Keynote Speakers

The AEN Conference Organising Committee are pleased to announce the following feature engaging keynote speakers.

Justin Withers

Director of Policy and Integrity, Australian Research Council

Justin is currently the Director of Policy and Integrity at the Australian Research Council (ARC). Justin and his team has carriage of all things research integrity for the ARC, including the ARC’s Research Integrity and Research Misconduct Policy and processes, as well as secretariat support for the Australian Research Integrity Committee. In addition to research integrity, Justin’s team has responsibility for the ARC’s international engagement strategy and outreach, general policy development and advice, risk management and secretariat support for the ARC Advisory Council.  Within the ARC, Justin has previously led the Parliamentary team and contributed to policy around the Australian Government’s successful Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. Prior to joining the ARC, Justin worked at the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research leading a small team that delivered over AUD1.6 billion annually to eligible Australian higher education providers as block grants for research and research training, through a number of performance-based schemes. Justin has also led teams responsible for the management and delivery of Australian Government international science support programs–International Science Linkages (AUD95 million) and Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AUD70 million). Justin has also been responsible for providing secretariat support to the Chief Scientist of Australia and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) and a number of its working groups. Before joining the Australian Public Service in 1999, Justin played professional basketball both nationally and internationally, representing Australia on a number of occasions.

Ms Chrissy Grant

Ms Chrissy Grant is an Aboriginal Elder (Kuku Yalanji from the Jalunji-Warra clan) and Torres Strait Islander (Mualgal from Kubin on Moa Island). Ms Grant worked at the national level for more than 35 years with communities on cultural and natural resource management and particularly with heritage management, conservation and protection as a Consultant and previously as the Director of Indigenous Heritage in the Australian Government departments of the Australian Heritage Commission (AHC) and later the Department of Environment and Heritage. She has extensive networks across the country and internationally with her work with the Convention of Biological Diversity, the ICCA Consortium, the World Indigenous Network, and the IUCN World Parks Congress. Chrissy chaired the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee for 12 years ending in October 2016, and during that period oversaw the review and rewrite of the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies. Subsequently, she became Chair of the NHMRC Indigenous Research Ethics Guidelines Review Working Committee to review, update, and rewrite the NHMRC Values and Ethics and the Keeping Research on Track.            

Professor Yvonne Cadet-James

James Cook University

Professor Cadet-James has a background in health, as a registered nurse and midwife followed by a career as an academic. She is currently employed at James Cook University where she is responsible for providing leadership in education and research especially in matters which affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Her research expertise includes empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify their own issues and practical solutions to those issues. Her other research interests lie in social and emotional wellbeing and community based models to address alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use. She has been involved in national reform to improve approaches to research in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander context particularly focused on strengthening the capacity of researchers and communities to ensure that research addresses priorities and meets ethical standards. She provides representation on international, national and local boards, committees and working groups.

Professor Ian Olver AM

Director, Cancer Research Institute, University of South Australia

Professor Ian Olver AM is immediate past chair of the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) of NHMRC on which he served for 9 years, and currently chairs the ethics committee of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia. He is also Director, University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute and Professor of Translational Cancer Research. A renowned oncologist, cancer researcher and bioethicist his research interests are in anticancer drug studies, symptom control, bio-ethics and psycho-oncology, Ian is author of over 290 journal articles and is a regular commentator on cancer issues in Australia and internationally. Ian was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to medical oncology as a clinician, researcher, administrator and mentor, and to the community through leadership roles with cancer control organisations.

Jillian Barr

Director of Ethics and Governance, NHMRC

As Director of Ethics and Governance at NHMRC, Jillian’s work involves developing a range of ethics guidelines and research standards including the current review of the 2007 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, the National Statement on Ethical conduct in Human Research and animal ethics guidelines. Jillian’s team is responsible for providing policy and guidance for Human Research Ethics Committees in Australia and for supporting the Australian Health Ethics Committee.  Jillian is also responsible for research integrity matters at NHMRC. Jillian has qualifications in Arts, Law and Bioethics.

Jeremy Kenner

Expert Advisor For Ethics, NHMRC

Jeremy Kenner is the Expert Advisor for Ethics to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Evidence, Advice and Governance Branch. At NHMRC, he is responsible for or contributes to a broad range of programs and projects related to health and research ethics and governance of research and provides advice internally and externally on these matters. Prior to his current role, Jeremy served as Ethics Coordinator at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for nine years. Earlier in his career, Jeremy worked as a school teacher, practiced law and conducted public education and research in bioethics in the United States. Academically, Jeremy has degrees in Anthropology, Theology and Law. On a personal note, Jeremy has roots in both the United States and Canada, resulting in a bit of a split personality and obsessive attention to political news from North America. He seeks therapy for this disorder at the Bay of Fires in Tasmania whenever possible.

Professor Wendy Rogers

Professor of Clinical Ethics, Macquarie University

Wendy Rogers is Professor of Clinical Ethics at Macquarie University and Deputy Director of the Macquarie University Research Centre on Agency, Values and Ethics, with strong interests in healthcare policy and practice. During her first term on the Australian Health Ethics Committee she served on the working party responsible for the 2007 revision of the National Statement. Since 2010, she has been Chair of the working party on the current rolling revision of the National Statement. Her research interests include over diagnosis, ethics of surgical practice and research, transplant abuse and vulnerability.

Invited Speakers

The AEN Conference Organising Committee are pleased to announce the following invited speakers.

