RMA23 speakers

Meet our inspiring and informative speakers joining us for RMA23. Watch this space as we look forward to announcing new speakers as they come onboard.

Dr Raymond (RT) Lewandowski
Dr RT Lewandowski

RDAA President Elect

Dr Lewandowski is a Rural Generalist in Far North Queensland, and is an ACRRM Fellow with advanced skills in operative obstetrics and endoscopy. He currently works as a Senior Medical Officer providing endoscopy and gastrointestinal services in Cairns Base Hospital and obstetrics, endoscopy and emergency services in Innisfail Hospital.

He spent the previous 12 years providing general practice, emergency, obstetrics and endoscopy services in Kingaroy, after immigrating from the United States in 2008 where he worked as a rural doctor in Missouri.

Dr Lewandowski is President Elect of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) a past President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ), and former Director of the Rural Doctors Foundation.

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Dr Dan Halliday 2
Dr Daniel Halliday

ACRRM President

Dr Dan Halliday is a Senior Medical Officer - Rural Generalist based at Stanthorpe Hospital, Queensland, with special interest in obstetrics.

Dan has maintained ongoing advocacy and representative roles supporting rural doctors and their communities. Dan is a Past-President of Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ) and has held other executive positions on the management committee of RDAQ and is a past Director of Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME). He is a current Rural Generalist Member on the Statewide Rural and Remote Clinical Network for Queensland Health, and has been appointed onto the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Clinical Council.

He is acutely aware of the decline in health provision in small communities. From his obstetrics perspective, he sees this decline starkly illustrated by the closure of many rural birthing units. He has also experienced the machinations of a large health system in both crisis and recovery.

Dan joined the College in 2006 and was the 100th registrar to train for Fellowship, which he gained in 2009. From then until now a Pre-vanguard Rural Generalist Trainee, now a Fellow, he has seen the gradual recognition that a national rural generalist program is the future for sustainable, equitable rural and remote health services. He believes that, with the development of the rural generalist pathway, we are now starting to generate genuine and widespread interest in rural medicine and begin the stabilisation of rural medical facilities across Australia.

Dan's deliberations and decision on the College Board will be informed by formal governance qualifications - Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors - which he gained in 2012.

Dan considers that he has been fortunate to be surrounded by passionate rural general practitioners and advocates in a range of forums. He is fully appreciative of the role that family plays in the support of colleagues practicing medicine, and readily acknowledges the support of his wife Cathy and their children Grace, William and Georgia.

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Anne Ruston Headshot
Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston has been a Senator since September 2012. She is currently the Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Shadow Minister for Sport and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. In July 2014, Anne was elected Senior Deputy Government Whip in the Senate and Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. She was also an active participant in the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee. Senator Ruston was appointed Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources in September 2015. She was subsequently appointed as Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific in August 2018. Prior to the 2022 election, Senator Ruston was a Cabinet Minister, holding the positions of Minister for Families and Social Services, Minister for Women’s Safety and Manager of Government Business in the Senate for three years. Prior to becoming a Senator, Anne held several senior positions in government and the private sector, including as the inaugural chief executive of the National Wine Centre. She was also a primary producer and irrigator, owning and operating the largest commercial rose garden in Australia. Born and raised in Renmark, on the River Murray in South Australia, Anne continues to have a strong connection with the Riverland community. She is passionate about regional South Australia and is the only SA Senator who maintains a regional electorate office.

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Dr Megan Belot - with stethoscope
Dr Megan Belot

RDAA President

Megan is a Rural Generalist doctor from Victoria, and President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). 

Megan currently works as a GP Anaesthetist and Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) at Echuca Hospital; as a GP Anaesthetist at Cohuna Hospital; and as a GP at the Northern District Community Health clinic at Kerang.

She also has had experience working as a doctor with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Broken Hill base), undertaking emergency medical retrievals and remote bush GP clinics; and has undertaken other hospital and GP placements in locations as diverse as Christmas Island and Katherine (NT).

Megan is also a past President of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV).

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Norman Swan_2023
Dr Norman Swan

Master of Ceremonies

Dr Norman Swan hosts RN’s Health Report and since the COVID-19 pandemic, has co-hosted Coronacast, a daily podcast on the coronavirus.  Norman is also a reporter and commentator on the ABC’s 7.30, Midday, News Breakfast and Four Corners and a guest host on RN Breakfast.

He is a past winner of the Gold Walkley. He created Invisible Enemies, on pandemics and civilisation for Channel 4 UK and broadcast in 27 countries. Norman has been awarded the medal of the Australian Academy of Science, an honorary MD from the University of Sydney, and in October 2022, a Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He is also the recipient of the Australian Skeptics Journalism Award 2020. On Australia Day 2023, Norman was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (AM). During COVID he wrote two books. So You Think You Know What's Good For You (Hatchette) is a best seller and was released in the UK. His latest book, So You Want To Live Younger Longer, has also been on the best seller list. Norman trained in Medicine and Paediatrics in Aberdeen, London and Sydney before joining the ABC.  

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ACRRM and RDAA acknowledge the deep history and culture of lutruwita (Tasmania) and pay respect to the muwinina people as the Traditional Owners of nipaluna (Hobart) where we will gather for RMA23. While the muwinina people are no longer here due to the impacts of colonisation, we continue to acknowledge and recognise the palawa people of the island who continue to work together to maintain their identity and culture. We acknowledge that palawa still have connections to the skies, waters and land of lutruwita.