SPSLM Conference Speakers, 10th to 12th March 2020

Further speakers to be announced!

Prof Garry Egger


Prof Garry Egger is known around the world as one of the pioneers of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University and an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and several Government and corporate bodies in chronic disease prevention. He has qualifications in behavioural biology and epidemiology. He has worked in public, corporate and clinical health for over 4 decades. He is the author of 30 books (including five texts) over 160 peer-reviewed scientific and research articles and numerous popular media articles on health and fitness. In the 1990s Dr Egger initiated the GutBusters, men’s waist loss program, the first of its kind in the world. He started training programs for Fitness Leaders in Australia in 1982, was one of the initiators of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) in 2008 and runs training programs in Lifestyle Medicine for doctors and allied health professionals around Australia and the Pacific. He recently received an Australia Medal for his services to medical education and health promotion. His recent interests and publications concern the link between obesity, climate change and economic growth.

Dr Darren Morton

BEd (Hons), MAppSci, PhD, DipIBLM, FASLM

Dr Darren Morton is an internationally recognised Lifestyle Medicine Educator. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Certified Diplomate of the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Presently he is the Course Convenor for Postgraduate Studies in Lifestyle Medicine at Avondale where he also supervises several doctoral students.

Dr Morton is the author of four books and approximately 50 publications in scientific and medical journals. He has presented to corporate, education and community groups around the world and is an invited speaker at international academic conferences. He has also been awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the Australian university sector.

Dr Morton’s specialty is in the creation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions. He was a key developer of, and is a presenter in, the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) which is a premier Lifestyle Medicine intervention targeting chronic diseases that now operates in over 10 countries around the world. Most recently, Dr Morton has created The Lift Project which incorporates evidence-based strategies from Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology for improving emotional health and wellbeing.

In his spare time, Darren loves being active outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

A/Prof Wayne Dysinger


Dr Wayne S. Dysinger, is a lifestyle, preventive and family medicine physician who currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Lifestyle Medicine Solutions, a new model primary care concept that is built around Lifestyle Medicine principles. He is also Chair of both the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine, and Medical Director of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). He is an active faculty at Loma Linda University and a past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and consults, teaches and participates in research on Lifestyle Medicine issues around the world.

He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Lifestyle Medicine Solutions, a new model primary care concept that is built on Lifestyle Medicine principles along with a direct primary care funding mechanism.  He is also Medical Director of the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) and consults and teaches on Lifestyle Medicine issues around the world.  Dr. Dysinger was previously Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Loma Linda University.  He is a past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is on the board of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and has worked in various capacities with the American Medical Association and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Dr. Dysinger earned his M.D. degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine (1986), and his MPH from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (1990).  He has previously worked in Guam, Atlanta and Dartmouth.

A/Prof Renee Bittoun

Renee Bittoun has over 30 years experience within the smoking cessation field. Renee has been invited to be a keynote speaker at many international conferences and also to conduct ‘Master-classes’ in Smoking Cessation around the world. She was awarded the prestigious Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand President’s Award in 2009 for her contribution to tobacco control.

Renee is the author of numerous books on smoking and quitting both for the public and for practitioners, and has published many research articles on tobacco dependence and cessation. She has conducted clinical trials of many treatments for tobacco dependence, including both pharmacotherapies and behavioural interventions.

Renee’s initiatives include starting one of the world’s first Smokers’ Clinics at St. Vincent’s Hospital (Sydney), founding the Journal of Smoking Cessation (where she is the Editor-in-Chief) and establishing the first Australian University course on Nicotine Addiction and Smoking Cessation at the University of Sydney (which she continues to teach). She is Director of the Smokers’ Clinics in the SW Sydney Area Health Service, President of the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals, Head of the Smoking Research Program at the Brain and Mind Centre (University of Sydney) and an inaugural member of the international Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco.

Dr Bradley Townend

BSc(Med), MBBS, MPH(Hons), MMed, FRANZCO

Dr Brad Townend enjoys living and working on the Central Coast with his wife and children. He completed his medical degree with honours at the University of NSW and went on to subsequently complete a master’s degree in Public Health at UNSW. Following this Brad completed a master’s degree in Ophthalmic science at the University of Sydney. He worked for several years at Gosford, Wyong and John Hunter Hospitals before completing 5 years of extensive eye training through Sydney Eye Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, and a member of the Australian Cataract and Refractive Surgery Association.

Brad is a clinical associate lecturer in Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney and has done extensive research into various aspects of ophthalmology, including the identification of number of risk factors for cataract formation. This research has been published in number of international ophthalmology journals. Brad also has an interest in how nutrition can play a role in the formation and protection of eye disease, he has recently written a book entitled Eye Nutrition in order to give patients useful and practical information on how to eat their way to good eye health.

Brad participates in regular work for the Fred Hollows Foundation and previously took 6 months ‘off work’ and worked for the Fred Hollows Foundation in Nepal, the Pacific islands and Alice Springs. This work has enabled him to contribute to the eye health of thousands of patients in under-privileged areas, and as a result Brad has learned a lot about the world, ophthalmology and himself during these adventures!

