Dr Jeanette Young

Welcome Address

Dr Sandra Richardson

Wednesday Keynote


Sandra has involved in nursing for more than 30 years, both as a clinician, an educator and a researcher.  Her interest in health and well-being has been established even longer, with time spent as volunteer with the St John ambulance service in rural and urban settings for over 20 years and more than 10 years as a territorial army medic with an infantry battalion. Her nursing focus has been in emergency nursing, and she also taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing levels. Most recently she has worked in a joint appointment as a senior lecturer at the University of Otago where she was involved in supervision of Masters students and teaching High Acuity nursing at the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing and as a Nurse Researcher in the Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury University teaching on the graduate entry to nursing Master’s papers and post graduate bioethics while continuing to work two days a week in the Emergency Department.

She has initiated research into violence and aggression in the health setting and its impact on staff in the ED workplace, and is involved in the development of policy and quality initiatives in response to this. Sandra is a founding member of the Research into the Health Impacts of Seismic Events (RHISE) group in Canterbury and has published widely on the Canterbury earthquakes.  Her PhD work was in the area of ED overcrowding, and the concept of the ‘inappropriate attender’, with subsequent research interests in the area of professional education, ethics, cultural safety and acute care nursing.

Current interests include the advocacy of professional role and recognition of emergency nursing, through her position as chair of the College of Emergency Nurses New Zealand, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (CENNZ NZNO) and her research focus has been on the impact on first responders and health workers in the ED who were part of the response to the mass shooting of 15th March, 2019.

Anne Evans-Murray

Thursday Keynote


Anne is a Professional Member Australian Counseling Association (PMACA).

She has a passion for teaching, which she does in an unpretentious way that ensures you will not only understand and retain what she presents, but will enjoy this learning experience.

Anne has extensive experience, with 26 years lecturing for Gold Coast Health District and Griffith University, where she lectured for the Masters of Critical Care course. She currently also lectures at Bond University Medical School.

She is the author of three books; “ECG’s Simply – Cardiac Arrhythmias Made Easy”,Interpretation of Chest X-rays Simply” and “Uncomplicating Life, Simply”.

Anne is also a frequent presenter at workshops, seminars and conferences throughout Australia and New Zealand on subjects such as high dependency nursing, cardiac arrhythmias, ECG interpretation, chest x-rays, physical assessment, assessment of the deteriorating patient, advanced life support (ALS)  leadership skills, self development and counselling skills.  She also presents in conferences on cruise ships throughout the world.

As well as these activities Anne also has her private counseling practice, where she specializes in assertion training and recognition of bullying behavior.  Anne has a commitment and passion for empowering people through increased knowledge with the hope that such knowledge will lead to improvement in patient outcomes and enhance your performance satisfaction.

A/Prof. Erin Smith

Thursday Keynote

Mandy Nolan

Comedy Night Comedian

A stand up comedian for well over 28 years, audiences adore Mandy on stage, and around Byron Bay where she lives, Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak.

Her humour is sharp, honest, sometimes self-depreciating, somewhat outrageous, but never cruel or pretentious. Frequently irreverent, it speaks to a diverse audience with no set demographic, no gender, race or religion, occupation or tribe.

Mandy’s stand-up is known and loved for its rapid fire  philandering and esoteric observations that emerge from the musings of what she describes as ‘a woman whose dilemma it is to navigate the new frontiers in the suburban badlands of human relationships and traverse that darkly hypocritical abyss that exists between action and belief.’

One of Australia’s strongest female comedic talents, Mandy Nolan has honed the ability to bring a room to its knees, whether that be Melbourne’s Last Laugh, Gold Coast’s Comedy in the Basement, Brisbane’s Sit Down Comedy Club, the 2000 plus crowds she’s wowed at Jupiter Casino’s Laugh Your Pants Off Gala’s or the 800 strong function of women from VIEW club who all declared Nolan hands down the funniest guest speaker they’d ever had.

