Conversations About Care

1 & 2 March, 2018

A conference presenting the latest in client-centred care and integrated practice.


Susan Alberti AC

Susan Alberti AC is one of Australia’s pre-eminent philanthropists, having donated millions of dollars to medical research and other causes over her successful career.

Susan developed a passion for medical research when her only child, Danielle, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the 1980s. Danielle tragically died from the complications arising from the chronic disease. It was at that point Susan’s lifelong commitment to raise funds for better prevention, treatment and to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes became a dedicated mission. This subsequently led her to focus on medical research more broadly.

In 1997 Susan received an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) for her contributions towards the cause of diabetes research. Susan was awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) on January 2007. On Australia Day 2016, Susan was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) Award in recognition of her eminent service to the community. Susan occupies chairs and presidencies across many boards and councils.

Julie McCrossin

Julie McCrossin gets people talking. She is renowned for her warmth, humour, intelligence and commitment to social justice.

After 20 years as a broadcaster with ABC Radio National, ABC TV and Network Ten, she is now a freelance journalist and facilitator. She presented the radio show ‘’Life Matters’’ for 5 years and was a team leader on the media quiz show “Good News Week” for 5 years.

Currently Julie writes for the NSW Law Society Journal and facilitates conferences and seminars nationally. Julie is especially known for her capacity to guide forums on sensitive topics, such as suicide prevention, mental health, child protection and family law.

Julie has qualifications in the arts, education and law. She is an Ambassador for Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research.

Dr Ioan Jones

Dr Ioan Jones has been a public health Dentist for over 20 years and he has been working for Oral Health Services Tasmania for the past 7 years coordinating education and training. Ioan has always had an interest in dental education both previously in the UK and now in his new home of Australia.

He is passionate about increasing the knowledge of health professionals on how poor dental and oral health has an impact on general health.

As well as being a senior clinical lecturer with UTAS Centre for Rural Health, Ioan also holds honorary academic titles with James Cook University, University of Queensland and University of Adelaide in relation to his work with undergraduate dental students.

Gordon Conochie

Gordon is a senior manager at cohealth, a community health provider in Melbourne. Gordon leads teams that work in health promotion and refugee and asylum seeker health.

At cohealth, Gordon is responsible for the implementation of the centre’s health literacy plan, ‘’Making cohealth Easy to Access, Understand and Use.’’

He previously worked in Cambodia helping government and international agencies develop education policies and strategies. Prior to this Gordon worked in the UK to inform government policy regarding health and community care.

John Aitken

John Aitken (M.Pharm, MAICD) is a pharmacist who has worked in academia, industry, and community pharmacy for over 40 years.

John lives in Warracknabeal, in North Western Victoria where he practised community pharmacy for 30 years in the Wimmera and southern Mallee. John is involved in many community groups, particularly Rotary, and is keen to see rural young people reach their full potential in community life.

For the last four years John has been working on a community participation project as part of a PhD study with La Trobe Rural Health School and Rural Northwest Health. The aims of this study were to test a model of community participation that could be used to improve the health and well-being needs of community members in rural areas.

This innovative project won the Victorian Healthcare Association People’s choice award at the VHA conference in 2014.

Dr Chris Lemoh

Dr Chris Lemoh is a physician at Monash Health (Dandenong Hospital), practising in general internal medicine, infectious diseases and refugee health.

He contributed to Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases guidelines for refugee health assessment. He received a PhD from The University of Melbourne in 2014 for research on “HIV in Victoria’s African communities”.

Chris is a former member of the Board of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and is currently President of the Victorian African Health Action Network.

Jenny Wilkins

Jenny Wilkins has a health sector consultancy background addressing risk to patients, developing strategies for clinical improvements and effecting change in policies, protocols and work practices. Her consultancy was based in acute and specialist hospitals, private hospitals, public dental services, peak bodies and community health services.

Jenny currently has several governance appointments which include a human research ethics committee, an animal ethics committee and a government scientific procedures audit advisory panel.

