Recognising the injustice of Tasmania’s gag order that prevented survivors from self-identifying publicly, Grace spent several months campaigning with #LetHerSpeak campaign. In 2019, she finally won the court order to speak out under her own name.
Now, 26 and based in Hobart, Grace is dedicated to eradicating child sexual assault in Australia, and supporting the survivors of child sexual assault. Her focus is around enabling survivors to tell their stories without shame, educating the public around the process and lasting effects of grooming and working with policy and decision-makers to ensure we have a federal system that supports the survivors, not just perpetrators.
She is also a passionate yoga teacher, visual artist, and champion long-distance runner, having won the 2020 Ross Marathon in a female course record time of 2:59:31.
An open book about her experience, but even more passionate about preventing this from happening to other children, Grace speaks from the heart and will have her audience simultaneously inspired and in tears.
She is a regular keynote speaker, media guest and advocacy commentator. Grace is the 2021 Australian of the Year.
Grace Tame will be presenting the Opening Keynote Address followed by a Q&A with host Chantal Brodrick.
Dylan Alcott OAM, a dual sport athlete, has represented Australia on the international stage in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis since the age of 13. In 2008, at the age of 17, Dylan was a main contributor in the Australian wheelchair basketball teams (‘The Rollers’) gold medal victory at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing, becoming the youngest ever wheelchair basketball gold medallist in history.
Dylan was born with a rare type of tumour wrapped around his spinal cord. After nearly 20 operations and spending the majority of the first three years of his life in hospital, Dylan’s health started to take a turn for the better, and through sheer determination and hard work he has been become one of Australia’s best and most recognised Paralympians. After winning Paralympic Gold in 2008, Dylan was inducted as a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 at the age of 18. From there, Dylan and the Rollers followed up their win in Beijing with victory at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, becoming the first Australian basketball team to ever win the title. In 2012, he returned from the London Paralympic Games with a silver medal.
In 2014, Alcott returned to wheelchair tennis, and by the end of 2015, he was ranked number 1 after winning eight titles including two grand slam singles titles. He was named the 2016 Australian Paralympian of the Year due to his outstanding achievements. Alcott has established the Dylan Alcott Foundation “with the core purpose of helping young Australians with disabilities gain self-esteem and respect through sport and study”. He also finished studying at the University of Melbourne with a Commerce degree and has an autobiography titled Able: gold medals, grand slams and smashing glass ceilings.
In addition, Dylan has had his own radio programs, hosted television programs and is a popular tennis commentator. Dylan’s true passion is his work as a motivational speaker and is continually trying to change the way people with disabilities are perceived in the wider community. He works with multiple charities and brings disability awareness to schools.
Most recently, Dylan Alcott became a record 14-time Grand Slam singles champion and won his second Wimbledon crown, as well as winning his sixth consecutive Australian Open title in 2020. He is on track to win the coveted Golden Slam at the Paralympics this year.
Dylan will be presenting the Keynote Address at the commencement of the Fitness Australia Awards on Day 3.
Hema’s career has spanned a variety of industries in the last twenty + years; with a focus on applying operational rigor to build and scale businesses to achieve sustainable growth and success. In her current role at Mindbody, the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, Hema focuses her time helping Mindbody scale its B2B and B2C platform to better serve the customers the company has across the Asia Pacific region. Living by the motto ‘We live in deeds not years’, Hema sits across a number of varied initiatives, focused on creating equitable opportunity and raising actionable dialogue in matters pertaining to the empowerment of girls, instilling ethical values in our societies, and removing plastic in our oceans.
Mindbody emerged from the vision of a globally-connected world of wellness, where millions of business owners and practitioners help billions of people live healthier, happier lives. From its first iteration, Mindbody software has helped businesses simplify their operations, boost revenue and better focus on their customers. Just as importantly, we’ve connected millions of consumers with wellness practitioners in their communities, driving our mission to improve the wellness of the world. Whether you’re a yoga studio, gym, spa or salon, get everything you need to manage and grow your business. Mindbody tracks everything you need to achieve your business goals, analyse results, attract new clients and retain current ones. For more info visit www.mindbody.com
Hema is presenting on Day 3 – The Future of Fitness: Business Tech & Data.
Ben Alcott is the managing director of Australian production agency Damn Good Productions, and has been working in the
television and event production industries for over 30 years.
Ben’s interest in television began when working as a child actor, and at the age of 12 he started his own video production
company. 4 years later he started with Network Ten in Sydney, and 6 months after that began working with some of the world’s
biggest bands (Aerosmith, INXS, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond just to name a few).
