Our Speakers

Thank you to all of our speakers at the 2022 AMWA Conference, Honouring the Past, Embracing the Future.

Prof Ginny Barbour

Prof Virginia (Ginny) Barbour is Co-Lead, Office for Scholarly Communication, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Director of Open Access Australasia. She trained in the UK in medicine, specialising in haematology and then went onto to do a DPhil at Oxford University and post-doctoral research in the US on globin gene regulation.

She was one of the three founding editors of PLOS Medicine. She has been involved in many international open access, innovative scholarly communication and publication and research integrity initiatives. She was previously Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). She is currently Vice-Chair of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) Steering Committee, a Plan S Ambassador, a member of Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)’s Executive Board and a member of the Australian NHMRC’s Research Quality Steering Committee. She is an editorial advisor to medRxiv.

Dr Jocelyne Basseal

Dr Jocelyne Basseal is the current AMWA President. In addition, she leads the strategic development of the Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute at the University of Sydney, fostering national and global partnerships. Prior to this role, from April 2020, Jocelyne supported member states in the WHO's Western Pacific Region as an Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) consultant for the COVID-19 response. She is a graduate from the University of Sydney with a PhD in Medical Microbiology and has supervised post-graduate students, delivered lectures, organised scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.

After leaving academia, Jocelyne spent over 8 years as the Managing Editor, Research and Policy Manager for the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine. With strong governance knowledge, skills in policy development, writing and communication, Jocelyne was instrumental in advocating for best practices in IPC for medical imaging. During this time, she was an IPC advisor and consultant for commercial companies, delivered educational workshops, supported medical associations with their peer-reviewed journals and developed the research grants scheme for a philanthropic organisation. 

Sally Bathgate

Sally Bathgate worked as a Regulatory Affairs professional in the pharmaceutical industry in Australia from 2001-2010. During that time, she was heavily involved in the preparation of quality Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) and involved with an industry-wide effort to make CMI better and more usable for everyday people. She now works as a freelance health and medical writer generating content for a variety of healthcare organisations and companies. She writes clear, engaging and plain English content designed to help increase health knowledge (health literacy) and promote the safe and effective use of therapeutic goods and services. 

Dr Carissa Bonner

Dr Carissa Bonner is Deputy Director of the Sydney Health Literacy Lab and Health Services Theme Lead at Menzies Centre for Health Policy & Economics, at The University of Sydney. As a behavioural scientist working in public health, she leads a national program of research on risk communication, decision making and behaviour change with a focus on disease prevention, including COVID-19, heart disease and diabetes. She is currently involved in the Australian guideline revision for heart disease prevention and the development the National Health Literacy Strategy. Internationally, she developed best practice guidance for presenting probabilities in patient decision aids, and leads the social media strategy for the International Shared Decision Making Society.

Timothy Bowen

Timothy joined Ahpra in June 2022, bringing almost 20 years of experience in healthcare regulation across policy, advocacy, legal practice, and senior management roles. Before starting with Ahpra, Timothy led advocacy and engagement for a national healthcare insurer for over six years. He worked with governments, regulators and stakeholders on a broad range of issues across healthcare regulation and policy. For many years before that he practised as a lawyer specialising in health regulatory, civil and investigative matters.

Timothy holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and a Master of Laws, majoring in health law and ethics. He has held a range of advisory committee roles in professional regulation and policy. He is also an Adjunct Fellow in the Schools of Law and Medicine at Western Sydney University, teaching healthcare regulation to the next generation of medical and law students.

Angela Chellas

Angela Chellas is a qualified project management consultant and facilitator with over 20 years of practical project-based experience.  She has facilitated the embedding of project management principles into numerous companies, throughout the world, and across a range of industries.  Angela is the owner of Lotus Project Consulting which was established in 2011. Angela has helped a multitude of organisations increase their project management capability and improve efficiencies in delivery.  She works with leaders to devise a cultural change strategy to effectively engage stakeholders in the design and implementation Angela is also committed to the advancement of the project management profession, volunteering many personal hours to industry associations and events.  She has sat on the Board of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Sydney Chapter for 2 years and the Nominating Committee for 3 years. Angela has a Bachelor of Arts, a Post Graduate Certificate of Marketing, and an Advanced Diploma of Project Management.  In 2001 she became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and member of the Project Management Institute.  She is a PRINCE2 Practitioner and holds Project+ certification with CompTIA.  Angela has a CertIV in Training and Assessment and is also a Myers Briggs accredited facilitator.

