Speakers

Take a look below for a list of our inspiring and informative speakers joining us for RMA22. Watch this space... We look forward to announcing new speakers as they come on board.

Woods Mindy 1 2021
Mindy Woods

Mindy Woods is a proud Bundjalung Widjabul Wia-bul woman who followed her dreams of opening her own restaurant on Ancestral country, and fuelled by a desire to create opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous people to connect with aboriginal culture, art and stories through food.

Mindy, a former physiotherapist, entered hospitality late in her career following a successful stint as top four, and fan favourite on Australia's favourite reality TV program MasterChef Australia 2012.

Mindy excelled quickly within the industry quickly achieving Head Chef status, Director of Cuisine and most recently CEO of Sydney's renown Lotus Dining Group overseeing seven modern Chinese restaurants within Sydney's CBD.

A desire to return to county and reconnect with family and culture in mid 2020 saw Mindy make the brave move to open her very own native inspired restaurant Karkalla in the middle of the Covid 19 pandemic. Mindy’s bravery, resilience and commitment to her greater goal has seen her achieve top five indigenous experiences in Byron Bay, mentions in Delicious magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph.

Mindy has been a guest speaker at TAFE NSW Wollongbar and Kinsgcliff, Northern Rivers Food Group and Destination Food 2021.

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Quilliam Wayne 1 2022
Wayne Quilliam

Known as ‘Marlipinyini Milawini’ The Painter of Light, Wayne Quilliam is an Aboriginal
storyteller like no other.

His extensive travels to every corner of the globe, working with Indigenous people
gives him a unique perspective on connection and creativity. In his artistic universe,
Quilliam defers to knowledge and teaching of the ancestors as he shares his creative
spirit expressing cultural knowledge through immersive art. His portrait ‘Silent
Strength’, depicting Aurukun song man Eric Yunkaporta, recently won the 2022
National Photographic Portrait Prize and to share the incredible journey of
documenting culture.

“Everything about this portrait is exceptional. The composition, the contrast, the
richness of the colours in the ochres and feathers, and also the sense of pride the
subject is portraying – all of these layers and details carry such power in connecting
the subject and his story with the audience.” said Sandra Bruce, the National Portrait
Gallery’s Director.

As one of Australia’s most lauded Aboriginal artists, curators and cultural advisors
working on the international stage, Wayne continues to create new pathways for his
people through the arts and storytelling. In 2022, he curated the Connection interactive
experience at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra and his work was
projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge every evening during the 2022 Vivid
Festival.

He won the 2022 British Journey of Photography Decade of Change Award and is
currently working on his next book Culture is Life part two after the first edition sold
out.

Winner of the City of Melbourne Art Award and Kinaway Creative Business of the Year
in 2022, his career continues to evolve through arts and business.

Co-owner of the first Aboriginal owned wine Mt Yengo and the creative designer of the
wine’s artwork, he is also working with an Italian designer on his own fashion range.
He is an Indigenous Literacy Foundation Ambassador and sits on the board of the
Australian Aboriginal Art Association.

Wayne is currently travelling the country conducting cultural storytelling workshops
with the proceeds of the National Photographic Portrait Award and is donating the
$20,000 equipment to communities.

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Emma Minister
Hon Emma McBride MP

Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health.

Emma McBride is the Federal Member for Dobell on the Central Coast of NSW. She was first elected in 2016 and following her re-election in 2019, Emma was appointed Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers. She is now the Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health.
 
Emma is a registered pharmacist who has worked in the health sector for over 20 years, both in Australia and abroad. She was a Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist and the Chief Pharmacist at Wyong Hospital for nearly 10 years and, prior to entering Parliament, she was the Deputy Director of Pharmacy for Central Coast Local Health District.
 
Emma’s background and experience as a healthcare professional led her to Parliament, where she fights for better health services for all Australians.
 
Emma is a passionate advocate for quality healthcare, close to home. She understands the unique challenges facing rural and regional communities when it comes to accessing healthcare and she hopes to play a role in shaping public policy that promotes the health and wellbeing of every Australian, regardless of where they live.

