Speakers

PLENARY & CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Commonwealth Attorney-General

An Australian politician and lawyer who is the current Attorney-General of the Turnbull Government, in office since 20 December 2017. He was elected as the Liberal Party member for the federal Division of Pearce in the 2013 federal election. From Perth, Porter attended Hale School, the University of Western Australia and later the London School of Economics, and practised law at Clayton Utz and taught law at the University of Western Australia before his election to parliament. Before his election to the federal parliament, Porter had served in the Parliament of Western Australia. He first entered the Legislative Assembly after winning the seat of Murdoch in a 2008 by-election following the death of the sitting member, Trevor Sprigg, and he was subsequently elected to the new seat of Bateman at the 2008 general election. After the Liberals formed government, Porter was appointed Attorney-General in the Barnett ministry. In December 2010, he was also appointed Treasurer, and held both portfolios until June 2012, when he resigned from the ministry to contest the 2013 federal election. Prior to assuming his current position, Porter was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in the Abbott Government from December 2014 to September 2015 and then Minister for Social Services in the Turnbull Government from September 2015 to December 2017.

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr Yan’s research interests include elder abuse, elder sexuality, and dementia care. Her work on elder abuse has been widely recognized in the international research community. She had been invited to present her work on elder abuse at the workshop on Elder Abuse and Its Prevention organized by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Washington DC. She was also a member of the Expert Group Meeting on Neglect, Abuse, and Violence against Older Women at the United Nations New York Headquarters. She was awarded the GSA fellowship in 2016.

Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing

Jane Barratt is the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), which comprises government, industry, academic and non-governmental members in over 70 countries, representing some 75 million older people. The IFA is a global point of connection for experts and expertise that help to shape and influence age-related policy globally.
At the heart of the work of the IFA and Dr Barratt’s leadership is the fundamental right of older people to be enabled to do what they value, as opposed to what society thinks that they value. In essence protecting and respecting the rights of older people. Jane has direct responsibility for the organization’s global operational performance, quality and strategic implementation, and business development. This includes leadership at the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York, Geneva and Vienna and formal relations with the WHO Department Ageing and Life-course. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, which is responsible for setting global strategic direction and various associated international expert committees. She has many national and international roles, including the Standing Selection Committee Chair for the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada and is a former member of the Global Agenda Council on Ageing for the World Economic Forum.

Award-winning current affairs journalist

Ellen Fanning is best known for her work as an award-winning current affairs journalist. At 24, she broke new ground, becoming the first woman to host one of ABC Radio’s national current affairs programs. Two years at the helm of PM were followed by several years anchoring AM on ABC Radio and serving as occasional host of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report. Ellen served as the ABC’s Washington correspondent in 1998 and has reported from locations as diverse as Transylvania and the North Pole, under the Indian Ocean aboard an Australian Navy submarine and 30,000 feet over Serbia from a US Airforce refuelling jet. She has also interviewed every current and former Australian Prime Minister from John Howard to John Gorton and has met and interviewed world leaders from France, Britain, Ireland, Israel and the United States. Most recently, Ellen has been a reporter for the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, and the presenter for Channel 9’s Sunday program. Ellen has also stepped in to co-host the Today show. She has had extensive experience moderating political, business and community events in Australia. As a facilitator Ellen’s strength lies in her ability to clarify goals, define roles and reach agreed outcomes across both cultural and language barriers. With a wealth of experience in communications, politics, social, cultural and business issues, Ellen’s informative and stimulating presentations make her an ideal moderator, facilitator and keynote speaker.

CEO, Australian Bankers’ Association

Anna Bligh is the Chief Executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association, working to strengthen the culture in banking and improve customer experience. Anna has had a long and distinguished career in politics. She was Premier of Queensland for almost five years and led the response and recovery effort to devastating floods in January 2011. Prior to joining the ABA, Anna was the CEO of YWCA NSW, a not-for-profit organisation striving to build a safer world for women and children with services dedicated to ending domestic violence. Anna received a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia award in the 2017 Australia Day Honours list, in recognition of her eminent service to the Parliament of Queensland, to the not-for-profit sector and the role of women in public life.

