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Better Outcomes  National Foster Care Conference Novotel Brighton Beach, Brighton Le-Sands  Sydney  31 October to 2 November 2008


Keynote Speakers

Keynote presenters include:

Dr Suzanne Packer


Suzanne Packer has been a paediatrician since 1972 and has worked in the A.C.T as a Community Paediatrician and Paediatrician to Child-at-Risk Health Unit since 1990. Dr Packer has seen many children because of abuse and neglect and has now followed some children into adulthood. In 1999 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her “services to child welfare, Paediatrics and the Community”.

Mary Anderson


Mary Anderson is a Clinical Psychologist (University of Sydney), with over thirty years experience with children in Out of Home Care. She worked for many years in the Tasmanian and New South Wales State departments, dealing with Juvenile Justice and Care matters, children in group homes, children with intellectual and physical disabilities, and offered a visiting service to foster families. Mary later worked in the Child and Family section of Community Health, offering behavioural interventions, play therapy and a learning difficulties clinic. She went to set up and manage an intervention service for families where children had experienced abuse. She has presented a wide range of training workshops, including the therapeutic use of play, issues of attachment and behaviour management. She has supervised Clinical Masters students at Macquarie University, and more recently has offered supervision and training to Parent Line counselors. Mary has been in private practice for the past twelve years, specialising in children’s court matters, placement issues and child behaviour management. She has regularly appeared as an Expert Witness in the area of children’s Attachment Issues. She is also involved in Juvenile Justice matters and Adult Criminal proceedings for Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service.



Professor Graham Vimpani


Professor Graham Vimpani is Professor and Head of the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Newcastle; Clinical Chair of Kaleidoscope: Hunter Children’s Health Network within the Hunter New England Area Health Service; and Medical Director of the Child Protection Team of the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

He has a background in community paediatrics and a longstanding interest in promoting child development through a range of early intervention strategies that address the support needs of families with infants and young children. His research interests have spanned childhood injury prevention, child protection, the impact of lead on child development, the evaluation of home visiting, health outcomes in adolescent boys and the links between socio-economic inequality and child health.

He is co-chair of the Children’s and Young People’s Health Priority Task Force in New South Wales and a member of the Health Care Advisory Council. He is Chair of the Board of NIFTeY Australia (the National Investment for the Early Years) - a cross-sectoral advocacy body designed to promote greater awareness of the importance of the early years of life and a member of several other national NGO boards. He was a recipient of the Centenary Medal and is a Member of the Order of Australia.



David Hill


David Hill was born in England in 1946 and came to Australia with his two brothers, followed by his mother, under the Fairbridge Farm child migrant scheme in 1959. He left school at 15 but later matriculated from East Sydney Technical College before completing an Economics degree at Sydney University in 1968. From 1969-70 he was an economics tutor at the University, whilst completing a Master of Economics degree.

  • Chairman, Sydney Water Corporation 1997 – 1998.
  • Chairman, Australian Football Association 1995 – 1998.
  • Member, FIFA Olympic Football Committee, Zurich 1996 – 1998.
  • Chairman then Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1986 –1995 [equivalent of BBC].
  • Member, International Television Council (NATAS), New York 1989 – 1995.
  • Executive Member, Asian Pacific Broadcasting Union, Kuala Lumpur 1991 – 1994.
  • Director then Trustee, Visnews (now Reuters TV) London 1991 – 1994.
  • President of the North Sydney (‘Bears’) Rugby League Club 1989 – 1992.
  • CEO, State Rail Authority of NSW 1980-1986 and Chairman Railways of Australia 1984 – 1986.
  • Director Australian Airlines (now Qantas Domestic) 1983 – 1986.
  • Fellow, Sydney University Senate 1984 –1986.
  • Director, Ministerial Advisory Unit, New South Wales Government 1976 –1980.

In 1994 he became Chairman and later Patron of CREATE – an organisation representing Australian children in care.

Since 2003 he has been the Chairman of Rail Heritage Australia (NSW).

In 2005 he was elected the inaugural President of the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, having been a member of the Australian and British associations since 1999.

In 2005 he was awarded a Diploma of Arts with Merit (Classical Archaeology) from Sydney University.

In 2007, his book The Forgotten Children was published by Random House. He is currently completing his second book.









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