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Day 1 speakers



Aunty Joan Bell

Welcome to Country

Board member, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Aunty Joan is a board member of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. She has worked for the Department of Communities and Justice, Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre, and Murrawina, and is passionate about land rights. A proud Wiradjuri/Gadigal woman who adores her family, Aunty Joan is a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother and a great-great grandmother.

Dr Linda Swan

Conference co-host

CEO, Go Gentle Australia

Linda has over 30 years' experience working in senior executive roles in healthcare and now brings her extensive health system knowledge, experience and networks to the role of CEO at Go Gentle Australia. As a former GP and Group Chief Medical Officer at Medibank, she is well placed to provide leadership and expert advice to ensure Go Gentle achieves its vision of an Australia where we all have choice at the end of life.

Dr Cameron McLaren

Conference co-host

Medical oncologist and VADANZ founder and inaugural president

Cam is a general medical oncologist with particular interest in genitourinary, gastrointestinal, lung, and breast cancers. He works privately at St John of God Hospital and Monash Health and is undertaking a PhD in voluntary assisted dying. He is also the founder and inaugural president of VADANZ (Voluntary Assisted Dying Australia and New Zealand).

Susan Jury

Panel chair and presenter

Head, Statewide Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Service Victoria


Susan is a clinical nurse consultant and has worked at the centre of voluntary assisted dying provision since Australia’s first laws were introduced in 2019 in Victoria. She has observed first-hand the experiences of clinicians, healthcare services, individuals and families in the provision of, or access to, voluntary assisted dying and has an enduring commitment to continual improvement at a systems and individual level.

Professor Ben White

Panel chair and presenter

Professor of End-of-Life Law and Regulation, QUT


Ben is a professor of end-of-life law and regulation at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at QUT. He has been researching end-of-life law, policy and practice for over 20 years, and now focuses on voluntary assisted dying. He is currently undertaking a 4-year Future Fellowship project funded by the Australian Research Council examining optimal regulation of voluntary assisted dying.

Julian Gardner AM


Chair, Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Victoria

Julian is a lawyer who has worked in the areas of human rights and social justice. Among his five former statutory office positions was that of Victoria’s Public Advocate. That role involved end-of-life decision making and began his interest in promoting and protecting the rights of people at the end of their lives. He was also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Panel and later Chair of the VAD Implementation Taskforce.

Linda Savage


Member, Voluntary Assisted Dying Board Western Australia

Linda is a lawyer and a former Director of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, legal member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and Member of the Legislative Council representing the East Metropolitan Region. She is a past board member of Dying with Dignity WA and in 2018 was appointed an Ambassador for Children and Young People in Western Australia.

Dr Kristin Good


Registrar (assisted dying), New Zealand


Kristin was seconded to the Ministry of Health in February 2021 to provide clinical leadership to the assisted dying implementation team. She subsequently accepted the position of Chief Clinical Advisor to Regulatory Assurance and the statutory role of Registrar (assisted dying). Kristin is a Distinguished Fellow of the RNZCGP and has worked in governance and leadership roles across the primary and secondary sectors and at board level.

Louise Mollross


Executive Commissioner, Voluntary Assisted Dying Commission Tasmania

Louise has been a legal practitioner in private practice for over 35 years. She is a Doyles Guide Preeminent Tasmanian family lawyer and Director of Ogilvie Jennings Lawyers. An experienced member of the Tasmanian Civil & Administrative Tribunal, Louise has been appointed to act as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia and as a Separate Representative in the Magistrates Court.


Associate Professor Melanie Turner


Presiding Member, SA Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board

As a psychiatrist in inspections and investigations for the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Melanie reviews and assesses quality and safety of psychiatric services for consumers and staff. She also works in private practice as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and is on the board of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the South Australia Medical Board.

Associate Professor Helen Irving


Chair, Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Queensland

Helen has a background in clinical medicine in paediatric and adolescent oncology, and expertise in solid tumour management, telemedicine, paediatric palliative care and medical ethics. She is Clinical Lead for the Centre Children’s Health Ethics and Law, and a member of numerous committees, as well as national and international oncology and ethics groups. She is committed to optimising person-centred and clinician care.

Dr Wade Stedman


Clinical Lead, NSW VAD Implementation

Wade is an ICU Senior Staff Specialist working at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. He has assumed the role of Medical Lead for Voluntary Assisted Dying in NSW and has been integral in setting up one of the only specialist-led ICU follow-up clinics in Australia. With his team, he is improving the care that ICU survivors and their family receive long after leaving the ICU.