Age Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights Commission

Appointed as the Age Discrimination Commissioner on 29th July, 2016 Kay comes to this role with strong involvement in issues affecting older people. Leaving school at 15, and then managing a small business, she returned to school and gained a BA (Hons) at the University of Sydney and a PhD in Psychology and a Dip Ed at Monash University. She taught allied health science students for 11 years. She studied gerontology at the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University. Using the knowledge gained during those visits she co-developed the first Victorian post-graduate diploma in gerontology and introduced gerontology into the undergraduate behavioural science courses. Following her election to the Senate in 1987 she served on a number of Senate committees and held various shadow portfolios. In 1988 she was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary and in 2001 was appointed to Cabinet and served in the Health and Social Security portfolios. She retired from Cabinet in 2006 and from the Senate in 2008. During her time in the Senate she pursued issues affecting older Australians and fought tirelessly for the removal of the compulsory retirement age of 65 from the Australian Public Service and statutory authorities. Initially she will champion the rights of older workers, focus on the blight of elder abuse and encourage innovative solutions to homelessness and risk of homelessness amongst older Australians. Kay has served on a number of not-for-profit Boards and voluntary positions. She is a Director of the Brockhoff Foundation (2008-); Professorial Fellow Monash University, in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (2008-); she was a Director and Vice-President of Interplast Australia NZ (2007-2016); a member of the Board of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (2014-2016); Chaired the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Council on Homelessness (2011-2013); was involved for over 25 years in the Victorian Girl Guides as a leader, Council and Executive Member; and was a member of the Monash University Council (1978-1998). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2016 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Commonwealth Minister for Aged Care

Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives. In 2015 Ken became the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care. In January 2017, Ken was appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. His portfolio responsibilities include Australian Hearing services and the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority. Before entering politics Ken worked in community roles in the fields of health and education including Director of Aboriginal Health in New South Wales and Western Australia. Ken has also made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people, which was recognised in 1996 when he was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for ‘his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health.’

Retired judge of High Court of Australia; LGBTI advocate

When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge.

He was first appointed in 1975 as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission. Soon after, he became inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84). Later, he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, then President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96) and, concurrently, President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-6). His appointment to the High Court of Australia followed in 1996 and he served thirteen years. In later years, he was Acting Chief Justice of Australia twice.

In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby has served on three university governing bodies being elected Chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney (1984-93). He also served on many national and international bodies. Amongst the latter have been service as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988-92); as President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995-8); as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia (1993-6); as a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995-2005); as a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007- 9) and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights(2004-).

Following his judicial retirement, Michael Kirby was elected President of the Institute of Arbitrators & Mediators Australia from 2009-2010. He served as a Board Member of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (2009-14). He has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor by twelve universities. And he participates regularly in many local and international conferences and meetings. He has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates at home and abroad. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Laws of Australia (2009 - ).

He served 2011-12 as a member of the Eminent Persons Group on the future of the Commonwealth of Nations. He was a Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission of HIV and the Law 2011-2012. He was appointed to the Advisory Council of Transparency International, based in Berlin in 2012. In 2013- 2014, he was appointed Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea. He a Commissioner of the UNAIDS Lancet Commission on AIDS to the Right to Health (2013-2014); the Global Fund’s Equitable Access Panel (2015-16); the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Medicines (2015-16); and UNAIDS/OHCHR’s panel on overreach of criminal law (2017); and Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (2018 - ).

He was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize in 2010 and has been Patron of the Kirby Institute on Blood Borne Diseases in UNSW Sydney, Australia since 2011. In May 2017, he was invested by Japan with the insignia of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in Tokyo, with an audience with the Emperor of Japan.

NSW Minister for Ageing

As the NSW Minister for Ageing, Tanya is focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities that occur with an ageing population. She is passionate about tackling ageism and ensuring people in NSW experience the benefits of living longer, while having the opportunity to participate in and contribute to their communities. The ongoing implementation of the state’s first Ageing Strategy, delivered by the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government, is a top priority and involves a whole-of-government effort to help people not only live longer lives, but better lives. The Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit is one of the important initiatives under this strategy. Tanya is a working mother, raising her two young children in Western Sydney with husband Mark. Prior to being sworn in as NSW Minister for Ageing, Mental Health, and Women, Tanya was Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs and Homelessness, and has been the local member for Mulgoa since 2011.

Social Commentator, Writer, Lecturer

Jane has published five books and has recently published “Just a Queen” a sequel to her earlier work “Just a Girl” and “plain speaking jane”. A regular on the Gruen Transfer she has also appeared in the media including weekly spots on Weekend Sunrise, and Sunrise. She has created, written, presented and co-produced for ABC Radio and Television. She has also appeared on The Drum, Q&A, The Project, Daily Edition, Mornings on 9, Studio 10 and Today. She writes regular monthly columns for Mt (Management Today) Magazine, and the Sun Herald’s Sunday Life. In 2016 Jane was appointed the Financial Planning Week Ambassador by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). She is in demand as a speaker, workshop facilitator and MC.

Founder Chairperson, Ageing Nepal

Born in Nepal, Mr Gautam has a Masters of Economics, University of New England, Armidale, NSW and a BSc, Agriculture with Honors, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India. Mr Gautam has been working on ageing issues since 2009. He was involved in the MIPAA review in 2012; Participated in a Capacity Building Workshop to support the National Policy Response to issues of Ageing in Asia and Pacific in 2012; Attended the 4th session of UN-OEWG on Ageing and participated in the Third Regional Review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in 2017. Mr Gautam has over 30 years’ experience in the field of irrigation and rural development in India, Nepal and PR China. He has worked as a presenter of a TV show and Radio Talk Show, and as a columnist of popular dailies. He was the Founder Chairperson of Geriatric Center Nepal and the Founder Chairperson of Ageing Nepal (founded in 2011).