In 2001 whilst touring with Robbie Williams, Ben was asked to work with upcoming chef Jamie Oliver, and this began 20 years of working with the world’s biggest chefs on their television and touring projects.
Today, Damn Good Productions has offices in Australia, UK, and the USA and produces projects for some of the world’s biggest
entertainment and corporate organisations.
Ben’s company was one of the first in Australia to produce a live stream, way back in 1998. Since then he has overseen tens of
thousands of live streams, including many high profile events. He has extensive experience in working with clients to get on-line, and knows the various platforms and techniques that work best.
Unfortunately his experience with fitness hasn’t been so illustrious. His first foray into attending a gym resulted in him collapsing off a treadmill after only 3 minutes – since then, a litany of highly paid trainers have failed to get him drinking water, or stop drinking milkshakes. If he can show you how to get yourselves online during the Coronavirus pandemic, maybe you can show him how to stop being so lazy during lockdown.
Ben will be presenting on Day 3: The Future of Fitness: Business Tech & Data.
Scientia Associate Professor Simon Rosenbaum is an academic exercise physiologist in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney. Simon’s research focuses on physical activity and mental illness with a focus on trauma. Simon is the President Elect of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and co-chair of the Olympic Refuge Foundation’s Think Tank on sport and humanitarian settings. He has led national and international research and capacity building projects, including working in the Rohingya refugee crises in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. He has experience integrating exercise and physical activity as a component of treatment across a range of settings including public and private mental health facilities and in general practice.
Simon will be presenting on Day 2 – Mental Health: What Fit Pros Need to Know.
Dr. Amy Bantham is the CEO/Founder of Move to Live®More with a mission to help people live healthier, longer, more active lives. A research and consulting firm addressing physical inactivity, obesity, chronic disease and social determinants of health through cross-sector collaboration and innovation, Move to Live®More provides services to clients in three sectors—healthcare, health & fitness and communities. A certified health and wellness coach, personal trainer, and group exercise instructor, Amy holds a Doctor of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She can be reached at movetolivemore.com or @MovetoLiveMore.
Amy will be presenting on Day 1 – New Opportunities: Special Populations.
Rachele Pojednic, PhD, EdM is an Assistant Professor & Program Director of Exercise Science in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Norwich University and a research associate at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pojednic’s work examines nutrition and physical activity education for healthcare and fitness professionals as well as overall diet, supplementation and physical activity interventions on muscle physiology, chronic disease and healthy aging. Dr. Pojednic received her PhD from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition & Exercise Physiology. She also holds an EdM in Physical Education from Boston University and a BS in Cardiopulmonary and Exercise Science from Northeastern University.
Dr. Pojednic serves as co-chair of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Is Medicine® education committee, was the Interim Executive Director for the Prescription for Activity Task Force, and serves on The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Industry Advisory Panel. She also works with ACE to develop NBHWC approved health coaching curriculum for clinicians, fitness professionals and universities. She has a passion for science communication and has been a consultant and writer for several organizations, including Time, Popular Science, Self, Shape, Women’s Health, Forbes, Runners World, and Boston Magazine.
Rachele will be presenting on Day 1 – New Opportunities: Special Populations.
Rick Richey has worked in the fitness industry since 2002 as a trainer, licensed massage therapist, college and university adjunct professor, NASM faculty instructor, author, and creator of the Type 2 Diabetes Fitness Specialist course via the MedFit Education Network. He has also presented at numerous fitness conferences in the US and internationally.
As an entrepreneur, Rick is the owner of Independent Training Spot, NYC-based personal training gyms and co-owns RēCOVER, a recovery business focused on minimising physical and cognitive stress. He also developed a continuing education company for personal trainers called HMS Resources. Rick hosts the NASM CPT Podcast and holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and a Doctorate in Health Science.
Rick is speaking at Day 1: New Opportunities: Special Populations.
Karen is the Senior Manager for State and Territory Operations with National Disability Services (NDS). Commencing in the NDIS trial site in NSW, Karen has been active in supporting the disability sector understand the implications of and adapt to the new and evolving operating environment brought about by the NDIS for the past 8 years. Karen has a Master’s of Business Leadership and over 20 years in senior management roles in the community sector, and was the CEO of a disability service prior to joining NDS in 2013.
Karen will be speaking with Chantal Brodrick on Day 1: New Opportunities: Special Populations.
