Keynote Speakers

Adam Jahnke

Founder and CEO, Umps Health

Adam Jahnke Umps HealthAdam Jahnke became a carer after his grandpa was hospitalised due to a fall in his home. Unable to reduce his full-time work, Adam turned to technology, but found tech-based solutions did not meet his family’s needs. This drove him to build his own solution and to found Umps Health, with the goal of empowering family members to provide better care using artificial intelligence.

Umps Health is currently a resident at the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and Young Social Pioneers MedTech program; two of Australia's leading startup accelerators.

Adam’s background is in the commercialisation of technology to improve public health. One of his earliest roles was at Cochlear China, where he developed partnerships with enterprise and government stakeholders to make cochlear implantation accessible to disadvantaged and remote communities. He has also worked at Ericsson, where he led the development of digital transformation projects for governments and enterprises in Australia and South East Asia.

Adam believes that a deep understanding of the challenges facing carers is essential for the design of effective solutions. In 2017, he received the inaugural Gourlay-Trinity Social Impact Award and third place at the Oxford Global Impact challenge for his analysis of the systemic issues driving the shortage of care in Australia, and the role of artificial intelligence in addressing the shortage. Adam also advises a number of startups tackling other complex social issues, challenging them to continue asking why the status quo exists.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma of Languages (Mandarin) from the University of Melbourne, and is studying a Master of Public Health part-time, specialising in ageing and health economics. He also teaches economics at the University of Melbourne, and is a guest lecturer in social entrepreneurship.


Anthony Bacon

Lifelink Operations Manager, Feros Care

Anthony BaconAnthony Bacon is Lifelink Operations Manager at Feros Care, a multi-award winning not-for-profit organisation offering aged and community care services in Australia. Feros Care is a leader in the use of smart assistive technologies.

Anthony has a background in technology focusing on telehealthcare. Since 2013 he has led the client technology department to deliver smart assistive technology solutions and the development of Feros Care’s safe and smart home to over 3,000 clients. Feros Care has also managed over 500 clients in Australia and New Zealand using its My Health Clinic At Home, a telehealth service with vital signs monitoring and video conferencing.

Anthony and his team are passionate about technology; always looking for solutions that support both clients and carers to improve clients’ daily lives by ‘ageing in place’. Top-of-mind is the question: How is the aged and community care industry going to support Australia’s ageing population to live independently in their own homes longer?

The answer lies with emerging and innovative technologies, and how it will transform home services, health services and communities in supporting seniors to remain healthy, active, independent, social and connected.

Feros Care gives clients a choice in service and technology, from telehealth service involving touch-screens, vital sign equipment and in-home video conferencing, to social group video calls, to smart home technology and monitoring safety.

Anthony’s experience in multiple industries include hospitality, wholesale and retail, engineering, information technology, and now smart assistive technologies (including telehealth and telecare).

When he’s not assessing and testing new technologies and services, Anthony presents what he calls the Feros Technology Innovation to aged care and community conferences across Australia, sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise in smart technologies, and the benefits they bring to his many clients.


Professor Sue Yeandle

Director, CIRCLE

Professor Sue YeandleSue Yeandle is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE) at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Sue’s research focuses on policies and practices which affect caring roles throughout the life course and includes carers and their support needs; the paid care workforce; the role of technology in systems of care and support; and comparative international analysis of policy on care, carers and caring.

With Teppo Kröger, Sue co-edited Combining Paid Work and Family Care: policies and experiences in international perspective (Policy Press 2013). She is founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Care and Caring, published by Policy Press, and is preparing a new book on carers’ organisations and their impact in different areas of the world.

Sue leads the research programme, ‘Sustainable Care: connecting people and systems’, developed with support of the Worldwide Universities Network.

The Sustainable Care programme and international network was recently awarded the prestigious Large Grant funding by the UK Economic & Social Research Council. It will develop new research on how wellbeing can be sustainably delivered for all involved in providing and receiving care.

