CLOSING THE GAP HEALTH SPEAKERS
Master of Ceremonies
Mr Herry Callaghan
Conference master of ceremony Mr Harry Callaghan is a proud Aboriginal man with strong family connections to the Dunghutti, Biripi, Worimi and Gumbaingirr tribal areas. Prior to working at Creating Links, Harry worked as the Senior Aboriginal Health Worker with the Closing The Gap team
Male Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD)
HIV and Related Program (HARP) Unit
Kevin has over 10 years’ experience across multiple industries. He has worked extensively over the past eight years as the Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer in the HIV & Related Programs Unit, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. He is passionate in improving the health of the Indigenous communities across Australia. Kevin uses a range of health promotion and community development activities to raise awareness and educate both young people and adults in the key health areas including: sexual health, viral hepatitis, mental health and physical health.
BreastScreen Aboriginal Engagement Project Officer
Christine is a proud Kamilaroi woman from Moree whose attempt to “retire” from the commonwealth public service lasted for a few months before she got bored. She joined BreastScreen NSW GW in December 2016 as an Aboriginal Engagement Project Officer just a few months after losing her 60 year old sister to Breast Cancer. She had never had a mammogram. This motivated Christine to get out there and encourage our women to having regular breasts screening.
Director, Centre for Human Dignity
Australian Christian Lobby
is the Qld and NT Director for the Australian Christian Lobby. She is a recognised Australian spokesperson for the rights of women and children and an effective campaigner against sexual exploitation in all its forms. Wendy¿s professional experience includes managerial positions at Griffith University and Queensland Baptists. Wendy is a Director and Board Member of Samaritans Purse Australia and Vision Media Australia and has travelled to countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh and Cambodia where she has participated in projects to rescue women and children from sexual abuse, and provide literacy and health projects amongst rural women. She has been married to her husband Peter for 40 years and have 3 married children and 10 grandchildren.
Bronwyn Clark is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC), a position she has led since November 2012. Bronwyn is also the current Chair of the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum, the coalition of the 15 regulated health profession accreditation authorities in Australia. She sits on a number of international regulatory groups including the International Committee for Life Long Learning in Pharmacy Conferences. Bronwyn has been recognised as a Fellow of both the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (Great Britain) for outstanding service to the pharmacy profession. After originally training as a pharmacist in New Zealand, she has had a varied career in health that spans practice in hospital and community pharmacy, primary care, academic detailing, education and regulation in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Prior to the APC, Bronwyn was the Chief Executive/Registrar of the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. Bronwyn has a keen interest in the development and support of new and expanded scopes of practice for pharmacists, and in developing cultural competence in pharmacists.
Associate Professor Faye McMillan is a Wiradjuri yinaa (woman) from Trangie, NSW. As well as a Bachelor of Pharmacy she has a Master of Indigenous Health Studies and a Doctor of Health Science. Faye also holds a Graduate Certificates in Indigenous Governance from the University of Arizona (USA), Wiradjuri Language Culture and Heritage and Education (UoM). Faye is recognised as Australia's first registered pharmacist who is Aboriginal. She is the 2019 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year and a Senior Atlantic Fellow (inaugural Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity). Faye was a founding member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and a board member of IAHA from 2009-2017 (and chairperson from 2010-2016). She currently works at Charles Sturt University (CSU) as the Director of the Djirruwang Program – Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).
TAFE Digital Manager of Aboriginal Education & Training
Toni L. Smith
Principal Female Aboriginal Health Worker
Sydney Local Health District
Manager DV & Women’s Health SLHD
Sydney Local Health District
Veronica Matthews, CRE Research Fellow
Wingara Mura Leadership Program
University Centre for Rural Health
National Best Practice Unit Tackling Indigenous Smoking
is a proud Mamu woman from Far North Queensland with a working career that spans over 11 years with the Commonwealth Public Service and another 16 years with the non-government sector. Before commencing with Ninti One Limited in Adelaide, Desley was involved in a number of National Boards and has been heavily involved in the Family Support and Child Protection fields. Desley is currently the full-time Program Manager of the National Best Practice Unit Tackling Indigenous Smoking (NBPU TIS). As the inaugural Program Manager Desley has led the successful establishment of support and assistance to the TIS-funded ACCHSs, Peak Bodies and AMSs. Desley is also a company Director of a family-owned business.
