Global Speakers

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Ghauri Aggarwal


17th Council , Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network

Dr Ghauri Aggarwal is the elected Vice-President of the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network and the chair of the Sydney Institute of Palliative Medicine. She has been involved for a number of years with the curriculum development and training of palliative medicine registrars and the strategic development of palliative care in New South Wales. Currently she is involved in teaching and development of palliative care in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Ghauri Aggarwal’s interests include interface between oncology and palliative medicine, undergraduate and postgraduate education in palliative care, communication skills and ethics and end of life decision making. She has co-authored a few publications on hospital based palliative medicine, pain management and is currently involved in research into end of life care.


Dr Melissa Carey

Senior Lecturer (Nursing)

University of Southern Queensland

Melissa Carey is an experienced registered nurse and academic, with an interest in the connection between culture and health. Melissa is from Anglo/Celtic/Māori descent which has inspired her Autoethnographic research on the impact of intergenerational cultural trauma upon the health and well-being of Māori people in Australia. Melissa is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Southern Queensland. She is currently working with Te Arai, Palliative Care and End of Life Research group at the University of Auckland, and plans to contribute to the Pae Herenga, traditional Maori end of life care customs research project.

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Maree McCabe


Dementia Australia

Ms McCabe, RN, Post Grad Dip Adv MHN, PMHN, MBA, MAICD has a background in senior executive positions across the mental health and aged care sectors.

Since Ms McCabe’s appointment as CEO of Dementia Australia Vic in 2010, she has successfully overseen an 84% increase in staff and driven the development of the Perc Walkley Dementia Learning Centre, including the Virtual Dementia Experience – a world first multisensory environment for experiential learning in dementia care. This technology has won the state, national and international iAwards, the Microsoft Imagine Cup in the category of Global Citizenship and the Minister for Health Public Healthcare award in 2015.

Ms McCabe has also overseen the expansion of dementia support services in regional Victoria, including the establishment of multidisciplinary regional hubs in a number of rural areas.


Rob Grenfell


CSIRO - Health & Biosecurity Research

Dr Rob Grenfell, a Public Health Physician, is the Health Director of CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity Business Unit. Leading a broad portfolio covering Nutrition, eHealth, Medtech and Diagnostics and Biosecurity from weeds to Ebola.

He was a member of the Safety and Quality Outcomes Committee of the Hospital Innovation Reform Council, a member of the Victorian Quality Council, Chair of General Practice Victoria, and Member of the Health Advisory Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.


Andrew Georgiou


Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University

Professor Andrew Georgiou is based at the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, part of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University. He has worked in several senior research and executive positions including as the UK NHS Assistant Director of Classifications (1995-1997) and Co-ordinator for the Coronary Heart Disease Programme for the Royal College of Physicians in London (1999 – 2002).  Andrew is currently an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Pathology Informatics and the International Journal of Medical Informatics the co-Chair of the International Medical Informatics Association Working Group on Technology Assessment and Quality Development.


Philip Daffas


PainChek Ltd

Philip is a highly accomplished global business leader and people manager with an international career spanning more than 25 years with leading blue-chip healthcare corporates and novel technology start-up companies.

Philip has held senior global business leadership positions in Europe, US and Australia. He has been instrumental in building businesses, growing market share and developing extensive high-level customer relationships in each sector.

Philip’ roles in Australia have included VP Global Marketing at Cochlear and General Management with Roche Diagnostics and Bio-Rad Laboratories, and CEO of Applied Physiology, an Australian start up software company in the intensive care monitoring sector.


Simon Bond

Board Member

Ballarat Health Services (BHS)

Simon is a Director and Founder of Geoactive IT, an Australian based software and geographic information systems services provider and a Board Member of Ballarat Health Services. Simon specialises in software development, geographic information systems and security. Simon began his career in the Royal Australian Navy. His innate talent for solving challenging problems has turned into a successful career outside of defence. Simon now has over 15 year experience in providing Information Communications Technology products and services to the utility and defence industry in Australia. This has been across numerous technology disciplines and professional levels. Most recently this has been as a Director of Geoactive IT – a startup that he co-founded whose primary aim is to streamline business operations through smart, cost effective technology solutions. In this role Simon has been able to make lasting contributions to businesses by improving their value proposition with cost-effective information communication systems.


Nikki Johnston

Palliative Aged Care - Nurse Practitioner

Calvary Health Care

Ms Nikki Johnston – is a palliative care nurse practitioner who works for Calvary Public Hospital Bruce – Clare Holland House. Her current role involves integrating specialist palliative care into residential aged Care. Although her role is predominantly clinical, Nikki is working with a research team who have been recognised internationally for their approach that led to decreased length of hospitalizations and increased dying in their preferred place. The approach was found to also assist staff in normalizing death and dying, while providing essential anticipatory prescribing and better decision-making leading to planned care for residents.  The team is currently undertaking a randomized control trail using stepped wedge methodology. She is also a guest lecturer at the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University.


