Invited Speakers

Professor Fiona Wood AM | Day 1 Keynote Speaker

Burns Surgeon and ‘Spray-On’ Skin Inventor

Professor Fiona Wood AM, FRCS, FRACS, has been a burns surgeon and researcher for over 20 years and is Director of the Burns Service of Western Australia (BSWA). She is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Fiona Stanley Hospital (previously at Royal Perth Hospital) and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, co-founder of the first skin cell laboratory in WA, Winthrop Professor in the School of Surgery at The University of Western Australia, and co-founder of the Fiona Wood Foundation (formerly The McComb Foundation).

Professor Wood’s greatest contribution and enduring legacy is her work with co-inventor Marie Stoner, pioneering the innovative ‘spray-on skin’ technique (Recell), where today the technique is used worldwide. In October 2002, Fiona was propelled into the media spotlight when the largest proportion of survivors from the 2002 Bali bombings arrived in Perth where Fiona led the medical team at Royal Perth Hospital to save many lives.

Fiona was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2003. In 2004 she was awarded the Western Australia Citizen of the Year award for her contribution to Medicine in the field of burns research. Fiona was then named Australian of the Year for 2005. She is an Australian Living Treasure. Fiona is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science. Fiona is married to fellow surgeon Tony Kierath and is mother to four boys and two girls.

Ruben Meerman | Dinner Keynote Speaker

The ‘Surfing Scientist’

Ruben is a QUT graduate better known to Aussie kids as the ABC’s surfing scientist. He performed experiments on children’s programs for more than a decade, presented science stories on Catalyst and Sleek Geeks, and was the first resident scientist on Play School.

Ruben’s interest in the biochemistry of fat metabolism stems from his personal experience of losing weight. His curiosity-driven research was published in the British Medical Journal.

He is a regular guest lecturer in the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences and visits more than 100 primary and high schools every year. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in physics from QUT and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from ANU.