The Speakers

Tresillian Conferences have always attracted acclaimed child and family health speakers from around Australia. Our 2018 Conference continues this tradition providing attendees with the  opportunity to reflect on the latest research and findings from a range of keynote speakers.

Photo Prof Jane Fisher_web

Professor Jane Fisher

Professor Jane Fisher is an academic Clinical and Health Psychologist and Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Mental Health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

Professor Fisher has spent her career looking to improve the lives of women and families across the world. She advises to the WHO and UNICEF among others on women’s mental health and wellbeing as well as early childhood programs. She also continues her work as consultant clinical psychologist to Masada Private Hospital’s Early Parenting Centre where she has been a key contributor to both the development and ongoing innovation of the Centre. As current President of the International Marcé Society she supports and researches high quality evidence-based care surrounding prenatal & postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers and their babies.

At this year’s centennial conference Professor Fisher will share insights on the provision of high quality evidenced-based care for families from an international and Australian perspective.


Julie McCrossin

Freelance journalist and facilitator

Julie McCrossin gets people talking and she is renowned for her warmth, humour, intelligence and commitment to social justice.

After 20 years as a broadcaster with ABC Radio National, ABC TV and Network Ten, she is now a freelance journalist and facilitator. She presented the radio show Life Matters on ABC Radio National for 5 years, covering countless health, welfare and educational topics with a frequent rural focus. Julie was also a team leader on the media quiz show “Good News Week” for 5 years on Network Ten and ABC TV.

Currently Julie writes for the NSW Law Society Journal and facilitates conferences and seminars nationally. Julie offers a range of interactive formats that stimulate audience discussion while keeping people on topic and on time. Julie is especially known for her capacity to guide forums on sensitive topics, such as suicide prevention, mental health, child protection and family law.

Julie has qualifications in the arts, education and law. She is an Ambassador for Beyond Five, Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research.


Professor Cathrine Fowler

Professor Cathrine Fowler, Tresillian Chair in Child and Family Health in partnership with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Health. 

Cathrine Fowler is the Professor for the Tresillian Chair in Child and Family Health at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). As a child and family health nurse she has gained extensive clinical and education experience working with families with children aged five and under.  

Cathrine’s research and clinical practice interests focus on parental learning; working with families who are experiencing complex and challenging parenting situations and who require additional support; and professional issues in child and family health nursing.  


Professor El-Omar

BSc (Hons), MB ChB, MD (Hons), FRCP (Edin), FRSE, FRACP

Professor El-Omar graduated in Medicine from Glasgow University, Scotland, and trained as a gastroenterologist. He worked as a Visiting Scholar/Scientist at Vanderbilt University, TN, and National Cancer Institute, MD, USA, and was Professor of Gastroenterology at Aberdeen University, Scotland, for 16 years before taking up the Chair of Medicine at St George & Sutherland Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is the Editor in Chief of the journal Gut. His research interests include the gut microbiome, inflammation driven GI cancer and IBD. He is the Director of the Microbiome Research Centre at St George Hospital, Sydney.

Photo Ass Prof Julian Grant_web

A/Professor Julian Grant

Associate Professor Julian Grant is a registered nurse with post graduate qualifications in paediatric and child and family health nursing.

Julian’s extensive clinical experience over 25 years covers the scope of rural, remote and metropolitan nursing in a range of acute and community environments. She is passionate about equity in health care and the roles that nurses and midwives take to ensure high quality care and advocacy for societies most vulnerable individuals and groups.

As an academic Julian through her research endeavours, continues striving to improve health outcomes for vulnerable children and families and works nationally to improve the capacity of the inter-professional health workforce. In the last five years she has won significant amounts in competitive grant funding, published over 30 papers in peer reviewed journals and presented over 30 papers at peer reviewed conferences with a number as the invited keynote presenter.

As President of Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses Australia, Julian leads the core professional workforce providing primary health care for for well infants, and young children in Australia. She is regularly invited to make expert submissions on national issues related to infant and child health and wellbeing. Her work strengthens the early childhood, health workforce and shapes policy to supporting families to optimise their children’s health and wellbeing.

Julie Leask photo_web

A/Professor Julie Leask

Julie Leask is an Associate Professor in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney and visiting Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance.

Julie has a background in nursing, midwifery and public health. In 1994 she helped establish a health program within an accommodation for pregnant and parenting adolescents. During this time, she appreciated the support of the local Tresillian service.

Her research now focuses on improving health communication and responding to vaccine hesitancy. She has had advisory roles with the World Health Organization, the US and Australian governments.

In 2015 Julie won the PHAA NSW branch Public Health Impact Award and the Sax Institute Research Action Award.


Derek McCormack

As a Senior Specialist and current Acting Executive Director for the Raising Children Network, Derek McCormack oversees a number of projects at the Parenting Research Centre.

Derek’s core activities include consultation, strategy development and managing the development of evidence-informed resources for parents, primarily via the development of the Australian parenting platform receiving 55,000+ visits per day, and a range of other professional stakeholders and services.

Derek’s primary focus is on the translation of research and best practice into the day-to-day practices of parents and those who support them.


A/Professor Elisabeth Murphy

Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy is the Senior Clinical Advisor, Child and Family Health, NSW Ministry of Health.

Associate Professor Elisabeth Murphy is the Senior Clinical Advisor, Child and Family Health, NSW Ministry of Health.  She has overseen the implementation of a number of early intervention programs designed to lead to improved health throughout life, including NSW-wide evidence based screening programs for hearing and vision, Aboriginal maternal and infant health programs, and promotion of health checks for improved child development and health in the NSW Personal Health Record. Concurrent with her Ministry role, Associate Professor Murphy works in Northern Sydney Local Health District as Network Director for Child, Youth and Family Services.

Cherrise Buzzacott

Cherisse Buzzacott

My name’s Cherisse Buzzacott, I am an Arrernte woman from Alice Springs, NT and I am now based in Canberra at the ACM’s Head Office working as the Project Officer for the Birthing on Country Project. I am a Midwife having worked previously at Alice Springs Hospital and in remote communities, in the areas of birthing, antenatal and postnatal care and women’s health. Part of my role is communication and coordination of the ACM’s partners within the Birthing on Country Project, co-Chairing the National Birthing on Country Strategic Committee working on the initiatives of the Birthing on Country Project. The Birthing on Country Project aims to establish Aboriginal Birthing on Country models of maternity care in three Aboriginal communities one being Nowra in which we work closely with Waminda. Our focus is improving birth outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies, bringing together community members to work in collaboration with Aboriginal medical services and State/Territory health services to provide culturally safe care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. 

My partner, Micha, attends school part-time in Sydney and I have two beautiful dogs, that keep me very busy when I’m not thinking, breathing and sleeping Birthing on Country.

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