Take a look below for a list of our inspiring and informative speakers joining us for RMA20. Watch this space... We look forward to announcing new speakers as they come on board.

Richard Colbran
Richard Colbran

Richard Colbran has held senior executive roles in health and social services charity organisations for close to 20 years. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of NSW Rural Doctors Network. He is an experienced senior executive of State and National non-profit organisations. Richard is a strong advocate for social leadership and has a professional interest in building contemporary business practices of NFPs to enhance the sector’s impact and benefit for communities. He has a commercial background in strategy, partnerships and program management and values multi-agency and community collaboration that brings together strengths and competency of each partner for mutual benefit. Prior to RDN, Richard was Business Director at Royal Far West and played lead roles the charity’s 90th birthday celebrations, the establishment of RFW’s National Paediatric Telecare Services and development of the $35 million Centre for Child Health and Learning on RFW’s iconic Manly beachfront site. He also served as National Commercial Director of the Australian Drug Foundation and led significant programs such as Good Sports (NSW) and the Australian Defence Force Alcohol Management Strategy.

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Dr Erin Smith

Dr Erin Smith is an Associate Professor of Disaster and Emergency Response in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University. World renowned for her expertise in first responder mental health and well-being, Dr. Smith is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) where she also holds the position of Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group. An active researcher, Dr. Smith is widely published in both academic journals and discipline-specific magazines. She writes a regular column “Let’s Talk Mental Health” in the Australasian Emergency Services Magazine and has published frequently in The Conversation. Dr. Smith currently sits on the Editorial Board from the journals Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine, and the Journal of Addictive Diseases. An active volunteer in her community, Erin is an emergency response volunteer with Red Cross Emergency Services Victoria and The Code 9 Foundation. She is an experienced keynote presenter and is regularly interviewed in both the national and international print, audio and visual media.  

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Associate Professor Ruth Stewart

MBBS (Uni Melb 1985), PhD (Flin), FACRRM, DRANZCOGadv

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 on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. For 22 years Ruth and Anthony were General Practitioners in private practice in Camperdown in south west Victoria where they had Visiting Medical Officer status in the local public hospital. 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 a network of 12 growing to 18 Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship placements for third year medical students from Deakin University to spend the whole of 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. In this role she oversaw the doubling of rural clinical placements for the medical school and worked clinically as a Senior Medical Officer at Mareeba Hospital. Ruth is the immediate 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 Providers/Organisations for General Practice Training, on the board of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia for two years and the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre board. For three years.  She has held a number of 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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200707 RMA20 Keynote Speaker Head Shot - Dr Tim Duncan
Dr Tim Duncan

MBBS, FACRRM, JCCA, Grad. Dip. Film

Tim is an aeromedical retrieval specialist for the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland, a GP Anaesthetist, a rural generalist and a film maker. Tim studied medicine at Monash University, graduating in 2005, before following his creative passion to complete a postgraduate diploma in film writing and directing at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2008.  His life was forever changed, however, by a near fatal car accident in 2009, surviving only after being rescued by some passing Aboriginal men in Kakadu and the retrieval doctor out of Darwin. From this point Tim resolved to dedicate his life to retrieval, rural and Indigenous medicine – and telling these stories in film www.doctoredfilms.com. He also works as a medical advisor on the ABC's Ask The Doctor and has just completed his own documentary about a landmark medical procedure which creates a brain-computer interface. Tim’s 7 short films have screened in London, Toronto, Sydney, Venice and Melbourne film festivals.  In London he walked the red carpet with Tom Hanks, and screened his film, Aboriginal Heart, in a double-header with Sofia Coppola. However, Tim's major passion and profession remains the provision of healthcare to the most isolated and imperilled people across the Australian continent.  When not flying up north, and while the COVID-19 threat persists, he is working in an Intensive Care Unit for Monash Health in Melbourne. In 2019 Tim’s experience was featured on the ABC's Australian Story and despite an ongoing search he is yet to track down his Aboriginal rescuers. 

