or vision-impaired to help them get better services. Jasmine is showing leadership by working with other Aboriginal women in her community to create more opportunities for younger Indigenous women. Jasmine is 21 years old and has a 3 year old son.
JACINTA COLLINS, Access Services for Koories VIC
JACINTA COLLINS is a Division 1 nurse with a Master of Health Science and Graduate Diploma of Health Administration. Her particular passion is tackling diverse change management challenges across acute/primary and public/private healthcare sectors. Jacinta has a strong action research background with a particular emphasis on chronic disease care in culturally diverse communities.
Jacinta is acting Executive Program Manager of an Indigenous Care Coordination program that assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with chronic disease or have complex needs to access culturally safe health care services.
MS. DINA SAULO, Team Investigator IOHR-CBG NSW
MS. DINA SAULO is a Master of Applied Epidemiology scholar with the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health at ANU. Her field placement during her candidature is with the Kirby Institute. She has previously worked at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW (AH&MRC) where she coordinated the NSW Aboriginal sexual and reproductive health program. Dina has had experience working with a number of marginalised populations in a public health capacity with a particular focus on sexual health, STIs, BBV & HIV/AIDS. Dina is a team investigator and member of the Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
DR. MELANIE DORRINGTON, Winnunga Nimmitjyah Aboriginal Health Service ACT
MS. MEGAN WILLIAMS is a researcher and lecturer with Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit, the University of NSW. She is a descendent of the Wiradjuri people and has over 15 years of experience in health service delivery. Megan was a founding member of Project 10%, an award-winning campaign to reduce prison rates in Queensland. Megan’s current PhD research looks at social support post-prison release among urban Aboriginal people. Megan is a team investigator and member of the Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
JENNIFER BROWNE, Victoria Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organization (VACCHO) VIC
JENNIFER BROWNE is a dietitian and diabetes educator who started out working at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in 2003. At the health service she worked with the diabetes club and the Active Elders program. She moved over to VACCHO in 2006 during which time she completed her Master’s in Public Health. Jennifer has been working with Sharon in the nutrition team at VACCHO for the last 6 years. Together they developed the Victorian Aboriginal Nutrition and Physical Activity Strategy.
COLLEEN DEVITT, Manning Rural Referral Hospital, Hunter New England Area Health Service NSW
COLLEEN DEVITT works as the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer at Manning Rural Referral Hospital. She will co-present the Aboriginal Palliative Care, Nooka Murook Project (meaning to give goodness) with the aim to increase the health knowledge of Palliative Care within the Aboriginal communities leading to greater understanding and access to available Palliative Care services by Aboriginal people to improved quality of care outcomes as well as increase staff's cultural awareness of the needs of local Aboriginal people.
TJANARA GORENG - GORENG, Asst. Professor & National Convenor FIRDA, QLD
Tjanara Goreng Goreng is a Wakka Wakka/Wulli Wulli woman from Central Queensland with cultural ties to the Anangu people of Mutitjulu near Uluru through her cultural adoption by traditional custodians of that country. She had a dual career in the Australian and the State Public Services of NSW and QLD and academia having taught at six Australian universities. At the University of Canberra, Tjanara Goreng Goreng is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies; she will complete her PhD at the Australian National University on “The Road to Eldership – a Comparative Study in Transformational Leadership”. Her previous work includes as therapist, researcher consultant trainer focused on generational trauma/dissociation illnesses and addiction/violence recovery via the psychotherapy and Family Systems Theory field. She completed her training in the USA in Therapeutic Recovery Clinics in the early 90’s and sustain a private therapy practice - as a ngungkari – traditional medicine healer, under the guidance of her Elders incorporating medicine in therapeutic practice with their people.
