Forum Speakers 2015

Dr Richard ABBOTT, General Practitioner, Scone Medical Centre

Dr Abbott has been in Scone over thirty years providing obstetric, anaesthetic and general medical care.

He has developed Skin Cancer management skills in recent years and is a member of the Medical Advisory Council for Avant Mutual Group and is the State wide Director of the Rural Generalist Training Program for NSW with HETI/Management of Health.

Kym AYSCOUGH, Executive Director, Regulatory Operations, AHPRA

Kym Ayscough came to AHPRA in March 2010 after 7 years as CEO and Registrar of the Pharmacy Board of New South Wales. After 4 years as NSW State Manager, Kym took up the role of Executive Director on 1 July 2014. In this role, she has accountability for national delivery of the core regulatory functions of registration, notifications, compliance and legal services. Kym is a solicitor and holds Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Law and Management degrees. She has more than 17 years experience in professional regulation and thrives on the challenges of building a transparent, efficient, effective and fair system of regulation for health practitioners.

Dr Michael BONNING, representing the AMA Council of Doctors in Training

Dr Michael Bonning works in Sydney as a medical officer for the Royal Australian Navy and also at the Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service. He has previously led the Australian Medical Students' Association and the Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors in Training and has been on the boards of beyondblue, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Postgraduate Medical Council of Queensland.

He used this experience to advise political campaigns, advocacy organisations and help steer not-for-profit organisations. He likes social media and has provided advice on the social media aspects of advocacy and political campaigns. He believes that better leadership is vital for a healthy Australia and is working on public health strategies that deal with equity and financial autonomy.

Kathryn BOOTH, Principal & Director, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Kathryn Booth is a Principal and Director of Maurice Blackburn. She is a Law Institute of Victoria Personal Injury Accredited Specialist who practices exclusively in medical negligence on behalf of patients and their families. Kathryn established the firm’s medical negligence practice in Victoria in 1991 and is now the head of the largest plaintiff medical negligence team in Australia.

Kathryn has achieved hundreds of settlements for catastrophically injured adults and children. Her special interests are obstetrics and gynaecology.

In 2012, Kathryn represented Darcy Hanssen, a Melbourne boy with cerebral palsy who received an out-of-court settlement to pay for his life-long care needs after he suffered complications at birth. She also represented Jasmine Fletcher in a similar case after the little girl was born with cerebral palsy.

Kathryn also represents families in Coronial Inquests and has called for the Victorian Government to expand Coronial powers to investigate still births.

As one of the top medico-legal practitioners in Australia, Kathryn is often requested to present at major medical law conferences on medical and health issues, duty of care of doctors and malpractice, baby deaths and IVF. She also lectures to lawyers and health professionals on the duty of care owed to patients.

Kathryn was a board member of Maurice Blackburn for four years. She jointly established the firm’s Women’s Law Section in 1995 and was an inaugural co-convenor of the group. Kathryn also helped establish the Victorian Women Lawyers and was an inaugural committee member. Her leadership reaches far beyond the firm, providing advice to the Federal Government on medical malpractice and the National Injury Insurance Scheme.

Dr Penny BROWNE, Senior Medical Officer, Avant Mutual Group

Dr Penny Browne was appointed to the Senior Medical Officer role at Avant in January 2015. This role is an advisor to the CEO and senior management team on all clinical matters and leads the team that advocates for Avant members to drive change in the medico legal environment.

She spends three days a week in this role and two days as a senior staff specialist in General Practice at Hornsby Hospital in NSW. Through her career she has worked extensively in the area of General Practice education with GP registrars, junior doctors, and medical students.

She first developed her medico-legal interest through membership of the Medical Experts Committee at Avant in 2000. Since then she has completed a Masters in Health Law at Sydney University and commenced working part time as a Senior Medical Advisor in the claims department in 2007.

Scott CHAPMAN, Partner, TressCox Lawyers

Scott Chapman is the lead Partner of TressCox Lawyers’ National Health Services group. He has over 22 years’ experience in Health Law, advising a number of major health institutions, in particular the Australian Medical Association (NSW) Limited, Avant Mutual Group Ltd and MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd.

Scott’s expertise and experience includes risk management, business structures and governance, corporatisation of medical practices, Coronial Inquests, negotiations with government health departments, professional conduct and administrative law matters, and advising clients with respect to legislative interpretation and amendment.

Scott also advises clients in relation to Hospital based investigations including issues relating to bullying and harassment, clinical privileges, systems issues and employment disputes.

