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Ikigai: Women & Medicine is a one day event in Brisbane featuring a diverse array of speakers on topics including career progression, wellbeing, gender & medicine, financial health, mentorship, and leadership & influence, as well as the opportunity to network and meet other great women in medicine. Drawing on the Japanese concept of ikigai or 'reason for being' - work, family, passion and talents are all interrelated in bringing joy, fulfilment and balance to the daily routine of life.  But finding the 'sweet spot' where passion and talents intersect with profession and vocation can be challenging given the pressures of modern medical practice.  For many female doctors this is made even harder by having to overcome unconscious bias, structural barriers and competing demands of home life. 


Whether you are just starting out in medicine, mid-career or in transition or seeking greater balance, this symposium will explore issues for women in medicine and provide you with practical tools and strategies to help you progress your career, expand your influence and find your career 'sweet spot'.


Catherine Fox is a leading commentator on women and the workforce. A Walkley award-winning journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia and often appears in the media. During a long career with the Financial Review, she edited several sections of the newspaper, and wrote the Corporate Woman column; and she has published five books, including "Stop Fixing Women” which along with her journalism was awarded the 2017 Walkley Award for Women’s Leadership in Media. Her most recent book “Women Kind” (with co-author Kirstin Ferguson) was launched in September 2018 and examines how female solidarity and support is rebooting the global women’s movement. Catherine helped establish the annual Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2012 and was named a Woman of Influence in 2018; she is a member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board and Australian Women Donors Network board, and co-founder of the Sydney Women’s Giving Circle.

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Dr. Kay is Medical Director of Qld Doctors’ Health Programme (QDHP). She graduated from The University of Queensland in 1983, with Honors in Medicine and holds an academic title as Senior Lecturer at UQ. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General continues to work part-time in General Practice. In 2013, she completed her PhD in Physician Health focussing on understanding how doctors access health care for themselves. Dr. Kay has over 20 peer-reviewed publications, many in the area of doctors’ health and is currently Chair of the Expert Advisory Council for Doctors Health Services Ltd. She also has clinical and research expertise in refugee health.

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Dr Alex Markwell is an Emergency Physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital where she a Co-Director of Emergency Medicine Training. Alex is passionate about Doctors' Health, wellbeing, and work-life flexibility. She has recently been involved in the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Discrimination, Bullying and Sexual Harassment working group, and is founding member of Wellness Resilience and Performance in Emergency Medicine ( She is also a Past President of AMA Queensland (2012-2013).

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Dr Fiona Raciti and Dr Maria Boulton are both GPs from Brisbane who are creating waves with their innovative ideas on education, customer service, recruitment and health care. In 2016 they founded the general practice clinic Family Doctors Plus with a view to make a difference and with a large focus on education. In 2017 Family Doctors Plus won the Telstra Queensland Business of the Year Award, a rare feat for a new business. In 2018 they were named one of the 100 faces of Small Business in Queensland. Maria and Fiona have taken full advantage of these awards to create positive changes in health care. They have met with both Federal and State ministers to present their aged care model and lobby for support of doctor owned practices. Family Doctors Plus has gone from strength to strength and has continued to grow both in physical space, doctors, allied health, nurses and patient numbers. They hold regular education sessions for the local community such as puberty education for girls and boys, school readiness seminars and parenting workshops. They are also active fundraisers-for Red Kite, Hummingbird House and Queensland Cancer Council.  They continue to innovate and are early adopters of technology to improve their business processes and customer experience.


Di is the Founder and Managing Director of Horsey Jameson Bird Pty Ltd (HJB) and has been a business and financial adviser since June 1982. Prior to 1982 for the first 7 years of her career she worked as a financial analyst in the mining industry. She became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in January 1996 and a Registered Tax Agent in April 2012.  She is a well-known public speaker and for many years was Channel 10’s on air financial adviser.  She has presented in excess of 50 papers at Australian and overseas conferences and has been a key note speaker at various breakfasts and lunches throughout Australia.  Apart from her HJB business interests she has been a member of the Immigration Review Board and a judge for various awards including Queensland Business Woman of the Year. 

Di has a passion for music and is a great ambassador for the Arts supporting chairs at the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Australian National Academy of Music, Camerata (Qld’s Chamber Orchestra) , the Queensland Ballet and is assisting a local pianist undertaking studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.  Apart from her music interests she is a principal supporter of the University of Queensland’s Genetic Medical Research Program under the stewardship of Professor Andrew Barbour.