Dr Tanya Petrovich

Business Development Manager

Dementia Australia

Dr Tanya Petrovich is Business Development Manager, Learning and Development, Dementia Australia Vic Division.

Tanya leads the Learning and Development team in applying innovations in technology throughout dementia care education. This includes the Virtual Dementia Experience, an immersive sensory environment at the Perc Walkley Dementia Learning Centre which won the 2014 Victorian iAward, National iAward for Education and APICTA award for E-learning, 2015 Victorian Public Health Award-Gold Winner. The Virtual Dementia Experience gives participants an understanding of what it might be like to have dementia and also how the built environment impacts on the person living with dementia.

More recently in 2016 EDIE- Educational Dementia Immersive Experience was released for use on the Samsung – Oculus Gear VR. This mobile technology has opened the opportunity to have these virtual experiences available to people not only in Australia but worldwide. The EDIE project was awarded the project Innovation Award for projects less than$2.5Mil from the Simulation Australasia Innovation Awards 2017 and also the Best Aged Care Software Development and Deployment Award at the Information Technology in Aged Care awards (ITAC) 2017.


Steven Macfarlane

Head of Clinical Services

Dementia Support Australia

Steve Macfarlane graduated from Monash University in 1991, and completed psychiatry training in 2003. He has held positions as Director of Aged Psychiatry at Peninsula Health and Alfred Health, and has been an Associate Professor of Aged Psychiatry since 2008. Steve is the current Chair of the RANZCP Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, and is Head of Clinical Services for Dementia Support Australia, which runs the national DBMAS and SBRT programmes. He has been actively involved in Alzheimer’s clinical trials since 1999, and has clinical interests in frontal lobe disorders and senile squalor.


Robert Covino


Mirus Australia

Robert is an Executive Director and co-founder at Mirus Australia and has over a decade of management consulting experience in aged care.

At Mirus, Robert develops strategic service offerings and the associated methodologies for the industry, adapting our delivery strategies to accommodate our clients’ needs.

Before the inception of Mirus, Robert was a Senior Manager with the PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory practice, developing the National Aged Care Advisory practice for PwC and associated methodologies. Prior to PwC, Robert spent four years in the US with an IBM company, SPSS. Here he worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them implement business intelligence and reporting tools around corporate strategies.


Michelle Harris Allsop


Care Partnerships Australia

Michelle is a Dementia Consultant at Care Partnerships Australia in Western Australia. She worked with the Bethanie Care Group for 10 years in Western Australia and finished a mentorship program for their clinicians in December 2017. She focused on changing the culture of dementia care across all business streams, building knowledge and best practices for ideals of person-centred dementia care in partnership with client’s staff and families.

Recently in April 2017 she was nominated for a Better Practice award for the work with Age link theatre in Dementia, also a runner up in the Asia Pacific awards .In November 2015 she spoke at the World Dementia Congress in Taiwan and the National Dementia Congress in Melbourne raising awareness on the rights of people living with dementia and the need for a National approach for Dementia Care Standards. She has written the Dementia Guidelines for the Bethanie Group.


Lucy O’Flaherty


Glenview Community Services

With 20 years experience in community services, Lucy has:

  • Has worked in areas of crisis support, homelessness and alcohol and drug misuse
  • Was responsible for implementing the Child protection and Disability Gateway in Tasmania in 2009 after legislative reform as a senior executive
  • Been the CEO with Glenview Community Services for the past 6 years with a focus on sector reform, change management and creating positive workplace cultures.

Lucy has significant experience in the areas of sector reform having led large teams through a range of industry and legislative changes. Combined with her former career in hospitality and marketing, Lucy provides a well rounded practicable approach to business in finding workable yet strategic solutions. She is also the winner of the 2017 Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.


Dr Susan Newton


Hearth Care: Supportive and Palliative Services

Dr Susan Newton is a Palliative Medicine Specialist.

Dr Newton has 25 years of experience as a Palliative Care doctor in the public health sector, working at Mercy Hospice, Newcastle Calvary Mater Hospital; the Central Coast Palliative Care Service; and more recently, as Senior Staff Specialist in Palliative Medicine in the Hunter New England Local Health District (The Maitland Hospital). She is a member of the Australian New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine; The NSW Palliative Care Association; the Australian Medical Association; and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, NSW.

She is currently working as a Palliative Medicine VMO (Genesis Cancer Care NSW and Lake Macquarie, Toronto and Maitland Private Hospitals) and is the Director of Hearth Care: Supportive and Palliative Services.