Scott was actively involved in the drafting of significant amendments to the Medical Practice Act, the Health Care Complaints Act, the Health Administration Act and the Health Services Act following the recommendations of the Walker Special Commission of Inquiry.

Clare FOUNTAIN, Patient Advocate

Clare Fountain is a business owner, has provided consumer perspective at a strategic planning level, and had a paper on consumer engagement in healthcare system design and reform published in an international medical journal. Clare’s now teenage daughter was born with a heart condition and after two major operations and nine other hospitalisations over two years, Clare was motivated to give back to the medical community and contribute to the development of the healthcare system. Clare feels it is a privilege to be involved in medical education and to be given the opportunity to share her experience as a consumer of healthcare services as a mother and for herself.

Julie HAMBLIN, Consultant, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Julie Hamblin is a consultant in the Health Group of HWL Ebsworth. She has more than 20 years experience advising the public and private health sectors on health law, medical negligence, clinical risk, bioethics and public health.  She currently serves on the NSW Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel and the Australian Research Integrity Committee, and has held a number of other Government appointments in the health sector, including the Australian National Council on HIV/AIDS and Related Diseases, and the board of the former Central Sydney Area Health Service.  She has a particular interest and expertise in public health and HIV/AIDS in developing countries, having undertaken consultancy work with the United Nations Development Program and other UN and non-governmental bodies in more than 20 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe.  She chairs the Board of Autism Spectrum Australia and is Deputy Chair of Plan International Australia.

Associate Professor Kristi JONES, Clinical Geneticist, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Kristi Jones is a Paediatrician and Clinical Geneticist with an interest in genetic neuromuscular conditions who heads the clinical neuromuscular service at Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Kristi graduated from The University of Sydney in 1990. Her post-graduate qualifications include: Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Clinical Geneticist of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA), and a Doctorate (PhD).

She also consults at Genea, seeing couples going through their preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) program.

Kristi’s current research interests stem from her PhD, and focus on the clinical and genetic diagnosis of muscular dystrophies and therapeutic trials for genetic muscle disease. She heads the Clinical Trials Unit within the Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research at Childrens Hospital at Westmead.

She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sydney Medical School, at the University of Sydney, lecturing and teaching in paediatrics and genetics.

Kristi is a member of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia, and the Australasian Association of Clinical Geneticists.

Stephen LANCKEN, Negocio Resolutions

Stephen Lancken is an internationally regarded mediator, trainer, coach and commentator about dispute resolution. Having practised at Partner level in Commercial Litigation and as the Managing Director of Negocio Resolutions, Steve has accrued over thirty years of experience in litigation, mediation and arbitration, endowing him with a unique set of skills and insights into dispute resolution.

Steve has mediated over 2,000 disputes in areas as diverse as health, insurance, banking, property, building, native title, sports, wills and estates, leases, rural issues, farm debt, industrial relations, workplace conflicts and professional indemnity. He is equally comfortable mediating extremely complex legal issues and difficult relationship conflicts.

Steve also teaches “Conflict in Organisations” for the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University, and regularly facilitates public meetings, retreats, planning & strategy events, and roundtables.

Bill MADDEN, National Practice Group Leader - Medical Law, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Bill Madden is the national practice group leader for medical law at Slater and Gordon Lawyers. He is also an adjunct professor at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology and an adjunct fellow at the School of Law, Western Sydney University.

Bill writes a blog on medical and health law issues (https://billmaddens.wordpress.com or on twitter @billmadden). He is the co-author of three books:

  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme Handbook, (Lexis Nexis)
  • Australian Medical Liability 2nd edition (Lexis Nexis)
  • Health Care & the Law, 5th edition (Thomson Reuters).

His committee positions include memberships of Medico-Legal Liaison (a joint committee of the Law Society of New South Wales & the Australian Medical Association (NSW Branch)) and the Specialist Accreditation Advisory Committee - Personal Injury Law (Law Society of New South Wales). He is an editorial board member for Australian Civil Liability and Australian Health Law Bulletin, Lexis Nexis.

Dr Catherine MASON, Psych-Oncologist, Westmead Hospital

Dr Catherine Mason (MBBS MPH FRANZCP CertHEd) is a senior staff specialist psychiatrist working with patients from oncology, haematology oncology and palliative care in western Sydney since 1998. She is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine with the University of Sydney Medical School and has long standing interests in medical education and clinical ethics. She lives with a charming adolescent son and a rather annoying cat and is the only person in Australia to purchase Game on Thrones on DVD rather than downloading it from the interwebs.

