The keynote speakers at the APNA National Conference offer new perspectives, provoking reflection and action

Sit back and enjoy some of the stand out keynote presenters from APNA conferences over the past few years:

  • Prof Sanchia Aranda on Realising Nurse Contribution to the Art and Science of Health Care was one for the ages
  • There are a couple of stand out presentations from Brian Dolan on creating high performing health system, leadership, culture and influence
  • Leading Nurse Practitioner Lesley Salem on Health Promotion and Access is not to be missed
  • Every Nurse is a Mental Health Nurse You Just Didn’t Know It! a memorable keynote from Dr Mary Moller
  • Prof Raina Macintyre, Dr John Litt and Prof Ross Andrews each present updates on Adult Vaccination
  • Be inspired by Rosie Batty speaking on Domestic Violence and the integral role of nurses
  • A moving keynote from Orange Sky Laundry founders on The Power of Conversation
  • Nurse Robbie, Robbie Bedbrook empowers nurses to boost their individual scope and the broader profile of the profession
  • and many, many more, including Professor Emerita Jill White on the Nursing Now campaign of which she is the Western Pacific Representative

Keynote Speakers

APNA are privileged to have Rosemary Wanganeen deliver the Welcome to Country to open the 2019 conference. A proud Aboriginal Australian from South Australia of Kaurna, Wirrangu, Koogatha and English heritage, Rosemary Wanganeen began her own healing journey in 1987. That journey continued throughout her time working on the Committee to Defend Black Rights (1986-87) which forced the government to call for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) (1987-1991). During her time in the RCIADIC, Rosemary vividly recalls asking herself this question, ‘Where are all these Aboriginal families across Australia going to talk about the death of their loved one in custody?’ This question is what compelled her to research and develop her Seven Phases to Integrate Loss and Grief.

Her Seven Phases model went from strength to strength by studying with Bereavement Educational Services (SA) in 1994 and with COPE (SA) in Counselling Basics and Counselling Strategies in 1991.

During her journey, she came to the realisation that loss and inter-generational suppressed unresolved grief is the basis of so many of the challenges that beset contemporary Aboriginal people as individuals, families, communities and as a race of people. It was also the cause of barriers to many fearing participation in society and accessing help from mainstream services.

Although not academically trained, Rosemary is widely recognised for her expertise and successes in the field for over 30 years. Her work is gaining growing attention and respect from academics and health professionals alike. Her Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief is published in reputable articles and papers about her research, theories and methodologies and her work has featured in several specialist journals.

As a Griefologist in this field she's a specialist and is a qualified educator and assessor, program designer and facilitator, loss and grief counsellor, public speaker and a published author. The foundation to these abilities derives from her lived experiences of grieving through her personal loss and grief from 1987-1992. During her personal grieving journey she set up the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre in 1993.

Back by popular demand, MC extraordinaire Jean Kittson is fired up with fresh stories to share with familiar faces (and some newbies!) as she steers the ship at APNA's 2019 National Conference.

A trailblazer in the role of women, Jean is a public advocate for education, youth, health, equal opportunity and ageing; making her an ideal MC to lead the show!

Jean Kittson is a performer and scriptwriter for stage, television, radio, magazines and newspapers.

Jean came to national attention on 'The Big Gig'. Followed by Let the Blood Run Free, Kittson Fahey, Good News Week, the Glasshouse, Flat Chat, The Einstein Factor, Media Dimensions, Strictly Speaking, Talking ’Bout Your Generation, Studio Ten, the Today Show and she is also well known for her comedy debates for the ABC, Channel 9 and Channel ten.

She has been a regular columnist with New Weekly, Sunday Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney Magazine, Inspire Magazine, the Readers Digest Health Smart magazine and The Hoopla.

She is the author of Tongue Lashing, published by Penguin.

Her film credits include Hating Alison Ashley and The Nugget.

Theatre includes Mum’s the Word, Calendar Girls, Siren, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

She is a regular panellist on ABC 702 radio drive programme, Thank God It’s Friday.

She has conversed on Conversations with Richard Fidler twice.

Jean is an experienced MC, keynote speaker, panellist, debater and facilitator of conventions, conferences, award nights and other after dinner frolics, in corporate, government and community arena.

