Opening speaker, Adam Ferrier: The science and magic of behaviour change

We’re all in the business of behaviour change and it’s far too important to leave it up to science alone, a dose of magic is also needed to make things happen.

Adam is one of Australia’s leading creative strategists, and a consumer psychologist. Adam began work life as a criminal psychologist, before becoming a cool hunter and then co-founding Naked Communications APAC. After leaving Naked, Adam co-founded Thinkerbell – where they practice ‘measured magic’. After just 3 years Thinkerbell was officially recognised as Mumbrella’s 2021 Creative, Full Service, and PR Agency of the Year – the first time one agency has won all three awards. In other news Adam is also the author of two books “The Advertising Effect” (Oxford), and ‘Stop Listening to the Customer’ (Wiley). Adam co-hosts the potentially multi-awarding winning podcast ‘Black T-Shirts’, and is a regular media commentator.

Closing speaker, Jamila Rizvi: Eleven Lasagnas

In 2017, life looked pretty good for Jamila Rizvi. A best-selling author, mum to an adorable two-year-old, married to a loving man and living happily in Melbourne. But then, almost overnight, her world changed with a shock brain tumour diagnosis. Jamila reflects on a life shaped by her sliding doors moment and speaks to themes of power, resilience, acceptance, love and mental health.

Jamila Rizvi is Deputy Managing Director of Future Women. She is a best-selling author for adults and children, a columnist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald and co-host of The Briefing podcast. Jamila previously advised the Australian Government on gender equality, child care, media and employment and has been named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.


Dr Sandra Iuliano: Healthy ageing with dairy: the next step

A first of its kind, the Australian Fractures Trial looked at how increased intake of dairy in the diet of elderly aged care residents improved their bone, heart and muscle health. By increasing serves of milk, cheese, yoghurt and skim milk powder the study showed a significant reduction in fractures and falls, as well as improving calcium and protein intake. Exploring what this means for the nutritional status of aged care residents, food provision guidelines and health economics Dr Iuliano, the lead investigator, will guide us through the next steps of the Fractures Trial, and what this means for healthy ageing with dairy.

Dr. Iuliano is a senior research fellow in the department of medicine, University of Melbourne. She has worked extensively in the aged care sector in particular researching food-based approaches to improving health outcomes in residents. Her most recent trial involved over 7000 residents in 60 residential aged care homes that cost-effectively reduced fractures and falls and prevented malnutrition. She has presented evidence at the Royal Commission in aged-care and is a member of the National Aged-care Advisory Council. She is also a strong advocate for improving nutritional care and quality of life via improved food provision in aged care.

Renee Kucyk: IBS and probiotics: what can dietitians do in practice?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 3.5% of Australians. The complexity of mechanisms underlying IBS means patients often struggle with symptoms for years before they find symptom relief. Encouragingly, evidence is mounting for the successful use of dietary strategies and probiotics to support both the short- and long-term management of IBS. In this presentation, scientific evidence supporting the use of specific strains of probiotics in IBS management will be explored, including how these strains work to reduce IBS symptomatology. Plus, the latest research will be translated into practical tips to help you better support your patients. 

Renee Kucyk BHSc (Nat), is an experienced Naturopath within the Metagenics Clinical Education Team. Renee is passionate about sharing health knowledge, delving into the latest research with the aim to deliver therapeutic strategies for optimum health and wellbeing. Her Naturopathic career emerged as a Practitioner with a desire to provide evidence-based nutritional and lifestyle medicine in clinic, in Melbourne, VIC (where she continues to practice). Renee’s strength is in translating research into clinically useful, and patient-friendly language, enabling her to connect with healthcare professionals whilst delivering nutritional solutions for effective clinical outcomes.


Leigh Seidel Marks: The impact of long COVID for dietitians

As we tread the path of a ‘post-COVID world’, not all are fortunate enough to leave the effects of COVID behind. In this session, Leigh will share her experience establishing the multidisciplinary allied health ReCOVery service at Melbourne’s Austin Health. She will discuss symptoms, prevalence data, referral themes and management considerations, and share her tips for supporting people experiencing long-term COVID symptoms.

Leigh is a Senior Dietitian and Clinical Lead for the newly-established ReCOVery Long COVID Service at Austin Health in Melbourne. The ‘ReCOVery’ clinic treats eligible patients who suffer from chronic fatigue, sleeping problems, shortness of breath and other symptoms associated with long COVID and has recently expanded to accept GP referrals. Leigh has 15 years of experience in both clinical and community settings, specialising in chronic disease management. She is a passionate home cook.

Dr Melissa Whitelaw: Eating disorders in private practice

How do you identify a restrictive eating disorder in the private practice setting? In this insightful presentation by Accredited Practising Dietitian Dr Melissa Whitelaw we’ll explore the role and boundaries of dietitians working with restrictive eating disorder clients in private practice. Melissa will outline assessment for possible eating disorder, including potential red flags, information about refeeding and ideas for meal plan development. She will also cover guidelines for referral to a specialist clinician and how to treat as part of a multidisciplinary team. Plus, Melissa will cover Family Based Treatment for adolescents when private practice is not appropriate and goals of treatment to achieve recovery.

For 18 years Dr Melissa Whitelaw was the lead dietitian in the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. She has worked in private practice since 2005 and is an Honorary Fellow at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Melissa’s research interest began when she described a more aggressive approach to refeeding hospitalised adolescents diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Her PhD (University of Melbourne) explored the prevalence of Atypical AN compared with AN and compared the degree and rate of weight loss with weight as predictors of clinical course in Atypical AN and AN.

