The ANZSOM ASM2020 featured a range of high-calibre speakers who shared their expertise and experience in their specialty fields, as well as their insights relevant to the occupational health sector. The conference theme 'Exploring the new normal in workplace health' included three dedicated COVID-19 mornings with special presentations by leading experts.
Refer below for a full list of speakers for the 2020 virtual ASM.
Introducing our keynote speaker:
Professor Brett Sutton
Chief Health Officer, Victorian Government
A well known face now in Victoria, Professor Sutton has been a central figure in the management of the state's COVID-19 response. His keynote address "A day in the life of......the Chief Health Officer", will shed light on this experience and some of the learnings for workplaces and the broader community.
Chief Executive Officer, Beyond Blue
Dr Cath Kelaher
Principal Medical Advisor, Office of Health Protection, Department of Health
Professor Malcolm Sim
Director of Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Monash University
Professor Niki Ellis
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
Dr Mahima Abeyaratne is an Occupational Physician currently working as a panel member with the medical support panel at iCare and Sydney Occupational Health. Mahima graduated in 2004 and moved into Occupational Medicine in 2011. Mahima has worked mainly in clinical roles and has a passion for workplace injury rehabilitation. Her work has included providing injury management advise for small to large scale businesses across NSW. Her current role with the medical support panel involves assessment of complex claims and providing advice to various stakeholders. She also has a special interest in assessment of safety critical workers in various industries including transport, mining, manufacturing sectors and the rail industry.
Marcus has over 20 years experience in clinical exercise physiology, specialising in both injury prevention and rehabilitation. He utilises hydrotherapy and gym (land) based exercises to restore function for individuals suffering varied musculoskeletal and chronic disease conditions.
Lucy holds a Bachelor of Speech & Hearing Science from Macquarie University, Sydney. She has worked for Cochlear Ltd since 2016 in a range of different roles including: Consumer Engagement Advisor, Engagement Team Manager & currently as an Account Specialist.
Lucy has always had a keen interest in helping people with disabilities, especially those with hearing loss. She has worked as a volunteer for the Royal Institute for Blind & Deaf Children; completing certificate I & II in Sign Language (AUSLAN).
Clayton is regarded as one of Australia’s leading digital minds. Coming from a legal and data science background, he has created award winning software based on discrete choice modelling which is patented in AU, US & Europe.
Over the years Clayton has consulted around digital best practice to the likes of Accenture, the Department of Defence and is a Moz authority, and a Google partner.
Clayton is Head of Digital Strategy at leading digital agency Conversion Digital whose success is off the back of a focus on continuous improvement and educating the business community of the importance of omnichannel alignment to drive optimal CX (customer experience).
Tim Driscoll is an occupational epidemiologist and specialist in occupational and environmental medicine and public health medicine. He is Professor in epidemiology and occupational medicine in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, where he runs the general epidemiology teaching and is Director of the Master of Public Health. Tim’s main areas of interest are the burden of occupational disease and injury; occupational cancer and exposure to occupational carcinogens, particularly asbestos; occupational fatal injury; increasing the practical application and influence of epidemiological principles and findings; and improving the communication of epidemiological principles and findings to the general public.
Niki Ellis, Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, has spent one-third of her career working in policy for governments; one third in the private sector building up a consultancy she sold to PriceWaterhouseCoopers; and one-third in academia, first at the University of Queensland and then at Monash, leading innovative centres aiming to close the gap between research and practice in occupational and public health.
She was the Inaugural President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine, and in May this year stepped down from the RACP Board where she was member director and Chair of Policy and Advocacy.
Now Niki is the Work for Health Advisor to Comcare, and in this capacity has provided technical leadership to an initiative aiming to establish greater collaboration between workers compensation, motor accident, life insurance, superannuation, employment services and disability support services, and so improve work participation by people with physical and mental health conditions; as well as being a director on a number of boards.
She has an interest in future studies and has advised on a number of futures projects, most recently on optometry in 2040 for the Australian Optometry Association.
