Adjunct Prof Tarun Weeramanthri (Chair, Conference Advisory Committee)

Adjunct Professor, School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia

Tarun Weeramanthri is an independent consultant in public health, an adjunct academic at the University of Western Australia, and joint Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Public Health Policy, an international open access journal.


He was Chief Health Officer in Western Australia (WA) from 2008 to 2018, and before that in the Northern Territory from 2004-2007.


He has broad experience in public health policy, practice, regulation and research, and led the introduction of a new Public Health Act in WA in 2016. He has championed the application of new technologies to public health and disaster preparedness, so-called ‘precision public health’.


In 2014, he was awarded the Sidney Sax Medal by the Public Health Association of Australia, for his contribution to public health in Australia.


In 2018, he received the Minister for Health’s Award, the highest individual excellence award given by WA Health, for an outstanding commitment to a healthier Western Australia


Mr Terry Slevin

CEO, Public Health Association of Australia

Terry Slevin has been Chief Executive Office for the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) since May 2018.  He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology at Curtin University an Adjunct Professor in the College of Health and Medicine at the Australian National University.  He is a Fellow of PHAA and was the first Vice President (Development) of the Association.


Adj Prof Slevin is a regular media commentator on all aspects of public health and cancer, ranging from causes and early detection, to broader chronic disease prevention including nutrition, physical activity, weight control, alcohol, sun protection and gun control.  He also has a special interest in Occupational and environmental cancer risks.


Until April 2018 he was Director, Education and Research at Cancer Council WA where he worked since 1994. Mr Slevin holds a Masters in Public Health and an Honours degree in Psychology.

As well as serving as Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, Mr Slevin has previously chaired Cancer Council's Skin Cancer Committee and was founding Chair of Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, where he served for 10 years.  He has contributed to the planning of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress from 2012 to 2016 and was Co Chair of the Scientific Committee for the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.

He is the editor of a book on skin cancer Sun, Skin and Health, released by CSIRO Publishing in 2014 and has published over 70 papers in the peer reviewed literature and a series of 15 articles on cancer myths.  


His current focus is on promoting evidence based public health policy in Australia with a focus on equity and improved health outcomes for the most disadvantaged Australians.

Adjunct Professor Helen Keleher

Adjunct Professor, School of Rural Health with Monash University

Helen Keleher is now an Adjunct Professor in the School of Rural Health with Monash University and was previously the Head of the Department of Health Social Science in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Her expertise is in population health, gender equity and the prevention of violence against women, health promotion, the social determinants of health and equity. Helen is now the Director of Keleher Consulting. 

Helen is past-President of the Public Health Association of Australia. She is also past National Convenor of the Australian Women's Health Network, and from 2005-8 was a member of the Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. She was Convenor for the 2017 World Congress on Public Health and chaired the committees for the 1st and 2nd Public Health Prevention Conferences.

She is first editor for the best-selling textbook, Understanding Health (OUP Melbourne) for which the 5th edition will be published in 2021. She has published several books, dozens of book chapters and numerous journal articles on primary health care, population health, women’s health/gender and health promotion.

Professor Lucie Rychetnik

Deputy Director of Research, The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Professor Lucie Rychetnik is Deputy Director – Research, overseeing the Prevention Centre’s research and capacity building activities. She is also Professor with the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and Adjunct Professor with the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

She has over 30 years of experience in translating research and mobilising knowledge for public health policy and practice; conducting empirical research on the use of evidence in population health, disease prevention and clinical settings; and leading methodological work on evidence synthesis and appraisal for public health decisions.

Her other areas of interest include the synergies between chronic disease prevention, sustainable development and the health impacts of climate change. From 2016-18 she was based in Geneva, Switzerland during which time she completed further studies in climate change management (via the University of Edinburgh) and contributed to the work of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. She is on the Board of the Australian Climate and Health Alliance.