JEREMY GOWING, RN, BN, MN, GradCert HRM, is a Nurse Unit Manager and Project Manager at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney. Jeremy is responsible for managing clinical support services, including Diversity Health, Language Services, Nurse Escort, Transport Services and disaster preparedness for the hospital. He is a representative on the Reconciliation Action Plan committee, which contributes to our Hospital and campus responses to closing the health, education and employment gaps for Aboriginal Australians. Jeremy regularly presents on diversity health, cultural competence, clinical manual handling and emergency management. He was recently the recipient of the 2012 Mary Aikenhead award and has presented at conferences internationally and published in relation to Reconciliation Action Plan on behalf of the Hospital.
MRS. LARA SHUR, Earbus Foundation of Western Australia
MRS. LARA SHUR has an undergraduate Honours degree in Speech & Hearing Therapy, a Masters degree in Audiology and a Graduate Certificate in Business Management. Lara joined the Earbus Foundation of WA (EFWA)as Director, Clinical Services in 2013. She was previously Manager of Clinical Support WA & NT for the Department of Health & Ageing’s Office of Hearing Services.
KATRINA STAFFORD, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service QLD
KATRINA STAFFORD is a descendant of the Guru Gulu Gunggandji tribe from Yarrabah and a descendant of the Wadj Wadja and Iman clan Central Queensland. She spent most of her childhood living in Yarrabah but now live in Cairns with her family. She’s employed with Queensland Health as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Coordinator for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service. Katrina has strong desire to educate young teenagers especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in making the right choices in life. If we educate them now while they are in school they will have a fair idea of what is expected in the real world. Educating young mothers is an area that she can relate to as she became a young mother at an early age and wasn’t aware of the different services and support groups available for her. Therefore, she joined ‘Core of Life’ which is a program that reinforces the physical, emotional and social consequences of pregnancy/parenthood and trained to become a facilitator. While employed at Queensland Health, Katrina also had the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Management, Cert. IV in Training and Assessment and Cert III in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Heath Care as well as assist and facilitate the Cultural Practice Program within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Health Service.
PROFESSOR ELIZABETH ELLIOTT is Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Sydney; Consultant Paediatrician, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead; and a NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She leads an education program in maternal and Child Health in Vietnam. She has participated in laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research: her major current interests include rare childhood diseases and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum.
Since 2009 Elizabeth has been involved as a research collaborator and clinician in the Lililwan Project, a community-led initiative to establish the prevalence of FASD in the Fitzroy Valley as part of the Marulu strategy. She is also investigator on two birth cohort studies evaluating child outcomes of alcohol and other substance use in pregnancy. In 2012, she was involved in developing a national action plan for FASD and has provided information to the House of Representatives Inquiry into the Prevention and Management of FASD.
JODI DYER works as the Advanced Indigenous Health Worker for Maternal and Infant Health at Redcliffe Hospital. She is a descendant of the stolen generation from Western Australia and South Australia who were removed to Victoria. Her previous role includes Youth Work, Case Management, Family Support Worker and most recently Counsellor at an Indigenous counselling service.
She has completed certificates in Domestic Violence, Community Service, Case Management and a Diploma in Counselling. She is currently studying peri-natal mental health. Women’s Indigenous Health is something Jodi feels very passionate about and feels she is in the best position to achieve this.
PROF. TONY BUTLER, Chief Investigator IOHR-CBG NSW
PROF. TONY BUTLER is head of the Justice Health Research Program at the Kirby Institute. He has worked in the prison health research area since the mid-1990s. He conducted two population based prisoner health surveys in 1996 and 2001, two survey of adolescent offenders, the largest mental health survey of prisoners in Australia, a world’s first RCT of a smoking cessation in prison, and research into traumatic brain injury among prisoners. He is currently involved in several NHMRC-funded studies in offender health including an intervention for violent offenders. He is Co-Convenor of the Justice Health Special Interest Group in the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and a chief investigator and member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
SUNNI WILSON, Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia WA
SUNNI WILSON is a Project Officer at the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia (PHAIWA) where she coordinates The Western Australian Indigenous Storybook.
