SPEAKER PROGRAM

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Dr James Muecke AM MBBS (Hons)

James is an Adelaide-based ophthalmologist. He graduated with Honors from Adelaide University Medical School in 1988. Following his internship, James lived and worked as a volunteer doctor in Kenya in 1989. After completing ophthalmology training in Adelaide in 1995, James worked as an eye surgeon in Jerusalem for 12 months. He undertook subspecialty training in eye cancer in London and then returned to Adelaide in 1998, where he has been a Visiting Consultant and Senior Lecturer at Royal Adelaide and Women’s & Children’s Hospitals.
 

James has taught the diagnosis and management of eye cancer in ten countries in Asia. He founded not-for-profit organization Sight For All in 2008, turning his boundless energy into a fight against blindness in the Aboriginal and mainstream communities of Australia and some of the poorest countries of the world. Sight For All’s comprehensive and sustainable projects are now impacting on the lives of over one million people each year.
 

His commitment to social impact and humanitarian endeavors has earnt him a number of awards including an Order of Australia in 2012, the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Leadership Award in 2013, and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur for Australia in 2015. James is Australian of the Year for 2020 for his 32 years of humanitarian work. He is using this powerful platform to raise awareness of our poor diet, laden with sugar, which is devastating the health of Australians.

Blinded
Blinded tells the story of Neil Hansell, a man who woke one morning blind in both eyes due to neglect of his diabetes. In this fascinating yet confronting presentation, Dr Muecke discusses type 2 diabetes, how it’s arisen and why it’s a growing epidemic, and explores a number of strategies to curb the toxic impact of our poor diet on our health and on our world. 

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Associate Professor David McIntosh MBBS FRACS PhD
David is a paediatric ENT surgeon based in Queensland. He specialises in managing upper airway obstruction in children and adults. He lectures internationally on the topic of snoring and its deleterious effects on health and wellbeing. He is also the author of the book Snored to Death.

Snoring and the brain

If you were to list the common causes of brain damage you would probably come up with alcohol, trauma, and strokes as being in the top 3. It may surprise you to know that snoring is probably the number 1 cause of brain damage and dysfunction.
 

Breathing properly and blood flow are integral physiological processes that need to work harmoniously for the oxygenation of the blood. It’s not hard to understand that if the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen then it will start to die off. When you snore, you are not breathing properly, and oxygen levels do drop. The brain does start to die off. Blood flow decreases too if you snore. You get changes akin to those of Alzheimer’s disease. Your gut bacteria changes for the worse too and this may also affect brain function. Dr McIntosh’s presentation is all about how snoring may lead to brain damage and what you can do about it.

Children and breathing - Don't ignore the snore
In many ways, snoring leads to the perfect storm when it comes to damaging the brain. Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 children may be experiencing brain damage or changes because of breathing problems? Sounds terrifying right?  

 

Snoring affects the part of the brain that deals with memory in children. It damages parts of the brain involved in cognition, behaviour, and mood. It also results in loss of brain tissue. Research has shown that while the snoring may go away the behavioural and learning problems persist. This damage happens early so identification AND the right treatment as soon as possible is important. Dr McIntosh will talk about how to spot breathing problems in children and various treatment options.

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Dr Elizabeth Cayanan BAppSc (Hons I) PhD, ESSAM AEP
Dr Elizabeth Cayanan is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist specialising in the treatment of sleep apnoea through weight loss interventions. Her PhD was awarded by the University of Sydney in 2016 and she completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise, Sport Science & Nutrition) at the University of Sydney with 1st class Honours in 2011. She is University lecturer and early career researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and maintains a clinical load. Her major research focus is on weight loss strategies for sleep apnoea patients and their translation to clinical practice.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Diabetes:
Why is my doctor recommending I lose weight and how can I best do this?

There is a strong association between sleep disordered breathing [notably obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)] and type two diabetes (T2D). This presentation will discuss the links between the two conditions and emphasise the way in which they may interact with each other in the context of obesity. It is common for people with T2D to be unaware they may also have OSA and for people with OSA to not realise they are at risk of T2D. The metabolic profiles associated with each of these conditions overlap and so it is of significant importance that a healthy lifestyle is adopted for the management of these conditions.
 

This presentation will outline “what has gone wrong” with the body in the context of OSA and T2D, look at the risk factors associated with each of the conditions and provide practical advice for sustainable weight loss and positive lifestyle changes. The session will also incorporate a Q&A component for the audience to learn more about each condition and their interaction.