She represents health consumers as a member of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Community Advisory Committee.

Lulu Xu

Lulu Xu has a particular interest in diabetes and its implications for oral health, and has undertaken research and practice in this area in her role as an oral health educator at North Richmond Community Health, where she runs the Dental and Diabetes Project.

She also provides training to dental assistants on the Victorian research study on the Hall Technique

Lulu holds a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Oral Health Promotion) and (Radiography) from RMIT University, in addition to a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from Victoria University. She has just successfully completed a Diploma of Project Management and is currently studying an Advanced Diploma of Translating, and Diploma of Interpreting.

Lulu regularly conducts training programs and workshops on dental care at aged care facilities throughout wider Melbourne.

Dr Jonathan Silverman

Jonathan Silverman has recently been appointed as Professor of Academic General Practice at Deakin University, Australia. He is Visiting Senior Fellow and recently retired as Associate Clinical Dean at the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge. He was a general practitioner for over 30 years in Linton, Cambridgeshire.

He has been actively involved in teaching communication skills since 1988. In 1999 he became Director of Communication Studies for the undergraduate curriculum in Cambridge.

He is best known as one of the authors of the Calgary-Cambridge Guides to the Medical Interview.

He has conducted communication skills teaching seminars throughout the UK, in Europe, Australia and N. America. In 2005, he founded the UK Council for Communication Skills Teaching in Undergraduate Medical Education for all 33 UK medical schools, is past chair of the teaching committee and now is immediate Past-President of the European Association for Communication in Healthcare.

Dr Ajesh George

Dr Ajesh George is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University (WSU) and Honorary Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney. He is a Dentist with extensive experience in interdisciplinary oral health care and is a leading expert in Australia in providing oral health training to nurses/midwives and translating oral health guidelines into their practice. Dr George is also the Director/Co-founder of the “Centre for Oral Health Outcomes, Research Translation & Evaluation” (COHORTE) which is an innovative partnership bringing together Dentists and non-dental professionals for the first time in Australia. Over the last 10 years Dr George has been coordinating multidisciplinary teams in developing and implementing innovative models of oral health care in various areas including maternity, paediatrics, chronic and palliative care. His work has led to the development of Australia’s first midwifery initiated oral health program which is recognised nationally.

Alison Coehlo

Alison Coelho is the Co-Manager of the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH), and Manger of the Multicultural Health and Support Services (MHSS).  MHSS is the only state-wide program that aims to prevent HIV, sexually transmissible infections, and viral Hepatitis amongst high prevalence refugee and migrant communities across Victoria.  She has a background in Sociology and Community Development.

Alison is a sitting member of the Victorian Ministerial Blood Borne Viruses Advisory Committee, a member of the Victorian Hepatitis B Alliance (VHBA) and former Board member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).  She is the founding member and Chair of the new Australian Multicultural BBV/STI Alliance (AMBA), and the Chair of the International Students Sexual Health Network.

Dr Andre Priede

Dr Andre Priede graduated from the University of Melbourne – Bachelor of Dental Science in 1989.

Andre practiced dentistry in private practice, the public sector and Defense Force for over 25 years.  He was employed by Dental Health Services Victoria as the senior dentist in University of Melbourne Teaching Clinic. Andre qualified as a diabetes educator Deakin University 2010.

Andre currently lectures at the Dental School at the University of Melbourne when not living in Singapore.

Jolyon Burford

Jolyon is the training coordinator at the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). Jolyon taught in youth media production and experiential learning programs for many years before joining CEH. Jolyon is currently working on combining his knowledge of cultural competence, health literacy, and digital training to develop engaging eLearning for CEH.

Spase Veljanovski

Spase Veljanovski has over 20 years’ experience in access and equity work across mental health, local government and community health. At the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health he is a trainer and project worker in language services, organisational cultural competence and health literacy.

Catherine Morley

Catherine joined Wimmera Health Care Group, a subregional base hospital in the Wimmera region as the Chief Executive Officer in September 2017.

