This year’s meeting features a range of high calibre speakers who will share their expertise and experience in their specialty fields, as well as their insights relevant to the conference theme “Better Together”. Profiles of our speakers are shown below.
Professor Carmen Lawrence, University of Western Australia, Former Premier of Western Australia
After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times W.A Minister for Education and Aboriginal affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government. She shifted to Federal politics in 1994 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle and was appointed Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. She has held various portfolios in Opposition, including Indigenous Affairs, Environment, Industry and Innovation and was elected national President of the Labor Party in 2004. She retired from politics in 2007. She is now a Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia where she is working to establish a centre to research the forces driving significant social change in key areas of contemporary challenge as well as exploring our reactions to that change. The centre will also seek to expose for public discussion the processes most likely to achieve social change where that is a desired objective.
Victoria Astill-Smith, Claims Manager
After completing her law degree at the University of Western Australia, Victoria commenced her legal career as a defendant insurance lawyer at Phillips Fox working in their defendant insurance and professional indemnity litigation section. Over the years, Victoria has gained extensive experience in the areas of personal injury litigation, professional indemnity and worker’s compensation working in both small and large law firms. Victoria has represented clients at conciliations, arbitrations and in District and Supreme Court matters.
Victoria joined MDA National in July 2009 as a Claims Manager.
Dr Peter Burke, Travel Medicine Specialist
Peter Burke is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine and has specialised in travel medicine for 20 years. Over this time, he has advised companies and worked closely with occupational physicians and other workplace health professionals to develop a thorough understanding of the complex issues associated with travelling and working overseas.
David Burton, Partner, SRB Legal - Insurance Lawyers
David Burton was admitted to practice as a Barrister at the Cape Town Bar in 1985, as a lawyer in WA in 1988, and was a founding partner of SRB Legal in 1999. Since 1986, David has acted exclusively for insurers and self insureds in the defence and management of general insurance, public liability, employer’s liability, workers’ compensation and compulsory third party motor vehicle claims. He is also widely regarded as a leading practitioner in personal and catastrophic injury claims in Western Australia. His expertise and skills focus particularly on: advising on the assessment of damages for catastrophic, psychiatric and personal injury claims; defending claims as trial counsel or appeal advocacy; establishing potential rights of recovery against other tortfeasors; determining liability for workers’ compensation, public and employer’s liability, CTP, negligence and contribution cases; and providing opinions on insurance indemnity issues involving personal injuries.
Associate Professor Peter Connaughton, Occupational Physician
Peter Connaughton is well known in the occupational medicine field and is the current President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He works in private practice in Perth and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Medicine, the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.
Dr Stewart Cullen, Consultant Physician, Research Scientist
Stewart Cullen completed his physician training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital before commencing research into sleep disorders. Current areas of research include sleep apnoea and positional therapy and mandibular advancement for obstructive sleep apnoea. He is also interested in assessment techniques and has used lasers to measure oropharyngeal dimensions to improve the assessment of patients with possible sleep apnoea.
Justin Dyson, Partner, SRB Legal - Insurance Lawyers
Justin Dyson joined SRB Legal in 2000 and was admitted to practice in 2001. He represents both insurers and self-insurers across a wide range of workers’ compensation matters, from smaller claims involving technical issues such as calculation of weekly payments, through to catastrophic injuries involving complex factual disputes. He also focuses on marine seafarers’ and public liability claims. He has acted in a number of major Western Australian matters. His area of expertise includes claims involving: catastrophic and complex injuries; assessment of whole person impairment; psychiatric injury, including workplace stress; physical injury, including back and neck injuries; breaks and fractures, severe spinal injuries and paraplegia and common law actions in the District Court.
Mr Jeff Ecker, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Director Hand and Upper Limb Centre
Jeff Ecker is a hand and wrist surgeon trained in orthopaedics, plastics and microsurgery, with a special interest in treating complex wrist problems including scaphoid fractures, fracture non-unions and wrist arthroscopy. In addition to establishing the Hand and Upper Limb Centre in Perth, he works locally and internationally to support development in the field of hand and wrist surgery, including presenting, teaching and publishing on key aspects of his practice.
Hugh Edwards OAM
Author and expert diver Hugh Edwards was instrumental in discovering some of the most well-known shipwrecks along the West Australian coast line, including the 1629 Batavia and the 1727 Zeewyjk. His work led him to many close encounters with sharks. As a result of observation (including cage diving with great whites and a camcorder) and comprehensive research, he has become one of the State’s leading shark experts. Hugh has written over 35 books and was the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for service to Australia’s maritime heritage.
