This year’s meeting features a range of high calibre speakers who will share their expertise and experience in their specialty fields, as well as their insights relevant to the conference theme “Perspectives in Occupational Health”. Profiles of our speakers are shown below.
Keynote address - Professor Tony LaMontagne, Work, Health & Wellbeing, Director, Centre for Population Health Research, Deakin University
Professor Tony LaMontagne leads the Work, Health & Wellbeing unit in the Centre for Population Health Research at Deakin University, where he also serves as overall Director of the Centre for Population Health Research. His broad research interest is in developing the scientific and public understanding of work as a social determinant of health and translating this research into policy and practice to improve workplace and worker health. Specific areas of interest include workplace mental health, improving job quality and psychosocial working conditions, and evaluating government policy interventions. Intervention research studies have included process and effectiveness studies, quantitative and qualitative methods, and study designs ranging from case studies to large-scale cluster randomized controlled trials. His research and publications have influenced policy and practice in workplace health internationally.
Dr Foti Blaher, Senior Police Medical Officer, Victoria Police
Dr Foti Blaher, is the Senior Police Medical Officer at Victoria Police. His principal duties are to provide medical advice and assessments for medical fitness for duties of police officers and medical suitability of recruits. He is a qualified DAME, Medical Review Officer and medical assessor of Commercial Divers. Before this role he was the Company Doctor for Toyota Motor Company, Australia.
Dr Cathy Bones, Consultant Occupational and Environmental Physician
Cathy has worked for 20 years in General Practice and for the last 10 years as a Specialist Physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She has worked with Alcoa Portland Aluminium, Medibank Workplace Health and has undertaken FIFO work, including emergency care, in indigenous communities in remote WA and Queensland. Cathy worked for 2 years in a clinical governance role at Portland District Health, also supporting the hospitals HMO's. She now undertakes Consulting and IME work through eReports. Cathy lives on a small farm in rural SW Victoria with her family, her dogs and her horses.
Brigitte Borg, Senior Respiratory Scientist and Deputy Head, Physiology Service - Respiratory Medicine -The Alfred
Brigitte Borg is a certified respiratory function scientist with 25 years’ experience. She currently manages the Lung Function Laboratory at The Alfred, Melbourne. Brigitte’s areas of interest include lung function interpretation (for which she co-authored a book in 2014), laboratory accreditation, quality spirometry in primary care, and oxygen therapy. Most recently, Brigitte has coordinated the adult clinical streams for the Hazelwood Health Study.
Professor Susan Brumby, Director, National Centre for Farmer Health
Sue is the Founding Director of the National Centre for Farmer Health - an innovative partnership between Western District Health Service and Deakin University, Australia. Prior to joining the NCFH Sue was Director of Community Services at Western District Health Service. Her research interests are farmer health, rural health literacy and increasing cultural competency around agricultural health and medicine for health and agricultural professionals. She is the course director of Australia’s only post graduate Agricultural Health & Medicine course and a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership program.
Professor Ian Cameron, Clinician Researcher
Professor Ian Cameron is a clinician researcher who heads the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research at the University of Sydney. His major research interests are rehabilitation and disability, particularly in older people and people with severe injury, and the obscure discipline of compensation health. Ian is a NHMRC Senior Practitioner Fellow.
Sandra Code, Health Services Manager, Transdev Melbourne
Sandra Code is an Occupational Health Professional who holds a Post Graduate Degree in Occupational Health from Monash University and has been an active member of ANZSOM for 10 years. Her career goal is to proactively manage a broad range of injured or ill employees returning to work through early intervention, back to full duties.
She has a demonstrated record of managing WorkCover claims and RTW and returning injured employees back to work.
For the past 2 years Sandra has been the Health Services Manager of Transdev Melbourne looking after all aspects of WorkCover injury management and the health and wellbeing of 1200 Bus Drivers.
Professor Andrea de Silva, Director of Research, WorkSafe
Professor Andrea de Silva is currently the Director of Research at WorkSafe Victoria and is an adjunct Professor at Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Andrea is a multidisciplinary public health research professional with over 20 years experience at the top levels of research, evaluation, knowledge translation and stakeholder engagement. Her research experience is diverse, spanning the breadth of molecular biology, epidemiology, behavioural science, community development, health systems, public health, clinical interventions and law. Andrea has led the development, implementation and evaluation of significant collaborative, applied and policy-relevant research programs, with a focus on system, policy and program solutions to health problems, translating evidence into practice, and creating transformative change which is sustainable and reduces health inequalities.
Dr Ryan Hoy, Respiratory and Sleep Disorders Physician
Dr Ryan Hoy is a Respiratory and Sleep Disorders Physician from Melbourne, Australia. He undertook a clinical fellowship in occupational lung disease at the University of Toronto and obtained a Master's degree of Occupational and Environmental Health at Monash University in 2009. He is a senior research fellow at the School of Public Health, Monash University and Visiting Medical Office at The Alfred And Cabrini Hospitals, Melbourne. His research interests include occupational asthma, work-associated laryngeal dysfunction and occupational interstitial lung diseases including silicosis.
