Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF) 2024

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Break-off brainstorming sessions at the 2019 ELF in Sydney. 

About the forum

The ELF provides an opportunity to support the development of future leaders in the health sector and to nurture relationships with early-career members of our own (and other) invited surgical societies. This premium event is a chance for delegates to be inspired by guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds and network with colleagues and experts from the broader health sector.

Delegates are nominated to attend the ELF based on specified criteria. It is comprised of orthopaedic nominees from every AOA state branch, our trainee association (AORA) and Orthopaedic Women’s Link (OWL), as well as nominees from kindred surgical groups, such as the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association, the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia and the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association.

AOA members interested in being nominated or presenting at a future ELF are encouraged to contact aoa@aoa.org.au

Dates and timings

The ELF is an annual event and rotates around the states/territories. To date, six ELFs have successfully run from 2014 to 2019. With a short hiatus due to the pandemic, the ELF is back for 2024 and annually hereafter. 

ELF 2024

When: 10.30am-late Friday 28 June
9am-4.15pm Saturday 29 June

Melbourne CBD




Dr Ian Incoll 
Conjoint Professor,
School of Medicine and Public Health,
University of Newcastle


Mr Adrian Cosenza


Keynote speakers


Prof Flavia Senkubuge


Dr Peter Choong


Ms Anne Garlick


Mr Matt Hanrahan


Dr Michael Johnson


Prof Viren Naik


Dr Omar Khorshid


Prof Jason Frank


A/Prof Fiona Maclean


Ms Michelle Sinclair


A/Prof Catherine Green AO


Dr Jonathan Newchurch


Dr David Bade


Ms Ronnie Kahn AO


Dr Scott Fletcher


Ms Corinne Archer

Keynote speaker bios


Professor Flavia Senkubuge is the acting deputy vice-chancellor and vice-principal student life and deputy dean stakeholders at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa. She is a medical doctor and specialist in public health medicine with a PhD in public health and an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School, UK. She is the 20th president of the Colleges of Medicine South Africa (CMSA) and the first black woman to hold the position. The CMSA is the apex body of medicine in South Africa. 

She is the current chair of the WHO/Afro-region African Advisory Council on Research and Development (AACHRD), president of Women in Global Health (WGH) South Africa and interim vice-president of the East Central and Southern African (ECSA) College of Public Health Medicine. She is a fellow of the prestigious Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership program and was recognised as one of 50 powerful women in South Africa by the Mail and Guardian’s Power of Women in 2021. In 2022 she was recognised by Harvard Public Health as one of the 25 standout voices in African public health.  

Professor Peter Choong, a distinguished leader of surgery, education, and research, is the Sir Hugh Devine professor of surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, head of the University of Melbourne Department of Surgery and associate dean of Innovation and Enterprise in the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Professor Choong has shaped the landscape of orthopaedic and orthopaedic oncology surgery for decades. His dedication to patient care and clinical excellence is exemplified through his leadership of the Bone and Soft Tissue Tumour Service at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Department of Orthopaedics at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, and as President of the Australian Orthopaedic Association (2014).

With an academic and leadership journey spanning Australia, Sweden, and the United States, Professor Choong's vast experience enriches his multifaceted contributions ranging from fundamental science and bioengineering, to surgical technique and clinical epidemiology. A recipient of numerous accolades, Professor Choong was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2022 for distinguished service to orthopaedic medicine, to research and tertiary medical education, and to professional associations. 
Anne is a recognised leader in technology and cyber risk management and has led and delivered transformational technology and business change during her career. She achieves these outcomes through strong people leadership whilst leveraging a risk mindset. Anne helps others understand the increasing complexity of the digital, cyber, and regulatory risk landscapes. A particular passion is promoting the development of an inclusive work environment with a strong focus on gender and cultural diversity.

Anne has experience working with boards both within financial services and as an independent director of education organisations. She is a director of volunteering on the Central Coast Committee and a current member of the Australian Orthopaedic Association Board Audit and Risk Committee, the Macquarie University Board Audit and Risk Committee and Information Technology Management Committee. She is a past director of the Central Coast Grammar School where she held the roles of deputy board chair and chair of the ICT subcommittee. 

