As keynote speakers are confirmed, their details will be added below. 

Dr Nick Golding

Senior Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

Nick is a senior research fellow in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. He moved to Melbourne in 2016 after completing a DPhil and postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. He has developed spatial models and distribution maps for over 20 vector-borne and environmentally-linked diseases, as well as new modelling methods for improved disease mapping. His work has informed China CDC's avian influenza surveillance program, WHO's vector control guidance and child health intervention planning at UNICEF. When he's not working on disease mapping, he dallies in statistical ecology and research software engineering.

Associate Professor Bette Liu

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, UNSW

Bette Liu is an Associate Professor based in the School of Public Health at UNSW and an NHMRC Career Development Fellow. She is a medically trained epidemiologist with experience in the design, conduct and analysis of large-scale epidemiological studies and record linkage studies. The main focus of her work has been to identify potential public health prevention strategies for common infectious diseases through the use of observational study designs and analysis of “big” data.

Dr Marion Kainer

Director, Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Program, Tennessee Department of Health

Dr. Kainer obtained her Medical degree and Masters in Public Health in Melbourne.   She joined CDC in Atlanta as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 2000, and the Tennessee Department of Health in 2003 where she was the Director for the Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Program. She was named Tennessean of the Year in 2012, was honoured by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change for Prevention and Public Health in 201.  She received the prestigious Pump Handle Award from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists in 2019.  In October 2019 she returned home to Melbourne as the new Head of Infectious Diseases at Western Health.

Professor Jonathan Carapetis

Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Carapetis is the Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia. He is also a Professor at the University of Western Australia and consultant paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital. His research interests include Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, other group A streptococcal diseases, Vaccine-preventable disease, Indigenous child health, Child development and education, Youth health and education and skin sores and scabies.

Professor Carapetis undertook his medical training at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Previous positions include terms as Theme Director at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Ms Pat Turner

Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

The daughter of an Arrente man and a Gurdanji woman, Pat was raised in Alice Springs.  As CEO of NACCHO, she is at the forefront of community efforts to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Pat has over 40 years’ experience in senior leadership positions in government, business and academia including being the only Aboriginal person, only woman and longest serving CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission (ATSIC).  Amongst her many appointments, she also spent 18 months as Monash Chair of Australian Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC, and was inaugural CEO of NITV.  Pat is the Coalition of Peaks Convenor and Co-Chair of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap. Pat holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Canberra where she was awarded the University prize for Development Studies.

Professor David Isaacs

Senior Staff Specialist and Clinical Professor in Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital at Westmead and University of Sydney

David is a consultant paediatrician in Sydney. He has been a member of every Australian national immunisation advisory committee for the last 25 years. He is passionate about

bioethics, and has published and taught extensively on ethical aspects of immunisation. He is also one of several doctors who have exposed what they say is a culture of violence, abuse, self‐harm and cover-up on Nauru, in defiance of laws that could land them in prison.

Associate Professor James Ward

Head, Aboriginal Infectious Diseases, SAHMRI

Associate Professor James Ward is a Pitjantjatjara/ Narungga man, and a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. He is the Head of Infectious Diseases Research Program, Aboriginal Health, at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. 

James has been awarded funding applications in the area of STI’s/ BBV’s/ AOD totalling $23M since 2013; including $7.14M as CIA on NHMRC funded grants and has authored 100 publications.

In 2017, James was recognised by the NHMRC with the Rising Star Research Excellence Award for the top-ranked application by an Indigenous researcher in the Early Career Fellowship scheme and by the local Aboriginal community by being awarded the NAIDOC SA Scholar of the Year. In 2018 James was awarded the Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellowship - Australia’s most prestigious fellowship to continue to develop his research.

Professor Michael Baker

Professor of Public Health; Co-Director, He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme; Director, Health Environment & Infection Research Unit (HEIRU)

Michael has worked extensively on the surveillance, investigation and control of infectious diseases in New Zealand and internationally. His more recent work has focussed on the importance of health determinants, notably poverty, housing conditions and environmental health more generally.  Michael’s research interests include rheumatic fever, emerging infectious diseases, zoonoses, influenza, food borne diseases such as campylobacteriosis, the health effects of household crowding, the effects of seasonality and climate change, disease surveillance, and health security generally.

In 2013 Michael was awarded the Health Research Council Liley Medal for his contribution to the health and medical sciences. In 2014 he was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize as a member of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme. In 2015 he was the NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London

Professor Sharon Lewin

Director, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Sharon Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital; Professor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne; consultant infectious diseases physician, Alfred Hospital and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow, Melbourne, Australia.


She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist. Her research focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. She is also the lead investigator for the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Planning on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) – an NHMRC funded Centre for Research Excellence that involves over 20 organisations across Australia. She is a member of the council of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.


In 2014 she was named Melburnian of the Year and in 2015 awarded the Peter Will Medal from Research Australia. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Professor David Durrheim

Professor of Public Health Medicine and Director of Health Protection, Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW, University of Newcastle

David Durrheim is Conjoint Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of Newcastle, and Director - Health Protection, Hunter New England Health.  He is a Public Health Physician with an established track record in conducting public research that has an operational focus and is translational in nature. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications, has received multiple awards and international recognition.

Professor Durrheim is an outspoken advocate for equitable global access to effective public health measures, particularly immunisation. He has been instrumental in developing novel surveillance systems to detect and facilitate response to emerging infectious disease risks.

He has served as an expert adviser and consultant to a number of World Health Organisation (WHO), regional and national health programs in the African and Pacific Regions. He continues to serve on various Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation working groups advising the WHO, along with being Chair of the National Polio Elimination Certification Committee and Western Pacific Regional Measles and Rubella Elimination Verification Commission. 

Distinguished Professor Nigel French BVSc MSc(Epid) DLSHTM DipECVPH MNZIFST PhD MRCVS FRSNZ

Director of Research, Scholl of Veterinary Science, Massey University

Nigel is a Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health at Massey University. Nigel is also founder of the Infectious Disease Research Centre (, specialising in research and training in molecular, food safety and the control of infectious diseases. He has published over 280 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 9 book chapters; many in the area of food safety and public health. Nigel is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, a fellow of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a member of the New Zealand Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council, He holds honorary/visiting professorships at the University of Surrey in the UK and the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand.

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