She was a founding Director of the National Cord Blood Bank, the inaugural Chair of the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation (AGCF) and a founding Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. She is currently an Ambassador for The Macular Disease Foundation, Northcott Disability Services, The Raise Foundation, Taldumande Youth Services and the Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation. She is the Patron of Junction Works and most recently she has been appointed the Patron of Palliative Care Nurses Australia.

As an advocate for women’s health issues, she was invited to speak about her experiences of menopause at the National Press Club.

This lead to her recently published book, “You’re Still Hot To Me. The Joys of Menopause.” (Pan Macmillan)

“Informative, accurate, funny and just so accessible. I love it and finally have the definitive book to recommend to my patients.” 
Dr Penny Adams, GP and medical media advocate for women’s health

Jean is married to cartoonist and political satirist Patrick Cook.

And is the mother of two daughters, Victoria 25 and Charlie, 18.

APNA President Karen Booth has worked as a primary health care nurse and nurse manager in general practice since 1998. Her roles include acute care, preventative health and chronic disease management, care coordination, data management, accreditation, administration, staff training and mentoring. Karen has recently moved into practice management.

Karen’s true passion is preventative health care and utilising surveillance and health checks to identify health problems so that care can be initiated early to prevent damage to a person’s health and wellbeing. Key to this is the development of systems to utilise skills of the whole general practice team to support health prevention activity and care.

Karen has participated in advisory groups for APNA, Australian Medicare Local Alliance, Nursing in General Practice Program, New South Wales Health, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Practice Nurse Clinical Education, and Sydney University, and Health Pathways Advisory Group for Inner West Sydney Medicare Local/Sydney Local Health District.

Karen holds several committee and advisory group positions at Australian Government Department of Health level including the General Practice Roundtable, the National Immunisation Committee, the Advisory Committee for Safety of Vaccine (Ministerial appointment). In 2014 Karen participated in several advisory groups for the RACGP including the Pandemic Taskforce and the review of the Pandemic Flu Kit, the Infection Control Standards and Quality Health Records.

Hon Greg Hunt MP was elected as the Federal Member for Flinders in 2001, and became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs as a young MP in the Howard Government. Greg was Minister for the Environment between September 2013 and July 2016. In 2016 he was selected as the inaugural Best Minister in the World recipient at the World Government Summit.

In January 2017, Greg was appointed Minister for Health and Sport. He is guaranteeing Australians’ access to health services and affordable medicines with the establishment of the Medicare Guarantee Fund to secure the ongoing funding of Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Greg has struck partnerships with the nation’s general practitioners, specialists, pharmacists and the medicines sector. This is historic; as it is the first time a government has achieved simultaneous partnerships with all sectors and underscores the Government’s rock solid commitment to Medicare and delivering the health care people need.

Mental health is an issue that is particularly important to Greg. Mental health touches nearly every family in Australia and he is making this a focus of his role as Health Minister to improve mental health services.

Dr Jenny Gowan is a practicing pharmacist and a Teaching Associate at Monash University. She is a current member of the PSA Branch committee, Editorial Board Member of AUS-DI, SHPA ‘Don’t Rush to Crush’, Guidelines Committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook,  and the Thunderstorm Asthma Expert panel, and RACGP Silver book for Aged Care . 

Jenny is an accredited consultant pharmacist, and conducts her own company focussing on medication reviews in the home and Aged Care Facilities as well as Quality Use of Medicine consultancy.  She works regularly in community pharmacy plus sessions in a GP clinic at a Community Health Centre. Jenny has published over 350 educational articles and presents hundreds of talks annually.   

In 2010 Jenny received the Sanofi-Aventis award by the University of Sydney,  in 2013, PSA Australian Pharmacist of the Year and  2016 Jenny was the AACP-MIMs Consultant Pharmacist of the Year.

Tony Zappia MP is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Medicare and Member for Makin, South Australia.

Tony has lived in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide since early childhood, attending Pooraka Primary School and Enfield High School. He began full-time work in 1969 with the ANZ Bank. From 1976 to 1980, Tony was employed as a research officer to Senator Jim Cavanagh.

Between 1981 and 2007, Tony part-owned and operated a local fitness centre. He was also an Australian power lifting champion and an accredited fitness and weight training instructor.