Dr Brian Galton-Fenzi, Occupational and Environmental Physician
Brian Galton-Fenzi has worked in numerous roles over the years, as an occupational/environmental physician; public health physician; more recently musculoskeletal and pain physician both in private and public health systems. He has been the Mines Occupational Physician (WA), previously the MIM Ltd OH&S Manager (Qld), the OHS&E manager IBM (Aust & NZ), he has consulted overseas for a number of organisations and is currently a practicing clinician, and undertakes insurance and medicolegal assessments and return-to-work reviews. He is the working director of his company, The Healthy Worker P/L
Clinical Associate Professor Kurt Gebauer, Specialist Dermatologist
Kurt Gebauer has practised dermatology for 20 years in Australia and is a well-known authority on dermatological conditions. Formerly the Head of the Department of Dermatology at Fremantle Hospital, Dr Gebauer has a busy private practice and lectures locally and internationally. He also participates in clinical research aimed at improving the treatment of dermatological conditions such as acne, actinic keratoses, onychomycosis and skin cancer.
Carl Graham, Clinical Psychologist
Carl is a clinical psychologist specialising in behavioural medicine. He has a special interest in psychoneuroimmunology and is involved in the the management of chronic health problems within the Pain Medicine Unit, the Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and the Infectious Disease Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital, and in private practice. He is a lecturer in behavioural medicine at the School of Psychology and Exercise Science at Murdoch University and has published several peer reviewed articles in the area of chronic pain management.
Associate Professor Gerard Hardisty, Orthopaedic Surgeon
Gerard Hardisty trained in orthopaedic surgery in Perth, Western Australia and undertook post-fellowship training in knee, foot and ankle surgery in Sydney, North America and Europe. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in orthopaedic surgery at UWA. His research interests are in regenerative medicine and with a special interest in autologous tenocyte and chondrocyte grafting.
Hazel Harley, Remote Site Medical Supervisor, Chevron
Hazel is Chevron Australia’s Remote Site Medical Supervisor, responsible for oversight of medical services provided on Chevron’s remote sites in Australia. With extensive experience in the healthcare industry, Hazel is a Registered Nurse and has a Masters in Health Services Management. She previously held the position of Deputy State Health Coordinator whilst managing the Disaster Preparedness and Management Unit for the WA Department of Health. Hazel is a Senior Instructor in the Emergo Train System and utilises this system to exercise and improve Chevron’s response to major incidents, utilising the Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) framework. Hazel will discuss how this system enables Chevron to learn as an organisation and drive for improvement in responding to major incidents.
Clinical Professor David Hillman, University of Western Australia
David Hillman is a Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia, with clinical and research interests centered on the physiology of the respiratory system and upper airway and their relationship to respiratory disease, sleep disorders and anaesthesia. He has held numerous leadership positions and is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and an honorary fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Dr Max Hills, Chief Medical Officer, Chevron Australia
Max Hills is the Chief Medical Officer of Chevron Australia. He is responsible for oversight of Chevron’s fitness for duty and injury management processes, the provision of medical services on Chevron’s remote sites, delivery of Chevron’s wellness strategy and the provision of advice on medical matters to the business. Dr Hills has a keen interest in information technology and its application in the delivery of medical services at remote locations. Dr Hills leads a multidisciplinary Health and Medical team to deliver comprehensive medical and wellness services. Prior to joining Chevron, Dr Hills was the Chief Medical Officer for the Irish Department of Social Protection and before this the Gorgon Project in Western Australia.
Dr Bruce Hocking, Consultant Occupational Physician
Bruce Hocking has practised as a specialist in occupational medicine for 40 years and has broad experience across many aspects of occupational medicine. He has particular expertise in setting national and state medical standards for safety critical workers in road transport, railways, maritime and emergency services, as well as setting national safety standards regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields.
