NATIONAL PROGRAM COMMITTEE
Ben Bavinton – Co-Convenor – HIV
Theme: Epi, Prevention and Health Promotion
Benjamin Bavinton has worked in the field of HIV prevention and research for 15 years in Australia and internationally. He is a research fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, focusing on the biomedical, behavioural and epidemiological aspects of HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men.
Melissa Warner – Co-Convenor – HIV
Theme: Social, Political and Cultural Aspects
Melissa Warner is CEO of Queensland Positive People and has over 25 years of clinical and public health program experience within the HIV/sexual health sector, having held diverse roles within NGOs, government organisations and clinical settings in Australia, the United Kingdom and Asia. For the past 10+ years Melissa has been involved in HIV and sexual health program design, implementation and evaluation, policy development and research in Queensland.
Judith Dean – Co-Convenor – SH
Theme: Epi, Prevention and Health Promotion & Clinical management and Therapeutics
Judith Dean, a Registered Nurse/Midwife with 25-year experience in SRH and HIV, is Research Fellow at The University of Queensland focusing on SRH of priority populations using mixed methods participatory approaches.
Ian Anderson – Co-Convenor – SH
Theme: Clinical management and Therapeutics
Ian is a FACCRM with an advanced skill in Sexual and Public Health and currently pursuing Advanced Training in Sexual Helath Medicine. He works at Sydney Sexual Health Centre, after spending many years in Queensland. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland and also holds a Masters of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University.
Ian has worked in the HIV and Sexual Health sector for the last 15 years in Canada, Malawi, and Australia. He is involved with several sexual health projects with ASHM and other organisations in Australia.
Theme: Epi, Prevention and Health Promotion
Rebecca Guy – Theme Co-chair
Rebecca Guy is a Professor in Epidemiology at the Kirby Institute for infection and immunity in society, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW. She has expertise in surveillance and evaluation of public health interventions related to HIV and sexually transmissible infections . Her research focuses on reducing the impact of HIV sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in vulnerable populations, including implementation and evaluation of point-of-care testing and prevention initiatives to reduce the transmission of HIV and STIs (including HPV) in a range of settings. Her research also focuses on optimising antibiotic treatment of STIs and using diagnostics to improve antibiotic stewardship.
Mark Stoové – Theme Co-chair
Professor Mark Stoové is Head of the Public Health Discipline and a co-Head of the HIV Elimination Program at Burnet Institute. He has researched the transmission and impact of sexually transmitted and blood borne viruses among key risk populations for almost 20 years. His research program undertakes sexually transmitted and blood borne virus surveillance nationally and within specific jurisdictions across Australia. He also specialises in behavioural epidemiology, data linkage, and implementation science projects focused on reducing the transmission and burden of infectious diseases. His projects include bio-behavioural cohort studies of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.
My name is Kezia Aurora Blackledge, I am an Eastern Arrernte Woman and twenty-two years of age. I currently work for the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council and have done so for the past year and a half. I am passionate about helping Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities to be able to continue to thrive and keep our culture ongoing. I am grateful for the past generations who have paved the way for me to be able to be where I am today. I am currently undertaking study whilst working full time and study Psychology. I am grateful for being able to continuously help the Indigenous sector improve in a multitude of areas, one being sexual health. I strive to always place community first and they will always fuel my motivation and passion to assist them further within the health industry.
Dr Causer (MBBS, MScPH, DTM&H, PhD) is a Senior Lecturer and Early Career Research Fellow (NHMRC 2019 -2022) at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney. She is an alumnus of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service. She has long-standing commitment to international public health and infectious disease control. During her career, she has worked as a clinician, medical epidemiologist and academic across a range of infectious diseases and international settings. Her current research focuses on the evaluation and scale-up of new diagnostic technologies (point-of-care/rapid diagnostic tests) to improve the control and management of infectious diseases. Dr Causer currently leads the monitoring and evaluation and connectivity themes supporting the implementation of POC testing for STIs in rural and remote Aboriginal primary health services across Australia (TTANGO3). She leads the connectivity theme and is the NSW and WA coordinator supporting POC testing for COVID-19 as part of the Commonwealth funded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 POC testing program.
