Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Sam Bailey Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey is a C6/C7 quadriplegic who has defied the odds to become a farmer, pilot, inspirational speaker and best selling author. His next goal is to become the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter and ultimately fly into schools to talk to students and inspire them to fulfil their own dreams in life. In 1999 Sam married ABC Radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black, after proposing to her 'live' on ABC Regional Radio. Today they live and work together on their beef cattle property in northern NSW, in between travelling the country telling their story and giving inspiration to others. Sam’s talk chronicles his life and how he turned tragedy into hope and how he beat the odds to fulfil his life-long dream of being a farmer.


TraceyCurro Tracey Curro

Tracey Curro is a former 60 Minutes reporter, an Al Gore Climate Change Ambassador, and a Queensland University of Technology Outstanding Alumnus with over 20 years experience as a journalist, producer and presenter in mainstream media. She is currently a Principal Consultant at SHK where she specialises in executive search and recruitment in the areas of corporate communications and media. Since her mother's death from ovarian cancer in the l990s, Tracey has also been a passionate Ambassador for the Women's Cancer Foundation.

*Ms Tracey Curro appears by arrangement with Saxton's Speakers Bureau.


Pam Anders Pam Anders

Pam Anders is the Director of WorkHealth, a WorkSafe Victoria initiative. Since joining WorkSafe in 2008, Pam has overseen the design and development of the WorkHealth initiative, and has led its engagement with key industry, health and government stakeholders. Pam has extensive experience across a wide range of public policy, public sector management and communications areas developed from bureaucratic and senior adviser positions in government, having worked as senior fiscal adviser, then Chief of Staff, to The Hon John Brumby in the areas of Treasury, Innovation, Industry and Regional Development and previously held various positions in the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

Len Boehm Len Boehm

Len Boehm is currently the Executive Director of Injury Support and Service at WorkSafe Victoria. He has spent many years in the compensation industry, particularly in the Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe Victoria) and Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission and his roles have varied widely - from Claims Officer or Customer Service Manager to Secretary to the Board and Director of Research. Len has been privileged to be a member of teams that have led positive recoveries for two Victorian compensation schemes.

David Bowen David Bowen

David Bowen is the CEO of DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme. A lawyer by profession, with a strong background in administrative and insurance law, David has been actively involved in disability reform, having previously worked as a consultant to the insurance industry and health and disability sector. As one of the architects and inaugural CEO, David was responsible for implementation of the NSW Lifetime Care and Support scheme, he was a member of the Independent Panel advising the Productivity Commission's Inquiry about the feasibility of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and continues to be a member of the National Injury Insurance Scheme Advisory Group.

Liz Cairns Liz Cairns

Liz Cairns is Launch Manager of the DisabilityCare Australia Barwon Launch Site. With over 24 years experience in publicly-funded health and disability support services and catastrophic injury management, her disability experience is extensive and includes physical, intellectual, sensory and cognitive disability. Liz previously worked with PwC in the Health and Disability Advisory team, and prior to relocating to Australia in 2012, worked for New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation and led the establishment of the National Serious Injury Service (NSIS) in 2007.

Niki Ellis Niki Ellis

Professor Niki Ellis is an occupational and public health physician. Inaugural President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the personal injury compensation sector a consistent thread for the past 20 years whether it has been as a consultant, Chairing the NSW Medical Advisory Committee for the then NSW WorkCover Authority or leading the establishment of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University. Her book Work and Health: Management in Australia and New Zealand is still used in training in OHS today.

David Gifford David Gifford

David Gifford is a qualified actuary and Executive Manager, Business Intelligence at the Transport Accident Commission, where he has led the Actuarial, Business Intelligence and Research functions for nearly five years. Previously, David worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Actuarial for 11 years, primarily on Accident Compensation clients, including TAC, WorkSafe Victoria and ACC New Zealand.

SarahJohnson Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is an actuary who has spent a significant amount of time working on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. She has worked with John Walsh for a number of years in the area of disability - including working for the Disability Investment Group convened by the Hon. Bill Shorten, the Productivity Commission on the Inquiry into Disability Care and Support, state and commonwealth departments on disability reform and the implementation of the NDIS, and Disability Care Australia. Sarah has also undertaken work in other areas of human services, including social housing, homelessness, child protection, aboriginal affairs, justice and health.

Peter Martin Peter Martin

Peter Martin has been the Australian Government Actuary for most of this century and has advised Government on a wide range of public policy matters. In 2011, he was asked by Government to review the Productivity Commission’s costings of its proposed NDIS, and subsequently advised on various aspects of the scheme’s development.

Greg McCarthy Greg McCarthy

Greg McCarthy is the CEO of WorkCover, South Australia and is also a director of the NSW Home Warranty Insurance Scheme. Greg has worked in the insurance industry as a national general manager of both workers compensation and CTP businesses for national insurers and been co-owner/operator of one of Australia’s largest rehabilitation and consulting businesses. Greg has also been Chairman of the NSW WorkCover Authority, the NSW OH&S and Workers Compensation Advisory Council, the NSW Home Building Advisory Council and a Director of StateCover Mutual.

AndrewNicholls Andrew Nicholls

Andrew is General Manager of the NSW Motor Accidents Authority. He has more than 25 years experience in policy, strategy and planning in the NSW public sector, including transport, ports, natural resources, land management and information technology. Andrew was previously the Director of Policy and Reform at the Department of Transport, where he led a number of transport reform initiatives. Andrew is also a Board Director of the Personal Injury Education Foundation and a former Vice President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (NSW).

Paul O'Connor Paul O'Connor

Paul O’Connor is the CEO of Comcare, the Australian federal agency responsible for work health and safety and workers compensation in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. Paul has extensive public and private sector experience in safety promotion, risk management, insurance and accident compensation in Australia, the United States and Asia. Paul is passionate about the need to improve workplace health and safety and helping people return to health, work and independence following injury.

John Walsh John Walsh

John is a Partner in the Advisory strongision of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has worked for over twenty years, and was Actuary of the Year in 2001. John was a member of the Disability Investment Group, studying options for increasing the investment opportunities in the disability sector, and was made Deputy-Chair of the National Health Performance Authority in 2011. Appointed to the Productivity Commission, John investigated the feasibility of a National Disability Insurance Scheme and other options to fund lifetime care and support for people with a disability, and was recently appointed to the inaugural board of DisabilityCare Australia. A member of the Order of Australia, John has also recieved a Prime Minister's award for outstanding contribution to the disability sector.

Lew Watts Lew Watts

Lew has been working for the Insurance Commission of WA and its antecedents SGIC and SGIO for almost 40 years. Currently the Deputy Chief Executive, Lew is responsible for the insurance operations of the Insurance Commission, including CTP, RiskCover (WA's State self-insurance scheme) and the Special Investigations Divisions.

Lew has over 23 years experience in senior executive roles including Human Resources, CTP and General Insurance and has been the Insurance Commission's representative on the Road Safety Coucil (Western Australia's peak road safety body) since 2009.