Anne has a Masters of Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Matt Hanrahan is a highly accomplished healthcare executive and is currently the CEO of Healthe Care. Healthe Care is private hospital organisation, which operates across 18 sites in NSW, VIC, and TAS.

Before joining Healthe Care, Matt served as the deputy national chief executive officer at Calvary Health Care. Throughout his career, Matt has held several senior management positions in various healthcare organisations, both in the public and private sectors. Notably, Matt has served as the chief executive of Central Coast Local Health District (NSW Health), where he demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in managing the district, overseeing the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the local community. In addition, he also served as the CEO of General Practice NSW.

Matt's educational achievements also reflect his commitment to excellence in healthcare management. He holds a Masters in Health Administration and a Bachelor of Applied Science, allowing him to integrate scientific principles with practical healthcare management strategies. Furthermore, Matt is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Viren Naik serves the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) as its CEO, after serving as its chief assessment officer.  He is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and has over 25 years of experience as an educator, researcher, and leader.  

In 2001, Dr Naik obtained a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto, and a fellowship in education from The Wilson Centre for Research in Education. Following his training, Dr Naik was recruited to St. Michael’s Hospital, where he started a research fellowship program in simulation, and three years later, he was appointed medical director of the Allan Waters’ Family Patient Simulation Centre.

In 2009, he was recruited from the University of Toronto to establish the University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC) as the inaugural medical director. Dr Naik has focused his career on the integration of simulation into CanMEDS for postgraduate education and continuing professional development. He has over 140 peer reviewed publications and grants, and in 2007 and 2013, received honour awards from the Canadian Anaesthesiologists' Society.

Between 2014 and 2017, he served as vice president in education for the Ottawa Hospital, one of the busiest academic health sciences centre in Canada. Between 2017 and 2022, Dr Naik served as the director of assessment for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the R.S. McLaughlin Professor of Medical Education at the University of Ottawa, and oversaw the credentialing of specialist training and the assessment, including examinations, for all medical specialties in Canada.  
Jason Frank is a clinician-educator focusing on all aspects of health professions training.

He is a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine as well as an attending physician at the Ottawa Hospital. He currently serves as the founding director for the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education at UOttawa (cIMED). Formerly, he worked as the director of specialty education, strategy, and standards in the office of specialty education at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

Born in rural northern Canada, Jason obtained his MD from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine and an FRCPC in Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto. His masters of education is from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He is known for his work on all aspects of medical education, particularly the CanMEDS Project since 1994, and as one of the pioneers of competency-based medical education (CBME). He is the founder and chair of the International CBME Collaborators consortium and the Competence By Design project. He has contributed to health professions systems worldwide.

A past finalist for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, he has been recognized for his contributions to medicine and teaching. He is the recipient of the 2013 Council Award honouring outstanding physicians, from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and was made an honorary fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association in 2015 for his contributions to surgical education. In 2020, he was given the Ian Hart Award by the Association for Medical Education in Europe, one of the highest international honours for contributions to health professions education.
Michael currently serves as the president of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and previously, president of the Spine Society of Australia. Michael is the chair and principle investigator of the Australian Spine Registry. 

Michael obtained his fellowship of the Australasian College of Surgeons in orthopaedic surgery in 1986, marking the beginning of his career. Between 1986 and 1989, Michael sought further spine surgery training at prestigious institutions across the world, including Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London. To build on his knowledge, he also completed additional fellowships in Germany and the United States. 

After returning to Melbourne in 1989, Michael dedicated his practice exclusively to spinal surgery, particularly the treatment of deformity and degenerative conditions of the thoracic and lumbar spine. 

Dr Omar Khorshid is an experienced medial leader and orthopaedic surgeon from Perth, specialising in reconstructive and arthroplasty surgery of the knee and hip, including robotic surgery. He is a past president of the Australian Medical Association at a state and national level and has served in leadership and representative roles throughout his career. 

Dr Khorshid is the head of department of orthopaedic surgery and lead surgeon at Fremantle Hospital and is a founding director of Coastal Orthopaedic Group Pty Ltd. He is a member of the Australian Medical Council, the World Medical Association Council and a practitioner fellow of UWA's Public Policy Institute. 

Dr Khorshid has a longstanding interest in medical education and was appointed adjunct clinical associate professor at Curtin Medical School in 2016. He served on the AOA's Federal Training Committee for almost ten years, including four years as chair of education and training during the development and implementation of AOA's re-designed training program. He is a recipient of AOA's Leadership Award (2010), Education Award (2020) and is a fellow of the Australian Medical Association (2019). 

In addition to his experience as a director of AOA, he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on the boards of the AMA and AMA (WA). 

As president of the AMA from 2020 to 2022, he was deeply involved in Australia's pandemic response, whilst driving AMA advocacy around health system funding reform, private health insurance and Prostheses List reform, primary care, and public health. 

Fiona Maclean holds the position of clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. She has authored over 100 peer reviewed papers, as well as two orthopaedic chapters of Sternberg's Diagnostic Surgical Pathology, and one chapter of Histology for Pathologists, both of which are premier textbooks in the fields of pathology and histology.

She is passionate about teaching pathology and enjoys presenting lectures to people from all walks of life, being regularly invited as a speaker both within Australia and internationally. She is the immediate past president of the Australasian division of the International Academy of Pathology (IAP). Assoc Prof Maclean is on the Board of the IAP and the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association (ANZSA). She has special interests in urogenital and musculoskeletal pathology in particular. For over two years now she has additionally spent half of her week working in Artificial Intelligence (AI), partnering as medical advisor with Franklin.ai, an Australian start-up developing tools in the medical space.

Michelle is a seasoned financial leader with a robust background in driving strategic initiatives and fostering business growth. With over 16 years’ commercial experience in establishing and cultivating high-growth businesses in both Australia and New Zealand, Michelle brings a dynamic mix of entrepreneurial spirit, strategic advisory skills and financial management to the forefront.

Michelle’s expertise extends to designing scalable business strategies, building and leading high-performing finance teams, and delivering impactful financial management solutions that enhance organisational performance. Michelle has also successfully lead engagements in corporate strategy and business model design, finance function reviews, capability uplift programmes and delivers ongoing VCFO advisory services.

David Bade is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Brisbane with public appointments at the Qld Children’s Hospital and Mater Hospital. He provides the only public orthopaedic surgical service to rural QLD, based at the Roma Hospital.

David has recently stepped down as the Director of QCH after nine years, has been on the QLD AOA State Executive for almost ten years and was the state chair from 2021-2023. David is actively involved in teaching, training and collaborative research. Over the last few year’s David’s attention and curiosity has investigated the science (or lack thereof ) of surgeon wellbeing. After experiencing his own episode of burnout he completed the Physician Wellbeing Directors Course run by Stanford WellMD in 2021. He has since been accepted into the Stanford Chief Wellness Officer’s Course in 2025. David has used his platform within the AOA to highlight the issue of surgeon wellbeing and is currently the Chair of the AOA’s Wellbeing Committee. David would like you to be aware he is not an ‘expert’ in this field but hopes he has some valuable insights, particularly in the area of wellness-centred leadership.

Scott in an orthopaedic surgeon in Tasmania. Has had a number of leadership roles throughout his orthopaedic career. This included a 25-year span as head of a small orthopaedic department in Tasmania and a 15-year span as director of surgery.

His leadership roles have included  state and national roles related to orthopaedics and surgery more generally. He is a member of the Arthroplasty Society (ASA) and spent a year in the presidential role of the ASA.

He also has fellowship with the College of Medical Administration (FRACMA) and uses this role to give him a better understanding of the broader health system. He is an associate professor through the University of Tasmania.

Scott is the current vice president of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and has a particular interest in connecting and integrating health services. 'Connection' is the theme of the 2025 AOA ASM in Hobart, Tasmania.

Catherine is an ophthalmic surgeon and educator based in Melbourne. She has been head of the glaucoma unit at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for over a decade and in addition, has served as the dean of education for RANZCO and associate professor and deputy director of the Monash Institute for Health and Clinical Education (MIHCE). Throughout her career, she has held education, governance, and leadership roles for national and international ophthalmic organisations, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), the Centre for Eye Research Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the International Council of Ophthalmology and the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO). In 2017, she was recognised as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to ophthalmology as a clinician, through executive roles with national and international professional groups, to research and education, and to eye health care programs in the Asia-Pacific.