Professor Michael Dooley


Director of Pharmacy, Alfred Health and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Monash University

Michael holds a joint appointment as Director of Pharmacy at Alfred Health and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at Monash University. He is also Head of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Pharmacy Service in Victoria. His career has focused in the acute healthcare sector and has spanned special clinical roles in oncology through to senior leadership positions within health services.

Dr Gavin Pattullo


VADANZ NSW State Director and Senior Staff Specialist, Royal North Shore Hospital

Gavin is a Senior Staff Specialist and Director of Acute Pain Service at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. During his career, he has introduced a number of Australian firsts in anaesthesia and pain medicine practice while working to optimise patient care. He assumed the role of VADANZ NSW State Director in mid-2022 and joined the board of Dying with Dignity NSW in November 2022.

Susan Fryer


Intern Nurse Practitioner, Tōtara Hospice

Susan has worked in palliative care for 25 years. Her previous roles have included education and managing teams in community hospice and inpatient units.

Dr Bu O'Brien


General Practitioner

Bu completed her training in general practice and passed her fellowship exams in Birmingham, England. She enjoyed her junior doctor years in Scotland working in various specialties and gaining diplomas in child health, and obstetrics and gynaecology. Bu moved to sunny Bunbury with her young family in 2008, becoming a VAD Practitioner in October 2022, a role she finds rewarding, enriching, and humbling.

Lauren Cortis


Lead Pharmacist, Voluntary Assisted Dying Pharmacy Service, South Australia

Lauren started working in VAD as part of the SA Health implementation team, moving into service delivery as the Lead Pharmacist in the SA VAD Pharmacy Service near the end of 2022. Over her career, she has worked in a variety of roles spanning acute and primary care. Currently, Lauren is nervously awaiting the examination of her PhD which explored the medication experiences of people managing chronic conditions throughout cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Greg Mewett


Palliative Care Specialist and VAD practitioner

Greg was a GP in Bendigo, Victoria for 22 years before retraining in palliative medicine between 2015-2017. He worked at Grampians Health (Ballarat) for almost 15 years as a consultant palliative care physician and has developed a special interest in clinical ethics, particularly as related to end-of-life care and decision-making. Greg was a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Taskforce and is a ‘conscientious provider’ of VAD which he incorporates into his specialist palliative care practice.

Hayley Russell


Bereavement Specialist in community palliative care

Hayley is a passionate and committed clinician who works in a specialist support position in bereavement in community palliative care. She completed her training at Swinburne University, St Joseph’s Hospice, London and Grief Australia and holds clinical membership with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. She has presented research at Australian conferences as well chairing symposiums and presenting data at the International Psycho-Oncology Symposium Conference.

Nick Hobbes


Care Navigator, Voluntary Assisted Dying Navigation Service Tasmania

Nick is with the Tasmanian Health Service, Voluntary Assisted Dying Navigation Service. Prior to this, he has held roles as a social worker with the Grief and Loss Counselling Service at the Royal Hobart Hospital and Tasmanian Coroner’s Office. Nick has also held social work roles in oncology and palliative care units and is also the immediate past president of Oncology Social Work Australia New Zealand.

Lesley McLeod

Panel chair

Assistant Director of Nursing, QVAD-Support

Lesley is a palliative care nurse with 20+ years' experience in community services. Previously, she was a nurse leader in Metro South Palliative Care Service, and a nurse practitioner with PallConsult, a Statewide palliative care education and support provider. Currently, Lesley is the Assistant Director of Nursing with QVAD Support and Pharmacy Service.

Dr Anna Negus


Anaesthetist and VAD practitioner

Anna is a specialist anaesthetist with a sub-speciality in paediatric anaesthesia. She started working as a VAD practitioner when the WA VAD act was implemented. Anna and her co-founder Dr Bu O’Brien have started the WA VAD Group in order to help maintain practitioners in VAD work. The group aims to legitimise remuneration for services in VAD whilst fostering collegiality between its members.

Dr Gareth Wahl

Panelist and presenter

Emergency physician and VAD practitioner

Gareth is an emergency physician from Perth, who has been involved in voluntary assisted dying since the commencement of the WA VAD Act in July 2021. He has additional roles at the WA Department of Health and the WA VAD Community of Practice and is proud to be an inaugural Director of VADANZ. Gareth enjoys trying to find ways to improve the health system to better meet the needs of its consumers.