Craig Wilson

Allied Health Lead

Churches of Christ Care

During his time on construction sites, Craig was responsible for several health and safety innovations and was part of the team that dramatically reduced the rate of recordable injuries from 76% to 18% in under 6 months. The same team was awarded a silver British Gas global health and safety award.

Following this, Craig was appointed allied health team leader for churches of Christ care in Queensland and was tasked with setting up the physiotherapy service. Starting from scratch, Craig had overseen the growth of this team from 1 physiotherapist to 18 across 10 sites. Craig has established onsite gymnasiums on three of those sites with plans for more. These have been huge successes and has demonstrated the power of regular exercise to help older people maintain their independence and quality of life. Craig’s continued passion in aged care is to provide proactive ways fir all churches of Christ care clients to live full and productive lives.


Anthony Bacon

LifeLink Operations Manager

Feros Care - Telehealthcare

Anthony has background in technology focusing on telehealthcare. Since 2013 he has lead the client technology department to deliver emergency response solutions and developed our safe and smart home offering nationally to over 3000 clients. Additionally, Feros Care have now managed over 500 clients using MHCAH Telehealth, vital signs monitored with Video Conferencing, between Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to Joining Feros Care in 2012, Anthony held management positions in the construction and hospitality industry specialising in technology focused customer service.


Althea Gordon

Founder/Artistic Director

Mind the Change Inc

Althea is the Creator/ Artistic Director behind the Mind the Change Inc. She has a passion for theatre, performance and art therapy. After having completed a performing arts degree and her study in Aged Care, and Arts and Dementia Care, she decided to developing a series of FUN workshops which could be enjoyed by those living with dementia and their carers.
In 2015 Mind the Change Inc. became an incorporated association, and in early 2016 became an accredited charity. Mind the Change Inc. extended its services in 2016 to include residential care in its workshop series, and continues to host regular community-based workshops across the Perth metropolitan area. Mind the Change Inc. has been published in the Australian Journal of Dementia Care (2015), Head2Head Journal (2014) and The CANWA Catalyst Bulletin (2012/13). Mind the Change Inc. has also presented their creative concept at the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference (2015) and was a finalist in The Mental Health Good Outcomes Awards (Improved Outcomes in Seniors Mental Health 2014).


Samantha Edmonds

Manager, Ageing & Aged Care Projects

National LGBTI Health Alliance

Samantha Edmonds is the Silver Rainbow, National Project Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance. Silver Rainbow provides national coordination and support activities promoting the well-being of LGBTI elders and the ongoing delivery of the LGBTI awareness training to create an LGBTI inclusive aged care sector.
She is also a member of the Aged Care Sector Committee (ACSC), which provides advice to the Government on aged care policy development and implementation, and is the Chair of the ACSC Diversity Sub-Group.
Samantha is a Death Doula and Palliative Care Volunteer as well as a member of the Dementia Australia Consumer Advisory Group and contributes whenever she can to their blog.


Leigh Donoghue

Managing Director

Health ANZ, Accenture


Ilsa Hampton


Meaningful Ageing Australia


Rebecca Bartel

Executive Lead

Institute for Healthcare Transformation at Deakin University


David Larmour

Director of Clinical Operation

Silver Chain Group


Catherine Cini


Griefline Community & Family Services


Rajesh Vasa

Deputy Director

Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Laboratory


Tess Moeke-Maxwell

Research Fellow

University of Auckland


Andrew Allsop

Vice President

Palliative Care Australia


Wendy Walters

Director, Aged Care Mananger

Rural Northwest Health


Jodie Hillen

Senior Research Analyst

Ward MM


Sally Evans




Kaye Knight

Manager, Education & Research

Rural Northwest Health


Fiona Heather Patten

Member of Parliament


Fiona Patten’s working life began as a fashion designer in Canberra. Today she is the founder and leader of REASON, a future-focused, evidence-based movement committed to delivering equality, sustainability and freedom through new methods of political engagement and pragmatic consultation.

In November 2014, Fiona was elected a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan region. She is one of a number of cross-benchers who hold the balance of power in Victoria’s Upper House.
Her decision to run for political office came after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of small business owners, sexual health organisations, sexual freedoms and censorship reforms. She was best known as the CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association.

Frustrated and deeply disappointed with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and marriage equality, Fiona and her partner Robbie Swan set up and registered the Australian Sex Party in 2009, focusing on civil libertarian issues and personal freedoms.

Since being elected Fiona has garnered respect from all sides of the political divide and has worked tirelessly to deliver legislative reforms that many thought impossible.


Nicci Rossouw




Maggie Haertsch


Arts Health Institute


Tamar Krebs

CEO & Founder

Group Homes Australia