Sunni has a Bachelor of Communications degree from Murdoch University in Western Australia and is a journalist who has previously worked at ABC Perth and the Sunday Times Newspaper before joining Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia in April 2012.
REBECCA JARMAN has an undergraduate honours degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and Masters Degree in Public Health. Rebecca joined the “Marrin – Geen” Aboriginal Chronic Care Program (South Western Sydney Local Health District) as a Dietitian in 2011 from a previous Dietitian role with Condobolin Health Service in rural and remote NSW. Rebecca is dedicated to improving the health and nutrition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
PATSI-ANNE MAWN is a Jaularoi woman born on Mandandanji traditional lands in Roma, South West Queensland. She held variety of positions in the workforce spanning over 30 years and working in various fields of communication, disability, legal (pertaining to family violence) and health. She gained her Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Islander Legal Studies in 2010, employed as a health worker, project officer and have coordinated a number of programs, including the Indigenous patient journey for Care Connect Program and the Well Person’s Health Program. Patsi is currently the Senior Project Officer for the Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care (IROC) Program, Queensland Department of Health.
KERRIE TOM, Tingha School, NSW
Kerrie grew up in country NSW surrounded by people who had a passion for gardening, health, fishing and the bush. After spending twelve months in Germany as an exchange student, Kerrie started her career in the travel industry, but eventually found her way into studying teaching at Armidale University.Over a teaching career now expanding 20 years, Kerrie has worked in a range of schools and varied positions from infants through to Year 11, including relief teaching from remote Bingara to 13 Schools in a 300km radius. In her present position at Tingha Public School (a remote community in NW NSW) Kerrie performs several teaching roles, including Library Teacher, Computer Coordinator and Attendance Officer, where she works with community to improve attendance – now at a record high of 85%. Kerrie, a keen gardener has also been instrumental in progressing their school garden (partly funded by Nutrition Plus) and in particular has dedicated many hours to researching relevant bush-tucker species. Kerrie has also developed plans for an outdoor meeting place and kitchen for community gatherings and Tingha School and Nutrition Plus we are awaiting the outcome of several joint grant applications to progress these works.
MICHAEL DOYLE, Team Investigator IOHR-CBG UNSW
MICHAEL DOYLE has worked in Indigenous health in both a service delivery and a policy and planning capacity for over 10 years. He has worked at the National Drug Research Institute in Perth. He has a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion from Sydney University, and a Masters of Public Health (University of Western Australia). He is currently a PhD candidate and researcher at the Justice Health Research Program at the Kirby Institute. Michael is also a team investigator and member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
DR JILL GUTHRIE is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people of western NSW, and has lived in Canberra ACT for over twenty years. Following graduation from the MAE Program, Jill worked as an academic member of the MAE staff and continues to work in the program. In March 2009, she was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra, working on health-related research projects with a particular focus on the relationship between criminal justice and health. She is a member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
JASON WARNOCK, Indigenous Diabetic Foot Program QLD
JASON WARNOCK has been in private practice in Townsville since 1980. In October 2010, he joined Queensland Health in Townsville as the lead clinical podiatrist. In November 1994, he began a podiatry service to the Palm Island community and he has continued to deliver a monthly service continuously for 17 years.
In 2003-2005, Jason managed a project for SARRAH (Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health) funded by the Department of Health and Ageing; to develop resources to assist with the management of the diabetic foot in Indigenous communities. This work led to the Indigenous Diabetic Foot Program.
He visited Indigenous communities in USA and Canada as part of a Churchill Fellowship in 2009. Jason served as the inaugural Chair of the Podiatry Board and recently appointed to the Primary Care Committee of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
MICHELLE WILKES, Aboriginal Health Unit - Hunter New England Area Health Service Taree Community Health Centre NSW
MICHELLE WILKES is the Aboriginal Health Education Officer employed with the Aboriginal Health Unit - Hunter New England Area Health Service based at Taree Community Health Centre. She will jointly present a project known as Aboriginal Palliative Care, the Nooka Murook (meaning to give goodness) with the aim to increase awareness on Palliative Care within the Aboriginal communities leading to the greater understanding and usage of available Palliative Care services by Aboriginal people to improve quality of care outcomes as well as to increase the knowledge of the Health Staff about cultural needs of local Aboriginal people.
