Session 3: “Staying strong in mind and body”

Nicole Turner

Chairperson, Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA)

Nicole Turner is a proud Kamilaroi woman. She is one of very few qualified Aboriginal Community Nutritionists in Australia after completing her studies in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Community Nutrition). She is the current IAHA Chairperson and has been on the Board for six years showing leadership across the allied health and broader health sector.

Nicole has worked in the health sector for over 20 years and in Aboriginal health for over 15 years as an Aboriginal Health Worker and enrolled nurse before becoming a Nutritionist . Nicole is an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra and has published several research papers in international journals.  Nicole holds a full time position with the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Doctor’s Network as the Aboriginal Workforce Engagement Manager.

Nicole’s passion is nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle and she believes we need to educate and give knowledge to our people about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and prevention of chronic diseases. She enjoys empowering other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to join the allied health workforce to encourage young people to finish school and follow their dreams.

 Ray Kelly

B.A. (Exercise Science) AEP MTeach BRes

Ray is a proud Kamilaroi man and has more than 29-years’ experience in health and sport.  He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, has a Masters in Teaching, a Bachelor in Research and is working toward a PhD on Remission of Type 2 Diabetes in the Aboriginal Community. He was recently announced 2019 Exercise Physiologist of the Year.  In 2020, Ray will co-host a documentary series alongside Dr Michael Mosley. The shows will present the latest research in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and follow as 12 Australians are assisted in reversing the disease.

You might recognise Ray from The Biggest Loser Australia, where he was an external trainer in the first two seasons. Each year he had one contestant and each year that contestant won (Adro Sarnelli, 2006; Chris Garling, 2007). Following the show’s success, Ray went on to author Winners Do What Losers Don’t and Full Plate, Less Weight. 

Ray travels the world attending the major obesity and chronic disease conferences and provides education seminars for doctors, nurses, personal trainers, and other health professionals. He has a high level interest in Indigenous chronic disease and runs a number programs that focus on improving diabetes and heart disease. The goal is to have his patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight, reduce medications, and lower their HbA1c under 7, something that happens with the majority of patients.

Athlete development has been another area of interest for Ray. He has worked within Institute of Sport programs preparing athletes for the World Championships and two Olympics as well as lectured in the Level 1 and 2 coaching courses. Additionally, Ray has worked with Australia’s top professional boxers, including World Champions such as Anthony Mundine, Daniel Geale, Michael Katsidis, Chris John, Will Tomlinson, and Lenny Zappavigna. Again, you might have seen him on Fox8’s boxing reality TV show The Contender.