Keynote and Invited Speakers 2012


24 – 27 June 2012 Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart,
Tasmania, Australia

The Conference Planning Committee(CPC) is pleased to announce
our Keynote speakers at the 2012 National Conference. 

Professor Bruce Murdoch

Dr Mabel L. Rice

Professor Cate Taylor

Dr Angela Morgan   -   Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture

Ms Kelly Weir

Masterclass 1 - Prof. Bruce Murdoch

Masterclass 2 - Ms Kelly Weir

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Professor Bruce Murdoch




Professor Murdoch is a Neuroscientist who is a recognised international authority on neurologically acquired speech and language disorders in children and adults. He has published 13 books in this field, over 380 peer-reviewed articles in high quality international journals, in excess of 70 invited book chapters and over 330 paper presentations at major international conferences. He is recognised as having pioneered the use of physiological instrumentation in the assessment and treatment of acquired speech and language disorders associated with both acute and degenerative neurological disorders including stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Further he has made a seminal contribution to the delineation of the role of subcortical brain structures in language processing. More recently he has pioneered the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of neurogenic communication disorders, including aphasia and dysarthria associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Murdoch is a member of the editorial board of ten international, refereed journals and an editorial consultant to 20 other international journals. He is an expert consultant to the National Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Stroke in Childhood, Royal College of Physicians, London and to the American Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences.

In recent years he has presented invited, keynote addresses at international conferences in South Africa, Portugal, Greece, Brazil, USA, Canada, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Since 2007 Professor Murdoch has been the Chair of the Motor Speech Disorders Committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics and is an elected board member and secretary of that organisation.

Currently, Professor Murdoch is the Director of the Centre for Neurogenic Communication Disorders Research which he founded at The University of Queensland in the early 1990s. The Centre is world-renowned for its research into physiological assessment and treatment of neurologically based communication impairments. He served as Head of School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland from January 1999 to December 2009. Professor Murdoch has held the position of visiting professor at several institutions in the USA, Europe, and Asia, including Arizona State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida State University, University of Reading and the University of Gothenburg. He currently has an appointment as a visiting research professor at the University of Hong Kong.

If you wish to read more about Professor Murdoch, 
please visit

Link:  Professor Bruce Murdoch's Abstracts


Dr Mabel L. Rice, PhD




Mabel L. Rice, PhD
, is the Fred & Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor of Advanced Studies at the University of Kansas. She directs the Merrill Advanced Studies Center, the Child Language Doctoral Program, and the NIDCD-funded Center for Biobehavioral Neurosciences of Communication Disorders. She has been a Scholar-in-Residence at MIT, Harvard, the University of Potsdam, Germany, and Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and a Japan Fellow in Tokyo. 

Mabel serves on the Advisory Council of NIDCD, on the Communication Disorders Workgroup for American Psychiatric Association DSM-V,co-chaired the PhenX Speech and Hearing Working Group for the National Human Genome Research Institute, is a consultant for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Longitudinal Study of Child Health Outcomes, and the Autism Speaks Treatment AdvisoryBoard. She is a Fellow of AAAS, APA,and APS, and received ASHA Honors as well as the Alfred A. Kawana Council of Editors Award of ASHA. 

Mabel’s research interests focus on language acquisition and language impairments,morphosyntax (grammar markers of language impairment), genetics of language,reading, and speech impairments, language acquisition and impairments in twins,language impairments in children affected by HIV, and language impairments inchildren with autism.  Her investigations are funded by awards from NIH. 

In collaboration with Shelley Smith and Javier Gayán in 2009 she reported a shared candidate gene for language impairments and reading impairments, KIAA0319. She enjoys and appreciates the support and contributions of scientific collaborators from Nebraska (Shelley Smith and Lesa Hoffman), Australia (Steve Zubrick and Kate Taylor), Spain (Javier Gayán), Johns Hopkins (Rebecca Landa), Tulane (Russ Van Dyke), University of Illinois (KenRich), Canada (Johanne Paradis and Martha Crago) and Norway (Synnve.Schjolberg) and the members of the Language Acquisition Studies lab at the University of Kansas. 

Link:  Dr Mabel Rice's Abstracts

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Professor Cate Taylor


Co-presenting with Dr Rice in her workshop is.....