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Dr Dan Halliday 2
Dr Daniel Halliday

ACRRM President Elect

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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Ruth-2022
Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart

National Rural Health Commissioner

Dr Ruth Stewart was appointed as the second National Rural Health Commissioner for Australia in July 2020. She brings to this role nearly 30 years of work as a Rural Generalist doctor with the advanced skills of a GP obstetrician. Ruth and her husband, Anthony Brown now live and work in Roma (Maranoa), located in the South West region of Queensland. For 22 years Dr Stuart and Anthony were General Practitioners in private practice in Camperdown in south west Victoria. In 2008 Ruth was employed as the inaugural Director of Clinical Training Rural with the then new medical school of Deakin University. Her role was to establish the rural program. She created 18 Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship placements for third year medical students where they spent their core clinical year in rural practice. In 2012 Dr Stewart moved to north Queensland to become Associate Professor of Rural Medicine, Director Rural Clinical Training with James Cook University, where she oversaw the doubling of rural clinical placements for the medical school. During this time, she also worked clinically as a Senior Medical Officer at Mareeba Hospital. Ruth is a Past President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and was on the College’s board from 2002-2020 in various roles. She was on the board of the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service for 6 years, the Cape York Hospital Board for two years and has been on the board of several Regional Training Organisations for General Practice Training. She has been on the board of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia for two years and the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre board for three years.  Dr Stuart has held several representative and medico political roles including on the Distribution Advisory Group, and the Health Innovation Advisory Committee for the National Health and Medical Research Authority. Ruth received a PhD from Flinders University in 2014. Her thesis examined the lessons learnt from a Managed Clinical Network of rural maternity services in South West Victoria. She has an abiding interest in quality of rural maternity services and sustainable models of rural health care.

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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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Hunt The Honourable Greg 1 2022
The Honourable Greg Hunt

Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Honourable Greg Hunt is a highly experienced former Cabinet Minister in the Australian Government, having served as Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Innovation and Health across three major portfolios over almost nine years.  As Minister for Health from 2017 to 2022, Greg Hunt oversaw Australia’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, established telehealth as a permanent and universal centrepiece of Medicare, reformed private health and established long-term plans for mental health, aged care, medical research and primary care and listed over 2,000 medicines for public access.  He oversaw an annual budget of $132 billion, 17 portfolio agencies and 7,000 staff.  As Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science, Greg Hunt laid the foundation for the Australian Space Agency.  As Minister for the Environment, he established the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Green Army, the $1 billion Reef Trust and helped lead Australia’s negotiations for the Montreal Protocol update and Paris Climate Change Accord. For his work as Environment Minister, Greg Hunt was named Best Minister in the World at the World Government Summit in 2016.  As the longest serving Federal Member for Flinders (over 20 years), he is a nationally and internationally experienced legislator, negotiator, strategic thinker, stakeholder manager and administrator. Greg Hunt 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 Member of Parliament in the Howard Government. He was Shadow Minister for the Environment from 2007-2013. Prior to Parliament, Greg worked with Mallesons Stephen Jacques before becoming Associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court. Between 1994 and 1998, Greg Hunt worked as a Senior Adviser to the then Opposition Leader and subsequent Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. He then headed Australia’s electoral mission to Cambodia in 1998. Greg then worked with McKinsey & Co for almost three years, during which time he became an Engagement Manager and specialised in telecommunications, startups, government reform and the banking sector. Greg Hunt is a Fulbright Scholar with a Masters from Yale University and First Class Honours in Law from the University of Melbourne. He has given over 10,000 speeches and interviews at local, national and international level and was runner up at the 1990 World Debating Championships, as well as Australian Universities Debating Champion. Greg has completed seven marathons and five 500km walks for charity. He lives on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula with his wife Paula and two children, 90 year old Italian Nonna and cavoodle Charlie.

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speaker-Adam Coltzau
Dr Adam Coltzau

MBBS, BBIOMEDSC, DRANZCOG (ADV), FACRRM, FRACGP, AFRACMA

Adam is a Rural Generalist doctor and Medical Superintendent at St George in south-western Queensland, where he provides emergency, anaesthetics, obstetrics and generalist in-patient care at the local hospital, and general practice care at the St George Medical Centre.