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Professor Amanda Richdale PhD, FCEDP
Amanda is a founding staff member at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). She completed her PhD at LaTrobe University after which she joined the Dept of Psychology and Intellectual Disability Studies at RMIT University. Amanda remained at RMIT until returning to La Trobe University in 2009 to take up a research position at OTARC. Her research interests include autism spectrum disorder, disorders of development, and sleep and mental health. She is currently project leader for the longitudinal Study of Australian School Leavers with Autism (SASLA) and works closely with the Australian Longitudinal study of Autistic Adults (ALSAA) at UNSW; both studies are funded by the Autism CRC. Currently, Amanda is a committee member of the APS Interest Group Psychology of Intellectual Disability and Autism and a registered psychologist (Educational & Developmental) and Fellow of the APS College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists.


Sleep and Autism: Why Worry?

Good sleep is important to health and wellbeing. In the general population poor sleep quality is associated with poorer physical and mental health and can impact negatively on daytime functioning, learning and memory. Sleep difficulties are one of the most common co-occurring conditions reported for autism. Around 50-80% of autistic children have sleep difficulties and our recent research showed that 64% of Australian older adolescents and adults on the spectrum had poor sleep quality. This presentation will examine what we know about sleep problems in autism across the lifespan. Possible causes and associations with core autistic traits, daytime behaviour and mental health conditions will be outlined illustrating the need to routinely screen for and treat sleep problems in autistic individuals; current approaches to treatment will be considered.

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Geoff Brearley BSc, BSocSc(Psych)(Hons), PgDipProfPsych, AssocMAPS
Geoff is a general psychologist with a clinical interest in sleep disorders, and in particular, insomnia. He received training in CBTi at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. He regularly attends continuing professional development training workshops and conferences in the US and Australia, about updates and new research in behavioural treatments for sleep disorders, and other sleep topics.

Geoff is a member of the Australasian Sleep Association, a member of the Society of
Behavioural Sleep Medicine (USA) and an Associate Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Geoff is passionate about the importance of sleep, and in 2018 established his practice, Bayside Sleep Health, in Brisbane.

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi); 
What is it, and how does it work to restore good sleep health?


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) is the primary, recommended treatment for chronic insomnia disorder. CBTi is a well-researched, evidence-based treatment providing long-term effectiveness for a majority of adults, compared to the use of medications.

Good Sleep Heath has only recently been defined, yet is fundamentally essential for our physical and mental health, and our overall sense of well-being. However, at some point in everyone’s life, symptoms of insomnia will be present – no exceptions. Everyone has “a bad night’s sleep”. But what happens when this sleep disturbance become chronic? Many areas of our normal daily functioning can become affected, therefore intervention becomes necessary, as soon as possible.

This presentation will explain and define good sleep health principles, the clinical symptoms of insomnia, and then give a practical example of the CBTi treatment process. This process includes targeting the negative thoughts associated with an individual’s struggle with sleep, along with behavioural changes needed to reduce sleep latency (time taken to fall asleep) and wake after sleep onset (unscheduled waking during the night). The use of mindfulness and relaxation techniques at bedtime can also be tailored to suit the individual to enhance the onset of sleep.

As with any behavioural treatments, the willingness of the individual to make the changes, together with a commitment to restore good quality sleep for the long-term, are the keys to the proven, successful treatment of insomnia. CBTi can restore good quality, regulated sleep – but it will take a few weeks...!

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Melanie Heath BPsych(Hons), PhD Candidate
Melanie is a provisional psychologist, and is currently completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University in Adelaide. Melanie has been studying and working in the area of sleep for 11 years. Her earliest research publications looked at the effect of bright light from screens on sleep in adolescents. She is part of the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders University and her work there has seen her treat various child and adolescent sleep disorders. Her current PhD research looks at the ways in which physical activity alters sleep, which then results in either improved or depressed mood.

Understanding Teen Sleep
Teenager or adolescent sleep is fundamentally different to the sleep of children and adults. Adolescence is a unique time of life and a period of many changes socially, emotionally, cognitively, and biologically. From changes of the circadian rhythm to the impact of technology use, this talk will answer the most important questions about teenage sleep.

