National Medicines Symposium 2012 program and speakers

Building a medicinewise community


The NMS 2012 program is available to download as a PDF.

International speakers

Prof Nick Barber

Prof. Nick Barber, The School of Pharmacy, University College London (UK)

Following a PhD in clinical pharmacology, Professor Barber lectured as a pharmacologist before running hospital pharmacies. He has been a professor at the School of Pharmacy since 1992. From 2004–7 he was a visiting fellow in Information Systems at the London School of Economics, and he has been a visiting professor in patient safety at Harvard Medical School. He has an international research reputation in the fields of medication errors and in pharmacy practice. His work on errors in care homes led to the ministers of health and social care calling a summit to address the issues it raised, and his work on patients’ encounters with new medicines led to a national New Medicines Service being funded in community pharmacies.


Anna-Lisa Silvestre, Vice President for Online Services, Kaiser Permanente International (USA)

Anna-Lisa Silvestre, Vice President for Online Services at Kaiser Permanente, has developed and overseen the strategy for the organisation’s web presence since 1995. This includes My Health Manager on, Kaiser Permanente’s award-winning patient portal, which enables more than 3.3 million members to access their personal health records, e-mail their doctor and participate in health behavior change programs.

Silvestre received her undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. She served on Google’s Health Advisory Council, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) standards committee and the California Governor’s Task Force on PHRs. She is an invited presenter at conferences worldwide, including World Health Care Congress, National Science Foundation, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and AMIA, specialising in online health care for consumers.

Kaiser Permanente serves over 8.7 million members and is the USA's largest non-profit health maintenance organisation.

Dr Kris Weerasuriya

Dr Kris Weerasuriya, Medicines Access and Rational Use (MAR) Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, World Health Organization Geneva

Dr Krisantha Weerasuriya, Clinical Pharmacologist, is the Medical Officer, Medicines Access and Rational Use in Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. He trained in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

He was the regional adviser in medicines at the WHO South East Asia regional office in New Delhi, India. He has been a clinical trial monitor for WHO Tropical Disease Research on new drugs in malaria and leishmaniasis.

Prior to joining WHO, he was the professor of pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and the secretary of the Drug Evaluation Sub-Committee at the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka, a perch that provided a wonderful opportunity to understand the actors, the workings and machinations in medicines in a small developing country.

His main interest is in achieving the full potential of the Essential Medicines Concept as well as the Essential Medicines Lists in health, especially in the developing world. An important component of this is passing the torch and training the future generations on the concept and the lists, in this increasingly globalised, ’bottom line‘ driven world.



Professor Emily Banks

Professor Emily Banks is a medically trained epidemiologist with interest and expertise in large scale cohort studies, pharmacoepidemiology, women’s health, and healthy ageing. She is currently the Scientific Director of the 45 and Up Study, Head of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines


Professor Andrew Cashin

Professor Andrew Cashin is Professor of Nursing and Discipline Lead of Nursing in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University. He is based at Lismore. Andrew is Adjunct Professor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University and the University of Technology Sydney. He is a Fellow of the College of Nursing and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners. Andrew conducts a practice as Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the Academic Health Centre at Southern Cross University.  His main clinical and research focus is working with people with autism and those who care for them. This includes Narrative Therapy with children and young people with autism, their families, and those who support them. Research is focussed on development and evaluation of the intervention strategies.  A further research focus is Advanced Practice Nursing and work force development.


Dr Michael Civil

Dr Michael Civil is the Medical Director of the Stirk Medical Group, a large independent practice in the outskirts of Perth. He also is Chair of the National Standing Committee for Standards in General Practice at the RACGP. Previously he has worked as Chair of the Taskforce for Telehealth Standards, covering the Clinical Standards applicable to video consultations. He has also been involved with eHealth at the RACGP. He works as an AGPAL general practice surveyor, accrediting general practice surgeries against the latest set of RACGP Standards in General Practice. He is also involved in general practice education and training, being a GP Registrar Supervisor and taking Medical Students at the Stirk Medical Group.


Dr Chris Mitchell

Dr Chris Mitchell is a rural GP on the NSW North Coast.   He is a member of the NPS Board and Audit Committee.  Chris is a clinical professor with the University of Wollongong and immediate Past President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners(RACGP).  Chris leads the Change and Adoption Team at NEHTA and is also represented on the Boards of the Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, RACGP Oxygen and the Northern Rivers GP Network.  Chris is a member of the World Organisation of Family Doctors Asia Pacific Executive and also holds a Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Dr Kay Price

Dr Kay Price is Associate Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery, UniSA.  She is an experienced researcher with expertise in applying critical analytical approaches to complex questions, integrating biomedical, political and social understandings and interrogating findings from different theoretical perspectives.  Kay is Board Director, NPS Medicinewise (Oct, 2008 – current).


Associate Professor Libby Roughhead

A/Prof Libby Roughhead is Associate Professor at Sansom Institute for Health Research, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia. Libby’s research interests include public policy concerning medicines, quality use of medicines, pharmacoepidemiology and adverse drug events. She is director of the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre and director of Veterans’ MATES.


Professor Glenn Salkeld

Professor Glenn Salkeld is a health economist with a major research interest in citizen focused decision making in health. Prof Salkeld was a member of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Economic Subcommittee for 6 years and has worked extensively with the World Health Organization and AusAID in teaching economics and evidence-based medicine to health professionals in numerous countries.


Professor Johanna Westbrook, PhD, FACHI, FACMI

Professor Johanna Westbrook, PhD, FACHI, FACMI, is Director of the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research (CHSSR), Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI), Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia.  She has undertaken leading research on medication safety, the effectiveness of electronic medication management systems to reduce errors and their impact on safe work and communication practices in hospitals. Professor Westbrook has an extensive publication record with over 200 refereed publications and has won several awards for her research.

back to top