Keynote and Invited Speakers

The Conference Planning Committee is pleased to introduce the conference's keynote and invited speakers.

Keynote speakers

Professor Marian Brady

This is a photograph of Professor Marian Brady a keynote speaker at the Speech Pathology Australian National Conference in 2019 in Brisbane.Professor Marian Brady BSc (Hons), PhD is a speech and language therapist and Professor of Stroke Care and Rehabilitation at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is the founding Director of the Stroke Rehabilitation Research program at the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government) funded Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit since 2000 and has worked in community and hospital settings in Ireland and Scotland.

Marian’s research is known for tackling highly relevant clinical uncertainties in the face of methodological complexity and championing co-operation and efficiency in the research process. Her Cochrane reviews have been in the top ten most accessed reviews in the world and regularly appear amongst Cochrane Group’s most accessed and most cited reviews. She leads a dynamic multidisciplinary research team from physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, optometry, psychology, nursing and neurosciences backgrounds the team delivers high quality evidence which improves the stroke care and rehabilitation experienced by stroke survivors. Comprised of senior and postdoctoral research fellows, research assistants and PhD candidates the program of research is supported by a range of funders including the National Institute for Health Research, EU Cooperation in Science and Technology, the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and the Stroke Association.

Marian has authored over 100 academic research articles in addition to articles on stroke rehabilitation for professionals or other members of the public. She an Editor for the Cochrane Stroke Group and an Associate Editor since 2016. Over her research career she has secured funding of £7Million.

Professor Susan Rvachew

This is a photograph of Susan Rvachew who is one of the conference;s keynote speakers.Professor Susan Rvachew, PhD, S-LP(C) is a professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at McGill University. Her research focuses on early infant speech development, speech sound disorders in preschool aged children, and designing more effective interventions to treat speech sound disorders in children and prevent reading disability in this population.

Susan is the author of over 80 papers, two blogs, and two books on phonological development and disorders. She has developed three software tools to facilitate speech-language assessment and intervention. Awards include three Editors’ Awards for best annual paper, Fellowship in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Eve Kassirer Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement (Speech-Language and Audiology Canada).

Elizabeth Usher Memorial Award Recipient

Professor David Copland

This is a photograph of Professor David Copland who is one of the conference;s keynote speakers.Professor David Copland is a Professorial Research Fellow at The University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He leads the Language Neuroscience Lab and is group leader at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. His research seeks to improve outcomes for people with aphasia through the development of new assessments and treatments and identifying better predictors of recovery and treatment response.

David developed The University of Queensland LIFT program for aphasia with Professor Linda Worrall and his research also seeks to improve aphasia management through testing principles of neuroplasticity and understanding the neurobiological basis of language recovery and treatment using neuroimaging. He has published over 130 journal articles and obtained over $13 million in competitive grant funding including ARC and NHMRC grants and an ARC Future Fellowship. David received the inaugural NHMRC Research Excellence Award as Australia’s top-ranked NHMRC Clinical Career Development Fellow. He is currently an investigator on 5 NHMRC trials investigating various aspects of aphasia rehabilitation including the use of neuroimaging to predict aphasia treatment response and examining whether music listening boosts subacute aphasia recovery.

Grace Gane Memorial Award Recipient

About Grace Gane... much like Elizabeth Usher, Grace Gane was a pioneer in speech-language therapy in New Zealand. She was one of the first few SLTs appointed to work in a hospital setting in the 1950s (prior to this, SLTs were only employed to work in education settings). She was a strong advocate for the New Zealand training of SLTs. In the 1960s she was involved in urging the Minister of Education to commence a university degree. It took a further 20 years for this to happen and Grace was delighted to witness this.

Professor Suzanne Purdy

This is a photograph of Professor Suzanne Purdy who is one of the conference;s keynote speakers.Professor Suzanne Purdy is Head of School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and Principal Investigator in the University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research (CBR) and the Brain Research New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. Previously she was head of the Discipline Speech Science from the time of its establishment at the University of Auckland in 2003.

Her academic background is in psychology, audiology and speech science and she has research interests in communication disorders, auditory processing, hearing and neurological conditions. She is engaged in a wide range of research. Current research includes two population studies of hearing and auditory processing, investigations of sensory function in adults with mild cognitive impairment, cognition and speech perception in people who use cochlear implants, diagnosis and treatment of auditory processing disorder, and language and hearing in children starting school in an area experiencing high levels of deprivation. She has many productive and enjoyable collaborations with speech language therapists, paediatricians, audiologists, neuropsychologists and other researchers and members of the community.