It will explain what healthy adolescent sleep looks like. How long is a “normal” amount of sleep for a teenager? What factors affect teenagers’ sleep? Which of these factors can be changed and which are out of our control? Why are teenagers so tired in the mornings? This talk will explore what the latest evidence has to say about: sleep hygiene, physical activity, school start times, technology use, video gaming, and light exposure. Some of these impact sleep, and some do not, you might be surprised at what does not have much of an effect. Finally, this talk will explain what has been proven to help adolescent sleep. Including some ideas of what you might be able to try at home, and when it might be time to ask for help.

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Alexandra Shriane B Nursing, B HealthSci(Paramedic), B Sc(Psych)(Hons) and PhD Candidate
Alex is a paramedic, and also has qualifications in Psychology and Nursing. Currently undertaking a PhD at CQUniversity, Alex’s research focuses on healthy sleep practices (also known as sleep hygiene). Having spent the last ten years as a shift worker, Alex has learnt first-hand that disruptions to sleep can have significant impacts on our health and wellbeing, and has dedicated her research to improving healthy sleep practices amongst shift workers. Alex has three dogs and a shift-working husband, who all act as guinea pigs for her sleep-improvement tips. 
 

Healthy Sleep Practices – how to optimise your sleep through simple (but powerful) lifestyle changes

Healthy sleep practices (also known as sleep hygiene) is an umbrella term that describes a range of behavioural and lifestyle factors that have been shown to improve sleep. These practices can be incorporated in our daily lives to improve both the quality and quantity of the sleep we obtain, which has significant flow-on effects for our health and wellbeing, both physical and psychological. In this presentation, Alex will explain how healthy sleep practices improve our sleep, and teach you how to incorporate these practices in your daily lives. As a shift worker, Alex will also share how to modify healthy sleep practices to fit in with non-traditional sleep patterns, such as those of new parents, long-haul travelers, or shift workers like her.

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Sarah Evans BAppSc (HumMove) (Hons) MClinExPhys AEP ESSAM ASCAM

Sarah Evans is an exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach with a special interest in working with individuals with hypermobility, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Sarah has 15 years of experience as both a coach and exercise physiologist including; athletic development and performance, pilates, swim coaching and rehabilitation, spending the last 7 years working at Inspire Health Services.  Sarah has also been pivotal in the development of Inspire’s NDIS program and small group classes, showing a creative approach to keeping people active. This broad experience means she is able to draw from many different movement styles to find ways for everyone to be more active.  

 

Physical Activity with chronic illness and disability. What is it and how do I start? 

Staying active regularly is essential for both physical and mental health and can be a useful tool for everyone. Physical activity, fitness, strength training, hydrotherapy, all the different words we can use to describe what in essence is moving more and sitting still less, can be daunting. While this can be more challenging for individuals with chronic disease or disability, even small changes can have significant positive impacts for everyone.

 

This presentation will outline what physical activity is in its simplest form, and the numerous different forms it can take.  We will go over the physical benefits, including the positive effects on metabolic syndrome, the mental benefits such as improving self-esteem and cognitive function and how physical activity plays a role in our overall feeling of wellbeing.

 

We will then go through many common barriers to increasing physical activity. As well as discuss some simple and creative ways you can increase physical activity and additionally decrease sedentary behaviours. This session will also incorporate a Q&A component for the audience to help with finding ways they can become more physically active.

Katherine Maslen 
 

Katherine is a mother, clinical naturopath and nutritionist, entrepreneur and leader in the natural health space. Katherine has a unique story; after overcoming a violent childhood with domestic violence and a heroin addiction by the age of 15, she discovered natural health and healing, worked on her own recovery and has been a passionate health advocate ever since. It is through making her own shifts and guiding thousands of people through their health journeys that has led Katherine to become a force for good in the natural health industry. 
Katherine is the author of the best-selling book Get Well, Stay Well and the host of the world-renowned podcast, The Shift. The Shift is the first of its kind - an audio-documentary series currently in its second season. 

Katherine is on a mission to change the face of health and to empower people to take responsibility for their own health and healing journey. She is a regular media commentator, international speaker and the founder of Shift - the world's first natural health membership service available online and in their Australian clinics.


Understanding Your Sleep/Wake Cycle. Beat fatigue, sleep better, and prevent disease. 

