Program and Speakers

HREM 2021 promises to deliver an exciting and informative program. The program will feature keynote speakers, invited speakers and panel discussions delivered by leading experts in their respective fields. The 2-day program will brings together leading medical professionals from a variety of medical disciplinarians from across the Nation.

Due to the continuing lockdown and travel restrictions affecting Greater Sydney residents, the Organising Committee of the High Risk Emergency Medicine Meeting 2021 have made the decision to deliver the Meeting as a fully virtual event via our state-of-the-art virtual platform. Stream live or watch content on-demand when it fits into your schedule. All sessions will be recorded and available post-Meeting.

The program will focus on clinical competence in diagnosis and treatment of high risk conditions as well as instruct in strategies to avoid the legal ramifications of these adverse events.

Detailed Program

Assoc. Prof. Glenn Arendts

Glenn Arendts MBBS MMed PhD FACEM is Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine at the University of Western Australia and a consultant emergency physician at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) in Western Australia. He conducts ED based clinical research with a focus on the recognition and management of geriatric syndromes in the ED and harm minimisation strategies in older people. He designed and leads the FSH ED Falls Pathway which manages 3000 patients p.a. and uses standardised assessments to achieve markedly improved outcomes in older fallers. He has over 130 peer reviewed publications and is senior author of the Acute Geriatric Series for Emergency Medicine Australasia that summarises best practice evidence for common geriatric emergencies.

Dr Sara Bird

Sara has worked in the medico-legal area since 1998 and she is currently the Manager, Professional Services with MDA National. In this role, she assists doctors and their staff in dealing with a variety of medico-legal issues, including medical negligence claims, complaints and coronial inquiries.

Sara is the author of the Medico-legal Handbook for General Practice and the co-author of Cautionary Tales with John Murtagh.

Sara’s background is in general practice, having worked as a GP in Sydney.

Steven Bowden

Steven Bowden, B.Hum.Nut, M.Sc, M.BA (exec) is an experienced health professional with over 16 years of experience within NSW Health. He is the Clinical Lead for Safety Intelligence at the Clinical Excellence Commission. In this role he works with clinicians to access, interpret and apply data across the continuum of care to improve patient safety. Steve is committed to improving data literacy across the sector and seeing clinicians, managers and organisations equipped to translate data into knowledge to inform strategic, operational and clinical decision making. He has previously held roles as the Manager of Healthcare Improvement Analytics (SESLHD), Head of Discipline for Nutrition and Dietetics (ISLHD), Manager of Clinical Efficiency and Evaluation (SESLHD), Subacute Program Manager and Allied Health Data Manager (SESIAHS).

Dr Trevor Chan

Dr Trevor Chan is the Clinical Director of the Emergency Care Institute (ECI), part of the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and Senior Staff Specialist in Emergency at St George Hospital. He has most recently been the Director of Emergency at St George Hospital over the last 10 years and Co-Chair of the St George Clinical Council over the last 3 years. Dr Chan is the current NSW Faculty chair for the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee. He is a Conjoint Lecturer with the University of NSW

Dr Angela Chiew

Dr Angela Chiew BSci(Med) MBBS (Hons), FACEM, PhD is a Clinical Toxicologist and Emergency Physician. She works at the Prince of Wales Hospital and for The Poisons Information Centre NSW. She is a clinical researcher with a PhD in paracetamol overdose. She loves to speak about anything to do with toxicology.

Dr Nicola Cunningham

Nicola is a Senior Forensic Physician at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and an Emergency Physician at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. She also works as an Academy Member with the Patient Safety Review Team for Safer Care Victoria and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. Nicola holds a Fellowship of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, a Fellowship of the Faculty of Clinical Forensic Medicine with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, a Master of Forensic Medicine (Monash University), and a Master of Health and Medical Law (University of Melbourne). She combines her clinical work with leadership, teaching, research and advocacy in the fields of clinical forensic medicine, emergency medicine, medical ethics, law, and patient safety.

Dr Donovan Dwyer

Donovan Dwyer, MBBCh, DCH, DipPEC, FACEM, PEM, trained and worked as a rural GP in South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand before gaining an interest in Emergency medicine.

He migrated to Australia IN 1996, and completed his FACEM in 2000. A long-standing interest in paediatrics culminated in a Staff Specialist position at Sydney Children’s Hospital in 2007 and later qualification as a PEM. Currently Staff specialist St. George Hospital and Staff Specialist, co- DEMT and Director of Trauma Sydney Children’s Hospital.