Dr Justin Coleman

Justin Coleman is Director of Education for the Northern Territory’s GP training program, and works as a GP in Brisbane. He has edited a number of medical journals and textbooks, most notably Australia’s primary GP text, Murtagh’s General Practice. Justin joined AMWA as a fledgling medical writer in 2005, later serving as President for five years. When not writing, he dabbles in medical podcasts and radio.

Dr Kylie Gwynne

With more than thirty years’ in the design, implementation and evaluation of health and human services, Kylie brings operational, governance, strategy and management experience to solving complex system wide challenges for and with priority populations. She has held leadership roles in health and human services delivery, program development, system reform, research and public policy. Kylie has extensive experience in co-design with stakeholders (typically with divergent views) to understand existing issues, and jointly re/develop feasible and sustainable solutions.

In 2017 she graduated my PhD titled Applying collective impact to improve health services for Aboriginal people in rural and remote communities. Her thesis included nine publications and won the University medal. Since joining the team at Macquarie University in late 2019, Kylie has been an Investigator on external grants totalling $7.9m to co-design, deliver and evaluate services with Aboriginal people including new approaches to oral health, allied health, water consumption, hearing and cardiovascular disease. All of her research includes multidisciplinary researchers, students and community members and delivers real-world outcomes. She began publishing in the peer reviewed literature in 2016 and have more than 60 research outputs.

Jesusa Helaratne

Jesusa Helaratne is the Deputy Director of the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service (MHCS). She has 17 years of experience running major multicultural health communication and media campaigns featuring stories of culturally and linguistically diverse people with lived experiences combining innovative arts and health initiatives and strategies. Jesusa has also been working closely with the NSW Ministry of Health COVID-19 Communications and Media Team for close to 2 ½ years at the State Health Operations Centre (SHEOC). She has played as critical role in engaging with multicultural communities and delivering accurate and timely COVID-19 information and multilingual resources across NSW. Jesusa has been moderating the Multicultural Media Online Conferences since 2021 – weekly during COVID-19 pandemic outbreaks and now fortnightly since April 2022 – hosted in partnership with Ministry of Health, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and Multicultural NSW.

As an award-winning broadcast journalist for 13 years, Jesusa brings expert knowledge to her roles with the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service and Ministry of Health having worked with news organisations such as CNN, SBS, ARD German TV, ABS-CBN News Channel and other TV and radio stations.

Dr Fiona MacKinnon

Fiona currently works at the Therapeutic Goods Administration writing the weekly safety report for the COVID-19 vaccines. She was formerly the Deputy Editor of Australian Prescriber and started a special interest group within AMWA for health and medical journal editors called AHMEN (Australasian Health and Medical journal Editors’ Network). She got her first break as a medical writer almost 20 years ago in Berlin and hasn’t looked back since. This initial experience opened the door to a more flexible family-friendly career which has spanned academic research, medical publishing, big pharma, government and freelance work. Along the way, Fiona has been able to combine her professional interests with her love of travel, working in UK, US, Germany and Australia. 

Dr Jeremy McAnulty

Dr Jeremy McAnulty is a public health physician and Executive Director of Health Protection NSW, overseeing the public health aspects of communicable disease control and environmental health. From 2020 to 2022 he headed NSW Health’s COVID Public Health Response Branch. Jeremy has led and published on a range of public health investigations and responses. He has a Master of Public Health, and trained with NSW Health’s Public Health training scheme, and the US CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Dr Sarah McKay

Dr Sarah McKay is a neuroscientist who translates brain research into strategies for professionals working in health, education and coaching. She received her PhD from Oxford, but after four years postdoc research, hung up her lab coat to set up a communications business bridging the gap between the lab and everyday life.     

 Sarah is the author of The Women's Brain Book—The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness which explores the female lifespan through the lens of neurobiology. In 2019, Sarah hosted an episode of ABC Catalyst exploring brain health, bio-hacking and longevity. Sarah is the director of The Neuroscience Academy, which offers professional development training in applied neuroscience and brain health.

 Sarah has been published extensively for consumers and professional audiences. She’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Grazia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Mamamia, and can be seen and heard on SBS Insight, ABC Catalyst, ABC Radio National, Radio New Zealand, and Channel 7.

