As keynote speakers are confirmed their information will be added below. 

Ms Donnella Mills

Acting Chair, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO

Donnella Mills is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Masig and Nagir. She is a Director of Wuchopperen Health Service and Acting Chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation - NACCHO.  She is a Cairns-based lawyer with LawRight, a Community Legal Centre which coordinates the provision of pro-bono civil legal services to disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community.  Donnella is currenAtly the project lawyer for the Wuchopperen Health Justice Partnership. This innovative HJP is an exciting model of care providing access to justice in a community controlled setting, where lawyers and health professionals collaborate to achieve improved health, social, emotional and spiritual well-being outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people .Donnella has actively promoted self-determination and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout her career. This includes delivering expanded and enhanced health services that are community driven and community led. 

Dr Jill Guthrie

Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health, The Australian National University

Jill Guthrie is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people of western NSW, and has lived in Canberra ACT for over twenty years. Following graduation from the MAE Program, Jill worked as an academic member of the MAE staff and continues to work in the program. In March 2009 she was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra, working on health-related research projects with a particular focus on the relationship between criminal justice and health. She is a member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group (IOHR-CBG).

Dr Sally Nathan

Researcher, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

Dr Sally Nathan is a researcher in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW, Sydney. Sally’s research has focused on the use of innovative approaches to measure and understand complex individual and social change, including research approaches which engage and partner directly with consumers and communities as well as the organisations that represent and advocate with them. Sally’s current research includes an ARC Linkage and Ted Noffs funded study to understand the pathways and treatment outcomes among adolescents with drug and alcohol related issues and a Lowitja Institute funded study, partnering with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, examining career pathways in health.  

Dr Richard Matthews

Associate Professor Richard Matthews, AM is a National Director of Calvary Healthcare, a Director of Mind Gardens Research and Medical Advisor – Clinical Governance to GEO Prison Services.

He holds a conjoint associate professorship at the Faculty of Medicine NSW.  He graduated from Medicine, University of NSW in 1975. 

In 2011 was awarded an order of Australia (AM) for services to mental health, drug and alcohol and prison health.

Associate Professor Matthews was a general practitioner for twenty years and developed an interest in drug and alcohol treatment and worked for many years in the outpatient department in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in this discipline.  He worked in prison health in NSW for twenty years, serving as Director of Drug and Alcohol, Director of Clinical Services and Chief Executive of Justice Health NSW from 1999 until 2005.  He served for eight years as Deputy Director General at NSW Health with responsibility for Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Statewide Services, Primary and Community Health, Child Health and Child Protection as well Intergovernmental Relations.

Mr Nick Rushworth

Executive Officer, Brain Injury Australia

Nick Rushworth has been Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia since 2008. In 1996, Nick sustained a severe traumatic brain injury as a result of a bicycle accident. Before joining Brain Injury Australia, Nick worked for the Northern Territory Government setting up their new Office of Disability. Formerly a producer with the Nine Television Network’s “Sunday” program and ABC Radio National, Nick’s journalism has won a number of awards, including a Silver World Medal at the 2003 New York Festival, a National Press Club and TV Week Logie Award. Alongside a variety of advisory committee memberships, Nick is also an ambassador for both the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the Queensland Brain Institute’s concussion research.

Professor Peter Schofield

Clinical Director Neuropsychiatry, Hunter New England Local Health District

Peter Schofield MSc, MD, FRACP trained in neurology and geriatrics in Australia and in behavioural neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York. He is currently Clinical Director of the Neuropsychiatry Service and a senior staff specialist in Neurology within the Hunter New England Local Health District and he is a conjoint professor both in the School of Medicine and Public Health and in Psychology at the University of Newcastle. He is a full time clinician whose practice includes the evaluation of patients with a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including those secondary to traumatic brain injury. His research interests include the epidemiology of dementing disorders, the development of novel instruments for the early detection of cognitive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, and neuropsychiatric issues in offending populations, particularly traumatic brain injury and violence.

Judge Peter Johnstone

President, Children's Court of New South Wales

Peter Johnstone is the President of the Children’s Court of New South Wales, a position he has held since 2012

The Children’s Court is comprised of the President and 15 specialist Children’s Magistrates and 10 Children’s Registrars, located at Parramatta, Surry Hills, Lismore, Broadmeadow, Wyong, Port Kembla and Campbelltown.  The Court has jurisdiction across NSW in respect of youth crime (ages 10 -18) and child protection.

The President has judicial, leadership and other, statutory responsibilities as prescribed by the Children’s Court Act 1997 which include the administration of the Court and the arrangement sittings and circuits; the appointment of Children’s Magistrates in consultation with the Chief Magistrate; convening meetings of Children’s Magistrates and overseeing their training; convening and chairing meetings of the Advisory Committee which is responsible for providing advice to the Attorney General and Minister for Family and Community Services; and conferring regularly with community groups and social agencies on matters involving children and the Court.