Dr Andrea James, Occupational Physician
Dr Andrea James is an occupational physician who chose to work in occupational medicine after a career in general practice. She gained her AFOEM fellowship in 2010 and has worked in a broad range of occupational medicine including Health Manager for a petroleum company and consulting to the transport industry, Zoos Victoria, mining companies and government departments. Andrea has an interest in the assessment of fitness for work, drugs and alcohol in industry, fatigue risk management and psychological ill health in the workplace.
Andrea has been a past chairperson for the Technical Advisory Committee of Healthwatch a major long term study of the health and wellbeing of workers in the petroleum industry. Andrea is also a sessional tutor for Monash university’s occupational medicine programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Anna Macleod, Head of Medical Defence and Services, Avant Mutual Group Limited
Anna is currently the Head of Medical Defence and Services, Vic and ACT, at Avant Mutual where she works with a highly skilled team of claims managers and solicitors to provide medical indemnity services and support to their Members. At Avant, she has also held the role of Senior Claims manager and Medico-Legal Advisor where her role primarily focused on the strategic management and co-ordination of members claims.
Previously Anna has worked at VMIA and Austin Health overseeing the functions of the Medical Indemnity Claims team and the management of the Clinical Governance and Risk Program as well as the Medico-legal Unit.
Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) and Alcohol and Obesity Programs Cancer Council Victoria
Jane leads the Obesity Policy Coalition, a partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Victoria and the Globe Obesity Centre at Deakin University. She advocates for policy and regulatory reform to prevent overweight and obesity, with a focus on food marketing, labelling, and tax and pricing measures.
For more than twenty-five years, Jane has worked extensively in public health advocacy, including tobacco control, alcohol policy and obesity prevention. Her interests lie in advocacy, research and partnerships to support policy reform.
Jane is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. She is co-chair of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol, Vice President of the ANZ Obesity Society, a fellow of the Williamson Leadership program and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011.
Dr Iain Nicolson, General Practitioner, Sale Medical Centre
Dr Iain Nicolson is the founding General Practitioner of the Sale Medical Centre, with over 40 years of rural medical practice behind him. His interests, apart from providing General Practice care, are occupational medicine and legal medicine. He is a senior member of St John Ambulance Australia. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Monash University Rural Health Program based in Bairnsdale. In addition, Iain is a recognised WorkCover Medical Examiner.
Tim Rayner, Audiologist
After University, Tim was employed as a solo Audiologist with the Health Department of Victoria in Sunbury CHC and at Warrnambool Base Hospital as Chief Audiologist. He also began a private practice in working with an ENT in Mt Gambier and a small rehabilitation clinic. The practice now specialises with diagnostics and paediatrics in Warrnambool and regional areas throughout Western Victoria . It has close relationships with regional Ear Nose and Throat Specialists.
Medicolegal assessments for Industrial Deafness has been a strong part of his work. Noise surveys and advice to companies to reduce the impact of noise. He has a strong dedication to services for all through regional areas.
Wayne Richards, General Manager Health Safety, Environment & Quality, Transdev Melbourne
Wayne joined Transdev as General Manager Health, Safety, Environment & Quality in August 2016. Wayne has 30 years of experience in technical and executive management roles across aviation, infrastructure and environmental management industries.
He has a strong track record of strategy development and program execution. Programs led and delivered include refreshing management systems and supporting leadership and behavioural change programs – resulting in significant improvements in health and safety outcomes. He is committed to positive change through active leadership.
Dr Tim Stewart, Occupational Physician
Tim Stewart came to Australia from Ireland via Yorkshire and after 10 years in Victorian country general practice, specialised and qualified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Most of his Occupational Medicine has been in Tasmania.
He was a former President of the Faculty of Occupational and Environmental medicine and believes that a combination of Family medicine and Occupational medicine gives a broad church outlook unique in an age of narrow procedural medicine.
The question of doctors being “in trouble” is not new but there is much that can be done to prevent trouble occurring.
Tim also spent several years as a member of Avant’s medical advisory council.
Mr Dirk van Bavel, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Melbourne Hip and Knee
Mr van Bavel completed his medical degree through the University of Melbourne in 1995, winning the ‘Neil Bromberger prize in Orthopaedics’. His Orthopaedic training was in Victoria, winning the ‘Registrar in Training Prize’ in 2003.
After completing his training, he undertook further fellowship training in Hip and Knee surgery in Belgium, England and Canada. These fellowships included further training in hip and knee replacement and revision surgery, the use of allografts in surgery, sports knee injuries and patellofemoral problems.
Mr van Bavel has particular interest in hip replacements (primary, complex and revision), robotic hip replacement, knee replacements (primary, revision and partial), robotic knee replacements (full and partial), and knee sports injuries.