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Keynote speaker: Professor Ian Hickie AM
What are the best options for delivery of Mental Health Services during the COVID era

Professor Ian Hickie is Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. He is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow (2013-2017 and 2018-22), having previously been one of the inaugural NHMRC Australian Fellows (2008-12).

He was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-18) overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to medical aspects of common mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder.

He is now focused on the development of real-time personalized and measurementbased care systems for use in partnership with young people and their families. These systems promote early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention. In his role with the National Mental Health Commission, and his independent research, health system and advocacy roles, Professor Hickie has been at the forefront of the move to have mental health and suicide prevention integrated with other aspects of health care (notably chronic disease and ambulatory care management).

Keynote speaker: Dr Stephen Duckett FCHSM
Lessons from COVID - How and what should the health system learn from 2020, 2021, 2022 onwards

Dr Stephen Duckett is Director of the Health Program at Grattan Institute. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals, to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care.

An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.




Opening address: The Honourable Natasha Fyles, NT Minister for Health 

Natasha Fyles was born in Darwin in 1978 at the old Darwin hospital and grew up in the Northern suburbs. She completed her teaching degree at the University of Canberra and then returned to Darwin, teaching at St Mary’s Primary School for five years and was actively involved in School Sports NT during this time.

After travelling and working overseas she returned to the Territory as Executive Director of Royal Life Saving Society NT delivering water safety programs across the Territory in both urban and remote centres in the Northern Territory and also in the neighbouring Republic of Timor-Leste.

Natasha has been a member of the Australian Labor Party for more than 20 years and was first elected as the Member for Nightcliff in 2012. She was part of Labor’s landslide victory in the 2016 Northern Territory election where she was announced as Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Health and Leader of Government Business.

Natasha was reelected as the member for Nightcliff in the 2020 election holding the largest majority in the Northern Territory. 

She is currently the Minister for Health, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licensing, Minister for Alcohol Policy, Minister for Major Events, Minister for the National Resilience Centre and Leader of Government Business.

Inspirational speaker session 1: Lockie Cooke

Lockie Cooke was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Western Region of Australia and has represented Australia at the UN, G20 and CHOGM.

Lockie founded the Indigenous Communities Education and Awareness Foundation (ICEA) and is a past board member at the School for Social Entrepreneurs Australia, Broome Futures Limited.

Lockie currently heads up a business called iyarn which is a new health and wellbeing platform. iyarn works with community groups and health practices to build connection amongst the community promoting wellbeing and staff engagement.


Inspirational speaker session 2: Dr Zoe Wainer

Dr Zoe Wainer is the Director of Clinical Governance at Bupa Australia and New Zealand, Chair of the Board of Dental Health Services Victoria and a Director on the Board of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. Her passion and expertise in public health has driven formal and informal collaborations with the ICHOM, Harvard Business School and University of Texas, Dell Medical School in value-based health care across multiple organisations. Zoe also has a continued advocacy focus on the importance of sex differences across health from basic research to health systems implications.

Zoe holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Flinders University, and has a clinical background in cardiothoracic surgery and thoracic surgical oncology. She has a PhD and a Master of Public Health from The University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Dr Ruth Vine is Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health. Ruth provides policy advice on critical mental health issues impacting the Australian community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and champions Commonwealth policy development and implementation activities to better integrate the Australian mental health system.

Ruth is a consultant psychiatrist and has more than 25 years’ experience. Ruth has worked for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and has held positions of Deputy Chief Psychiatrist, Chief Psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health. She has chaired the AHMAC National Mental Health Standing Committee, the National Mental Health Workforce Committee, and National Safety and Quality Committee.

Previously, Ruth was the Executive Director of NorthWestern Mental Health, a division of Melbourne Health from 2013 to 2019. NorthWestern Mental Health is the largest mental health service in Victoria, covering a population of approximately 1.4 million people across a number of growth corridors. 

Ruth is a member of the Board of Forensicare, the Board of Mind, and the Medical Practitioners Board (Victoria).  Ruth holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Laws from La Trobe University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

Georgie Harman has significant and broad-ranging leadership, policy and service delivery experience in the community, public and private sectors.

Georgie was appointed as the CEO of beyondblue in May 2014 where she has led a significant expansion of effort and results in service innovation, suicide prevention and digital solutions.

Previously, she helped set up and was the Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission, providing independent advice to government on reform. 

From 2006-2012, Georgie had national responsibility for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse, cancer and chronic disease policy and programs as a senior executive at the Commonwealth Department of Health. She led the development of a significant whole of government mental health Budget package and the strategy and development of legislation to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in Australia – a world first.

Georgie has also led national reforms to lift Australia’s organ and tissue donation rates and worked in the HIV/AIDS sector in Australia and the UK.

Jason Trethowan commenced as Chief Executive Officer at headspace in February 2017.
Jason has spent the bulk of his career in the health sector where he has been driven by a passion to improve health services and access for Australians. Before beginning at headspace he spent 18 months as CEO of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network where he implemented a new organisational structure and led the transition of three Medicare Locals into a single PHN.