Associate Professor Eric Chow is a sexual health epidemiologist at the Central Clinical School, Monash University, the Head of Health Data Management and Biostatistics Unit at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Alfred Health, and an honorary principal fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne. He is the President of the Sexual Health Society of Victoria. His research focuses on male HPV vaccination programs and novel intervention for STI prevention and control. More recently, he has completed the first clinical trial of mouthwash for gonorrhoea prevention. He received the Levinia Crooks Emerging Leaders Award in BBV/STI in 2020.
Jane Goller is a Research Fellow in the Sexual Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, at University of Melbourne. Following her PhD focusing on the epidemiology of pelvic inflammatory disease in Australia her research has focused on strengthening STI care in general practice.
Jane Hocking is an epidemiologist whose research investigates the epidemiology and control of sexually transmitted infections. She holds an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship and is head of the Sexual Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne. She generated Australia’s first population-based prevalence and incidence estimates of chlamydia, Mycoplasma genitalium and bacterial vaginosis among young women. Her research has evaluated several interventions to increase chlamydia test uptake in primary care. More recently, her research has been investigating STI treatment, leading the first trial of doxycycline versus azithromycin for rectal chlamydia.
Michael is an epidemiologist and PhD candidate at the Burnet Institute, with a research focus on STI epidemiology
and prevention among gay and bisexual men using PrEP. Michael is also a committee member of PrEPaccessNOW (PAN).
Theme: Discovery and Translational Science
Amy Chung – Theme Co-chair
Dr Amy Chung is a Laboratory Head at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne at the Doherty Institute. Her research focuses upon the application of cutting-edge experimental technologies to holistically examine functional antibodies against a range of infectious diseases including HIV. This research can be used to design future antibody-based vaccines and can contribute to the generation of improved monoclonal antibody therapeutics. She was the recipient of an amfAR Mathilde Krim Fellowship (2017-19) and is a current NHMRC Career Development and Dame Kate Campbell Fellow.
Dr Ella Trembizki is a molecular microbiologist with expertise in molecular antimicrobial resistance surveillance of organisms of public health importance, primarily sexually transmissible infections. She hold an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship and her research focuses on developing molecular tools and utilising spatial epidemiology and network analysis to enhance antimicrobial resistance surveillance as well as developing individualised treatment strategies to promote antimicrobial stewardship and improve patient outcomes.
Eloise Williams is an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist in at the Royal Melbourne Hospital with an interest in sexual health and novel diagnostics. She is undertaking a PhD at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity on Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Theme: Clinical Management and Therapeutics
Darren Russell – Theme Co-chair
Dr Darren Russell is a sexual health physician and the Director of Sexual Health at Cairns Hospital. He holds the positions of Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at The University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University in Cairns.
James McMahon – Theme Co-chair
Dr James McMahon is an Infectious Diseases clinician researcher, Head of Clinical Research at the Alfred Hospital and ID physician at Monash Medical Centre. His research interests are in clinical trials focused on HIV Cure, antiretroviral therapy and the cascade of HIV care. Specific interests include developing non-invasive imaging methods to locate and quantify tissue sites of HIV and clinical trials of interventions targeting the HIV reservoir including latency reversal agents and agents to increase HIV-specific immune responses. He also Chairs the Antiretroviral Guidelines Committee for the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) and sits on the ASHM Board.
Dr Edward Coughlan is a Sexual Health Physician and Clinical Director at Christchurch Sexual Health Service. Along with many others he has been passionate about provision of accessible PrEP services in New Zealand and co-chaired the writing group for the PreP Guidelines Update for New Zealand which is an adaptation of the ASHM PreP Clinical Guidelines. He is a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Otago ,Christchurch campus and on the board of the New Zealand Aids Foundation.
Dr Samuel Elliott has 30 years of experience working in rural and urban General Practice. His special interest in HIV and Viral Hepatitis commenced on completion of his MPH & Tropical Medicine in 1998. Sam works in a practice with a high HIV and liver disease caseload. Sam has been an active educator in sexual medicine and viral hepatitis. Some of his research participation has included PREP (Flinders University), HealthMap (Monash), PrEPxSA (Alfred) and MOTIVATE-C.
