Keynote Speakers

As keynote speakers are announced, their details will be added below.

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Adjunct Professor Tarun Weeramanthri

Adjunct Professor, School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia.
President of Public Health Association of Australia.

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Dr Sarah-Jane Paine

Senior Lecturer, The University of Auckland

Sarah-Jane is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Tomaiora Research Group at Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. She holds science degrees from the University of Otago and a PhD in Public Health from Massey University. Sarah-Jane is an experienced Kaupapa Māori epidemiologist with a range of projects investigating ethnic inequities in health and the determinants of health across the life-course. Sarah-Jane teaches Māori Health and Kaupapa Māori research methods across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

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Professor Chelsea Watego

Professor of Indigenous Health, Queensland University of Technology

Chelsea Watego (formerly Bond) is a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman with over 20 years of experience working within Indigenous health as a health worker and researcher.

Chelsea’s work has drawn attention to the role of race in the production of health inequalities. Her current ARC Discovery Grant seeks to build an Indigenist Health Humanities as a new field of research; one that is committed to the survival of Indigenous peoples locally and globally, and foregrounds Indigenous intellectual sovereignty.

She is a prolific writer and public intellectual, having written for IndigenousX, NITV, The Guardian, and The Conversation. She is a founding board member of Inala Wangarra, an Indigenous community development association within her community, a Director of the Institute for Collaborative Race Research, and was one half of the Wild Black Women radio/podcast show, but most importantly, she is also a proud mum to five beautiful children.

Professor Ray Lovett


Mayi Kuwayu Study director, College of Health & Medicine, Australian National University

Dr Raymond Lovett BN, RN, BHSc, MAE, PhD is a Senior Research Fellow with the Epidemiology for Policy and Practice group at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University. He also holds an adjunct Fellowship at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in the Indigenous Social and Cultural Wellbeing group. Ray is an Aboriginal (Ngiyampaa/Wongaibon) epidemiologist with extensive experience in health services research, large scale data analysis for public health policy development and evaluation.

Professor Brett Sutton

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Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Professor Brett Sutton is Victoria's Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer undertakes a variety of statutory functions under health and food-related legislation. He also provides expert clinical and scientific advice and leadership on issues impacting public health.


Professor 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.

Professor Hannah Badland

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Deputy Director, Centre For Urban Research, RMIT University

Hannah’s research examines how the built environment is connected to health, wellbeing, and inequities in both adults and children internationally, with an interest in improving outcomes for vulnerable groups. Her interdisciplinary research program is tied with end-users being policy-makers, planners, and non-government organisations. 
Prof Badland earned her PhD in Public Health from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand in 2007. She has published over 150 research articles and received more than $18M in research funding. Her recent major achievements include working in two NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence and an NHMRC Synergy Grant.  
Prof Badland was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship in 2017 and is the Deputy Director in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

Dr Rhys Jones

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Associate Professor, University Of Auckland

Dr Rhys Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a Public Health Physician and Associate Professor in Māori Health at the University of Auckland. He oversees Māori Health teaching, learning and assessment in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Rhys’s research broadly addresses Indigenous health and health equity. He has a particular interest in environmental influences on Māori health and wellbeing, with a focus on climate justice and Indigenous rights.

Dr Belinda Townsend

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Fellow, Australian National University

Dr Belinda Townsend is Deputy Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance and Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. Belinda is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the interface between public health, governance, and political economy and is an emerging leader in the field of public health political science.Her work examines the political economy of health, including agenda-setting for health in areas outside the “health policy” domain such as trade and investment, employment, and social and welfare policy.

Associate Professor Deborah Gleeson

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Associate Professor In Public Health, School Of Psychology And Public Health, La Trobe University

Deborah Gleeson is an Associate Professor in Public Health at La Trobe University, Australia where she leads the discipline of Health Practice and Management and teaches postgraduate subjects in health policy and health law.


Deborah's research focuses on public health policy, particularly at national and international levels. Her main research focus is the interface between trade and investment agreements and public health, and she has a large number of peer-reviewed publications on this topic, covering a range of issues including access to affordable medicines, alcohol and tobacco policy, and food and nutrition.

Her 2020 book with Professor Ronald Labonte, Trade Agreements and Public Health, provides an introduction to the topic for health policy makers, researchers and advocates.


Deborah is Co-convenor of the Political Economy of Health Special Interest Group of the Public Health Association of Australia and plays a key role in PHAA's advocacy for healthy trade agreements.

Ms Haylene Grogan

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Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Division at Queensland Health

Haylene is a very proud Yalanji and Tagalaka woman with Italian heritage. Haylene has extensive public sector experience in both health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, having held executive positions in the Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and Commonwealth Governments. Her career has included positions in service delivery (both administrative and clinical), policy and program development and implementation.

Haylene commenced her career in the community-controlled health sector at Wuchopperen Aboriginal Medical Service Centre in Cairns in 1982 as Receptionist and then Aboriginal Health Worker. She pursued a nursing career as a registered nurse and midwife and has experience in economic prosperity, languages cultural heritage, land and planning reforms. She is particularly proud to have had the privilege of guiding NSW to becoming the first jurisdiction in Australia to enact Aboriginal languages legislation, with the introduction of the Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 into NSW Parliament in October of that year.

Just over a year ago, Haylene returned to Queensland and Queensland Health, where she has previously held the position of Senior Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch in 2010. Haylene is very excited to partner with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health sector in leading a First Nations health equity reform agenda within the health sector in Queensland.

Professor Boyd Swinburn

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Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health University of Auckland

Boyd trained as an endocrinologist and has conducted research in metabolic, clinical and public health aspects of obesity. His major research interests centre on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, ‘obesogenic’ environments. He leads the INFORMAS initiative ( to monitor and benchmark food environments in over 60 countries. He established WHO’s first Collaborating Centre on Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in 2003, led two Lancet Series on Obesity in 2011 and 2015, was co-chair of World Obesity Policy & Prevention section 2009-2019 and co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Obesity 2015-2019. He has been an advisor on many government committees, WHO Consultations, and large scientific studies internationally.