Keynote speakers

Dr Jordan Nguyen

Tuesday 27 July, 12-1pm

Dr Jordan Nguyen

Founder - Psykinetic

A human’s guide to the future and removing barriers to disability

In this mind-opening presentation Dr Jordan Nguyen - inventor, TV presenter and author of the book A human's guide to the future - will take the audiences through some of the transformational technologies of our time, how we can adapt to the rapid rate of change resulting from these advancements, and why there is great opportunity in harnessing these tools to improve our inclusive human connection. Work is changing, life is evolving, and the world is moving into a new era - an era of the imagination, where anything is possible. In this exciting talk Jordan will share his own adventures from around the world and from rapidly building superhuman teams to collectively create inclusive solutions to big dreams, particularly in removing barriers to disability.

Audiences will learn about the ever-growing opportunities for inclusive technology through our advancements in the likes of robotics, artificial intelligence, biomedical technology, virtual reality and more. The only way we can collectively shape the changes upon us is to be aware of what is happening and how we may harness these opportunities for positive impact - for humanity and for life on Earth.

Dr Jordan Nguyen is one of Australia’s most innovative engineers, who is committed to improving the lives of as many people as possible, and to help become a driving force behind both human and technological evolution as we move into the future.

An internationally renowned engineer for humanity, Jordan designs life-changing technologies to transform the lives of people with disabilities and the elderly through his role as founder of Psykinetic, a social business committed to bringing positive, sustainable and life-altering change, and shares his adventures through documentaries across the world. Inspired by human endeavour, Jordan has big ambitions to see our world step consciously and creatively into a better future.


Dr Andy Cope

Wednesday 28 July, 3.45-4.45pm

Dr Andy Cope

CEO - Art of Brilliance

Rising stronger: Using positive psychology to build resilience

From mental health to mental wealth.

The world has moved on and so must our thinking and behaviours.

This session is absolutely not about challenging you to up your game or work harder, it’s about nudging you to remember who you are at your best. That’s not only good for you. It creates positive ripples that impact on your family, your team and your customers.

Bouncing back is one thing, bouncing forward is quite another. RISING STRONGER has individual and team resilience at its core.

Andy is a qualified teacher, wellbeing expert and ‘recovering academic’. His Loughborough University thesis was 12 years in the making and the reward for grinding out his PhD is that he gets to call himself a ‘Doctor of Happiness’.

The good doctor is lucky enough to work with some very large businesses, including DHL, Kelloggs, Hewlett Packard, Astra Zeneca, Lego, L’Oreal, Nationwide and UEFA. Recently, he has tailored his workshops to meet the needs of children and teachers and now delivers to audiences from age 8 upwards!

Andy’s books are frequently on the best-sellers list. ‘The Happiness Revolution’ is due out in June and he’s currently working on a writing project with Bear Grylls.


Professor Kim Usher

Thursday 29 July, 12-1pm

Professor Kim Usher

Professor of Nursing - University of New England

Psychosocial impact of emergencies and disasters

A disaster is a serious event that occurs over a short or long period of time. It causes widespread human, environmental, economic and material loss that often exceeds a community’s ability to cope. Unfortunately, disasters are an inevitable part of life that may escalate as a result of climate change. Australia has witnessed a number of recent disasters: the extensive drought in some parts of Australia that started in 2018, the wildfires of 2019, the floods in 2020, and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic. While the mental health impact of disasters is an often-neglected area of research, it is one that warrants further exploration. We know that disasters cause many serious consequences for communities and individuals; psychological distress is one of those consequences. The reason people experience this distress is often related to the unpredictability of disasters; they are often totally unexpected, leaving people in a state of shock that can lead to denial. In this paper I will outline some of the psychological consequences of disasters, describe some of our recent work in the area and our findings, and finally, share some work we are doing with communities to assist recovery.

Professor Kim Usher AM is currently the Professor of Nursing at the University of New England. An academic and researcher for many years, Kim has been awarded over $7 million in funding and currently leads two category one grants - Medical Research Future Fund and NSW Health.

Kim is internationally recognised for her research on issues related to mental health including the psychosocial impact of emergencies and disasters, psychopharmacology, substance use, Indigenous health and workforce issues. Kim has been involved in disaster related research for many years including research related to the psychosocial impact of disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes, infectious diseases, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of her research into disasters, Kim was a member of the Asia-Pacific Emergency Disaster Nursing Network for many years and has completed consultancies for agencies such as the WHO, AUSAid and ICN. Kim is the current Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, a position she has held for over 6 years. Outside of work Kim breeds and shows outstanding Red Poll cattle.


Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes

Friday 30 July, 12-1pm

Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes

School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre - University of Sydney

Bias in clinical trials research

The systematic testing of drugs and other medical interventions in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) represents a ‘gold standard’ for evidence of the effectiveness of medical interventions. Despite this, many sources of bias exist in how research questions are framed, and in the design, conduct, reporting and interpretation of clinical trial evidence. This presentation will discuss what is known about the effects of commercial influences on the body of available research evidence on the effectiveness and safety of medicines, and what can be done to support greater independence.

Barbara Mintzes is an Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre (CPC), at the University of Sydney, where she has worked since 2015. Before coming to Australia, she was with the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.

She leads the Evidence Policy and Influence Collaborative at the CPC and co-leads multi-disciplinary research nodes on Pharmaceutical Policy and Evidence Synthesis. Her research includes observational studies on impacts of regulatory policies, systematic reviews, and pharmacoepidemiology research. She has examined the influence of direct-to-consumer advertising on prescribing in primary care, and the quality of safety information provided by sales representatives in Canada, the US and France, and currently leads a comparative study of regulatory safety warnings on medicines in Australia, Canada, the US and the European Union. With Ray Moynihan, she co-authored the book, Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals (Greystone Press, 2010).

Page last updated on: 14 Jul 2021