Dr Andrew MILLER, Chair, MIIAA

Dr Miller is an Anaesthetist in active private practice in Perth. He has been a member of the Council of MDA National since 1998. His appointments with MDA National have included Secretary (2000-2001), Vice President (2001-2004), President (2004-2005), Director, Medical Indemnity Services (2001-2005) and Alternate Director, MDA National Insurance (2003-2004).

Dr Miller is an MDA National representative on the Board of the Medical Indemnity Industry Association of Australia (MIIAA). Dr Miller is also Deputy Chairman of ASA WA and Vice President of AMA WA.

Jen MORRIS, Patient Advocate

Jen Morris is a patient perspectives consultant, patient advocate, and healthcare quality and safety researcher. She speaks and publishes extensively on issues relating to healthcare quality and safety, healthcare regulation, service improvement, and patient perspectives. Her work focuses on bringing patient voices to forums from which they have traditionally been absent - including research teams, and profession-focused conferences, forums and media.

Jen is also a researcher within the Law and Public Health Unit at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include clinical error, healthcare complaints, practitioner impairment, mandatory reporting, patient experience, consumer involvement in governance, and healthcare leadership. Jen's journalistic writing about healthcare has been published by the ABC, CSIRO, Australian Doctor and Canberra Times. She has also been a guest lecturer on patient complaints for the University of Melbourne Law School.

As a patient advocate, she holds positions on the Mercy Health Community Advisory Committee, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Community Reference Group, and Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Participation Advisory Committee.

Dr Paul NICOLARAKIS, CEO & Managing Director, Lorica Health Pty Limited

Paul Nicolarakis carries a breadth of expertise across business, medicine, health policy and clinical analytics. Since completing degrees in medicine and neuroscience at Sydney University and his residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Paul has explored the interface between health, data and policy, seeing him lead an award winning aged care electronic medical record start up, prior to joining Microsoft as their clinical analytics lead, engaging with senior health leaders and policy makers across the Asia Pacific and Middle East.

Most recently, Paul served as a Senior Adviser to Federal Health Minister The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, before commencing at the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre as the clinical and strategic lead for their health market quality program, and more recently as CEO of their health spin off Lorica Health.

Paul holds an Adjunct Associate Professor title at the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, is a 2015 Multinational Program Eisenhower Fellow and sits on the Board of the NeuRA Foundation.

Zara OFFICER, Special Counsel, Holman Webb Lawyers

Zara Officer has practised insurance law and litigation for defendants for over 20 years, with experience in a broad range of insurance practice areas including medical negligence, professional disciplinary, injury liability, property and commercial claims.

Zara’s current practice at Holman Webb Lawyers is in professional indemnity, medical negligence and disciplinary proceedings, complaints including privacy and discrimination issues, and regulatory investigations including Medicare audits and prosecutions.

Zara acts in coronial inquiries and health related litigation, in addition to general insurance.

Zara started her career at Royal Melbourne Hospital in general medicine and direct experience working in a number of hospital settings both private and public. Zara was also a research officer to the Victorian Parliament Legal and Constitutional Committee, advising on all forms of subordinate legislation. For a number of years Zara was the legal member of the Sydney University Human Ethics Committee.

Dr Nathan PINSKIER, Chair, RACGP Expert Committee for eHealth & Practice Systems

Dr Nathan Pinskier is a Melbourne GP with a long-standing involvement in primary health care, e-health, information technology, accreditation and practice management. He is a director and co-owner of a Melbourne based group of general practices Medi7. He is the chair of the RACGP Expert Committee for eHealth & Practice Systems, a medical director with the Australian Locum Medical Service and was recently appointed to the board of the Peninsula Health Hospital Network.

Nathan was previously a clinical lead and the deputy head of the of the National eHealth Transition Authority (NEHTA) clinical unit. He represented the RACGP on the DHS Medicare stakeholder consultative group for 15 years, was a GP accreditation surveyor with AGPAL for a decade and also a foundation board member of the Berwick Healthcare Superclinic.

Nathan holds a Fellowship with the RACGP, a diploma in Practice Management from the University of New England Partnerships and Fellowships with the Australian Association of Practice Managers (FAAPM) and the Australian Association for Quality in Healthcare (FAAQHC). He is also a certified practice manager (CPM).