Sarah Hull, Sleep and Respiratory Care
Sarah Hull has been at the coal face of the field of Sleep Medicine for the last 12 years. Currently she works as the Business Manager for Western Australia in ResMed’s Sleep and Respiratory Care division. ResMed is the global leader in medical devices and cutting-edge cloud-based software applications that better diagnose, treat and manage sleep apnoea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic diseases. Prior to this, Sarah worked as General Manager of Sleep Australia in WA, where she developed the sleep testing and CPAP supply business, purpose built to service the mining sector in WA. Sarah has also held the position of Account Manager/Head of Sleep at OSHGroup, creating allied health networks in remote locations across Australia for sleep disordered diagnosis and treatment. Sarah is a qualified Sleep Scientist (RPSGT, RST), holds Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy and has an MBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Kath Jones, Senior Inspector / Scientific Officer WorkSafe
Kath Jones is a Senior Inspector / Scientific Officer at WorkSafe who specialises in the prevention and management of psychosocial hazards in the workplace. Combining qualifications in occupational therapy and organisational psychology as well as experience as an OSH Manager in the public sector, Kath undertakes investigations into the management of occupational stress and bullying in WA workplaces as well as presenting educational forums and workshops on best practice in the prevention of psychosocial injury.
Ms Danielle Kabilio, Career, Performance & Personal Coach
Danielle always had an interest in Personal Development and helping others achieve their desires and goals. She has helped many businesses with employees who aren’t progressing or are experiencing career discord. Additionally, Danielle's services extend to Career Transition and Strategy support, providing employees with skills and advice when faced with redundancy, or those needing assistance with progressing their career.
Candy Lethridge, Wellness Coordinator, Chevron
Candy is Chevron Australia’s Wellness Coordinator, responsible for delivery of the Wellness Strategy. An occupational therapist by training, Candy has extensive experience in fitness for duty and case management and utilises her training and experience to deliver a wellness program that enhances fitness for duty and productivity. Candy’s work in this area has been recognised by the award of Gold Healthy Workplace to Chevron Australia. Candy will discuss how Chevron uses results to target and measure the effectiveness of wellness activities.
Dr Stewart Lloyd, Consultant Occupational Physician
Stewart Lloyd has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant occupational physician, working across a broad range of occupational health environments, both in the UK and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Faculties of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in both countries and is a WorkCover WA Approved Medical Specialist. His present work is mainly in the medicolegal space, and he has recently completed a postgraduate qualification in law.
Angela Mack, Audiologist
Angela received an MSc in Audiology from Manchester University and came to Australia in 2011, with almost 30 years experience as an Audiologist in the UK. During her time in Australia she has worked as a paediatric and complex hearing loss specialist and managed vestibular and cochlear implant services. She has always maintained a clinical role and has provided services to remote and indigenous populations. She played a key role in the development of National Occupational Standards and on-line training modules. She has extensive experience in hearing rehabilitation and a special interest in diagnostic audiology, particularly balance and paediatric investigations and enjoys working with clients with an intellectual disability.
Nick Mabbott, Fatigue Risk Management Specialist
Nick is a Fatigue Risk Management Specialist with over 20 years’ experience in sleep and fatigue risk management. His academic research work, coupled with workplace experience has shown that employee fatigue is often derived from either poor quality or quantity of sleep. He enjoys making people aware of the risks associated with sleep debt and their health, safety and productivity and has delivered to thousands of people. He also assists workplaces to better understand fatigue risk in their operations and provides mitigating controls to assist where required.
Dr Robert McCartney, Occupational Physician
Rob is an Occupational Physician and past President of ANZSOM. He has extensive experience in workplace AOD management delivering MRO services for more than 15 years. He is widely consulted to implement policies, procedures, training, testing as well as case management. He provides expert advice to the Fair Work Commission and has assisted organisations and individuals in industrial and environmental courts regarding AOD matters. He is currently on the committee and faculty of the Australian Medical Review Officers Association.
Joanna McNeilly, Organisational Development Consultant
Jo McNeilly is an organisational development consultant, coach and facilitator. Her company, Facilitating Possibilities, has operated for 16 years in Perth, over which time she has assisted a wide range of individuals and organisations to achieve their goals.
Bronwyn Milkins, Mental Health First Aid Facilitator
Bronwyn Milkins is an Accredited Standard Mental Health First Aid Instructor, as well as a PhD Candidate and Masters student in Psychology. Bronwyn has worked in diverse settings, which include hospitals, youth services, tertiary education, and health promotion. Participants in Bronwyn's courses say that she is a warm and engaging facilitator who works hard to ensure that all participants have positive learning experiences. Bronwyn herself is passionate about delivering evidence-based information about mental health that can be of use to people from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds.
Dr Tim Mitchell, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Director of Pain Options
Tim is a Specialist Physiotherapist who works part time in clinical practice at Pain Options with a focus on the management of complex and chronic injuries and pain disorders. He is involved in the ongoing care of patients as well as providing Specialist Physiotherapy reviews on the multidisciplinary management of individuals with more complicated work-related pain. Tim is a Senior Lecturer at Curtin University where he is involved in clinical teaching and research. He has completed a PhD in the area of low back pain and is involved in a number of projects investigating aspects of musculoskeletal pain and work-related pain. He is also involved in consultancy work around models of care and models of service delivery for musculoskeletal pain. Tim is a co-author of the ‘Work Related Pain’ section of the Pain Health Website.
