Rear Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham is a native of San Diego. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology (with high honors) from the University of California, San Diego and a Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is an inductee in the medical honor society of Alpha Omega Alpha.
Gillingham completed a surgical internship and an orthopedic residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He also completed subspecialty training as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada in 1995. He qualified as an undersea and diving medical officer.
He has served in various positions throughout Navy Medicine to include director of Pediatric Orthopedic and Scoliosis Surgery; Associate Orthopedic Residency Program director; and director of Surgical Services. While assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, he was instrumental in establishing the Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care Center (C5).
Operationally, he served aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) as staff orthopedic surgeon and as director of surgical services. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II as battalion chief of Professional Services (Forward) for the 1st Force Service Support Group and officer in charge of the Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon, achieving a 98 percent combat casualty survival rate while providing echelon II surgical care during Operation Phantom Fury.
Gillingham also served as deputy chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Readiness & Health; commander, Navy Medicine West; commander, Naval Medical Center San Diego; deputy commander, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth; commanding officer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida; Pacific Fleet surgeon, and Fleet surgeon and director, Health Services, U.S. Fleet Forces. While in the Pacific, he led efforts to assist the Vietnam People’s Navy in creating an Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical program, and in the re-location of Navy Medical Research Unit-2 to Singapore. In 2011, he served as the Joint Support Force-Japan Surgeon in the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, ensuring the safety of over 200,000 U.S. citizens, service members and families.
He is a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and the American Orthopedic Association and a member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, American College of Physician Executives, Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons and Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He has published over 30 scientific articles and book chapters. In his previous assignment, he served as the director, Medical Resources, Plans and Policy (N0931), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
He currently serves as surgeon general of the Navy, N093/chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Gillingham’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit (seven awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with the Eagle Globe, and Anchor device with bronze star and the Fleet Marine Force ribbon.
Rear Admiral Sarah Sharkey has served as a Medical Officer in the Royal Australian Navy for more than 25 years.
Sarah began her service under sponsorship while an undergraduate medical student at the University of Queensland; and has enjoyed a range of postings both at sea and ashore with her clinical background being mainly in submarine and diving medicine. In her more recent career, Sarah has served at the Director General level in Joint Health Command, and as the Head of the Navy Health Community.
Sarah has a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery, Masters in Business Administration, and a Masters in Politics and Policy. She is a Fellow of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Sarah is a recipient of the Australian Defence Medal, Australian Service medal with Solomon Islands Clasp, and the Defence Long Service Medal. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, a Chief of Army Commendation in 2001, and a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Sarah is married to Frank and together their biggest achievement is being the proud parents of Samuel, Bridget, Patrick and Daniel.
Major-General Bilodeau enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces, under the Medical Officer Training Program, in 1995, during his third year in medical school. He completed his Residency in Family Medicine at Université Laval, Quebec City, in the summer of 2000.
Major-General Bilodeau then served as the medical officer of the 1st Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier for two years. From the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2003, he did an additional year of training in Emergency Medicine at Université Laval. Following his return to Valcartier, he trained for and deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for role 1 support (pre-hospital and primary care). Upon his return, he was promoted to Major and appointed as the Brigade Surgeon in support of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, where he served until the summer of 2008. He was then posted to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium, as the Canadian medical officer and Officer in Command of detachment Casteau of the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Ottawa). There, he provided family medicine support to Canadians, US and other country military personnel and dependents in a US Army clinic. He was awarded the US Army Commendation Medal for his accomplishments during this appointment.
Upon his return from Europe in 2010, Major-General Bilodeau was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and appointed as the Senior Staff Officer – Primary Care in the Directorate of Medical Policy, Health Services Group Headquarters. In May 2012, he took command of the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Ottawa) and became National Capital Region and Europe Surgeon. Promoted to Colonel in October 2014, he was appointed the Director of Medical Policy at Health Services Group Headquarters in Ottawa. In June of 2016, Major-General Bilodeau was appointed as the Commander of 1 Health Services Group in Edmonton, and he served in that capacity until the summer of 2018. In this position, he was responsible for all medical units in the western half of the country. He was promoted to Brigadier-General in June of 2019 and was appointed as the Deputy Surgeon General in July 2019. He was promoted to his current rank in June 2020 and appointed as the Canadian Armed Forces Surgeon General in July of the same year.
Since 2013, he has been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada, the organization that sets the standard for patient safety and quality of healthcare in Canada. From 2014 to 2015, he completed a Master’s Certificate in public administration at l’Écolenationaled’administrationpublique. He is a graduate from the Medical Strategic Leadership Program from the US Army and the US Federal Healthcare Executives Institute. Major-General Bilodeau graduated from the Canadian Forces College’s National Security Programme and has obtained a Master of Public Administration from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), Kingston, in 2019.
