DHR Symposium 2021

To mark the commencement of the Digital Health Record (DHR) program, a symposium was held to bring together the DHR team, subject matter experts and executive leaders from across Canberra’s public health services. More than 500 people attended either in-person or online through the livestream.

The Symposium included an overview of the Digital Health Record and featured speakers from other health organisations who have successfully implemented Epic in Australia and internationally. The speakers provided advice on the implementation process and shared the safety and quality benefits they achieved post implementation.

Watch the full symposium

Individual presentations, slides and handouts are available below.


Welcome to Country - Wally Bell, Ngunawal Elder


I am a Ngunawal man and my clan group are the Yharr people from Yass. I am also a Traditional Custodian caring for country. I hold a Cert III in Conservation and Land Management. I actively participate in all aspects of Ngunawal Aboriginal cultural heritage management for the area that lies within my ancestral boundary and engage with the wider community on my culture through Cultural walks and talks to develop an informed awareness of Ngunawal culture and its practices.
I consult with Federal Government, State/Territory Government and Local Government Agencies regarding Ngunawal Aboriginal cultural heritage management.
I am a director of Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation and hold positions on the following organisations:

  • Co-Ordinator - Mulanggang Traditional Aboriginal Landcare Group;
  • Member - Namadgi Rock Art Working Group;
  • Member Group - Representative Aboriginal Organisation (RAO) for ACT Government;
  • Member - Landcare ACT;
  • Chair - Ginninderry Aboriginal Advisory Group
  • Member- Dhawura Ngunnawal Committee
  • Member - Winanggaay Ngunnawal Language Group

Official opening - Rachel Stephen-Smith, ACT Minister for Health


Rachel Stephen-Smith has been Minister for Health in the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly since July 2019. She concurrently holds the portfolios of Minister for Health, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Families and Community Services. She was elected to the Legislative Assembly in October 2016.

The Minister previously held various staff positions in the Federal and ACT government and non-government sectors, as well as in the United Kingdom and the United States. This included a stint as Minister-Counsellor with the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC (2010–2012).

The Minister has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the Australian National University and a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland in the United States.

Dean Hewson, Vice President, Health Care Consumers' Association


Dean Hewson is a health consumer and passionate advocate for designing more digitally enabled health systems with people at their heart. He is currently Vice President of the Healthcare Consumers’ ACT (HCCA) Executive Committee and is a Consumer Representative on ACT Health’s Digital Patient Flow Program Board. He has previously worked as the Digital Health Adviser at the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and has professional experience across policy, design, management and communications.

Peter O’Halloran, Chief Information Officer, ACT Health


Peter O’Halloran is the Chief Information Officer for ACT Health. Peter is responsible for information/data management and over 250 ICT systems, serving 10,000 staff who operate across four public hospitals with over 1,000 beds and 40 community facilities.

Peter joined the Australian Public Service in 2006 in the National Health and Medical Research Council before moving to the National Blood Authority where he was appointed as the inaugural Chief Information Officer and was responsible for the provision of services to all Australian hospitals. Peter joined ACT Health in 2016 and since that time has embarked on a complete overhaul of all ICT services and systems with a complete replacement of all core systems currently underway, guided by the Digital Health Strategy that was launched in May 2019.

Professor Keith McNeil, Acting Deputy Director-General, Chief Medical Officer (Prevention Division) and Chief Clinical Information Officer, Queensland Health

Supporting information


Professor Keith McNeil plays a key role in the clinical leadership of the state-wide eHealth program. He works closely with key clinical stakeholders to maximise the clinical and patient safety benefits associated with technology in the healthcare setting.

Prof McNeil has previously worked within Queensland Health as the Head of Transplant Services at The Prince Charles Hospital, Chief Executive Officer at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Chief Executive Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

More recently, Prof McNeil was Chief Clinical Information Officer and Head of IT for the NHS in England following roles as Chief Executive Officer at Addenbooke’s Hospital and Cambridge University Hospital Foundation Trust.

Adrian Hutchinson, Chief Nursing Information Officer, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne


Adrian Hutchinson is the Chief Nursing Information Officer at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCH).

He has a strong clinical background in paediatric emergency and intensive care.

He was part of the core project team to successfully implement a fully integrated Epic Electronic Medical Record at RCH in 2016 and more recently involved in the successful transition of the RCH instance of an Epic Electronic Medical Record across the Parkville Precinct in Melbourne.

Adrian was the project lead for medical device integration into the EMR and recently has deployed a Unified Communication platform into RCH.

