Featured Speakers 2017

The Conference Program Committee would like to thank the 2017 Featured Speakers.

Dr Evan Atlantis, Senior Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University

Dr Evan Atlantis is Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, and Affiliate Senior Lecturer at The University of Adelaide. He is a research leader with over 12 years’ experience in mental health, chronic physical health conditions, and health promotion research based on large observational studies, randomised controlled trials, and systematic reviews. With over 50 publications in quality peer-reviewed journals (35 as first author including two monographs), he is ranked 36 among Australia’s top experts in depression (Expertscape.com, Jan 2017). Evan has been one of several Chief/Investigator recipients of NHMRC and NSW Government grant funding, totalling more than $4.1 million.

Dr Blair Bowden MBBS, FRACS, General Surgeon specialising in bariatric and general laparoscopic surgery

Dr Blair Bowden is a laparoscopic surgeon in private practice at the Wesley Hospital with a special interest in bariatric (obesity) surgery. He is also a visiting medical officer at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He completed his medical degree at the University of Queensland. After finalising his surgical training at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, he then spent time as a locum consultant surgeon on the Gold Coast. Blair then travelled overseas to further his surgical expertise. Dr Blair Bowden completed a surgical fellowship in laparoscopic/bariatric surgery at the Department of Surgery at the New York University Medical Centre. He then travelled to the United Kingdom where he spent time at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Thankfully, with all this international experience under his belt, Dr Blair Bowden returned to Brisbane in 2005 to Queensland Bariatrics and today continues to perform surgery and care for his patients through the Wesley Hospital. Dr Blair Bowden is very approachable, skilled and considerate expert who is deeply committed to his patients’ well-being and care. He is Queensland’s preeminent surgeon for Lap-Band surgery as well as all other types of bariatric surgery.

Associate Professor Kevin Brooks,  Macquarie University

Kevin Brooks is Associate Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, specializing in human visual perception with particular expertise in the processing of sensory information related to motion, depth, faces and bodies. Educated in the UK, he studied Physics at Imperial College, and Experimental Psychology at York and Sussex Universities. After working as Senior Research Associate for NASA, his post-doctoral fellowship at UNSW allowed him to develop a long-standing interest in face perception. Following a Senior Lectureship at the University of Plymouth (UK), he returned to Australia where his recent collaborative research has focused on understanding the perceptual aspects of body image disturbance.

Professor Timothy Gill, University of Sydney, Professor of Public Health Nutrition & Research

Tim Gill is currently Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders and Principal Research Fellow within the Prevention Research Collaboration at the School of Public Health within the University of Sydney.   He has wide experience as an academic and within government departments and health agencies. His research focuses on improving food environments and tailoring of advice for the prevention and management of obesity both within Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor Gill has authored several key reports on nutrition, obesity and chronic disease for State and Federal Government departments as well as national and international agencies and has served on a number of World Health Organization expert committees on these issues. He has also produced many original papers and book chapters on obesity, nutrition and public health.

Professor Andrew P Hills DipT BEd PhD FASMF AEP, Professor of Sports and Exercise Science, University of Tasmania

Andrew is a prominent educator, exercise physiologist and international expert on physical activity and obesity. Until 2011, he was Professor of Energy Metabolism at QUT then Professor of Allied Health Research, Mater Research Institute – UQ. In 2016, he returned to the University of Tasmania as Director – Research Development, Faculty of Health. He has completed numerous projects with the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He was the first non-medical President of the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS). In addition to his broader contributions to the field of physical activity and health plus exercise and obesity, Andrew has a passion for work with mothers and young children. This includes the challenge of improving the health status of young women prior to conception and during pregnancy for better maternal and child health outcomes.