Dr Nicola Emslie is an occupational physician based in Auckland, New Zealand, having recently completing her fellowship with AFOEM. She works as a medical officer for Air New Zealand, and also provides occ health support to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter team. She is involved with PAN NZ (Peer Assistance Network for NZ aviation professionals) and has an interest in pilot mental health. She was recently awarded the AFOEM Ramazzini Prize for her research presentation on pilot UVA exposures. Nicola has 3 school aged kids and an anaesthetist husband.
Dr Angus Forbes is an Occupational and Environmental Physician and General Practitioner with over 10 years’ experience in Occupational Medicine. Dr Forbes provides workplaces and workers with professional advice on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injury and illness with a focus on well-being and productivity. Following his graduation from medicine in London, Dr Forbes spent time in the British Army where he completed his qualifications as a General Practitioner. He later transferred to the Australian Army, where he continued to develop his skills in Occupational Medicine. Dr Forbes is a certified Medical Review Officer with the Australasian Medical Review Officers Association, is experienced in dive and aviation medicine and is credentialed to perform OGUK and Rail Medical Examinations. Dr Forbes is a Fellow of both the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine with the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Dr Barry Gilbert is a graduate of Melbourne University and undertook post graduate studies at Monash University. He holds a master’s degree in Public Health (Occupational Medicine stream) and is a Specialist Public Health Physician with Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (RACP). He was awarded a scholarship of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission for post graduate study.
His clinical experience in public health and occupational medicine is broad, having worked throughout Australia and internationally, with further experience and training in musculoskeletal medicine, chronic pain management, and physical (dusts), chemical (toxicology) and biological risk assessment and risk communication, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He is an accredited independent medical examiner and accredited impairment assessor for core, spine, upper and lower limbs and haematological and occupational infectious diseases under the various AMA Impairment Assessment Guidelines. He has also served as a presiding member of Medical Panels, Victoria. He is a medical examiner for the Australian Medical Council, elected member of the Tasmanian Regional Committee for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow in Preventive Medicine.
Barry has worked with many Australian organisations such as emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance and other emergency services), and the construction, mining, transport, warehousing, and agriculture industries. His practice is accredited for advanced physician training in occupational and environmental medicine by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
He is the inaugural President of the Tasmanian Foundation for Occupational Medicine (www.tfom.org.au). Barry is a past President of ANZSOM and a Hugh Denehy Orator.
David Goddard graduated in medicine from Monash University in 1969. Post-graduate coursework led to his obtaining a Diploma in Occupational Health (University of Sydney, 1975) and a Master in Health Professional Education (Monash University, 2010). He has worked in occupational medicine since 1973 and as a medical educator since 1990. His years of experience with the railways, State Government Occupational Health Service, State Worker's Compensation system and his network of practitioner friends have contributed in their own ways to his teaching.
David teaches medical undergraduates in occupational medicine and has taught postgraduate students in occupational hygiene, toxicology and basic OHS. He has a passion for teaching, which in 2001 led to his being awarded the Monash University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Between 2008 and 2013, he worked part-time as lead Fellow in educational development with the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He led development of a new training curriculum, a training handbook, formative assessments and the summative assessment for basic trainees. In May 2013, he received the AFOEM President’s award for outstanding contribution to education, training and assessment.
We are honoured to welcome Associate Professor Terry Hannan as our dinner speaker at our virtual conference dinner on Saturday 21 November. Speaking on his career as a general physician and the importance of listening to our patients, Terry will draw on his highly regarded book, ‘Bedside Stories - Learning to listen’.
Associate Professor Terry Hannan, though primarily affiliated with Macquarie University, has worked as a consulting physician all around the world.
He has worked at the Launceston General Hospital on many innovative translational clinical research projects, was a Consultant Physician for 40 years in General Internal Medicine and per-operative medicine in Sydney, mainly at the St George Private Hospital, and was the former director of RACP Physician Training. In addition to the work outlined above he has worked with Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Indiana University in the implementation of electronic health records for the improvement of doctor-patient communication and the quality of care.