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Dr Ewen McPhee


Dr Ewen McPhee is a Rural family doctor and GP Obstetrician and has been a resident in Emerald Central Queensland since 1989. Dr McPhee is a Fellow and current President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and has had recent involvement in government health policy through membership of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group and the eHealth Implementation Taskforce.

Anna Rose

Anna Rose is an author and campaigner who has worked for over two decades to help Australia make progress on climate change. She's a Director of Farmers for Climate Action, a Governor of WWF-Australia, author of the book Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic and co-starred in the ABC documentary I Can Change Your Mind on Climate Change. Anna is a Churchill Fellow, a former Myer Foundation Innovation Fellow, an Associate at Melbourne University Sustainable Society Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the ANU Climate Change Centre. She is an advisor to the Jewish Climate Network, an advisory board member of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute and The Australian Geographic Society, and a former Director of Solar Citizens, Green Music Australia and the Aussie Farmers Foundation. She is a former Australian Geographic Society Conservationist of the Year, was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards, and is the recipient of the Sierra Club's Earthcare Award for International Environmental Protection. Anna co-founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and was head of Earth Hour for WWF-Australia. She was recently named one of the Australian Financial Review/ Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for 2019.

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Dr Norman Swan (Master of Ceremonies)

Dr Norman Swan hosts The Health Report on the ABC’s Radio National, which is the world’s longest running health programme in the English speaking world. Norman has won many awards for his work including Australia’s top prize for journalism, the Gold Walkley. He was the third person to be awarded the prestigious medal of the Australian Academy of Science and was given an honorary MD by the University of Sydney on its 150th anniversary. Norman trained in medicine in Scotland and paediatrics in London and Sydney before joining the ABC and has hosted many other programmes on radio and television. He has made several Four Corners, the most recent being on out of pocket expenses in health care.  Norman was the medical host on Channel Ten’s Biggest Loser for six seasons and created, wrote and narrated Invisible Enemies, a four part series on disease and civilisation for Channel 4 UK and broadcast in 27 countries. He has consulted to the World Health Organisation and co chaired a global meeting of health ministers in Bamako West Africa focused on evidence based policy and priorities in health research. He has been the Australian correspondent for both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Norman is also co-founder of Tonic Health Media, an integrated health television channel and production company which has over 15 million viewers per month.

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Victor Steffensen

Victor Steffensen is an Indigenous writer, film-maker, musician and consultant applying traditional knowledge values in a contemporary context through creative, practical and artistic projects. He is a descendant of the Tagalaka people from the Gulf Country of North Queensland. Much of his work over the past twenty seven years has been based on the arts, film making, and reviving traditional knowledge values - particularly Aboriginal fire management, through mentoring and leadership, on-ground training with Aboriginal communities and across all categories of Australians. He is the Co -founder of the National Indigenous Fire Workshops which has so far been hosted in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Victor has recently published a book called Fire Country which has  been a major reference to his work.   

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Dr Robert Glasser

Dr Robert Glasser is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).  He was previously the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and a member of the Secretary General’s Senior Management Group and the Deputy Secretary General’s Climate Principals Group.Dr Glasser has over 30 years of experience as a practitioner, advocate and policy-maker in the areas of climate change, sustainable development and disaster response.  Before joining the U.N., he was the Secretary General of CARE International, one of the world’s largest non-governmental humanitarian organisations, with over 10,000 staff active in some 80 countries. From 2003-2007, Dr Glasser was the Chief Executive of CARE Australia. Prior to joining CARE, he was Assistant Director General at the Australian Government aid agency (AusAID) where his responsibilities ranged from South East Asia programs, to Corporate Policy and Infrastructure and Environment.Dr Glasser is on the board of WaterAid Australia, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, and the Climate Action Network Australia. He was previously a board member of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA), a global alliance of more than 450 national and international organisations focusing on climate change advocacy. He was also an Advisory Panel member of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, a member of the Principals Steering Group of the United Nations Transformative Agenda for Humanitarian Action; and a member of the Project Steering Group for the World Economic Forum project on The Future Role of Civil Society. An Australian national, he has published on several topics, including climate change and disaster risk, peace and conflict, and humanitarian and development policy.

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