Speaker Profiles


The Hon. Greg Hunt MP        
Minister for Health

Greg was born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, where he currently resides with his wife Paula and their two young children.

Greg 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. Greg was Shadow Minister in the Environment portfolio between 2007 and 2013, and was Minister for the Environment between September 2013 and July 2016. As Environment Minister, Greg counts his key achievements as establishing Australia’s successful Emissions Reduction Fund, developing the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and $1bn Reef Fund. 

Greg was appointed Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science in July 2016. In January 2017, Greg was appointed Minister for Health. Greg has always had a strong connection with the medical profession and both his mother and wife worked as nurses. Greg will use his background in the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio to build on Australia’s track record for medical breakthroughs, turning what is done in the laboratory into better healthcare for patients. 

Mental health is an issue that is particularly important to Greg. He wants to be a strong advocate for greater understanding and community awareness, and to ensure we have the necessary resources to help deal with this very important issue.

As the Member for Flinders, Greg has completed four 500km walks around his electorate – in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2015 – to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes and Autism Spectrum Disorder.


MC: Julia Medew

Julia Medew is a Walkley award winning journalist who has worked for Fairfax Media publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times.  

Medew writes news, commentary and features; has edited other journalists’ work; and runs social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Having written extensively about health for 10 years, Medew is a well-connected reporter who understands Australia’s complex health system and medical research. She has studied short courses in genetics, epidemiology and evidence-based medicine. Medew performs guest lectures at Monash University about health policy and the media, and she is currently undertaking a PhD at Bond University to investigate media coverage of medicine. The senior writer was named Australia’s best young journalist by the Walkley Foundation in 2009. In 2016, her widely read feature “The Big Sleep” was nominated for another Walkley award and re-published by The New York Times. Before writing about health, Medew covered legal affairs and court cases for The Age in Melbourne.

Julia Medew will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event.


The Hon Catherine King MP 

Catherine King was first elected to Federal Parliament in 2001 to represent the electorate of Ballarat.

She was re-elected as member at subsequent Federal Elections in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Ms King was appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the portfolios of Health and Ageing and Infrastructure and Transport in the Gillard Government following the 2010 election.  As such she held responsibility in the Health portfolio for nine health regulatory agencies including: the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Organ and Tissue Authority and in the Transport portfolio for national road safety policy and regional aviation.

On 25 March 2013, Ms King was elevated to the roles of Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories and Minister for Road Safety in the Gillard Government. Ms King was subsequently promoted to Cabinet on 1 July 2013, as Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories in the Rudd Government.

On 18 October 2013, Ms King was appointed to the role of Shadow Minister for Health in the Shadow Cabinet led by the Hon. Bill Shorten. She was reappointed as Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare after the 2016 election. 

She holds a Degree in Social Work and a Masters in Public Policy from the Australian National University and is currently completing a law degree from Deakin University.

Ms King worked in the social welfare sector in Ballarat and later in the public sector in Canberra, as an assistant director for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and then as a director.

Prior to entering Parliament she was a senior manager at KPMG’s Health Consulting Practice.


Brenda Gannon

Professor Brenda Gannon is a Professor of Health Economics at The University of Queensland, in the Centre for the Business and Economics of Health. She is an international expert in the field of health and ageing economics, and health econometrics, and has won over $21 million, as chief investigator, in collaborative research income with economics, medicine and social science in both academia and industry. Her research carries a dual role, (1) as a methodologist (applied health economist and econometrician using big and complex data), utilising health economics theory and concepts to test the validity of causal hypotheses, (2) collaborator across all Faculties leading critical economic evaluations. She is the lead economist on several projects, for example, in dementia and emergency care, funded by the EU, NHMRC, ARC. Previously she was an associate professor at The University of Manchester and University of Leeds, UK. Professor Gannon is currently an Expert Evaluator for the EU Commission funding applications and recently a member of the UK National Institute for Health Research RfPB (Research for Patient Benefit) Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Australian Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Evaluation Sub Committee.


Patricia Turner

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 more than 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).  Among 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 holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Canberra, where she was awarded the University prize for Development Studies.



Fran Baum

Fran Baum is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Foundation Director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. She was named in the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to higher education as an academic and public health researcher, as an advocate for improved access to community health care, and to professional organisations”. From 2009–2014 she held a prestigious Australia Research Council Federation Fellowship. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and of the Australian Health Promotion Association.  She is a past National President and Life Member of the Public Health Association of Australia. She is a member and past Chair of the Global Steering Council of the People’s Health Movement – a global network of health activist (www. also served as a Commissioner on the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health from 2005-08.

Fran Baum is one of Australia’s leading researchers on the social and economic determinants of health. She holds grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australia Research Council which are considering a wide range of aspects of health inequities and social determinants of health.  These grants include an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Policies for Health Equity of which she is one of the two co-Directors. Her book, The New Public Health (4th ed. published January 2016 Oxford University Press), is widely cited and used in many public health courses.



Senator Janet Rice

Janet Rice is a Senator for Victoria and is the Australian Greens spokesperson for Women, as well as LGBTIQ issues, agriculture & rural affairs, transport, and forests.

Janet is passionate about supporting women’s participation in their communities and in our democracy.  The Greens believe that women have the right to equal participation in political, social, intellectual and economic decision-making processes.
The Greens also work to ensure all women, in Australia and overseas, to have access to safe and confidential health and wellbeing services, including reproductive health services and family violence services.
Janet has been a campaigner, consultant, facilitator and activist for over 30 years. She entered the federal parliament in 2014. She grew up in and still lives in Melbourne’s western suburbs with her partner, Penny, and their two adult sons.


Carla Wilshire

Carla Wilshire is the CEO of the Migration Council Australia: Australia’s national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion. 

Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. She has worked as a public servant and advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice to the Council of Chief Justices of Australia on improving access to justice for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians and she is a Member of the Harmony Alliance Council, Australia’s peak advocacy body for migrant and refugee women. Carla is also a member of the National Anti-Racism Partnership and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.


Anne Trimmer

Anne Trimmer was appointed Secretary General of the AMA in May 2013, commencing her appointment in August that year. Prior to her appointment Ms Trimmer served as Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Technology Association of Australia – a position she held following an extensive career in the legal profession, practising law as a commercial partner of a major Australian law firm.

Ms Trimmer has held several leadership positions in professional and educational bodies, including a period as President of the Law Council of Australia, Deputy Chancellor of the University of Canberra, and Chair of the Australian Government’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property.

Ms Trimmer has chaired the Centre of Excellence in Vision Sciences at the Australian National University and has been a director of Research Australia and Plan International Australia. She has been a member of the Australian Therapeutic Goods Advisory Council.

In 2003, Ms Trimmer was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to law and society.


Carmel Tebbutt

Carmel Tebbutt is a former NSW Health Minister and the first woman to hold the position of Deputy Premier in NSW. 

Carmel was a Member of the New South Wales Parliament for 17 years, serving in both the Legislative Council and as the Member for Marrickville. Carmel was appointed to the NSW Cabinet in 1998 and held many portfolios including Health, Education, Community Services and the Environment.  

Carmel’s key ministerial achievements include the National Health Reform negotiations which meant significant additional funding for NSW, legislating a mandatory energy efficiency target, initiating the river red gums forests agreement, the Best Start Programme to improve children’s transition to school and reform of child protection programmes providing new resources and a stronger focus on early intervention services.

Since leaving Parliament in 2015 Carmel was employed as the CEO of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand and is now CEO of  NSW Mental Health Co-ordinating Council.


More information


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