Your sleep/wake cycle governs how well you sleep and how much energy you have during the day. When it is out of whack we experience insomnia, fatigue, moodiness and it can even contribute to the development of chronic disease. Its function is reliant on hormones, stress, nutrition, and other lifestyle behaviours that we take for granted. 


But what if you could harness the power of this cycle for good? By knowing what to do to regulate your sleep/wake cycle you’ll experience better energy and sleep more soundly. Your issues with falling asleep or staying asleep at night will correct, and your body will be able to heal itself more effectively. 


Join naturopath, author and host of The Shift podcast Katherine Maslen in this eye opening presentation where you’ll get to understand why you can’t sleep, or why you’re not getting restorative sleep and what to do about it. 

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Dr Damian Teo BHSc (Dent), MDent, GDip Dental Sleep Medicine
Damian is a holistic dentist with a focused interest in snoring, sleep disorders, teeth grinding, TMJ disorders and airway focused orthodontics. In his dentistry, Damian is passionate about looking “beyond the mouth” and treating the body as a whole. He believes dentists play an important role in being able to recognise airway/breathing issues, sleeping problems, and craniofacial pain (such as headaches, neck pain, and TMJ disorders). This led him to undergo extensive postgraduate training with world renowned specialists in the field of sleep medicine and TMJ disorders, and achieving his Post Graduate Diploma in Dental Sleep Medicine with the University of Western Australia. Damian also previously worked in Darwin’s first official TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, where he exclusively treated patients for snoring, sleep apnoea, teeth grinding and TMD.


Alternative to CPAP - Bridging the gap between Dentists and Sleep Apnea
CPAP has always been recognised as the gold standard treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). However, the research has shown that more than 40% of CPAP users stop using their CPAP within the first 5 years. Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are an effective alternative for CPAP. Recent studies have also shown MAS can be just as effective as CPAP in controlling OSA. This talk will cover different signs and symptoms your dentist can recognise, and an overview of Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) treatment for OSA as an alternative to CPAP. 

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Dr Luke Katahanas MB; BS; FRACGP; Sleep GP  

Dr Katahanas has been a full time General Practitioner for over 30 years. He developed an interest in Sleep Medicine in 2012. He is a UQ Medical graduate and later attained his Fellowship in General Practice in 1996. He is a senior partner and general practice trainer at the Capalaba Medical Centre in Brisbane where he provides a comprehensive primary care-based sleep medicine service for sleep apnoea and insomnia management along with sleep study provision, CPAP titration, and endoscopic evaluation for surgical and dental candidates. He held a chair on the Primary Care Council of the Australasian Sleep Association from 2017-2020 and remains an active member because sleep medicine continues to occupy a significant part of his work in Primary Care.

Does my snoring even need to be treated and if so, what's my best solution?

Many patients with minimal sleep apnoea present seeking an opinion to determine if they can trust the recommendations they're being handed - understandably suspicious that someone is merely trying to sell them a CPAP machine. The decision to ‘treat or not treat a given patient, and what’s the best solution here’ requires an evidence based evaluation that intelligently interprets the sleep study, considers the presence or lack of co-existing illnesses and degree of apnoea, and then also a clinical examination to interpret various anatomical differences we humans possess across the species. Its not always as simple as 'you need more oxygen when you sleep so buy this CPAP machine’ because according to current evidence, this statement isn’t universally correct.

 

The snoring and sleep apnoea industry is fragmented and providers are often recommending devices or treatments they themselves provide without consideration of a potentially more suitable solution they’re perhaps less familiar with. Confused patients then find themselves attracted to solutions they prefer the sound of rather than the most appropriate treatment determined after all factors and examination findings are considered … and then there are those who don’t even need treatment being scared into unnecessary therapy.

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Carers Queensland 
Carers Queensland is working with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to deliver the Local Area Coordinator Partner in the Community Program in eight regions throughout Queensland, supporting Australians with disability to live fulfilling and connected lives.
 

Carers Queensland Local Area Coordinators (LACs) work with people with disability to understand the things that matter and make a difference in their lives, learn about their goals and hopes for the future, and support them as they move through the NDIS Pathway.

 

Carers Queensland also takes an active role in building a community that is inclusive and welcoming for people with a disability through partnering with local businesses and organisations to increase opportunities for social and economic participation of people with disability, their families and carers.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
NDIS is the new way of providing support to Australians with disability, their families and carers. 
The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life. 

The NDIS will help people with disability achieve their goals, including independence, community involvement, education, employment and health and wellbeing. 