Mr David Templeman

President, Public Health Association of Australia

Ms Hannah Pierce

Senior Research Officer, Alcohol Programs Team, Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA, Curtin University

Hannah Pierce is a Senior Research Officer with the Alcohol Programs Team at the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA, based at Curtin University. Hannah is currently the WA Branch President of the Public Health Association of Australia. She is particularly interested in public health advocacy and the influence of unhealthy industries on public health policy.

Ms Anita Dessaix

MA (Communication Management), MPH

Anita is Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Public Health Committee and Director of Cancer Prevention and Advocacy at Cancer Council NSW.

She has more than 15 years' experience within the NSW public health sector, including 12 years' experience in cancer prevention specifically. As well as working as a private consultant, she has previously held senior management positions in public health organisations including the Cancer Institute NSW and the NSW Ministry of Health, where she gained specific expertise in tobacco control and skin cancer prevention.

Within her current role at Cancer Council NSW, where she joined in 2017, Anita is responsible for leading strategy and program efforts in the two Cancer Council NSW focus areas of Prevention and Advocacy. The Division's focus is on reducing the burden of cancer and reducing cancer risk across NSW communities, through targeted programs, policy, advocacy and retail stores.

Ms Michele Herriot

National Vice-President, Australian Health Promotion Association

Michele Herriot is an independent consultant in health promotion providing advice to a range of government, non-government organisations and universities in Australia and overseas.

She was Director of Health Promotion in SA Health from 2006 to 2012 with responsibilities for planning, implementing and evaluating a wide range of health promotion policies, programs, campaigns and capacity building initiatives as well as providing expert advice on diverse policy and practice issues. Her work is underpinned by an understanding of the social determinants of health and the need to redress inequities.

In 2013 Michele became a Director and the Vice- President of the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA). This involves supporting strategic approaches to building the professional capacity of the health promotion workforce and advocating for health promotion.

Michele is also a Director of Arthritis SA and former Director of Asthma Foundation of SA.

Ms Ronda Clarke

Sector Engagement Officer, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia

Ronda is a Nyikina women, who was born and raised in Derby and started working in the Aboriginal Health sector within her home town of Derby in 2010, running a pilot program called the ‘Young Women’s Centre’, with funding running out, Ronda and her team linked their program with the Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS) and sourced funding through St John of God to ensure the program had a future and sustainability.

After leaving the Young Women’s Centre, Ronda went into private enterprise, started a commercial cleaning business, and then ventured into the mining sector by being successful with a mining contract which entailed all the shipping of lead and zinc from the Derby Wharf.

This then lead to the purchase of an old closed down shopping centre which became the hub of Derby with 10 shops. Through these opportunities Ronda was able to employ local Aboriginal people to work throughout the business.

Ronda then moved to Perth for her children’s education, where she gained a Managers position in retail with the Speciality Fashion Group. After a period of time Ronda felt the need to re-enter the heath sector.

Ronda started her journey with AHCWA, as the Corporate Governance Officer, leading some exciting times supporting the AHCWA Board, the PAMS Board and the CMSAC Board. Ronda has since changed roles and is now the AHCWA Sector Engagement Officer, and attends all 7 Aboriginal Health Planning forums across WA, is engaged from a local, state and federal level, in helping to change health policy, supporting and advocating for Aboriginal people and their communities across WA, engaging with AHCWA’s 23 Member Services.

Ms Julie-Anne Mitchell

Director Health Strategy, National Heart Foundation of Australia

Julie-Anne is an experienced national leader in public health having worked in both government and non-government organisations over the length of her career.

At a senior level Julie-Anne has managed highly skilled and experienced teams, overseen successful state and national public health programs and been a regular media commentator on chronic disease prevention and women's health.

Throughout her career she has been focused on achieving improvements in public health and this has been demonstrated in the areas of tobacco control, public health nutrition, primary prevention and women's health.

Ms Denise Sullivan

Director Chronic Disease Prevention, Department of Health Western Australia

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