Tony served as an elected member with the City of Salisbury between 1977 and 2007 and served on many different boards, committees and community organisations. From 1997 to 2007 Tony was Mayor of Salisbury. Under his leadership, the City of Salisbury became a world leader in environmental and water management.

Professor White is a Professor Emerita of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney and the Faculty of Health University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia. Jill is now an independent consultant in the areas of health education, regulation and policy.

Professor White’s distinguished career has seen her at the frontiers of major change in nursing education, policy and regulation, with her work having had a significant impact at state, national and international levels. In 2011, she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia Medal (AM) in the Australia Day Honours list for services to nursing and midwifery.

Professor White was the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney from 2008-2015. Prior to this she was Dean of the Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology, Sydney 1997-2008.

Professor White helped develop one of the first university nursing programs in Australia and chaired Australia’s largest health professional regulatory body. She was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, which helps to protect the health and safety of the Australian community by establishing high-quality standards of nursing and midwifery education, training and assessment.

In 2015 Jill received a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, researching how nursing might have a greater influence on health policy.

In 2017 Jill was seconded to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as Associate Director (Global Education) where she headed the review, refreshment and development of ICN education programmes.

Jill has undertaken work in many countries, notably assisting with the development of Midwifery and Nursing programmes in Vietnam, the Non-Communicable Diseases programme in Tonga and educational developments in Indonesia and India.

Professor White officially retired in March 2018 from the University of Sydney where she had been Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. She has been awarded the prestigious life-time title Professor Emerita in recognition of her contributions.

Currently Jill is the Western Pacific Region nursing representative on the Board of the Nursing Now Campaign.

Dr Chris Helms is a registered nurse and endorsed nurse practitioner currently working in primary health care in a remote Aboriginal community in far north Queensland.

Chris received his formal training as an Adult and Geriatric NP from the University of Wisconsin, based in the United States. He has worked in diverse healthcare settings, ranging from remote primary healthcare to subspecialty practice in a quaternary referral centre. He immigrated to Australia in 2007 and has since served on several committees vested in the advancement of the Australian nursing profession.  

Dr Helms currently holds a ministerial appointment with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and is member of the Commonwealth Health Care Homes Implementation Advisory Group.  He recently completed his PhD, which validated a specialist clinical learning and teaching framework for Australian NPs. In his spare time he serves as a Director for a consultancy based in Canberra that helps organisations better understand, plan and implement NP models of care.

Chris received APNA's 2018 Rosemary Bryant Award in recognition of his contribution to the nursing profession, dedication and advocacy of nurses working in primary health care.

Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP is the Minister for Indigenous Health, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Member for Hasluck, Western Australia.

Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, located east of Perth, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives.

In September 2013 Ken became the first Member for Hasluck re-elected for a second term, and in 2016 made history once again by winning Hasluck for a third term. Since his election to Parliament in 2010, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate and to help build a stronger local community.

In 2015 Ken became the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health, responsible for Aged Care service delivery and implementation, as well as for Dementia, Organ and Tissue Authority and Australian Hearing.

In January 2016 Ken again made history as the first Indigenous Minister to serve in a Federal Government, after being appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

In August 2018 Ken was also made the Minister for Senior Australians meaning his current title is Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

Before entering politics Ken worked in community and senior government roles in the fields of Health and Education including as Director of Aboriginal Health in both the New South Wales and then later the Western Australia jurisdiction.

In addition to Ken’s extensive career in health and education, he has made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people. This was recognised in 1996 when Ken was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ list. In 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health.

Ken brings his knowledge in the areas of health and education to his role as Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, as well as a lifetime of personal experiences in his family life and as an active member of the local Hasluck community.

Associate Professor John Litt
Discipline of General Practice, Flinders University
Life member, RACGP
Life time achievement award, Lung Foundation
Ambassador Cancer SA
RACGP Rose-Hunt award winner: 2016

John is an academic GP and was the GP teaching coordinator in the Flinders University MD program until he recently retired.

John is also a public health physician.  His teaching activities focussed on coordinating the teaching of general practice and arranging placement for medical students in the Flinders University Medical Course.

His major clinical and research interests are in prevention and its implementation. He has over 100 refereed publications (journal articles, book and book chapters) including co authorship of the Australian General Practice Smoking Cessation Guidelines and its updates and the RACGP prevention guidelines.