MR. PAUL HIGGINBOTHAM, Earbus Foundation of Western Australia
PAUL HIGGINBOTHAM began his career as a Teacher of the Deaf in Perth and gained extensive ESL experience overseas from 1988-1996. He holds a Masters degree with Honours in educational and organisational leadership and for 15 years was Principal/CEO of an early intervention agency for hearing-impaired children in WA before becoming the inaugural CEO of the Earbus Foundation in 2013. Paul chaired the First Voice national alliance, served for 10 years on the WA Non-Government Centre Support Committee, served as Chair of the Association of Independent Schools of WA Special Needs Advisory Committee, is a member of WA Deafness Council Executive Committee and was a foundation member of the WA Newborn Hearing Screening Committee from 1998 to 2012. Paul designed, developed and delivered every Earbus currently in service in WA. He received the Harry Blackmore Award in 2012 for his outstanding leadership for services to hearing impaired children in Western Australia.
JILL MCENTEE is the Director of Country Bound at RDWA (Rural Doctors Workforce Agency) in SA. She has a background in occupational therapy and has worked in a variety of fields including community health, health promotion, mental health, vocational rehabilitation, lecturing and management.
Jill’s current role has a focus on supporting the rural visiting health workforce to improve the health of rural communities in South Australia. A large component of this focuses on Aboriginal communities.
KIMI HALAPIO, Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movt Inc NSW
KIMI HALAPIO is a Wiradjuri woman and born in a home where alcohol and abuse were very dominant in the family. Kimi began a life of welfare kids and alcohol.
After 15 years in an abusive relationship, Kimi moved with her children to the east coast of NSW where she knew no-one and started a new life. She obtained work and welcomed the chance to partake in any education or training available to her.
Throughout her life Kimi always welcomed young ones into her home for a chat a feed or a sleep and loved helping others. Kimi fell in love with another perpetrator of violence which saw her contemplating ending her life. Despite being the victim of horrendous assaults and abuse she continued to achieve throughout her career, living two lives at times one of high achievement and one of depression and abuse. After escaping this relationship, she recovered slowly by showing true resilience she jumped back up and continued to work in the area of helping others. Her career includes Aboriginal Legal Service-Field Officer, Family Violence Prevention Unit-Coordinator, Dept Juvenile Justice Centre- Youth Officer and is currently at Enough is Enough as a Cultural Coordinator. Kimi states “What always got me through, was knowing there is always someone worse off than yourself, so appreciate what you have”
LIBBY MASSEY grew up at Angurugu on Groote Eylandt where she has known MJD, then “Groote Eylandt Syndrome’ since she was a small child and has seen the devastating effects of the disease in families and the community. She became determined to make a difference to these families, and having had the opportunity to study Occupational Therapy, Masters in Public Health and Law, ‘down south’ believes passionately in the need to provide equality in care options in remote communities.
In collaboration with Anglicare NT, Libby project managed the development of the Aged Care Facility at Angurugu and helped establish the programs that operate from it. Her dream was to start a Foundation which would enable her to focus on supporting Indigenous Australians and their families living with MJD. In 2008, her years of hard work saw the MJD Foundation formed. Libby is co-founder and Director of Research and Community Services of the MJD Foundation.
A/PROF. STUART KINNER, IOHR-CBG University of Melbourne
ASSOCIATE PROF. STUART KINNER is the Principal Research Fellow for Justice Health in the Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics (CHPPE), Melbourne School of Population Health, The University of Melbourne. Stuart has a PhD in forensic psychology and for the past decade his research has focussed on the health of prisoners and ex-prisoners. He is currently Chief Investigator for a number of large, NHMRC-funded studies of justice-involved populations in Australia, and for a study of HIV among prisoners and ex-prisoners in Fiji. He is lead author of a global systematic review of health-related re-entry programs for prisoners; he is Co-Convenor of the Justice Health Special Interest Group in the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and he serves on the National Prisoner Health Information Committee (NPHIC), guiding development of a world-first national minimum dataset for prisoner health.