He was awarded the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation by the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (2014, 2019); the Certified Health Executive (CHE) title by the Canadian College of Health Leaders (2017); the title of Fellow from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (2018); and the D. Fraser Holman Medallion as the student on the National Security Programme who best exemplifies excellence in strategic thought and leadership potential (2019).
He is married, together they have two daughters. He enjoys skiing, skating, biking, and running with his family.
Dr Bennett graduated from the University of Queensland with MBBS in 1991 and has Fellowships with both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. She has worked in Queensland Health, the Australian Defence Force, and in the academic research sector acquiring a broad range of management, leadership and governance experience to complement broad technical expertise in the fields of communicable diseases and general medicine.
Dr Bennett is currently the Executive Director Communicable Diseases Branch and Deputy Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health where, amongst other activities, she is responsible for the state-wide strategic direction and policy for communicable diseases, leading state-wide incidents of public health significance and performing in the role of Chief Health Officer in the incumbent’s absence. Sonya is current Chair of the Communicable Disease Network of Australia, a member of the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee and is an adjunct Associate Professor of Griffith University. She remains a Commodore in the Royal Australian Navy as an active reservist and is currently the Director General Navy Health Reserves and a member of the Defence Independent Seaworthiness Management Review panel reporting to Chief of Navy.
Air Cdre Richard Withnall QHS MD MA MSc MBBS FRCGP CMgr RAF
Medical Director, UK Defence Medical Services
Air Commodore Rich Withnall joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a Medical Cadet in 1990 and qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London in 1992. He undertook General Practice Vocational Training at Princess Mary’s RAF Hospital, Halton and Peterborough Hospitals National Health Service Trust. His UK postings have included Senior Medical Officer appointments on fast jet, multi-engine and rotary flying stations, and the RAF’s recruit Phase 1 training unit. He has undertaken Command & Staff appointments at HQ Personnel and Training Command, HQ AIR Command, HQ Surgeon General and the Ministry of Defence. His overseas experience includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Denmark, the Falkland Islands, Ghana, Iraq, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Norway, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.
He was appointed as Advisor in General Practice (RAF) in 2005, then undertook the Advanced Command & Staff Course in 2007-8, winning both the Brooke-Popham Prize for the Best Defence Research Paper and the Sir Michael Howard Prize for the Best MA student. After a tour as SO1 Med Pol in the Ministry of Defence, Rich returned to HQ AIR Command as Deputy Director Health Services (RAF) in 2010. He was selected as the first RAF Defence Professor of General Practice & Primary Care in 2013. In 2017, he became the first primary care clinician to be appointed as the Defence Medical Services’ Medical Director.
Rich has remained clinically current throughout, revalidating with a licence to practise in 2013. He is on the National Performers List. An accredited GP Trainer and Appraiser Trainer since 2002, and an RCGP Examiner since 2005, Rich became a Fellow of the RCGP in 2006. He is a member of RCGP Council, the RCGP’s International Medical Director, and Deputy Clinical Lead for the MRCGP Clinical Skills Assessment. He is the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s GP Advisor, a GP Specialty Advisor to the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and Convener of the World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Association of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) Special Interest Group on Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine. Rich is a Chartered Manager and has undertaken the RAF’s Strategic Leadership and Development Programme.
He lives in the Cotswolds with his wife and two children. He remains a keen motorcyclist and fly-fisherman but, despite being very proud to have captained the RAF Medical Services rugby team, Rich has now hung-up his rugby boots in favour of season tickets at Gloucester Rugby (where watching is sometimes more painful than playing!)
Director of Defence Force Nursing, Australian Army
Serena is a graduate of Australian Command and Staff College and holds Master degrees in military and defence studies, health services management and critical care nursing.
She is currently posted to Joint Health Command as a policy Officer and has been appointed as the Director of Defence Force Nursing.
She has enjoyed a wide variety of formative postings and has been fortunate to serve in combat and Garrison health care appointments. Earlier this year she was embedded as the JHC Liaison Officer to the Department of Health National Incident Room (NIR) in support of the Commonwealth COVID pandemic response. She values the skills and insights this role afforded in addition to her LO role at HQJOC.
Serena is married to Brenton who is an Army Signals Corps Officer. They have a seven year old son, James and a six year old daughter, Rosemary. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and long-distance running.
