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Professor Robert Read

Infectious Diseases, University of Southampton Director, NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre

Professor Robert Charles Read is Head of Academic Unit - Clinical and Experimental Sciences within Medicine at the University of Southampton.  He undertook clinical and research training in Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, London, Nottingham and San Francisco. He was appointed as an academic infectious disease physician at the University of Sheffield in 1995 and served as Professor of Infectious Diseases there from 2002-2012, prior to moving to Southampton in September 2012.
Professor Read has research interests in the pathogenesis and prevention of rapidly lethal infectious diseases, especially meningococcal and pneumococcal disease, and influenza.
He is the chairman of the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialty Group for the NIHR clinical research network, and Chairs the postdoctoral awards panel for the NIHR Personal Training Fellowships scheme.
Robert was chairman of the 2013 Annual Meeting Program Committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America. He was appointed as member of the Joint Committee on Vaccine Implementation (JCVI) in September 2013 and he is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Infection and Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, and is author and co-author of 200 publications mainly in the field of infectious diseases.

Dr Ian Barr

Deputy Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Professor Ian Barr is Deputy Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza. Ian has had over 35 years’ experience in biological research and development in academic institutions and at CSL Limited on various topics such as vaccine development, mucosal immunology, adjuvants, cancer therapeutics, immune system development and diagnostics. Ian joined the Centre in 2000 and has served as Deputy Director since 2005. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Federation University and holds an honorary position at the University of Melbourne. 


Dr Skye McGregor is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on surveillance and prevention of sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses. She leads production of the national sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses annual surveillance reports for Australia. These reports provide a comprehensive analysis of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia. Over the past 10 years Skye has also been involved in a number of important research projects at the Kirby Institute, including a cluster randomised trial of best practice STI care in remote Aboriginal communities, a community-based HIV knowledge and attitudes survey in culturally and linguistically diverse groups, a government-funded evaluation of the Australian HPV vaccination program, and a World Health Organization funded review of the global epidemiology and diseases associations of HTLV-1. She completed her PhD in 2015, which focused on research capacity building in low- and middle-income countries. Dr McGregor currently supervises five doctoral candidates and has supervised to completion a Master of Public Health student. She also has extensive experience in mentoring junior researchers both in Australia and internationally, in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Senior Research Fellow, University of New South Wales

Dr Skye McGregor
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Dr Clare Death

Wildlife Health Australia

Dr Clare Death is a veterinarian and Senior Project Officer at Wildlife Health Australia, where she manages the national wildlife disease sentinel surveillance program. Clare practised in Australia and the UK before completing a Conservation Medicine Masters and a wildlife toxicology PhD. She then held federal and state government agricultural policy and regulation roles and gained ANZCVS veterinary epidemiology chapter membership. Before joining WHA, Clare worked in risk assessment and toxicology focused environmental consulting and was also seconded to the Victorian health department COVID-19 response. She is a research associate on various wildlife health projects at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Alex Brown

Aboriginal Health Equity Theme Leader SAHMRI, and Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide.

Alex is an internationally leading Aboriginal clinician/researcher who has worked his entire career in Aboriginal health in the provision of public health services, infectious diseases and chronic disease care, health care policy and research. He has established three highly regarded research groups over the last 15 years, and currently leads a group of 58 staff (50% of whom identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians). Much of his work has been at the difficult interface of geographical isolation, complex cultural context, severe socioeconomic disadvantage, inequitable access to and receipt of care and profound health disparities, often where little or no research infrastructure previously existed. He has built a research career spanning public health, quantitative clinical epidemiology, mixed-method health service research, qualitative research, and implementation science, with an increasing focus on novel clinical trials in cardiometabolic disease within Indigenous communities.

He has led the development of a transdisciplinary program of research focused on documenting the burden and contributors to health inequality in Indigenous Australians, with a primary focus on cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and cancer. Since commencing at SAHMRI 7 years ago, he has overseen the establishment of an integrated centre of excellence in Indigenous chronic disease and public health research. He leads projects in CVD epidemiology and policy; the social, clinical, and biological correlates of diabetes and its complications; intervention trials; documenting cancer inequalities and how best to overcome them; innovative mixed-methods primary care research; and evaluations of health care models, systems and programs.

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Ms Helen Grinbergs

First Assistant Secretary, Interim Australian Centre for Disease Control,
Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Helen Grinbergs is a senior executive in the Department of Health and Aged Care and has extensive experience across complex areas of policy development and program delivery (environment, climate change, disability, health, aged care, humanitarian services). In early 2023 Helen moved into the Chief Medical Officer Group of the Department initially leading the Office of Health Protection Division with responsibilities for public health and surveillance; communicable disease; and environmental health and climate change; and subsequently leading the Emergency Management Division with responsibilities for health emergency management, the National Medical Stockpile, Immunisation policy and programs, and work to establish an Australian Centre for Disease Control. 

In early 2024 following the commencement of the interim Australian CDC, Helen has stepped aside from her usual role to lead the Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Establishment Taskforce.  An Australian CDC is being established to ensure improve pandemic preparedness and response; lead the national response to future infectious disease outbreaks; and work to prevent communicable and non-communicable (chronic) diseases.  An interim Australian CDC commenced in the department on 1 January 2024.

Professor Peter Richmond

Head Of Paediatrics, School Of Medicine, University of Western Australia

Professor Peter Richmond is a Consultant Paediatric Immunologist and Paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital, and is Head of the Immunology Department at the Child and Adolescent Health Service in WA. He also heads the Vaccine Trials Group within the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute, and is Head of the Discipline of Paediatrics at the UWA Medical School. His major research interests are in the prevention of meningitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections and otitis media. He has authored over 300 scientific publications in these areas and has worked in vaccine research for over 25 years.