Professor Cate Taylor conducts research in child health, development and wellbeing at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia. Her primary research is in language development and disorders in childhood and related developmental outcomes such as school readiness, school achievement and social and emotional wellbeing. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand developmental and environmental mechanisms that facilitate and constrain children’s development. This research informs theories of child development and policies and practices to support typically developing and vulnerable children and their families.

Cate has professional experience in the health, higher education and research sectors and has held state-level advisory roles in service provision for children with language and literacy difficulties, preterm births and Autism. Cate is a Councillor for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and a mentor for the ARACY New Investigator’s Network. Cate has a PhD from the University of Oregon, a Post Graduate Diploma in Speech Pathology from Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. In 2004, Speech Pathology Australia awarded Cate a Fellowship.

Link:  Dr Mabel Rice and Professor Cate Taylor's Abstract

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Dr Angela Morgan


Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture presented by....

Dr Angela Morgan
is a Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her current research examines the neurobiological bases of childhood communication disorders with a view to understanding how these substrates interact with environmental influences to maintain or modify disorder. Angela’s interest in applying cross-disciplinary methods in speech pathology was sparked by her post-doctoral training in neuroimaging techniques at University College London. Since returning to Australia, she has worked collaboratively with one of the nation’s leading geneticists to gain insights into how molecular genetic analysis may also inform our discipline. Alongside her research work, Angela maintains a clinical caseload within the Speech Pathology Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. She is also committed to student learning, and teaches casually on the Speech Pathology programs at LaTrobe University and the University of Melbourne.

Angela’s work has generated over 80 publications, including more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, 20 book chapters, and a co-edited text. In 2010 she was fortunate to receive an NH&MRC Achievement Award, and a Victorian Young Tall Poppy Award for Scientific Achievement. In 2008 she received an Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy Award, being selected to take part in an Australian Preventative Healthcare Think Tank. Angela has received invitations to speak at key conferences in Germany, Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom. She serves on the editorial board for two international multidisciplinary peer-review journals, and is currently a member of the International Association of Logopaedics and Phoniatrics motor speech disorders committee. Her work has been supported by funding bodies including the Australian Research Council, NH&MRC and the Royal Society. Angela has been privileged to see her collaborative work cited in international reports and guideline documents for organizations such as CANchild, the American Speech and Hearing Association and the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

Link:  Dr Morgan’s abstract for the Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture

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Master Classes

The CPC has decided to include two Master classes into the Conference program. They will be held on Sunday 24 June 2012 prior to the Conference pre-registration and Welcome Reception.

Prerequisites for registrants / assumed knowledge or skill base when attending the Masterclass.  It is assumed participants will have:
- an understanding of normal feeding development in children and normal swallowing function and
- some prior experience in clinical assessment of children with feeding difficulties.

Master Class 1    

Professor Bruce Murdoch has agreed to present a Masterclass titled Technological advances in the assessment of acquired speech and language disorders: Functional principles, application and interpretation as part of his Keynote speaker engagements, and....

Master Class 2    

Kelly Weir has accepted the invitation to present a Masterclass on her area of clinical expertise in paediatric feeding and dysphagia.

Link:  Kelly's abstract for her Masterclass

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Ms Kelly Weir



Kelly Weir graduated in 1989, obtained a Research Master of Speech Pathology in 2003 for her thesis “A comparison of clinical and radiological assessments in paediatric dysphagia” and is currently completing a PhD researching feeding and swallowing difficulties and respiratory disease in children. Kelly has worked at Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane since 1996 specialising in paediatric dysphagia, tracheostomy management, acute inpatients, instrumental evaluation of swallowing and treatment of behavioural feeding difficulties and children with complex medical conditions.  Her current caseload includes providing services to the paediatric intensive care and high dependency units, children with tracheostomy tubes and ventilator-assisted, feeding in-and outpatients and the modified barium swallow clinic.

Kelly has lectured in paediatric dysphagia at the University of Queensland, has published papers in the field of paediatric dysphagia and presented at national and international forums. She has been a paediatric representative on a number of dysphagia related Speech Pathology Position Papers and is currently the Scientific Affairs Leader for Queensland for Speech Pathology Australia. Kelly has co-developed and co-authored a state-wide paediatric feeding and dysphagia competency training package for Queensland. She also collaborates on research with the Queensland Cerebral Palsy & Rehabilitation Research Centre investigating oropharyngeal dysphagia in children with cerebral palsy and with the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Centre investigating paediatric dysphagia and respiratory disease.

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Learn more about Speech Pathology Australia's National Conference in May 2016