PhD Student | Speech Pathologist, Charles Sturt University
Rebecca Amery is a doctoral Candidate at Charles Darwin University (CDU). Her research aims to build understanding about communication difficulties for Yolŋu living with Machado Joseph Disease and their families, and to improve communication opportunities through the development and use of bilingual Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems.
Rebecca grew up in the Northern Territory, in Yirrkala, Arnhem Land and in Darwin. She completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at the University of Newcastle with Honours (Class I) in 2011. Rebecca started her PhD in partnership with the MJD Foundation in 2016 and is also enrolled in a Graduate Certificate of Yolŋu Studies at CDU.
Rebecca has a personal and professional interest in working in intercultural partnerships in varied community contexts, using AAC to improve communication access for people who experience communication vulnerability. Rebecca has practiced as a speech pathologist in early intervention, schools and adult contexts with culturally and linguistically diverse families in Darwin, Melbourne, Vietnam and Indonesia. Her work often involves the use of interpreters, cultural brokers and partnering with local staff to deliver speech pathology services, facilitate workshops and develop communication resources in languages other than English.
Regional Associate Director – Australasia | The Fred Hollows Foundation
Jaki was born and raised in Darwin and is of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, with ancestral links to the Yadhaigana and Wuthathi people of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, traditional family ties with the Gurindji people of Central Western Northern Territory and extended family relationships with the people of the Torres Straits and Warlpiri (Yuendumu NT). Jaki is from a large extended family and is very proud to be a part of such a supportive and loving unit. Jaki sees balancing work and home life as her major challenge but one that she makes every effort to succeed at. Jaki returned home to Darwin in 2008 after spending 11 years in Brisbane, to reconnect with her family and enjoy the relaxed and culturally diverse environment that Darwin and the Northern Territory has to offer.
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Chair, Services for Rural and Remote Allied Health
I have spent much of my working life as a physiotherapist and health programs manager in remote Aboriginal health care in the north of Australia. My particular skills and experience lie in the areas of cross cultural primary health care planning and program management in the context of rural and remote health care. My approach to working in rural and remote health has been influenced by the international philosophy of Primary Health Care and the Australian model of Aboriginal community controlled health service delivery.
From 2001 to 2004 I was Programs Manager with the Tiwi Health Board on the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin where my principle roles were focused on health promotion and environmental health. For a decade from 2004 I was employed with the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the NT (AMSANT) where program management in the areas of workforce support, quality and accreditation, chronic disease prevention and public health policy development were major responsibilities. In these capacities I helped to secure funding for expanded programs of support for the Aboriginal community controlled sector in the NT.
After 30 years in the Top End I relocated to Ellenborough near Port Macquarie in 2013 where i now have a position supporting the Mid North Coast Aboriginal Health Authority, and also undertake small projects as a private health consultant.
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Dr Fergus Gardiner
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
Fergus Gardiner has recently completed a PhD (medicine) specialising in chronic kidney disease management. Fergus has been the lead author on research projects, involving emergency and military medicine, rural and remote healthcare, pathology, and obstetrics and gynecology. Prior to commencing with the Flying Doctor, Fergus served in the Australian Defense Force before employment in large teaching hospitals and the Department of Health. Fergus is a visiting academic at the Australian National University Medical School, were he conducts epidemiology and clinical research. Furthermore, he is a consultant associated with applications to the Federal Government’s Medical Services Advisory Committee, in the field of chronic disease management.
Julie Gungunbuy Wunungmurra
Julie Gungunbuy Wunungmurra has worked for the MJD Foundation as an Aboriginal Health Community Worker since 2013. Julie is the primary contact and support person for Yolŋu clients with MJD and their families in Darwin, Galiwin’ku and Yirrkala. Julie provides support to MJD Foundation community services, research and education programs and projects, and provides cultural advice and support, as well as translation and interpreter support with research, medical and genetic concepts. She has been the primary Yolŋu researcher for the Communication PhD project and is also involved in genetics and sleep research studies with the MJD Foundation.
Chief Allied Health Officer, Department of Health, Queensland
Julie Hulcombe is the Chief Allied Health Officer, Department of Health, Queensland. Julie is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). She has had an extensive career with Qld Health working in clinical Dietetics at both regional and tertiary hospitals and management roles in Dietetics, Allied Health and Health Planning. Julie is an Adjunct Associate Professor with QUT. She is a past President of the Dietetic Association of Australia (DAA), and has been the Chair of the DAA Dietetic Credentialing Council and the National Allied Health Advisors Committee. In her present position Julie has led initiatives in workforce models of care, clinical education and research.
Co-Founder and Cheif Clinical Officer, Umbo
Ed is an accidental speech pathologist and PhD student. He has practiced across rural and remote communities in NSW for the last 8 years, and takes any opportunity he can to spruik the benefits of rural generalism and person-centred trans-disciplinary practice.
He is Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer at Umbo – an online platform connecting people with disabilities in rural and remote Australia with therapeutic supports. Ed is also a SARRAH board member, works with Marathon Health in Dubbo, and sits on the Clinical Council at the Western NSW PHN.