Professor Robert Sparrow

BA (Hons) (Melb.), PhD (A.N.U.) Rob Sparrow is a Professor in the Philosophy Program, a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and an adjunct Professor in the Monash Bioethics Centre, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He has been an ARC Future Fellow, a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Fellow at Kyoto University, a Visiting Fellow in the CUHK Centre for Bioethics, in the Faculty of Medicine, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, at the National University of Singapore. He has published widely, in both academic journals and the popular press, on the ethics of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, human cloning, artificial gametogenesis, and human enhancement.

Professor Sasha (Alexandra) Aikhenvald

James Cook University

Sasha came to Australia in 1994 as Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellow and relocated to La Trobe University in 2000. She was co-founder and Associate Director of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology. This was founded at the Australian National University in 1996 and later relocated to La Trobe University, where it continued to prosper until 2008. In January 2009 she accepted appointment as Professor and Research Leader, People and Societies of the Tropics, at the newly established Cairns Institute within James Cook University. Together with Professor R Dixon she has established a Language and Culture Research Centre. She is currently Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Language and Culture Research centre. Her expertise lies in languages and cultures of Amazonia and New Guinea and general linguistics.

Workshop Presenters

The AEN Conference Organising Committee are pleased to announce the following presenters for pre-conference workshops.

Susan Smith

Clinical Research Coordinator: Cardiothoracic Surgery Program, The Prince Charles Hospital

Susan Smith is contributing to the Ethical Governance of Human Research Data in the Age of Genomics Workshop. Susan is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Cardiothoracic Surgery program at The Prince Charles Hospital. She has 30 years’ experience as a hospital scientist including in therapeutic tissue transplantation; basic, clinical, and health services research and education; managing clinical registers in support of Audit and Research. Her focus has been to facilitate evidence-based decision making in clinical practice and motivate innovation through better use of our data resources. She is a qualified epidemiologist, a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Informatics, a Certified Health Informatician of Australia and has been Vice Chair/ Chair of the Qld branch of the Health Informatics Society of Australia for 10 years. Susan Smith, BSc (Hons), MEpi, FACHI, CHIA

Dr Geraldene Mackay

Clinical Social Worker

Dr Geraldene Mackay is one of the presenters of the Ethical Governance of Human Research Data in the Age of Genomics Workshop. Geraldene Mackay, PhD (Health Sciences, La Trobe, Bundoora) BSW(Hons), is a practicing Clinical Social Worker in Victoria, Australia.  Geraldene has practiced in mental health Social Work and research in a variety of contexts including academia, corrections, aged care, homelessness, domestic violence, social work supervision as well as general mental health practice.  Geraldene has a strong interest in the consumer/patient experience of biobanking and genetics and how consumer/patient rights can be maximised in the rapidly evolving genomic research environment.      

Claire Smith-Moloney

University of the Sunshine Coast

Claire is one of the presenters of the Ethical Governance of Human Research Data in the Age of Genomics Workshop.  

Associate Professor Andrew Crowden

Bioethicist and Associate Professor in Philosophy, University of Queensland (UQ)

Associate Professor Andrew Crowden is one of the presenters of the Ethical Governance of Human Research Data in the Age of Genomics Workshop. Andrew is a Bioethicist and Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Queensland (UQ). Andrew is research ethics stream leader for the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL) Chairperson of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Research Ethics Committee.

Anne Walsh

Anne Walsh is one of the presenters of the Research Integrity Workshop. Manager, Research Ethics and Integrity, Office of research Ethics and Integrity, Queensland University of Technology (QUT).  For 15 years, Anne has worked in number of roles relating to clinical and research ethics and research governance and integrity. She has been a member of human research ethics committees in the public and private health sector. Anne has degrees in science, philosophy and law. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Law Faculty, QUT.

Dr Conor Brophy

Mater Health Services and Queensland University of Technology

Dr Conor Brophy is one of the presenters of the Research Integrity Workshop. Conor has been a member of human research ethics committees in UK and Australia for 20 years.  She chairs the Mater Misericordiae Ltd HREC and the Queensland University of Technology HREC, reviewing human research from all faculties. She has degrees in medicine, bioethics and clinical research and previously worked in health and pharma research and clinical governance.

Sara Potts

Townsville Hospital and Health Service

Sara Potts is one of the presenters of the HREC Members Training Workshop. Sara manages the operations of the THHS Human Research Ethics Committee and provides advice on ethical matters in relation to research and applying National and International ethics guidelines for conducting research. Sara has over 10 years’ experience in health and research sectors, and is also studying majors in Tropical Health and Society, and Indigenous Australian Studies at James Cook University.

Professor Ian Kerridge

Professor Ian Kerridge is one of the presenters of the Consent in Research Workshop. Ian is an internationally recognised scholar in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine. He is a Director of Praxis Australia, Professor of Bioethics and Medicine at Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney and Haematologist/Bone Marrow Transplant Physician at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. He is also the Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the South East Sydney LHD Clinical Ethics Committee, a board member of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL) and a member of the NSW Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel.

Professor Paul Komesaroff

Professor Paul Komesaroff is one of the presenters for the Consent in Research Workshop. Paul is a practicing physician and Professor of Medicine at Monash University in Melbourne, RACP Adult Medicine Division President-Elect, Director of Praxis Australia and Executive Director of the international NGO Global Reconciliation. He has an international reputation in health care ethics, and has made a major impact on the field of clinical ethics in Australia. Paul’s work is interdisciplinary: spanning clinical medicine, biomedical research, social research, philosophy and ethical theory, clinical ethics and policy development with respect to ethics and clinical practice.