The Organising Committee, in conjunction with the Program Planning Committee, is pleased to announce the following confirmed speakers:


Keynote Speakers

Raina MacIntyre, Head, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology

Raina McIntyre

Prof. Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Head, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology.  She leads a research program in control and prevention of infectious diseases, spanning epidemiology, risk analysis, vaccinology, mathematical modelling, public health and clinical trials. 

Prof. MacIntyre has over 250 per reviewed publications in medical journals and sits on national and international expert committees in infectious diseases.  She has received many awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US, The Frank Fenner Award for Research in Infectious Diseases, and the PHAA National Immunisation Award. 

Prof. MacIntyre is best known for research in the detailed understanding of the transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory pathogens such as influenza, as well as vaccination and vaccine-preventable infections.  She is an international leader in adult and elderly vaccination.  She currently heads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence titled “Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach”.  Within this, she also leads the stream on frail elderly vaccination.  She is also a founding director of ARM, which provides field epidemiology infectious diseases response capacity to the Asia-pacific region, and also leads a new NHMRC Centre for Epidemic Response.

Read the Day 1 Plenary Panel – Innovations in Aged Care and Program Delivery that Prof. MacIntyre is opening for here.

Bradley Willcox, Professor and Director of Research at the Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii

Bradley Willcox Photo 220 x 240

Bradley J. Willcox MD, MSc is Professor and Director of Research at the Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, at the Kuakini Medical Center (KMC) Campus. He is also the Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded Kuakini Hawaii LIFESPAN and HEALTHSPAN Studies and co-Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study. He is also active clinically as Physician co-Leader of the Long Term Care Hospitalist Service at The Queens Medical Center. Dr. Willcox trained in Medicine at the University of Toronto, Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, and Geriatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Willcox has published widely in the genetic, environmental and clinical aspects of healthy aging, is on the Editorial Board of the Journals of Gerontology, a leading gerontological journal. He has been recognized with a Dorothy Dillon Eweson Award for Advances in Aging Research, the Henry Christian Award from the American Federation for Medical Research,  a Director’s Citation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Institute on Aging.  He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a three-time nominee for Outstanding Physician of the Year at The Queen’s Medical Center. Dr. Willcox is also an author of a NY Times best-selling book on healthy aging, The Okinawa Program, and his work has appeared in cover articles of Time Magazine, National Geographic, and on Oprah, Good Morning America, NOVA Science, BBC, ABC, among other media.

Read the Day 2 Plenary Panel – Age-friendly Cities and Communities ‘Creating Enabling Environments’ that Dr. Willcox is opening for here.

Plenary Panel Speakers

Mr Gertjan Baars, Senior Director PwC Netherlands' Regional Government Group

Gertjan Baars Photo_websiteMsc. Gertjan Baars is an information management and technology expert and Senior Director within the PwC Netherlands’ Regional Government group.

Gertjan Baars is responsible for the international team that runs the PwC’s Global Center of Excellence on Ageing CoE which started 7 years ago. PwC defines the demographic changes and the effects of it on the young and old within Society as Ageing. Together with public and private partners like universities and clients, the CoE Ageing explores on a global level the possibilities and best practises in the field of Systems, Labourmarket, Spatial planning, Health and Wellbeing. Especially the cooperation on a regional level between government knowledge institutes and private parties within these fields are of his interest. Recently he and his team developed a new concept and vision on next generations ‘terms and conditions’ of co-workers within his field of work and within PwC. Within his role as Head of the global Center of Excellence on Ageing, he has joined several seminars and conferences as speaker or part of a panel as subjectmatter expert. To achieve the goals, the CoE is active partner of the IFA and works closely together with TNO & Higher School of Education Utrecht/Knowledge Center of Social Innovation. In that role he has facilitated and reported twice the Senior Officials Government Meetings in Prague and India where on a global level senior government officials debate on matters related to demographics and the responsibilities of the governments.

Dr John Beard, Director of Ageing and Life Course at the World Health Organization

Dr John Beard

Dr John Beard, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., is Director of Ageing and Life Course with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.  WHO has identified ageing as one of its priority areas of work, and Dr Beard leads a “whole of Organization” response that draws on the extensive capacity of the Organization’s many Departments, Regions and Country Offices.  This will include a World Report on Ageing and Health to be released in 2015, to be followed by a Global Strategy and Action Plan in 2016.  It also includes major global research and knowledge translation initiatives with a particular focus on low and middle income countries, as well as the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities which now covers over 100 million people.   

