Opening Address

Our Opening Keynote Presenter is to be advised

Keynote Presenters

Vicki Wade

Vicki Wade

RHDAustralia - Director

Vicki Wade is a senior Noongar woman with over 40 years of experience in health at state and national levels. Vicki is a recipient of multiple national awards including the 2019 AHHA Sidney Sax medal and CSANZ Indigenous Health lifetime award for her contributions to Australian health services policy, delivery and research, particularly in relation to Indigenous heart health. Vicki is well known across Australia and is well respected for the work she has done in helping to close the gap. She sits on the National Close the Gap steering committee and a previous board member of the Congress of Aboriginal Nurses and Midwives.

Vicki sits on numerous national research projects providing a critical lens to the socio-cultural context with the aim to reduce research and evidence practice gaps. Vicki is a strong advocate for her people following her matriarchal lineage, Vicki’s grandmother was a healer and helped with the Noongar women in birthing on country in the mission and later reserves in south west of Perth, her mother was one of the first enrolled nurses in Perth and her daughter is carrying on the tradition as a doctor. Vicki hopes that the work she does will see her grandchildren have better opportunities that she and her family were afforded.

Kabay Tamu

Kabay Tamu

Torres Strait 8

Kabay Tamu is a sixth-generation Warraberalgal Traditional Owner, living on Warraber Island in the Torres Strait. He is one of the claimants from the Torres Strait 8 case, where eight Traditional Owners from the Torres Strait have made a landmark human rights complaint to the United Nations over climate change.

Kabay attracted international headlines when he asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to visit Warraber during the 2019 UN climate summit in New York. The Prime Minister declined Kabay’s invitation to see climate impacts in the Torres Strait. Kabay is an advocate for Torres Strait’s fight for climate justice through the ‘Our Islands Our Home’ campaign.

Michelle Dowden

Michelle Dowden

One Disease - Chief Executive Officer

Michelle is the CEO for One Disease. She is a registered Nurse Midwife with over 25 years’ experience conducting health programs, which focus on good clinical outcomes and the social determinants of health. The main focus of Michelle’s work has been with remote Indigenous communities and other large Indigenous health services throughout Australia both in research and service delivery. She lived and worked on Elcho Island for many years.

Michelle has a strong background and understanding of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in Indigenous Primary Healthcare, both in research and service delivery. From 2003 until 2008, Michelle was the Project Manager for the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease (ABCD) research project. This project played a pivotal role in the on-going CQI Strategy for the Northern Territory.

In 2006 she completed her Master’s in Public Health at Charles Darwin University. Her treatise topic – “Factors Affecting Uptake of CQI. Exploring how to embed processes for sustainability” clearly reflects the way Michelle works in practice. She continues to be actively involved with research and contributes to peer reviewed publications.

Michelle began working for One Disease in 2016 and was responsible for writing the One Disease Crusted Scabies Elimination Plan. In 2019, she was awarded the Northern Territory Administrator’s Medal (Individual Category) in Primary Health Care.

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