As an insurance scheme, the NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing in people with disability early to improve their outcomes later in life. 

The NDIS also provides people with disability, their families and carers with information and referrals to existing support services in the community. 

During this presentation, Carers Queensland will explain:

 

  • How the NDIS works, including the eligibility criteria, how people with disability can request access, and what information is required;

  • What happens when a person with disability meets the access requirements for the Scheme;

  • Examples of supports and services funded by the NDIS, and

  • Who is available to assist

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Amee Grattan Disability Law Queensland       
Amee is currently the legal practitioner director at Disability Law Queensland. She has been responsible for hundreds of matters in areas of Wills & Estate Planning, QCAT proceedings, Mental Health Tribunal, and the Discrimination for Education Inclusion in Schools. Amee has assisted clients through the Disability Royal Commission processes with their submissions to bring more awareness to the vulnerable community. She works closely with her clients, making it her business to understand the unique challenges each person faces. Her client-centred approach allows her to provide expert legal advice tailored to her client’s needs.
 

Amee promotes access to justice within the community by conducting free workshops all over Queensland for the disability community on decision-making, guardianship, administration, and estate planning. She attends a number of Expos to bring awareness to the legal requirements for people with disabilities. She is currently developing more free workshops on end-of-life decision-making, disability housing options, disability human rights and discrimination, and community care for vulnerable people. Researching the legal needs to make sure she is keeping the community informed.

Disability Law and you

This presentation will look at what defines a disability, what laws there are that protect people with disabilities including disability rights in the workplace and elsewhere.

 

Human rights are the basic rights that belong to everyone, regardless of age, culture, gender, disability, income or education.  They are about treating people fairly and with dignity and ensuring individual rights are respected.

 

Queensland’s Human Rights Act was passed by State Parliament in February 2019.  The Act sets out the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of public entities which are protected by law. It aims to promote human rights, help build a culture in the Queensland public sector that respects and promotes human rights and help promote a dialogue about the nature, meaning and scope of human rights.

 

From 1 January 2020 the Act required public entities to act compatibly with human rights.

 

In this session lawyers from Disability Law Queensland will identify what rights are included in the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) and how to take action if your human rights have been breached.

 

Disability Law Queensland are the state's only dedicated disability law specialists. They provide affordable legal assistance for people with disability and their families, helping to plan for their future, assert their rights and protect their loved one’s way of life. They are committed to ensuring that all Australian's rights are recognised, respected and protected.

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Dr Tony Keating CEO/MD, ResApp Health Limited
ResApp Heath Limited (ASX:RAP) is a leading digital health company developing smartphone applications for the diagnosis and management of the respiratory disease. ResApp’s machine learning algorithms use sound to diagnose and measure the severity of respiratory conditions without the need for additional accessories or hardware. ResApp’s regulatory-approved and clinically validated products include ResAppDx, a smartphone-based acute respiratory disease diagnostic test for use in telehealth, emergency department and primary care settings; and SleepCheck, a smartphone application which allows consumers to self-assess their risk of sleep apnoea. Both products are CE Marked in Europe and TGA approved in Australia.

Screening for sleep apnoea using a smartphone with SleepCheck by ResApp Health 

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There are a wide range of smartphone apps which can help you better understand your sleep. Tracking your sleep can be an important step in improving your general health. However, it’s important to realise that medical conditions, such as sleep apnoea and insomnia can have serious health consequences if left untreated.
 

Sleep apnoea causes daytime tiredness, reduced productivity and an impaired immune system, and has been linked to serious complications such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Sleep apnoea affects more than three in every ten men, and nearly two in ten women. Studies have shown that 80% of people with sleep apnoea are undiagnosed.
 

There are many barriers to being tested for sleep apnoea. A sleep study is a comprehensive test that records data about you while you sleep. It's also known as a polysomnogram (PSG). Using a number of sensors, a PSG measures your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate, breathing, eye and leg movements. This testing is often done in an unfamiliar environment such as a hospital or clinic. The results are then reviewed by a sleep specialist.
 

SleepCheck is the only clinically accurate, regulatory approved, hassle-free smartphone application that checks your breathing and snore sounds during sleep to assess your risk of sleep apnoea. By simply placing a smartphone on your bedside table while you sleep, you can get an accurate assessment of your risk of sleep apnoea and take the first step towards treatment.
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