Day 2 speakers



Kyam Maher MLC

Opening address

Attorney-General of South Australia

Kyam is the Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, and Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector. He is a proud Aboriginal man who is honoured to serve as the Aboriginal Affairs Minister in both the Weatherill and Malinauskas Labor Governments guiding important reforms such as being the first State in Australia to commence Treaty negotiations with Aboriginal Nations and implementing a Stolen Generations reparations scheme.

Pauline McGrath


Senior Genetic Counsellor, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Centre

Pauline is a senior genetic counsellor and established the first ever Familial Cancer Clinic at the Prince of Wales Hospital in 1994. She has worked for Genetic Health Queensland since 1995 and is responsible for the provision of fetal medicine genetic counselling services for Queensland. In 2013 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship exploring the provision of counselling support for women accessing emerging pre-natal testing technologies.


Sandi Olney


Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant, Western Health

Sandi is a clinical nurse consultant, due to complete a Masters of Nurse practitioner (Palliative Care) in November 2023. She manages a community palliative care service in regional Victoria and previously worked as a clinical nurse with the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Palliative and Supportive Care Service. Sandi also produced the documentary My Way - Voluntary Assisted Dying for Palliative Care Patients.

Dr Paul Eleftheriou

Panel chair and presenter

Principal, Nous Group

Paul is a Principal at Nous with over 10 years’ experience as a health service executive, most recently as Chief Medical Officer at Western Health, a multi-campus health network with a budget exceeding $1 billion. He was deeply involved at the inception of health service partnerships as executive sponsor of the COVID-19 monitoring program during the pandemic.

Tsultrim Pearse

Panelist and presenter

Counsellor and Spiritual Care Practitioner, Karuna Hospice

A student of Buddhism since 1998, Tsultrim was ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in 2009 at Chenrezig Institute. She has worked as a counsellor for over 20 years, many of those spent in suicide prevention and intervention. Tsultrim has a strong conviction in the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to ease suffering of the mind and heart and has worked as a counsellor at Karuna for almost four years..

Jane Pickering


Chief Executive, Eldercare Australia

Jane is Chief Executive of Eldercare Australia, one of the largest residential aged care and retirement living providers in South Australia. She held several executive and chief executive positions in the health and aged care sectors prior to being appointed as CE of Eldercare in 2013. She has a solid reputation for leading cultural change within organisations whilst embedding cultures of respect, diversity, and inclusion. 

Nicky Stitt


Care Navigator, Victorian Statewide VAD Navigator Service

Nicky has over 30 years' experience as a registered nurse both in Australia and the UK. She has experience in intensive care, organ donation, palliative care, neuro-palliative care and has been a nurse consultant with the care navigator team for nearly two years. Nicky is passionate about providing choice around end-of-life care options and advocating for the best possible holistic care for her patients.

Dr Rohan Vora

Panel chair

Palliative Medicine Physician and VAD Practitioner

Rohan is a Palliative Medicine Physician who has been based in South East Queensland and Northern NSW for the past 17 years. His medical career has spanned Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics, Indigenous Health, Rural General Practice and Medical Acupuncture in the UK and Australia.

Tina McCafferty


CEO, Tōtara Hospice

Tina has worked in clinical, executive management, and governance roles across a range of environments and has been CEO of Tōtara Hospice since 2015. She is an activist-advocate for social justice, including equity of access to and outcome from health care. She has led Tōtara to become the most diverse and socially progressive hospice in NZ and the only hospice to provide a hosting Assisted Dying Service.

Josh Fear


Head of Policy, Palliative Care Australia

Josh is Head of Policy at Palliative Care Australia, the national peak body for palliative care. Palliative Care Australia represents all those who work towards high quality palliative care for all Australians who need it. Josh has worked at the University of Canberra, the Australian National University, Mental Health Australia, and The Australia Institute.

Dr Roger Hunt


Palliative care specialist

A pioneer of palliative care in South Australia, Roger is a foundation member of Daw House Hospice and foundation Fellow of Chapter of Palliative Medicine. He is also the former Chair and Life Member of Palliative Care SA. Roger has been a persistent advocate for legislative reform on VAD amd was appointed to Ministerial Advisory Panel on VAD in Victoria and WA. He is a member of SA's VAD Review Board.

Suzie Hooper


Director of Clinical Services, Epworth Health Care

Suzie is a nurse leader with extensive experience in ICU/CCU, physical rehabilitation, mental health, nurse education and project management. She has held a variety of clinical and management roles and is currently a Director of Clinical Services at Epworth. Suzie worked with Professor John Catford to lead the Epworth response to the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation.

