Speakers

We are proud to introduce the following speakers

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Dr Ashley Bloomfield

Ashley graduated from medicine in 1990 and spent several years as a clinician before training in public health. He has held several senior public health roles in New Zealand and internationally, including working on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases for the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

He was appointed Director-General of Health in 2018 and became a New Zealand household name during the COVID-19 pandemic through his regular stand-ups alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Ashley has received praise both locally and internationally for his calm, accessible and effective communication of complex public health considerations during a national emergency.

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Professor Sally Gaw

Sally is the Director of Environmental Science at the University of Canterbury. She is an environmental chemist whose research focusses on how everyday life contributes to environmental contamination. Sally has 20 years’ experience in determining the environmental fate and toxicity of contaminants including assessing human exposure to contaminants and has a particular interest in the impacts of pharmaceuticals on the environment.

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Dame Clare Gerada

Having first trained in psychiatry at the Maudsely Hospital, Clare followed her father’s footsteps and became a general practitioner, working in her practice in South London for thirty years. Over this time, alongside her clinical practice, she has held a number of national leadership positions including in 2010, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, only the second women in its 55-year history to hold this position.

She has led the way in reforming how drug users are managed in general practice and was awarded an MBE for his services to medicine and substance misuse in the 2000 Birthday honours. Since she has led the way in developing services for doctors and dentists with mental health problems, establishing and leading NHS Practitioner Health since 2008. This has been, not only a world first, but massively impactful, particularly on young doctors and consequently on the patients they look after and the teams in which they work. The service was awarded Outstanding by CQC rating in March 2019.

Currently Clare not only still leads NHS Practitioner Health but has, in 2020 established a service for problem gamblers; chairs the newly formed registered charity, Doctors in Distress, is now co-chair of the NHS Assembly. In 2020 she was made a Dame in the Queen’s birthday honours, making her the first Maltese person to be knighted. She is a highly respected NHS professional, whose views are listened to by NHS professionals and patients alike.

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Nigel Latta

Nigel trained as a Clinical Psychologist and worked for over two decades in the areas of forensic psychology and family therapy. In 2010, as a result of his passion for science and science education, Nigel was invited to become an associate of the world leading Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study at the University of Otago. In 2012 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to psychology.

He’s written eight books which have now been published in 19 countries and 10 languages.

His television career has spanned almost a decade and he’s presented a number of series including Beyond the Darklands, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, On Thin Ice: Nigel Latta in Antarctica, and The Hard Stuff. In 2016, along with Arwen O’Connor and Mitchell Hawkes he co-founded a production company, Ruckus, and the team have since made numerous primetime television series including Mind Over Money, What Next, and The Curious Mind. In 2018 Ruckus was named New Zealand’s Hottest Production Company in the StopPress awards.

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Hon Andrew Little

Andrew is currently the Minister of Health and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. He is also the Minister Responsible for the GCSB, NZSIS, and for Pike River Re-entry. He has also been appointed as the Lead Coordinating Minister for the Government's Response to the Royal Commission's Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques.

Andrew has devoted his whole life to advocating for New Zealanders.

Growing up in New Plymouth, Andrew organised a cake-stall fundraiser for hungry and homeless African children. After university, where he studied law and philosophy, Andrew headed the Victoria University Students’ Association and New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations where he marched for better access to affordable education.

After graduation Andrew became a lawyer with the engineers’ union, ensuring employers lived up to their employment obligations to treat their staff with dignity and respect. In 2000, he was appointed EPMU national secretary and led New Zealand’s largest private sector union for a decade.

Andrew entered Parliament in 2011 with a mission to leave behind a better country – a New Zealand where everyone has the opportunities he and his wife, Leigh, wish for their teenage son, Cam.

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Dr Samantha Murton

Samantha (Sam) is President of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners. She is a working Wellington GP and Senior Lecturer and Trainee Intern Convenor at University of Otago, Wellington. She was the College’s first medical director and is passionate about supporting general practice. Sam advocates for the profession at a national level, and she does this while maintaining practical experience that keeps her advice relevant and realistic.

In all Sam’s roles she champions collaboration and transparency. She is willing and equipped to represent the challenges that face general practitioners and their patients, bring GPs together nationally, and champion the role of the expert general practitioner who works in the broader primary care team.

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Professor James Renwick

James is a climate researcher who studies Southern Hemisphere climate variability, and the impacts of climate change on the Pacific, New Zealand and the Antarctic. James has been a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for many years, including the 6th Assessment Report to be published in 2021. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s 2018 prize for Science Communication, and was appointed to the New Zealand Climate Change Commission in 2019.

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Professor David Tipene-Leach

David (Ngāti Kere, Ngāti Manuhiri) is Professor of Māori and Indigenous Research at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and a Fellow of the College. He is a champion for health equity and speaks widely about racism and unconscious bias in the health system. “One of the most important things GPs need to do is be social change advocates,” says Dr Tipene-Leach.

“We all bring biases to a situation and those aren’t just about ethnicity. Let’s use the language of bias to explain racism and discrimination in an inclusive and non-blaming manner to facilitate change in our behaviour,” he says.

David is known for his innovative and life-changing work in Māori health, including developing and championing the use of wahakura, a woven flax bassinet (and the plastic Pepi-Pod) that allows parents to share a bed safely with their newborns.

The Ministry of Health announced in 2017 that the infant safe sleep programme would run the wahakura project nationwide. In 2018 Dr Tipene-Leach was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and health.