For easy reference please click the below links to view the speakers for each session.

Session One | Session Two | Session Three | Session Four

Master of Ceremonies

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Adam Spencer | Author, Comedian, Maths Geek ...

Adam Spencer was completing a PhD in Pure Mathematics when he happened to win the national Triple J Raw Comedy championship in 1996. From there, a television and radio career beckoned and Adam completed 15 years as one of Australia’s most respected, wittiest and thought provoking breakfast radio commentators across Triple J and later ABC 702. Adam explained his love of prime numbers and the magic of maths to an enraptured TED audience in early 2013 and since being posted online, his talk has had over two million views. Adam is the ambassador for many charities including Redkite and in 2014 was appointed University of Sydney’s Ambassador for Maths and Science. Adam’s latest books include THE LITTLE BOOK OF NUMBERS, THE BIG BOOK OF NUMBERS, WORLD OF NUMBERS, TIME MACHINE, THE NUMBER GAMES and THE TOP 100, available from

Session One: Medicines Matter to the Consumer

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Susan Hughes

Susan Hughes is a writer, career coach, entrepreneur and campaigner who brings endless passion to whatever she participates in. She has extensive experience in business development, relationship management and consulting in private organisations and government agencies.

In 2000, Susan was a founding Board Member for Employers Making a Difference (now the Australian Network on Disability) with memberships representing approximately 1 million employees.

She is passionate about the health, safety and welfare of children having recently launched a unique trademarked Hi-Viz product for school-aged kids.

Susan was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in 2005 after she experienced a traumatic workplace incident and was disappointed at the lack of professional healthcare support and information available to her at the time.

Since then she has wanted to improve the journey for present and future sufferers and in 2014 joined Dragon Claw after meeting founder Michael Gill at a workshop on self-care organised by a general arthritis organisation. Susan is now Director, Treasurer and Chair of Patient and Carer Committee at this charity.

Dragon Claw is Australia’s innovative on-line community providing information, research and a forum for patients and carers who suffer from the dreadfully painful diseases of RA, Lupus and Juvenile Arthritis.  She believes in the empowerment of patients by working together in a group and with her co-directors and supporters is making a difference for our community by tapping into the wisdom of patients and carers.

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Dr Vincent McCauley

Dr Vincent McCauley has dual qualifications in Medicine and Computer Science and for his Ph.D in Medicine designed and oversaw the construction of the first fully computerised sleep laboratory in Australia including a rule-based automated sleep-staging system. In addition he was a member of the four man team that developed nasal CPAP as the definitive treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and published extensively on chemoreceptor control of breathing in sleep. He has more than 25 years clinical experience in Respiratory and Emergency Medicine working at RPAH in Sydney. His eHealth company, McCauley Software, developed innovative solutions for Pathology Laboratories, Radiology and Primary Care with extensive experience in Health Software Architecture, Medicare eClaiming, SQL and laboratory instrument interfacing. He has worked extensively in eHealth Standards and is a regular attends HL7 International (Co-chair of the Service Oriented Architecture working group) and ISO TC215 (eHealth), a member of the Standards Australia peak eHealth committee (IT14) and Chair of IHE Australia as well as a member of the IHE International Board. Having completed a three year term as President of the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA), he was the MSIA National eHealth Implementation Coordinator from 2011 to 2015 liaising between the eHealth software vendors, government and the private sector. In these roles he co-chaired the HL7 Australia Committee that developed the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) which was handed to NeHTA as its first work item and Co-chaired the NeHTA/MSIA working group that developed the Secure Message Delivery (SMD) specification as well as the related Endpoint Location Service (ELS) standard.

In July 2015, he joined Emerging Systems, part of Telstra Health, as the Chief Medical Officer, was appointed as Telstra Health Group Chief Medical Information Officer in September 2017 and as Telstra Health Chief Medical Officer in November 2017. Areas of work include eHealth Clinical governance and eHealth software safety, Standards development and implementation including AMT, FHIR, Medication Management, Emergency Department systems, pathology and health software applications of AI. In 2018 he was appointed as Professor of Digital Health at Flinders University.

He hopes to see in his lifetime a secure, highly connected, interoperable eHealth infrastructure underpinned by sustainable business models.

