Third Annual Symposium – 2016


Systems thinking and innovation in health care

The theme of this years third Annual Symposium was Systems thinking and innovation in health care, focusing on the following topic areas:

  • Current research in western Victoria
  • What is systems thinking in health research?
  • Introducing theories, principles, methods and tools used in systems thinking
  • Developing skills in systems thinking

The symposium encouraged health professionals, researchers, educators, policy makers and community representatives to share and discuss recent successes and advances in improving regional health outcomes, particularly in western Victoria. It provided an opportunity to showcase existing collaborations and partnerships within, across, between and beyond disciplinary and professional boundaries, and for new collaborations and partnerships to be established.

Videos and slides from the exciting program of keynote and scientific presentations can now be found in the resources section of the Health Research Trax website.

Keynote speaker

Associate Professor Sonia Wutzke is Deputy Director of the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, a national initiative identifying systemic improvements to the prevention of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

She has more than 20 years’ experience in senior and executive management roles in academia, the not-for-profit sector and state government.

Her research interests include systems approaches to improving population health outcomes, operationalising knowledge from research and practice, the power of organisational networks for innovation and change, and learning from implementation of large-scale public health initiatives.


The provisional program for the symposium is available for download.


Registration is now closed.


The Symposium was held at Lady Bay Resort, 2 Pertobe Road, Warrnambool.

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The videos and slides are now available in the resource section on Health Research Trax, a new part of Western Alliance’s website that was launched at the Symposium – if you haven’t already signed up, it only takes a minute to become a part of a new and exciting network of researchers in western Victoria. Sign up today

Welcome event

Held on Thursday 8 September, in the Restaurant lounge at Lady Bay Resort, the third Annual Symposium Welcome Event, was an opportunity to meet other delegates attending the Symposium, to network and enjoy some fun entertainment, music and hear inspiring featured speakers. The program featured:

  • Jan van de Stool, ‘Inspirational Speaker’ and MC
  • Mr Jason Trethowan, Chief Executive Officer, Western Victoria PHN and Member of Western Alliance’s Governing Council
  • Ms Jackie Crowe and Mr Rob Knowles AO, National Mental Health Commissioners
  • Dr Nick’s Magic
  • In Full Swing jazz trio

Jan van de Stool, International Musical Therapist, was a successful real estate agent before giving it all up and making a natural progression into becoming a self-help guru. She lives in Woy Woy, with Pieter, her husband and cousin, and promotes her unique brand of therapy at the local Munudgi Scout Hall.

Originally from Schiermonnikoog, an unpronounceable small village on the Frisian Islands in the Netherlands, Jan originally immigrated to Canberra in the early ’70s, where she had early success as a singer in her all-female group, Pandora’s Box.

But these days Jan prefers to use her ‘unique’ musical skills to help other people. Through the power of music Jan has helped, literally, tens of people become self-expressed.

She has become ‘quite famous online’ through her YouTube Channel, which shows her interviewing and working with celebrities on the series, ‘Uncovering the Cover of Celebrities’, creating ‘The Voice Vlog with van de Stool’ – a series that satirised the 2013 series of The Voice – and with regular videos that have been watched by thousands of her ‘Fan de Stools’.  In 2016 Jan’s fame spread even further when she made it to the Semi-Finals on Season 8 of Australia’s Got Talent.  Having been seen by over 1 million people online, on TV and in theatres across Australia, she is now often asked to appear at Corporate Events as an Inspirational Speaker and is now working toward bringing her gift to the world in her own TV Series called ‘I Get the Music in You’.

In Full Swing – with Jo Clark (vocals), Geoff Kilminster (double bass) and Peter Arnold (keyboards) – plays regularly at jazz nights at the Warrnambool Hotel and Club Warrnambool, and has played at the Halls Gap Jazz Festival and other local events.

Dr Nick Thies is a paediatrician at South West Healthcare and an amateur magician.

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