Prior to joining the team at Wimmera, Catherine was the CEO with Rural Northwest Health for 8 years, providing operational and strategic oversight for a service that offers acute and urgent care, community and primary care, residential care, and focused on innovation and co designing services with community members.

Catherine could be classified as an executive who is passionate for making a difference to people’s lives.

Today she will draw on her experiences as a daughter with elderly parents, her rural health experience, and her foray into research and discuss and challenge us to think about what is  the role of community health in a contemporary society.

Evelyn Boyce

Evelyn Boyce is a credentialed diabetes educator and registered nurse. She has degrees in both science and health promotion. She works in both the private and public health sectors and is involved in various diabetes projects focusing on client self-care. She is passionate about involving clients directing in their own management with the aim that they focus on living a long and happy life.

Karen Cusack

Karen Cusack was appointed as the inaugural Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner on 1 February 2017.

Prior to leading the office of the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC), Karen was Corporate Counsel of The Royal Women’s Hospital and a member of the hospital’s Executive. She has over 20 years’ experience as a lawyer.

Karen has held a number of Board and committee appointments with a number of not-for-profit and other organisations.

She has undertaken various post-graduate studies, including a Master of Laws at Monash University.

Karen is passionate about the role she plays within the Victorian health sector and is committed to ensuring the HCC supports quality and safety in healthcare for all Victorians.

John Mckenna

John Mckenna is the co-founder of the Empower Your English (EYE) service. EYE helps people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities develop English communication skills.

John has worked in corporate, government and non-for-profit environments as a disability advocate. John particularly works with those who have intellectual disabilities and their families.

John has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a condition that affects the development of joints and limbs. John’s experiences have led to his active involvement with those with disabilities. His motto is: “empowerment, assertiveness, respect, risk-taking and advocacy.’’

Dr Elizabeth Milford

Dr Elizabeth Milford is a lecturer in clinical communications at the University of Melbourne and professional consultant. She is the Professional and Academic Relations consultant for Oral-B Australia and New Zealand.

Elizabeth has an MBA (Prof) from Melbourne Business School and is professional mentor for dentists at all stages of their career.

Dr Elizabeth Milford has worked with AHPRA to assist numerous dentists and other oral health professionals comply with record keeping and privacy obligations under the national law.

Lucy Mayes

Lucy Mayes is a trained lawyer, social worker and company director.  She works as a leadership, community and organisational development consultant, and story catcher.

Her writing has been published in literary and academic journals and she is a sought-after speaker and facilitator.  Lucy has served on several not for profit Boards and has worked in leadership development for over 20 years.  Her innovative work in leadership has led to her being awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship, and being Victorian runner up of the prestigious Australian Rural Women’s Award in 2008, sponsored by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Lucy lives in Central Victoria, Australia where she is a proud and passionate mother, wife and community member.  Her interest in the medical profession stems from her role as ‘doctor’s wife,’ and also from a former life practicing medical litigation law, and a lifetime interest in human systems and purpose at work.

Beyond the Stethoscope: Doctors' stories of reclaiming hope, hearth and healing in medicine

An investigative novel by Lucy Mayes, providing a profound insight into the state of our health care system, the wellbeing of patients and that of their doctors.

Our health care system is sick.  We live in an era of factory style medicine, spiralling costs, complex and chronic conditions, and doctors at the heart of it under pressure as never before.  Witnessing worrying burnout in her doctor husband, Lucy Mayes went on a quest to find out what is really going on behind the scenes in medicine.

Lucy asked doctors on the front lines how they make meaning in their work, what quality medicine looks like to them, and what their hopes are for the future of medicine.  What emerged were consistent messages about elements of practice that the culture and systems of medicine still struggle to understand and support: the power of humanism; compassion; listening; the therapeutic relationship; preventative care; the doctors’ own wellbeing journey; and mind-body plus other holistic understandings of health and healing.

Beyond the Stethoscope will leave readers shocked, moved and inspired by the struggles, wisdom and insights of those who sit before them in that most ancient and intimate of humanist exchanges: that of the doctor and patient.

