Meet our keynote speakers.

Ingrid Cumming: Conference MC

Ingrid Cumming is a Whadjuk Balardong Noongar woman from Fremantle and recognised young leader within the Noongar community. A graduate of Murdoch University and Melbourne Business School, Mrs Cumming is the founder and principal consultant of Kart Koort Wiern consultancy, representing Indigenous Australian Business globally for over ten years.

Her her career she has been a finalist and won a range of awards like NAIDOC Perth, Telstra Women in Business, Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Awards, ‘Champion for Change’ by EPHEA (Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia, WA Heritage Awards and Belmont Small Business Awards.

She has had an extensive work history working internally and externally with a variety of sectors and organisations, creating and facilitating programs and engagements, to address issues and strengths within these sectors and organisations and their stakeholder groups, through the provision of strategy development, leadership, academic programs and curriculum and professional development, cultural awareness programs and development of inclusion and diversity management plans.

She has also presented at various forums and conferences around the world in relation to engagement, equity and diversity matters including as a delegate at the UN Women Leaders Conference in Israel in 2013, TedXPerth in 2014 been on various TV programs about my work in reconciliation, equity and diversity. If you are a local you will also see her as one of the MCs at the Fremantle Dockers home games at Optus Stadium.

Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC, Commissioner, Global Commission on Drug Policy

Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC was a Member of Western Australia’s Legislative Assembly for twenty years, a Minister in the Lawrence Government (1990-1993) and Premier from 2001 to 2006. He was Director of Sydney University’s Graduate School of Government (2006-2015) developing programs and teaching in the area of public sector policy and management in Australia, Africa and South East Asia. He was Deputy Chair of the COAG Reform Council (2007-2011) and a Member of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (2008-2009). Today he is a Member if The Global Commission on Drug Policy and chairs the Research Committee of the New Democracy Foundation.

His keynote will focus on a new approach to drug policy courtesy of a range of harm reduction initiatives. Some jurisdictions overseas have decriminalised drug use to good effect and we are led to ask whether the time has come for Australia to adopt such an approach.

Mark Chenery, Founder and Director, Common Cause Australia

Mark Chenery is a communications expert and trainer who works with mission driven organisations and political parties to incorporate a values-based approach to messaging. His background includes advertising and journalism and heading up the community engagement program of an international human rights organisation in Australia. Since establishing Common Cause Australia in 2014, he and his colleagues have trained over 5,000 campaigners, communicators and fundraisers from Australia and New Zealand in the science of values and framing.

Mark has worked with dozens of organisations on values-based messaging. His research has changed the way many of Australia’s leading mission driven organisations as well as government departments and agencies communicate with the public on social justice, health and environmental issues.

Dr Jessamine Soderstrom

Dr Jessamine Soderstrom is a Clinical Toxicologist and Emergency Physician at Royal Perth Hospital. She is currently the Deputy Head of Emergency at RPH, a member of the WA Toxicology Service and the Clinical Centre of Research in Emergency Medicine.

Her current area of research is Methamphetamines and novel psychoactives, with the formation of a national registry, Emerging Drugs Network of Australia (EDNA). This has been important in the formation of a toxicosurveillance network and informing the development of Early Warning systems around the country.

Professor Bronwyn Myers

Professor Bronwyn Myers, PhD is the Director of the Curtin enAble Institute at Curtin University and previous Deputy Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit at  the South African Medical Research Council. She also holds an honorary professorship in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, within the University of Cape Town’s Department of  psychiatry and Mental Health.

Prof. Myers conducts clinical research focused on the development, testing, and implementation of psychological and health system interventions to improve access to, outcomes and  quality of care for people with substance use and co-occurring mental and physical disorders. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on these topics. Her work has a strong service user and workforce development focus.

Dr. Myers previously served as the Secretariat to the International Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use. She is currently a member of the UNODC’s  technical expert group on International Standards and Quality Assurance for Drug Use Disorder Treatment.