Tara Diversi

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Tara Diversi is the 17th President of the Dietitians Association of Australia. To complement her MND, Tara also holds an MBA, PGradDipPsyc, PGradCertPsyc, GradCertEducation and is a Graduate of AICD. For over 16 years, Tara has worked extensively in Nutrition and Dietetics within the private sector, as a teaching-focussed academic, policy consultancy, communications, and in her current role as CEO of Sophus Nutrition, a digital health company.

As a member of DAA since 2003, Tara was awarded the Young Achievers Award (in memory of Joan Mary Woodhill) in 2009, and has previously served as a National DAA Media Spokesperson and as the convenor of the Dietitians in Private Sector Interest Group (DIPSIG). She regularly presents workshops, webinars and lectures for DAA, the health sector and corporations and is a professional member of the Professional Speakers Association.

Tara’s work has been varied, she started her private practice as a new graduate and has been an advocate for multiple-income streams and life-by-design since. She is the National Clinical Dietetic Adviser to DVA and Entrepreneurship Facilitator at YEP Entrepreneurship Facilitators. Tara was previously a teaching-focussed lecturer at the University of Sydney and a member of the foundation team as an Assistant Professor at Bond University.

Tara is passionate about dietitians and empowering members to advocate for our profession and better nutrition for the individuals and communities we serve.

Joyce Haddad

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Joyce Haddad is an APD, PhD Candidate and Personal Trainer. Joyce is the director of A Dietitian’s Mission, a business which promotes healthy and sustainable eating at both the individual and public levels. Joyce has been successful at acquiring scholarships from Flinders University, CSIRO and the Commonwealth Scholarship program to conduct her PhD research, which focuses on establishing how to design effective tailored public health nutrition advice and messaging to improve the diet quality of Australians.

Joyce has been successful at gaining a competitive internship position with the World Health Organization HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, where she works within the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety to ensure nutrition, sustainable food systems and safe food are politically addressed at the local, country and global levels. Joyce’s dietetic and health career is dedicated to ensuring everyone, everywhere has a healthy and sustainable relationship with themselves and with one of life’s most important resources: food.

Jorja Collins

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Dr Jorja Collins received the Dietitians Australia Young Achiever award in 2019. She is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and a ‘big picture’ thinker with a vision to improve the health of the population through up-stream systems level approaches. Since graduating 10 years ago, she has found her niche working in research, foodservice management and education. Recently Jorja’s work has focused on the environmental sustainability of hospital foodservice where she has established herself as a national leader in this space. Jorja is an ambassador for the profession and holds multiple voluntary leadership roles within Dietitians Australia.

Twitter – @Jorja_Collins

Leadership Keynote

Holly Ransom

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A specialist in disruptive strategy, a private company director and advocate for social and economic inclusion, Holly Ransom is recognized globally for her super-human ability to synthesize and simplify complex issues, and create engaging, thought-provoking conversation.

An in-demand keynote speaker, Holly breaks open obscure technical language and ambiguous challenges to ignite inclusive debate and drive pragmatic responses. Having presented over 500 sessions across six continents in the past three years to corporate, public and not-for-profit audiences, Holly brings high energy and a strong new voice to the topics of leadership, culture and innovation.

As founder and CEO of renowned consulting firm Emergent, Holly has partnered with clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco and across all levels of government to catalyse new strategic thinking, build innovative workplace cultures and to help leaders prepare for the employment, consumer and community challenges created by the rapid evolution of both technology and society. A 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Harvard Kennedy School Class of ‘21 fellow, Holly is currently undertaking a Master of Public Policy with a focus on how we drive better decision-making when it comes to technology’s impact on humanity.

Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Holly has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage and was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch in 2017. In 2019 she was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence.

Identified early as a dynamic leader by the Australian Prime Minister, Holly was asked to Co-Chair the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, and is the youngest Director to have been appointed to an Australian Football Club. Holly attributes her bias for action and intense curiosity to a childhood in which answers always warranted further questions!

Sustainability Keynotes

Dr. Walter Willett

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Via videolink from the US

Walter Willett is Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He served as Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for 25 years.

Dr Willett was born in Hart, Michigan and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, studied food science at Michigan State University, and graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School before obtaining a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He has focused much of his work over the last 35 years on the development of methods, using both questionnaire and biochemical approaches, to study the effects of diet on the occurrence of major diseases. He has applied these methods starting in 1980 in the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Together, these cohorts that include nearly 300,000 men and women with repeated dietary assessments are providing the most detailed information on the long-term health consequences of food choices.

Dr Willett has published over 1,900 articles, primarily on lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and cancer, and has written the textbook, Nutritional Epidemiology, published by Oxford University Press. He also has four books for the general public, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, just recently revised and released, Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less, co-authored with Mollie Katzen, The Fertility Diet, co-authored with Jorge Chavarro and Pat Skerrett and Thinfluence, co-authored with Malissa Wood and Dan Childs.

Dr Willett is the most cited person in all areas of science and most cited nutrition scientist. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the recipient of many national and international awards for his research.

Professor Mark Lawrence

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Mark is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. Since graduating as a dietitian, he has gained 35 years’ experience working as a practitioner and academic in food and nutrition policy at local, state, national and international levels. Mark’s research interests focus on healthy and sustainable food systems, dietary guidelines, ultra-processed foods and Nutrient Reference Values. He has published widely on healthy and sustainable diets and food systems. His latest research book co-edited with Sharon Friel, is, ‘Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems’, Routledge. 