Haley McNamara


Voluntary Assisted Dying Clinical Policy Manager, QLD Health

Haley has worked with Queensland Health’s VAD Unit since August 2021. She brings to this role 15 years’ experience in end-of-life, palliative and cancer care in Australia and overseas. Haley has a strong interest in applying her clinical social work experience to complex policy issues, as well as promoting inclusive care that is responsive to diverse needs and experiences.

Larna Woodyatt


Donation Nurse Specialist, DonateLife Australia

Larna Woodyatt is a Donation Specialist Nurse at Grampians Health Ballarat and DonateLife Victoria. Her role is to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation and provide support to hospital staff to care for potential organ and tissue donors and their families. Larna’s background is in Intensive Care Nursing.

Professor Liz Reymond

Presenter and panelist

Director, QVAD Support Services

Liz has been a palliative care physician for 20 years. Over ten years, she established Queensland’s largest multidisciplinary specialist palliative care service in Metro South Health. Attached to that service, she developed the Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative, the research and service development arm of the clinical service. She is currently Director of Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Support and Pharmacy Service.

Dr Peter Allcroft


Senior Staff Specialist, Southern Adelaide Palliative Services

Peter is a graduate of Flinders University School of Medicine. He completed his physician training in respiratory and sleep medicine in 1997 and his Masters in Palliative Care in 2015. Peter is now a Senior Staff Specialist at Southern Adelaide Palliative Services, the Clinical Lead for the South Australian Palliative Care Network, and the Clinical Advisor for VAD for South Australia. He is also a Board Director of Palliative Care Australia.

Dr Clare Fellingham

Panel chair

VAD Clinical Lead, East Metropolitan Health Service Western Australia

Originally from the UK, Clare has lived and worked in Perth for over a decade. She is a consultant anaesthetist at Royal Perth and Bentley Hospitals, with a specialist interest in obstetrics. Fascinated from an early age by the great transcendental moments of existence: birth, consciousness, and death, Clare is a high-volume VAD practitioners and led the implementation of VAD across East Metropolitan Health Service.

Dr Kerr Wright


GP and Deputy Registrar, Manatu Hauora (NZ Ministry of Health)

Kerr was born and trained as a GP in Scotland before emigrating to New Zealand in 1995. He spent 14 years working as the sole GP in Opotiki before he ventured further afield undertaking GP locum work in New Zealand and remote hospital work in Australia.  

Dr Hannah Gould


Cultural Anthropologist

Hannah is a cultural anthropologist researching death and religion in North-East Asia and Australia. With degrees from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, she is currently the Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellow in Arts within the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne for the project “Mobile Mortality: Transnational Futures of Deathcare in the Asia Pacific.”

Meg Plaster


Care Navigator, WA VAD Statewide Care Navigator Service

Meg is a registered nurse with over 30 years experience in clinical, management, research and service development roles. She has led the development of two state-wide services in the WA Youth Cancer Service, and more recently, implemented the new voluntary assisted dying legislation in one the largest metropolitan health services in Perth. She has degrees in nursing and counselling, and in 2022 was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship.

Tara Cheyne MLA


ACT Minister for the Arts, Business and Better Regulation, Multicultural Affairs, Human Rights

Tara is a Labor member for Ginninderra in the ACT Legislative Assembly. In October 2020, she was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Human Rights, and through this role, she’s responsible for the passing of voluntary assisted dying legislation in the ACT. The ACT Government has produced a listening report reflecting the views expressed during consultation and is set to introduce a voluntary assisted dying bill by the end of 2023.

Vicki O'Halloran AO CVO


Co-chair of voluntary assisted dying advisory panel, NT Health

Vicki was sworn in as the 22nd Administrator of the Northern Territory on 31 October 2017 and remained in office until 30 January 2023. A member of a range of boards and committees locally and nationally, she values the importance of supporting and promoting the Territory and Territorians. Vicki remains the patron of many organisations, and works tirelessly to actively support the development of emerging Territory leaders. 

Professor Lindy Willmott


Professor of Law, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT

Lindy is a law professor and member of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at QUT and researches in voluntary assisted dying. With colleagues at QUT, she has developed training programs about end-of-life law for health professionals and mandatory voluntary assisted dying training for participating health professionals. She has co-authored more than 11 texts and is a co-author of the website “End of Life Law in Australia”.