Tim Croft, MPH, B.App. Sci (Physiotherapy)
Manager Aboriginal Health Unit SESLHD
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
Tim Croft has worked across the across the public and the private health sectors for 20 years. Tim has been Manager of Aboriginal Health South Eastern Sydney Local Health District since 2016, then has also recently been a health researcher and previously an allied health clinician. He has been involved in research on capacity building in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector; the Research Excellence in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (REACCH) evaluation and has directed a review of the ACT Health Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Model of Care. He is currently involved in research for Aboriginal Carers and a Data Governance protocol for Aboriginal research and is a member of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise Clinical Academic Group; Maridulu Budyari Gumal. In the last 15 years he has also been a board member in Aboriginal community organisations; the Lloyd McDermot Rugby Development Team and more recently as chair of First Hand Solutions, which is responsible for the Blak Markets and Indigigrow.
BreastScreen service at Greater West
Meg O’Brien is the manager of BreastScreen Service at Greater West for over 5 years. Meg is a Registered Nurse/midwife and was drawn to BreastScreen when her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer through BreastScreen. She owes her life today to the early detection of breast cancer through BreastScreen and with subsequent treatment they felt fortunate to have her sister in their lives today. Meg oversees the operations of the BreastScreen service that stretches from Lithgow to Broken Hill and all city rural and remote sites in between. The service has very strict accreditation standards to monitor and meet and some of these oversee cancer screening assessment and detection. Meg felt fortunate to work with some wonderfully passionate and likeminded staff and met some incredibly brave, strong and determined women though this programme. Her mission is to reduce the deaths from this dreadful indiscriminate disease by screening and early detection.
Ms Emma Walke
Academic Lead, Aboriginal Health
University Centre for Rural Health
The University of Sydney
Aboriginal health teaching program and building workforce capacity among our Aboriginal youth. Emma is a Bundjalung woman from Northern NSW, her family are from Cabbage Tree Island/Ballina area. Emma is the Academic Lead for Aboriginal Health Education at the University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney based in Lismore which involves working with medical and allied health students visiting the Northern Rivers area from around Australia to understand the Aboriginal health environment, effects of past government policy and the current health status of Aboriginal people. Working with people to help them to identify their own attitudes and behaviours when working with Aboriginal people is a passion, and her way of being part of a better future.
Dr Mark J Lock, Ngiyampaa Academic
Co-Leader, First Nations Research Team
Aboriginal Community Matters Advisory Group
NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence Dr Mark J Lock is a descendent of the Ngiyampaa people (a tribe of First Nations Australians), English and Scottish Convicts on the First Fleet (the Lucas Clan), Latvian immigrants, and Australian free colonists. Mark founded Committix Pty Ltd to lead his research agenda for cultural safety research and evaluation through the lens of governance and the public administration in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy as shown in Aboriginal Cultural Safety and Security Framework, the Annual Critique of Cultural Safety in Australian academic journal articles, and the bimonthly Australian Cultural Safety & Security News.
Beyond Barbed Wire & TEI
Shiree Talbot is a proud Wiradjuri woman, with strong connections to the Wellington Valley. Motivated by her own experience, Shiree is a staunch proponent for the de-stigmatisation of women, who have lived experience of the criminal justice system, advocating intuitively for systemic change and social justice in both the public and private arenas. After earlier studies in Natural Therapies and Business Management, Shiree changed academic direction receiving her B.A. Sociology from Griffith University in 2011 and is currently studying for her Master of Criminology degree. Shiree commenced employment with Barnardos Western in 2012 and is the Program Manager for Barnardos Beyond Barbed Wire and Targeted Early Intervention Programs in Wellington. Shiree facilitates a young women’s group and recently collaborated on a performance with Signal Creative, which saw the young women’s group perform at the Enlighten Festival in Canberra. Shiree was an active member for Justice Health Human Research and Ethics Committee for nine years. Shiree has four children, is the grandmother of three, and is a much-loved Aunty to many children and young people in the Wellington community.
Dr. Neeraj Vyas
Oral Surgery Registrar
Nepean Centre for Oral Health, University of Sydney
Dr Neeraj Vyas Neeraj completed his undergraduate dentistry training at Griffith University where he was involved in various oral health initiatives and rural high school visits in southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory. He has since worked primarily in the public sector in New South Wales at the Sydney Dental Hospital, Westmead Centre for Oral Health and in the Awabakal Medical Service. Currently, Neeraj is a registrar at Nepean Hospital completing specialty training in Oral Surgery and has a strong interest in playing a role in Closing the Gap in Indigenous Australian Health.