His novel clinical research major project was providing solutions to managing disease epidemics and non-communicable diseases states in sub-Saharan Africa. He has published widely on the improvement in health care delivery using modern technologies including his recent book ‘Bedside Stories.’
Georgie has significant and broad-ranging leadership, policy and service delivery experience in the community, public and private sectors.
Georgie was appointed as the CEO of beyondblue in May 2014 where she has led a significant expansion of effort and results in service innovation, suicide prevention and digital solutions.
Previously, she helped set up and was the Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission, providing independent advice to government on reform.
From 2006-2012, Georgie had national responsibility for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse, cancer and chronic disease policy and programs as a senior executive at the Commonwealth Department of Health. She led the development of a significant whole of government mental health Budget package and the strategy and development of legislation to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in Australia – a world first.
Georgie has also led national reforms to lift Australia’s organ and tissue donation rates and worked in the HIV/AIDS sector in Australia and the UK.
Bruce Hocking has worked as a specialist in occupational medicine since 1977 and has been associated with ANZSOM for over 20 years. He is a Past-president of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and was an Honorary senior lecturer in occupational medicine at Monash University 1995 - 2010.
As an Independent Medical Examiner for WorkCover Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission, Dr Hocking has broad experience across many aspects of occupational medicine, both in undertaking clinical examinations and preforming worksite assessments. He has particular expertise in setting national and state medical standards for safety critical workers in road transport, railways, maritime and emergency services, as well as setting national safety standards regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields [radiofrequency and ELF].
Dr Kelaher is fellow of the Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She is currently the Principal Medical Adviser at the Office of Health Protection and has been involved in Health response to pandemic COVID-19 throughout its course and has provided advice to a range of industries on operation in a COVID-19 environment. Dr Kelaher previously was the Senior Medical Advisor for occupational and environmental for the Australian Defence Force. Catherine served as Medical Officer in the Australian Army and completed her fellowships in occupational medicine and general practice whilst working in Defence.
Dr Thea Leman graduated from the University of South Australia in 2005 with a Bachelor of Medical Radiation specializing in Nuclear Medicine. She worked in Western Australia in Nuclear Medicine and Positron Emission Tomography Medical Imaging departments until 2007. Dr Leman completed post-graduate studies in Medicine and Surgery at Notre Dame Fremantle, graduating in 2010 and winning the prize for the most outstanding student in Ear Nose and Throat Surgery. Following graduation she worked in the Public and Private Hospital sectors across Western Australia undertaking Medical and Surgical terms. In 2015 Dr Leman began working at Infections West as an Infectious Diseases Registrar providing care in both an in-patient and outpatient setting. Dr Leman moved into the field of Occupational Medicine in 2017, and later that year joined OSHGroup as an Occupational Physician Registrar. She works in the CBD, Airport and West Perth sites as well as regularly travelling to Rural and Remote Western Australia to conduct on-site Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Her key areas of expertise are Mining, Chemical Processing, Refinery, Construction, Oil & Gas and Health-care workers. Dr Leman is a Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) Authorised Health Practitioner (AHP).
Thea is currently the Secretary of the WA Branch of ANZSOM and is the AFOEM Trainee Representative on ANZSOM General Council.
Rob is an Occupational Physician and past President of ANZSOM. He has extensive experience in workplace AOD management delivering MRO services for more than 15 years. He is widely consulted to implement policies, procedures, training, testing as well as case management. He provides expert advice to the Fair Work Commission and has assisted organisations and individuals in industrial and environmental courts regarding AOD matters. He is currently on the committee and faculty of the Australian Medical Review Officers Association.
Michelle has been working as an audiologist in the cochlear implant field since 2007. She worked at the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic for almost 8 years, treating both adult and paediatric patients. During this time, Michelle also worked as a research audiologist for the University of Melbourne, contributing to and facilitating the various CI clinical research projects in the department. Michelle joined Cochlear Ltd. as a Clinical Specialist in 2015, responsible for the clinical support and candidacy awareness for hearing professionals in Victoria and Tasmania. She has since completed a PhD examining the outcomes of adult CI recipients and is currently working as a Clinical Project Manager within the Global R&D team at Cochlear.
