Keynote Speakers

Below are the confirmed Keynote Speakers for the Preventive Health Conference 2022. As more speakers are confirmed their information will be added below. 

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John Safran

Writer & Filmmaker

John Safran is a writer and filmmaker who always gets in too deep for his own good. His debut book Murder in Mississippi won the Ned Kelly Award for best true crime. His follow up, Depends What You Mean By Extremist, found him lost among radicals and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards. His wild and hilarious documentaries, like John Safran vs God and Jedis & Juggalos, play fire on the outer edges of religion and have received accolades from the Australian Film Institute and Rose d'Or Festival. Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight (And burned down the English language) is his latest book.

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Dr Lyn Roberts AO

Deputy Chancellor of Deakin University

Dr Lyn Roberts has provided strategic leadership with health NGOs for over 25 years. This has included ASH, SA Smoking and Health Project, Cancer Council SA, National Heart Foundation, World Heart Federation and VicHealth.

Currently she is Deputy Chancellor of Deakin University, a member of the Finance and Business Committee and a member of the Board of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN).  For nine years she was also a Board Director with AIHW.

Lyn has been a member of a number of expert advisory committees including the National Preventative Health Taskforce (2008-2011), Australian Government’s Food and Health Dialogue (2009-2013) and the Australian National Preventative Health Agency Advisory Council (2012-2014).  She was also a member of the Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Committee with the Victorian Government Department of Justice and Regulation (2017-18).  More recently she has been an independent member of the National Preventative Health Strategy Expert Steering Committee.


Haylene Grogan

Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General

Haylene is a very proud Yalanji and Tagalaka woman with Italian heritage.  Haylene has extensive public sector experience (almost 40 years) in both health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, having held executive positions in the Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and Commonwealth Governments.  Her career has included positions in service delivery (administrative and clinical), policy and program development and implementation.

After commencing a career in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health sector at Wuchopperen Aboriginal Medical Service Centre in Cairns in 1982 as Receptionist then as an Aboriginal Health Worker, Haylene pursued a nursing career as a registered nurse and midwife in Cairns Base Hospital.  She has experience in higher education, economic prosperity, languages cultural heritage, land and planning.  She is particularly proud of guiding NSW to becoming the first jurisdiction to enact Aboriginal languages legislation to protect, nurture and grow Aboriginal languages, with the passing of the NSW Aboriginal Languages Act 2017.

Haylene returned to Queensland and Queensland Health as the inaugural Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General in October 2019.  She previously held the position of Senior Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch in 2010.  Haylene is very excited to have the incredible opportunity to partner with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health sector in leading a First Nations health equity reform agenda within the health sector in Queensland.

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Cleveland Fagan

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, CEO

Cleveland Fagan is a Djabugay man from Kuranda.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Aboriginal Administration) from the University of South Australia and the Northern Arizona University in 1993, Cleveland worked for the Queensland Government in areas like cultural heritage, economic development and land management.

Cleveland’s journey to the health sector came via the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging, the Indigenous Land Corporation in Brisbane, the North Queensland Land Council (as CEO), and board member of Wuchopperen Health Service.

He became CEO of Apunipima Cape York Health Council in 2006, tripling Apunipima’s workforce and income over the 11 ½ years that he was there.

Over his career, Cleveland saw health inequities and the social determinants were the main challenge affecting every position he occupied.

In December 2020 Cleveland took over as Acting CEO at QAIHC, before being appointed CEO in May 2021. His mission is to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, things that his mother and father have worked towards all their lives.”


Dr Paul Griffin

Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services

An Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist Dr Paul Griffin was appointed as the Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services in 2013. In addition Dr Griffin continues appointments as Principle Investigator at Q-Pharm, as visiting scientist at Mater Medical Research Institute and Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and also as Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. 

Dr Paul Griffin's primary research interests include clinical trials in the field of infectious diseases including malaria human challenge and transmission blocking studies, and the molecular detection of gametocytes as well as the detection of antibiotic resistance particularly VRE by mass spectrometry in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

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Emma O'Brien

Managing Editor, Global Business and Asia Virus Czar, Bloomberg News

Emma O'Brien is a Managing Editor at Bloomberg News, responsible for coverage of companies in Asia and the industries -- from healthcare to retail, car-making to aviation -- around them. She is the editor of the award-winning Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking, which has become a key barometer for how the world’s biggest economies are handling the pandemic, from case levels, vaccination and death rates, to economic performance and opening up. It’s been cited by presidents and prime ministers around the world, and has upended pre-pandemic assumptions of which countries were best prepared to handle this once-in-a-generation public health crisis.

