The Conference Organising Committee is pleased to confirm the following speakers.

Dr Teresa Brockie


Teresa Brockie is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health in the Department of International Health, Baltimore, Maryland. A member of the White Clay (A'aninin) Nation from the Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana, Teresa earned her PhD at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. She combines her lived experience, A'aniiih culture and stories passed down from her mother and grandmother to inform her research among vulnerable Indigenous communities.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and clinically trained as a Public Health Nurse, Teresa's research focuses on achieving health equity through community-based prevention and intervention of suicide, trauma, and adverse childhood experiences among vulnerable populations. Teresa has led an all Native American team to collect data on suicidal behaviour among reservation-based Indigenous youth. She received the RADM Faye G. Abdellah Publication Award for Nursing Research by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Professional Advisory Committee for Nursing (N-PAC) for her manuscript The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to PTSD, Depression, Poly-Drug Use and Suicide Attempt in Reservation-Based Native American Adolescents and Young Adults, published in the American Journal of Community Psychology. Her current work concentrates on a unique inter-generational intervention for enhancing cultural strengths and healing trauma among Indigenous parent child dyads.

Professor John Daly

RN, PhD, HonDNursing, FACN, FAAN

John Daly is Dean of the Faculty of Health and Head of the UTS/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development at the University of Technology (UTS), Sydney. He is a former Chair of the Global Alliance for Leadership in Nursing Education and Science (GANES), a former Chair of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia and New Zealand), and for nine years was the Editor-in-Chief of Collegian: The Australian Jounral of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research.

He is an active professional and academic leader, education, administrator, consultant, researcher, author and editor, and has published widely on leadership in nursing and health, nursing education, cardiovascular health, role transition in nursing, aged care, cross-cultural nursing, and nursing workforce issues.

John has had a distinguished career spanning local, national and health organizations, and is recognised for his contributions to the discipline and profession of nursing at national and international levels.

Ms Elizabeth Iro

Elizabeth Iro was appointed Chief Nursing Officer of the World Health Organization in January 2018. She is from the Cook Islands, where she has served as the country's Secretary of Health since 2012 – the nurse/midwife and woman to be appointed in this position. In that role she has implemented legislative reforms to strengthen the country's health system, and developed the National Health Strategic plans (2012-2016, 2017-2021) and a National Health Road Map 2017-2036, among other National policy and strategic documents. Previously, Elizabeth served as the country's Chief Nursing Officer from 2011 to 2012. In addition, for the first 25 years of her career, she was a practising nurse and midwife, serving in several roles in the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

Dr Leslie Mancuso


Leslie Mancuso is President and CEO of Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins University affiliate and leader in creating and delivering transformative health care solutions that save lives, improve health and transform futures. Since her arrival at Jhpiego in 2002, the organisation’s budget has grown from $5 to $410 million and the number of programs has expanded from 4 to 121. A nurse and American Academy of Nursing Fellow, Leslie has more than 30 years of experience developing public-private partnerships, and is a recognised international business leader with a track record of success in bringing accountability and navigating changes in the international nonprofit world.

Leslie is a passionate advocate for the nursing profession, and serves on many boards, including the Advisory Council of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International’s Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery (GAPFON). She is a recipient of many prestigious business and professional awards, including the Regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and under her leadership, Jhpiego received the Sigma Theta Tau International Archon Award and the United Nations Population Award.

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms

RN, RM, BA, MNA, Adv Dip Arts, Grad Cert Bioethics, FACN (DLF), GIA (Cert), FACHSM (Hon)

Debra Thoms is the Australian Government’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer. She has more than 30 years’ experience in nursing, leadership and health management, and is responsible for presenting government with guidance on matters concerning health, nursing and midwifery.

Debra was the first CEO of the Australian College of Nursing. Other previous leadership roles include Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer with New South Wales Health, CEO of a rural area health service, and general manager of a metropolitan hospital. She was chosen to attend the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.

Debra's contribution to nursing and health care has been recognised with an Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she also holds the appointment of Adjunct Professor. She was also awarded an Adjunct Professorship with the University of Sydney.

Professor John Thwaites

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute.

John is the Chair of Melbourne Water, which manages and protects Melbourne’s water resources. He also chairs the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust and has been Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board, President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and a director of the Australian Green Building Council.

He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide expert advice and support to the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2013, John was named as one of the 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon Express.

In 2008-2010, John was a special adviser to the Timor-Leste Minister for Infrastructure and helped develop an Infrastructure Plan for Timor-Leste.

John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he was Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water, Minister for Victorian Communities and Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.

Professor Maxine Whittaker


Maxine Whittaker is Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), and Dean of the JCU College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, where she oversees teaching and research in public health, tropical medicine, biomedical sciences, veterinary science, and molecular and cell biology. She was previously Professor of International Health at The University of Queensland, and Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Information Systems.

Her professional interests are in global health advocacy and capacity building and development. She has extensive experience in project and programme design in health and development, especially in sexual and reproductive health. She has lived and worked in tropical countries across the globe, including Papua New Guinea, Zambia and Bangladesh, to improve the accessibility, acceptability and quality of essential health services, especially for marginalised and vulnerable populations.

Her research interests span global health policy, medical anthropology, malaria and other infectious diseases, health systems research, and operational and implementation research.