Minister for Disability Services; Innovation and ICT; Seniors and Ageing
Hon Don Punch MLA is the Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Innovation and ICT; Seniors and Ageing, and has been a member of the Legislative Assembly since 2017, representing the seat of Bunbury. Don migrated to Australia from Manchester in 1971, attending high school in Manjimup and Collie.
Prior to entering politics, Don studied psychology and social work at the University of Western Australia, and later completed an MBA at Edith Cowan University. He has worked throughout regional WesternAustralia as a social worker and as a Senior Executive in the public sector. In 1998, Don became CEO of the South West Development and assumed responsibility for many aspects of the South West region’s social and economic development, including projects such as the renewal of the Manjimup town centre with an emphasis on food-based tourism, the renewal of the Bunbury waterfront and the redevelopment of Busselton airport. He continued in this role until resigning to contest the seat of Bunbury for WA Labor in 2016.
After being elected in 2017, Don was appointed to the WA Methamphetamine Task Force and the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee.His passion for blending social and economic development and commitment to creative design and emerging technologies characterised his work in the southwest, and will continue to guide his Ministerial agenda.
Director General, Department of Health
Dr David (Russ) Russell-Weisz is the Director-General of Western Australia’s Department of Health, a position he has held since August 2015. Dr Russell-Weisz graduated as a doctor in Scotland but has spent the best part of his professional life in Western Australia, including service in regional and remote areas through the northwest of Western Australia, and also with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in NSW. He has a deep appreciation of the challenges faced by those delivering services and living in these areas and of the unique responsibilities of our State’s health system in achieving equitable health outcomes for all Western Australians.
Prior to his appointment as Director General at the Department of Health, Dr Russell-Weisz led the commissioning of the State’s flagship $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital, served 6 years as Chief Executive of the North Metropolitan Health Service where he led the $1 billion redevelopment of the QEII Medical Centre, and oversaw three tertiary and three outer metropolitan hospitals. As Director General, Dr Russell-Weisz has steered the public health system through a period of significant reform, which has led to the devolved governance of the Western Australian health system and the establishment of seven Health Service Provider Boards.
Dr Russell-Weisz oversaw the commissioning and opening of the Perth Children’s Hospital, and, along with the WA Health executive team, is now responsible for delivering on the State Government’s Sustainable Health Review, which provides an ambitious blueprint for the delivery of high quality, safe and sustainable health care services for Western Australians over the next 10 years. More recently, Dr Russell-Weisz continues to work with the Chief Health Officer, Government and key stakeholders to quickly and effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the best possible continuity of safe and effective health care for the Western Australian community.
CEO, HBF Health
John has been Chief Executive Officer of HBF since May 2017. Prior to this John spent over 30 years in insurance, wealth management, private banking and investments including executive positions within several global financial services groups. John’s most recent executive role was the CEO of Friends Life UK and International in London and prior to this he served as Managing Director Wealth at ANZ Bank in Sydney and CEO of Clerical Medical and Halifax Life in the UK.
Most recently John has been a Senior Adviser for Blackstone and an independent non-executive on several boards. He is a board member of the University of Western Australia’s Business School and a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA. He has also been appointed as Chair of the State Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Advisory Council. He holds an MBA from the University of Western Australia and has studied at London Business School and Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Burns Specialist, Australian of the Year
The opportunities health care provides are ever-increasing with science and technology advancing knowledge and therapeutics. However, the translation into clinical care is complex needing focused education and training of clinicians within the health system to achieve the best outcomes. Integral to achieving the best patient outcome is the link with the patient at the right time, in the right place, by the right clinician. Driving equity between remote and face to face medicine has been on the table for years but recent needs have accelerated that journey, unmasking opportunities we need to harness for the future.
Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction. As Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia, she is a consultant at Perth Children’s Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital. As director of burns research she leads an interdisciplinary team with broad collaboration focused on translation to improve clinical outcomes. She has been the recipient of the 2003 Australian Medical Association‘Contribution to Medicine’ Award and an Order of Australia Medal for work with Bali bombing victims. As a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year in 2004. she received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005. Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture, now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia
Dr Terry Sweeney is CEO of the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre, Australia’s leading organisation for digital health innovation and commercialisation, and the largest digital health collaborative in the world.
Dr Sweeney has over 22 years of global industry experience. He founded Cúram Software, an integrated health and social care platform, which was acquired by IBM in 2012. He is the former global Managing Director of IBM Healthcare, where he created a US$1bn joint venture with a Chinese State Owned Enterprise at the forefront of China’s national strategy to democratise better healthcare through new and emerging technology.