Christella Mylordi recently completed her fellowship with AFOEM and is working as an occupational physician in Sydney. In the past 10 years, she’s worked at the Sydney Spine Institute in a multidisciplinary setting, managing the treatment and rehabilitation of workers with spinal injury. She has a passion for evidence-based medicine and the study of treatment outcomes in spinal conditions. She has an interest in innovation in the delivery of health services and development of low-cost biomedical technologies. She is a director on the board of Global Surgical Innovations, a biomedical company developing regenerative tissue technologies. She is a keen mountaineer and mother of 4 children.
Dr Julia Norris, is an advocate of preventative health with a unique combination of qualifications and experience in both Occupational Hygiene and Medicine. Throughout her career as both an occupational hygienist and medical doctor, she has demonstrated a passion and commitment to protecting and promoting worker health.
Julia is the Director of Occuhealth Pty Ltd, an Australian occupational hygiene and health consulting company. As well as being a General Practitioner, Julia is also a Certified Occupational Hygienist, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists and the immediate past President of that body. She is also a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and a registered medical review officer. Julia has over 20 years of experience in occupational health matters, having worked across many industries including mining, refining, oil and gas, construction and agriculture. She is also one of 3 current expert members on the Western Australian Commission for Occupational Safety and Health.
Dr Chris Pang is a Specialist Occupational and Environmental Physician based in Melbourne. He works as a Medical Advisor at WorkSafe Victoria, providing advice on managing work injury claims as well as collaborating with treating health providers to maximise health outcomes for injured workers.
He is also an Occupational Physician within the Case, Contact and Outbreak Management unit at the Department of Health and Human Services, managing COVID-19 in Victorian workplaces. He is a Clinical Opinion Leader and Academic Detailer for the Implementing Work-related Mental Health Guidelines in General Practice (IMPROVE) NHMRC Partnership Trial.
Dr Pang is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Queensland and the Master of Occupational and Environmental Health from Monash University.
Dr John Parkes is an Occupational Physician with a long history in the Royal Australian Navy as well as with Aviation Medicine. Dr Parkes is one of the foremost experts in Colour Vision in Australia.
Currently working as part of the COVID-19 Incident Management Team within DHHS, and heading the panel, Dr John Parkes, contributes to policy and strategy to prevent COVID-19 transmission in workplace settings. The team respond to requests for medical and policy advice and informs industries and workplaces of appropriate measures to be established in preparation for, and in subsequent implementation of, relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. Of course, with the second wave now upon us in Victoria, there are a raft of issues associated with outbreaks in and spread from various workplaces.
Meg earned her Bachelor of Nursing degree with high distinction from Queensland University of Technology. Meg has performed various roles including Clinical Coordination and Management, High Acuity/ICU nursing, Enhanced Primary Care Coordination and Pre Employment nursing including Coal Board, Aviation and Industry specific assessments. She has 8 years combined specialized experience in General Practice and Occupational Health medicine where her passion has led to further studies in AOD testing, Spirometry and enrolment in a Graduate Diploma of Occupational Health Nursing.
Dr Amanda Sillcock is an occupational physician with over 35 years’ experience across diverse industries, including transport, energy and manufacturing. More recently, she has pursued her interest in education, taking on an academic position at Monash University, where she coordinates the third year occupational and environmental medical courses and delivers a unit of the Master of Public Health. She has also joined the DHHS team in Victoria, supporting workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amanda is a past President of ANZSOM and remains active in Vic/Tas Branch.
