Conference Advisory Committee

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Associate Professor Louisa Gordon (Chair)

Group Leader of Health Economics, QIMR Berghofer

Associate Professor Louisa Gordon is a Health Economist and Group Leader of Health Economics at QIMR Berghofer. Associate Professor Gordon holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters’ degree and PhD in Public Health. Associate Professor Gordon has extensive research experience performing economic evaluations, decision-analytic modelling and applied economic research. She has published over 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and her research has received media interest. She is regularly invited to speak at seminars and workshops and has presented her work at consumer forums and government briefings.  Associate Professor Gordon is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Health Economics Society and the Health Services Research Association of Australia and NZ. She was recently appointed as the Australian Scientific Committee Member for the International Agency for Research in Cancer (2021-2024). Prior to joining QIMR Berghofer in 2016, she undertook contract research commissioned by the Department of Health to evaluate industry submissions for government subsidy through PBAC and MSAC. As a health economist, Associate Professor Gordon’s work is inherently collaborative, and she significantly contributes to multi-disciplinary research teams to translate health economic findings into policy and practice.

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Dr Robyn Littlewood

Chief Executive, Health and Wellbeing Queensland

Dr Littlewood is a highly experienced paediatric clinical dietitian with more than 20 years’ experience. Dr Littlewood is also a leading advocate for health promotion, particularly in the area of children’s nutrition and obesity prevention, and is an experienced leader, researcher, academic and educator. Dr Littlewood believes every Queenslander has the right to better health, no matter where they live, and wants Queensland to be a global leader in obesity reduction by shifting the dial to create real change. Dr Littlewood holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Queensland University of Technology, Master of Medical Science, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in childhood nutrition and Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Queensland (UQ), and is completing a Master of Business Administration. Prior to commencing as Chief Executive, Dr Littlewood was a member of the inaugural acting board and held director roles in health services research and dietetics at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, Children’s Health Queensland HHS. Dr Littlewood holds a range of national and Queensland clinical and academic positions in paediatric obesity prevention and nutrition and is highly respected, having been an invited speaker at state, national and international conferences and having published many international papers. Dr Littlewood has worked extensively across all levels of paediatric obesity prevention, nutrition and dietetics, including as General Manager of ChildD Dietetics where she led the first national paediatric dietetics training course in Australia, alongside Dietitians Australia. Dr Littlewood has held other influential roles including Co-Chair of the Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network (QCYCN) and Conjoint Associate Professor in Nutrition, Human Movement and Nutrition Science at UQ, converting to an Adjunct Professor prior to her commencement as Chief Executive. Dr Littlewood was also a Board Director with Dietitians Australia (Dietitians Association of Australia at the time) and has held a range of professional and occupational memberships on advisory and consultative bodies focusing on child health and obesity prevention, health system improvement and consumer collaboration.

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Kelly Kennington

Manager Public Education and Health Promotion at Mental Health Commission of Western Australia

Experienced Public health professional with extensive experience in working in the non-profit Public Health sector. Skilled in Public Health Policy Development, Strategy Development, Research and Social Marketing.

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Rachel Doolan

Project Officer, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC)​

I am a direct descendent of the Tubba-Gah people from Dubbo NSW, the Traditional Owners of this area of the Wiradjuri Nation.

I moved from Dubbo in 2016, with my two young children to pursue further education in a Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health) at the University of Queensland.

In 2018, I started with QAIHC as a Data Officer Intern and recently moved into my current role as a Project Officer on the Maternity Services Integration Project (MSIP).

My current role allows me to assist in improving the maternity services journey for mothers birthing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies.

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James Farrell OAM

General Manager, Advocacy, Cancer Council Queensland

James leads and drives our advocacy, creating and boldly pursuing opportunities that enable our vision of a cancer free future. In this role, James collaborates with Cancer Council Groups across Queensland, the community and all levels of government to advance cancer control as a proponent for all Queenslanders and all types of cancers.