He was also CEO at Barwon Medicare Local in Geelong and CEO of the General Practitioner’s Association of Geelong. Earlier in his career Jason held managerial roles within Ballarat and Geelong Health Services.

Jason is involved in many national health system networks and is currently a company director with Barwon Health and Professionals with Alzheimer’s (PALZ).

Jason holds an MBA from Deakin University and has completed graduate degrees in Health Informatics and Health Management at Monash University and La Trobe University. Jason lives in Geelong with his wife and three young children and is an active member of the local community.

Nick Walsh is Program Manager for the Tackle Your Feelings (TYF) Program an AFL Coaches Association and AFL Player Association initiative. TYF is a mental health training program for Community AFL Clubs which reached nearly 40,000 Community Coaches in January this year. 

From a small boarder town in Ireland, Nick moved to Australia to play Australian Rules Football at the age of 17. He spent 3 years on the list of the Melbourne Football Club before returning and playing/captaining County Team, Cavan for 9 years. At the same time, he also spent 9 years working with the Gaelic Association in Ireland in the area of High Performance, Youth Sport and Development. 

Nick completed his studies at University of Jordanstown in Belfast along with his Masters in Performance through Setanta College, Ireland. Nick has also represented Ireland in International Rules football and returned to Australia in 2011 where he coached at the Greater Western Giants in Sydney for 7 years. Through Nick’s playing and professional career he has dealt with the roll coaster that the professional sporting industry portrays. 

Nick has most recently completed his Mental Health Leaders fellowship through the National Mental Health Commission. 

Professor Erwin Loh is national Chief Medical Officer and Group General Manager Clinical Governance for St Vincent's Health Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider, with 36 facilities, including 6 public hospitals, 10 private hospitals and 20 aged care facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, along with three co-located research institutes – the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research. Prior to that he was the Chief Medical Officer of Monash Health, Victoria’s largest health service, where he worked for almost ten years. Before that he was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for three years. And immediately prior to that, he worked as a full-time lawyer at Sparke Helmore for two years, in health law, medicolegal matters, medical indemnity and workcover insurance.

He is qualified in both medicine and law, with general and specialist registration as a medical practitioner (medical administration specialty) and is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. He also has an MBA, Master of Health Service Management, and PhD in management. He is Chair of the Victorian State Committee and Board Member of the Royal Australasian College of Administrators. He is Honorary Clinical Professor with the title of Professor at the Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne. He is adjunct Clinical Professor at Monash University, where he leads the Clinical Leadership and Management Unit at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation. He is Honorary Professor at Macquarie University at the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research.

He teaches and carries out research in health law, health management and clinical leadership. He has been an invited speaker at local and international conferences, published on health law, medical management, and health technology, and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, with an interest in medical futurology.

Professor Deborah Terry AO is Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland (UQ). Prior to commencing this role in August 2020, she served as ViceChancellor of Curtin University, in Western Australia (from February 2014 to July 2020). Professor Terry was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) in June 2015, in recognition of her distinguished service to education in the tertiary sector. She is Chair of the Board of Universities Australia; a Fellow and past President of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; an appointed member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Council; and serves on the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Board and Australia's Academic and Research Network Board. Having grown up in Perth and Canberra, Professor Terry completed her PhD in Social Psychology at the Australian National University in Canberra. From there, she commenced her distinguished career at UQ in 1990, initially as an internationally recognised scholar in psychology. During her 24 years at UQ, Professor Terry progressed through a number of senior leadership roles to become Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, before leaving for her role as Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University in early 2014.

Geoffrey Thomas has been writing about and commenting on aviation for 48 years and has been full time for last 26 years.  

He is the former Chief Editor of Air Transport World (2000-12) and SE-Asian Contributing Editor for Aviation Week and Space Technology (1996-2000).

He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the world’s first airline safety and product rating website, Aviation Editor of Seven West Media in Australia and Contributing Editor at Singapore based Asian Airlines and Aerospace.

In the past 19 years Geoffrey has won 44 international and national awards for his works. In 2009 he had the dual honour of being named the overall Aerospace Journalist of the Year at the Leadership Forum in Paris and also named Australasian Aviation Journalist of the Year by the National Aviation Press Club. In 2018 he was awarded a Life Time Acievement Award in London at the Royal Aeronuatical Society. In 2020 he was awarded an international Outstanding Achievement Award for his work covering the disappearance of MH370. 

Geoffrey has fronted and written two aviation documentary series for Australia’s Channel 7, appeared in four aviation investigative documentaries, is a consultant to and participant in Air Crash Investigation / Mayday and is a regular aviation commentator on global TV, radio and print.  

He has appeared extensively on CNN, the BBC, Channel News Asia and Sky News as well as Al Jazeera. In 2018 Geoffrey was a commentator in The Age of Aerospace documentary series celebrating Boeing’s 100th year.