Keynote and invited speakers

The Conference Planning Committee is pleased to introduce our two keynote speakers.

Dr Ron Gillam

This a photograph of Ron Gillam PhD who is a keynote speaker at the Speech Pathology Australia 2018 National Conference in AdelaideRon Gillam, PhD holds the Raymond and Eloise Lillywhite Endowed Chair in Speech-Language Pathology at Utah State University, where he is also the Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Neuroscience. His research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education, primarily concerns information processing, language assessment, and language intervention with school-age children with language disorders.

Dr Gillam has published three books, three norm-referenced tests, and more than 130 articles and book chapters. He has been an associate editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and Topics in Language Disorders. Dr Gillam has received numerous teaching and research awards including Honors of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA), Distinguished Alumnus at Indiana University, ASHA Fellow, the Haydn Williams Fellow at Curtin University in Western Australia, the Dads Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, the Editor’s Award for the article of highest merit in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (twice) and the Robins Award for the outstanding researcher at Utah State University.

View the abstracts for Dr Gillam's Masterclass, Keynote and Seminar presentations.

Dr Sandra (Sandi) Gillam

This a photograph of Sandra Gillam who is a keynote speaker at the Speech Pathology Australia 2018 National Conference in AdelaideSandra Laing Gillam is a Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University and the outgoing Vice President for Speech Language Pathology Practice for the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Since coming to Utah State, she has received numerous awards and honors including being named ASHA Fellow, Outstanding Alumnus, Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, and Outstanding Researcher of the Year. She earned her BS and MS degrees in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Auburn University and began her career as a speech language pathologist in public schools.

Dr Gillam obtained her Doctorate at The University of Memphis and began her academic career at The University of Alabama. She currently teaches courses in language development and disorders, assessment and intervention for language disorders, and professional issues. Her research interests include language and literacy impairments, diverse populations and comprehension. Dr Gillam has received funding for her research from the Institute of Education Sciences.

Professor Marion Kickett

This a photograph of Marion Kickett who is a keynote speaker at the Speech Pathology Australia 2018 National Conference in AdelaideProfessor Marion Kickett is a Balardong Noongar on her Father’s side and Wongutha/Yamitj on her Mother’s side. However, she grew up in Balardong country in the wheat belt area of the South West of Western Australia. She has a Nursing and Health Science background. Marion completed her PhD in 2012 at the University of Western Australia using an Aboriginal Methodology. Her topic was “Why are some Aboriginal people more resilient than others?”. She has been teaching Aboriginal Health and Culture for the past 30 years both at a community and academic level. Marion has worked in and with Aboriginal community controlled organisations developing, designing and implementing educational programs. Marion is currently the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University. She strongly believes the way forward is education and her strongest leadership attribute is the empowerment of her own people.

View the abstracts for Professor Kickett's Keynote and Seminar presentations.

Professor Elizabeth Ward - Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award Recipient

This a photograph of Elizabeth Ward who is the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award Recipient  at the Speech Pathology Australia 2018 National Conference in Adelaide

Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Ward is the Professor of the Centre for Functioning and Health Research (CFAHR) in Queensland Health and Professor in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. She is a leading international researcher with over 250 publications, and has been a keynote/invited speaker in 20 countries. Her research interests primarily centre on the practice area of dysphagia, with particular interest in acute care populations and patients receiving management for head and neck cancer. She has had extensive experience in health services research: building evidence for clinical practice areas, evaluating new models of care and addressing undergraduate/workforce clinical training issues. In her 20 years working at The University of Queensland, Professor Ward has received multiple University awards for the high quality of her undergraduate teaching, and in 2017 was awarded The University of Queensland Award for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision. In 2014, Professor Ward was made “Fellow” of Speech Pathology Australia in recognition of the standing of her contributions to the profession.

Since 2010, Professor Ward has been the Professor of the Centre for Functioning and Health Research (CFAHR); a conjoint position between the Metro South Hospital and Health Service of Queensland Health and The University of Queensland. In this role she has had the responsibility of building research capacity and stimulating clinical research within the allied health workforce of the public health service of Queensland. Through her leadership role within CFAHR, Professor Ward has assisted numerous clinical teams to implement and evaluate new models of care. She is passionate about improving health services for patients and reducing the “research-to-practice” gap in evidence implementation. Her work has led to many health service enhancements and has validated multiple new and expanded clinical roles in both speech pathology and other allied health professions.

View the abstract for Professor Ward’s Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award presentation.