Gae Nuttall, Risk Adviser
Gae Nuttall is a Risk Adviser at MDA National, joining the organisation in May 2015. Gae’s professional interests include medico-legal education, practice management and accreditation systems. She believes that implementing good practice systems minimises risk to both doctors and their practice staff, while providing quality health care. Gae is a Registered Nurse, with extensive experience in GP education and orientation of doctors new to the Australian health care system.
Jessica Press, Medical Case Coordinator, Chevron
Jessica is a Medical Case Coordinator for Chevron Australia, responsible for fitness for duty assessment, injury management and return to work coordination for Chevron personnel. Jessica is a physiotherapist by training and has extensive experience in case management and medical assessment. Jessica recently managed the introduction of on-site periodic medical assessments at Chevron’s remote site on Barrow Island. This has dramatically improved the efficiency of these assessments as personnel may now undergo the assessment whilst at work at the remote location. Jessica will discuss how the program operates and how Chevron uses the results to guide decisions on fitness for duty and wellness initiatives.
Dr Arjun Rao, Sports Medicine Physician
Arjun Rao is one of Perth’s most highly respected physicians in sports medicine, and is a fellow of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians, the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Dr Rao specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and is renowned for treating an array of patients, ranging from high-performance/elite athletes to people with osteoarthritis. He is the Medical Director of the Perth Glory Football and sits on the FIFA/AFC Elite Regional Panel of Medical and Doping Control Officers.
Judge Andrew Scotting, Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales and the District Court of New South Wales
Andrew Scotting is a Judge of the Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales and the District Court of New South Wales. As a barrister, Andrew developed a specialist practice in the medical and causation issues arising in dust diseases litigation, before being appointed to the Tribunal in 2015. The Tribunal deals with a wide variety of conditions including mesothelioma, lung cancer, occupational asthma and farmers’ lung as well as an unlimited number of co-morbidities. Andrew has a research interest in the divide between legal and scientific causation. He has completed post graduate study in expert evidence and forensic psychiatry, and is currently undertaking courses in neuroscience and forensic psychology.
Matthew Taylor, Workplace Wellbeing Specialist & HR Consultant
Matthew Taylor is a workplace wellbeing specialist and HR Consultant, who has lead wellbeing programs across oil and gas and mine sites, as well as lead wellbeing teams in large corporate organisations. Focusing on innovation, Matthew is working on developing and providing wellbeing and workplace health programs which combine both physical services and digital health programs to maximise employee health and allow workforces to work at optimal levels, building thriving workforces and healthy people.
Professor Eric Visser, Churack Chair for Chronic Pain Education & Research, University of Notre Dame School of Medicine
Professor Eric Visser is a Western Australian trained specialist pain medicine physician and anaesthetist. Eric holds the inaugural Churack Chair for Chronic Pain Education and Research at the University of Notre Dame School of Medicine. He is also clinical senior lecturer at UWA and examiner for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, which trains all pain specialists in Australia. He is also the Director of PainscienceWA @ JHC. Eric has special interests in chronic spinal pain, complex regional pain syndrome, pain following surgery or injury (at work or after motor vehicle accidents) and complex headaches, but is happy to see patients with any kind of pain problem.
Dr Andrew Webster, Respiratory & Sleep Physician
Dr Webster undertook his initial medical training at the University of Glasgow before moving to Australia to complete his basic physician training and advanced training in respiratory and sleep medicine, which he undertook in Sydney. With a particular interest in sleep disorders he undertook further training at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, where he worked as a Consultant Sleep Physician before joining Sleep Australia. He now works in private practice and has a special interest in sleep disorders and mental health issues, as well as occupational health and shift work. He also provides a Respiratory and Sleep Clinic for the Aboriginal Health Service in Perth.
Professor Ming-Hao Zheng, Winthrop Professor, Associate Dean (International) The University of Western Australia
Professor Ming Hao Zheng is a renowned researcher in the area of bone and joint and regenerative medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists UK and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and is currently the Winthrop Professor and Director of Research at the Translational Orthopedic Research Centre, Sir Charles Gardner Hospital, Perth. He is also the Associate Dean (International) of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia.