Events Archive (1996-2014)















2000 and earlier


Ethics and Regulation of Synthetic Biology Workshop

10 December 2014

Date: Wednesday 10 December 2014, 9.30am - 5pm
Venue: Trinity Chapel, Robert Menzies College, North Ryde

The workshop was opened by Chief Scientist, Mary O'Kane; speakers; it included guests from the University of Edinburgh, John Hopkins (pre-recorded - live Q & A), University of Sydney, University of Tasmania and Macquarie University. Full Program


September 2014

In September 2014, the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity has formally approved a Node in the Politics and Ethics of Infection. Led by Dr Claire Hooker, VELiM, this Node is composed of scholars already working across these issues in areas such as tuberculosis, hospital acquired infections, influenza, vaccination, antibiotic resistance, zoonoses and one health. Our aim is to create a vibrant academic community with shared interests in the politics and ethics of infection - across a broad spectrum, and with interdisciplinary perspectives.

If you are interested in our work in these areas, you are warmly invited to join the Node or meet with its members. The Node meets fortnightly on Tuesdays at 9.30 at the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, K25 Medical Foundation Building.

Please contact , ph: +61 2 9036 3413 (Tue-Thu)

Science or Compassion? - Lunchtime Webinar

5 June 2014

An event organised by the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney as part of the 2014 lunchtime webinar series Careers That Make a Difference.

Date: Thursday 5 June 1:00–1:30pm
Venue: Online or New Law School Annexe SR 342, The University of Sydney

Dr Claire Hooker, Senior Lecturer, Medical Humanities, at the Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine (VELIM) explores the tension in health care between science and compassion. Modern healthcare is increasingly incorporating amazing new biological discoveries which are dramatically changing patient outcomes. In this talk Dr Hooker looks at the other side. She discusses how and why attention to the existential, emotional and unique qualities of health and illness have such a huge impact on patients. She examines the friction between the technical/analytical skills which are at the basis of contemporary healthcare, with the emotional/relational skills required to provide compassionate health and medical care. And finally how the empathy and validation sought by patients at vulnerable times in their lives, weighs up against the emotional demands these make of clinicians.

Intensive Research Ethics Retreat

1-5 June 2014

Jointly run by the Centre for Ethics in Medicine and Society (CEMS), Monash University, and the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), Sydney University

Location: Peppers Craigieburn, Bowral NSW
Organising Committee: Porf Paul Komesaroff, Prof Colin Thomson, Dr Kandy White and A/Prof Ian Kerridge

This intensive course is designed to assist researchers, ethics committee members and others involved in the conduct and assessment of research to understand and clarify the issues arising in relation to research of all kinds involving human participants. It will provide an opportunity for members of research and research ethics communities to come together to discuss the issues they face and share their experiences.
The course aims to give registrants an appreciation of the philosophical and ethical issues underlying research involving human participants, an understanding of the issues relating to different research methodologies and research involving special populations.
The program will be interactive and will include small group discussions and workshops. There will be ample provision for free time to encourage further discussion and debate among participants.

Further information: 2014 IREC Brochure


Global Health and the Law Conference: Incorporating Theory into Practice

30 September – 1 October, 2013

Presented by the Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine in cooperation with the Sydney Law School's Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics.

Further information and program.

Medical Treatment at the End of Life: Current Ethical and Clinical Issues

Public Lecture by Professor Jochen Vollman, 7 March 2013 at the Goethe Institut Sydney

About the Lecture
How do we want to die in the age of modern medicine? - The steady development and expansion of medical technologies of the last years lead in various sectors, such as life-prolonging measures, to enormous medical successes. But with the opening of new possibilities to further medical treatment new doubts arose and questions concerning the patients’ right to self-determination and the definition and valuation of life newly formed and became an important part of political and societal discussion. Issues of end-of-life decision making in intensive care units, hospitals and nursing homes are widely discussed not only in medicine, ethics but also in the general public. Prof. Vollmann's public lecture covered clinical and ethical perspectives as well as issues of advance care planning, patient involvement, shared decision making and surrogate decision making e.g. advance directives.

