Personal Development Session

The format for the 2024 Florey Conference Personal Development Session is yet to be finalised. Below you will find the 2023 format used. We endeavour to change the format each year to suit students requests and needs.

Preparation for life post PhD

This session will cover early career planning and the transition process from study to the workplace. It will feature guest speakers from four potential career pathways:

  • Research academics

    Dr Matthew Stevens

    Dr Matthew Stevens currently works within the School of Biomedicine as a research fellow.

    His current research is focused on building capacity of the primary, tertiary and other non-specialist healthcare workforces to identify and respond to alcohol and other drug related harms through the delivery of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT).

    Dr Anneka Bowman

    Dr Anneka Bowman is a Senior Research Fellow of the Aboriginal Communities and Families Health Research Alliance (ACRA) in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Women and Kids Theme.

    Anneka has a unique breadth of knowledge that draws on her extensive experience as a national clinical trial coordinator, as well as experience managing and conducting epidemiological research through national datasets. Anneka’s current research focuses on improving intergenerational health outcomes through antenatal care, and postnatal support for all women and their families, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. 

  • Teaching academics

    Dr Sarah Halliday

    Dr Sarah Halliday is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology.

    She teaches and conducts research in the field of Developmental Psychology, with a particular focus on adolescent mental health and wellbeing.

    Dr Amie Foran

    Dr Amie Foran is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Lecturer in the School of Psychology, where she teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

    Her research speciality is evidence-based health care, including the value of cognitive tests in older adults.

  • Industry

    Dr Vicky Alexandrou

    Dr Vicky Alexandrou is the Managing Director and co-founder of Bio-Optics Australia. Vicky completed her research PhD in 2020 after a 17-year career in medical research.

    During her PhD, Vicky participated in several entrepreneurship courses including the Australian-French Entrepreneurship Challenge, where she was part of the winning team awarded a 10-day study tour to Paris. In 2022, Vicky was the recipient of the Women in Innovation Award for Emerging Innovator and has helped to raise over $800K in funding for Bio-Optics Australia.

  • Clinical academics

    Dr Suzanne Dawson

    Dr Suzanne Dawson is a Practitioner Fellow in the Caring Futures Institute, Flinders University and works in clinical practice as Principal Occupational Therapist for SALHN mental health services.

    Suzanne has led translational and implementation research projects across a range of care settings, for which she has attracted over $350,000 in grant funding.

    Professor Jeroen Hendriks

    Professor Jeroen Hendriks holds the inaugural Leo J Mahar Cardiovascular Nursing Chair at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University and the Department of Cardiology, Royal Adelaide Hospital.

    His program of research focusses on developing, implementing, and evaluating novel models of care delivery for patients with cardiovascular conditions. He has led multiple research projects in nurse-led atrial fibrillation clinics.

Round table meet and greet

The session will be run in a round table format where speakers share their career journeys and experiences, answer questions from attendees at the session and facilitate discussion at their table. Participants will be able to visit multiple tables of their interest across the session.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to meet with recent graduates and academics from Animate your Science and SAHMRI who will share their insights on how to better communicate your research in a captivating and engaging way.

In addition, Career Educators from our very own Career Services will provide advice on how to find job opportunities and connect with potential employers.

  • Science communication

    Dr Ben Lewis

    Dr Ben Lewis is a Science Writer and Communicator at SAHMRI, where he helps researchers in the Lifelong Health theme communicate why their work matters to a range of audiences.

    He is a former research scientist who has worked in science media and communications for 12 years as a writer, editor, public speaking coach, producer of videos and documentaries, and producer of live events ranging from small country towns to a nationally touring comedy-science stage show in collaboration with BBC Worldwide. Ben also regularly appears on ABC and commercial radio around Australia.

    Dr Khatora Opperman

    Dr Khatora Opperman is an award-winning medical researcher, turned science communicator and project manager at Animate Your Science.

    She has always had a fierce passion for bringing complex science to life through storytelling and science communication.

  • Career services

    Melanie Spandrio

    Melanie Spandrio is a career development practitioner, experienced in working with tertiary students and graduates. Her philosophy centres on providing students and graduates with the tools and encouragement that enable them to actively and successfully take control and manage their own career development. Melanie graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and English.

    in April 2023 I commenced my role as the Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Coordinator for 1-3 Years at the Adelaide Medical School.