Keynote Speakers

Professor Tom Calma AO

Prof Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan (Koong ara kun) tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja (Ee wad ja) tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 40 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focussing on rural and remote Australia, health, education, justice reinvestment, research, leadership, reconciliation and economic development.

Prof Calma was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010. He also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009.

Through his 2005 Social Justice Report, Prof Calma called for the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to be closed within a generation and advocated embedding a social determinants philosophy into public policy around health, education and employment in order to address Indigenous inequality gaps. This spearheaded the Close the Gap for Indigenous Health Equality Campaign resulting in COAG’s Closing the Gap response in December 2007.

Prof Calma has since 2010 held the position of National Coordinator Tackling Indigenous Smoking (0.5) and he was appointed a Professor (0.5) at the University of Sydney Medical School from 1 January 2015 to perform the role of Chair and Patron of the Poche Indigenous Health Network.

He has many awards including being named by Australian Doctor Magazine (2010) as one of the 50 Most Influential People in medicine in Australia, Indigenous Allied Health Australia’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2014 in recognition of his lifelong dedication to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians and the Public Health Association of Australia’s pre-eminent Sidney Sax Public Health Medal (2015) for notable contribution to the protection and promotion of public health, advancing community awareness of public health measures and advancing the ideals and practice of equity in the provision of health care.

Dr. Sheri Daniels

Born, raised, and currently residing on Maui, Sheri-Ann Daniels, Ed.D., has over two decades of experience in social service programs and 20 years of supervisory experience, including non-profit management. It is through these capacities that Dr. Daniels has worked closely with Hawai‘i’s unique and diverse population to overcome inequities.

In April 2016, Dr. Daniels was appointed Executive Director of Papa Ola L?kahi (POL), the organization charged by the United States Congress with administrative oversight of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act [Public Law 102-396]. In this role, she leads efforts in developing policy strategies related to health improvement for Native Hawaiians and their families at the local, state and federal.

In 2017 Dr. Daniels was appointed chairperson of N? Limahana o Lonop?h?, the Native Hawaiian Health Consortium. An integrated network of leading senior executives and health care providers, together consortium members propose progressive models of culture and research-based methods in implementing prevention and treatment programs focused on systemic outcomes among various levels of Native Hawaiian health and wellness.

Dr. Daniels is actively involved in various community and civic organizations on Maui, including Hawaiian language education as a parent of four grade-school children currently in the kula kaiapuni system (Hawaiian language immersion).

Daniels was recognized in 2014 with the Maui County Women of Excellence award. Other awards include the Pacific Business News - 40 Under 40 (2010) and Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow.

Joe Gallagher

Joe Gallagher, Kwunuhmen, is Coast Salish, Tla'amin First Nation, and serves as the CEO for the First Nations Health Authority in BC, Canada. Joe has been a lead in the formation of a new health governance partnership between BC First Nations, the province of BC, and the government of Canada which included the negotiation of the successful transfer of federal health services to BC First Nations control. This work, a first for Canada, led to the formation of the First Nations Health Authority, a wellness organization driven by the First Nations holistic and traditional perspective of health and wellness.

Krystal Harrison

T?n? koutou, t?n? koutou, t?n? koutou katoa, Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.

Warm greetings and welcome to all those participating this week.

My iwi connections are to Ng?ti Tuwharetoa, from the inland mountains of Titiraupenga, Tauhara and Tongariro, which surround the blue waters of Lake Taupo in the Central North Island of New Zealand.

I am a Physiotherapist by trade but have most recently moved into the disability support sector, working with Tangata Whaikaha (People with disabilities), and facilitating them towards achieving their aspirations in life. I currently work with Te Runanga o Ng?ti Ranginui, a non-profit charitable trust representing one iwi from three, in the Tauranga Moana rohe. Ng?ti Ranginui’s vision is to improve health outcomes for their whanau, hapu and iwi living in the Tauranga region. Their approach encompasses all domains of a person’s health and wellbeing while ensuring it is practised through a Te Ao M?ori lens.

I also work with Ng? Pou Mana, a non-profit organisation, that provides cultural support and advocacy, professional networking and learning opportunities, to M?ori students studying towards an Allied health career and the M?ori Allied health workforce.

I am excited and humbled to be a part of this inspiring event and look forward to learning from all those sharing this journey with me.

Ng? mihi,

Krystal Harrison.

Roxanne Waru

Ka tika, tuatahi ka mihi maioha ki ng? iwi katoa o ng? hau e wh?. Karanga te p o ?, nau mai te ao!

