Image provided by Tourism Australia


National Organising Committee
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Ms Margaret Miller

WPHN Congress 2020 Convenor

President, World Public Health Nutrition Association

Margaret Miller is an Australian public health nutritionist with a Science degree majoring in biochemistry and pathology from Melbourne University and postgraduate qualifications in dietetics, public health and public administration from Curtin University. She worked at the Department of Health WA for 15 years, providing policy advice and health promotion program development, implementation and evaluation services related to nutrition, physical activity and other health promotion issues. She also worked as a consultant for 10 years, providing public health strategic planning and program evaluation services to NGO and government agencies. Since 2007 she has been employed at Edith Cowan University in Perth, firstly as project leader for Obesity, Physical Activity and Nutrition projects at the Child Health Promotion Research Centre and lately in the Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Her role involves project formative research, engagement of project stakeholders, evaluation of interventions, and translation of research into policy and practice.

Margaret is also the President of the WPHNA.

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Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin

CEO, Public Health Association of Australia

Terry Slevin has been Chief Executive Office for the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) since May 2018.  He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology at Curtin University an Adjunct Professor in the College of Health and Medicine at the Australian National University.  He is a Fellow of PHAA and was the first Vice President (Development) of the Association.

Adj Prof Slevin is a regular media commentator on all aspects of public health and cancer, ranging from causes and early detection, to broader chronic disease prevention including nutrition, physical activity, weight control, alcohol, sun protection and gun control.  He also has a special interest in Occupational and environmental cancer risks.


Until April 2018 he was Director, Education and Research at Cancer Council WA where he worked since 1994. Adj Prof Slevin holds a Masters in Public Health and an Honours degree in Psychology.

As well as serving as Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, Adj Prof Slevin has previously chaired Cancer Council's Skin Cancer Committee and was founding Chair of Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, where he served for 10 years.  He has contributed to the planning of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Congress from 2012 to 2016 and was Co Chair of the Scientific Committee for the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.

He is the editor of a book on skin cancer Sun, Skin and Health, released by CSIRO Publishing in 2014 and has published over 70 papers in the peer reviewed literature and a series of 15 articles on cancer myths.  


His current focus is on promoting evidence based public health policy in Australia with a focus on equity and improved health outcomes for the most disadvantaged Australians.

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Professor Mark Lawrence

Professor Public Health Nutrition, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University

Mark is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. He has 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 investigating the science and politics of healthy and sustainable food systems, dietary guidelines, ultra-processed foods, Nutrient Reference Values and food regulation. He is:

  • External advisor to the WHO on dietary patterns for health;

  • External advisor to the FAO on sustainable healthy diets;

  • Member of the IUNS Task Force on Sustainable Diets;

  • Chair of the Advisory Board for Cochrane Nutrition;

  • Board member at Food Standards Australia New Zealand;

  • Member of NHMRC’s Synthesis and Translation of Research Evidence committee;

  • Team leader, ARC project, ‘Reforming evidence synthesis and translation for food and nutrition policy’;

  • Former member of NHMRC’s Dietary Guidelines Working Committee.


Dr Libby Swanepoel

Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, and Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nutrition, University of the Sunshine Coast

Dr Libby Swanepoel is a Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics, and Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Nutrition at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Libby’s research sees her working across food systems for global development. Libby works to leverage nutrition sensitive agriculture for improved nutrition and health outcomes. Her research interests include food and nutrition security, community capacity building and gender equality, with a particular focus on women and families. Libby currently has projects across the Indo-Pacific region, including Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Indonesia. Libby is a skilled qualitative researcher with expertise in socio-economic evaluation.

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Professor Amanda Lee

Professor Public Health Policy, Professor UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Head of Division of Health Promotion and Equality, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland

Amanda Lee is Professor of Public Health Policy in the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland and Senior Advisor at The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. She has expertise in preventive health, public health nutrition, food systems, food security and Indigenous nutrition. Her major area of work is the development, implementation and evaluation of nutrition policy actions to prevent and help manage chronic disease and malnutrition. Amanda was Chair of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s Dietary Guidelines Working Committee and Chair of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’s Consumer and Public Health Dialogue. Globally she is consultant on nutrition policy and dietary guidance, and lead of the Food Price and Affordability domain of the International Network for Food and Obesity/NCD Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS). Her work takes a strong systems focus, underscored by the pillars of health and wellbeing, equity, prosperity and environmental sustainability.