James is an adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Law at the University of New England, and is on the Board of STAR Community Services and Playgroup Queensland. He previously worked as a community lawyer and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2014 for services to the community, particularly social welfare and legal access programs

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Julie Anne Mitchell

National Director, Health Strategy, Heart Foundation

Julie Anne is National Director of Health Strategy at the Heart Foundation overseeing the portfolios of Risk Reduction, Nutrition, Active Living, Clinical evidence and policy, and Research. She has worked in both the Victorian and NSW government and non-government sector with a focus on public health policy, particularly in the area of disease prevention. She has a long standing interest in women's health and nationally and internationally contributes to raising awareness of the disparities in care associated with the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in women. 

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Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin

CEO, Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)

Terry Slevin has been Chief Executive Office for the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) since May 2018.  He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology at Curtin University an Adjunct Professor in the College of Health and Medicine at the Australian National University.  He is a Fellow of PHAA and was the first Vice President (Development) of the Association.

Adj Prof Slevin is a regular media commentator on all aspects of public health and cancer, ranging from causes and early detection, to broader chronic disease prevention including nutrition, physical activity, weight control, alcohol, sun protection and gun control.  He also has a special interest in Occupational and environmental cancer risks.

Until April 2018 he was Director, Education and Research at Cancer Council WA where he worked since 1994. Mr Slevin holds a Masters in Public Health and an Honours degree in Psychology.

As well as serving as Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, Mr Slevin has previously chaired Cancer Council's Skin Cancer Committee and was founding Chair of Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, where he served for 10 years.  He has contributed to the planning of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress from 2012 to 2016 and was Co Chair of the Scientific Committee for the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.

He is the editor of a book on skin cancer Sun, Skin and Health, released by CSIRO Publishing in 2014 and has published over 70 papers in the peer reviewed literature and a series of 15 articles on cancer myths.  

His current focus is on promoting evidence based public health policy in Australia with a focus on equity and improved health outcomes for the most disadvantaged Australians.

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Dr Melanie Pescud

Senior Research Fellow, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) Australian National University

Dr Pescud is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) based at the Australian National University.

Before joining ANU, she spent eight years working across a number of research projects at the University of Western Australia. After a stint out of academia, working as the Research Manager at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and an Evaluation Adviser in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Melanie has returned to ANU.

She has researched in the areas of workplace health promotion and evaluation, child obesity prevention, Indigenous health, mental health, alcohol policy, and nutrition literacy. She is an expert in qualitative research methodologies. Her focus at the Prevention Centre is exploring the use and impact of systems thinking and approaches to address chronic disease prevention.

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Melinda Edmunds

National Vice President, Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA)

Melinda has been involved in AHPA through the WA Branch since 2014, starting in a Co-Vice President role before taking on the President role in July 2014. Melinda has worked in health promotion for over 10 years in injury prevention, chronic disease prevention and management, and public health advocacy. Melinda brings experience in capacity building, advocacy, project management, and developing stakeholder relationships. Melinda was the inaugural winner of the Glen Paley Memorial Award. Melinda currently works at the Telethon Kids Institute. 

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Paige Preston

Vice President, PHAA QLD Branch

Paige is the Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy at Lung Foundation Australia, and has worked in similar roles at Cancer Council Queensland and Chaired Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Committee. She completed a Master in Public Health with a major in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a major in Public Health, both at the University of Queensland. She has also co-authored a number of WHO publications in the area of children’s environment health, has published in skin cancer, environmental exposures and mesothelioma, and has experience and a passion for health policy, programs and advocacy. Paige joined the PHAA Queensland Branch in 2018 and has had roles as the Treasurer, Vice President and President.

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Zainab Zaki

Make Smoking History Priority Settings Coordinator, Cancer Council Western Australia

Bio coming soon. 

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Dr Yandisa Ngqangashe

Research Fellow, Menzies Centre for Health Governance

Yandisa is a Research Fellow in food regulation and governance for population nutrition at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). She has expertise in Public Health and Social Sciences research. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy, a Master’s degree in Public Health and a PhD in Social Sciences.

Before joining RegNet, she worked in media and communication sciences, focusing on the effects of food media consumption on adolescents’ food literacy. Her current research is on the regulatory and governance processes of food environment policies (food marketing, food taxes, food composition and food labelling) and their implications on policy outcomes.

She is also examining the governance processes that contribute to the availability and the overconsumption of ultra-processed foods in the Asia Pacific with an end goal of steering these processes towards governance for population nutrition. Her scholarly contributions are publications in interdisciplinary journals in food and consumer studies.