Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Greg McCarthy has over 30 years' experience in the insurance industry including workers compensation and Compulsory Third Party in both public and privately underwritten schemes. He was appointed CEO of ReturnToWorkSA (formerly WorkCoverSA) in December 2012. Greg has owned and operated a number of workplace rehabilitation businesses, including one of Australia's largest rehabilitation providers employing nearly 200 staff. He was the Chair of the NSW WorkCover Authority for 8 years and on the Board for 10 years. He was also Chair of the home warranty insurance scheme in New South Wales as well NSW OHS and WorkCover Advisory Council for 12 years.


Dr Norman Swan hosts The Health Report on ABC Radio National, and Tonic on ABC News24. The Health Report is the world's longest running health show and Norman has won many awards fro his wok including Australia's top prize for journalism, the Gold Walkley. He trained in paediatrics before joining the ABC and has hosted many other programmes including Life Matters, Late Night Live and Radio National Breakfast as well as Health Dimensions on ABC Television. He has also been the medical host on Channel Ten's Biggest Loser for the past three seasons.Norman created, wrote and narrated Invisible Enemies, a four-part series on disease and civilisation, broadcast on SBS and in 27 countries. He has consulted to the World Health Organisation and co-chaired a global meeting of health ministers in West Africa in 2008.

Plenary Speakers

Dr Paul Alexander is a pioneer in the field of iterative detection, having done some of the original ground-breaking research in this field as far back as the mid-1990s. He has since had an impressive career in turning this research into products in Australia, Singapore and the USA. At Southern Poro Communications, Paul was the principal designer of advanced 3G receivers. Paul co-founded Cohda Wireless Pty Ltd to capitalise on a range of new techniques that he (and others) had developed while at the University of South Australia. Since then, Paul has led the creation of all of Cohda’s IP and has built an impressive patent portfolio. Paul continues to create innovative IP today.
Len Boehm has worked in long tail insurance for 36 years – at the Motor Accidents Board (Vic), TAC (Vic), WorkSafe (Vic) and more recently at MAC in South Australia. Over that time he has been a claims officer, customer service manager, secretary to the Board, has run the actuaries, run research, run strategy and run the claims side of the business in no-fault and common law systems in CTP and Workers Compensation. He has played a key role in the turnaround of two compensation schemes.
Guglielmo Briscese is Senior Advisor at BIT Australia. His research and work focus on a wide range of behavioural insights projects, including charitable behaviour, employment and economic growth. Prior to joining the Behavioural Insights Team,Guglielmo was Senior Economist at New South Wales government and before that worked as consultant for a number of international organisations, including the United Nations. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MSc in International Development from the University of Glasgow. Guglielmo is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics at the University of Sydney where he is undertaking research on Behavioural and Experimental Economics.
Debra Brodowski is the National Manager of Psychological Services at the Centre for Corporate Health Pty Ltd and Resilia Pty Ltd. The Centre for Corporate Health specialises in helping individuals and organisations increase emotional resilience, best manage mental health issues and reduce workplace stress. Debra specialises in providing consulting services to range of private and public sector organisations and consults across a broad range of organizational levels including senior business directors.
  Peter Burt is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury law. He has been a lawyer since 1978 and his area of specialty is Victorian transport accident law. He has acted for accident victims and insurers in the past, however, in recent years he has focused almost exclusively on plaintiff work. He has a deep understanding of compensation law and statutory compensation schemes.
  Rob Cordiner has 30 years' workers compensation and workplace rehabilitation experience. Prior to joining the Corporation in early 2013, Rob was Executive Manager at the Queensland workers compensation regulator, Q-COMP, for nine years. Rob heads up ReturnToWorkSA's insurance division. Rob has previously worked as State Manager, Risk and Safety at Woolworths NSW and was the General Manager of Workplace Injury Management Services (WIMS), one of Australia's largest workplace rehabilitation service providers.
Bruce Crossett has more than 25 years experience working in the Social Insurance Sector. The past 15 years in senior leadership roles implementing strategies which have significantly improved outcomes for clients injured in transport accidents. Bruce currently holds the position of Head of Claims at the Transport Accident Commission in Victoria where he oversees the management of 47,000 active claims, $10b in outstanding liabilities and approximately 400 staff.

Professor Niki Ellis OAM, is the Work for Health Advisor for Comcare Australia. She is also the Principal Health Advisor for the VMIA and a senior strategic advisor on Work Health for WorkSafe Victoria. She is an occupational and public health physician and over the past 30 years has worked in government, the private sector and academia. She was the Inaugural President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the Foundation CEO and Professor of the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health at UQ and the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University.

Dr Caroline Howe’s multifaceted research and work history evolved from her early years as a rehabilitation counsellor working in mechanical engineering as an WH&S manager and then progressing to being QBE Insurance's National Provider Services Manager. Her initiative in outcome focused workplace rehabilitation at QBE led to her being awarded an excellence in industry award for innovation and excellence in personal injury management 2012. She now maintains a lecturing role at the University of Sydney as well as a Senior Research position with Griffith University and is a leading consultant and researcher in Ageing with a focus on Ageing Well at Work.
Sarah Johnson is the scheme actuary of the NDIS. She has been appointed for a period of three years from November 2013. Prior to being appointed the Scheme Actuary of the NDIS, she was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Sarah has worked within the disability sector and broader health and human services sector for the last ten years. She assisted the Disability Investment Group in costing an NDIS in the Way Forward report, and worked with the Productivity Commission on the Disability Care and Support Inquiry. She has also undertaken a lot of actuarial work in accident compensation, housing, child protection, health and aged care.
Peter McCarthy has over 30 years’ experience in personal injury schemes. He spent over nine years working in large general insurers which included management of large personal injury portfolios including responsibility for claims management. He has advised a wide a variety of clients from Governments, insurers, self-insurers, reinsurers and corporates on personal injury matters. He has experience with most personal injury schemes in Australia. Peter has been involved in a number of personal injury scheme reviews both from the insurer perspective and also as an advisor to governments, most recently the actuarial advisor to the NSW government on their CTP reforms. He is currently a partner at Ernst & Young and leads their focus on personal injury schemes and government insurers.
Andrew Nicholls joined the MAA in 2010. Andrew has 30 years experience working for the NSW Government in regulatory, policy, strategy and planning roles, including senior leadership positions in transport, ports, natural resources, land management and information technology. Immediately prior to joining the MAA, Andrew was the Director of Policy and Reform at the Ministry of Transport, where he led a number of transport reform initiatives. Andrew is a Board Director of the Personal Injury Education Foundation and a former Vice President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (NSW). He is a graduate of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s Executive Master of Public Administration program and in addition holds an Honours degree in political science and a Master’s degree in public management.
  Bruce Watson is Executive General Manager at Comcare. In his current role he has responsibility for the workers’ compensation insurance scheme for the public sector and also for the management of the Commonwealth’s asbestos disease claims. Before joining Comcare in 2010 he worked for 25 years as a consulting actuary and advised many insurers and government authorities with long-tailed claims liabilities. Bruce has previously been a member of the Actuaries Institute Council and Chair of the General Insurance Practice Committee.
Dr Jeremy Woolley is the acting Deputy Director Centre for Automotive Safety Research. His specialist areas include: Specialist areas: Traffic Management; Road Design and Infrastructure; Lower Speed Limits; Road Safety Audit and Risk Management; Road Safety Evaluation; Road Safety in Developing Countries; In-depth Crash Investigation; Enforcement practices; Traffic Modelling.