Master of Ceremonies

Two-time Walkley Award winner, Virginia Trioli, is one of Australia’s best-known journalists, with a formidable reputation as a television anchor, radio presenter, writer and commentator. She is much sought-after as a speaker and MC, and combines a rigorous interviewing style with an often wicked sense of humour. Virginia, is an honours graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, and in 1996 published Generation F, her celebrated response to Helen Garner’s ‘First Stone’. In 1995 she won Australian journalism's highest honour, the Walkley Award for her business reporting, and in 2001 Virginia won a second Walkley for her landmark interview with the former Defence Minister, Peter Reith, over the notorious Children Overboard issue. In 1999 Virginia won the Melbourne Press Club's Best Columnist award, The Quill. In 2006 she won Broadcaster of the Year at the ABC Local Radio Awards. Virginia has held senior positions at the Age newspaper and the Bulletin magazine. For eight years she hosted the Drive Program on 774 ABC Melbourne, and the Morning Program on 702 ABC Sydney. She has been the host of ABC TV's premiere news and current affairs program, Lateline, also Artscape and Sunday Arts. She is a regular fill-in host on Q and A. Virginia currently anchors ABC News Breakfast on ABC 1 and ABC News 24. Virginia is married with three step-children, a three year old and one chocolate Labrador.

Former Director of Public Prosecutions and Human Rights Promoter

The rights that all humans of all ages enjoy may be found in the UN instruments agreed to by the community of nations and reinforced in national legislation. Domestic laws have made special provisions for elders (and the young) that recognise their situations in the population and we need to ensure that both international and local standards are applied.

Nicholas Cowdery AM QC has spent 48 years in criminal justice in various capacities. He has been a public defender, a barrister, an acting Judge and for 16 ½ years was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW. He is a former President of the International Association of Prosecutors. He is now an Adjunct Professor of Law and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at several universities. He has had a strong connection with the protection and promotion of human rights, especially in the criminal justice system, and was founding Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association from 1995-2000. He is a member of the National Human Rights Committee of the Law Council of Australia. He is the Chair of White Ribbon Australia.

Stetson University, FL, U.S.

Prof Rebecca C. Morgan is the Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law, the Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson University College of Law and the original director of Stetson’s on-line LL.M. in Elder Law. She is a successful co-author of Matthew Bender’s Tax, Estate, and Financial Planning for the Elderly and its companion forms book, a co-author of Representing the Elderly in Florida, co-author of Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts and serves as a member of the elder law editorial board for Matthew Bender. She also co-authored Planning for Disability for BNA with Robert Fleming and a co-author of Ethics in an Elder Law Practice for the ABA. She and four of her colleagues have co-authored, Elder Law in Context. Professor Morgan is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, past president of the Board of Directors of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (now known as Justice in Aging), past chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Aging and the Law and of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section, and was on the Faculty of the National Judicial College. She previously served on state task forces regarding elder abuse and revisions to Florida’s guardianship statute and served as the reporter for the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. She is a member of the academic advisory board for the Borchard Center for Law and Aging, an academic fellow of the American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel, a member of ALI, a NAELA fellow, and a member of NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). She is on the board, and serves as treasurer, for the Center for Medicare Advocacy. She recently joined the board of the American Society on Aging. Professor Morgan was the recipient of the 2003 Faculty Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and along with Professor Roberta Flowers, received the 2005 Project Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism for their video series on ethics in an elder law practice. She received the NAELA Unaward in November 2004 from President Stu Zimring for her accomplishments in the field of elder law. She received the 2006 Rosalie Wolf Memorial Elder Abuse Prevention Award from the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Theresa Award from the Theresa Alessandra Russo Foundation in 2008, the NAELA President’s Award from NAELA President Mark Shalloway in May of 2008 and the 2009 Treat Award for Excellence from the National College of Probate Judges. She received the inaugural award for Excellence in Elder Law from the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

Secretary General International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Ms. Somers earned a Law Degree in 1984 from Albany Law School, Albany NY, and holds a Certificate of Gerontology Studies. For two decades her practice areas concentrated on Civil Rights, Family and Elder Issues, i.e. Guardianship and Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution. She served as Assist. Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York, Consumer Frauds Bureau and Elder Protection Unit. She has expertise in Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and has developed and delivered numerous trainings to Banks, Police and Older Persons. She also served as State Director of the NYS OCFS Bureau of Adult Services. She is currently President of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, (INPEA), an International NGO with special consultative status at the UN, which launch the first Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2006. Her focus is on promoting older person’s human rights to end abuse, neglect and violence globally, through advocacy with UN Member States and International NGO’s. She has an interest in addressing harmful cultural and traditional practices, and raising awareness relative to older persons mental health issues. She co-chairs the NGO Comm. on Ageing, NY, Sub-committee to Promote a New Convention.