Prof Brett Mitchell

Professor Brett Mitchell is an internationally renowned clinician researcher in the field of infection prevention and control. He is Editor-in-Chief of Infection, Disease in Health, a member of the Australian National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce Leadership Group. Brett has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, and has worked in a variety of positions in Australia and abroad. Brett is a Professor at Avondale University, Monash University, Newcastle University and also co-lead for an Infection research program at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. He also has an appointment working at the Central Coast Local Health District in New South Wales.

Felicity Nelson

Felicity Nelson is a science and health journalist with bylines in ScienceAlertGuardian, The Medical Republic and Lawyers Weekly. Her stories were published in The Best Australian Science Writing anthologies in 2020, 2019 and 2017. She co-founded The Medical Republic podcast in 2019 and has written scripts for the physics and mathematics YouTube channel Veritasium. Felicity acted as the Chief Operating Officer at The Medical Republic between 2020 and 2022, and has since founded her own science writing and strategy consulting business called Frogs and Stars –

Catherine Nolan

Multiple #1 Best Selling Author and Award Nominated Coach, Catherine Nolan is a conduit to voices being heard, careers and lives lived to the full. She is passionate about enabling leaders to utilise their greatest strengths to have the impact they dream of. Through her work as an ASX Top 10, Fortune 50 Leadership Coach and Motivational Speaker, Catherine helps people to transform their self - doubts and fears, into compassion and strength in the workplace. Founder of 'Gender Gap Gone', successful author and communicator, Catherine has inspired and coached thousands of individuals ready for their next move.

Dr John Oetzel

John G. Oetzel is a professor of health communication in the University of Waikato’s Management School. He uses community-engaged research to collaboratively work with communities to address various health issues to improve health equity. His current work includes the collaborative development of interventions with 3 Māori health and social service organisations related to housing (He Kāinga Pai Rawa, Building Better Homes Towns & Cities National Science Challenge) and with 11 Māori health organisations on positive ageing (Kaumātua Mana Motuhake Pōī, Ageing Well National Science Challenge). He is also part of a US NIH-funded project to examine promising practices in community-engaged research (Engage for Equity). His team’s work on developing a Māori implementation framework was funded by the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.

Associate Professor Boe Rambaldini

Boe Rambaldini is an Aboriginal Elder of the Bundjalung Nation on the north coast of NSW. He holds a Diploma of Social Welfare from Macarthur Institute of Higher Education. Boe was appointed Director at the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health (PCIH) at The University of Sydney in 2018. He has held several appointments in local, state and federal government level and in the private and NGO sectors for over 35 years. Most of these appointments were in Aboriginal affairs. Prior to his appointment at the PCIH in 2018, Boe spent 6 years as the Statewide Manager and Senior Policy Analyst with the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy, a Centre of the Ministry of Health (MoH). He was responsible for the Aboriginal Oral Health Portfolio and the management the $6.9M Aboriginal NGO Oral Health Grant Program to enable Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) to provide dental services throughout NSW. Boe also served as the Assistant Director for the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Health (OATSIH) and was responsible for administering ACCHS funding. From 1992 to 2000 he was the principal advisor to the Minister for Police and Commissioner of Police in relation to Aboriginal issues and led the development of the Aboriginal Policy Statement and Aboriginal Strategic Plan to improve Aboriginal/ Police relations.

Nicola Ryan

Nicola started her career in medical writing after completing a BSc majoring in physiology and pharmacology. Over more than 30 years she has developed experience and expertise in a wide variety of scientific medical writing tasks, from manuscripts (including publications in NEJM, JAMA and the Lancet family of journals) to “plain language” patient information/web site resources, and conference materials. As a freelancer for the last 9 years, she primarily works directly with researchers and key opinion leaders based in Asia or Europe.

Sophie Scott

Sophie Scott is a highly respected and sought-after health presenter on ABC TV, with two critically acclaimed books and numerous awards, including the Australian Museum Eureka prize for medical journalism. Thousands of readers regularly respond to her blog about the science of positive psychology. Sophie is a board member of the AMA (NSW) Charitable Foundation, an ambassador for Bowel Cancer and Pain Australia, on the advisory board for the Australian Mental Health Prize and was appointed an Associate Professor (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Medical School.

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Dr Aajuli Shukla

Aajuli Shukla is a General Practitioner with several years of experience working in the diverse communities of Western Sydney. She is one of the editors of the Medical Journal of Australia and is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Diabetes Management Journal. Recently, she has also been involved in the editing and re-writing of the curriculum and syllabus for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She is a passionate advocate of early intervention and community-based projects.