He is also closely involved with Queensland’s Rural Generalist Pathway program, teaching GP registrars and junior doctors and mentoring registrars on that Pathway. Adam holds Fellowships of both the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), and a Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Advanced) from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

Adam is a former President of both RDAA and the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ). Additionally, he helped establish the RDAQ Foundation in 2014 and served as the Foundation's inaugural Chair. Adam is also a Board member of the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority. Outside medicine, Adam enjoys camping and 4WDing.

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Trudy MacDonald
Trudy MacDonald

Trudy is an established business leader and human resource professional who specialises in enabling businesses to become great by maximising the performance of their people. She is an award-winning speaker having been honoured as “Speaker of the Year” - Australia and New Zealand in 2019, 2015 & 2014 and Best New Speaker in 2013 by global CEO network – The Executive Connection. Trudy is a regular speaker at Industry Associations, Conferences and Corporate Events and is consistently among the highest rated speakers.  

Trudy’s career is founded on an education in Organisational Psychology and spans Australia, New Zealand, the USA and parts of Asia. She has co-founded or played a key executive role in four start-up technology and human resource consulting businesses, three of which have been acquired by international companies. Currently, Trudy is the Founder and Managing Director of TalentCode HR and is passionate about improving the performance of businesses by creating high performance cultures and developing leadership capabilities.  

Trudy is a sought after conference speaker, thought leader and executive coach having delivered over 200 workshops to CEOs and business leaders in the past three years.

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Dan-Pronk
Dr Dan Pronk

Dan entered into the Australian Army in 2001 on a scholarship to study medicine. Upon graduation he completed his internship and first year residency in civilian hospitals before posting to his first Army unit and quickly moving into Special Operations following successful completion of the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment selection course.

Dan spent the last five years of his service working between the SAS and the 2nd Commando Regiment and saw operational service in Timor Leste and Afghanistan. Dan was awarded the Commendation for Distinguished Service for his leadership in action during his second of four operational tours of Afghanistan.

Following leaving the army in 2014 Dan has held positions as a remote mine site doctor, a ship’s doctor, the Deputy Medical Superintendent of a regional hospital, and the Medical Director of the South Australian Prison Health Service. He co-owns and serves as the Medical Director for the private medical company TacMed Australia. He currently works part time in the Emergency Department of a regional hospital in between remote medical support tasks including support of reality TV shows including SAS Australia.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Exercise Science, A Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, A Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, a Master of Business Administration, and an Associate Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators. He is an instructor on the Royal Australian College of Surgeons’ Early Management of Severe Trauma course, a board member of the Australian Tactical Medical Association, and a former Independent Medical Advisor to the Department of Home Affairs.

Dan regularly presents to corporate, military, and government groups on leadership under adversity, resilience, and social psychological theory. He has co-authored a book on resilience titled The Resilience Shield, which uses the evidence base from both the scientific literature, as well as Resilience Shield’s own government grant supported research project, to present resilience as a multifactorial, dynamic, and modifiable construct.

He lives in Adelaide, is married to a very tolerant wife and is the proud father of three boys.

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Dr Sarah Chalmers

ACRRM President

Dr Sarah Chalmers worked in East Arnhem Land for 15 years, before moving to North Queensland in 2019. She has worked in private general practice, hospitals and remote Aboriginal communities and homelands in the Northern Territory and is now working as an Rural Generalist in Winton in Western Queensland.

She has always been interested in medical education, teaching medical students at Flinders University in the Northern Territory, and is now at James Cook University. She also enjoys teaching and supervising registrars. Her clinical interests include remote practice, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, occupations and DNA sports medicine.

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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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speaker-norman-swan
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 was awarded the medal of the Australian Academy of Science and has an honorary MD from the University of Sydney. He is also the recipient of the Australian Skeptics Journalism Award 2020. Norman trained in Medicine and Paediatrics in Aberdeen, London and Sydney before joining the ABC.  

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