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge everyone from the various nations, from near or far, greetings to you all!

My Iwi connections are to the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, Te Tair ?whiti. He uri n? Ng?ti Porou, Te Aitanga A Hauiti, Rongomaiw?hine me Te Wh?nau A Apanui.

I am an Occupational Therapist. I began my studies at Edith Cowan University in Perth after being inspired by the work that I saw other Therapists’ completing while working as a therapy assistant at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

I finished my studies in New Zealand, which ignited my passion and motivation to be a part of supporting and advocating for the improvement of health and well-being for te Iwi M?ori.

I have worked in various areas including acute, rehabilitation, community and private practice settings, more recently specialising in wheelchair and seating, and housing modifications.

I currently work as a Wh?nau Ora Project Manager at Te Tihi o Ruahine, which is an Alliance of 9 hap?, Iwi and M?ori organisations who work collectively to deliver wh?nau centred, wh?nau led, strength-based services that help to support and realise the dreams and aspirations of the local community.

I am the Chair of Ng? Pou Mana M?ori Allied Health Professionals, which provides a support network, training and advocacy for M?ori Allied Health students and the M?ori Allied Health workforce.

N?u te rourou, n?ku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi!

The above proverb speaks about when we bring all our resources together, and share our understandings, the people will thrive! I look forward to sharing and learning over the period of the event.

Mauri Ora!

Roxanne Waru

Forum Facilitator

Assoc. Prof. Gregory Phillips

Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting

Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru Aboriginal Australian peoples and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

He is a medical anthropologist, has a PhD in psychology (‘Dancing With Power: Aboriginal Health, Cultural Safety and Medical Education’), a research master’s degree in medical science (‘Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country’; published as a book in 2003), and a bachelor degree in arts (Aboriginal Studies and Government majors).

Gregory has twenty years work experience in healing, alcohol and other drugs, youth empowerment, medical education and health workforce. He developed an accredited Indigenous health curriculum for all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, and co-wrote a national Indigenous health workforce strategy. He established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd in the wake of the federal apology to Indigenous Australians has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality and was honoured in 2011 with an ADC Australian Leadership Forum Award.

Gregory is currently Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, and an Associate Professor and Research Fellow at The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.


Evan Adams

Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish actor and physician from the Tla’amin First Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada. Evan stars as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in ShadowCatcher Entertainment’s SMOKE SIGNALS, written by Sherman Alexie and directed by Chris Eyre. He also won Best Actor awards from the American Indian Film Festival, and from First Americans in the Arts, and a 1999 Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best Debut Performance’. He won a 2011 Gemini Award for co-hosting the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards along with Adam Beach. Aside from his career in the arts, Evan has completed a Medical Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2002, and a residency in the Aboriginal Family Practice program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Adams has a Masters of Public Health (2009) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He was the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor in the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health (2007-2012). He was the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for the province of BC from 2012 to 2014. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority.

Kerry Arabena

A Torres Strait Islander, Professor Kerry Arabena is Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at the University of Melbourne, and Executive Director of First 1000 Days Australia, an interventions based pre-birth multigenerational cohort study designed with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Professor Arabena is currently President of the International Association of Ecology and Health and a member of the Aboriginal Economic Board in Victoria, Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, Victorian Aboriginal Economic Board of Development and SBS Community Advisory Committee. She has an extensive background in in public health, administration, community development, teaching mentoring and research. Professor Arabena is an author and business owner, a mother and grandmother with interests in achieving equity for all Australians.

Stephanie Armstrong

Stephanie is a Gamilaraay woman from a large extended family from northern NSW. Her husband, two grown daughters and her family members and friends have been supportive of Stephanie’s need to make a difference in Aboriginal Edu-cation and health. Steph has worked for over 35 years in rural, remote and urban contexts working in various roles. This has provided her with the skills and experi-ences she requires in both her consultancy business and her personal life. Stepha-nie is on many local committees and volunteers within her local community and Melbourne. Her work as co-leader of the Weenthunga Health Network has been focused on supporting local First Australian girls stay at school and seek career pathways into health. This work has seen her establish networks and projects to support many young women in Bendigo. In 2018 she has supported the establishment of a girls’ program in Geelong and Melbourne. Her role in the community has continued to grow as she works in providing leadership and cultural programs.