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Karen van Gorp

Hailing from the NT, Karen van Gorp has lived and grown her family in South Australia over the last 20 years. A Senior Policy Advisor at Business SA, Karen’s portfolio includes Human Services Not for Profit organisations, workplace relations, diversity as well as representing Business SA on the Mental Health Commission Wellbeing Steering Group. Her background is in Workplace Relations, mainly with employer organisations in the NT, Queensland and South Australia. Karen, in the past 4 years, has also taken on a SA volunteer Facilitator role which includes running a support group, consumer advocacy and public speaking as well as Board Director roles for two not-for-profit organisations.

Session Two: Medicines Matter to the Community

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Mike Stephens | BPharm AACPA MPS

Mike is the Director of Medicines Policy and Programs at the National Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Organisation (NACCHO). In this role, Mike oversees several pharmacy projects and national policy development related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medicines use. Mike is a consultant pharmacist with 20 years experience working in variety of pharmacy settings, including working as a pharmacist embedded within an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) in the Northern Territory.

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Professor Andrew Wilson | BMed Sci, MBBS(Hons), PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM

Professor Wilson is the Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for the Australian Government. He is the Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, and Professor of Public Health in the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Director of the NHMRC Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (Sax Institute). He has specialist qualifications in public health and clinical medicine, and a PhD in epidemiology.

His research interests concern the application of epidemiology to informing decision making in clinical medicine, public health, and health service policy and planning. His papers and reports include aspects of prevention and management of chronic disease, evaluation of the effectiveness and responsiveness of health care and the impact of social and physical environment on health.

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Ann Single

Ann Single is an experienced practitioner in and advocate for patient involvement. Currently a member of the Patient Voice Initiative Steering Committee, Ann began in this field began with the formation of Scotland’s first Health Technology Assessment (HTA) body in 2001, followed by the Scottish Medicines Consortium in 2002. As part of the Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi) Patient and Citizen Involvement Interest Group (PCIG), she has been involved in the development of numerous tools and resources to support patient involvement in HTA. In June this year, she became Chair of PCIG which has more than 400 members internationally from a range of stakeholder groups. Ann is a co-editor of the first book in the field, Patient Involvement in Health Technology Assessment (2017), a lay reviewer for several journals and has worked in a patient group as well as science and corporate communication. Her most recent publication focuses on stories of impact in patient involvement in HTA. <Single, A., Facey, K., Livingstone, H., & Silva, A. (2019). Stories of Patient Involvement Impact in Health Technology Assessments: A Discussion Paper. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 35(4), 266-272. doi:10.1017/S0266462319000552>

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Jessica Bean

Jessica Bean is patient advocate, international speaker, consultant and empowerment coach for young women living with chronic illness.

Informed at age 21 that she would need a double lung transplant to survive the damage caused to her lungs by the genetic condition cystic fibrosis, Jessica fought hard to change her trajectory. Over a decade later, Jessica continues to breathe through her own lungs and live a life beyond her diagnosis.

Jessica’s experience as one of the first cystic fibrosis patients to benefit from genetic modulation therapy, gave her an intimate understanding of the emerging challenges faced by patients in the age of personalised medicine. This has inspired a mission to ensure patients and their values are represented in decision making across the health eco system.

Jessica’s has worked with global health leaders and brands including Bupa for whom she was a finalist in their 2016 health influencer awards. Jessica is currently chair person for Patient Voice Initiative (Australia) and sits on both The Australian Genomic Health Alliance Community Advisory Group and the Queensland Genomics Community Advisory Group.

For more information about Jessica and her work please visit

Session Three: Medicines Matter to the Economy

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Professor Frank Lichtenberg | Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business

Frank R. Lichtenberg is Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business; a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and a member of the CESifo Research Network. He received a BA with Honors in History from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Lichtenberg previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Ecole Polytechnique. He has served as an expert for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and state Attorneys General, and has testified before Congress. He has worked for several U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Census Bureau, and been a visiting scholar at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, the University of Munich, and elsewhere.

Some of Professor Lichtenberg’s research has examined how the introduction of new technology arising from research and development affects the productivity of companies, industries and nations. He has performed studies of the impact of pharmaceutical innovation on longevity, the effect of computers on productivity in business and government organizations, and the consequences of takeovers and leveraged buyouts for efficiency and employment. His articles have been published in numerous scholarly journals and in the popular press. His book Corporate Takeovers and Productivity has been published by MIT Press.