HEPSIBAH FRANCIS, M.Sc Nsg, MBA SA
HEPSIBAH has done Masters in Nursing and Masters in Business Administration in Health Service. She has undertaken few research projects in qualitative and quantitative researchers and presented international research papers. She has worked as a Vice Principal for The Madras Medical Mission College of Nursing, India – mentoring the nursing students in nursing education, services and basic research. She is passionate towards applied research and likes to work together as a team in knowledge utilization. Currently working at Lyell McEwin Hospital Emergency Department as RN and as part of the CAN (Comorbidity Action in the North) project, has taken the Aboriginal peoples’ component of the research project for PhD (School of Nursing, University of Adelaide). Along with the Aboriginal people she is involved to determine the mental health and alcohol and other drug service needs for consumers. Hepsi is mother to two little boys.
MS CAROL CHAPMAN, Alzheimer’s Australia QLD
CAROL CHAPMAN came from a small country town in Queensland and have worked in a variety of occupations. She was a volunteer counsellor, trainer, assessor and community educator with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, where she honed her communication and speaking skills. When her father started showing signs of early dementia, it seemed only natural that she should use her skills to promote her new-found passion of educating communities about dementia. She come not from a medical background but from a carer’s background and present dementia education that is aimed at the people on the street, carers, and volunteers. She’s currently funded under the Special Needs Access Project which is aimed at the groups who are less likely to access their services, to build relationships with these community groups and provide appropriate services. Her focus is on Indigenous, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, rural and remote groups within the lower third of Queensland. Carol is based in Maryborough where she live with her four teenage children.
CAROLIN STOCK is a Project Officer at the Centre for Child Development and Education at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin where she is involved in Indigenous Parenting and Family Research. Carolin obtained her Master’s in Social Work from the University for Applied Science in Munich, Germany. She has over 15 years experience in delivering therapeutic group programs for children and families and has been trauma counsellor at the Sexual Assault Resource Centre in Perth. Carolin joined the Let’s Start project 4 years ago. Her focus is on program delivery in remote Aboriginal communities and action research.
DR PAUL SIMPSON is well experienced in various research field including health, marginalisation and identity, as well as public health and civil society organisations. He has worked in child and adolescent mental health and sexual health sectors in research and HIV health promotion roles. Paul’s PhD examined relationships between hepatitis C identities and public health and community sector discourses. He currently works as a researcher with the Justice Health Research Program at the Kirby Institute and is the research coordinator for the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group.
TERORI HAREKO-SAMIOS is currently the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Support Worker at the Royal Women’ s Hospital in Melbourne. She has many years of experience in project management and direct service in both the community welfare and health sectors. She is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s rights to equitable healthcare and health literacy and education standards. She’s also a passionate activist and negotiator for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health workers aspirations into higher education, and career progressions into management. Terori is in her second year of her Masters of Social Work at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Terori is also an acclaimed Melbourne Based Artist, creative writer of children’s books and a mother of two very active girls.
NERESSA JOHNSTON is a proud descendent of Kalkdoon (Grandmother) and Pitta Pitta (Grandfather) people from North West Queensland. She grew up in Mount Isa and now lives in Brisbane working at the Redcliffe Hospital as the Indigenous Liaison Officer for the past 2 years.
She has 11 years previous work experience with Centrelink within Indigenous positions and has gained extensive knowledge in case management of clients and their families, taking into consideration significant social and emotional issues relating to social determinants.