Dr Kim Hurst, Psychologist, Robina Private Hospital

Kim Hurst is a Senior Psychologist who specialises in child and adolescent eating disorders. She has been delivering Maudsley Family Based Treatment (FBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Enhanced (CBT-e) for over eight years and is a credentialed FBT therapist that provides training, supervision and consultation to clinicians across Queensland. Kim has worked across a range of treatment settings including psychiatric and medical inpatient units and outpatient services. Kim has developed specialist eating disorder clinical policies and is focused on service improvement strategies to enhance treatment delivery. She is also passionate about early intervention programs and has delivered workshops to school children, guidance officers and teachers on positive body image. Kim is on the executive committee (treasurer) for the Australian & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) and was a member of the Queensland State-Wide Eating Disorders Advisory Group. Kim has coordinated a national eating disorder conference and smaller workshop events. Kim has a solid record of presenting at several local, national and international eating disorder conferences and has several published works within the field. Kim has recently submitted her PhD (Griffith University) which examined augmented FBT, focusing on perfectionism.

Dr Vinay Garbharran, MBBCh (Wits), FRANZCP, Cert. Child. Adol. Psych., Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Robina Private Hospital

Vinay Garbharran is a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatrist who runs a private practice out of Robina Private Hospital on the Gold Coast. He completed his medical training at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa, immigrated to Australia in 1999 and by 2005 had gained his specialist qualifications in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  He worked for 12 years as a Consultant Psychiatrist, Gold Coast CYMHS, in community, in-patient, and Paediatric Liaison settings until his departure in December 2016.  He is thus experienced in managing patients with Eating Disorders across all of these settings during the various stages of their recovery.  Vinay is the Director of the Eating Disorder Day Program at Robina Private Hospital for people between the ages of 16 and 25 years old.  He and Psychologist Kim Hurst have put together an evidence based group therapy program which includes a multi-family therapy component, an innovation within a private setting in Australia.  He  also holds the position of Adjunct Associate Professor – School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, and is currently an investigator on their ‘OCD Busters’ research programme.

Ms Christine Morgan, CEO, The Butterfly Foundation

Christine has been CEO of the Butterfly Foundation since 2008, and in that time has grown Butterfly into a widely respected and highly effective national organisation for consumers with eating disorders and their carers in Australia. The Butterfly Foundation is a provider of innovative, evidence-based and evidence-generating services including the Intensive Outpatient Program and Day Program.  Christine was instrumental in the founding of the ground-breaking National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) in 2009, and under her leadership Australia received its first federal funding for a national telephone and e-health helpline for eating disorders, ED HOPE, in 2012.

Christine is a board member of Mental Health Australia, Australia’s peak body for mental health, she sits on the implementation committee for the NSW Government’s Eating Disorders Plan, and plays a significant advocacy role in media and to government in furthering Australia’s understanding of eating disorders.

Prior to working within the eating disorders sector, Christine had an extensive background in strategic and business development, management of corporate services, and legal affairs, in both the not for profit  and the commercial sectors.

A/Prof Matt Sabin, Director of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, The Royal Children’s Hospital

Associate Professor Matt Sabin trained at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London (UK). Following membership to the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, he began specialist training in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes and undertook a PhD in the area of childhood obesity and diabetes.

In 2006, he moved to work at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne where he continued his specialist training and gained membership to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He commenced work as a Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist in 2010, became Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes in 2015, and Chief of Medicine at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in 2016. Matt is also an Honorary Principal Fellow of the University of Melbourne and a Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

Matt has significantly contributed to the Melbourne Children’s Campus in the three important areas of clinical service, research and education. He has established The RCH Weight Management Service, which is the largest specialist service for obese children in Australasia. Matt is a Council member of the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group, Deputy Editor of ‘Clinical Obesity’ and is an examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as an examiner for the clinical examinations of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Matt has published over 80 research papers – many in leading international journals.

Doctor Evelyn Smith, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Western Sydney University

Dr Evelyn Smith is a Senior Lecturer in clinical psychology at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University. She heads the new Eating Disorders and Obesity psychology research Clinic (EDOC) located in Penrith Campus. She works primarily with adults with eating disorders and obesity and has published widely in this area. She is currently the Chief Investigator of a randomised controlled trial funded by Ramaciotti Australia to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy for obesity, and Chief Investigator of a UWS Women’s Research Fellowship to investigate the efficacy of schema therapy for eating disorders. She is Associate Editor of the journal Clinical Obesity.