Below are the confirmed Keynote Speakers for the 17th National Immunisation Conference. As speakers are confirmed their information will be added below. 

Professor Sandra Eades

Associate Dean (Indigenous), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

Professor Sandra Eades is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, WA. She completed her medical degree in 1990 and after working as a GP, started her career in health research at the Telethon Kids Institute. In 2003 she became Australia's first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a PhD. Her PhD investigated the causal pathways and determinants of health among Aboriginal infants in the first year of life. Professor Eades was named NSW Woman of the Year 2006 in recognition of her research contributions to Aboriginal communities and has received a 'Deadly Award' (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards) for Outstanding Achievement in Health. As well as Associate Dean (Indigenous), she is a Professor at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.

Dr Lisa Whop

Senior Research fellow, Menzies School of Health Research

Lisa Whop is a descendent of the Wagedagam tribe of the Gumulgal people of Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait and has family connections to the Darling Downs in South West Queensland.

Lisa’s research to date has focused on improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer. She holds a Bachelor in Medical Science from the Queensland University of Technology and a Masters of Applied Epidemiology from the Australian National University. Her PhD project was focused on the Queensland part of the National Indigenous Cervical Screening Project – the first population-based study in Australia to investigate the effectiveness of cervical screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

She was supported by a Sidney Myer Health Scholarship, a Menzies Enhanced Living Scholarship and a Lowitja Institute Scholarship. She recently submitted her PhD thesis to the Charles Darwin University and is working as a Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research.

Professor Kanta Subbarao

Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

Professor Kanta Subbarao was appointed Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in 2016. Prior to her arrival in Melbourne, she was Chief of the Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States from 2002-2016 and chief of the Molecular Genetics Section of the Influenza Branch at the US CDC from 1997-2002.

Kanta is a virologist and a physician with specialty training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. She received her M.B.B.S. from Christian Medical College, Vellore in India, completed training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases in the US and earned an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and received postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, NIH.


Her research is focused on newly emerging viral diseases of global importance including pandemic influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and includes study of virus biology and pathogenesis, immune responses to infection and vaccination, development and preclinical and clinical evaluation of vaccines.

Professor Lisa Nissen

Head of School Faculty of Health, School, Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Lisa Nissen is Professor and Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology. She is an experienced pharmacy practitioner, researcher and educator having worked in hospital and community pharmacy in metropolitan and rural areas of Queensland, Australia. Her focus is on improving the Quality Use of Medicines in the wider community, across the health care continuum, with a focus on health service development and factors that influence the prescribing of medicines. She is a strong believer in the benefits multidisciplinary health care teams can bring to patient care and takes this passion into the classroom with a commitment to the development and implementation of innovative interprofessional education for health students. In recognition of her teaching contributions she was awarded a National Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008 and 2013.

Dr Jeff Kwong, MD MSc CCFP FRCPC

Program Leader, Populations and Public Health Research Program, ICES Scientist, Public Health Ontario Family Physician, Toronto Western Family Health Team Associate Director, Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, University of Toronto Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Dr. Kwong joined ICES as a scientist in 2007. After obtaining his bachelor's degree in microbiology & immunology at McGill University, he completed his MD, postgraduate training in public health and preventive medicine, and a master's degree in epidemiology in the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Dr. Kwong is also a scientist at Public Health Ontario, a family physician at the Toronto Western Family Health Team, a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Key research interests include infectious diseases epidemiology and health services research using linkable data, influenza vaccine and vaccination program evaluation (vaccine coverage, vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety, vaccination program strategies) and assessing the burden of infectious diseases.

Professor Jonathan Carapetis

Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Carapetis is the Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia. He is also a Professor at the University of Western Australia and consultant paediatrician at Perth Children’s Hospital. His research interests include Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, other group A streptococcal diseases, Vaccine-preventable disease, Indigenous child health, Child development and education, Youth health and education and skin sores and scabies.

Professor Carapetis undertook his medical training at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Children’s Hospitals. Previous positions include terms as Theme Director at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and Director of the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Associate Professor Peter Richmond

Head, Paediatrics, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia

Associate Professor Peter Richmond is Head of Paediatrics within UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Professor Richmond works closely with the Telethon Kids Institute where he is Head of the Vaccine Trials Group, which sits in the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, of which he is a Co-Director.

Professor Richmond’s main research focus is the development and evaluation of new vaccines created to prevent bacterial and viral infections from spreading among young children.

Professor Ben Marais

Co-director, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, The University of Sydney

Professor Ben Marais works in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the Westmead Children’s Hospital.  He is co-director of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity ( at the University of Sydney and helps to lead the Centre for Research Excellence in Tuberculosis (  He has a strong interest in global child health and is deputy-chair of the WHO/Stop TB partnership ‘Child and Adolescent TB working group’.  His research focuses primarily on the evolution and spread of drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains and how children are affected by the global tuberculosis epidemic. 

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