Malcolm is Director of the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health at Monash University in Melbourne. He has considerable experience in undertaking cohort studies of workplace exposures and chronic diseases and is involved in several international research collaborations. He is the President of AFOEM and is the course co-ordinator for the Master of OEH at Monash. He has been an author on more than 250 scientific papers and reports, was the previous Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ specialty journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a member of the Editorial Board of Cochrane Work. He has been a Presiding Member of the Medical Panels in Victoria for 25 years and is a member of the WorkSafe Victoria OHS Advisory Committee. He is a previous Board Member of the International Commission on Occupational Health and President of the next ICOH Congress to be held in Melbourne in 2021/22.
Dr Joe Slesenger qualified in Manchester UK. This began a journey, as he uncovered his passion for Occupational Medicine, both clinical and as an independent medical expert (IME). He worked for 15 years within the insurance field advising business on medical issues. Having moved to Australia in 2001, he qualified as a Specialist Occupational Physician. He now resides in Melbourne, where his services as a specialist in clinical practice and IME are well received. Dr Slesenger has been a key member of Coolaroo Clinic since 2005 and specialises in Musculoskeletal Injuries. He is also a member of the AFOEM Examination Committee.
Tim Stewart is an OP who has followed the well worn track of spending time in General Practice prior to specialising in Occupational Medicine. Tim moved from country Victoria to Hobart VIA Sydney where he read for a MPH at the University of Sydney.
Tim passionately believes that the one aspect that separates an Occupational Physician from all other branches of medicine lies in the ability to perform a worksite visit and make sense of the injured/ sick person’s workplace. There are not enough visits performed to the workplace which is often a missed opportunity and only delays solutions.
Tim has been a Past President of AFOEM during a period of major RACP reform.
Covid 19 has created challenges but perhaps will hasten the concept of working from home which was not on the agenda. There are greater opportunities now for GP’s with an interest in Occupational Medicine as well as those who wish to specialise.
ANZSOM continues to foster the interest in Occupational Medicine and we need to recognise this.
Professor Brett Sutton has extensive experience and clinical expertise in public health and communicable diseases, gained through emergency medicine and field-based international work, including in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. He represents Victoria on a number of key national bodies including the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee). He is also Chief Human Biosecurity Officer for Victoria. Professor Sutton has a keen interest in tropical medicine and the incorporation of palliative care practice into humanitarian responses.
Professor Sutton is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM). He is also a member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine.
Chris Walls has been a member of ANZSOM since 1986 and was honoured to hold the Federal ANZSOM Presidency for one term. Chris is currently a member of ANZSOM NSW and has been involved in many aspects of occupational medicine in both Australia and New Zealand for over 30 years. Chris remains interested in occupational respiratory illnesses, low back pain and forearm pain issues. He currently holds the positions of the Chief Medical Officer, KiwiRail, is an Occupational Physician for Counties Manukau Health (Auckland) , works as a consultant in private and is a Honorary Research Fellow for the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington
Dr Dominic Yong is a specialist occupational physician located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. He initially developed his passion for occupational medicine after working at a staff clinic in a large Melbourne hospital. After qualifying as an occupational medical specialist in 2004, he undertakes a variety of services ranging from treating injured workers, consulting to employers, performing worksite assessments and doing independent medical assessments. He works across a broad range of industries and is accredited by WorkSafe Victoria as an independent medical examiner and an impairment assessor; Comcare as an impairment assessor; and TAC as a joint medical examiner.
Dominic is currently a Presiding Member at the Victorian Medical Panels; a senior occupational physician in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Team; and the President elect of ANZSOM
Yianni Zaparas is a Partner at Zaparas Lawyers. Yianni joined the family business in 2004 and has over 16 years of experience in personal injury litigation with expertise in WorkCover and Occupational Diseases. He methodically learnt by his father’s side, the founder of the firm, and has along with his siblings continued the Zaparas family legal tradition.
Yianni is a head of the WorkCover and Occupational Disease department at Zaparas lawyers and has extensive experience in the management and leadership. He has a passion for helping those injured as a result of a workplace injury and those who have suffered an illness due to their workplace, supporting them through their compensable journey and striving for the best outcomes possible. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and is regarded as being one of the most experienced and highly respected lawyers in personal injury litigation.