About Professor Jochen Vollman
Professor Jochen Vollmann is a well-known medical ethicist from Germany and visiting professor at the University of Sydney. He published various books about the topic, participated in different ethics advisory commissions and thereby shaped the discourse about ethical medical treatment significantly. Professor Vollmann is director of the Institute of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at Ruhr University and President of the Centre for Medical Ethics, Bochum. He is an expert on the topic of medical treatment at the end of life and has the ability to view it from various different angles and perspectives. As a doctor of philosophy he is competent in questions of morality and ethics and as a physician he is equipped with the necessary medical know-how as well as experiences with patients and psychological knowledge through his advanced training in psychiatry and psychotherapy.


LIVING WITH (OUT) ANIMALS: Non-Human Ethics for the 21st Century

22 October, 12.30-5pm, Darlington Centre


♠ Jan Deckers (University of Newcastle UK), "Why everyone should support the vegan project, both up there & down under"
♠ Rob Irvine (USYD) "What is this thing called Animal Ethics?"
♠ John Hadley (UWS) “What’s the use of animal rights extremism? Violence on behalf of nonhuman animals in liberal democratic states”
♠ Jane Johnson (MQ) “The ethics of animal vulnerability”
♠ Chris Degeling (USYD) "Future frontiers: Animal human conflict & infectious disease"


8 October 2012, Refectory, Holme Building

Non-communicable disease prevalence is rising around the globe, shaping the work of public health policymakers and practitioners. In Australia and elsewhere, this agenda is dominated by concern about overweight and obesity. The news media routinely reports on an out-of-control obesity epidemic, costing millions and threatening future generations. This is not just a scientific challenge. It’s also an ethical and political challenge. In this seminar we will consider what public health ethics can contribute to the debate on non-communicable diseases. Might some approaches to managing non-communicable diseases in populations be more ethical than others? How can we tell? We will focus our attention especially, but not exclusively, on overweight and obesity.

✶ Hear an introduction to public health ethics from one of the leading international scholars in the field
✶ Consider the ethical significance of issues including urban design, eating animals and obesity stigma for the public health response to non-communicable diseases
✶ Consider what we should do about overweight and obesity in Australia
✶ Be part of a conversation between colleagues from a range of practices and disciplines – we have left plenty of time for a lively debate!


WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Prof Steve Simpson, Charles Perkins Centre and Prof Glenn Salkeld, Sydney School of Public Health

♠ Prof Ross Upshur, University of Toronto, Canada
What can public health ethics tell us about intervening in non-communicable diseases?
Discussion chair: Professor Paul Griffiths, Department of Philosophy, The University of Sydney

♠ A/Prof Peter Sainsbury, South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts & The University of Sydney
Urban design and public health ethics
Discussion chair: A/Prof Nicole Gurran, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney

♠ Dr Jan Deckers, Newcastle University, UK
The farm animal sector and public health ethics
Discussion chair: Dr Chris Degeling, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine

♠ Dr Lenny R. Vartanian, School of Psychology, University of NSW
Obesity stigma and public health
Discussion chair: Dr Fiona Giles, School of Letters, Art, and Media, The University of Sydney

♠ Dr Stacy Carter, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine
Overweight and obesity: individuals, populations and public health ethics
Discussion chair: Dr Philayrath Phongsavan, Prevention Research Collaboration, The University of Sydney

FINAL PANEL DISCUSSION: How might public health ethics change the way we intervene in non-communicable diseases in populations?
Dr Jo Mitchell, NSW Ministry of Health
Belinda Reeve, Sydney Law School
Prof Stephen Leeder, Menzies Centre for Health Policy
Prof Adrian Bauman, Prevention Research Collaboration
A/Prof Ian Kerridge, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine

LAUNCH: The Growing Up with Cancer Self-Portrait Exhibition

6 October 2012, 2.00pm-4.00pm, The Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

Growing Up With Cancer is an innovative project using research and creative practice to understand the experience of having cancer during adolescence and young adulthood. Funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP0883632), it brought together researchers, artists, advocates and clinicians at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and CanTeen - the Australian Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer. During 2010 and 2011, 27 young people participated in interviews about the nature and extent of the impact of cancer on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Of these, 19 collaborated with artist Kris Smith or worked on their own, to produce a self-portrait that represented them and the impact of cancer on their experience of growing up.

You are invited to the launch of a series of exhibitions of these beautiful, poignant, strong, funny, and thought-provoking images.

For more information download the flyer.


4 October 2012, 9.00 am-5.00 pm, Refectory, Holme Building

One-day seminar presented by the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney

Medicine tends to get a bad press from academics, managers and the media. It is accused of being too powerful, out of touch with patients, lacking in compassion, overly expensive, and failing to maintain standards of care and safety. On the other hand, doctors remain among the most highly trusted of professionals.

Questions to be explored at the seminar will centre around:
✶ Is something unattainable being demanded of doctors?
✶ If knowledge is the key to medical reform, what kinds of knowledge are required?
✶ What kinds of evidence should underpin medical practice?
✶ What kind of ethics do doctors actually espouse?
✶ How well does medical education currently prepare students for the future?
✶ How should medicine deal with the rationing of scarce resources?

Download the event flyer.

The 2012 Memorial John McPhee Seminar

6 August 2012

"Fool Me Once..." Should We Give Misbehaving Undergraduates a Second Chance?

The Clinical Unit in Ethics and Health Law (CUEHL) is pleased to present this fifth annual seminar in memory of John McPhee. John McPhee was a long-time member of CUEHL; an author, teacher, webmaster, local identity and respected authority in Health Law circles throughout Australia. He died in 2007. This year, we welcome as our guest speaker Professor Malcolm Parker, a leader in the field of undergraduate and postgraduate professional behaviour.

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Royal Newcastle Centre
Time: 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm start (supper provided)

Schizophrenia: The Future of Our Fascination

Dr Angela Woods, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University
3 July 2012, 2pm in the Refectory, Main Quad

Angela Woods is a researcher in medical humanities and co-director of ‘Hearing the Voice’, a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award. She has a PhD in literary and cultural studies from the University of Melbourne, and her first book The Sublime Object of Psychiatry: Schizophrenia in Clinical and Cultural Theory was published as part of Oxford University Press's ‘International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry’ series in 2011.

Ethical Issues in Immunisation

26 March 2012, 10am - 5pm; Darlington Centre, University of Sydney

This seminar addressed the major ethical issues facing immunisation programs in Australia today. It asked:

✶ What level of vaccine risk is acceptable and who decides?
✶ Is it unethical not to have a no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse events attributed to vaccination?
✶ How far can we go in getting people to be vaccinated?
✶ Is the current system for funding vaccines in Australia sufficient?
✶ How can vaccine programs incorporate public values?

Speakers and chairs: Marie Bismark, Stacy Carter, Andrea Forde, Claire Hooker, David Issacs, Heath Kelly, Ian Kerridge, Julie Leask, Kristine Macartney, Roger Magnusson, Helen Marshall, Peter Massey, Terry Nolan, Cameron Stewart, Glenn Salkeld


Reproducing Normality: Disability, Prenatal Testing and Bioethics

One-day Workshop, 7 December 2011

In the past thirty years, prenatal testing of the fetus has become increasingly common practice in pregnancy. Prenatal testing ranges from non-invasive techniques such as routine ultrasound and emerging methods of fetal DNA testing, to more invasive technologies such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. It may also include the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis within IVF practices. While few women pursue a pregnancy without encountering some form of prenatal testing – most usually, ultrasound and associated fetoplacental hormone tests in the first trimester of pregnancy – the ethical issues that arise from this are far from resolved. The raison d’etre of prenatal testing is to detect fetal anomalies. This enables– and requires – women (and their partners) to make choices about whether to continue a pregnancy or not. In doing so, these technologies prompt difficult questions about the ethics of selective and late terminations of pregnancy on the basis of fetal anomalies. For instance, does selective termination on the basis of disability entail a conflict between women’s reproductive autonomy and disability rights? Does the legal criterion of “serious disability” provide adequate guidance for determining when it is permissible to terminate a pregnancy? How do perceptions of normal bodies, and ideas about the social and moral importance of normality, affect reproduction and its ethics?
This workshop addressed these questions and others raised by prenatal testing. The presenters articulated new ways of thinking about disability and the impacts of prenatal testing. Speakers included eminent scholars from the disciplines of bioethics, disability studies, law, philosophy and sociology. This interdisciplinary forum sets the stage for new theoretical and applied approaches to the ethics of prenatal testing and disability.

Convenor: Dr Catherine Mills, VELiM and Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney
Speakers: Dr Tom Shakespeare (WHO), Professor Isabel Karpin (UTS), Dr Kristin Savell (Sydney Uni), Dr Catherine Mills (Sydney), Dr Jackie Leach Scully (Newcastle, UK), Dr Robert Sparrow (Monash), Professor Clare Williams (Brunel)


One-day symposium, 29 November 2011

Medicines play an important role in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. At the same time, however, they can have serious adverse effects (>140,000 Australians are admitted to hospital every year for problems related to medicine) and are expensive (PBS expenditure in 2009 was $7679.3 million). The principal challenge, therefore, is to design systems and policies that enable equitable access to the medicines that people need, that ensure their safety and quality, and that do so at a cost that individuals and the community can afford. This is not straightforward task, however, and around the globe governments struggle to respond to global economic constraints, increasing drug costs, rapid developments in biotechnology-based pharmaceuticals, aging populations, changes to intellectual property rights, changing consumer expectations, and the globalisation of clinical research and drug development.

This symposium was presented by the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, The Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney and the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at the University of NSW. It addressed some of the challenges confronting the development of medicines policy in Australian and internationally. Speakers included eminent scholars from a range of disciplines, including public health, pharmacology, sociology, health economics, bioethics, politics and consumer advocacy.

Speakers: Emeritus Professor Anthony Smith, Dr Ken Harvey, Dr Hans Lofgren, Associate Professor Philip Clark, Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes, Dr Evan Doran, Dr Wendy Lipworth


Presentation by Professor Karen Rothenberg, 10 November 2011

Organised by the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (Sydney Medical School) and The Centre for Health Law, Ethics and Clinical Governance (Sydney Law School).

Professor Rothenberg is a leading national expert on legal issues in health care. Over the last decade she has focused her research primarily on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic testing and research, including the legislative approaches to genetic information in the health insurance and employment context, the impact of genetic research on racial and ethnic populations and women’s health care, and the use of genetic information in the courtroom. Professor Rothenberg is co-editor of the text Women and Prenatal Testing: Facing the Challenges of Genetic Technology and co-author of five articles on genetics and public policy that have been published in the journal Science, the most recent of which is “Judging Genes: When Should Judges Admit or Compel Genetic Tests?” Her other research interests include health insurance, privacy, the role of gender in health care, AIDS, research ethics, the right to forego treatment, emergency care, and new reproductive technologies.

Launch of the Clinical Ethics Resource

26 September 2011

The Centre for Health Governance, Law & Ethics and the Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine are pleased to present the website launch of the Clinical Ethics Resource, sponsored by NSW Health. The Clinical Ethics Resource will be launched by Dr Greg Stewart, Acting Deputy Director General of NSW Health.

The launch featured a presentation by Professor Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and Director for the Program on Ethics and New Biosciences in the James Martin 21st Century School. Professor Julian Savulescu discussed The Futility of Futility.

The launch took place in the Foyer of the Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.

The 2011 John McPhee Memorial Seminar

5 September 2011

The 2011 John McPhee Memorial Seminar took place at the Lecture Theatre, Royal Newcastle Centre. Guest speaker was Professor David Currow, who presented "Lane Change: From Curative to Palliative Care".

Qualitative Health Research in Difficult Contexts

3 June 2011

One day workshop consisting of researcher-led panels covering research in community, institutional and international settings. Speakers shared examples of hazards, unforseen hurdles and even unresolvable situations that often occur in qualitative research settings, as well as strategies for dealing with these. Participants were encouraged to ask questions throughout, and to bring their own experience-based questions to a final panel discussion.

Facilitators: Dr Julie Mooney-Somers, University of Sydney, & Dr Anna Olsen, University of New South Wales
Time: 9am - 4.15pm
Venue: Medical Foundation Building Auditorium
Difficult Contexts flyer

Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Law Workshop

25 February 2011

Hosted by The University of Sydney, The Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, The Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, and The Sydney Children’s Hospital

Venue: Law Foyer, Level 2 of the New Law Building, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW
♠ Professor David Weisbrot, CoRE of Legal Governance Macquarie University, The Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of UCB Banking: Important Lessons from the Experience with DNA Biobanks

♠ Professor Loane Skene, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Development of stem cells and umbilical cord blood banking

♠ Professor Paul Komesaroff, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Wrong Direction: racial discrimination and cord blood donation

♠ Professor Dianne Nicol, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Tissue banking and the law

♠ A/Prof Cameron Stewart, Centre for Health Governance Law and Ethics, University of Sydney, Property issues, contracts, trusts, torts and umbilical cord blood

♠ A/Prof Ian Kerridge, VELiM, University of Sydney, Data from NHMRC Research Project: Ethical and legal issues surrounding the decision-making process for donating and banking umbilical cord blood.


Women's Reproductive Rights: Selves, Others, Bodies

A Human Rights and Democratisation Special Lecture, 2 November 2010

For decades the phrase ‘women’s reproductive rights’ served as a rallying cry for assertions of women’s right to control their own fertility, including decisions about the number and spacing of their children. Numerous states have explicitly stated their rejection of any obligation to work towards the realization of these rights for women, prompting the question of how to overcome their reluctance. The issue has been complicated by the emergence of: ‘human rights’ as the framework within which women’s claims are increasingly understood, by the ‘globalisation of motherhood’, and the development of technologies that have facilitated markets in baby-making. Presenter Yasmine Ergas considers the implications for the decision-making capacity of men and women as to when and how to reproduce, and the consequences for women’s control over their own bodies.

Presented by Yasmine Ergas, Associate Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University. Co-presented with the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) Program, the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), and the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL), at the University of Sydney.

Symposium: Crime or Care?

28 October 2010, 2-5pm

This half-day symposium, jointly presented by the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine and the Centre for Health Governance, Law and Ethics, University of Sydney, is devoted to the discussion of the complex problems that arise when the law of homicide is applied to end-of-life-care. This seminar is essential for health care professionals and lawyers working in the end-of-life context.

Venue: Medical Foundation Building Auditorium, 92-94 Parramatta Road, Camperdown.
Further information

"Wrong Side of the Bus" screening

Wallace Theatre, University of Sydney, 22 June 2010, 6pm

“Melbourne psychiatrist Sidney Bloch returns to South Africa, the country of his birth, with his teenage son. Sid has been plagued by guilt for “not doing enough” when segregation was introduced during the apartheid era more than 40 years ago. Now he’s in search of forgiveness. As a young medical student Sid Bloch sat with black South Africans on the ‘wrong side of the bus’ when segregation was introduced, but his protest was short-lived and his guilt over his inactivity is compounded by his heritage: he's the son of Lithuanian-Jews persecuted by the Nazis. More than 40 years later he reunites with his South African fellow students, and meets political activists and ex-prisoners including a hero of the freedom movement Albie Sachs. These encounters challenge and help him to make peace with his own conscience.” ABC Compass

Join in the discussion following the film with Professor Sidney Bloch, Professor Raimond Gaita, Dr Danielle Celermajer, and the film’s producer Rod Freedman.


♠ Sidney Bloch, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Health and Society, and Senior Fellow, School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Melbourne. Professor Bloch is also Honorary Senior Psychiatrist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. He was chief editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years and Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry for 10 years.

Professor Bloch has published 13 books several of which have been brought out in new editions and/or have been translated (Japanese, Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Ukrainian Italian, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Turkish, German, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew): Russia’s Political Hospitals (1977) won the Manfred Guttmacher Award of the American Psychiatric Association in 1978 for the best book published in forensic psychiatry; Soviet Psychiatric Abuse (1984); An Introduction to the Psychotherapies – 4th Edition (2006); What is Psychotherapy? (1982); Psychiatric Ethics – 4th Edition (2009); Therapeutic Factors in Group Psychotherapy (1985); Foundations of Clinical Psychiatry – 3rd Edition (2007); The Family in Clinical Psychiatry (1994); Codes of Ethics and the Professions (1994); Understanding Troubled Minds (1997) (a new edition in preparation); Family Caregivers: Disability, Illness and Ageing (1988); Family-focused Grief Therapy (2002); and An Anthology of Psychiatric Ethics (2006) which won a “commendation prize” from the British Medical Association in 2007.

♠ Raimond Gaita is Foundation Professor of Philosophy at ACU and Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College London. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Professor Gaita's main research interests and publications have been in ethics. He has also worked and written on scepticism, on the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology, and on aspects of political philosophy. He has contributed extensively to public discussion about reconciliation, collective responsibility, the role of moral considerations in politics, genocide and the alleged uniqueness of the Holocaust, and the plight of the universities.

