Keynote speakers

We are proud to introduce the following speakers

Professor Ian Couper

Ian has been Director of the Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health and Professor of Rural Health in the Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, since 2016. This follows more than thirteen years at the University of the Witwatersrand and the North West Provincial Department of Health.

He was a founding member of the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa, and is past chair of the Wonca Working Party on Rural Practice. He has been involved in educational support in a number of African universities, including in Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania, and was a member of the national task team that developed clinical associate (PA) training in South Africa. He is the African section editor of Rural and Remote Health, and an associate editor of BMC Medical Education.

His reach focuses on rural health and health professions education.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh

Trish is an internationally recognised academic in primary health care and trained as a GP. She joined the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford in January 2015 after previously holding professorships at University College London and Queen Mary University of London.

As co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Research In Health Sciences (IRIHS) unit, Trish leads a programme of research at the interface between social sciences and medicine, with strong emphasis on the organisation and delivery of health services. Her research seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and humanistic aspects of medicine while also embracing the unparalleled opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering.

Trish is joint module coordinator on the Knowledge Into Action (KIA) module of the MSc in Evidence Based Health Care.

Elizabeth Iro

Elizabeth is the World Health Organisation Chief Nursing Officer. She commenced in this role in January 2018 and is a member of the WHO Headquarters leadership team.

Elizabeth is from the Cook Islands, she has served as the country’s Secretary of Health since 2012- 2017. In this role, she has implemented legislative reforms to strengthen the country’s health system and developed the National Health Strategic plans (2012-2016, 2017-2021) and a National Health Road Map 2017-2036, among other national policy and strategic documents. She was the first nurse/midwife and woman to be appointed to this role in the Cook Islands.

Elizabeth was trained as a nurse and a midwife in New Zealand and holds a MHSc in nursing and a MBA. She held various nursing roles such as Chief Nursing Officer (2011-2012), Registrar of the Nursing Council (2000-2007) as well was the President of the Cook Islands Nurses Association (2002-2010).

Professor Papaarangi Reid

Papaarangi is Tumuaki and Head of Department of Maori Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand. She holds science and medical degrees from the University of Auckland and is a specialist in public health medicine. She has tribal affiliations to Te Rarawa in the Far North of Aotearoa and her research interests include analysing disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous citizens as a means of monitoring government commitment to indigenous rights.

Professor James Renwick

James has nearly four decades’ experience in weather and climate research. His main field is large-scale climate variability and climate change, including such things as El Niño, the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds, and the impacts of climate variability and change on New Zealand and the Antarctic. James was a lead author for the last two Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is a Convening Lead Author for the new 6th IPCC Assessment. He was recently awarded the Prime Minister’s 2018 prize for Science Communication.

Professor David Tipene-Leach

David, or DTL as he is known by many is from Pōrangahau and of Ngāti Kere and Ngāti Manuhiri descent.

Formerly a Hawke's Bay doctor, David was appointed Professor of Māori and Indigenous Research at EIT in early 2017. DTL is known for his innovative public health projects on prevention of long term conditions such as diabetes and sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI).

When he talks about SUDI he often describes this as his "best piece of work" which was to develop and champion the wahakura, a woven flax bassinet that allows Māori mums to share a bed safely with their newborns. The "safe sleep" programme that has flourished around the wahakura – the pepi-pod – is credited with decreasing SUDI deaths by 30 per cent in just six years.

The subsequent Safe Sleep programme has been credited with saving the lives of many babies. The Ministry of Health announced in 2017 that the infant safe sleep programme would run the wahakura project nationwide.

He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and health in 2018. Other worthy mentions was DTL's appointment to a new group who advised Health Minister David Clark on the health system, and, at Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa, Māori Medical Practitioners Association (TE ORA) Hui a-Tau 2017 in Porirua he was elected to the Te ORA Kaihautū/Chairperson.

David continues to advance his research interests at EIT, where he also teaches a postgraduate programme in Māori health.