In his spare time, you’ll probably find Ed playing cricket, talking cricket, or watching cricket (with his cat, Katich, who is named after his favourite cricketer of course). He has also been known to integrate cricket and cricket trivia into his work with clients who share his passion.
Ed is keen to learn from people with disability about how allied health can support them to live the life that they want, and would like to support them to advocate on their terms, especially in rural and remote areas. In doing this, Ed is inspired and motivated by the words of everybody’s favourite Czech existential anarchist, Franz Kafka, who said: “Start with what is right rather than what is accepted.”
Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)
Ms Donna Murray is a proud descendant of the Wiradjuri and Wonnarua peoples with kinship and family connections around the Murrumbidgee River and the Hunter Valley respectively and has lived in the ACT for the past 16 years working in government and non-government organisations. Donna is the Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health peak organisation.
Donna provides strong strategic leadership across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and the wider health sector and has over 25 years’ experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and governance, management, Indigenous health and community development. She is the Deputy Chairperson of the National Health Leadership Forum and plays a strong Indigenous leadership role on many key national health campaigns.
Donna holds an honorary position at the University of Technology Sydney in the Faculty of Health, is a member of the University of Canberra Indigenous Education Advisory Committee and is a member of a number of other committees focused on workforce development, cultural safety and Indigenous health. She has a genuine commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities supporting cultural priorities, aspirations and Indigenous led solutions.
Professor Susan Nancarrow
Deputy Vice Chancellor (research) and Professor of Health Sciences, Southern Cross University
Susan is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Health Sciences at Southern Cross University. Prior to this role, she was respectively Chair of Academic Board, Deputy Chair of Academic Board and Director of Research within the School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University. Susan trained as a podiatrist in Australia and has since had nearly 20 years’ international experience as a health services researcher with expertise in health workforce reform, service delivery and organisation. In particular, she works with health services to help them think differently about how they organise and deliver care to provide solutions to enhance health care from the patient’s perspective. She is particularly committed to regional and rural health issues, community health, and capacity building.
As a researcher, Susan has collaborated on projects worth more than $40 million, on which she was the lead on approximately $7 million. These projects have impacted directly on the patient experience, service delivery and policy and led to more than 80 peer reviewed journal publications, reports and book chapters. Prior to returning to Australia in 2011, she worked in Sheffield, England for 10 years, examining workforce change in the NHS. While in the UK, she led the internal evaluation of the largest collaborative translational network partnership involving 17 service delivery and university partners (CLAHRC South Yorkshire, £20M). Recent research projects have explored the use of the NBN to provide telehealth to keep older people independent at home; primary health care integration; the use of social media to engage with health service users; and large scale health workforce mapping project in Victoria, Australia.
Prior to completing her PhD in health services research at the Australian National University, Susan worked in a range of health management and clinical roles including community health service manager and small business owner with roles coordinating services for Aboriginal health, diabetes care and primary health care delivery in Northern India.
Dr Annmaree Wilson
Senior Psychologist, CranaPlus Bush Support Services
Dr Annmaree Wilson is the Senior Clinical Psychologist for Cranaplus Bush Support Services. She completed her undergraduate and post graduate degrees at the University of New South Wales. She completed her PhD from the University of New England in 2002. Annmaree has worked extensively as a Clinical Psychologist in rural and remote areas of New South Wales, particularly in the area of child, adolescent and family. She has a special interest in Positive Psychology and the use of creativity, such as art, singing and music, as means of building psychological resilience.
Emeritus Professor Paul Worley
Rural Health Commissioner
Emeritus Professor Paul Worley was appointed as Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner on 11 November 2017. Professor Worley has had a distinguished career in rural health, both as a practitioner and an academic. He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1984 and has worked as a Rural Generalist in rural South Australia; first at Lameroo, and then in Clare, Barmera and currently at Yankalilla. He lives in South Australia with his wife, and has seven children (including three children in-law) and five grandchildren.
From 2007 – 2017 he was Dean of Medicine at Flinders University in South Australia, where he established Rural Clinical Schools and University Departments of Rural Health in both South Australia and the Northern Territory and guided the conceptualisation and development of the Northern Territory Medical Program with a clear focus on recruiting and supporting Indigenous students and staff. While at Flinders University, Professor Worley developed and nurtured programs which are now recognised globally as models for the establishment of rural medical, nursing and allied health education.
Professor Worley has long been a leading figure internationally in the rural health and medical education sectors, has held senior positions in the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, was instrumental in establishing rural Divisions of General Practice across South Australia, has served as a Board Director for the Adelaide PHN and for AGPT Regional Training Organisations in the Northern Territory and South Australia, is Editor in Chief of the international journal, Rural and Remote Health, and is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
As National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Worley is passionate about quality, equity and fairness for all, especially the underserved. Australia’s rural and remote communities and the health professionals who serve them, deserve an evidence-based, sustainable, cost-effective and well supported rural health system, designed by rural clinicians, grown in rural regions, and serving all who live across our vast land. We must have the right health professionals delivering the right care, in the right place at the right time.