Take a look below for a list of our inspiring and informative speakers joining us for RMA21. Watch this space... We look forward to announcing new speakers as they come on board.
Dr Brendan Murphy
Dr Brendan Murphy commenced as the Secretary of the Department of Health on 13 July 2020. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Brendan was the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government and prior to this, the Chief Executive Officer of Austin Health in Victoria.
Dr Murphy is:
- a Professorial Associate with the title of Professor at the University of Melbourne
- an Adjunct Professor at Monash University and at the Australian National University
- a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
- a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians
- a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He was formerly CMO and director of Nephrology at St Vincent’s Health, and sat on the Boards of the Centenary Institute, Health Workforce Australia, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He is also a former president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology.
Hon Dr David Gillespie MP
The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP is the Minister for Regional Health and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment. He has served in the House of Representatives as the Member for Lyne since 2013 and is currently Deputy Leader of the House.
In July 2016, Dr David was elevated to the role of Assistant Minister for Rural Health and in 2017 was appointed Assistant Minister for Health, to acknowledge his increasing responsibility in the health portfolio.
Notable achievements include implementing and appointing Australia’s first Rural Health Commissioner, setting up 26 regional training hubs and 3 university Departments of Rural Health that provide high-quality rural placements for medical and health students, and developing the Murray–Darling Medical School Network of regional 'End-to-End' medical schools.
Before politics, David Gillespie was a doctor for 33 years and he spent over 20 years practising as a local gastroenterologist and medical educator. Dr Gillespie also practised paediatrics and anaesthetics, and has worked in major hospitals in Sydney, London, Papua New Guinea and British Columbia, Canada. In regional Australia, Dr Gillespie worked in several hospitals. With his wife, Charlotte, he built the Hastings Day surgery from the ground up and learnt first-hand the demands of running a small business in a regional area.
Dr Gillespie also spent over a decade as Director of Physician Training at Port Macquarie Base Hospital and was instrumental in providing new local doctors the necessary skills to serve the community and build careers in regional medicine.
David and Charlotte have 3 children.
Dr Jordan Nguyen
Engineer for humanity, Founder of Psykinetic
Dr Jordan Nguyen, is one of Australia’s most innovative engineers, who is committed to improving the lives of as many people as possible, and to help become a driving force behind both human and technological evolution as we move into the future.
An internationally renowned engineer for humanity, Jordan designs life-changing technologies to transform the lives of people with disabilities and the elderly through his role as founder of Psykinetic, a social business committed to bringing positive, sustainable and life-altering change, and shares his adventures through documentaries across the world. Inspired by human endeavour, Jordan has big ambitions to see our world step consciously and creatively into a better future.
Jordan is an award-winning documentary maker and presenter. In 2016 he collaborated with the Australian based production company, The Feds, and the ABC Catalyst to create and present his first TV documentary Becoming Superhuman, which went on to win many prestigious awards both locally and internationally. His work is regularly featured in the media and he has since gone on to present a second ABC Catalyst documentary Meet The Avatars exploring the impacts of Virtual Reality, including creating virtual interactive avatars to preserve memories of loved ones.
Executive Director of ySafe
Yasmin London spent 13 years perfecting the foundational skills behind the conversations nobody ever wants to have. Her time in the NSW Police Force saw Yasmin regularly negotiate her way out of life and death situations with serious violent offenders, talk people off cliff tops, and deliver difficult news to some of life’s toughest customers. Aside from being widely recognised as Australia’s ‘Dancing Cop’, Yasmin London is the Executive Director of ySafe, Australia's largest online safety education organisation. Yasmin ignites social change through education and courageous conversations.
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.
Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart
MBBS, PhD, 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 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 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.
Dr Sarah Chalmers (ACRRM President)
FACRRM, BSc(Hons), PG, DipEd, MBBS, FRACGP
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.
Dr John Hall
President, Rural Doctors Association of Australia
John was elected RDAA President in October 2019. He has been on the RDAA Board for 6 years and served as Vice President from 2014 to 2017. John has spent most of his medical career working as a Rural Generalist Obstetrician in Queensland and was the owner of a large regional practice in Queensland’s Darling Downs region. He was also Medical Superintendent of Oakey Hospital for 10 years.
He is a passionate advocate for rural maternity services, rural hospitals and rural private practice. He has also been a dedicated medical educator and GP supervisor during his time working as a doctor in rural Australia. John was on the founding committee for the Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway and served as Acting Director for 12 months. He also worked as DMS Rural for the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service.
John is a Fellow of both the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). He is also a past president of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland and a past Board member of AMA Queensland. In 2020, John commenced a position as Director of Medical Services with Ochre Health, while also continuing to provide a wide range of medical services (including primary and emergency care, and obstetric services) in multiple rural locations across Australia. He is currently working towards his MBA/MPH through JCU.
As RDAA President, he has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response for rural and remote health professionals. He has also been heavily involved in RDAA’s policy and advocacy work to deliver more doctors to country Australia with the skills mix needed by rural communities.
John is the proud father of four adult daughters and enjoys running.
Dr Megan Belot (RDAA President Elect)
Megan is a Rural Generalist doctor working in rural Victoria, and President Elect of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). She will replace Dr John Hall as RDAA President when his two year term expires in October 2021.
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 immediate past-President of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV). Outside medicine, Megan runs a cattle property with her husband Mick, and they have a young son Mack. She is also the proud owner of a red 1966 Ford Mustang coupe.
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).
He 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. Outside medicine, Adam enjoys camping and 4WDing.