Mr Jeffery Amatto

Founder, Brothers 4 Recovery and Drug & Alcohol Motivational Speaker

Jeff Amatto is a proud Wiradjuri man from Wellington NSW.  Jeff was stuck in the struggle of addiction and incarceration for 16 years of his life and is now 9 years clean and sober.

Jeff has travelled 40,000kms of Australia telling his story and co-founded a company Brothers4Recovery.

Jeff won a award @the National Dreamtime Awards  for Community Person of the Year 2017 for his work.

Ms Ruth Barson

Legal Director - Human Rights Law Centre, Human Rights Law Centre

Ruth has worked for over a decade advocating for the rights of people enmeshed in the criminal legal system. She has worked as a defence, youth justice and prisoner rights lawyer in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and in Victoria, and has advised governments and worked internationally on criminal law reform. In 2018 Ruth was awarded an international travel scholarhsip to learn from leading US organisations working to end mass-imprisonment. Ruth has postgraduate law degrees from the University of Sydney and the University of Oxford. At the Human Rights Law Centre, Ruth leads a team lawyers who are passionate about ending racial discrimination and realising a fair justice system that upholds our shared humanity. 

Ms Alison Churchill

CEO, Community Restorative Centre

Alison Churchill has worked as a social worker and counsellor with victims and perpetrators of crime for over 30 years, in both England and Australia.


For the past 20 years Alison has been employed with the Community Restorative Centre. As CEO she has overseen the development of support and policy for and on behalf of individuals, families and communities affected by the criminal justice system, whilst advocating for system wide change.  


Alison’s career has focused, on addressing the social, economic, health and political contexts leading to people’s involvement in the prison system and the creation of effective community pathways that provide real opportunities for people to live outside of the criminal justice system.


Alison is a member of Sydney Institute of Criminology Advisory Committee, Director of the Politics of Social Change Foundation, Co-Chair of the Women's Advisory Council - Corrective Services NSW and on the Board of Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network.

Professor Elizabeth Sullivan

Deputy Head, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle

Professor Sullivan is a highly experienced University executive, public health physician and research leader who is nationally and internationally recognised for her outstanding contributions to public health particularly in the fields of maternal, sexual and reproductive health. She was the Assistant Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and the academic lead for UTS's Athena SWAN Gender Equity Initiative from 2015-2018 with UTS receiving a Bronze Award. She was also the Head of the Discipline of Public Health and inaugural Director, Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research (ACPPHR) at the Faculty of Health from 2016- February 2019.

Liz has a strong commitment to public health and achievng health equity, and is known for her reseach programs to improve the health and wellbeing of reproductive populations with a focus on Aboriginal women's health, justice health and non-communicable diseases in pregnancy. With over 25 years of experience, Liz's impressive track record of scholarship and innovation wth strong international and national networks of collaboration enables her to deliver responsive and agile solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of communities in need.

Professor Sullivan is a senior academic leader with proven administrative, operational and strategic managemnt expertise.  She has a highly successful track record of research development and management, with more than $20 million in research and contract funding as a chief investigator, several national and international collaborations and published over 200 peer review publications and AIHW and WHO Reports. She is an onging contributor to media and a frequently invited expert to present at conferences.  She has served extensively by invitation on national and international government committees relating to research, techical advice, performance and strategy and is highly committed to the  development of public health research and training that also reflects industry, community and government needs, enhancing capability beyond the University sector. Liz was an appointed member on the NHMRC Council (2015-2018 Trienim) and the National and Regional Network for Athena SWAN. She has successfully supervised and mentored many high degree students.

Dr Megan Williams

Senior Lecturer and Head, Girra Maa Indigenous Health Discipline, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Megan Williams is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Indigenous Health Discipline at the Graduate School of Health. She has over 20 years’ experience combining health service delivery and research, particularly focusing on Aboriginal peoples’ leadership to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the criminal justice system and post-prison release. Megan is a Wiradjuri descendent, and also has Anglo-Celtic heritage. 

Megan had her work endorsed by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health under the umbrella of the Lowitja Institute. She contributes to the Ngadhuri-nya (To care for) study associated with the NSW Child Development  Study in collaboration with UNSW investigting impats of incarceration across generatons, and an ARC-funded partnership between Ted Noffs Foundation and UNSW. Megan has also designed and published on an evaluation model for Aboriginal health programs - the Ngaa-bi-nya framework. Through the Maridulu Budyari Gumal Sydney Partnership for Health, Education and Research Enterprise (SPHERE) and Megan also focusses on translating research into policy, practice and education.

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