Mark is:

  • External advisor, World Health Organization;
  • External advisor, Food and Agriculture Organization;
  • Member, International Union of Nutritional Sciences Task Force on Sustainable Diets;
  • Member, Advisory Board for Cochrane Nutrition;
  • Board member, Food Standards Australia New Zealand;
  • Team leader, ARC project, ‘Reforming evidence synthesis and translation for food and nutrition policy’; and
  • Former member, NHMRC’s Dietary Guidelines Working Committee.

Connect with Mark via twitter

Fiona Armstrong

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Fiona Armstrong is an expert in climate change and health policy, advocacy, and communications. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Australian peak body on climate change and health, the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the architect of a world-leading policy roadmap, the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia. She is the lead author of many of CAHA’s reports, including Coal and Health in the Hunter: Lessons from One Valley for the World and Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action. Fiona is the recipient of the Tony McMichael Ecology and Environment Award from the Public Health Association of Australia, and the Frank Fisher Award from the City of Yarra. Fiona is a co-founder and director of CLIMARTE, an organisation that harnesses the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.

Connect with CAHA via twitter

Connect with Fiona via twitter

Leadership Panel

Themis Chryssidis

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Themis Chryssidis has a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics, a Bachelor of Psychology, A Graduate Certficate of Human Nutrition, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a Certificate IV in Fitness and he is currently the managing director of Sprout.

In 2011 he co-founded Sprout, a 100% hands on interactive cooking school, followed by Sprout Health Studio in 2015 and Sprout Training in 2017. In 2016 Themis co-authored his first cookbook Quick. Easy. Healthy. which is packed with simple, everyday healthy recipes that over five years have proved a hit at Sprout cooking classes. In 2017 Themis was awarded the Young Achiever award by the Dietitians Association of Australia. A national award which recognises leadership, innovation, service and contribution to the profession.

Themis is a media spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia and a regular contributor for SA Life Magazine, ACH Group, 9Coach and Health Partners.

Themis consults privately at Sprout Health Studio where he works in eating disorders, allergies and intolerances. He is a dedicated and passionate dietitian who promotes healthy, nutritious and delicious eating through practical advice. When Themis is not at Sprout you’ll find him cooking, eating, drinking wine or playing or watching some kind of sport!

Connect with Themis via twitter @SproutADL @Themisapd

Professor Danielle Gallegos

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Danielle Gallegos (BSc., Grad Dip Diet & Nut., PhD, FDAA) is a social nutritionist and Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Queensland University of Technology. She is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia and currently Chair of the Council of Deans Nutrition and Dietetics (Australia and New Zealand). She has worked in all areas of nutrition and dietetics including acute care, foodservice, private practice and for the last 15 years in public health nutrition. She teaches public and community nutrition and undertakes research related to the nexus between nutrition and social justice. Her current areas of research focus on household food insecurity and in particular, Feeding Families in Tough Times (FFiTT), developing a food insecurity screening tool for paediatric healthcare, and determinants for food insecurity in Pasifika communities.

Connect with Danielle via twitter @DanielleGalle15

Professor Helen Truby

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Prof Truby entered academia after 15 years of clinical experience and her research is grounded in practice. She holds the Chair of Nutrition & Dietetics at Monash University and was the foundation head of department of nutrition, dietetics and food. She has published more than 150 papers in peer reviewed journals and holds multiple competitive grants. She is a Fellow of the Association for Nutrition, a Fellow of the Nutrition Society Australia and an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietitian. She has been influential in the Australian Academy of Science Decadal Plan for the science of nutrition and the Deputy Chair of the Committee, which is charged with the implementation of the Decadal Plan.

Connect with Helen via twitter @ProfTruby

Implementation and Translation Keynotes

Dr Robyn Mildon

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Robyn Mildon, PhD, is an internationally recognised figure in the field of evidence synthesis and translation, implementation science and program and policy evaluations in health and human services. She is the Executive Director of the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI), an Honorary Associate Professor with the University of Melbourne, a Visiting Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and the inaugural Co-Chair of the Knowledge Translation and Implementation Group with the Campbell Collaboration, an international systematic review group.

Over her career, Robyn has led a number of projects focused on the generation of evidence through systematic review methods and the better use of evidence in policy and practice through the study and application of implementation science. She has a substantial track record working with multiple stakeholders to support the adoption, implementation and evaluation of effective approaches to working with children, families and their communities, and advancing the use of evidence in practice.

Robyn was the Founding Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the 1st Australian Implementation Conference (AIC) in 2012, which has since become a highly successful biennial event focusing on what it takes to achieve full and effective implementation of evidence in policy and practice. She was the Co-Chair of the Global Evidence and Implementation Summit held in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2018.

Connect with Robyn via twitter

Associate Professor Shelly Wilkinson

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Since becoming a dietitian, Associate Professor Shelley Wilkinson has worked in 11 dietetic departments across three countries, as well as 2 government departments, and in one university. She returned to university twice more to change careers, only to end up back working as a dietitian – a dietitian equipped with a new set of skills to overcome the frustrations and barriers she’d previously faced.

Shelley is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and is the Senior Research Dietitian at the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, Brisbane. She has a PhD in Psychology and has held two research fellowships that embedded her as clinician-researcher in a large dietetic department. Her passion is improving clinician capacity to deliver effective, evidence-based practice and undertake clinically embedded research and health service change for optimal patient outcomes. And job satisfaction.

Connect with Shelley via twitter @DrShelleyAdvAPD


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