2021 Keynote Speakers

International Virtual Keynote Speaker

Dr. Sigrid Ladores

Dr. Sigrid Ladores is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the BSN Honors Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing.  She is a PhD-prepared pediatric nurse practitioner whose research is focused on reproductive health, fertility, and palliative care in cystic fibrosis.  She has been a nurse for over 23 years and a nurse educator for 17 years.

Sigrid earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from the University of Central Florida.  She teaches across programs, from pre-licensure students to doctoral students.

Sigrid is a well-published author and a respected scholar.  She has earned several awards for her teaching, mentorship, research and leadership, including the UAB Excellence in Mentoring Award, the Alabama State Nurses Association Citation of Excellence, among others.

When she is not teaching, mentoring future scholars, or conducting research, Dr. Ladores is a leader in the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) and its local chapters in Central Florida and Alabama.  She is the President-Elect of PNA-Alabama, and the Chair of the PNAA Research Committee.  She has been recognized for her outstanding service and leadership in PNAA and local chapters, and she received the 2019 Researcher of the Year Award from PNAA.

When she is not working, she enjoys exploring the world with her husband of 21 years and two sons, age 12 and 4.

National Keynote Speakers

Prof. Ged Williams

RN, RM, Crit. Care Cert., Grad. Cert. PSM,
Bach. App. Sc. (Adv. Nursing), Grad. Cert Law,


Ged Williams is the recently appointed Area DON for South Metropolitan Health Service, Perth. He has a strong history of inspiring and providing strategic leadership for the nursing profession through his many senior roles in diverse clinical settings. Ged has worked as the most senior nursing officer in major public health facilities/services in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, and the United Arab Emirates. He has fostered initiatives to promote contemporary knowledge and standards of practice, through leading the establishment of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses and the World Federation of Critical Care Nurses and was a Director of the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine for eight years. Ged has a proven track record of initiating strong links with universities and teaching institutions including a long-standing partnership with Griffith University. He actively promotes evidence-based approaches to quality improvement, workforce capacity building and clinical safety in health care and has contributed numerous research and practice-based publications throughout his career.

Prof. Meinir Krishnasamy


Professor Mei Krishnasamy is Chair in Cancer Nursing in the Department of Nursing at the University of Melbourne, Research and Education Lead for Nursing for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and Director of the Academic Nursing Unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. Her research focuses on the care experiences and health outcomes of people with rare and less common cancers, and the contribution of nurse-led cancer research to patient and family, organisation and system level outcomes.

In 2018, Mei was awarded funds under the auspices of the VCCC to establish the first ever Australian Cancer Nursing Research Innovation Hub and is senior CI on a recent $18.6m MRFF grant to enhance cancer research capability across regional Victoria.

David Stewart

David is a Health Policy Consultant for the International Council of Nurses. Prior to this role, he was engaged by the Queensland Government as a Director of Nursing in the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer. He has over 22 years’ experience in private and government health sector. David has expertise in public policy development, patient safety, strategy and innovation, health service planning, management and has worked in governance and development roles.

David has worked with numerous international agencies as an expert advisor including the International Atomic and Energy Agency supporting the education and training of nurses in Low and Middle-Income Countries; the World Health Organisation in the areas of Patient Safety and Medication Safety; the Global Coalition on Circulatory Health; the WHO on NCDs.

Master of Ceremonies

Andrea Burns

Warm, polished and engaging Andrea Burns is well known to WA audiences.

An award-winning journalist, for the past twenty years Andrea has worked as a presenter and reporter on programmes including Sunrise, Today Tonight and Seven News. She writes a popular Opinion columm for The West Australian newspaper and also has experience as as a radio broadcaster.

Smart and well-informed, Andrea is in demand to host some of WA’s biggest events including the Western Australian of the Year Awards and specialist industry conferences. She is also an accomplished course facilitator and public speaker.

Armed with a quick wit and a great sense of humour, Andrea easily handles any crowd – from senior business executives right through to children.