Sarah Spence

Sarah founded Content Copywriting in 2012. Starting off as a freelance copywriter, she realised that in order to write online content well, she needed a solid understanding of SEO under her belt. She skilled up and found things quickly grew to the point where she needed a team. Clients were hungry for copywriters who could create online content that satisfied their audience, their business goals AND Google.  

Fast forward to 2022, and Content Copywriting is now a strategic content marketing agency with 11 in-house staff and a team of 10-15 subcontracted writers. They’re working with major brands, including several in the health/medical/wellness space, and they’re creating and executing Content-led SEO strategies that deliver great results.

Dr Maryke Steffens

Maryke Steffens is a Social Science Research Fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. Her research interests include challenges to health promotion and health communication presented by today’s changing media landscape, and strategies to improve vaccination communication. Maryke completed her PhD with Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation in 2021. Her research focused on strategies to address poor quality vaccination information and misinformation on social media and in other types of written communication. Before moving into research, Maryke worked in health communication and journalism, including as a health and science reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dr Tim Stentiford

Tim has over 20 years’ experience in medical communications and publications globally, including 17 years in APAC. He is responsible for leading cross-functional teams in Australia, China and Singapore, overseeing scientific/editorial operations on multiple regional and global medical communications accounts. Tim has established expertise in strategic scientific publications planning and delivery, especially in China and APAC, across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. Tim is also an active member of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP). He was initially awarded the CMPPTM certification in 2014 and recertified in 2019.

Prof Nick Talley

Professor Nicholas (Nick) Talley, AC, MD (NSW), PhD (Syd.), FRACP, FAFPHM, FAHMS is a physician scientist, educator, and gastroenterologist. He is currently Distinguished Laureate Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, an NHMRC Leadership Fellow, and Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Digestive Health; he is also a Senior Staff Specialist at the John Hunter Hospital. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, a member of the NHMRC Council, a Past President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a past Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges,  and former inaugural Treasurer of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.  He has a special research interest in functional and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, and the gut microbiome. Nick has an outstanding highly cited academic track record with over 1100 publications and is also a leading medical educator and the author of the highly regarded textbooks Clinical Examination and Examination Medicine. He holds adjunct professorial appointments at Mayo Clinic, University of North Carolina and the Karolinska Institute, and is invited to deliver lectures around the world. He lives in Newcastle with his family.

Dr Elmer V Villanueva

Dr Elmer Villanueva teaches epidemiology, biostatistics and public health. He was the former Professor of Public Health at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, where he also led the Centre for Academic Affairs, Graduate School and the Department of Health and Environmental Sciences. He has held senior posts at Monash University, University of Sydney, CSL Ltd, and the National Breast Cancer Centre. 

Elmer provides editorial advice to several medical publications, including the Medical Journal of Australia and Heart, Lung and Circulation.

Dr Sarah White

Dr Sarah White is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW. Sarah is a conversation analyst and qualitative health researcher and has worked in clinical communication and safety and quality research, teaching, and policy for over 15 years. Sarah leads an innovative program of research focused on improving communication between clinicians and patients. There are four main streams of work on communication within this program: a. consultation structures, including telehealth and comparing theory to practice; b. topic talk, such as pain talk and lifestyle talk; c. communication education, such as authenticity in simulation and video-based teaching; and d. communication in surgeon-patient consultations. Sarah has published and presented on many of these topics in both communication and clinical journals. Sarah is involved with the International Association for Communication in Healthcare as National Representative for Australia and is a member of the editorial board for the BJGPOpen.

Prof Karen Woolley

Karen Woolley has 25+ years of experience in medical communications, gained in academic, industry, and agency environments in North America and the Asia Pacific.  She co-authored the Good Publication Practice 3 guidelines and the Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers, issued by the American and European Medical Writers Associations and the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals. Karen has served on the boards of national and international not-for-profit associations dedicated to ethical publication practices.  She leads a team of researchers, including patient partners, to conduct and publish research on ethical publication practices.

Member Spotlight - Michael Molloy-Bland

Michael gained his PhD at Otago University and then secured a postdoctoral research position at the University of Oxford. He is currently working as Scientific Director in the Melbourne office of Oxford PharmaGenesis, working remotely from New Zealand. His role mainly involves overseeing strategy and content development for scientific publications across several client accounts.
He shares more about his journey, and some very wise insights and words of advice, on our Member Spotlight page.

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