Recognised as a thought leader in his field, Dr Sweeney’s industry insights are in regular demand from international governments, healthcare organisations, public forums and media outlets, and is a strategic advisor to a number of global organisations, including the G20. Dr Sweeney is also a Professor at the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide and a Board Member for the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN).
President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Dr Karen Price was awarded the 2016 RACGP FMCER grant to undertake her part time PhD with the Monash Department of General Practice. She is exploring the construct of peer-connection in general practice. This explores GP’s wellbeing, and goal-directed informal learning.
Karen’s research builds on her lifetime expertise as a GP. She is the co-developer and facilitator of GPs Down Under, an 8000+ member community of Australian and New Zealand GPs. She has chaired committees and developed mentor programs for both the AMA and the RACGP. Karen began her general practice in a large procedural practice which included providing medical assistance to the local district police surgeon. She has also been a successful practice owner growing a languishing practice into a thriving community practice in under a decade whilst wrangling three young school-aged children (who are now fully grown).
Karen has presented nationally and internationally; plenary lectures; workshops on women’s medical leadership; social media; resilience, and informal learning.
She is published on women’s medical leadership and received a 2011 Monash University award for medical student teaching. Karen continues to develop evidence-based medicine, leadership, advocacy, and peer support, in both research and her ongoing clinical general practice.
Most recently her advocacy, research and lifetime experience have coalesced into running for RACGP President after her service as deputy chair of the Victorian Faculty of the RACGP and past chair of the Women in General Practice committee of the RACGP. Karen was elected RACGP President in the 2020 national election. She commenced her two-year term on 30 November 2020.
CEO, illuminance Solutions
Learn to promote citizen well-being with public health solutions and health information technology. Nilesh Makwana, CEO of illuminance Solutions will present on how Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact solution transformed chemo@home’s digital processes during the crucial period for cancer patients across Australia when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. The pandemic lead to a need to rapidly onboard resources to cater to the significant rise in demand for at home-care for immunocompromised individuals.
chemo@home is a leading country provider of alternative means of treatment, and it serves more than 7,400 home-based patients. It’s work helps free up hospital wards and delivers savings to the Australian government. illuminance Solutions received the Microsoft Global Partner of the Year Award 2019 for Partner of Social Impact and has been recognised for their project with chemo@home being a Finalist in the Healthcare category in the 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards.
Nilesh Makwana is a technology CEO and entrepreneur with many global and national
awards. He is dedicated to making a social impact by focusing on workplace diversity,
social inclusion and digital literacy. His greatest strength is identifying how business,
government, academia and community can collaborate in mutually beneficial ways.
Nilesh is founder of West Tech Assemblage, an event promoting innovation and crossindustry collaboration. He is also founder of Borderless Gandhi, a non-profit organisation promoting Gandhi’s message of peace, equality and nonviolence through various artistic reflections and social media. Nilesh is a frequent media commentator in local, state, and national publications.
Co-founder and CEO, Coviu Global
The mental health of the Australian people has been a major concern
throughout the pandemic. The Black Dog institute estimates that almost
half of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The
demand for mental health therapy is increasing and Australia is
experiencing a real shortage of mental health professionals, particularly in
rural and remote areas. This poses a serious challenge for people in need
of treatment, particularly for those who require early intervention. Video
telehealth has surged during the pandemic out of necessity, however, it
also showed us that many of the current challenges in accessing mental
health treatment can be resolved with telehealth. A University of
Queensland study (Snowswell et al. 2021) shows that “telehealth is often
equally as effective, if not more, than usual care”. In this presentation, we
will look at how video telehealth is improving mental health treatments
and its benefits for clients and clinicians. We will also delve into the
advantages of telehealth that can make it superior to in-person treatment
and what the future of remote mental health care may look like in a postCOVID world.
Dr Silvia Pfeiffer is the author of the book “Beyond the Clinic – Transforming your
Practice with video consultations”. As the CEO and Co-founder of Coviu Global, Silvia
is driven by a global mission to make video consultations part of every clinician’s
toolbox and a rich experience that will transform healthcare. With more than 18 years of
experience in building new Web video solutions, Silvia has worked at leading
corporations including Google, Mozilla, W3C and CSIRO. Coviu is her second startup.
Silvia has a double degree in computer science and business management and
manages sales, marketing, investments, and product strategy at Coviu.