He was awarded the 1998 Schumpeter Prize for his paper, Pharmaceutical Innovation as a Process of Creative Destruction; the 2003 Milken Institute Award for Distinguished Economic Research for the paper, Pharmaceutical Knowledge-Capital Accumulation and Longevity; and Research!America’s 2010 Garfield Economic Impact Award for the paper, The effect of new cancer drug approvals on the life expectancy of American cancer patients, 1978-2004.

He has been awarded research fellowships, grants, and contracts by the National Science Foundation, the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Merck and Co., the Fulbright Commission, the Brookings Institution, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The German Marshall Fund, the American Enterprise Institute, and other organizations. He has served as a consultant to private organizations and government agencies including the Securities Industry Association, Pfizer, Inc., the Community Preservation Corporation, the RAND Corporation, the New York City Water Board, Touche Ross and Co., The Walt Disney Company, McGraw-Hill, and the National Pharmaceutical Council. He is an affiliate of the economics consulting firm Analysis Group.

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Dr Henry Cutler

Henry is the inaugural director of the Centre for the Health Economy at Macquarie University (MUCHE), currently leading a team of 14 health economics researchers, three PhD students and support staff. He is the Group Leader for the Macquarie University Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) Evaluation Team and the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Evaluation Team.

Prior to joining MUCHE, Henry led the health economics team at KPMG, and was head of the Sydney Health Economics and Social Policy team for Access Economics. He also worked as a senior economic consultant at the Centre for International Economics for five years, and spent eight years in the debt, equity and derivative markets, both in Australia and the UK.

Henry is an applied health economist who has led nearly 100 health economics research projects, with funding associated with these projects totalling approximately $8.7 million. He is currently chief investigator on several MRFF and NHMRC funded projects totalling $8.3 million and is associated with the NHMRC Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability, two NHMRC Centres for Research Excellence in Digital Health and Suicide Prevention, and the Digital Health CRC. Henry is also an affiliated researcher within the Centre for Emotional Health and the Centre for Hearing Education Application Research at Macquarie University.

Session Four: Medicines Matter to the Government

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Dr Dan Grant | Managing Director and
Chief Executive Officer, MTPConnect

Dr Dan Grant has spent more than 25 years in senior roles in the pharmaceutical, higher education and medical research sectors. Prior to joining MTPConnect, Dr Grant was the inaugural Pro Vice Chancellor for Industry Engagement at La Trobe University where he had oversight of the university's innovation, commercialisation and industry engagement activities. He was also the Senior Director and Head of Pfizer's External Research and Development Innovation group for ANZ/Singapore and their head of open innovation. Dr Grant has a PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology and an MBA.

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Dr Megan Keaney

Dr Megan Keaney is currently the Principal Medical Adviser in the Technology Assessment and Access Division of the Australian Government’s Department of Health. The Division is responsible for  the evaluation, listing and review of medical services and technologies (pharmaceuticals, biologicals  and medical devices) that are reimbursed by the Australian government or through private health insurance. The Division has specific responsibility for managing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which is Australia’s national medicines’ reimbursement scheme.

 Dr Keaney joined the Department in late 2009 and in 2011 she was appointed Principal Medical Advisor to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia’s market regulator of medicines and devices. From 2012 until 2017 she worked in senior roles in the Medical Benefits Division which has policy responsibility for the Medicare Benefits Schedule including the MBS Review.

Between 2011 and 2015, Dr Keaney was Health’s lead negotiator assisting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in its negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

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Dr Ben Harris

Ben Harris is a policy fellow at the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, and Director of Policy and Research at Private Healthcare Australia. Ben has a wealth of experience in health policy, with government, with professional associations, and in policy research. He also has a range of health policy publications, and has contributed to the Mitchell Institute’s body of work on self care and self management. He is an economist by training.

Policy Symposium

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Dr Anna Lavelle PhD, FTSE, GAICD | Chair of Medicines Australia

Dr Anna Lavelle is the Independent Director and Chair of Medicines Australia (MA) which represents the innovative medicines industry. She joined the board in 2017 and served as Deputy Chair prior to being appointed as the first female Chair of MA.

