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01 May 2017

The 2017 AMA National Conference at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, from 26-28 May, will feature an impressive line-up of influential political and health leaders, speakers and panellists, led by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

The high priority of health policy in the current political debate is underlined by the attendance also of Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten; Health Minister, Greg Hunt; Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM; Shadow Health Minister, Catherine King; and Greens Leader, Senator Richard Di Natale, at the AMA’s annual premier event.

The Conference will feature a high-level panel discussion of the Big Health Issues of 2017, moderated by Paul Bongiorno AM; induction of new AMA Fellows; the Leadership Development Dinner; Indigenous Medical Scholarship; Gala Dinner; and delegate Soapbox.

Policy sessions cover Health Care in Danger, Doctors’ Health and Wellbeing, Threats Beyond Borders, Improving Australia’s Organ Donation Rate, and Tackling Obesity.

The Prime Minister will address the Conference at 11.30am on Saturday 27 May.

Highlights of the Conference include:

Friday 26 May 2017

10.10am          Welcome to Country

10.30am          President’s Welcome and President’s Statement

                          AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon

10.50am          Health Minister, The Hon Greg Hunt MP

11.15am          Opposition Leader, The Hon Bill Shorten MP

11.40am          Shadow Health Minister, The Hon Catherine King MP

12.05pm          Greens Leader, Senator Richard Di Natale

12.30pm          Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) MDA National Prize for Excellence in Medical Research

                         AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship

2.20pm            POLICY SESSION: Health Policy: The Big Issues in 2017

Moderator:      Paul Bongiorno AM, The Saturday Paper, Network Ten

Panel:              The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Health and Minister for Aged Care

Dr Dwayne Crombie, Managing Director, Bupa Private Health Insurance

Dr Liz Marles, Sydney GP and former RACGP President

Adjunct Professor Toby Hall, Group CEO, St Vincent’s Health Australia

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon

 4.20pm            Presentation of inductees to the AMA Roll of Fellows

5.30pm            President’s Welcome Reception – Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

AMA National Tobacco Scoreboard Achievement Award for best tobacco control actions by a State or Territory government

AMA Dirty Ashtray Award for worst tobacco control actions by a State or Territory government

AMA Award for best public health program from a State or Territory government

AMA Media Awards for best lobbying, public health advocacy, publication, and website by a State or Territory AMA

AMA Woman in Medicine Award

AMA Women’s Health Award

AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award

7.30pm            Leadership Development Dinner – Eureka 89, Eureka Tower, Southbank

Guest Speaker: Dr Bronwyn King, Radiation Oncologist and CEO Tobacco Free Portfolios

AMA Doctor in Training of the Year Award

Saturday 27 May:

9.05am            POLICY SESSION: Health Care in Danger

Chair:              AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon

Presenter:        Ms Natalya Wells, Policy and Political Affairs Officer,  International Committee of the Red Cross

The Health Care in Danger project aims to address the issue of violence against patients, healthcare workers, facilities, and vehicles, and ensure safe access and delivery of health care in armed conflict and other emergencies.

10.10am          POLICY SESSION: Doctors’ Health and Wellbeing

Chair:               Dr John Zorbas, Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training

Dr Kairi Kõlves, Principal Research Fellow, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University

Dr Janette Randall, Chair, Board of Directors, Doctors Health Services Pty Ltd (DrHS)

Ms Fiona Shand, Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute Lifespan strategy

Dr Bav Manoharan, AMAQ Resilience on the Run Program

Dr Anjali Dhulia, Director Medical Services, Monash Health

Ms Marie Jepson, Executive Director, The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation

11.30am***      Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

11.55am           Address by AMSA President, Rob Thomas

1.25pm            POLICY SESSION: Threats Beyond Borders

Moderator:      Ms Julie McCrossin - journalist, facilitator, and trainer

Panel:               Professor Bart Currie, Infectious Diseases Physician, Royal Darwin Hospital & Menzies School of Health Research

Ms Sophie Scott, Medical Reporter, ABC

Professor Cheryl Jones, President, Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases

Dr Anthony Hobbs, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Federal Department of Health

 3.25pm            POLICY SESSION: Improving Australia’s Organ Donation Rate - Ethical and Practical Issues

Chair:              Professor Geoff Dobb, Head of Intensive Care, Royal Perth Hospital


The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, Minister for Indigenous Health and Minister for Aged Care

Mr Allan Turner, co-founder, Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation

Professor Wendy Rogers, Professor of Clinical Ethics, Department of Clinical Medicine and the Philosophy Department, Macquarie University

Dr Helen Opdam, National Medical Director, Australian Organ and Tissue Authority

Mr Jason Ryan, Chairman, Transplant Australia

 7.30pm            Gala Dinner – Presentation of AMA President’s Award and AMA Gold Medal

Sunday 28 May:

9.00am            POLICY SESSION: Tackling Obesity


Professor Brad Frankum, AMA NSW President


Dr Tony Bartone, AMA Vice President

Ms Jane Flemming, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games athlete, Director – Live Life Get Active

Professor Stephen Duckett, Health Program Director, Grattan Institute

Mr Ahmad Aly, President, Obesity Surgery Society of Australia and New Zealand (OSSANZ)

Dr Geoffrey Annison, Deputy Chief Executive and Director – Health, Nutrition, and Scientific Affairs, Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)

Professor Steve Allender, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University

**Most policy sessions will be live streamed on the AMA website at

**Media are welcome to attend the Conference and Gala Dinner. There will be a media work room at the Sofitel on Collins, and a room for media conferences and interviews.

Please advise Meredith Horne at or on 02 6270 5464 if you will be attending the Conference, Gala Dinner, and Welcome Reception.

Journalists and crews attending the Conference to interview the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Minister Hunt, Minister Wyatt, Senator Di Natale, or Shadow Minister King should coordinate with Maria Hawthorne at or on 0427 209 753, and Odette Visser at or on 0407 726 905.

**The Twitter hashtag for the Conference is #amanatcon

More information is on the National Conference website

1 May 2017

CONTACT: John Flannery                            02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                   Maria Hawthorne                        02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 01 May 2017