Check back here closer to the date for more speaker session information

logo with background.png

Dr James Muecke AM

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 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. 


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.

Dr Elizabeth Cayanan BAppSc (Hons) AEP PhD
Exercise physiologist, nutritionist and researcher and lecturer at the Woolcock and University of Sydney.
This presentation is aimed at educating people with sleep apnea and metabolic and endocrine dysfunction eg: type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance about the connection between these conditions and the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight with some practical advice so that people come away empowered and positive about making changes.

More details to come....

Professor Amanda Richdale PhD
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.

Understanding Sleep Difficulties in Autism

Details to come.....

Speaker to be advised 

Restless Legs Syndrome

Details to come.....

Speaker to be advised 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi)

Details to come.....

Melanie Health 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.


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.

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.

Logo_MDSC PNG.png

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. 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.

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

Amee Grattan Disability Law Qld          



Check back here closer to the date for more speaker session information

Sleep Health and
Wellbeing Expo

Secure your stand to display your products and services at the Sleep Health & Wellbeing Expo.


Support the Expo. Associate your brand with Australia's leading Sleep Health & Wellbeing event.


Register now to attend the Sleep Health & Wellbeing Expo - it's FREE!  

PO Box 5278
Algester Qld 4115 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

© 2020 Sleep Health & Wellbeing Expo  All rights reserved