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.
Carmen Betterridge, Psychologist
Carmen is a Registered Psychologist with almost 20 years of experience working with clients across the lifespan, from teenagers to the elderly. For the past 12 years, Carmen has worked as a Consultant Psychologist providing specialist assessments in psychological disorders and psychological injury for the insurance and corporate sectors, functional capacity assessments and clinical needs assessments. She also completes pre-employment psychological screening for high risk and high consequence industries, including aviation. Her interests include workplace responses to suicidal employees and supporting people return to work following suicide attempt and psychological crisis. At present, Carmen is a member of several working groups, including an international working group on the impact of working with suicidality on the practitioner and Australian practitioner guidelines for working with suicidality.
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.
Julianne Bryce, Senior Federal Professional Officer
A registered nurse for 30 years, Julianne has a background in acute care, nursing education, nursing and midwifery regulation, and health policy advice and advocacy. She has been with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation since 2006. Julianne leads the ANMF Federal Office professional and policy team, based in Melbourne. The team represents the professional interests of the Federation’s over 275,000 nurse and midwife members on a range of national committees and policy making bodies dealing with a broad range of nursing, midwifery, health policy, and social justice issues. Formerly, she worked in a large Victorian public hospital in clinical, management, teaching and nurse consultant roles and a state nurse regulatory board as a senior nurse policy adviser and manager in the education/accreditation and practice standards team.
Julianne is responsible for management of the Coalition of National Nursing and Midwifery Organisations (CoNNMO) Secretariat including funding oversight and is a member of CoNNMO Council. She also represents more than 80,000 ANMF rural and remote nursing and midwifery members on the Board and Council of the National Rural Health Alliance. Julianne is a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Strategic Accreditation Advisory Committee.
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 Amanda Douglass, Associate Lecturer in Optometry and Vision Science
Amanda Douglass is an associate lecturer in the Department of Optometry at Deakin University. After graduating from Optometry at the University of Melbourne in 2008, Amanda started working in Geelong at OPSM. In 2012, Amanda commenced as a postgraduate researcher at The University of Melbourne and completed her Graduate Certificate in University Teaching in 2014 and her PhD in 2016. Amanda has active research interests in eye movements, attention, and colour vision.
Mark Hazelton, Occupational Health Advisor
Mark is a registered Div1 nurse, a registered physiotherapist, a Return to Work Coordinator and a nurse immuniser. Currently he is working as an Occupational Health Advisor at Viva Energy Australia. His interest is in occupational health nursing and physiotherapy with a focus on prevention, early injury intervention and an approach to injury management and return to work that is collaborative and driven by care.
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.
Anna Pannuzzo, Director, WorkPlacePLUS
Anna is an expert in people and culture in the health and community services sector, with more than 25 years of senior HR management experience in the disability, aged care, health and not-for-profit industries. Her knowledge, expertise and no-nonsense, straight-talking approach supports employers to overcome the challenges of performance management, restructuring and complex workplace issues. She has been a guest speaker on ABC Radio National’s “Best Practice” program, discussing workplace grievances and independent workplace investigations, and has conducted professional training programs on bullying and harassment, performance management and workforce planning for some of Australia’s leading aged care, community and health care organisations. Anna is degree qualified (B.Business HR/IR) and a Certified Professional Member of the highly regarded Australian Human Resources Institute, Industrial Relations Society of Victoria, Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators and NSW Business Chamber. Anna's nursing background provides a unique insight to the HR challenges facing many employers.
Dr John Parkes, Occupational & Environmental Physician, Colour Vision Specialist
Dr John Parkes is an experienced occupational physician who runs the Occupational Colour Vision Clinic in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where he has a comprehensive colour vision testing laboratory. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow and teaches occupational colour vision to optometry students. He has conducted reviews of colour vision standards for a number of National and State organisations including Defence, rail, maritime, fire brigades and police. He is a member of the International Colour Vision Society. His approach combines a thorough understanding and application of colour vision testing with risk assessment.
Tim Rayner, Audiologist
After graduating as an audiologist, Tim was employed as a solo audiologist with the Health Department of Victoria in Sunbury and at Warrnambool Base Hospital as Chief Audiologist. He also began a private practice, working with an ENT specialist in Mt Gambier and established a small rehabilitation clinic. The practice now specialises in diagnostics and paediatrics in Warrnambool and regional areas throughout Western Victoria, working closely with regional ENT specialists. Medicolegal assessments for industrial deafness are a significant part of his work, along with conducting noise surveys and providing advice to companies to reduce the impact of noise exposure.
Wayne Richards, General Manager Health Safety, Environment & Quality, Transdev Melbourne
Wayne joined Transdev as General Manager Health, Safety, Environment and Quality in August 2016. He has 30 years of experience in technical and executive management roles across aviation, infrastructure and environmental management industries, including a strong track record in 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 Amanda Sillcock, Occupational Physician
Dr Amanda Sillcock is an occupational physician and member of ANZSOM and the Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She was Secretary of the Victorian-Tasmanian branch of ANZSOM in the mid-1980s and rejoined the branch council in the early noughties. She was chairperson until 2012 when she became federal President until 2015. She has worked at a number of organisations including the Victorian Railways, Mobil and Toyota. She has worked as a consultant for the last 22 years and visits BOC Gases on a weekly basis. She also works as a Senior Lecturer at Monash University, coordinating the third year occupational and environmental medical courses and a unit of the Master of Public Health. She has a wealth of experience in assessing fitness for work. She has a keen interest in technology and loves to have all the latest new gadgets.
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.
Ian Sutcliffe, Return to Work Inspectorate, WorkSafe Victoria
Ian Sutcliffe is the manager of the Return to Work Inspectorate at Worksafe Victoria and oversees the Inspectorate’s presence across Victoria. He has over 20 years’ experience in workers compensation and health and safety including roles as a RTW Coordinator and Health and Safety Manager in various industries from automotive to food and government. Ian brings a wealth of knowledge in relation to employers and the organisational factors that may give rise to a claim and the barriers that may arise when returning workers to the workforce.
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.
Irene oversees the development of public health approaches to improving mental wellbeing across settings as diverse as the arts, digital environments, workplace health, education, promoting gender equality and social cohesion. An accomplished program and people manager she has established and leads local and international collaborations, designed and delivered innovative grants programs and managed teams at a senior level for many years. She also has a major commitment to building the capacity of workers and workplaces in health promotion and was responsible for an innovative model of professional development at VicHealth. Irene has provided recent advice on advancing mental wellbeing for young people and women to a range of organisations including the World Health Organisation, Movember, the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Department of Education, and others. Her CV reflects the cross sectoral nature of modern public health.