Based in Sydney after recently relocating from Beijing, she's led Bloomberg's coverage of Covid-19 since it first emerged in the region in late 2019, and runs a crew of reporters from Shanghai to Singapore, Tokyo to Mumbai that have been at the forefront of some of Asia's biggest business stories, including the downfall of former auto titan Carlos Ghosn and Tesla's rise in China. A native Australian, Emma has been with Bloomberg for 15 years, crisscrossing the world as a reporter and then editor with stints in New Zealand, Australia, Russia, the U.S. and China. Before Bloomberg, she worked for New Zealand's state broadcaster, where she won a national radio award for coverage of the 2006 Fijian military coup, at Fairfax Media and for the European Commission, in media relations. A graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney's journalism program, Emma started out at News Corp. in Australia. She's fluent in German, conversant in Russian and forever trying to nail Mandarin.

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Tom Brideson

Chief Executive Officer, Gayaa Dhuwi 

Tom is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah north-west NSW and a member of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council. In April 2020, Tom was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia – the culmination of more than 25-years’ work in Indigenous mental health and health policy; social and emotional wellbeing; clinical mental health care; suicide prevention; education and mental health leadership.

Between 2007 and 2020, Tom was the State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, a ground-breaking program that has embedded a new discipline into the mental health space in NSW. This Program uses a traineeship model for Indigenous students to undertake a 3-year program of placed-based workplace training alongside a tertiary degree obtained through Charles Sturt University’s Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).

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Melissa Bowen

Media Specialist, ThinkBox Media

Melissa has held senior positions in several of the biggest newrooms around the country over the past two decades.  

After a start in newspapers, she went on to produce some of the highest-rating talkback radio programs, TV news bulletins and current affairs programs before being promoted to General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Seven West Media.

She is a co-founder of ThinkBox Media and a highly sought-after media trainer and adviser, renowned for her strategic, honest and practical approach. She has worked with clients from sectors including Health, Mining, Education, Government, Research, Aged Care to help maximise opportunities and difuse crises in the media.

She continues to produce content for private clients and national and international broadcasters.

Her biggest challenge remains her three young daughters.



Dr Rüdiger Krech

Director Health Promotion Department at WHO 

Dr Rüdiger Krech is the Director for Health Promotion at the World Health Organization. He leads WHO’s work on tobacco and alcohol control, physical activity and enhanced wellbeing; and the programs on public health law and fiscal policies for health. Rüdiger has previously been directing the work on health systems and universal health coverage, and he has been instrumental in developing the public health work on social determinants of health. Before joining WHO, he was leading Germany’s development work on social protection. His distinguished career is guided by his vision for the role of global health in societal development.

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Sunia Soaki

Deputy Director, Public Health Division, Pacific Community (SPC)

Mr Sunia Soakai is the Deputy Director of the Public Health Division, Pacific Community (SPC), he was the Senior Adviser, Policy, Planning and Performance within the same Division before his current appointment. 
Sunia holds undergraduate qualifications in health service management from the Elton Mayo School of Management, University of South Australia and an MBA from the Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, United Kingdom. 
Sunia commenced his employment with the Ministry of Health, Tonga in 1985 and was head of the Health Planning and Information Division prior to his departure in 2004. 
Sunia has spent the last 35 years working in the Pacific and internationally as, 
            ▪ Human Resource Planner, World Health Organisation HQ, Geneva, Switzerland 
            ▪ Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Government of Nauru 
            ▪ Policy and Planning, Adviser, Ministry of Health, Fiji. 
Throughout his career Sunia has been involved in health policy and planning, health systems reforms, donor coordination, project management and hospital infrastructure development. 
Since 2020 Sunia leads the Pacific Community team (Lab, IPC, Surveillance, Clinical Services, Planning and Data Management, Essential Services Delivery, Communications) supporting the WHO led Pacific COVID-19 Joint Incident Management Team.