Healthcare is the only industry globally that has managed to lose productivity while going digital. The potential for digital transformation within health is enormous and there are many examples of incredibly successful initiatives around the world. Australia however suffers from a severe case of pilotitis.
Pilotitis (noun) – the act of perpetually trialling small health care projects but never scaling them, leading to duplication and short-lived benefits. Thankfully, COVID-19 has helped Australia overcome pilotitis to an extent, but there is so much more work to be done. Sheba Medical is the largest hospital group in Israel with approximately 2,000 beds and over 3,000 researchers performing a quarter of all medical research in the country each year. It has been awarded as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world.
Sheba Beyond is the first ‘virtual hospital’ in Israel and one of the first in the world. Sheba Beyond uses digital technology to ensure that patients receive the finest service across the continuum of care. Datos Health was selected to provide the technological core for Sheba’s remote patient care program in 2019. Datos’ comprehensive platform enables remote management of home and community-based care pathways.
The platform is designed to automate manual workflows to drive efficiency in care delivery at scale. The platform directly connects patients with their sources of medical care, and makes it easy for care teams to extend their reach by constantly maintaining close relations with outpatients. Since launching at Sheba in 2018 with 3 care programs, the hospital has now deployed dozens of different care pathways using the Datos platform and treated over 100,000 patients remotely through the system. Hear how other hospitals around the world are following suit and why Australia is perfectly positioned to benefit from this technology next.
Ben has over a decade of experience in med tech and digital health, spanning start-ups to multinationals. He co-founded WH Tech, working closely with rpavirtual from inception through scale-up to manage over 12,000 patients. He led ntropy data in Australia prior to acquisition by one of the largest software companies in the UK. He spent over five years at Medtronic across patient care, health economics, QA/RA and health informatics & monitoring and set up and co-chaired the inaugural Medtronic ANZ Digital Health Council.
National Medical Director, Silver Chain Group
Sayanta is a senior medical executive with a proven track record in providing medical leadership to healthcare organisations and responsible for managing clinical governance, strategy, quality and safety of healthcare services with an eye on service development, business growth and excellence. Sayanta has been often the senior-most executive medical officer in healthcare organisations with full responsibility for providing leadership to drive medical service strategy and culture.
As a senior medical leader, Sayanta is well-known and respected in Western Australia and nationally with a passionate interest in clinical business innovation and research. Prior to Silverchain, Sayanta has been Director of Medical Services at St John of God Public and Private Hospitals, Medical Services and Director Clinical Services for Women and Newborn Health Service 2014-2017 including King Edward Memorial Hospital. Since 2008, Sayanta has held a range of senior medical executive positions in WA Department of Health as well as the private health sector and involved in a wide variety of clinical services and health service redesign projects.
Sayanta is an accredited Assessor with the Australian Council of HealthCare Standards (ACHS) for the Version 2 of the National Standards and has been surveying hospitals nationally since 2013. Sayanta has been a long-term Member of the Australian Medical Council –Senior Executive of a Public Hospital, as a representative of all Australian Public Hospitals (2014-2020), stepping down only recently. Since 2010, Sayantahas been a lead Surveyor for the Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia and is apeer reviewer for several leading medical journals.
Sayanta holds several academic positions including an Adjunct Professorial position with Curtin University for undergraduate and postgraduate medical training, health services research and clinical research. Not only leadership and upskilling in digital health, Sayanta also has particular interest in clinical and corporate governance system, medication safety management systems and antimicrobial stewardship, clinical staff credentialing, scope of clinical practice, clinician engagement, performance management, professional development including training and mentoring in leadership skills, workforce well-being, morale and culture.
Sayanta is involved with various industry organisations with an intent to giving back to the medical profession, broader health system and community both nationally and internationally. Sayanta is also the Principal Director of the WA Indian Doctors Foundation, an ACNC registered Public Ancillary Fund, leading over 1500 volunteers and over 500 individual and corporate patrons, fundraising and conducting various health promotion, awareness and counselling initiatives both within WA and in India.
Head of Emergency Department, St John of God Public and Private Hospitals
Dr Matthew graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School in the United Kindom in 1999 and completed a fellowship with the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine. Previously Matthew worked at a range of hospitals throughout Western Australia, including Royal Perth Hospital, Swan Districts Hospital and various WA Country Health Service sites. Formerly, he was the Emergency Head of Department at Kalgoorlie Hospital. Matthew has been a Co-Head of Department at St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals’ ED since opening. He has a special interest in the field of emergency medicine, health informatics and administration.