Speaker Profiles

Associate Professor Michael Woodward AM, MBBS, MD, FRACP Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria

Associate Professor Woodward is Head of Aged Care Research including the Medical and Cognitive Research Unit and is the Head of Memory Clinic (CDAMS) at Austin Health.He is a specialist in geriatric medicine with major interests in dementia/cognitive disorders. He is extensively involved in research trials on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.As past Chair of the Australasian Consortium for Clinical Cognitive Research (AC4R) he is very involved in trial organisation and in attracting trials of new dementia therapies to Australia and New Zealand. He was a member of the Board of Alzheimer’s Australia, Victoria, and is Honorary Medical Advisor to Dementia Australia.

Maree McCabe, Dementia Australia Chief Executive Office

Maree McCabe is the Chief Executive Officer of Dementia Australia.
A recognised leader in the health and aged care sector Maree brings extensive experience across the health, mental health and aged care sectors to her current role.
Her career accomplishments include leading the successful unification of Alzheimer’s Australia and rebranding to Dementia Australia, the development of internationally recognised technology at Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, now used nationally and internationally. Executive roles in aged care and mental health.
Maree is a member of a number of commonwealth health and aged care sector committees and Boards.
Internationally Maree is a member of the Alzheimer’s Disease International Asia Pacific Regional Committee and Chair of the Nominations Committee.

Professor Colin L Masters B Med Sci (Hons), MBBS, MD, Hon.DLitt W.Aust., FRCPath, FRCPA, FAA, FTSE, AO Laureate Professor of Dementia Research, The Florey Institute, The University of Melbourne

Colin Masters has focused his career on research in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. His work over the last 35 years is widely acknowledged as having had a major influence on Alzheimer’s disease research world-wide, particularly the collaborative studies conducted with Konrad Beyreuther in which they discovered the proteolytic neuronal origin of the Aβ amyloid protein which causes Alzheimer’s disease. This work has led to the continued development of diagnostics and therapeutic strategies. More recently, his focus has been on describing the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease as a necessary preparatory step for therapeutic disease modification.

Professor Masters is a Laureate Professor of Dementia Research at the Florey Institute, University of Melbourne and a consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. His achievements have been recognised by the receipt of many international awards.

Dr David Sykes BA (Hons), BSW, Grad. Dip. Org. Beh, Ph.D, ADM, FIM&L Director of the Centre for Dementia Learning and Director, Dementia Training Australia

David is the Director of Dementia Australia’s, Centre for Dementia Learning, a leading national provider of dementia education and consultancy.David has over 20 years experience in senior roles across business, government and the not for profit sectors.David is passionate about transforming dementia practice through creating unique learning experiences which touch, move and inspire participants to improve their practice.

The Centre has been at the forefront of the use of learning technologies including the multi award winning Virtual Dementia Experience and more recently the Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE). The Centre is widely acknowledged as national and international leaders in dementia education having received multiple awards for its use of technology in learning. A comprehensive suite of programs is delivered across Australia and it has also successfully sold its programs into Canada, the Czech Republic and Singapore.

David chaired the organising committee for the highly successful national dementia conference in 2017. He represents Dementia Australia on the Dementia Training Australia Executive as a Director and was on the judging panel for the Better Practice Awards in 2017 and 2018. David is currently on the Australian Government Aged Services Industry Reference Committee reviewing qualifications in the aged care sector.

Professor Philip Morris MMBS PhD FACh AM (RACP) FRANZCP AmBIMS

Dr Morris has medical qualifications MBBS (Hons), BSc(med) (Hons), and PhD.He is qualified in psychiatry and addiction medicine in Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) and a Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM) of the RACP.He is qualified in general adult psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry in Australia and the USA and is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).He has a private psychiatric practice on the Gold Coast specializing in the psychiatry of older age, memory and cognitive disorders, medico-legal assessments, and addiction medicine.Dr Morris is President of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.He is a member of the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee.He is a senior medical advisor to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.Dr Morris is visiting professor of psychiatry at Bond University.He has held professor positions in psychiatry at the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland.

Professor Dr Philip Scheltens, MD, PhD

Professor. dr. Philip Scheltens studied at the VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, gaining his MD in 1984, and PhD (Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Alzheimer’s disease) in 1993. Since 2000 he is Professor of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer Center at Amsterdam University Medical Centers. His main clinical and research interests are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, magnetic resonance imaging, PET imaging and fluid biomarkers. He is active in the field of biomarkers and clinical trials and has been the national PI for many studies, including phase 1-3 multicenter clinical trials. He founded and directs the Alzheimer Center since 2000, from which over 68 PhD theses have appeared since then. In 2013, he co-founded the Dutch national plan against dementia (Deltaplan Dementie) and serves as vice-chair of the board since then. He has authored over 950 peer reviewed publications and his H-factor is currently 103. In 2011, he was elected as member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and serves as Secretary General since 2015. In 2016 he was awarded the European Grand Prix for Alzheimer’s Research.

Emeritus Professor David Ames

David Ames AO has specialised in the psychiatry of old age since 1985. He has a particular interest in the early detection and management of cognitive decline. David trained at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Free (London) hospitals and co-founded Melbourne’s first memory clinic with Leon Flicker in 1988. He worked for the University of Melbourne as a clinical academic from 1989-2015, has published close to 400 co-authored papers in peer reviewed journals and co-edited over 20 books including the reference text Dementia. He was editor of International Psychogeriatrics 2003-2011 and director of the National Ageing Research Institute 2007-2015. He led the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle study of ageing from 2006-2019 and still chairs its diagnostic panel. These days he works part time in public old age psychiatry at St George’s Hospital Kew and in private practice at Epworth Camberwell. Current interests include volume 3 of Proust’s great novel and trying to work out what on earth the third series of Twin Peaks was about.

Lesley Pugh, PN, APNA

After starting as an EN, Lesley completed a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.

After raising four children, she commenced General Practice work in 2001 in South Australia and then relocated to Melbourne where she worked as a practice nurse, constantly studying and broadening her scope of practice. Lesley’s roles have included Practice Nurse Consultant for a Medicare Local and a Telehealth Support Officer at APNA for the Nursing and Midwifery Consortia Telehealth Project. Lesley then recommenced work back in General Practice and continued her study, completing a Grad. Cert in Nursing Practice in 2017. Her role continues to include educating, motivating, mentoring and being an advocate for nurses in the primary health care setting. Lesley is currently working for APNA in the role of Professional Development Officer, Member Services, and continues to support the Building Nurse Capacity project along with the Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Aging project.

Caroline Gibson, PN

Caroline is a primary health care nurse. She has a special interest in the care of people living with dementia and their support person(s) in primary care.She would like to see the primary health care nurse in General Practice better utilised in the recognition of dementia in primary care and addressing the impact of cognitive impairment on health self-management and quality of life. Caroline led the ‘Improving dementia care in primary practice – a nurse-enhanced model of cognition care’ project at Ballarat Community Health. Prior to this she implemented a new dementia support community nurse service at Djerriwarrh Health Services. Currently she is completing a PhD (School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle) on the role of the Practice Nurse in delivering relationship centred best practice dementia care.

Dr Jo Robertson, Clinical Neuropsychologist (MPsych, PhD)

Dr Jo Robertson is a clinical neuropsychologist with over ten years’ experience in aged psychiatry and dementia. She is the national coordinator of the Australian Dementia Network’s Screening and Trials initiative, which aims to conduct longitudinal research and facilitate entry into interventional trials for interested participants, and a senior clinician in North Western Mental Health’s Aged Person’s Mental Health Program, where she assesses geriatric patients with a history of psychiatric illness and cognitive decline.