As well as pursuing her interests in glaucoma, public health, education and international development, Catherine played a pivotal role in establishing and co-ordinating the leadership development programs of RANZCO and the APAO. She is a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion, making a significant contribution to highlighting in all the organisations in which she works the importance of this issue and its role in effecting positive cultural change.

Ronni Kahn AO is a social entrepreneur and founder of Australia’s leading food rescue charity, OzHarvest. Ronni is a passionate advocate and activist renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government, and is a sought after keynote speaker.

Her mission to fight food waste and feed hungry people is supported by some of the world's finest chefs. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year. Her journey is the subject of feature film, Food Fighter directed by Dan Goldberg. In 2020 she co-authored her biography; A Repurposed Life, which was nominated for an ABIA award for Biography Book of the Year.

Corinne Archer is an accomplished leader in technology and innovation, currently serving as the technology executive manager at the Australian Orthopaedic Association where she leads strategic technological initiatives to enhance orthopaedic education, member services, and operational systems. With over 20 years of experience, Corinne has developed a robust expertise in technology strategy, cybersecurity, software development and project management, significantly improving operational excellence and client satisfaction across sectors including government, banking, higher education, and healthcare.

Corinne holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology from the University of Sydney, with additional qualifications in information security and graphic design. Currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence Management at UTS, she remains at the forefront of technological advancement, integrating cutting-edge technology with strategic business initiatives.

Ngai nari Jonathan Warritya Newchurch, Ngai yaitya miyu Kaurna Narungga anangku, Ngai Mikawomangga warni.

‘My name is Jonathan Second Born Male Newchurch, I am an Indigenous man of Kaurna and Narungga. I was born on the Mika plains, now known as the suburb of Woodville.’

I am a proud yaitya miyu (Indigenous man) of both Kaurna and Narungga heritage. My roots run into the heart of Kaurna Yarta (land), where I was raised in Tarntanyangga, known to many as Adelaide. My connection to this land and its traditions not only shapes my personal identity but greatly influences my professional journey in the medical field.

I hold a medical degree from Adelaide University. I went on to complete general practice training, where my experiences took me across varied landscapes – from rural and remote clinics to the pivotal role in Aboriginal medical services. These diverse exposures enriched my perspective and solidified my commitment to providing holistic and culturally sensitive care.

Eager to expand my horizons further, I delved into training in GP anaesthetics. The intricacies of this domain provided a fresh challenge and allowed me to refine my expertise. My thirst for knowledge then led me to the realm of pain medicine. Working in public and private pain clinics, I’ve witnessed the intricate relationship between physical pain and emotional well-being, fostering a deeper understanding and empathy towards those I serve.

Currently, I channel my experience and knowledge as a principal investigator in clinical trials. Here, I engage in research, striving to bridge the gaps in medical understanding and seeking novel solutions to health challenges.


What's on?

  • A two-day forum with a cocktail hour and networking dinner on day one. 
  • Cabaret-style seating. 
  • A mix of presentations, panel discussions, group activities, guest interviews, debate-style sessions, networking, and team building opportunities.


Day one

  • The art of purposeful leadership
  • Leadership, effective teams and followship
  • The foundation of conflict and effective communication
  • Artificial intelligence in the modern world
  • Indigenous leadership perspectives
  • Fostering a successful business and practice

Day two

  • Team building and working in teams
  • Leadership and clinical governance
  • Medical leadership – 'From the dark side to centre stage'
  • Advocacy and leadership
  • Understanding of how leadership interacts with organisational responsibility
  • International perspectives on leadership
  • Wellness in leadership
  • The great debate — 'Leaders are made and not born'



AOA values the contribution of our sponsors of the ELF which make it possible for this event to run.


Major industry sponsors:


Trade exhibition sponsors:


Dinner sponsor:

A dinner sponsor position is available with a range of sponsor benefits. For more information, contact aoa@aoa.org.au

Are you a business interested in sponsorship of the 2025 or future ELF? Contact aoa@aoa.org.au

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