Articulate and passionate about conservation politics, Nolan MC’d 350 Australia’s Stop Adani Roadshow this year performing to thousands of people around the country and streaming Iive to well over 50 000. Nolan’s background in journalism and comedic skills come to the fore as an event facilitator and panel chair, having fronted Brisbane’s Ideas Festival Panel on GDP and Economic Growth, and at the Byron Writers Festival this year where she chaired panels with feminist writer Clementine Ford, environmental scientist Tim Flannery, maths nerd Adam Spencer, Rock n Roll bad boy Tex Perkin and the legendary Jimmy Barnes. The hour long one on one conversation she led with Jimmy Barnes was touted as the festival highlight, with over 600 people in attendance. Nolan also performed of The  Conference for Women Parliamentarians alongside Julia Guilard and Julie Bishop, and is the headline act for the annual Outback Ladies gathering 3 hours west of Charleville. It was just two days before Madam Chair Bronwyn Bishop was brought down by her helicopter fiasco, and Bronny thought she was hysterical. Nolan even offered her a vol u vent.

Nolan performs regularly at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her shows selling out. Nolan was also invited to perform at the 2016 Upfront Gala at Melbourne Town Hall showcasing the brightest female talent at the festival. Nolan was a crowd favourite, and has since been invited to tour with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow as the closing feature.

In 2015 Mandy Nolan teamed up with Ellen Briggs to create Women Like Us, a two hour two woman stand up comedy show that has embarked on a national show to major festivals such as Sydney Comedy Festival, Perth Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival, capital cities and regional towns in almost 60 shows. The girls continue to travel their smash hit show around the country, in 2018 they will be publishing their first book together with plans to produce a web series by the end of the year.

Multi-talented Nolan is an accomplished comedian, artist and journalist. A self proclaimed expert on all matters feminine she writes for the Byron Echo where her weekly Soapbox has attracted the admiration and loyalty  of readers for almost two decades. Nolan also writes for Mamamia, was   a contributor for Wendy Harmer’s Online magazine The Hoopla and has been a featured guest on ABC’s Q&A  and SBS’s Mums The Word.

A thrice published author  Nolan’s previous titles with Finch  include ‘What I Would Do If I Were You’  & ‘Boyfriend’s We’ve all Had and Shouldn’t have.’  Sydney Morning Herald’s Bruce Elder called Nolan ‘the country’s sharpest and wittiest comedic columnist’ . In 2015 alongside an 8 date East Coast book launch she also appeared at Bellingen Writers Festival, Byron Writers Festival, Melbourne Writers Festival and the Romance Writers of Australia Conference.

A pioneer of regional comedy – Nolan created her own comedy Festival, and currently has 6 comedy rooms that she programs, promotes and performs at from the Gold Coast to Ballina.

But wait, thats not all.

For nearly two decades Nolan has taught the gentle art of stand up comedy to over 1000 aspirants, with successful proteges Hannah Gadsby, Ellen Briggs and Paul McMahon all featuring on the national, and international circuit. Nolan believes comedy has strong therapeutic value and has delivered several programs to Kids, People with Lived Experience of Mental Health, Grandparent Carers and seniors, who all found themselves on stage delivering 5 minutes of comedy, smashing stereotypes and reframing limiting social views.

Nolan’s most important work however is the unique Stand Up for Dementia, the  Humour Therapy she created for people with dementia that was developed with the assistance of  Commonwealth funding with research making its way International peer reviewed medical journals. Most recently Nolan was featured on SBS’s Insight for her innovative approach to working with people with high levels of dementia.

With her keen eye for detail and dark wit, Mandy excels in what she calls ‘a dangerous social autopsy!’ If you like David Sedaris and Jennifer Lawson, if you like outrageous observations peppered with intelligent insightful  quips, then  you’ll love Mandy Nolan.

Even Olivia Newton John couldn’t help falling a tiny bit in love with the big girl of comedy and regularly invites her to feature at her private functions.

Dr Mark Shirran

Friday Keynote

Dr Dinesh Palipana

Closing Keynote

Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia.

Dinesh earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), prior to completing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the Griffith University. He has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University. Halfway through medical school, he was involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury.

As a result of his injury and experiences, Dinesh has been an advocate for inclusivity in medicine and the workplace generally. He is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.

Dinesh is currently a resident medical officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital. He is a lecturer at the Griffith University and adjunct research fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. He has research interests in spinal cord injury, particularly with novel rehabilitation techniques.

Dinesh is the Gold Coast University Hospital’s representative in the Australian Medical Association Queensland’s Council of Doctors in Training. He is a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, disability advisory council at Griffith University, and the Ambassador Council at the Hopkins Centre. He is an ambassador for Physical Disability Australia. He is a doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby team.

Dinesh was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019. He was the third Australian to be awarded a Henry Viscardi Achievement Award.