Tommy Trout has been working in community services since he was 16 years old – and has absolutely loved every minute of it! His career has seen him working in juvenile rehabilitation in Sweden, residential drug rehabs, mental health centres, in the community, building suicide prevention charities in remote Australia and supporting people living with disabilities. After personal experience seeing health inequality for people with disability and a clear gap in the market, he founded WeFlex. A business that connects people with disabilities with mainstream health and fitness providers – creating a more inclusive fitness industry. Personally, Tommy is driven and excited about a more inclusive world for people with disabilities, after seeing firsthand the stigma and barriers they face.
Tommy will be presenting on Day 1: New Opportunities: Special Populations.
James has grown up in the industry, starting on the frontline in 1998 and has worked as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, sales and gym manager, built a contact centre, lead regions and states, working all the way up to senior executive roles for some of the largest leisure operators across Australia and New Zealand. Actively involved in industry bodies, and a member of the Academic Board of the Australian College of Physical Education, he has an extensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities that collaboration can bring across Private, Not for Profits, Government, Health and Sport.
Passionate about leaving a legacy of change in how our sector is understood, valued and funded, James is committed to harnessing the power of data to drive decision making to foster earlier activity, intervention and health outcomes.
James will be presenting on Day 3: The Future of Fitness: Business Tech & Data.
Steve Leven is the Co-Founder of Zenbly, a new innovative SaaS-based platform for fitness businesses of all sizes. Steve is a globally recognised expert in the application of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and has helped some of Australia’s most recognisable organisations transform using a wide range of emerging technologies. Steve has established a unique career, developing and leading innovative initiatives in globally recognisable organisations, including Google X (The X Factory), DARPA, Bayer, Westpac and Singtel/Optus to name a few. Steve has a foundation in sport and fitness being a former professional sportsman and also holds a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Information Systems, Masters in Applied Computer Sciences and a PhD in Applied Artificial Intelligence.
Bek Smith is a TEDx speaker and expert in mental fitness, who consults to organisations on ways to reduce stress, prevent burnout, improve communication, and optimise team culture and connection. She is a former physiotherapist with a background in psychology, a group fitness instructor since 2003, was a BodyJAM presenter for Les Mills Asia Pacific for eight years, and is no stranger to FILEX!
As somebody who navigated severe mental illness over two decades of her life with barely anyone realising it, Bek is uniquely positioned to talk about the link between physical and mental health. She does so both from an academic perspective and a lived experience point of view. Bek feels privileged to share her insights to help other people live better lives, and offers resources on building mental fitness (including her TEDx talk) via www.smithandwellness.com/resources.
Dr Sarah Maguire (BScPsych Hons, MA, DCP, PhD) is a clinical psychologist, researcher, educator, and policy maker with 20 years’ experience in the field of eating disorders. Dr Maguire has worked in hospital and community settings, supervised clinical teams and trainees, is a specialist clinical trainer and board approved supervisor. She was awarded her PhD in 2009, received the AH Martin Prize for outstanding doctoral student during her tenure, and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago. She is a senior advisor to NSW Ministry of Health and her institute leads the implementation of NSW Health Policy as it relates to eating disorders across the state including large scale health system reform under the NSW Service Plan for Eating Disorders 2021-2025. She sits on national level committees for health service reform including the Medicare working group for eating disorders.
At the InsideOut Institute she leads a research team with a broad research agenda, including biological, health systems, health economics, prevention, public health promotion, clinical intervention, and translational research. She is the Chief Investigator on projects totalling over 4 million in category 1 research funding, with an additional 1 million in research funding from category 2 and philanthropic sources. She has over 40 peer-reviewed publications. Dr Maguire and her team are passionate about changing the way treating disorders are perceived and treated within the health system and our community, driving for clinical excellence, providing policy leadership, research translation, and research that changes practice and outcomes.
Georgie has significant and broad-ranging leadership, policy and service delivery experience in the community, public and private sectors. Georgie was appointed as the CEO of beyondblue in May 2014 where she has led a significant expansion of effort and results in service innovation, suicide prevention and digital solutions. Previously, she helped set up and was the Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission, providing independent advice to government on reform. From 2006-2012, Georgie had national responsibility for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse, cancer and chronic disease policy and programs as a senior executive at the Commonwealth Department of Health. She led the development of a significant whole of government mental health Budget package and the strategy and development of legislation to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in Australia – a world first. Georgie has also led national reforms to lift Australia’s organ and tissue donation rates and worked in the HIV/AIDS sector in Australia and the UK.