DR INDIA BOHANNA was born in Cairns and grew up in Atherton, Queensland. After completing her studies in neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, India decided to come back home to north Queensland in 2011. India is now an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at James Cook University, in the School of Public Health, where she has been for 3 years. Her research focuses on mental health, substance use and brain injury issues relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In particular India’s work seeks to work with communities to fill some of the gaps in the evidence and resources available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, and to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have equitable access to culturally acceptable assessment, information and treatment. India has recently been working with a team to develop the first assessment instrument designed specifically for measuring the impact of acquired brain injury with Aboriginal Australians.
YOMEI JONES is the Project Coordinator for the Let's Start Project at the Centre for Child Development and Education, Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, NT. She over 12 years experience supporting children and families through her various roles within the community and has a strong interest in children’s social-emotional well-being and development within health and education.
Yomei is actively involved in the group program delivery, managing operations, the evaluation, and contracts and reporting while playing a leading role in engaging with communities, government and community partners. She is committed to seeing research translate into improved practices and outcomes for children and families.
LYDIA MAINEY, Public Health Nurse – CQU QLD
THELMA DE LISSER-HOWARTH, Nurse Manager St Vincent's Private Hospital NSW
THELMA DE LISSER-HOWARTH, RN, BSc (hons), DipHE, is a Nurse Manager at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney and President for the Discharge Planning Association, Australia and is responsible for discharge planning and extended care for the Hospital. She is a representative on the campus Reconciliation Action Plan Committee, which contributes to the commitment in closing the life expectancy gap that Australian Aboriginals presently experience. Thelma has published, received national awards and presented at conferences nationally related to Extended Care Practice and internationally related to Reconciliation Action Plan on behalf of the Hospital.
MR. ALLAN TAKKEN, QLD Health IROC Program Officer QLD
MR. ALLAN TAKKEN is a proud Kalkadoon man with connection to Pitta Pitta Land and grew up in Winton, West Queensland on Kalkadoon land. Allan’s career path has since involved a progression from Physical Activity Health Promotion Officer to Indigenous Hospital Liaison Officer, Recreation Officer and Trainee Environmental Health Officer. Allan played for and captained the National Indigenous Football (Soccer) Team and presently coaching a local U18’s men’s soccer team and mentor younger aged players. He’s currently the Project Officer for Queensland Department of Health’s Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care (IROC) Program.
DR. SUSAN COLLES has devoted her professional career to healthcare with a particular focus on human nutrition, eating behaviour and weight management. She has accumulated over 10 years national and international experience in clinical dietetic and nutrition counselling roles; over six years working in nutrition research; and several years’ experience in community development, health management and educational roles in Southern Africa and India. She is currently working in the capacity of research fellow within the nutrition team at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.
SHEA CAPLICE has been a midwife for over 30 years. In addition to a home birth practice Shea has been involved in setting up new midwifery models of care within the hospital system including birth centres, team midwifery and the first publicly funded home birth service in NSW. Shea is currently the Midwifery Coordinator of the Malabar Community Midwifery Link Service with the Royal Hospital for Women established in 2006. This model is a caseload midwifery model targeting the Aboriginal community and another first for NSW.
RHONDA GARAD, Deakin University VIC
RHONDA GARAD is a health writer and works for a research translation organisation, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, which takes evidence-based health information and transforms it into practical, easy to understand resources for the community and health professionals. She has worked in the health industry in many roles including nursing, project management, health education, health promotion and direct service. Rhonda’s great passion is addressing health inequities and is currently working on a doctoral project looking at adapting a health literacy tool for marginalized communities. Rhonda is a mother of four and dreams of one day writing the next great Australian novel.