He enjoys clinical medicine, teaching and has a passion for sensible test ordering. (and tries to avoid featuring in medicolegal forums)

Dr Sanj Fernando

Dr Sanj Fernando is a Senior Emergency Physician and Retrievalist. He was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia. He has a variety of interests including medical education, global Emergency Medicine (he’s co-Director of DevelopingEM Ltd) and medico-legal issues within the practice of acute care medicine. He has recently taken over as director of Liverpool Hospital ED which is a guarantee that his hair will never grow back.

Dr Alan Giles

Dr Alan Giles is an Emergency Physician and Medical Educator based in Sydney. He presently works clinically at the Sydney Adventist Hospital and is the HNSP Director for SLHD and SSWLHD. Much of his early career was based at Liverpool Hospital, Sydney as the DEMT and full time clinician. Over the last decade he has concentrated more on teaching with an interest in POCUS, paediatrics and communication. Alan is an APLS instructor and has volunteered over the years in Cambodia and Laos. He has an educational You Tube channel named “EM Topics in 1 coffee” and now that his children have left the home he lives with his wife and 2 ginger cats. He still cant speak Spanish or play decent guitar.

Dr Tim Green

Tim Green, MBBS (Hons) UNSW, FACEM is a Senior Staff Specialist at the Emergency Department, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney.

Dr Tim Green has been 34 years as a doctor, 26 years as an emergency physician, 16 years as an ED Director, 15 years as a self taught Medicolegal consultant and 278 medicolegal reports for the defendants of professional negligence litigation, coronial and disciplinary matters.


Dr Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes is a pain medicine specialist who works at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle NSW. He has been Director of Hunter Integrated Pain Service, since its foundation in 1997. He is a past Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Board member of Painaustralia.
His research explores a “whole person” approach to pain, difficulties that arise when mind and body are seen as separate and benefits of mindbody integration. Related areas include opioid deprescribing, outcome measurement and redesign of health systems to better integrate specialist pain services and primary care.

Dr Susan Hertzberg

Dr Susan Hertzberg is a Senior Staff Specialist in Emergency Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital and a Senior Medical Advisor at Avant Medical Defence Organisation. She likes to think the Senior refers to experience not age. Susan has a Masters in Health Law and a Masters of Bioethics. Susan is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the South East Sydney LHD, has been on numerous ACEM committees and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer  in Emergency at UNSW.

Assoc. Prof. Anna Holdgate

Associate Professor Anna Holdgate has been an Emergency Physician for more than 25 years. She remains active in clinical practice and is an examiner for ACEM. She has held many portfolios over her career including education and teaching , research and management. Following completion of further training in Health Law, she is now in engaged in medicolegal work for the NSW coroner, the Medical Council and litigious claims.

John Kamaras

John Kamaras, LLB, BSc, Hon has been employed as a solicitor at Avant Law for over 19 years. This includes leadership roles as Special Counsel Coronial (National) for 4 years and Legal Practice Manager (NSW) for over 5 years.
John joined Avant (United Medical Protection) in 2001 as a solicitor and has acted for medical practitioners involved in coronial inquests, medical negligence claims, disciplinary proceedings, Medicare investigations and criminal proceedings. He has publishing and presented numerous articles and talks over the years.
He has broad experience with most areas of health law but with a specific interest in coronial law. He has had conduct of over 600 coronial matters during his career.
In his current role as Legal Practice Manager, he manages a team of 6 solicitors and their support staff, in addition to running matters and providing medico-legal advice and education.

Professor Anne-Maree Kelly

Professor Anne-Maree Kelly is a senior emergency physician and research academic at Western Health, The University of Melbourne. She is also an adjunct professor at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology.  Her interest in patient safety and clinical decision-making in ED, led her to the interface between law and medicine. In 2020, Anne-Maree completed a Master of Health and Medical Law degree. She has completed more than 280 case reviews for coroners, APHRA and medical litigation (both defence and plaintiff). Her main area of research in Law is expert evidence, especially how acceptance of clinical uncertainty and balancing risks is conveyed to courts.

Dr Harvey Lander

Dr Harvey Lander B Med MBA FRACMA is Director, Systems Improvement at the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC), Sydney, Australia. The CEC has specialists in patient safety and is tasked with partnering with Local Health Districts to support improvements in safety and reliability of care across NSW Health. Harvey currently has responsibility for leading patient safety programs for the adult, maternity, neonatal and paediatric, older persons’, mental health, as well as the medication safety program. He contributes at a state level in supporting clinical and specifically medical leadership, executives and health services to improve the quality and safety of patient care in over 200 hospitals and smaller health facilities. He has contributed to publications on improving the recognition and response to sepsis and the deteriorating patient. He is passionate about systems improvements to help support safe, reliable, integrated, sustainable person-centred systems of care that reduce harm and improve patient experience and outcomes.