Dr Beard is an Australian physician who initially worked in primary health care, including several years with an Aboriginal Medical Service.  From 1991 he held a range of senior public health and academic roles in Australia including Manager of Public Health for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, followed by three years as Senior Epidemiologist with the New York Academy of Medicine in the USA. He is the vice-chair and immediate past chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing, and acted as coeditor of the 2014 Lancet series on Ageing, and the special issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on “Women Beyond Reproduction”.  From 2010 to 2012 he held the additional position of Director (a.i.), Department of Gender, Women and Health with WHO. He is an Honorary Professor with University of Sydney.

Dr Beard has published widely in the international literature. He remains actively involved in several large international research projects, and has a particular interest in the influence of the physical, social and economic environments on health.

Professor Suzanne Garon, Sociologist University of Sherbrooke (Canada)

Suzanne Garon Photo_websiteSuzanne Garon is a sociologist and a full professor at the School of Social Work at the Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences of the University of Sherbrooke (Canada). She was a regular researcher at the Research Centre on Aging of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS where she taught in the gerontology doctoral program of the University Training Centre in gerontology of the University of Sherbrooke. Her work includes, in particular the recognition and its manifestations in the development process of communities. As a principal investigator, her current interest is the recognition of the implementation and the evaluation of the Age-Friendly Cities program in Quebec, as well as the innovative aspects from the Quebec-AFCCs initiatives. Since 2014, Professor Garon has been heading a research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (IRSC), in collaboration with the Director of Public Health of the Montérégie region. She is a member the Public Health Agency of Canada Reference Group, the Aging and Senior division (among others, through the NHNET-Works) which supports meetings of an expert committee on the evaluation of Age-Friendly Communities initiatives in Canada. Professor Garon is a member of the international committee of experts, the Strategical Advisory Group (SAG) of the World Health Organization (WHO), and member of the board of directors of the International Federation on Aging (IFA/IVF) which is an important partner of the United Nations. With Thibauld Moulaert, she wrote a book entitled: Age-Friendly Cities in International Comparison: Political Lessons, Scientific Avenues, and Democratic Issues. It will be published by Springer in November 2015.

Professor Sarah Harper, Professor of Gerontology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing

Sarah HarperSarah serves on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, which advises the Prime Minister on the scientific evidence for strategic policies and frameworks. She currently chairs the UK government Foresight Review on Ageing Societies, and the European Ageing Index Panel for the UNECE Population Unit. She is a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute. Sarah was the first holder of the International Chair in Old Age Financial Security, at the University of Malaya (2009/10) and her research was recognised by the 2011 Royal Society for Public Health: Arts and Health Research Award. 

Sarah has a background in anthropology and population studies and her early research focused on migration and the social implications of demographic change. Her current research on demographic change addresses the global and regional impact of falling fertility and increasing longevity, with a particular interest in Asia and Africa. Recent research has focused on women’s education and empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa, and the impact of this on falling fertility rates. Sarah has just completed a monograph on Population Challenges for Oxford University Press (2015), and is working her next book for Cambridge University Press Population and Environmental Change. 

Following her doctoral work in population studies at Oxford, Sarah trained with the BBC as a News and Current Affairs Reporter and Producer, working in both TV and Radio for BBC News and BBC News Night. After leaving the BBC she took up a lectureship at the University of London, and subsequently moved to the USA where she was professor in public policy at the University of Chicago. On returning to the University of Oxford she founded the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing with funding from the US National Institutes of Health.

Throughout her academic career, Sarah has combined academic research with external professional commitments. She was Chair of HSBC’s Global Ageing Forum and is a former Trustee of Third Age Employment Network. She worked with the Office of the Prime Minister and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on the Government Ageing Strategy, and with the Department of Children, Schools and Families, developing their Horizons Programme, and the UK Government Office of Science Advisory Boards for the Demography Review. Sarah serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Natural England and the Advisory Board, English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). 

Internationally, Sarah represents the UK on the European Science Academies’ Demographic Change in Europe Panel, serves on the Council of Advisors of Population Europe and on the Advisory Board of the World Demographic Association. Sarah is an International Advisor on the University of Tokyo Global Leadership Initiative and represents Oxford on the Ageing and Demography Collaboration of the International Association of Research Universities.

Sarah served as Advisor to the Malaysian Government, Advisor to the Singapore Government’s Third Age Council and as a Specialist Advisor for the European Commission Demographic Change Programme. She served as an International Advisor to the Swedish Academy, European Advisor to the MacArthur Foundation, Advisor on Ageing Issues to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and was Global Advisor on Ageing Issues for HSBC plc. She served on the Royal Society’s Working Group on Population, the Wellcome Trust Health Consequences of Population Change Panel and on the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies. 

Alongside keynotes at academic conferences, Sarah has spoken at World Economic Forums in China and Australia, presented various TED and TED linked talks. Sarah was invited to give the 2012 Oxford-London Lecture on the subject of population change. 