Aunty Jenny Springham
Aboriginal Elder of the Gurang Clan
Healing Circle Work Facilitator
Aunty Jenny is an Australian Aboriginal Elder of the Gurang clan/family with more than three decades’ experience in Governance & Management in the sectors of health & wellbeing, child & family, and education. Aunty Jenny holds a Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education & Community Development, an Associate Diploma in Aboriginal Studies and Certificate IV in Aboriginal Health. She has been a Healing Circle Work Facilitator for almost eight years, working with men and women experiencing the impacts of Lateral Violence, intergenerational trauma and substance abuse. She advocates for the rights of women with a focus on the areas of policy, decision-making and governance. As part of this commitment, Aunty Jenny sits on the Board of Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) Indigenous Wellbeing Centre (IWC) Ltd in Central Queensland, and is a member of the IWC Cultural Advisory Council. Aunty Jenny also sits on the Elders’ Council of the Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC), which represents the Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng and Taribelang Bunda peoples.
Uncle Ara (Julga) Harathunian
Uncle Ara has just over 40 years of professional experience in Governance Eldership/Leadership and Management in many fields of endeavour. His interests lie in health, youth, education, Aboriginal Affairs, Mediation, Reconciliation in Action, Restorative Justice, Lateral Violence, Community Development, Workplace Dynamics, Mentoring, Research, Aboriginal Terms of Reference, Aboriginal Spirituality and Indigenous Wellbeing and Wellness Paradigms. He is a Director on several Indigenous and non-Indigenous Boards and Chairperson of Lonweigh Aboriginal Corporation.
Ara has an Armenian Heritage and has Aboriginal family connections to the Minniecon, Lingwoodock and Wenitongs and the Torres Strait through the Ghee’s and Wares and Skin connections to Wongi and Martu People of Western Australia. He has achieved professional success in business, and community development. In his professional career, his achievements include developing and implementing a Transformational Management Model underpinned by the Cultural Philosophical Ethos Theory that was developed by his wife, Aunty Cheri Yingaa Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, and the development of Kultchafi Cultural Responsiveness Training Package, Healing Circle Work, Gentle Footprints and Cultural Responsiveness Organisational Pulse.
Ara's life is a living document. Within the pages are wisdom, knowledge, information, values, beliefs, ideas, creativity, innovation, gratitude, confidence, trust, skills, abilities and much learning to share from this document either in written form or in speech. I am blest that others who walk with me for life or for a season contribute from their living document vignettes, that become part of my life document.
My objective is to live every moment I have to its fullest. I want to contribute and appreciate my contribution to my family, my community, and the world in which I live. My hope is that in all I say and do, I demonstrate thankfulness, love and humility toward every human being who enters my space and my place upon this beautiful planet, so that when we continue from the place we meet we are made wiser, and more honourable to ourselves and to others.
CHRONIC DISEASES SPEAKERS
paediatric Speech Pathologist
Manager, Wilim Berrbang Aboriginal Health Unit
Western Health Victoria
Tanya is a proud Wiradjuri woman whose family hail from Wellington, NSW. She is a paediatric Speech Pathologist who worked for many years in both tertiary hospital and community health settings before moving into management of child health teams and Aboriginal health teams. Tanya values communication, service and fairness in her work with patients and their families. She is currently the Manager of Wilim Berrbang, the Aboriginal Health Unit of Western Health in Victoria.
Aboriginal Cardiac Community Educator
Abraham Alex, Jerry
Service Registrar, Obstetrics and Gynaecology
MBBS, BEngg(Hons), MEngg, GradDipEd, MEd
King Edward Memorial Hospital
Jerry is currently a service registrar at King Edward Memorial Hospital (Perth), with an interest in preeclampsia and preterm birth. Prior to doing O&G, he worked as a rural/remote GP registrar in Far North Queensland, and was the National Rural RACGP Registrar of 2019 for his work in womens health at a rural Aboriginal Medical Service. His goals include working towards closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous women’s health, and achieving parity in health outcomes between rural and metropolitan women.
Senior Project Officer in Antimicrobial Stewardship
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
Kristin Xenos has been a Senior Project officer in Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) with the AURA team of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care since 2018. Prior to that she was Senior AMS Pharmacist for the Western Sydney LHD. She has an interest in public health and a Masters in Public Health and Health Management. She is also a fellow of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), a member of the SHPA Infectious Diseases Leadership Committee and is an Advancing Practice Pharmacist (Stage III). In her spare time she is a co-host of the Purple Pen Podcast (a podcast all about clinical pharmacy) and continues to work in community pharmacy.
