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Keynote speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker

Prof Cathy Vaughan

Director of Nossal Institute and Chair of Global Health, Melbourne School of Population and Globah Health

Professor Cathy Vaughan is Director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health. Cathy is a public health researcher with expertise in gender, violence prevention and response, sexual and reproductive health, and health systems. She has over 25 years’ experience working in Asia and the Pacific, as well as Australia. Cathy has extensive experience using qualitative and participatory research methods to work with groups experiencing health inequalities, including migrant and refugee women, women with disability, faith communities and young people, to generate evidence about the social and structural underpinnings of health. 

Her work is underpinned by a commitment to participatory approaches to health research and to strengthening research capacity. Her current research focuses on the impact of intersecting inequalities on health, and in particular on the ways intersecting inequalities shape experiences of gender-based violence and the effectiveness of violence prevention and response initiatives. This includes a particular focus on technology-facilitated gender-based violence in Asia and the Pacific. 

Cathy uses her expertise in co-design approaches to work with community groups, NGOs and government departments to strengthen the use of research in the development, implementation and evaluation of health programs in settings across Asia and the Pacific. Cathy has taught into the Master of Public Health program at The University of Melbourne since 2011, coordinating subjects on participatory research methodologies and community engagement, and on women's health. She co-leads the kNOwVAWdata to strengthen capacity to conduct safe, ethical and rigorous research on violence against women in low- and middle-income countries; and leads the Co-Design and Implementation Effectiveness node of the Methods and Implementation Support for Clinical and Health research hub (MISCH) at the university. 

Hear Prof Cathy Vaughan speak:

  • PAH Health Symposium Day 1
  • Tuesday 27 August 2024
  • 8.30am-10am


Kurt Aaron Orator

Amar Singh

2023 Australian of the Year Local Hero
Founder and President, Turbans 4 Australia

Over the years, Amar Singh’s roles have been many and varied. He is a charity founder, social entrepreneur, diversity advocate, dedicated volunteer and most recently, Amar’s efforts were recognised with a 2023 Australian of the Year Local Hero award – a title that he holds with pride.

Amar has become a respected community leader in Western Sydney and more broadly across New South Wales and the nation, where he, through his charity Turbans 4 Australia, goes above and beyond to support people and communities in need.

As a baptised Sikh, Amar’s life philosophy centres on helping all people, regardless of religion, language, or cultural background. After experiencing racial discrimination for the turban he wore and the beard he grew, Amar realised that by engaging with others through charitable work, he could positively engage with people to break down initial stereotypes and misconceptions.

That’s when Amar founded Western Sydney not-for-profit, Turbans 4 Australia in 2015.Every year, Turbans 4 Australia packages and distributes up to 450 food and grocery hampers weekly to people experiencing food insecurity and disadvantage across Western Sydney.

In addition, Turbans 4 Australia volunteers travel the country offering support for communities as they recover from natural disasters. Turban 4 Australia volunteers were on the ground delivering hay to farmers experiencing drought; supplies to flood victims in Lismore and bushfire-impacted people on the South Coast; food hampers to the isolated and vulnerable during COVID-19 lockdowns; and supplies to the Salvation Army in central Queensland in the devastating wake of Cyclone Marcia. The charity also raises awareness and funds for important causes while promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance.

Amar firmly believes that the charitable work of Turbans 4 Australia and his roles within the community, help to form connections with people from all walks of life, break down the barriers of fear and misunderstanding, and follow the core Sikh values of equality, respect and service to humanity.

Hear Amar Singh speak:

  • PAH Health Symposium Day 4
  • Friday 30 August 2024
  • 8.30am–10am
Last updated 2 May 2024
Last reviewed 2 May 2024