Dr Lavelle is an experienced board director with nearly 30 years experience as an Executive or Non Executive Director. She currently serves on the Boards of several private for profit and not for profit organisations including Non Executive Director, Haemokinesis, Independent Director of CRC-HPS, Chair Avatar Brokers and Chair ANDHealth (Australian National Digital Health accelerator) in addition to Senior Advisor, MTP-Connect and Advisory Board for the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Lavelle has been named one of the top 100 influential people in biotechnology worldwide by Nature Scientific American, World View 2015. The only Australian to be named.

Dr Lavelle was appointed inaugural Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of AusBiotech Ltd in June 2005 and stepped down as CEO in September 2016. AusBiotech is Australia’s industry body for life sciences, with over 3,000 members. In this role Dr Lavelle advanced the sector by improving public policy outcomes and ensuring capital was more accessible to SME’s.

Previously, Dr Lavelle was a Senior Executive with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) and has also held positions of Chief Executive Officer of a public health organisation, industry lobbyist for a member organisation and was an academic in the Genetics Department at Monash University, Melbourne.

Dr Lavelle has also been Chair, or a member of various Federal and State government committees associated with biotechnology and medtech. Previous appointments have included the R&D Tax Incentive Advisory Committee, the Pharmaceuticals Industry Strategy Group, Medical Device Industry Action Agenda and the Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council (federal and state Ministerial appointments, respectively).

Dr Lavelle holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from the University of Melbourne, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, she is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, including their ‘Mastering the Boardroom’ program.


Elizabeth de Somer | Chief Executive Officer, Medicines Australia

Elizabeth de Somer has over 30 years’ experience in nursing, health care and pharmaceutical health policy including drug development, clinical research, manufacturing, drug safety, regulatory affairs, and medicines and vaccines health policy.

Elizabeth contributes her clinical and industry expertise to a range of expert committees providing advice to Government and the academic and research sectors, including having represented the industry on the sub-committees to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) [the Economic Sub-Committee ESC and Drug Utilisation Sub-Committees DUSC].

Elizabeth's post graduate academic qualifications lie in medical sciences and drug development, which lead her to provide occasional lectures on drug development, regulation of medicines, quality use of medicines and the policy environment affecting access to medicines in Australia.

Elizabeth is the Chief Executive Officer at Medicines Australia, the peak body representing research based pharmaceutical companies in Australia, where she leads collaboration with government and the development of sound policies to support access to innovative prescription medicines for Australian patients.

Leaders Breakfast Speakers

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Dr Dana Kai Bradford

Dr Dana Kai Bradford is a senior research scientist in the CSIRO’s Australian eHealth Research Centre, leading the Neurodevelopment and Plasticity team. Her project work with CSIRO has predominantly centred on digital services for equitable healthcare. She has been involved in the development of phone based programs to manage chronic illness and mental health for Indigenous and other Australians, the use of technology to assist men in their prostate cancer journey, and tablet based apps to translate key assessment questions for non-English speaking hospital patients. She was involved in the first Australian pilot of the Smarter Safer Homes platform – a sensor based monitoring system designed to allow the elderly to live independently for longer. Dana is also involved in projects to facilitate the integration of genomic medicine into every day care, technology for young adults on the autism spectrum and currently manages AEHRC's neonatal imaging projects.

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Sharon Winton

Sharon Winton is CEO of Lymphoma Australia, a member of the Lymphoma Coalition and has been a health consumer representative on a number of consumer stakeholder meetings in Australia and overseas.

Prior to her current role, Sharon worked with a private health insurance company in relationship and strategic management. Previous to this position Sharon was employed in the health and fitness industry as a physical education teacher and Director of a sport and recreation company.

Sharon is extremely passionate about ensuring all Australians have equitable access to information and medicines. Over the last 2 years twelve new treatments have been listed on the PBS for both rare and common subtypes of lymphoma.  

At the personal and professional level Sharon has been involved with patients, carers and health professionals after Sharon’s mother, Shirley Winton OAM, became the founding president of Lymphoma Australia in 2004.

The Hon Chris Bowen MP
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Senator Richard Di Natale
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The Hon Greg Hunt MP
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