As Di has achieved her long term goal of welcoming four equity partners into the HJB practice this has allowed her to embrace and devote additional time to her philanthropic interests.  In February 2018 Di was appointed to the Board of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and is also a member of their Finance Committee.


Dr Amandeep Hansra is a leader in digital health and telehealth sevices in Australia. Amandeep co-founded Evermed Consulting and provides consulting services to insurers, start ups, health service, investors and businesses. She was most recently the CEO & Medical Director of Telstra’s telemedicine business ReadyCare. She is a locally trained specialist General Practitioner who works in clinical medicine at a General Practice in Bondi, Sydney. Amandeep has a passion for medical start-ups and entrepreneurship providing advisory services for start-ups in the health technology space. She has been awarded the “Women Leading in Business Scholarship” for the Global Executive MBA at the University of Sydney.


Ruth E. Hubbard is an Associate Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland, Consultant Geriatrician at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Head of School for PA-Southside Clinical Unit. As a clinical academic, she has always combined hospital practice with research and teaching. While training as a physician and geriatrician in Cardiff, Wales, she completed an MSc in Medical Education and an MD on pathophysiological changes in frail older people. She then undertook a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia with Professor Ken Rockwood. Here, she was able to test hypotheses regarding the determinants and manifestations of frailty through the interrogation of large datasets. She has published widely on the inflammatory aetiology of frailty, the difficulties of measuring frailty in clinical practice and the relationships between frailty and obesity, smoking, socioeconomic status and exercise and is currently ranked number 3 in a list of the world’s leading experts in frail elderly research ( 
Along with colleagues at CRGM, she is promoting academic geriatrics among Advanced Trainees, students and Allied Health colleagues. She is currently supervising 3 PhDs, 4 MPhils and numerous medical student projects. She has also generated more than $4.6 million in grant income in the last 4 years, including an NHMRC Project Grant to derive a measure of frailty from the interRAI assessment instrument.


Dr Helen Havryk was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Hons) by the University of Sydney in 1990.  In 1994, she completed her legal studies and was admitted to the legal profession in the Supreme Court of NSW in 1996.  She holds current registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency as well as a current practising certificate issued by the NSW Law Society.

Helen practised in clinical medicine for six years. She then developed extensive experience in medical negligence litigation and disciplinary matters involving medical practitioners while working as a solicitor.    She has worked with medical defence organisations since 2000 and joined MDA National in 2007 as a Claims Manager.  Her role as a Claims Manager at MDA National involved assisting Members and their staff with various medico-legal issues including general medico-legal inquiries, complaints, investigations and medical negligence claims.

Since May 2018, Helen has worked as a Risk Advisor in MDA National’s Underwriting Department.   She is involved in the development and documentation of MDA National's High Risk Member program which includes identifying potential high risk members through data analysis and department referrals; conducting and co-ordinating case file reviews; proposing tailored risk management strategies, including non-standard policy terms/conditions or non-renewal recommendations; and engaging with MDA National's Clinical Underwriting Committee regarding high risk members. 


Rachele holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Nursing (BN), and commenced at MDA National following 5 years of health regulation experience at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).  Rachele’s health regulation experience included the management of professional performance and conduct investigations on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia and other Boards, as well as the provision of regulatory and policy advice to AHPRA and the Boards.
Rachele has experience as a solicitor in the areas of Medical Negligence (Plaintiff) and Insurance (Defendant) and has also practiced a registered nurse in the operating theatre/ perioperative environment since 2005.
As a Claims Manager with MDA National since 2017, Rachele provides assistance and advice to medical practitioners with respect to informal and formal complaints, performance and disciplinary matters, Medico-Legal risk management, coronial investigations and claims.  


Dr Hannah Burns, a Paediatric ENT surgeon with a special interest in airway disorders, is a visiting medical officer at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) in Brisbane and runs her own private practice. Dr Burns is an senior lecturer and examiner with the University of Queensland.

With an interest in teaching, along with colleagues she has developed an annual paediatric workshop. This uses animal and high fidelity simulation to teach safe paediatric airway techniques to ENT trainees and fellows and is the first of its kind in Australia. 

Hannah is an advisor for the Australian government for medical devices within the ENT field and is an active member in Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS), Australian New Zealand Society of Paediatric Otolaryngology, Australasian Vascular Anomaly Network and the Laryngology Society of Australasia. She is on the organising committee for ASOHNS 2019 in Brisbane and within this society has actively promoted the founding of Women In Otolaryngology.