Running from November 2017 to April 2021, the programme will fund research teams in seven universities and connect scholars in 15 other countries (including Australia) to develop comparative international analysis of effective and sustainable care arrangements.

Leadership on achieving impact on policy and practice will be provided by Carers UK with the support of a network of international partners, including Eurocarers, the International Alliance of Carer Organizations and the Swedish Family Care Competence Centre.


Dr Jordan Nguyen

Biomedical engineer, inventor, futurist, TV writer and presenter

Dr Jordan Nguyen is a young man on a mission to change the world. He is an acclaimed thought leader on the intersection between technology and humanity.

At a moment of the most extraordinary breakthroughs in our understanding of the human brain, Jordan has a magical combination of technical brilliance and a unique ability to inspire people.

An inspirational communicator, Jordan presents on technology and the power of the mind at prestigious events internationally including Think Inc., Wired for Wonder, and the Engineering for Medicine and Biology Conference – the world’s largest annual biomedical conference.

Upon completing his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney, Jordan was accepted into the prestigious UTS Chancellor’s List. Now his mission is to improve the lives of as many people as possible. As founder of Psykinetic he designs life-changing technologies focusing on intelligent, futuristic and inclusive technology.

Drawing on his experience of almost breaking his own neck, Jordan developed a mind-controlled smart wheelchair for people with high-level physical disability.

A hot topic of discussion in the media, Jordan’s work has been featured in a range of TV, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews, including ABC’s Catalyst and Channel TEN’s The Project.

Jordan is a NSW State Finalist for Australian of the Year 2017.

As a speaker Jordan has the ability to translate highly technical concepts and future trends into clear and concise content, relevant to any organisation looking to proactively embrace and adapt to technological change.

Sylvana Mahmic

CEO, Plumtree and early childhood intervention advocate

Sylvana Mahmic keynote speakerSylvana Mahmic is an advocate for early childhood intervention and the CEO of Plumtree. Plumtree is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for young children ages birth to eight years old with a developmental delay or disability, and their families. She has held executive positions at Early Childhood Intervention Association NSW/ACT Chapter over the past 10 years, including the roles of President and Vice-President. 

Sylvana has served on more than 15 reference and advisory groups and five Ministerial appointments, including the Disability Council of NSW. She has been a member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Independent Advisory Group since 2013. 

Sylvana contributes a number of perspectives in her advocacy work: her personal experience as a mother of a young man who has a disability; her professional experience working with young children with disability and their families; and being from a culturally diverse background. 

Since 2009 Sylvana, her son and the extended family have been learning how to use a self-managed package using individualised funding and she uses these experiences to shine a light on the potential of this approach for people with a disability and their families. 

Sylvana is currently undertaking research into individualised funding models as a PhD candidate at University of Western Sydney.


Vickie Cammack and Al Etmanski

Innovators, teachers, entrepreneurs and writers

Vickie Cammack and Al Etmanski have been engaged as activists, teachers, innovators, entrepreneurs and writers in the world of caregiving and disability for more than three decades.

Vickie was the founding director of Canada’s first Family Support Institute. Al, in his role as Executive Director of British Columbians for Mentally Handicapped People (now Inclusion BC), led the closure of Inclusion BC's major institutions, segregated schools and sheltered workshops.

They co-founded PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) in 1989 in response to the question, ‘What happens to people with disabilities when their parents die?’

PLAN has been associated with a number of innovations including:

  • pioneering social enterprise in Canada
  • instigating the world’s only Registered Disability Savings Plan – today there are more than $2 billion in deposits
  • stewarding the Representation Agreement, a grassroots alternative to adult guardianship which enshrines in law the legitimacy of caring, trusting relationships to support decision-making
  • developing a citizen based theory of disability
  • addressing isolation with a focused and strategic approach that creates durable personal networks/circles of support
  • establishing Tyze Personal Networks, a social purpose technology business to spread the use of care networks and address isolation.

For the last 10 years, Vickie and Al have been exploring the emerging world of social innovation, to learn how other social movements achieve lasting impact. They are interested in blending social innovation methods with the traditional ingenuity of carers and people experiencing life challenges. They believe caring is resplendent with creativity, tenacity and grace, and want to shine a light on it.