Ms Lynda O'Grady, Chairman of the Aged Care Financing Authority (Australia)

Lynda O'GradyMs Lynda O’Grady is the Chairman of the Aged Care Financing Authority, a statutory committee established to provide independent advice to government on funding and financing issues in aged care.  

She is also a non-executive director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited and independent director of National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). 

Ms O’Grady previously held senior roles at Executive/Managing Director level at Telstra, including as Chief of Product. Prior to this, Ms O’Grady was Commercial Director of Australian Consolidated Press, the publishing subsidiary of Publishing & Broadcasting Limited and General Manager of Alcatel Australia.  

She has previously served on the Council of Bond University, Boards of Screen Queensland and TAB Queensland prior to its listing and on the IT&T Board of Advisors to the New South Wales Treasurer.  

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree gained at the University of Queensland and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Godfred Paul, Senior Regional Programme Manager, HelpAge International


Godfred Paul Photo 220 x 240Mr Godfred Paul is the Senior Regional Programme Manager with HelpAe International and is based in the regional office for East Asia and the Pacific , located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has worked with HelpAge for 36 years and in Chiang Mai for the past 20 years.  He is the co-ordinator for HelpAge on Emergencies, DRR and Climate Change and has 16 years experience in responding to some of the major disasters in the region. He has also developed new initiatives in DRR and resilience building that are lead by older persons and implemented in the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. He is also a Governing Board member of the ASEAN Partnership Group, which is a coalition of seven humanitarian agencies supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement of Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER).

He has a Masters in Sociology from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He is also a training specialist and has conducted trainings for government and CSO staff in many countries in the region.

Dr Debra Whitman, Executive Vice President, Policy, Strategy and International Affairs, AARP

Debs headshot 2014_smallDebra Whitman is AARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer, leading policy development, analysis and research, as well as global thought leadership supporting and advancing the interests of individuals 50+ and their families. She oversees AARP’s Public Policy Institute, Research Center, Office of Policy Integration, and AARP International.

Dr. Whitman is an authority on aging issues with extensive experience in national policymaking, domestic and international research and the political process. An economist, she is a strategic thinker whose career has been dedicated to solving problems affecting economic and health security, and other issues related to population aging.

As Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, she worked across the aisle to increase retirement security, preserve a strong system of Social Security, lower the cost of health care, protect vulnerable seniors, safeguard consumers, make the pharmaceutical industry more transparent and improve our nation’s nursing homes.

From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Whitman served as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Earlier in her career, she conducted research on savings and retirement for the Social Security Administration.

She has been quoted by or appeared in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Politico, among others.

Dr. Whitman holds a Masters and Doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University and Bachelors in Economics, Math and Italian from Gonzaga University.

Mr Alex Ross, Director, WHO Centre for Health Development

Alex Ross 220 x 240Alex Ross is Director, WHO Centre for Health Development (or WHO Kobe Centre, WKC), located in Kobe, Japan.  As a WHO “think tank”, the Centre implements a global mandate for research based on its 10 year strategy focussing on universal health coverage (UHC), innovation and ageing populations.  Over the past three years, WKC, working closely with many WHO departments and external stakeholders, has promoted social and technological innovations for ageing populations. WKC organized two multi-stakeholder Global Forums on Innovation for Ageing Populations in 2013 and 2015 highlighting current opportunities, needs and gaps for supporting older persons live autonomously, with dignity and quality of life. Currently, WKC is researching ways to support countries sustainably plan for UHC, models of community based health and social service programmes, and systems for technological innovations for older populations. Over the past decade, WKC had led WHO’s work on urban health issues (with emphasis on equity  and governance issues), and developed the WHO monitoring framework and core set of indicators for measuring age friendliness of cities and communities. The Centre is part of the WHO Health Systems and Innovation Cluster in Geneva.    

Mr Ross holds a BSPH and an MSPH degree from the UCLA School of Public Health.  Within WHO, he has served as Director, Partnerships and UN Reform in the Director-General’s Office, and as Director, Assistant Director-General’s Office for HIV, TB and Malaria; and for Communicable Disease and Surveillance since 2003.  Mr Ross has an extensive career in the US and British governments in international and domestic health policy, planning and international development. His research interests span a cross section of health, governance, economic interactions with health and health outcomes, including emphasis on equity and determinants of health.

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Key Dates

Call for Late Abstracts
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Author registration deadline (First Call for Abstracts)
Saturday 30 January 2016
Author registration deadline (Late Call for Abstracts)
Tuesday 22 March 2016
Early bird registration deadline
Tuesday 22 March 2016
Conference dates
Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 June 2016

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