Shannyn Thatcher: The role of nutrition in ADHD

With the recent increase in ADHD diagnoses, the probability of seeing individuals with this condition is increasing. During this presentation, Shannyn Thatcher will cover key issues affecting the nutritional intake of individuals who experience ADHD and will explore how these issues may arise. Shannyn will demonstrate why looking beyond food is critical when working in this area and will share her key tips for success in the nutritional management of those with ADHD.

Shannyn Thatcher is a passionate advocate for increasing the use of dietitians in the NDIS. From her Melbourne-based practice, The Realeatitian, she provides support for a diverse caseload of NDIS participants of all ages, with conditions ranging from Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, MS and Parkinson’s Disease to rare neurological and genetic conditions. Alongside her clinical role, Shannyn consistently works to raise the profile of dietitians within the disability sector, and has presented to multiple disability organisations. Shannyn places a large emphasis on advocacy and transparency in her practice, acknowledging that many of her clients may not have a “voice of their own” when it comes to healthcare and navigating the NDIS.

Tim McMaster: The role of low carb diets in diabetes

Low carbohydrate diets have been a controversial topic in the world of diabetes for some time. In this presentation, Tim will look at the ins and outs of low carbohydrate diets for diabetes management and answer some key questions, like are they safe for people living with diabetes? He will also share some practical tips for helping support people with diabetes to follow a low carbohydrate lifestyle.

Tim is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. He has been working in the area of diabetes for over 10 years, most recently with Diabetes Victoria. He is also the director of his online private practice ‘Master Nutrition’, which specialises in diabetes nutrition and sports nutrition (and a combination of both). When Tim isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Jess, his 3-year-old Standard Groodle ‘Iverson’, drinking coffee and watching all kinds of sports (not necessarily in that order). Occasionally he still pulls on the running shoes when his body allows him to.


Dr Emma Beckett: Knowledge over noise: engagement and impact in public communication

Everyone eats. This is great for nutrition communication because it means there is always an interested audience, hungry for information from credible voices. But, it is also challenging because there are so many voices, opinions and stakeholders. Some are well-intentioned, others are down-right deceitful. When information, misinformation and opinions collide it can create confusion, factions and harm. This is a challenge for individuals and for the profession, because facts alone don’t change minds and we live in the “post-truth” era. This session will highlight why public communication is critical and explore how to cut through the noise and connect with people, without falling into communication traps.

Dr Emma Beckett is the Ms Frizzle of food and nutrition science. You can find her in the lab, classroom, media or socials. Emma believes knowledge should be shared, and so she is a scientist who communicates – regularly appearing in print, online, on radio, television and social media. Her aim is to empower people to interpret nutrition information so that they can make informed choices about food. She has won several research and communications awards, including being named as a NSW Young Tall Poppy in 2017.

Emma Stirling: Cooking up new careers and competencies: culinary nutrition opportunities for dietitians

Culinary nutrition is emerging as a distinct dietetic practice area with significant growth opportunities across multiple settings from teaching kitchens within hospitals to innovative food business start-ups. Combining a food first philosophy with cooking and recipes at the core, culinary nutrition covers many areas including advanced knowledge and skills in food science, culinary applications, ingredient sourcing, supply chains, special diets and food trends, gastrophysics and eating behaviours. This session will explore competencies, careers and opportunities to enhance your practice.

Emma Stirling is the Director of Scoop Nutrition consultancy and an academic specialising in food science, gastronomy and culinary nutrition. Emma is recognised as an innovative, entrepreneurial and leading dietitian and at Australian Catholic University she is the National Culinary Nutrition Science Practice Lead and course coordinator of the exciting, new Graduate Certificate in Culinary Nutrition Science.

Dr Joanna McMillan: Tips for a successful career: media spokesperson, brand ambassador and author

The world of nutrition is hugely exciting and dietitians have more opportunities than ever to explore. We just have to grab it with both hands and own the space. In this session hear from one of Australia’s best-known dietitians as she reflects on her own career, shares her experiences good and bad, and her tips for success. Don’t miss the opportunity to quiz her on how to navigate your own career!

As well as a PhD qualified nutrition scientist and Accredited Practising Dietitian, Joanna is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University and guest lecturer at The University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Graduate of The Australian Institute of Company Directors. An experienced TV presenter, Jo is a regular on radio and in print media, an experienced speaker with more than 1 million views of her TEDx talk, the author of eight books and four Audible Original series. She is also a non-executive board member of Cobram Estate Olives.

Dr Maree Ferguson: Lessons learnt from 10 years of DC

Join us for this one-off opportunity to pick the brains of Dietitian Connection founder Maree Ferguson! With a diverse career background, Maree launched herself into inspiring, empowering and building the profile of dietitians via Dietitian Connection 10 years ago. In this Q&A style session, she will share her highs and lows, and some of the key lessons that have helped Dietitian Connection become the force for change that it is today.

Maree is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has worn (and continues to wear) many hats in her career as an internationally renowned nutrition and dietetics expert. Dietitian Connection became her focus upon its launch in 2012, and she continues to be excited and challenged in her role as founder every day to elevate the dietetic profession!


Business stream MC: Karen Inge

Karen Inge is one of Australia’s most established and decorated leaders in the fields of nutrition and dietetics. She is an award-winning author of books on eating for health, fitness, sport and wellbeing and a contributor to state-of-the-art textbooks on sports nutrition. Karen was the first VFL/AFL club dietitian; the founding Head of Nutrition at the Victorian Institute of Sport; the inaugural Vice President then President and Fellow of Sports Dietitians Australia; and the first dietitian Fellow of Sports Medicine Australia.

Clinical stream MC: Dr Tim Crowe

Dr Tim Crowe is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian who has spent most of his career in the world of university nutrition teaching and research. He now works chiefly as a freelance health and medical writer and scientific consultant. He has an active media profile and a large social media following through his Thinking Nutrition blog and podcast.

Add address