When not on call, answering emails or organising courses, Hannah enjoys relaxing in her Brisbane home, spending to much money at Bunnings trying to cultivate her garden and planning her next holiday to exotic overseas venues. As a supporter of the arts, she enjoys  attending ballet and theatre events and catching up with her very supportive friends often enjoying a glass or two of preferably New Zealand wine.

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Carmen is a Brisbane based GP and practice owner.  She graduated from the University of Queensland in 2003 and obtained her FRACGP in 2010.  She is a RACGP examiner and enjoys teaching medical students.   She and her husband have transformed an old fashioned inner city Brisbane GP practice into a modern medical centre that prides itself in excellent customer service and whole patient care.  She is very thankful to have a clinical team that shares her passion for health promotion and family centred care. 

Having watched many friends and colleagues struggle to obtain a positive work-life balance, Carmen is a strong advocate of finding balance between professional and personal lives.  She believes that women in medicine have the unique challenge of balancing multiple personal responsibilities in addition to their professional roles.  Being a doctor for a number of doctors, Carmen feels that she is perfectly placed to promote doctor’s health and wellbeing and thoroughly enjoys watching doctors find balance.

Carmen is the mother of 2 awesome children, a life partner, a sister, a daughter, a netball coach, a sport mum (soccer, netball, gymnastics, cricket, swimming and dance), a music mum, a chess player that gets beaten by both her children frequently, a business partner, a carer, a GP, a mentor, a leader, a motivator, a counsellor, a surgical assistant, a teacher, an examiner, a student, a great cook, a lover of a good glass of wine, a bookworm and a terrible but enthusiastic gardener.  She has just completed her first half marathon.


Dr McMahon is a Senior Staff Specialist in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. She undertook her basic Paediatric training and advanced training in Endocrinology at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth.

She completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia studying the effect of exercise on glucose requirements in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. 

In addition to caring for children and adolescents of all ages with diabetes and endocrine conditions, Dr McMahon enjoys teaching and in particular helping candidates to prepare for the FRACP clinical examination. She is a member of the Senior Examining Panel of the RACP and is Deputy Chair of the Clinical Examination Committee (Paeds) of the RACP.


Professor Martin AC FAA is Director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) at Griffith University. Professor Martin is a renowned structural biologist who has made pioneering discoveries in the field of redox biology and drug discovery. She has reported the structures of more than 130 proteins and protein:inhibitor complexes. Prof Martin is President of the Asian Crystallography Association, and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Crystallography. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2017. In 2018 she was awarded the highest civilian honour in Australia Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia “For eminent service to science, and to scientific research, particularly in the field of biochemistry and protein crystallography applied to drug-resistant bacteria, as a role model, and as an advocate for gender equality in science.”

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As a successful business woman, Personal Branding mentor, public speaker, soon-to-be published author and former elite athlete and top model, Suzie specialises in creating personal brands that help women succeed in both business and life. 90% of being visible and courageous is mindset. Empowering women through personal branding is a massive passion of Suzie’s, and she brings her years of experience and dedication to the task.

Passionate about helping people to step out of the shadows to Be Seen Be Heard and Be Noticed™ in both their lives and careers, Suzie helps professionals, small business owners, entrepreneurs and organisations to grow their influence, impact and income through the power of self- marketing and personal branding.


Anisa is a nationally recognised spoken word poet, performer, educator and published author. Her poetry has appeared on ABC radio, Triple Z, 4EB Radio and has been performed at the Sydney Opera house, Townsville cultural festival, Horizon festival and the New Globe theater. Anisa is the Queensland Slam Poetry champion 2016 and placed second in the Australian National Slam Poetry finals 2017. She is the co-founder of poetry group Voices of Colour which aims to elevate the Voices of  young people of colour and encourages them to engage with social justice issues. 

​She facilitates poetry workshops in Brisbane high schools and primary schools which aim to empower young people to confidently express themselves through art. She has taught classes at Brisbane Grammar State high school, Marsden State High school, Music Industry of College and Redcliffe State high school. She has also facilitated workshops at the Mosaic Multicultural festival, Queensland poetry festival in Townsville and the Horizon Festival.

Her political poetry focuses on not only highlighting social justice issues but educating and engaging people to have difficult discussions. Her story telling combines poetry, rhythm, rhyme and performance to captivate hearts and minds.