Dr Chris Bourke

Dr Chris Bourke is Strategic Programs Director for the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. Chris is a Gamillaroi man and Australia’s first Indigenous dentist. From 2011 to 2016, Chris was a Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly with various ministerial portfolios. Chris has held clinical positions in the private and public sector including his own private dental practice, Aboriginal Medical Services, public hospitals and state/territory health departments. He is a member of the Uluru Statement Working Group, the Steering Committee for Indigenous Health Equality (Close the Gap), the National Health Leadership Forum and he co-chairs the ACT Reconciliation Day Council. In addition to his dental degree Chris has postgraduate diplomas in Public Health, Clinical Dentistry and an MBA. His primary motivation is better healthcare outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Katherine Burke

Katherine Yvonne Mary Burke is a doctoral candidate in the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at M?noa where her research focus is on the social determinants of health and social justice. As a masters student she focused on ‘?ina-based approaches to ethics and cultural safety training for community-based participatory research, partnering with K?kua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services in Honolulu. Katherine has been a member of the Curriculum Committee of N? Limahana O Lonop?h? Native Hawaiian Health Consortium since 2012 and hopes to pilot their social justice curriculum for health equity as the focus of her dissertation. Of particular interest is evaluating the impact of cultural safety curricula on students' personal transformation. Katherine was raised in Connecticut and has spent the last 12 years living and working in Hawai'i. In addition to academics, Katherine enjoys learning about her Greek, French, Irish and Romanche ancestry, plant medicine, and supporting the social justice philanthropy efforts of Hawai‘i People’s Fund.

Corrine Butler

Corrine is an Aboriginal woman with strong family connections to Yarrabah, North Queensland. She has been an occupational therapist for 9 years. She is co-founder of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network, a member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia and OT Australia. Corrine has worked in regional and remote areas across Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Dr. Teah Carlson

Dr Teah Carlson is of Te Wh?nau a Apanui, Ng?ti Porou and Waikato-Tainui descent. She is a kaupapa M?ori Researcher and Evaluator at SHORE and Wh?riki Research Centre, Massey University. She has experience in qualitative methods, strategy and evaluation, especially involving working with M?ori communities where collaboration, partnership and participatory community action were key to the research development, process and outcomes. Her strengths are in kaupapa M?ori research, evaluation, participatory action research, community psychology, co-design and co-creation. She has a PhD in Public Health, which was a Health Research Council-funded project entitled Indigenous Health Literacy Framework: Evaluation of a Health Literacy Cardiovascular Disease Intervention.

Dr James Charles

Associate Professor James Charles is a very proud Kaurna man for the Adelaide Plains, South Australia. Current position: Coordinator of Master of Public Health, at the Institute of Koorie Education, and academic with the School of Medicine, Deakin University. James has lived at many different places around Australia, including Newcastle NSW while working at the University of Newcastle, and Albury while working at Charles Sturt University. James was one of the first Aboriginal Podiatrist in Australia, the first Aboriginal person to receive a Master of Podiatry, and first Aboriginal Podiatrist to receive a PhD (Aboriginal foot health). James has volunteered his time at many Aboriginal community controlled organisations, boards and committees around Australia. Dr Charles was President of the Indigenous Allied Health Australia 2009 – 2010, and Chairperson of Indigenous Allied Health Australia Network 2008, and was very proud to be a representative at the national “Close the Gap” committee in 2008-2009. Dr Charles was very honoured to receive the National NAIDOC Scholar of the year in 2017 for his teaching, research and work in the Aboriginal community. Dr Charles has also received the prestigious Alumni Accolade Award from the University of South Australia in 2018.

Janene Erickson

Janene Erickson is Nak'azdli Whut'en, of the Dakelh First Nation in northern BC and an adopted member of the Tak'aya Wolf Clan, FNHA family.

Over the past six years, Janene has worked in the CEO's office to support the implementation of a new health governance partnership between BC First Nations, the province of BC, and the government of Canada which included the successful transfer of federal health services to BC First Nations control. This work, a first for Canada, led to the formation of the First Nations Health Authority, an institution created by First Nations people for First Nations people. The FNHA champions a holistic and traditional perspective of health and wellness that acknowledges and includes an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

As a 'customer-owner', she proudly serves First Nations through her role in Partnership Development and Projects at the FNHA. She was recently appointed to the board of the new BC College of Nursing Professionals and sits on the Inquiry Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. She brings her energy as a Wellness Champion to the work - her accomplishments, including Boston and Ironman are empowered and inspired by her parents. Janene brings her lived experiences, teachings she's learned and the education she's earned through a Masters in Public Health from UBC and strives to do her work with an open heart and open mind.