Charles has been working in the HIV/AIDS field since the mid 1980s as a clinical academic, describing the clinical spectrum of AIDS in Africa, then conducting formative trials of disease prophylaxis and antiretroviral therapy. Aiming to get his research into policy and practice, he moved to WHO Geneva in 2001 to lead treatment and prevention scale-up, including 3by5. His team generated all treatment and prevention guidelines for resource-limited settings and published the landmark Lancet modelling study that sparked Treatment as Prevention.
In 2009 he moved to India as UNAIDS country coordinator to support the national response to HIV. He was appointed Head of the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland in 2013 and in 2014 became the first Queensland Professorial chair of HIV and STls. As a clinical researcher, he has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers, with 17,500+ citations. His Google H index is 67.
Rebecca is the NUM at Sydney Sexual Health Centre and Vice President of the Australasian Sexual Health and HIV Nurses Association. She has a Masters in Nursing Science and currently completing a Masters of Health Service Management. Rebecca has worked in Sexual health and HIV for over 10 years and enjoys contributing to the development of the nursing workforce in the sector.
Dr Julian Langton-Lockton is a specialist physician in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine and is fully committed to the highest level of evidence based clinical practice.
Julian completed his specialist training in the UK and has worked in Australia and in the UK as a specialist.
He is the Clinical Director of the Sexual Health and HIV Service at Metro North in Brisbane that delivers high value evidence-based practice for optimised patient care through a multidisciplinary team to a diverse local population.
He is an advocate of improved health outcomes through teaching , service innovation and translational research, which is delivered through seamless and cohesive sexual health clinical networks and effective collaborative partnerships with patient/clinician co design for sustainable high value care, with informed health literacy and measured health outcomes.
Dr Jillian Lau is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher at Alfred Health and Monash Health, Melbourne. She was a rapporteur for Track B: Clinical Science at the IAS Conference 2021. Her research interests include social and clinical studies towards an HIV cure, and new HIV treatment options.
Associate Prof. Dr. Jason Ong is a sexual health physician at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, with appointments at Monash University, University of Melbourne and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His area of research is in economic evaluations of HIV/STI interventions including strategies to eliminate HIV, antimicrobial stewardship and HIV self-testing.
Dr Catriona Ooi is a sexual health physician and staff specialist working in the field of sexual health medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital. She is involved in research and is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Sydney Medical School.
She has worked in HIV and STIs in Australia and overseas, in both developed countries and developing settings and has an interest in taxidermy.
Dr Kuong Taing is a Sexual Health Physician. He did his specialty training in Queensland. He has been the Medical Director of Clinic 87- Sexual Health and HIV Service Since 2006. He is passionate in equity for all, accessing Sexual Health care. He loves living in Sunshine Coast. He enjoys bushwalking and relaxing / spending time with his family.
I am the Clinical Nurse Educator at Sydney Sexual Health Centre and work with clinicians to facilitate their learning and attainment of clinical skills through practical sessions and mentorship. I believe that providing the right support and encouragement leads to highly skilled, knowledgeable clinicians who can make a real difference to the field of sexual health and HIV. I hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology with the University of Hull and a postgraduate diploma in nursing with King’s College London. I am currently completing a master’s in Education, Learning and Leadership with UTS.
Theme: Social, Political and Cultural Aspects
Kath Albury – Theme Co-chair
Kath Albury is Professor of Media and Communication at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. She is the co-Leader of the Digital Inclusion Program in Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute (SIRI), and Associate Investigator in the Swinburne Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. Her research focuses on young people’s practices of digital self-representation, and the role of digital technologies (including dating apps and social networking platforms) in cultures of formal and informal sexual learning, safety and wellbeing. Since 1997, Kath has engaged with a range of Australian HIV and sexual health organisations as a researcher, advisor, facilitator and presenter, but she is most proud of her two-decade collaboration with the National Association of People with HIV Australia as Vanessa Wagner’s side-kick, Nurse Nancy.