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Professor Emily Banks AO

Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health College of Health & Medicine

Professor Emily Banks AM is a public health physician and epidemiologist. The main emphasis of her work has been in using large-scale evidence to identify actions to improve health and health care, at an individual and population level. Her main areas of work are in chronic disease, tobacco control, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and healthy ageing. She is Head of the Centre for Public Health Data and Policy at the Australian National University, an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and a Member of the Order of Australia.

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Professor Jonathan Carapetis

Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Carapetis is Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia, a Professor at The University of Western Australia, and a consultant paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital.

His research interests include rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, other group A streptococcal diseases, vaccine-preventable disease, Aboriginal child health, child and youth health, development and education, and skin sores and scabies.

Professor Carapetis undertook his medical training at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Previous positions include terms as Theme Director at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. From 2019 to 2021 he was the President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).

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Assistant Professor Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh

Director, Black Health Education Collaborative, Dalla

Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh is the Director of the Black Health Education Collaborative and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. In this role she is working to transform medical and public health education to address anti-Black racism and improve Black health.

Prior to this, she spent a decade with the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, providing leadership on health equity and the social determinants of health in public health practice in partnership with institutions across Canada.

Sume is a board member of the Black Health Alliance and the Canadian Public Health Association and has served in an advisory capacity for numerous national health organizations including the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Information and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Hailing from Cameroon she is committed to working towards anti/decolonial future

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A/Prof Tinashe Dune

Clinical Psychology Registrar , University of Wollongong, Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Psychology 

A/Prof Dune is a multi-award winning academic in the areas of health sociology and public health. Her research, teaching and practice (clinical psychology) focus on the experiences of marginalised populations. This includes the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse people, those living with disability, ageing populations, LGBTIQ-identifying people and Indigenous populations. Dr Dune is an expert in qualitative research methods and sexual and reproductive health. She also utilises innovative mixed-methods approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives to support multidimensional understandings of the lived experience, health outcomes and ways to improve wellbeing.

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Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos

Monash University

Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos is the inaugural Head of the Division of Health Economics in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Her major field of research interest is the economics of mental health and psychosocial care, with a special focus on economic evaluation and associated methodologies. She has over 170 publications in this area and has been a named investigator on grants, tenders and consultancies totalling over $70 million dollars. She has been invited to sit on committees of national and international significance, including the Economics Sub-Committee of Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

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Professor Yin Paradies

Professor and Chair in Race Relations, Deakin University

Professor Paradies is an Aboriginal-Asian-Anglo Australian of the Wakaya people from the Gulf of Carpentaria. He is Chair in Race Relations at Deakin University. He conducts research on the health, social and economic effects of racism as well as anti-racism theory, policy and practice across diverse settings, including online, in workplaces, schools, universities, housing, the arts, sports and health. He also teaches and undertakes research in Indigenous knowledges and decolonisation. Yin is an anarchist radical scholar and climate / ecological activist who is committed to understanding and interrupting the devastating impacts of modern societies. He seeks meaningful mutuality of becoming and embodied kinship with all life through transformed ways of knowing, being and doing that are grounded in wisdom, humility, respect, generosity, down-shifted collective sufficiency, voluntary simplicity, frugality, direct participation and radical localisation.

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Professor Anna Peeters

Director, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University

Professor Anna Peeters, PhD, is Director of the Institute for Health Transformation and Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University. She is Principal Research Translation Investigator at Western Alliance, an NHMRC Investigator Grant fellow, Board Member for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and Obesity Australia, and Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society. Anna is Chair of the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research Advisory Board and a member of the World Cancer Research Fund’s Policy Advisory Group. She is internationally recognised for her work building the evidence for effective and equitable policy and practice to improve health outcomes.

As a public health researcher, she works to provide information to facilitate objective and equitable choices in health by policy makers, practitioners and the public. Professor Peeters has extensive experience working with government, non-government, health sector and industry partners to deliver policy and practice relevant research outcomes. Her areas of expertise include health systems transformation; equity and health policy; population health policies; digital health; population prevention; obesity prevention; and chronic disease modelling with implications for policy. Professor Peeters has published over 250 publications and received over $20M in research funding.