Unlocking Fortress Australia: Opportunities & Challenges

Join the University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson and University of Newcastle Distinguished Laureate Professor Nick Talley as they co-moderate a distinguished panel of experts in pandemic and epidemic infections, data modelling, business, economics and indigenous health to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Australia as we start to reopen our international borders.

This event is brought to you by UOW and OzSAGE, a multi-disciplinary network of Australian experts from a broad range of sectors relevant to the well-being of the Australian population during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to assist the safe opening up of Australia.

Date: Monday 8 November
Time: 5:00-6:00pm AEST/3:00-4:00pm HKT, MYT, CHN, SGT

Panel members

Professor Margaret Hellard AM

Deputy Director at the Burnet Institute

For almost two decades Margaret’s work has centered around infectious diseases, preventing their transmission and identifying the impact of these infections in vulnerable populations. A researcher and clinician, her principal research interests are in the epidemiology of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections, and improving the management of individuals who already have the infection. More recently she is also undertaking public health and epidemiology studies and modelling work to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the community.

Professor Margaret Hellard AM is a Deputy Director at the Burnet Institute, Head of Hepatitis Services in Department of Infectious Diseases at The Alfred Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at Monash University and University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Lisa Pulver Jackson

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services at the University of Sydney

Professor Jackson Pulver is an academic leader, epidemiologist and recognised expert in public health, prominent researcher, a visionary and tireless advocate for education and health using innovative methods to ensure that both are inclusive for all. Amongst her many roles, Lisa represents Universities Australia as a Counsellor and Director with the Australian Medical Council and is in her third term as a ministerial appointee to the Australian Statistical Advisory Council. She has recently become a member of the Royal Society of NSW.

Professor Richard Holden

Professor of Economics at UNSW

Richard is one of Australia’s leading economists. As Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School his research focuses on law and economics and political economy. He has published in the leading economics journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review and Review of Economic Studies. His popular writings have appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, New Republic, American Affairs, Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Conversation, and Crikey.

Richard was awarded a PhD from Harvard University and was a faculty member at MIT and the University of Chicago before joining UNSW.

Dr Kalinda Griffiths

Scientia Lecturer at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW, Deputy Editor of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Dr Griffiths is a Yawuru woman, epidemiologist, and early career Scientia Lecturer at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW. Kalinda holds honorary fellowships at Menzies School of Health Research as well as the University of Melbourne and is Deputy Editor of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia. Her work addresses complex health disparities in populations using existing data. Kalinda’s research focuses on Indigenous Data Governance and the measurement of health disparities with a particular interest in improving health services and disease outcomes as well as building health research capabilities in regional and remote Australia.

Nigel Oakey

Managing Director of Be Our Guest Holdings

Nigel is the Managing Director of Be Our Guest Holdings; a diverse hospitality system comprising retail cafes, restaurants, and boutique hotels with over 2000 employees. Born and educated in south-east Asia, Nigel Oakey graduated from University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts. Prior to his 20 career in the leisure-retail sector, he worked for the Hong Kong Government, was a soldier in the Australian Army and a diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.


Professor Patricia M. Davidson

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong

As a global leader in nursing, health care, and advocacy, Professor Davidson’s work focuses on person-centred care delivery and the improvement of cardiovascular health outcomes for women and vulnerable populations. She has extensively studied chronic conditions, transitional care, palliative care, and the translation of innovative, acceptable, and sustainable health initiatives across the world. Professor Davidson serves as counsel general of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues, and was a past board member of CUGH and secretary general of the Secretariat of the World Health Organizations Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery.

Prior to joining UOW, Professor Davidson was dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore in the United States. In 2021 she was the recipient of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Distinguished Leader Award. This honour celebrates her exceptional contributions to the advancement of global health worldwide.

Laureate Professor Nick Talley

Distinguished Laureate Professor, University of Newcastle

Professor Nicholas J. Talley, AC, MD (NSW), PhD (Syd.), FRACP, FAFPHM, FAHMS is a distinguished physician scientist and gastroenterologist, with a special interest in functional and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases. He is currently Distinguished Laureate Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle; and CIA on a NHMRC CRE in Digestive Health. Nick has protected time for research and clinical practice as part of this appointment. He is a Past President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a past Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, former Treasurer of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia