Keynote & Featured Speakers

International Keynote Speakers

Kit Malia

BED, MPhil, CPCRT, was the first Certificated Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist in the UK (via the Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation, USA), with a research degree in Neuropsychology. He initially trained as a teacher for people with learning disabilities and, following 6 years of teaching, spent three decades working as a cognitive rehabilitation therapist with adults who have acquired neurological injuries, at one of the largest brain injury rehabilitation units in the UK: The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court. His last role was Project Officer for the mild Traumatic Brain Injury Programme at Headley Court where he was responsible for managing the delivery, by the multi-disciplinary team, of the specialised programme he designed and produced. He has published scientific papers on cognitive and psychosocial rehabilitation, and clinical standards in brain injury rehabilitation. He is the primary author of Brainwave-R (an extensive collection of cognitive strategies and techniques for brain injury rehabilitation).


Anne Brannagan

OBE, DIPCOT, MSc, qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1988 from the London school. She did a two year orthopaedic rotation before specialising in Neurorehabilitation at the Defence Services Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court. She gained a research master’s degree with distinction from Kings College in 1993. Ms Brannagan is particularly interested in the cognitive and executive sequelae of acquired brain injury. She runs workshops with Kit Malia, training both professionals working in the field and carers of brain injured individuals around the country. In addition, she has lectured on cognition at conferences in the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Slovenia, Belgium, Australia and the USA. She is an active member of the College of Occupational Therapy Specialist Section Neurological Practice and held the position of Chair from September 2003-2006. She assists with the COT Specialist Section Neurological Practice Brain Injury Forum subgroup, and has been active in writing clinical guidelines for patients with ABI.


Featured Speaker

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal AO AC

Mukesh Haikerwal is a General Medical Practitioner in Melbourne Victoria Australia in a group practice in the West. He has been the Chair of Council of the World Medical Association and was elected in May 2011 working with 111 Member National Medical Associations (NMA) working in particular in the areas of Medical Ethics, Social and Medical Affairs and in capacity building and advocating for the need for health and health care as a wise investment for Nations.

This role builds on previous advocacy roles from his student and junior doctor days in Australia and the UK. He is a Professor in the School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders
University in Adelaide, South Australia. He is also Chair of the beyondblue National Doctors’ Mental Health Program and a Co-Chair of the Australian Asian Medical Federation. He sits on the Advisory Board of Brain Injury Australia and the Board of the Cancer Council of Victoria. On August 1st 2014, he was appointed as Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare by the Hon. Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport

He was the 19th Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, its Federal Vice President and, prior to that AMA Victorian State President. This saw him responsible for national policy development, lobbying with federal parliamentarians, co-ordinating activity across the AMA State entities and representing the AMA and its members nationally and internationally. He is a Life fellow of the RACGP and in May 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal: the highest honour the AMA can present.


Keynote Speakers

Professor Leanne Togher

Professor Leanne Togher is a speech pathologist who has worked in the area of communication disorders following brain injury for over 30 years. Leanne is the recipient of her 3rd Senior Research Fellowship from the NHMRC, and is Principal Research Fellow of The University of Sydney. Leanne’s work has led to new ways of improving the communication of people with brain injury, particularly, by training people with brain injury and their communication partners, including family, friends and the community. Leanne’s research is developing the use of E-health and technology to offer innovative treatment options for people with brain injury and their families.


Associate Professor Alan Pearce

Alan Pearce PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport, School of Allied Health at La Trobe University. Alan is a neurophysiologist whose primary research focus is on sports-related concussion. Specifically his research program, using electro physiological techniques, particularly transcranial magnetic stimulation, centres on brain physiology to quantify motor and cognitive impairments in the acute phase post-concussion, and chronic manifestations of repeated concussions. He has 20 years research experience in using these techniques producing over, to date, over 120 peer-reviewed publications and international recognition in sports concussion. With a current H-index of 27 (Scholar) and 22 (Scopus), Alan is regarded internationally for his research work in sports-related concussion and is a regular media commentator on issues surrounding sports-related concussion.


Professor Stuart Grieve

Professor Stuart Grieve is an academic Radiologist with a primary career focus in cardiac, neurological and vascular imaging. He leads a research program that spans basic physics, biology and fluid dynamics through to practical trials of clinical efficacy. He is focused on using cutting-edge imaging acquisition techniques, innovative analysis and pragmatic clinical translation to improve the practice of medicine. As an undergraduate he trained in Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of Sydney, then completed a DPhil in MRI physics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar where he worked on the fundamental technology that lies at the heart of most cutting-edge MRI today. Following post-doctoral training in cardiovascular and neurological preclinical MRI, he returned to Australia to do his Medical and Radiology specialist training. Prof Grieve now leads an innovative and successful laboratory targeting both the brain and the heart, also sub-specialising clinically in these areas. He is the Parker-Hughes Chair of Radiology at the University of Sydney, leads the Imaging Group at the Heart Research Institute and holds a clinical appointment at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.