Brad is currently in private practice at Coastwide Eye Surgery and serves as an ophthalmologist. He operates at Central Coast Day Hospital, Berkeley Vale Private Hospital and both Gosford and Wyong public hospitals where he acts as the head of department for ophthalmology. Brad plays on the Gosford Hospital basketball team and enjoys the saxophone, cricket and cycling.

A/Prof Ross Grant

PhD (NeuroPharmacology), MAppSc (Clin Chemistry), BEd (Sc) (Biochemistry/Chemistry)

Dr Grant is a Biochemical Pharmacologist in the School of Medical Sciences UNSW, Clinical Associate Professor at the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, University of Sydney and Head of the Australasian Research Institute.

Dr Grant’s research focusses on characterizing, at the molecular level, how lifestyle and environment (eg emotional stress, diet and exercise) produce changes in the body’s biochemistry that lead toward either health or disease; including oxidative stress, inflammation and changes in metabolism. A practical goal of this research is identification of early subclinical disease (often linked to accelerated aging) enabling effective intervention before irreparable damage to tissue occurs.

Dr John Kelly


“Dr. John,” as he is affectionately called by patients and staff, is passionate about Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Kelly completed his undergraduate education in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, graduating Summa Cum Laude as a McMurran Scholar. He then completed the Dual Degree Program at Loma Linda University, receiving his MD in 2000 and his MPH in Epidemiology in 2002 with honors. He completed residency training in Preventive Medicine in 2003 and received ABPM Board certification in 2004. Dr. Kelly received the AMA Excellence in Medicine Award in 2004 as a Young Physician for his work in establishing the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, the medical specialty society for clinicians who specialize in the use of therapeutic lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of disease. (www.lifestylemedicine.org) He served as founding President for ACLM. Dr. Kelly accepted an appointment as Assistant Research Professor in the Nutrition Department at Loma Linda University with the Lifestyle Research Initiative where he conducted a multi-center outcomes analysis of lifestyle centers in the U.S. and served as Co-PI for a multi-$million diabetes research project in the Marshall Islands. He continues to work with ongoing studies investigating the use of therapeutic lifestyle interventions in the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and related chronic diseases. He is presently Director of Medical Education & Research at the Black Hills Lifestyle Medicine Center (www.BHLMC.org). He was Medical Director for outpatient lifestyle programs. Dr. Kelly enjoys sharing the scientific evidence for the use of lifestyle to treat, prevent and reverse disease with his patients and with other practitioners, researchers and the public. He gives invited expert presentations on Lifestyle Medicine, Epigenetics and other topics internationally. He also serves as a Lifestyle Medicine expert consultant.

Dr Lillian Kent

PhD, M.Appl.Epi, MPH, RPHNutr, FASLM

Dr Lillian Kent is a senior researcher in the Lifestyle Research Centre at Avondale College of Higher Education. She also lectures in Postgraduate studies in Lifestyle Medicine at Avondale and supervises several doctoral students. Lillian has presented at various academic and community events around the world.

Lillian is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and a Registered Public Health Nutritionist with the Australian Society of Nutrition. She has more than 25 publications in scientific peer review journals. Since joining Avondale her research has focused on outcomes following the CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) program. More recently, her research interests have centred on delivering CHIP messages to illiterate, rural communities in third world countries using a community development and empowerment methodology (REFLECT). In addition, her research has diversified to using Positive Psychology for improving emotional health and wellbeing.

Dr Paul Rankin


Dr Paul Rankin trained hundereds of individuals as facilitators for the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) while working as the Area Manager (Australasia, Asia and Africa), for the Lifestyle Medicine Institute, a Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing company, which runs the Complete Health Improvement Program. Dr Rankin has worked as a nurse, pastor, missionary pilot, health educator, administrator and academic. He is passionate about his family, wife Sonia and three adult children. He enjoys hang gliding, woodwork and hiking.

Having personally experienced the benefits of lifestyle change when he adopted a plant-based whole-food diet over 10 years ago and started exercising. He lost 35kg in weight and saw dramatic reductions in his cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. He was amazed at how much extra energy this simple change in lifestyle gave him and he has committed his life to sharing the benefits of the whole-food plant-based diet with moderate exercise for improving heath and reducing and even reversing many chronic diseases.

Dr Rankin trained as a registered nurse when he first left school. He then trained as a SDA Pastor in the early 1980’s. He completed a Masters in Public Heath in 1998 and a PhD in Lifestyle Medicine in 2014. Dr Rankin is a conjoint lecture in Lifestyle Medicine at Avondale College of Higher Education in Australia and has published 14 articles in relation to lifestyle medicine in peer reviewed academic journals.

Elisiva Na'ati

SPC Public Health Nutrition Adviser

Dr Isimeli Tukana

National NCD Adviser to Ministry of Health, Fiji Government 

Dr Geoffrey Kenilorea

National NCD Adviser to Ministry of Health, Solomon Islands Government


357 Princes Road Tamavua
(PO Box 707)
Suva Fiji Islands

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