Jeanne Ellard – Theme Co-chair
Jeanne Ellard is an anthropologist with extensive experience conducting research on the social aspects of HIV and viral hepatitis. She has worked in roles in both academia and the community sector. She is currently a research fellow at the Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) La Trobe University.
Peter Aggleton has worked internationally on the social and educational aspects of sexual health and HIV for over thirty years. He holds senior academic positions at UNSW Sydney, ANU, La Trobe University and UCL in London. Editor-in Chief of Culture, Health & Sexuality and Sex Education journals, Peter’s most recent book (edited with Sarah Bernays, Adam Bourne, Susan Kippax and Richard Parker) is entitled Remaking HIV Prevention in the 21st Century (Springer 2021).
Kate is the National Coordinator of the Enhanced Syphilis Response and team member of the Communicable Diseases Policy and Programs Section at NACCHO. Prior to working in this role, Kate worked in the APS across indigenous policy and program areas. Kate has extensive experience working within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and has successfully led NACCHO’s sexual health community engagement activities through her current role – ask her about them!
Nicky Bath is currently the CEO of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (formerly National LGBTI Health Alliance) the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities.
Nicky has worked in the NSW Ministry of Health as the Manager of the Harm Reduction and Viral Hepatitis Branch as well as several senior positions at ACON, NSW’s leading LGBTI health organisation, State and Territory drug user organisations and the National Health Service (UK).
Nicky is committed to advancing the health and human rights of marginalised communities.
Mel is the Assistant Director, Communicable Diseases at NACCHO, overseeing a number of programs relating to STIs and BBVs. New to sexual health, Mel brings enthusiasm and a sense of humour to her role, as well as a bunch of skills and attributes picked up from working on a variety of government programs for the last ten years.
I am a HIV positive gay man living in Hobart Tasmania and I have been involved with the local, national and global community response to HIV for the last 25 years. In that time, I have held many roles within the Boards of the local AIDS council, AFAO and NAPWHA. Currently I am the NAPWHA nominee to the ASHM conference organising committee, I have undertaken this role for several previous conferences as well as for the 2014 World AIDS Conference. I have also been a member of the Commonwealth Health Minister’s advisory body. My interest and expertise cover organisational governance, strategic planning and policy development and implementation.
Dean Murphy is a Research Fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, and at the Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School, Monash University. His work focuses on understandings of HIV diagnosis, the use of HIV biomedical prevention technologies, experiences of sexual health and well-being, and the meanings of drug consumption among people with LGBTQ experience.
Jennifer Power is Associate Professor and Principal Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University. Her research focuses on sexuality, sexual health and HIV. She currently co-ordinates the HIV Futures study as well as studies on LGBTQA+ wellbeing and digital sexual health promotion.
Benjamin is the Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the Australasian Society of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), managing the organisation’s policy advocacy portfolio, and has over a decade of experience working in the HIV sector and in queer community organising. He is a researcher at the University of Sydney looking at PrEP and the cultural legacy of the AIDS crisis, and also a widely published journalist, writing about HIV, and queer politics and culture.
Dr John Rule is the Senior Research Manager at the National Association of People living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA). In this role he contributes to research data dissemination for PLHIV on a range of research studies and is engaged in the national development of programs for quality PLHIV care.
Dr Nathan Ryder is a Sexual Health Physician in clinical practice in Newcastle, NSW. Nathan is Clinical Director of Sexual Health for Hunter New England Local Health District; Acting Head of the NSW STIPU Programs Unit; Policy and Advocacy Lead of the Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine; Adjunct Senior Lecturer at UNSW and Conjoint Senior Lecture at the University of Newcastle. He has worked in the STI and BBV sector for the past 18 years in a range of clinical, public health and research roles in urban, regional and remote Australia. Nathan has a strong interest in furthering cross-sector collaboration including clinical guideline development, training and education, policy and advocacy.
Anthony K J Smith is a Scientia Ph.D. Candidate and Research Officer at the Centre for the Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney. His doctoral research focuses on social aspects of PrEP prescribing and clinical care in Australia. Anthony also contributes to sociological, critical public health, and bioethics research across HIV prevention, surveillance, and care, and LGBTQ+ health.