Keynote Speaker Profiles

Speaker Profile

Prof. Ian Anderson

Research Director CRC for Aboriginal Health
Professor, Indigenous Health and Director of Centre for Health & Society,
Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit
The Univeristy of Melbourne

Professor Ian Anderson is the foundation Chair in Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne where he is also the Director of the Centre for Health and Society & the Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit. He is the Research Director for the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. Ian has research interests which include Aboriginal health policy; Aboriginal health and human rights; and, issues related to Aboriginal culture, identity and representation. Before he became an academic in 1998, he worked in a number of clinical/health care and administrative/policy roles in Aboriginal health.

Mr. Tom Calma

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Acting Race Discrimination Commissioner
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

Tom is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and the Iwaidja tribal group. He has broad experience in Indigenous education programs and developing employment and training programs for Indigenous people from both a national policy and program perspective. He has worked with remote Indigenous communities to implement community-based and driven empowerment and participation programs. Over the years Tom has also been a senior ministerial advisor and diplomat, representing Australia's interests in education and training. He has held key positions in the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) and helped to establish the Aboriginal Task Force (ATF) in Darwin, which provided second chance education programs for Indigenous people.

Dr. Lisa Jackson Pulver

Associate Professor Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit
The University of New South Wales

Dr Lisa Rae Jackson-Pulver is a proud Wiradjuri Koori who was born and raised on Eora Land. She is still there. Lisa was appointed to the School of Public Health and Community Medicine in 2003 following a career that has progressed through positions as Epidemiologist (South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service), Senior Project Oficcer (NSW Department of Health), Public Health Officer (Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, NSW Department of Health), Postgraduate Health and Medical Student (Sydney University), Registered Nurse (Lidcombe Hospital) and Counsellor (Koori Centre).

She has recently been awarded an academic promotion to Associate Professor, is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute and Visiting Consultant at the Ageing Research Centre. She also has a visiting research fellowship at the National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. She has been honoured with a number of special awards, including an award recognising her outstanding contribution to research (in cancer epidemiology) by the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council and the Ministry of Science and Medical Research (NSW, 2005) and has been awarded a community honour in the form of a Henry Stricker Community Honour for her “outstanding service and contribution rendered with her Endeavours to make our society a better place in which to live”.

Dr. Kelvin Kong

BSc MBBS (UNSW) FRACS (Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery)
Consultant, Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association & Australia’s first Aboriginal surgeon

Dr Kelvin Kong qualified as the first Australian Aboriginal Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, specialising in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He hails from the Worimi people of Port Stephens, north of Newcastle. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at the University of NSW. He is now a qualified Surgeon specialising in Adult & Paediatric Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery).

He is currently partaking in a fellowship of Paediatric Otolaryngology at Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. He is part of a strong family, mainly medical. He married a nurse, his mother is a nurse, his sister Marlene is a General Practitioner and her twin Marilyn, is Australia’s first Indigenous Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Being engulfed by health issues, he has always championed for the improvement of Indigenous health and education. Complementing his surgical training, he has been involved in numerous projects and committees to help promote education and health.

(photo courtesy of Britta Campion, UNSW)

A/Prof. Helen Milroy

Associate Professor & Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Medical & Dental Health
The Univeristy of Western Australia

Helen is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. She studied medicine at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and worked as a General Practitioner and Consultant in Childhood Sexual Abuse at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children for several years before completing specialist training in child psychiatry. Helen is a member of the RANZCP (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry) committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and has contributed to the development of position statements, guidelines and curriculum on Indigenous mental health for the college. She is also a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians' Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Committee. At present Helen works as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Bentley Family Clinic and Families At Work residential programme. Helen is also an Associate Professor and Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health (CAMDH) at UWA.

Ms. Suzanne Pitama

Maori Health Lecturer Director, Maori/Indigenous Health Institute,
The Univeristy of Otago

Suzanne Pitama is the Co-director of the Maori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI), University of Otago - Christchurch School of Medicine. She is also practices as an educational psychologist and convenes the overall Hauora Maori thread throughout the faculty and practices as a Maori health researcher.

Prof. Papaarangi Reid

Associate Professor, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences
The University of Auckland

Papaarangi is Tumuaki and Head of Department of Te Kupenga Huaora Maori at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand. She holds science and medical degrees from the University of Auckland and is a specialist in public health medicine. She has tribal affiliations to Te Rarawa in the Far North of Aotearoa and her research interests include analysing disparities between Indigenous and non Indigenous citizens as a means of monitoring Government commitment to Indigenous rights.

Dr. John Taylor

Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
The Australian National University

John Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian National University, and a member of the Australian Population Association. For the past twenty years his major research interests have focussed on the measurement and policy implications of demographic and economic change among Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

He has published widely on these issues in Australian and international books and journals, and his work has informed the development of government, industry, and Indigenous agency policy. He has recently co-edited the book Indigenous Peoples and Population Mobility in Australasia and North America (Routledge).

Prof. Ken Wyatt

Director of Indigenous Health The Dept. of Health for NSW

Currently we have been forced to acknowledge the reality of the dilemma of workforce shortages within the Health sector, which directly impact upon the level of skilled staff working within Rural and Remote communities. Can the emergent problem be fixed through the rethinking of the curriculum or is it about planning for a new and different workforce and are Medical Schools stuck in the historic practice of the past? Can innovation and being creative around developing a new workforce take account of the training the traditional workforce whilst exploring opportunities to provide a new style of worker who is multi skilled and can be a new multi skilled hybrid workforce. The implications for the rethinking of the Medical and Health School Culture and the Curriculum is challenging. Being creative and gaining change has enabled societies to advance – can Universities set the reform agenda for a new direction for a new and different worker to today’s current workforce member.

Dr. Karina Walters

MSW, Ph.D.
William P. and Ruth Gerberding EndowedProfessor
School of Social Work
The University of Washington

An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Dr. Walters founded and directs the university-wide, interdisciplinary Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington. A recent recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Award, her research focuses on historical, social, and cultural determinants of physical and mental health among American Indians and Alaska Natives. She serves as principal investigator on several groundbreaking studies associated with health-risk outcomes among American Indian individuals, families, and communities funded by the National Institutes of Health.