ELIZABETH TEMPLE, NABS QLD
LIZ TEMPLE is a Sign Language interpreter with NABS, the National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service. The NABS commitment is to provide interpreters for deaf people accessing medical appointments, facilitating equity and access to improve health outcomes for clients. Liz qualified with an Associate Diploma in Interpreting: Auslan/English through Kangan Batman TAFE (previously Richmond College of TAFE) in 1991 and achieved her professional level qualifications in 2007. In 2009 she relocated to Darwin to take up a position with NABS on a full time basis. Liz has encountered much diversity in working with Indigenous deaf people in the Northern Territory and her work includes travelling to remote areas such as Borroloola, Daly River and Gapuwiyak. She is currently undertaking post graduate studies in interpreting Auslan/English at Macquarie University.
SYLVIA CAMPBELL, University of Wollongong, NSW
SYLVIA CAMPBELL is a Gumbangirr woman from Bowraville on the North Coast of NSW. Sylvia has lived in the Illawarra region for over 29 years. She has worked in the areas of health and education for over 15 years. Sylvia is a member of the Stolen Generation and is here to empower women and young people to find pathways to healthier lifestyles that enable positive approaches to decision-making to become independent and less welfare dependent. Sylvia is currently completing a Masters in Indigenous Health at the University of Wollongong. Sylvia's philosophy is: "Come on no more excuses get up and just do it. Time wont stand still and wait, so do something with that time and make change for yourself. Become the role model for the future and be the one who inspires not just your community but the whole world because you're here for a reason. Just find it and skies are the limit. Get excited about who you are and do what you're supposed to do while you're here."
ANNE PRINCE, Director, Anne Prince Consulting NSW
ANNE PRINCE is an independent consultant with over 30 years’ experience in waste management at local, regional, state and international levels gained in Australia, Europe and Asia. Anne has been employed in local government, community, commercial and industry sectors prior to starting her own consulting practice APC in 1997. APC specializes in working in and with regional, rural, remote and Indigenous communities nationally and internationally and has a proven track record for implementing innovative waste practices. She will be presenting a session entitled: When Waste is Not Waste. She was voted by her peers and colleagues as the Resources and Waste industry leader in 2010. For over four years Anne has been working with Indigenous communities in APY Lands of SA and Torres Strait communities and these real life experiences she will share with us at the event.
MARCUS 'Mark' PEDRO was born on Thursday Island and grew up on Moa Island in the Torres Strait. Throughout his career, Mark have been a fisherman, railway labourer, youth worker, professional DJ, dance fitness trainer and Community Police Officer, the first Community Police Officer to become a Queensland Police Officer in 1992. Marcus co-authored a book entitled ‘Three Warriors Within’, which is his life’s story. He gained his Diploma of Justice Studies in 1991 and had been a Board Member for the First Contact Aboriginal Corporation for Youth. Marcus is currently the Project Officer for Queensland Health’s Indigenous Respiratory Outreach Care (IROC) Program where he enjoys helping to raise the profile of respiratory health in communities and participating in our outreach clinics.
DR. MANDY WILSON, Research Fellow IOHR-CBG WA
DR. MANDY WILSON works as a Research Fellow on the Indigenous team at the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology. An anthropologist, she taught the anthropology of gender and sexuality at the University of Western Australia for a number of years before taking her full-time research position in 2006. She currently works on a variety of projects which reflect her interests in Indigenous health. In particular, her current research involvement includes projects exploring justice and substance use issues with a particular focus on young people and women.
PAM SUTTON, Aboriginal Chronic Care Program - NSW
PAM SUTTON is an Aboriginal Health Worker and a proud Kamilaroi woman. Pam has gained her Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care. Pam joined the “Marrin – Geen” Aboriginal Chronic Care Program (South Western Sydney Local Health District) in 2009. “Marrin – Geen” are the Aboriginal words meaning body and heart from the Wiradjuri language. The program provides culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with or at risk of chronic diseases.
TRUDY ALLENDE, Malabar Community Midwifery Link Service, NSW
TRUDY ALLENDE is a proud Wonnaru woman from Singleton and part of the Aboriginal community at La Perouse Sydney and the mother of four children. Trudy is currently the Aboriginal Health Education Officer with the Malabar Community Midwifery Link Service and a proud and passionate Aboriginal Health worker. Trudy has led the inspiring Healthy Body Healthy Mind Camps for young kids in the La Perouse community and the Healthy Body Healthy Minds Gym group for new mothers.Trudy has worked with the Malabar team since.