His publications include A Common Humanity: Thinking about Love & Truth & Justice, Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, The Philosopher’s Dog, and the Quarterly Essay Breach of Trust: Truth, Morality and Politics. But he is perhaps best known to the general reader as the author of the prize-winning memoir, Romulus, My Father which was recently made into an award winning film starring Eric Bana.

♠ Danielle Celermajer is director of the Asia Pacific Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation, a European Union funded project establishing networked postgraduate human rights education across the Asia Pacific Region. Her research focuses on transitional justice and the question of how contemporary states and societies can deal with past violations, collective responsibility, apology and forgiveness, the relationship between human rights and religious norms and institutions and human rights education. She has held teaching positions at the University of Sydney and Columbia University and received her Ph.D. in political theory (summa cum laudae) from Columbia University. Prior to entering academia, she was Director of Policy at the Australian Human Rights Commission, where she authored numerous reports on Indigenous human rights and was principal speech writer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. Her book, Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009 and she is editor of a forthcoming collection on Hannah Arendt, Power, Judgment and Political Evil, to be published by Ashgate in 2010.

♠ Rod Freedman - Writer, Director, Producer. An independent filmmaker, Rod Freedman’s films have screened in dozens of international film festivals, winning international and Australian awards, including two AFI nominations for Uncle Chatzkel. With partner Lesley Seebold, Rod’s company, Change Focus Media produces documentaries, corporate, promotional and educational videos. With Film Australia, Rod has made Uncle Chatzkel (1999, Producer/Director), the Everyday Brave Series (2001, Series Producer, Best TV Series, Tudawali Awards) made with Indigenous directors, Welcome to the Waks Family (2001 Co-Producer, 2nd Unit Director), The Winners Guide to the Nobel Prize (2006 Co-Executive Producer) three series of Australian Biography Series (2002, 2005, 2007 Series Producer/Director), and Change the World in 5 Minutes (2007 Executive Producer). Independent Films include: Wrap Me Up in Paperbark (1999 Producer), One Last Chance– War Criminal (2000 Producer/Director, winner of 3 USA awards) Crossing the Line (2004 Producer, Best Documentary, Social & Political, Atom Awards), It Takes a Village (2008 Producer/Director), Stay Strong (2008 Producer/Director), Strong and Deadly (2008 Producer/Director), Looking for a Monster (in production).


21 February 2010 - 100 Years of Medical Research in Australia

Marking the centenary of the establishment of the Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine, this one-day colloquium encompassed the history of medical research in Australia from the 19th century to the present.

Conference Chair: Dr Claire Hooker, University of Sydney
Honorary Address: Prof. Donald Metcalf AC FRS, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Historical Comment: Emeritus Prof. Rod Home FAHA, University of Melbourne

20 February 2010 – Exploring the Medical Humanities in Australia

This symposium marked the inaugural meeting of the Association for the Medical Humanities (Australia and New Zealand). Inspired by practitioners from around the country, this one-day symposium discussed Australian interests and projects in all aspects of the Medical Humanities.

Convenor: Dr Claire Hooker, Medical Humanities Coordinator and President AMH (ANZ)


Securitizing Life

One-day workshop on biopolitics, biosecurity and warfare, 11 November 2009

Presenters: Professors Mitchell Dean and Michael Dillon, A/Profs Anthony Burke and Ian Kerridge, and Drs Melinda Cooper, Catherine Mills, Niamh Stephenson and Jeremy Walker

Law in the Time of Anthrax

Presented by Dr Christian Enemark, Centre for International Security, 12 March 2009

In 2009 Australia adopted a new scheme to regulate the possession, handling, transfer and disposal of so-called ‘security-sensitive biological agents’. The scheme is modelled on U.S. ‘select agents’ regulations which were strengthened after the anthrax attacks of late 2001. Laboratory research on pathogenic micro-organisms is a difficult subject of security-oriented attention because, on the one hand, it vitally informs medical and public health responses to infectious disease threats of natural or deliberate origin. On the other hand, biological agents, and the knowledge of what makes them dangerous, can be diverted and used for malign purposes. Drawing on U.S. experiences, this presentation explores some of the dilemmas which arise when a government chooses to ‘securitize’ infectious disease threats using regulatory mechanisms. The challenge for biosecurity regulation, implemented to address concerns about biological weapons use, is to maximise security benefits while minimising interference with legitimate scientific research conducted for therapeutic ends.