He has had a special interest in vaccination in adults and older persons. He was one of the inaugural Directors of the Influenza Specialist group (1996-2015) and remains on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Immunisation Coalition.

He conducted the first National GP and patient survey into Influenza and Pneumococcal disease in older persons in 1998 and followed up with the first Australian study into the attitudes and beliefs about shingles and its complications in GPs and their patients. He chaired the SA health Department Primary Care pandemic influenza planning group between 2007 and 2009, running pandemic planning workshops and meetings for GPs and their practice staff.

John was a member of the (International) Merck Adult Vaccine Advisory Board from 2013-2017.

He has been a member of several national committees, consortia, and Scientific Advisory Committees including NHMRC, Cancer Australia, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and Freemasons Centre for Men’s health.

He has been the leading driver of the RACGP green book, Putting Prevention into Practice and evidence-based review of effective implementation strategies for prevention activities in the GP setting. The 3rd edition of this monograph was published in May 2018.

Dr Louise Schaper is on a mission to fix health care.

As leader of Australia’s peak body for digital health - the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), Dr Schaper, is a passionate advocate for the transformation of health care.

As CEO of HISA she brings together world-class clinicians, researchers, innovators and organisations from across the biomedical, health and technology spectrum who are committed to the improvement of health outcomes enabled through innovative uses of technology and information.

She is a facilitator, an innovator and a change agent who explores and leverages the convergence of people, systems and technologies in the transformation and future of health and medicine.

With a background as an occupational therapist, Louise has a PhD in technology acceptance among health professionals, is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Informatics, a graduate of Stanford’s Executive Leadership Program, a Certified Health Informatician and a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow.

Louise is an in-demand speaker and writes for academic and industry publications.

Louise is host of the popular Dissecting Digital Health podcast, she is always online, and yes, she does have the coolest job!

APNA is thrilled to announce hero anaesthetist and Thai cave dive rescuer, Dr Richard “Harry” Harris SOC OAM, will headline a thought-provoking and highly relevant conference program.

Dr Harris works in anaesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia. Harry made international headlines in July when he assisted in the rescue of a group of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.

He has expertise in diving, wilderness and remote area health. His passion for cave diving goes back to the 1980’s and has taken him to the corners of the globe in search of new adventures.

Harry and the “Wet Mules” have explored the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand to 229m depth, Daxing Spring in China to 213m and Song Hong Cave in Thailand to 196m to name a few.

He is an enthusiastic but inferior UW photographer and videographer who is resigned to capturing opportunistic images via helmet cams.

Harry has a professional and voluntary interest in search and rescue operations, establishing the first sump rescue training course in Australasia. By building relationships with emergency services in Australia he has been preparing for such an event. The 2018 Thailand Cave Rescue was an opportunity to put this training to work.

Sarah Brown is the Chief Executive Officer of Purple House and has been helping the Indigenous Directors to run the organisation since its inception more than sixteen years ago. 

In 2017 she was Hesta’s Australia’s Nurse of the Year. In 2018 she made it to the BOSS magazine’s ‘True Leaders’ list.

Sarah holds a Master of Nursing , a Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education and a Graduate Diploma in Health Service Management. Prior to joining Purple House, she was as a remote area nurse and university lecturer.

She paints, has exhibitions across Australia and overseas, has 3 kids and drives a 1959 Morris Minor.

She thinks ‘Work/Life balance’ is irrelevant if you love what you do!

Helen Almond PhD is a Specialist General Practice Nurse, Lecturer, Researcher and Clinical Reference Lead at the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Helen is a dynamic professional who has the flexibility, aptitude and capability of research, making strategic and operational contributions to the delivery of the highest standard of healthcare in community and primary health care settings.

Helen is employed as a lecturer in Digital Health and Informatics at Swinburne University of Technology. Her research focuses on the use of participatory methodologies to examine the impact of digital health on the delivery of human-centred care for vulnerable communities. Through educational and curriculum development, Helen expects to expand her research focus toward the health professional, understanding the impact of digital health technology for early career healthcare providers.

Helen is a member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia, a peak professional body for the digital health community. This provides network opportunity with like-minded health informaticians, clinicians, researchers, healthcare managers and executives, data analysts, designers, project managers, technologists and innovators.



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