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Dr Christina Pollard

Principal Policy Consultant, Population and Community Health, East Metropolitan Health Service

Dr Christina is an experienced pracademic, a public health nutritionist and researcher who has developed, implemented and evaluated numerous public health nutrition interventions for Government in Australia at all levels (national, state and locally).  She believes that strong policy measures are essential to protect and promote the public health of those who are the most vulnerable in our society.  Although not a requirement of her public sector position, Dr Pollard believes in disseminating evidence based research to support ongoing practice.  She has a strong commitment to policy and advocacy, and is currently the Public Health Association of Australia’s Vice-President (Policy).   She currently works at the East Metropolitan Health Service in Western Australia developing a systems approach to food and nutrition interventions.

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Ms Ros Sambell

Public Health Nutritionist, Nutrition Society of Australia, Lecturer, Public Health Nutrition, Edith Cowan University

Ros is a registered Public Health Nutritionist (PHN) with the Nutrition Society of Australia, a lecturer in Public Health Nutrition, with expertise in social aspects of food and community nutrition at Edith Cowan University (ECU). Ros is an active member of the Regenerative Agriculture (WA) committee, the Chair for the National Nutrition Network for the early childhood sector and co-lead for Jamie’s Ministry of Food at ECU.  Relevant research areas include; Healthy Food Environments; multisector stakeholder engagement for a sustainable food system and collaboratively developing an online platform “Pathways to healthy food environments”: a guide for local governments in WA. 

Ros’s agricultural upbringing influences her passion to harness more sustainable agricultural practices to leave a legacy, of well managed land, for a sustainable food system for the generations to come.   As a PHN she is aware of the nutritional and environmental impact associated with current eating trends in Australia.  Ros believes a collective approach to leadership development alongside regulation, taxes, pricing, food environment and agricultural policy will influence foods grown, purchased and consumed.

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Dr Helen Vidgen

Senior lecturer, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Helen Vidgen is a senior lecturer at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, in the Faculty of Health at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.  Here her research focuses on the practical dimensions of meeting nutrition recommendations at individual, settings and system levels.  Helen has a strong interest in food literacy, public health nutrition policy, translation and implementation including planning, evaluation, workforce, and capacity. She has work extensive experience in a range of sectors and settings.  Her first nutrition job in 1995 was as the sole clinical dietitian in a rural hospital.  From there she progressed along the continuum of care from clinical roles in a tertiary hospital, community nutrition and executive officer roles at Nutrition Australia and then into public health as one of the first public health nutritionists in the Queensland State Department of Health.  In her twelve years with the State Health Department she worked in various roles including, Senior Public Health Nutritionist in corporate office and Director of Public Health Nutrition in the Southern Area Health Service.

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Penny Love

Senior Lecturer, Community and Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Health, Deakin University

Penny Love is a senior lecturer for Public Health and Community Nutrition within the Institute for Physical Activty and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University.  Her research role within the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood (EPOCH) Centre of Research Excellence focuses on the translation, implementation and sustainability of early childhood preventions at scale to inform the identification of key leverage points within existing service delivery systems.


An early interest into the impacts gained through a population-wide approach of environmental and policy changes led to her PhD research developing country-specific food-based dietary guidelines for South African adults young children. In Australia, she worked in Queensland as Director Public Health Nutrition (2007-2012), with an extraordinary team, focusing on nutrition in the early years, Indigenous nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and food security. In 2013 Penny re-joined academia at Deakin University – initially as a Knowledge Broker, delivering a national knowledge translation and exchange platform to build capacity and a community of practice to support obesity prevention efforts across Australia; and in 2016 as a Research Fellow within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) where her research is focused on translational research for the early prevention of childhood obesity, investigating elements of intervention implementation and sustainability.

Deanne Minniecon

Indigenous Program Manager, Brisbane South PHN

Deanne Minniecon is both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent and is currently the Indigenous Program Manager for Brisbane South PHN.  Deanne has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education for over 20 years across various sectors in both government and non-government organisations, including the community controlled health service, university sector, Diabetes Queensland, the Queensland Government.  Deanne has led and advised on a number of state and national preventative health programs and strategies targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Kathryn Backholer

National Heart Foundation Future Leader Research Fellow, Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University

Kathryn Backholer is a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Research Fellow within the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University. She leads a team dedicated to building the evidence to support effective and equitable food policy with a particular interest in the application of novel methods to address complex public health challenges. Kathryn is co-convenor of the Public Health Association of Australia Food and Nutrition Special Interest Group.