Professor Ian Hickie is Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. He is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow (2013-2017 and 2018-22), having previously been one of the inaugural NHMRC Australian Fellows (2008-12). He was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-18) overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to medical aspects of common mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder. He is now focused on the development of real-time personalised and measurement- based care systems for use in partnership with young people and their families. These systems promote early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention. In his role with the National Mental Health Commission, and his independent research, health system and advocacy roles, Professor Hickie has been at the forefront of the move to have mental health and suicide prevention integrated with other aspects of health care (notably chronic disease and ambulatory care management).
Ginny grew up on a farm in Tasmania and has always been passionate about agriculture, community and staying active. She combined these two loves when founding Active Farmers in 2015. Concerned about the level of depression and suicide in rural communities, she developed a program for farmers and other community members to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Through exercise and interaction, participants become more aware of their health and develop a greater sense of community and resilience. In January 2018 she made the decision to leave her eight-year Agribusiness banking career and, with the support of Delta Agribusiness, expand Active Farmers so that as many country towns in regional areas throughout Australia can have access to the service as possible. Today Active Farmers exists in over 45 small farming communities across the country and offers a wide range of community driven events such as fun runs & Games, Ginny’s philosophy is that the more people who understand the connection between being physically fit and well connected within their community, and being mentally strong, the better! Ultimately our farming communities are responsible for feeding and clothing the country and Ginny believes the health and wellbeing of these people really matters. Now settled in Mangoplah, southern NSW on her husband Andrew’s family farm, with 3 children – twins Isabella and Henry, and Will, a horse and a black Labrador, Ginny couldn’t be happier with life in the country.
Chris is an avid birdwatcher, loves dogs, is happily married and has a son. He graduated from his Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) (University of Tasmania) with an award for Clinical Distinction. He is an IFM Certified Practitioner (IFMCP). He is a Fellow in Anti Aging Metabolic Medicine (A4M and MMI). He is Board Certified in Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He is a Bredesen Recode 2.0 Certified Physician. He is a BioBalance (Pfiffer-Walsh) trained doctor. He also holds a Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences) (University of Sydney), and Masters of Communication (Griffith University). He is a Board Certified Instructor of Hypnotherapy, Board Certified Trainer of NLP, Certified Master NLP Coach, Certified Master Trainer of Time Line Therapy®, Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, Certified Master Practitioner of Time Line Therapy® and Certified Master Hypnotherapist.
Chantal Brodrick worked in senior sales and marketing roles in the media industry for 15 years before transitioning careers. In 2008 she became a qualified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and in 2015 she became the host of the The Fitness Business Podcast – the world’s leading podcast for fitness business owners and managers.
In 2019 Chantal was appointed to the Fitness Australia Board of Directors and in the same year was recognised as 1 of 20 ‘Women Who Inspire’ by IHRSA’s Club Business International Magazine. Chantal is a featured speaker and emcee at industry events across the world including, IHRSA, FILEX, IDEA, Athletic Business Show and FITEX.
Chantal will be hosting the FILEX Virtual Series over all 3 days.
Kristen Beck (M.Hum.Nut., B.H.Sc, Registered Nutritionist) is a highly experienced nutrition and health science communicator and lecturer with more than 20 years experience in the Australian Fitness Industry. She is a regular nutrition commentator A Current Affair, TODAY, The Project, news and Women’s Health magazine. Kristen is a senior sports-science lecturer and is an entertaining, engaging and passionate presenter dedicated to presenting latest research with a practical approach to how clients eat, exercise and behave in the real world.
Kristen Beck will be presenting Happy Meals: The New Science of Nutrition and Mental Health on Day 2 – Thursday 14 October.
Darren has more than 15 years’ industry experience across three equipment providers, and most recently 6 years with Technogym, providing business solutions within Local Government, Key Account and boutique fitness facilities. Darren has led the Australian Club Sales division to back to back global sales challenge winners for 2019 and 2020. Currently, Technogym employs a dedicated team of key account managers who cover all States and Territories, as well as a network of Technogym Educators that ensure the delivery of tailored product training and digital support to fitness centres.
Barrie brings 20 years’ experience of successful organisational change, strategic development and business growth across a range of sectors such as Education and Health. You’ll regularly hear Barrie talking about his passions and experiences including training for triathlons, keeping his depressive episodes under control through exercise, trekking the Kokoda Trail and Hot Rods – all for the purpose of making meaningful connections.
Today Barrie is proud to be the CEO of Fitness Australia, the peak national fitness industry association working for make Australia a more physically active nation.
Barrie will be speaking on Day 2 – Thursday 14 October.