Jason Ong – Co-convenor – HIV
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.
Edwina Wright – Co-convenor – HIV
Associate Professor Edwina Wright is an infectious diseases physician who specialises in HIV Medicine and HIV Clinical Research in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital, Monash Central Clinical School. She is also Honorary Principal Fellow and Co-Head HIV Elimination Program, Burnet Institute and Honorary Associate Professor, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Dr Wright is a past President of ASHM. Dr Wright’s clinical research interests include HIV prevention involving pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and early HIV treatment, HIV cure and HIV- associated neurological disorders.
Eric Chow – Co-Convenor – SH
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.
Dr Catriona Ooi – Co-convenor – SH
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.
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.
Peter Aggleton has worked in the fields of gender, sexuality and HIV for over 30 years. He is Emeritus Scientia Professor in the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW Sydney; a distinguished honorary professor at The Australian National University, an adjunct professor in the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University; and a visiting professor at University College London. The editor of Culture, Health and Sexuality and Sex Education journals, Peter’s most recent book (edited with Rob Cover, Deana Leahy, Daniel Marshall and Mary Lou Rasmussen) is Youth, Sexuality & Sexual Citizenship (Routledge, 2018)
Kate Bath is the Acting HIV Program Manager at ASHM and has been with the organisation for the past 3.5 years. Prior to this, Kate worked on numbers health related projects and research projects at the University of Queensland, with a focus on topics such as HIV, malaria, and Military and Veterans Health.
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.
Lauren Bradley is the Senior Project Coordinator at the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL). She has over 7 years’ experience working with marginalised and stigmatised communities. Lauren is a Director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and is the current Vice-President of Hepatitis ACT.
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.
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. She is currently the Sexual Health Society of Queensland President and Co-Chair of the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance.
Dr 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 senior advisor research at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).
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.
Melinda is a Registered Nurse with experience in acute care, primary health care and public health, has completed a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and a Masters degree in Public Health. Melinda is the Clinical Nurse Lead with ASHM and is responsible for the management and ongoing development of ASHM’s Nursing Program. Ensuring nurses have access to high quality and relevant BBV/STI education to enhance their professional development, advocating for policy and practice change for nurses to work to their full scope of practice are priorities.
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.
Rebecca Houghton is a UK-trained specialist sexual and reproductive health nurse. She has a Masters in Nursing Science and Postgraduate Qualifications in Family planning and Public health. She is currently the Nurse Unit Manager of Sydney Sexual Health Centre.
Chad is the Head of International Development and Regional Director for the Mekong at the Burnet Institute. He is also Co-Head for HIV Elimination within the Institute. He is a public health practitioner with extensive experience designing, delivering and studying interventions in resource poor settings that address HIV in key populations like people who use drugs, transgender people and men who have sex with me. Chad has over 20 years’ experience leading HIV programs in resource poor settings.
Scott McGill is the Deputy CEO of ASHM with particular responsibilities for HIV strategic guidance, policy and advocacy generally and international program developments. He has been with ASHM for 5 years and prior to this was the regional advisor for Save the Children’s Asia and Pacific programs in HIV&AIDS. Scott has had extensive experience across Australasia but also sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of the former Soviet Union where he began his international public health work. Scott originally trained as a clinical psychologist in HIV and sexual health services in the UK.
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.
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.
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.
Dean Murphy is a Research Fellow at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, and a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney. 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. His book, Gay Men Pursuing Parenthood Through Surrogacy: Reconfiguring Kinship, was published in 2015.
Heather O’Donnell is a public health program, project and policy coordinator with experience working in and across state and local government and the not-for-profit sector. She is the Senior Policy Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, where she leads the state’s policy response for sexually transmissible infections (STI). She coordinated the Ministerial Roundtable for STI in 2017, developed the Victorian STI Action Plan 2018-20, and has led the Victorian STI Testing Week communications campaign since its inception in 2017. She also convenes the STI Working Group which oversees the implementation and monitoring of the Victorian STI response. Heather is a member of the National Survey of Secondary Students and Adolescent Sexual Health Advisory Board and ASHM’s Australian STI Management Guidelines Reference Committee . She is an investigator in a NHMRC partnership project developing and implementing a new model of care for chlamydia management in general practice and an ARC linkage grant to develop a greater understanding of BBV and STI among people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Heather has previously led pilot programs and initiatives to increase uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine by secondary school students and adolescents from vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
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.
Courtney Smith is ASHM’s Acting Sexual Health Program Manager. She studied biomedical science and public health prior to joining ASHM in 2017. Courtney is passionate about supporting the sexual health workforce to improve access to quality sexual and reproductive health care for all Australians.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Project Officer
Dr Belinda Wozencroft is a General Practitioner with a special interest in women’s health, sexual health and HIV medicine. Originally Belinda trained as a Registered Nurse and worked in remote Aboriginal communities, before studying Medicine at UWA. Belinda has completed further post-graduate studies, which include Diploma of Obstetrics, Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health and Diploma of Child Health. Belinda is registered as an S-100 prescriber for antiretroviral medications. She is the Principal at View Street Medical in North Perth.
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 School of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University in Cairns.
He is a past-President of the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Victorian AIDS Council, and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. Darren was also the Principal Investigator for the Queensland HIV prevention study – ‘QPrEPd’. His interests include Indigenous sexual health, transgender health, and the elimination of Hepatitis C infection and HIV transmissions in Australia.
Deborah Williamson – Co-convenor – SH
Professor Deborah Williamson is a Clinical and Public Health Microbiologist, Director of Microbiology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Deputy Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory at the Doherty Institute, and a laboratory head in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. Her research group at the Doherty Institute focuses on the application of genomic technologies to public health, with a strong focus on sexually-transmitted pathogens. She is an NHMRC Investigator Grant recipient and received a L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship in 2017.