“I unreservedly recommend this compelling account of individual journeys to better medicine through the lives of a broad range of doctors, so ably and sympathetically presented by Lucy Mayes.” Mark R Newton, MD FRACP, Neurologist, Victoria

Dr Jodie Heap

Dr Jodie Heap has worked as a general dentist in both public and private practice for more than 25 years. During this time she has completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Learning and Leadership, and a PhD in Social Theory.

In her current role as an Associate of the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Jodie is continuing to develop her research interests in social theory, which include philosophical conceptions of the ethical moment and the origin of ethical forms of behaviour, both at an individual and societal level. Her interest in ethics also extends to an exploration of autonomous forms of thinking and forms of self-reflective practice.

Other professional pursuits include volunteering for the Rotary International Dental Project in Vietnam and India, committee member and Secretary of the ANZSPD Victorian Branch for over five years, and more recently mentoring a final year dental student in the Melbourne Dental School Mentoring Program Pilot.

Rachel Callander

Rachel is a TEDx presenter, speaker, trainer and the author of the Outstanding Book of the Year Award 2015 IPPY New York, Super Power Baby Project. This exceptional book celebrates the lives and abilities of children with chromosomal or genetic conditions, and was inspired by Rachel’s late daughter Evie, who was born with a very rare condition herself.

Rachel is a highly sought-after speaker at conferences around Australia and NZ. Her audiences are mostly made up of health professionals, and she speaks about the need to communicate using open hearted language, especially at diagnosis. She teaches how the first words used at diagnosis critically shape how a parent perceives their future: The words can allow the parent to be their best, and find meaning even in pain; or they can create anger, mistrust, frustration, and can break down the crucial relationship between the parent and the health professional. It’s a conversation about empowerment – For the patient, and for the health professional.

Super Power Baby Project

Super Power Baby Project is an internationally celebrated book featuring striking photographic portraits of children with chromosomal and genetic conditions, taken by award-winning photographer Rachel Callander. Rachel’s insights and images, challenge society’s deficit language so often reached for when describing disability.

The heart of the Super Power Baby Project is for people to see value, potential, abilities and beauty in ALL children. These amazing human beings are truly exceptional. Get to know them; together we can change the focus, change the language and we can adopt an attitude that celebrates all humanity.

Nadia Chaves

A general and infectious diseases specialist with an interest in person-centred care for over 20 years over a diverse range of clinical environments, including indigenous health, refugee and asylum seeker health, community health and public hospitals. She has been a recipient of an NHMRC translating research into practice fellowship and was also a Victorian Refugee health fellow and coordinated the revision of national guidelines for health assessment for people of refugees and asylum seeker background in Australia.

Nadia now holds a unique role at The Alfred Hospital as a consultant in person-centred care and is a community infectious diseases physician at cohealth. This year Nadia is combining her passion for health equity and quality improvement and is embarking on a PhD in person-centred care with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and SaferCare Victoria. She is also a twitter newbie @encouragechat

Anisha Prasad

Anisha is a representative from the Epilepsy Foundation who has lived with the condition her whole life. Professionally Anisha specialises in Change Management leading organisations focusing on customer experience. She knows from her own personal experience as a patient how important organisational change efforts are for improving a customer’s journey.

Through sharing her own journey as a customer, she encourages medical professionals including Neurosurgeons, Neurologists, Neurological Psychologists and Psychiatrists to think differently, and view the experience from the patient’s perspective. Anisha speaks annually and runs discussions for post-graduate students and senior nurses from hospitals across Victoria who specialise in neuroscience, and facilitates discussions to share new ideas that influence the ongoing change needed to provide exceptional healthcare.

With English as a first language, background in health promotion and a university degree in Food Science & Nutrition she still found health literacy was a gap when clearly trying to understand instructions and diagnosis.

Anisha has over a decade of experience, working with wide range of not-for-profit, public and private sector clients through a number of industries including Government, Healthcare, Community, Transport, Science and Technology across Australia, United Kingdom and India.