INTERNATIONAL FIRST NATION'S GUEST SPEAKERS
RIKI NIA NIA, Maori Health Capital & Coast DHB New Zealand
RIKI NIA NIA lives in Wellington. He is currently employed as the Director of Maori Health at Capital & Coast DHB. However, affiliates to Ngati Kahungunu ki Te Reinga and Tuhoe. As part of his current role Riki also chairs the Tumu Whakarae Maori Workforce Champions Group, is chair of the Tu Kaha 2010 Conference committee, a member of the DHBNZ Workforce strategy group, a member of the Kia ora Hauora Maori Health Careers Project Steering Group, a member of Te Taumata Roopu and is the Central Region DHB GM Maori health lead. Riki has also been the Director of Maori Health at Wairarapa DHB and the Public Health Services Manager at Good Health Whanganui. More importantly Riki has four wonderful children (2 boys and 2 girls) aged between 14 and 1 year old and spends most of his spare time with them.
DEBRA CHESNUT, Four Winds Foundation, Alaska USA
DEBRA CHESNUT was raised in Anchorage, Alaska and in the Alaskan Bush on one of the last homesteads allowed under the Federal Homestead Act. Her father flew his 2-seater airplane to Anchorage to work because there were no roads connecting them to other communities. Nature was her constant companion and profoundly influenced her life. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Nursing School at the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 1976 and received her RN. She worked in a variety of places as a nurse around Alaska; Palmer, Nome, Barrow, Anchorage, Fairbanks and the world; Brazil, Thailand, Israel, Siberia, South Africa and Nicaragua, mostly as a volunteer. In1989 She earned a BS in Psychology, graduating Magna Cum Laude at the University of Alaska,Fairbanks. She earned an MA in Western Esotericism with Merit from Exeter University, Exeter, England in 2008.
In 1980 she volunteered to work in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand where she met her future husband, Dr. Dennis Dussman, a local dentist. They worked for two years in Barrow, Alaska providing health care to the Inupiaq peoples. They spent many years traveling to different Alaskan villages such as Fort Yukon, Noatak, Selawik, Northway, Tetlin, Dot Lake, Tanacross and Tok to provide dental services to the Native people in the villages.
In 1991 she was called to shamanize. Since then she has offered her services to the community. She has taught numerous workshops in different Alaskan communities on a variety of subjects such as shamanism, the emotions, death and dying, spiritual cleansing, drum making, and transmutation work as well as overseas in Ireland and Greece. She was a member of the faculty for the Foundation for Shamanic Studies since 1996 to 2008. In 2001 she was made the Alaska Field Associate for the Foundation.
In 1993 she founded The Four Winds Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting shamanic and traditional wisdom. The Foundation offers classes, craft nights, seasonal ceremonies, healing work, and community service of a spiritual nature to the people of Alaska.
VARINA FLAVELL Tribal Affiliations Ngati Whatua, Ngapuhi, Ngati Tamatera, New Zealand
VARINA FLAVELL is born in Whangarei New Zealand and grew up in a Maori dysfunctional family, one of alcohol, drug abuse and family violence. Rina's life changed when she was 25 years old and hit rock bottom. She decided to get help and make change. Her goal was to better herself and choose a career that will benefit her future and be a role model, encourage Maori, young and old to not let their past be be their future and motivate those who want to change.
With the support from family and friends, she started studying to be a registered nurse in 2000, this was the hardest 3 years of her life doing the nursing degree "I worked really hard to achieve”. She have worked in a variety of clinical settings, since graduating in 2002 and learnt new skills and gained knowledge that has helped her grow as a strong and confident "Maori Woman". Rina is currently working as a agency nurse in New Zealand and Australia and would like to share her "Journey of Life'.