Keynote Speakers

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce the following confirmed keynote speaker:

Dr. Shelly Craig

Dr. Shelly Craig

Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth

Dr. Craig is Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth and Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Her program of research, based on twenty-five years of community and clinical practice, is focused on developing affirmative programs and interventions to enhance the wellbeing of gender and sexual minority youth, particularly using digital technologies.

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce the following confirmed keynote speaker:

Joe Wong

Joe Wong

Executive Director of APTN (Asia Pacific Transgender Network)

Joe is a trans masculine advocate born in Singapore. He is Executive Director of APTN (Asia Pacific Transgender Network), leading it in its community engagement work in sexual, general and mental health, and human rights.  He has contributed to many global, regional, and local initiatives. He was the driving force behind the Asia and the Pacific Trans Health Blueprint, a key document outlining challenges, gaps, and interventions for transgender people in the region. He was a co-author for a paper “Putting the “T” into the tools: A roadmap for implementation of new global and regional transgender guidance”, published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, and contributed the crucial, but often ignored, transgender perspective for publications in The Lancet. He was closely involved in advocacy to remove the trans diagnoses from the mental disorders chapter of ICD.

Aunty Vanessa

Aunty Vanessa

Aunty Vanessa aka Robert Smith is a noongar person of South West of Western Australia, Kaneang people, who are strongly matriarchal. She grew up around strong woman and is very proud of her Indigenous culture having learned her culture and politics through Tranby Aboriginal Cooperative College in Glebe, New South Wales.

Aunty Vanessa is a strong and proud Sistergirl, in her earlier years she was a dancer, female impersonator and performer in Perth.

For 20 years she has been involved in the Indigenous HIV Sector. As the Chairperson of the Gay Men and Sistergirls Steering Committee on the same project under the umbrella of the Australian Federation of Aids Organisations. In more recent times Aunty Vanessa has sat on the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service Board of Directors, having completed two consecutive terms. She has stepped back this year having not been well but is thinking about having another go in the next round.

She feels very lucky to be still making a contribution at her age, where a lot of her contemporaries are stepping back and making preparations to retire. Aunty Vanessa just doesn’t feel that she can do that with a clear conscious, knowing full well that we have so much more work to do.