Health and Wellbeing
Queensland Symposia

Health and Wellbeing
Queensland Symposia

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Health and Wellbeing Queensland continues to celebrate, acknowledge and be inspired by the amazing work delivered by, led by and experienced by Queenslanders from across the State.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland continues to celebrate, acknowledge and be inspired by the amazing work delivered by, led by and experienced by Queenslanders from across the State.

The Health and Wellbeing Queensland Symposia highlighted the work of local communities ‘doing their thing’ and partners we are so proud to work with, as they support the health of  Queenslanders. Above all, the event recognised the capability, passion and commitment of Queenslanders who are working hard to drive better outcomes for their population.

The symposia also included the announcement of new Queensland-specific data and intelligence guiding strategic directions, and opportunities with relevance to policy makers, practitioners, advocates and stakeholders, consumers, educators, and community leaders.

Watch a summary of the highlights here. 

Keynote Speakers

Professor S. Jay Olshansky

S. Jay Olshansky is a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and Chief Scientist at Lapetus Solutions, Inc.

The focus of his research is on estimates of the upper limits to human longevity, exploring the health and public policy implications associated with individual and population aging, forecasts of the size, survival, and age structure of the population, pursuit of the scientific means to slow aging in people (The Longevity Dividend), and global implications of the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases. During the last 38 years, Jay has been working with colleagues in the biological sciences to develop the modern “biodemographic paradigm” of mortality – an effort to understand the biological nature of the survival and dying out processes of living organisms.

Jay’s recent work is focused on linking the scientific study of aging with investments in longevity and mortality related products. Jay is a Board member, American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR) and he served on the Board of Scientific Advisors at PepsiCo and is the recipient of numerous internationally recognised awards for his research and scientific pursuits. In 2022 Jay testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the topic of aging and Geroscience and how advances in aging biology are about to transform what it means to grow old.

Professor Rhema Vaithianathan

Rhema Vaithianathan is a Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics (CSDA), a translational research centre located in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, in the Faculty of Culture and Society, at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand.

Rhema is recognised internationally for her work using data science for social good, and the implementation of machine learning tools in high stakes government systems such as child protection. She leads the international research team that developed, and continues to refine, two active child protection predictive risk modelling tools: the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (Allegheny County, PA, USA) and the Douglas County Decision Aid (Douglas County, CO, USA). Additionally, she has developed a tool to assess homelessness in Allegheny County, aiding in prioritising bed allocation within temporary housing.

Rhema has held research positions in Australia, Singapore and the United States, including a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard University. She gained her PhD from the University of Auckland (NZ) in 2000.

Dr Norman Swan

Norman hosts RN’s Health Report and during the COVID-19 pandemic, has co-hosted Coronacast, a podcast on the coronavirus. Norman is also a reporter and commentator on the ABC’s 7.30, Midday, News Breakfast and Four Corners and a guest host on RN Breakfast. He is a past winner of the Gold Walkley and has won other Walkleys including one in 2020. He created Invisible Enemies, on pandemics and civilisation for Channel 4 UK and subsequently broadcast in 27 countries.

Norman has been awarded the medal of the Australian Academy of Science and an honorary MD from the University of Sydney.

His book, So You Think You Know What’s Good For You (Hachette) is a best seller and was recently released in the UK. His latest book So You Want To Live Younger Longer has also been on the best seller list.

Norman trained in medicine and paediatrics in Aberdeen, London and Sydney before joining the ABC.

Norman is Co-Founder of Tonic Media Network, whose mission is to deliver better health outcomes through patient activation at point of care.

Matt Golinski

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded, professional chef with a passion for creating cuisine using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Well known as one of the original team members of the popular ‘Ready Steady Cook’ television series, Matt has worked as executive chef at some of Queensland’s leading restaurants over his 30-year career.

Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Matt now enjoys working as a consulting chef to restaurants, being a regular guest chef at festivals and events and writing food articles for In Noosa and Hello Sunshine magazines. He is also an active member of the Slow Food movement and a motivational speaker.

Key Takeaways From Our Experts

What Can We Do Now?

Program Summary

Opening Session

  • Loretta Ryan, ABC Radio Brisbane
  • Aunty Kerry Charlton
  • Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland
  • The Hon. Dr Steven Miles MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
  • Dr Robyn Littlewood, Chief Executive, Health and Wellbeing Queensland
  • Mr Robbie Sands, Mayor, Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council and Chair, Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance

Keynote Address: Health and Longevity in the 21st Century

  • Professor S. Jay Olshansky, Professor of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago

Keynote Address: Projections of obesity and life-expectancy in Queensland: Obtaining social licence for action

  • Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, Professor of Economics, Auckland University of Technology

Keynote Address: So You Want to Live Younger Longer?

  • Dr Norman Swan, ABC and Founder, Tonic Media Network

Panel Session: Life expectancy is on the decline — what does this mean for our kids?

  • Ms Loretta Ryan, ABC Radio Brisbane (Moderator)
  • Dr Robyn Littlewood, Chief Executive, Health and Wellbeing Queensland
  • Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, Professor of Economics, Auckland University of Technology
  • Professor S. Jay Olshansky, Professor of Public Health, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Dr Norman Swan, ABC and Founder, Tonic Media Network
  • Professor John Cairney, Head of School, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland

Wellbeing Break

  • DC FIT

Keynote Address 

  • Matt Golinski, Queensland Chef and Regional Food Ambassador featuring Juiced TV

Panel Session: Impact through Partnerships

    • Dr Mark Robinson, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland (Moderator)
    • John Kotzas AM, Chief Executive, Queensland Performing Arts Centre
    • Sandy Murdoch, Founder and CEO, TRACTION For Young People Ltd Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes, CEO Diabetes Queensland (My Health for Life)
    • Tiani Van Haren, A/ Director of Strategy and Analytics, Sport and Recreation, Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport
    • Robert Hoge, Executive Director, Strategic Communications at Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Panel Session: From Within and Beyond the Health System: Informing Clinical Prevention

  • Robert Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Dietitians Australia (Moderator)
  • Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Director, Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Angela Young, Executive Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement, Queensland Children’s Hospital
  • Dr Tanya Kelly, Chair, Queensland Clinical Senate
  • Peter Button, Consumer Advocate, Met North PHN and HWQld Register of Community Voices

Wellbeing Break

  • Natalie Cook OAM OLY

Panel Session: Can we agree on how to talk about higher body weight?

  • Dr Norman Swan, ABC and Founder, Tonic Media Network (Moderator)
  • Tiffany Petre, Director, Obesity Collective
  • Laureate Professor Clare Collins AO, NHMRC Leadership Research Fellow and Director Food and Nutrition Research Program, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • Dr Fiona Willer, Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at QUT and Weight Inclusive Practice Consultant at Health, Not Diets
  • Asmaa AbdelGawad, Community Representative, Health and Wellbeing Queensland

Closing Address: Opportunities for the Next Gen: Motivating Change over 10 years

  • Natalie Cook OAM OLY, Board Member, Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee

Closing Remarks

  • Mr Steve Ryan, Chair, Health and Wellbeing Queensland Board

Final Thoughts From Our Experts

Professor S. Jay Olshansky


If any presentations from our symposia stir up an emotional reaction, please contact the below organisations for support or information:

Both organisations provide 24/7 advice via telephone and also offer webchat or email options if you prefer an alternative way to communicate.

For face-to-face support, please make an appointment with your GP or a trusted health professional.

This event was proudly supported by

Last updated 25 July 2024