Adrian a strong commitment to the use of technology in the delivery of safer and more efficient health care.

Kath Feely, Chief Allied Health Information Officer, Parkville Connecting Care Project

Supporting information


Kath Feely is the Chief Allied Health Information Officer on the Connecting Care Project in Parkville, Victoria and recently led the Allied Health teams through design, build and implementation of the EMR. She started worked as a Physiotherapist and in 2013 started getting involved in digital health projects including electronic patient journey boards, reporting and EMR implementations (Cerner + Epic).

Kath completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics & Digital Health in 2018 and a Master of Public Health (Health Economics) in 2019. She is passionate about using data to evaluate and improve patient care and service delivery, and the opportunity that digital health provides for connecting clinicians with their patients.

Dr Afzal Chaudhry, Chief Medical Information Officer, Cambridge University Hospitals


Dr Afzal Chaudhry is a Consultant Nephrologist and the Director of Digital and Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust (CUH). He is also an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge and has completed a MA in Medical Education.

On an informatics front Dr Chaudhry leads the CUH eHospital programme, delivering a hospital-wide HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7 electronic patient record (the first in the UK), and the Informatics component of the Population and Quantitative Science theme in the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. He is also an Associate Site Director for the Cambridge Health Data Research UK site.

In 2017 Dr Chaudhry was recognised as the UK ‘CCIO of the Year’; in 2018 he received a Special  recognition Award in the UK Government sponsored Public Sector Paperless Transformation Awards; and in 2019 he was recognised as both ‘CDO of the Year’ and ‘Digital Ambassador of the Year’ at the national Digital Technology Leaders Awards.

Panel Discussion


Dr Nick Coatsworth, Executive Director of Medical Services, Canberra Health Services

Dr Nick Coatsworth is a graduate of the University of Western Australia (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with Honours) and the University of Sydney (Master of International Public Health). He is a physician at Canberra Health Services (CHS), specialising in thoracic and infectious diseases medicine.

Dr Coatsworth was one of Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officers in 2020 and continues to assist with Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an Infectious Diseases Clinical Adviser in the Department of Health. Bringing together his skills as an infectious disease physician, a respiratory physician, a practitioner of disaster and humanitarian medicine, and high-level experience in health administration, Dr Coatsworth’s contribution has provided a voice for frontline hospital staff in the national response to the pandemic.

Closer to home, Dr Coatsworth was appointed to the Executive Director of Medical Services at CHS in October 2020, which is the professional lead role for CHS medical staff. Before that, he was the CHS Director of Infectious Disease. Dr Coatsworth has a keen interest in ensuring that the implementation of digital technology in healthcare enhances safety and quality for patients and staff alike.

Anthony Dombkins, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, ACT Health

Anthony Dombkins until appointed the ACT Health Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in January 2021 was the Director Nursing and Midwifery, Northern Sydney Local Health District. Anthony Dombkins graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1987 and holds postgraduate clinical certificates in Renal and Transplantation Nursing and Intensive Care Nursing, as well as a Masters, Health Management (UNE).

Anthony Dombkins has held a variety of senior health management positions within the public and private health sectors across NSW. In June 2014, Anthony Dombkins was appointed an Adjunct Professor – Nursing with the University of Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. Anthony Dombkins was a member of the Clinical Excellence Commission Advisory Board and a Board Director for Stewart House.

Jennifer Azurin, Director of Physiotherapy, Calvary and Principal Trainer, Digital Health Record

Jennifer Azurin has worked in clinical, administrative, management and leadership roles for over 16 years across ACT Health. For the past 10 years, she has worked at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce as the Director of Physiotherapy. She was appointed to represent Calvary and Allied Health on the Tender Evaluation Team for the Digital Health Record program. Jennifer was subsequently seconded to a Principal Trainer position on the Digital Health Record team and looks forward to improving efficiencies to ease the daily challenges experienced by staff across our public health facilities.

Dean Hewson, Vice-President, Health Care Consumers’ Association

Dean Hewson is a health consumer and passionate advocate for designing more digitally enabled health systems with people at their heart. He is currently Vice President of the Healthcare  Consumers’ ACT (HCCA) Executive Committee and is a Consumer Representative on ACT Health’s Digital Patient Flow Program Board. He has previously worked as the Digital Health Adviser at the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and has professional experience across policy, design, management and communications.

Further information and contact details

If you have questions or would like further details about the Symposium or Digital Health Record, please email DHR@act.gov.au or call 02 5124 6000.

Page last updated on: 7 Nov 2022