(Thank you in Nak’azdli Dakelh)

Alexandra King

Dr. Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC, is a citizen of the Nipissing First Nation (Ontario). Alexandra is the inaugural Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health at the University of Saskatchewan. She works with Indigenous communities and relevant stakeholders to understand the health and wellness needs of First Nations and Métis peoples in Saskatchewan and the structural changes needed for improved Indigenous health outcomes. Alexandra brings leadership skills in culturally safe and responsive research and care, Two-eyed Seeing (bringing together Indigenous and Western worldviews or forms of knowledges) and Ethical Space—which needs to be created when peoples with disparate worldviews are poised to engage each other.

As a First Nation researcher, Alexandra is a Principal Investigator on various CIHR research grants related to Indigenous people and HIV, HCV and co-infections. Other research interests include Indigenous wellness and Indigenous research ethics, and much of her research is community-based interventions grounded in Indigenous epistemology, culture and wellness. Alexandra also teaches Indigenous health and contributes to the University of Saskatchewan’s decolonization, reconciliation and Indigenization.

George Kingi

T ?n ? koutou katoa e te wh ?nau,

Greetings to all my Indigenous peoples from all nations,

He uri mokopuna t? nei no Te Wh ? nau-A-Apanui, Ng ?ti Porou, Ng ? ti Awa, Ng ?puhi, Waikato me Ng ? ti Pikiao.

For over a decade I have worked with Indigenous communities in the Youth and Social Service sectors. I have worked alongside communities utilising strength-based approaches, culturally grounded interventions, mentoring and cultural supervision. What I have come to know is that the more they/we discover about ourselves and how we fit into the world, the clearer our pathways are towards making positive change. I have developed a M?ori leadership programme, cultural supervision framework and more recently Mauri Tau (Indigenous mindfulness praxis) that all are all grounded in matauranga ?ori (M?ori knowledge). I will facilitate a session on Mauri Tau - a process utilising ancient narratives related to a journey of obtaining knowledge, knowing and understanding oneself and relationships to the complex ecologies.

Ka nui te mihi ki ? koutou

N?, George Kingi

T?rou Hawaiiki

Romlie Mokak

Romlie Mokak is a Djugun man and a member of the Yawuru people. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Lowitja Institute, Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research since 2014. Under his leadership, the Institute is transforming into a leading research and policy impact organisation in Australia, while extending its global networks and partnerships. Prior to joining the Lowitja Institute, Romlie was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association for almost a decade. Earlier roles included Director, Substance Use, and Manager of the National Eye Health Program, for the Australian Government’s Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. He was the first Aboriginal policy officer in the New South Wales government Ageing and Disability Department. Romlie has chaired and has been a member for a range of policy, research and evaluation bodies at the national and state government levels. He is the immediate past chair for the National Health Leadership Forum, the collective of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing organisations. More recently, he convened the first Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, and delivered the 2016 Cranlana Program Medicine and Society Oration. Romlie holds a Bachelor of Social Science and Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education.

Jamie Newman

Jamie Newman, a proud Wiradjuri descendent has been the CEO of Orange Aboriginal Medical Service since 2005.

He completed a Bachelor of Health Science, Community & Public Health degree at Charles Sturt University Dubbo in 2001.

In 2002 he was successful in obtaining the role of Area Manager – Aboriginal Health for the previously known Mid Western Area Health and held this position until 2004.

He has been a Director of the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW and is currently Chairperson of the Bila Muuji Regional Aboriginal Health Service in Western NSW, a Board member of the Western Primary Health Network and a Council Member of Charles Sturt University.

Jamie has been involved in multiple Aboriginal health research projects ranging from data, workforce, population health, models of care and integrated care.

Jamie has over twenty years extensive experience working with and for Aboriginal communities at both a Government and Non-Government level and is driven by the desire to see all people have a “quality whole of life”.

“Being Aboriginal is a reason to succeed, rather than an excuse not to.”

Roianne West

Professor Roianne West is of the Kalkadoon and Djaku-nde Aboriginal Peoples. Professor West has over 20 years of experience in First Peoples Health were she commenced her journey as an Aboriginal Health Worker in her local Aboriginal Medical Service. Professor West is Griffith University's Foundation Professor of First Peoples Health and Director of the First Peoples Health Unit of which she spearheaded the establishment. A University trained Registered Nurse passionate about educating and training health professionals in culturally and clinically safe care.