National Community Engagement Coordinator
National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce
Kelli Owen is a Kaurna, Narungga & Ngarrindjeri woman and mother of five. She is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Indigenous Kidney Transplantation Taskforce (NIKTT) and is responsible for leading several community-focused initiatives. These include: establishment of Indigenous Reference Groups in five transplant units across Australia; development of a national educational directory capturing tailored resources for Indigenous kidney transplant candidates and their families; and management of the NIKTT’s National Indigenous Kidney Community Panel, which offers an outlet for members to share their stories and provide feedback on the NIKTT’s current projects and future directions.
In addition, Kelli is a member of South Australia’s AKction (Aboriginal Kidney Care Together - Improving Outcomes Now) team, which aim’s it is to identify and respond to the needs of Aboriginal Kidney patients and their families. Kelli’s contribution to the NIKTT and AKction is enhanced by her lived experience of kidney failure. After undergoing several years of peritoneal & haemodialysis treatment, Kelli received a donated kidney in May 2016. Her firsthand knowledge of the kidney transplant journey, coupled with her Bachelor of Education and Master of Indigenous Language Education degrees, underpin her engagement with Indigenous communities and help to facilitate positive relationships between health professionals, patients and their families.
Glenys Collard & Anna Bennetts - UNCONFIRMED
Glenys Collard is a proud Nyungar woman who holds a BA in Community Development and has over 30-years experience working in the human services. Glenys held the ATSIC Justice Portfolio for seven years and co-chaired the first WA State Sorry Day Committee with Sir Ronald Wilson. An Aboriginal English language expert, Glenys has over 24-years experience working and consulting with the Education Department of WA. Glenys was the first Aboriginal researcher to collect Nyungar language from elders, the last Nyungar language speakers. She is the author of several books including Kwobba Keip Boya and A Day in the park. She is the co-author of many research papers and educational materials through her work for Edith Cowan University, the Education Department of WA and the University of WA.
Anna Bennetts holds degrees in psychology, public health and creative writing. She has worked for the past 30 years in the human services, primarily the Alcohol and Other Drugs field, while also making films and educational videos. She currently works part-time in workforce development at the Mental Health Commission of WA and also at Wungening Aboriginal Corporation in Perth, co-facilitating group practice supervision. Anna has worked in Thailand and South Africa, has co-authored various articles and the book Alcohol Policy and Public Health in South Africa. Her films include Unlock about children whose parents have mental illness for SBS and the short comedy, Chiko Roll: An Australian Oddyssey.
Glenys and Anna met when they were next door neighbours in 2007. They soon became friends and Anna, who was doing a PhD in writing began writing Glenys’s story of being taken, along with all her siblings by the Native Welfare and Child Welfare Departments in the early 1960s. This writing became the documentary, Collard family v State of WA which documents the Collard family’s pioneering stolen generation compensation case against the WA Government which has been screened on NITV.
Director Clinical Service Integration
Deborah Stockton has specialised in the field of child and family health nursing. As Director Clinical Service Integration with Tresillian Family Care Centres, Deborah leads service development initiatives through collaboration and cross-sector partnerships. Deborah led the organisation’s regional service expansion, working collaboratively with rural health service partners to design and develop innovative services to address the needs of families in rural and regional areas. Deborah is a PhD candidate (UTS), with her area of research focusing on rural service development and the adaptation of service models for diverse settings.
Aunty Delya Smith
Aboriginal Health Worker
Delya Smith. Delya is employed as the Tresillian2U mobile service Aboriginal Health Worker and is an Elder in the Kempsey area. Delya provides support for Aboriginal parents seeking assistance with early parenting challenges through individual and co-consultations with the Tresillian2U child and family health nurses. Delya works with community members and agencies, providing advice and informing the co-design of programs to better meet the needs of Aboriginal parents and their children.
Dr Claire Treadgold
National Manager, Research & Evaluation
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Adjunct Assoc. Professor, Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health, UNSW Medicine & Health, UNSW Sydney
Dr Claire Treadgold is the National Manager of Research and Evaluation for Starlight Children’s Foundation and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health, UNSW Medicine & Health, UNSW Sydney. Claire has over twenty years' experience in for-purpose organisations, with a particular focus on young people, health and community services.
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Jody Broun has 30 years experience in Aboriginal affairs at national and state levels in WA and NSW. This has included Co-Chairperson of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Director General of Aboriginal Affairs in NSW and Executive Director of Aboriginal Housing and Infrastructure in the WA Department of Housing and Works. Jody’s commitment is to community decision making and empowerment through strong community governance and employment. This commitment to education of Aboriginal people has continued since my initial degree and employment as a teacher in the foundation staff of Clontarf Aboriginal College. She has also had a successful career as an artist, winning the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 1998 and the Canberra Art Award in 2005.
2022 Indigenous Health & chronic diseases Conference guest speakers
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