Vickie and Al are members of the Order of Canada. They have five children including Liz, an artist and poet who every day illustrates the potential of people with disabilities.

Their books include Safe and Secure, A Good Life and Al’s most recent, Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation.


Mark Kinsela

Chief of Staff, Australian Digital Health Agency

Photo of Mark KinselaOver 12 years experience in primary health care and aged care, including six years working in Government advisory in aged care, health system management, Pharmaceutical and health and hospital funding. Former Adviser to the Commonwealth Minister for Health.

Extensive public health policy experience, most recently playing an integral role in developing the Commonwealth Government's $3.7 billion aged care reform package.

Postgraduate qualifications and experience as a health business strategist (MBA), Trauma intensive care nurse specialist (ICU) and Clinical Educator.

Former Officer in the Australian Army, with experience with Defence systems and health logistics.


Christine Bryden AM and Paul Bryden

A former science and technology advisor to an Australian Prime Minister, Christine Bryden was diagnosed with dementia in 1995.

In 2001, Christine was the first person with dementia to give a plenary address to the international conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International. In 2003 she was the first person with dementia to be elected to the Board of Alzheimer’s Disease International. She has given many talks and interviews in Australia, as well as in several other countries.

Christine was a member of the Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network (2010-2015). She is a member of Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Scientific Panel, Queensland’s State-wide Dementia Clinical Network Steering Committee and the Cognitive Impairment Advisory Group of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. In 2016, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her advocacy work.

Christine has written four books: Who will I be when I die?, Dancing with Dementia, Nothing About Us, Without Us (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) and Before I Forget (Penguin Australia).

Three years after her diagnosis, Christine met Paul Bryden, a former diplomat. Despite her prognosis, they fell in love and married. With his help, support and encouragement, Christine has been an active advocate for people with dementia. Hers is an emotional and spiritual journey of survival and hope, accompanied by Paul, a loving and supportive husband and enabler.

Paul Bryden worked as a diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1970 to 1984, focusing on international trade issues. He subsequently held senior positions in the Department of Primary Industries and Energy, and the Australia New Zealand Food Authority.

He has been involved in dementia (Alzheimer’s) issues since meeting Christine in 1998. He has been a member of Alzheimer’s Australia (ACT), President of Alzheimer’s Australia (Sunshine Coast), and a Member of the Management Committee of Alzheimer’s Australia (Queensland).

Paul is a Chaplain at Woodford Correctional Centre, as well as an enabler for Christine.


Christopher Hills and Garry Hills

Christopher Hills is a 20-year-old video editor, and owner of Switched-On Video Editing. He was born with athetoid cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, which limits his ability to control muscle function and speech. So to use a computer, he uses his neck muscles to operate a Switch Control.

Christopher has completed jobs for clients such as Queensland Health, The National Disability Insurance Agency and Control Bionics in the US. Prior to starting his business, he studied Video Production with RMIT University online, and received a High Distinction. He also became an Apple Certified Pro in Final Cut Pro X.

As well as his work as an editor, Christopher is an Accessibility Ambassador and is a member of the Apple Consultants Network. He has produced a number of videos for his YouTube Channel on inclusion and how technology has an impact on his life, and has appeared and presented at various conferences.

Christopher enjoys all things technology-related, including flying flight simulators.


Since 2003, Garry Hills has been the primary carer for his son, Christopher.

Garry’s years as a carer, homeschooler and parent have been life-shaping. He has dedicated himself to developing the skills and attitudes needed when caring for a person with profound physical disabilities.

Garry has developed an intimate acquaintance with all manner of assistive and inclusive technologies, especially switch access; and has become an ardent advocate for Switch Control, Apple’s Accessibility feature built into all Macs and iOS devices.

Garry is an Accessibility Ambassador and is passionate about helping parents, carers, support workers and educators to understand and make the most of Apple’s inclusive technologies. He has a Graduate Diploma in Open and Distance Learning (USQ).