Gae ROBINSON, Principal, Finity Consulting

Gae is a Principal of Finity with wide general insurance experience. Her particular focus is on long tail classes of business and accident compensation schemes.

Her experience includes:

  • Pricing and valuation of many classes of business including medical indemnity, reinsurance, public liability, title insurance, ISR and engineering
  • Advice to government in relation to privatisation, and to corporate entities setting up captive insurers
  • Assessment of the impact of Australian tort reforms
  • Reserving and pricing advice to CTP and workers’ compensation schemes
  • Scheme design advice in workers’ compensation and CTP, including evaluation of the cost impact of benefit changes.

Gae is currently the Appointed Actuary for three licensed general insurers. She also coordinates Finity’s Appointed Actuary practice group, which provides support and guidance to Finity’s Appointed Actuary teams.

Gae takes responsibility for much of Finity’s focus on staff and their work satisfaction and career progression. She also writes a monthly ‘personal advice’ column in Actuary Australia about life in the office, careers and being an actuary in the real world.

Associate Professor Tuly ROSENFELD, Geriatrician, Specialist Ageing and Medicine Centre

A/Prof Rosenfeld is an extremely competent and accomplished clinician with over 25 years of learning and experience in geriatric medicine and aged care rehabilitation. He has expertise in a range of medical problems including dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, walking, gait disorders, falls, fractures and functional impairment. Decision making, legal competency & capacity are special areas of interest.

He is currently Senior Specialist in Geriatric Medicine at the Prince of Wales Hospital, SESIAHS. Assoc. Professor (Conjoint) UNSW with both the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health & Community Medicine and involved in curriculum development and teaching at the University of Sydney and UNSW.

A/Prof Rosenfeld also works in private practice, Specialist Ageing and Medicine Centre (www.ageingandmedicine.com.au) in Randwick, as a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician.

He worked with NSW Health in the development and implementation of the Sub-Acute Fast Track Elderly Care program (SAFTE Care) which continued as the Healthy at Home Program currently established in various areas in NSW.

More recently A/Prof Rosenfeld has worked to establish a new program to provide comprehensive care management services for older people and their carers in the community. He is a cofounder and joint director of HomeHealthHQ (www.HomeHealthHQ.com.au).

Emma SAYERS, Senior Project & Policy Manager, Health Issues Centre

Emma Sayers is a senior project manager with the Health Issues Centre (HIC) in Melbourne. She is the project lead on HIC’s current work with the Department of Health and Human Services (Vic) on consumer engagement in advance care planning.

Emma has worked in the not for profit, health service, and academic sectors.  She spent over five years with the team at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (University of Sydney) and is a co-author on the team’s publication ‘Surviving Survival: Life after Cancer’ (Choicebooks 2001).

Trained in law but working in health Emma has a strong interest in social justice and enjoys working with consumers to effect improvements in the experience of healthcare. She has particular experience as an advocate for the needs of patients and families during life limiting illness.  

Dr Joseph SGROI, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and IVF/Fertility Specialist

Joseph graduated from medicine at Monash University in 1998 (MBBS), and completed his basic physician training at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. After obtaining a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (DRANZCOG) in 2007, Joseph was awarded his Fellowship (FRANZCOG) in 2014. In addition he has completed his Masters in Reproductive Medicine, and now practises as an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and IVF/Fertility Specialist at Epworth Freemasons Hospital and Melbourne IVF.

Since 2000, Joseph has actively represented medical practitioners to both Federal and State Governments in his roles with the Australian Medical Association and he was instrumental in raising the public and professional profile of Safe Hours for junior doctors.

Joseph is a committee member on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Council and the RANZCOG Women’s Health Policy Committee.

Professor Cameron STEWART, School of Health, Law & Ethics, The University of Sydney

Professor Cameron Stewart is Pro Dean at Sydney Law School, a member of the Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics and an associate of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Sydney Medical School. He has degrees in economics, law and jurisprudence. He has worked in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and has practiced commercial law at Phillips Fox Lawyers. His previous appointment was at Macquarie Law School, where he spent 10 years, the last of which as Dean. He was the Director of CHGLE for 4 years (2009-2012), was the Acting president of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Health Law and Ethics in 2008-2010 and was the Vice-President of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law from 2010-2013. Cameron is also the co-editor of the Ethics and Health Law news service and the Clinical Ethics Resource. He also runs a website on Discovering Australian Guardianship Law.