The 2007 NSW Mental Health Act – The Patient, the Community and Values

27 November 2007

Speakers: Drs Michael Robertson, Matthew Large, Martyn Patfield, Professor Timothy Lambert, Associate Professors Colleen Loo and Merrilyn Walton

Living, Imagining and Controlling Bodies

7 August 2007

Speakers: Professors Jane Ussher, Grant Gillett, Catherine Waldby, Carl Elliott, Paul Komesaroff, Associate Professor Rosalyn Diprose


Diversity of Discourse Communities in Health: Power, Politics and Risk

Joint conference with COMET- held jointly at Macquarie and Sydney Universities, 1–2 July 2005

Speakers: Profs Ian Anderson, Rob Barrett, Nancy Dubler, David Henry, Paul Komesaroff, Dr Jim Martin

Colloquia included: R Aldrich, J Allwood, C Angelelli, E Armstrong, M Awang, H Barnes, E Barton, J Bernheim, W Blood, D Briffa, P Butow, C Candlin, K Chater, P Cheung, B Chow, R Clerehan, G Cortese, J Crichton, M Crouch, H Daey, J Elliott, R Fahey, A Ferguson, A Firkins, R Forsyth, P Harper, F Hawthorne, D Hemmings, P Hobbs, S Holm, L Howell, W Hu, N Ibrahim, R Iedema, F Irvine, T Johnston, J Kealey, B Kokkinn, H Korner, E Koritschoner A LeCouteur, M Legg, S Lewis, B Liang, M Lirola, M Little, D Long, A Lyons, T Lysaght, C McGrath, P McGrath, S McKay, J McPhee, E Merghati, M Mitchell, G Mooney, A Moore, J Napier, C Newman, A Ngah, K O’Doherty, S Panozzo, L Prior, G Roberts, H Robertson, W Rogers, T Rosenfeld, S Sarangi, C Schryer, P Schulz, K Smith, A Storey, M Stubbe, H Tebble, J R Travaglia, L Trevena, K Valentine, R Wette, S Winch, H Worth

Clinical Ethics in Australia: the First National Workshop

30 June 2005

Speakers: Profs Nancy Dubler, Grant Gillett and Paul Komesaroff, A/Profs Ian Kerridge and Cameron Stewart, Dr Peter Saul and Ms Julie Letts


Policing Virtue?
28th May 2004

Speakers: Profs Mary Chiarella and Lawrence Schneiderman, A/Profs Ian Kerridge and Kathleen Montgomery, Dr Cameron Stewart


Global History, Human Nature and the New World Order
29th August 2003

Speakers: Hon. Justice Michael Kirby, Prof. Raimond Gaita, Rev. Tim Costello, Dr Michael Carey


Death Sentence – a Reflection on the Ethical Aspects of Palliative Care
Public Lecture presented by Professor Paul Komesaroff

2000 and earlier

“Yes, But What Does the Community Want?” Discourse Ethics, Stakeholdings and Public Opinion
9 June 2000

Speakers: Prof. Miles Little, A/Prof. Kathleen Montgomery, Mr Chris Jordens and Miss Emma-Jane Sayers


What’s Your Evidence? Defending Arguments in a Pluralist World
5–6 August 1999

Speakers: Profs Arthur Frank and Miles Little, Dr Alexandra Barratt, Ms Nancy Dubler, Ms Lucie Rychetnik and Mr Chris Jordens


Ethics Fatigue – The Fracturing of Medical Ethics
16 October 1998

Speakers: Profs Donald Evans, Miles Little and Ross Sheil, A/Prof. Paul McNeill, Clinical A/Prof. Michael Fearnside, Ms Mary Chiarella and Mr Chris Jordens


Humane Values in Medical Education
29 - 30 September 1997

Speakers: Profs Robin Downie, Stephen Leeder, Miles Little and Gavin Mooney, A/Prof. Jill Gordon, Drs Milton Lewis, Stanley Galston, Robert Cummings, Norman Swan and Kim Paul, Rev. Ross Clifford, Ms Mary Chiarella, Ms Patricia Lyons and Mr Christopher Jordens



Opening of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine by Dame Leonie Kramer and ensuing seminar
11 November 1996

Speakers: Profs Uffe Juul Jensen, Stephen Leeder and Gavin Mooney, Miles Little, Drs Rob Simon and Robert Young, and Ms Julie Hamblin