Harvey has previously worked as a Director of Medical Services in range of acute tertiary, outer metropolitan and regional hospitals (including an Area Clinical Governance Unit) across Australia and had responsibility for clinical governance, quality and safety, medical, pharmacy, and related services. He has previously served on the RACMA (Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators) Council, a Victorian Health Service Board Subcommittee and a School Council.

Professor Matthew Large

Professor Matthew Large is a Senior Staff Specialist Psychiatrist at The Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, a Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales, and is the Clinical Director of the Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists since 1995, and has wide-ranging experience in urban, rural, private and public psychiatry. He is one of Australia’s leading suicide researchers and has particular research interests suicide associated with hospital psychiatric care and suicide risk assessment. In his role as expert witness, Professor Matthew Large has given advice to Coroners and other matters after deaths in Australian States and Territories.

Dr Jack Marjot

Dr Jack Marjot is a Sydney advanced trainee in emergency medicine and spent 2020 working full-time with Avant – Australia’s biggest Medical Defence Organisation. Jack joined Avant just as COVID-19 spread outside of China, and quickly became the lead medical advisor to Avant on COVID-19, assisting over 75,000 healthcare workers.  Jack worked with doctors, key organisations, and the department of health throughout the waves of the Australian epidemic, to help doctors minimise their medico-legal risk in unpredictable times. Jack has published articles on the medical-legal ramifications of COVID-19. Jack has also assisted doctors in training experiencing medico-legal issues at the coalface of clinical practice, whether it be alleged professional misconduct, civil claims, or coroners’ cases.

Assoc. Prof. Sally McCarthy

Associate Professor McCarthy is a senior emergency physician at a tertiary Sydney ED and Director of an isolated rural ED. She holds/ has held many leadership roles including current President of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, and ACEM past president. A/Prof McCarthy was founding medical director of the NSW Emergency Care Institute where she established an incident advisory committee to review all serious critical incidents in NSW EDs. She is often called on to provide independent expert medical advice for the Coroner, HCCC, Medical Board and other entities, and is an experienced health service reviewer. An active researcher and educator, she has received a number of distinguished awards, and remains passionate about improving emergency care.

Assoc. Prof. John Raftos

John Raftos has been an Emergency Physician for 38 years.  He is a Foundation Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Physicians.  He trained at Royal North Shore and Gosford Hospitals and was Director of Emergency Services at Sutherland Hospital for 28 years.  He has been a Senior Specialist in Emergency Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital Darlinghurst for 24 years.  He is a conjoint Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia.  He has written more than 4,500 medicolegal opinions, including reports for the NSW State Coroner and reports for the Plaintiff and Defence in medical negligence matters.  He is still practising actively as an Emergency Physician.

Assoc. Prof. Chris Ryan

Dr Chris Ryan is a Clinical Associate Professor, the Director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital and an Associate of Sydney Health Ethics. Though his work is primarily clinical, he maintains an active research program and an interest in medical education. He is author or co-author of over one hundred publications on topics such as suicide risk assessment and the intersections of medicine, law and ethics.

Dr John Sammut


Dr John Sammut Graduated USyd MBBS (Hons1) in 1986, completed FACEM in 1994. John currently works as a Senior Emergency Physician, Director of the ICU and Clinical Executive Director Canterbury Hospital and is a Senior Medical Consultant Advisor to SLHD. Over John’s career he has been involved in disaster training, chair of the MIMMS Australasia which was a UK based (ALSG) disaster training program in the 1990s, volunteer for SOCOG and was the Medical Manager for the Main Stadium during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. John spent five years working part time for the Clinical Excellence Commission. John has been the medical advisor and educator on CEC programs, involved in rolling out the sepsis kills program, the between the flag program (Chair of the ED Chart development) and Leader of the team rolling out SIBR across NSW: a system for MDT bedside rounding.


Dr Linda Sheahan

Dr Linda Sheahan is the director of SESLHD Clinical Ethics Service, and has a Fellowship in Clinical and Organisational Ethics from the Joint Centre for Bioethics, Canada. She is an Honorary Associate with Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney, and is a member of the Clinical Ethics Network. Linda is also a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine, and works clinically as a Staff Specialist in Palliative Care at St George Hospital in Sydney.

Rocky Ruperto

Rocky is the Legal and Policy Officer for Avant. He is also a Solicitor with Avant’s medico-legal advisory service. He advocates for changes to health-related legislation and policy with the aim of making a positive difference to the practice of medicine and the Australian healthcare system. Rocky provides legal advice and develops a range of educational content that encourages doctors and medical practices to reduce their medico-legal risk and improve patient safety and quality in healthcare.