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Professor Michelle Giles

Infectious Diseases Physician, Monash University

Professor Michelle Giles is an adult infectious diseases physician who specialises in infections in pregnancy and maternal immunisation. Her academic appointments are with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University and Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Melbourne.  She has clinical appointments at four health services and is the Deputy Chair on the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisation.

Dr Joe Smyser

CEO, The Public Good Projects (PGP)

Dr. Joe Smyser is the CEO of The Public Good Projects (PGP), a nonprofit organization that designs and implements large-scale behavior change programs for the public good. PGP selects its work based on three criteria: will it advance public health, will it create change at a large scale, and will it be rigorously evaluated. PGP has designed several opioid awareness campaigns to date, three research studies with Google, Facebook, and The National Academies, and manages a national disease surveillance system monitoring the opioid epidemic.

PGP’s board includes executives from Pepsi, Levi-Strauss, the Ad Council, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sesame Street, Campbell’s, Discovery Communications, and Burson Cohn & Wolfe.

Dr. Smyser's academic background is in public health; he has a PhD and masters in public health with an emphasis in health communication, and completed his postdoc at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its Evaluation Fellowship.

In parallel to academia Dr. Smyser has worked in both the public and private sectors, designing behavior change programs and social marketing campaigns. Dr. Smyser has designed the core strategies for several of the United States’ largest behavior change campaigns. 

Dr. Smyser is an advocate for leveraging the tools and techniques of private industry for public health, "out of the box" public-private partnerships, and fostering private industry innovation for the public good.

Associate Professor Hazel Clothier

SAFEVIC, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Hazel is Lead Epidemiologist, Child Health Informatics and Surveillance Manager, Vaccine Signal Detection & Investigation at SAEFVIC, Victoria’s Vaccine Safety Service. Her doctoral work on optimizing spontaneous vaccine safety surveillance has had immediate relevance and continued impact since the global Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 crisis brought calls for development and release of vaccines at “pandemic speed”, further highlighting the need for robust and timely vaccine safety surveillance.
She continues to lead in this field of research with expertise in vaccinology, surveillance and signal detection. Hazel is also experienced in public health and infectious diseases more broadly with a strong background in emerging infectious diseases, outbreak management and infectious disease surveillance system design and evaluation.

Mrs Joanne Hickman

Consumer Engagement Manager, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Jo is the consumer engagement manager for the research informatics group at the Centre of Health Analytics, Melbourne Children's Campus. She is a current  member of the community advisory committee at Peter MacCallum Centre in Melbourne, and also a facilitator for Your Thoughts Matter, an evidence based communication program that prioritises patient voices.
Jo has been a registered nurse for 30 years, the last 10 spent at Monash Immunisation, a hospital based high risk immunisation service, working clinically and as a nurse manager.

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Professor Peter McIntyre

Peter McIntyre is a paediatrician and vaccine-preventable epidemiologist who was Director of Australia's National Centre for Immunisation Research from 2004 until moving with his family to Dunedin, New Zealand at the end of 2017. He was awarded an AO in 2020 and has Professorial appointments at the Universities of Sydney, Otago and Auckland. From 2019, he has been a member of the World Health Organisation's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts.

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FEERY ORATION (Immunisation)

Head of Department, Department of Women's and Children's Health (Dunedin), University Of Otago

AILEEN JOY PLANT ORATION (Communicable Diseases)
Professor Martyn Kirk

Associate Dean (Education), The Australian National University

Martyn Kirk is a professor of epidemiology  at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia. He is an international expert in the surveillance and investigation of outbreaks of food- and waterborne diseases, including those crossing country borders. Professor Kirk has over 30 years of experience in public health, working in state and territory and federal health departments in Australia. He is internationally recognized for his work on estimating the burden of foodborne disease in Australia and globally. Professor Kirk is a highly respected educator and is currently the Associate Dean (Education) in the ANU's College of Health and Medicine. He previously ran the Master of Applied Epidemiology program at ANU and was the inaugural coordinating epidemiologist of OzFoodNet. He is a Food Standards Australia New Zealand Fellow and has received numerous awards for his work in public health, including the Australian Public Health Association's Presidents Award for work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Professor Jenny Firman AM
Decisions during public health emergencies should be evidence based and not influenced by politics.
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Professor Allen Cheng
Professor Fiona Russell
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Dr Erik Baekkeskov
To be announced

Professor Fiona Russell is a paediatrician, epidemiologist and vaccine researcher. She is Director of the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program, The University of Melbourne; and Group Leader of  Asia-Pacific Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her research provides evidence for immunisation policy for low- and middle-income countries. She has been a regular advisor on immunisation and child health policy (Asia, Pacific and Africa). She is a WHO TAG member for Strengthening Clinical Trials. She leads the Centre for Research Excellence for Pneumococcal Disease Control in the Asia-Pacific and currently leads 3 pneumococcal reviews for WHO SAGE. She founded and co-Chairs the Asia-Pacific Vaccine Research Network with the University of Gadja Mada Indonesia, co-Chairs the World Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases International Scientific Committee, and is a member of the WHO Pacific Joint Incident Management Team. During COVID, she led numerous reports on the role of children and schools in transmission and was a panelist on the WHO Science Division seminar series, chaired the WHO/UNICEF guideline development group for mask use in children, and advised DFAT on COVID-19 vaccine in the Asia-Pacific.

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