LCDR Gavin Milkins joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1986 as a sailor. Progressing through the ranks to Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Medic having postings and served on HMAS Moresby, HMAS Derwent, HMAS Westralia, HMAS Swan, FFG’s HMAS Adelaide II, Darwin and Canberra II.
The posting on HMAS Adelaide (FFG) involved the role of being part of the medical team (Southern Ocean Rescue). LCDR Milkins applied for Officer Commission in 2003 for the NS PQ. On successful completion of the selection board, LCDR Milkins was promoted to LEUT Nurse 2004. LCDR Milkins has completed various postings as a Nursing Officer at HMAS Penguin Hospital performing the role of Shift Supervisor and Clinical Nurse Educator.
LCDR Milkins joined the Directorate Navy Health (DNH) as the Staff Officer Health Personnel (SOHP), and then subsequently posted to LPA HMAS Kanimbla – Patient Casualty Reception Facility (PCRF Manager) which included the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) deployment Op Sumatra Assist. LCDR Milkins next appointments included the PCRF as the Senior ICU-HDU MR2E Nurse, responsible for the provision of ICU/HDU clinical services for the deployed role MR2E and responsible for team leadership in the ICU/HDU element #1 and as the Military Employment Category Review Board (MECRB) Secretary.
LCDR Milkins recently deployed to Task Group Afghanistan Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) Kabul (2017) R2E as the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the deployed Medical Team. LCDR Milkins was responsible in providing primary health care services, emergency and trauma medicine in direct support of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and maintaining oversight of personnel at the HKIA Role 2E to work collegiately with other NATO nations. LCDR Milkins is currently posted to HMAS Adelaide (LHD) as the Health Facility Manager (HFM). LCDR Milkins next posting on promotion to Commander is the Commanding Officer Joint Health Unit WA January 2021.
LCDR Milkins holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Nursing from Charles Sturt University Bathurst, Graduate Diploma of Critical Care from University of Canberra, Diploma of Remote Locality Advanced Health (Remote Locality Health Care), Diploma of Peri-Operative Procedures (Operating Theatre) and Diploma of Health Care (Pre-Hospital Health Care).
LCDR Milkins hobbies include running, appreciating taking part on the occasional fun runs (half marathons), park runs, mountain biking events, coin collecting and dabbling in the garden. Married to Krystle with two adult children.
Graeme Shirtley Oration –CDRE ANDREW ROBERTSON CSC PSM
Chief Health Officer, Assistant Director General, Public and Aboriginal Health Division | Department of Health
Dr Andrew (Andy) Robertson is the Chief Health Officer and Assistant Director General within the Public and Aboriginal Health Division in the Western Australia Department of Health (WA Health). He was previously the Deputy Chief Health Officer and Director, Disaster Management from February 2008 until June 2018. With specialist medical qualifications in Public Health Medicine and Medical Administration, and sub-specialty training in Underwater Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) Defence, he served with the RAN from 1984 until 2003, including completing three tours to Iraq as a Biological Weapons Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in 1996 and 1997 and sea-postings on HMAS CANBERRA, HMAS SYDNEY and HMAS PARRAMATTA. In his Reserve role, he served as the Director Naval Health Reserves – WA from December 2006 to July 2015, provided specialist medical advice as an advisor to the Sea Worthiness Boards, and deployed as a public health specialist on Pacific Partnership in 2015 and 2016. In July 2015, he was promoted to Commodore and undertook the role of Director General Navy Health Reserves until December 2019.
In October 2003, he took up the position of the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management in WA Health, a position that was integrated into his Divisional Director’s role prior to his Deputy Chief Health Officer role. In December 2004, he led the Australian Medical Relief team into the Maldives post tsunami, managed WA Health’s response to the 2005 Bali Bombing, led the WA Health team into Indonesia after the Yogyakarta earthquakes in June 2006, worked as the Radiation Health Adviser to the Australian Embassy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 and conducted the AUSMAT needs assessment in Nepal after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Since 2008, he has coordinated the WA Health responses to Cyclone George, the Varanus Island gas explosion, the Ashmore Reef incident, the public health system aspects of the H1N1 2009 pandemic, the 2011 CHOGM meeting and the 2015 Ebola preparations, and acted as the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Medical Officer. He has been undertaking the current role since June 2018, including leading the WA Health response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Prof Brett Sutton is Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer undertakes a variety of statutory functions under health and food-related legislation. He also provides expert clinical and scientific advice and leadership on issues impacting public health. He is the spokesperson for the Victorian Government on matters related to health protection, including public health incidents and emergencies.
Prof Sutton has extensive experience and clinical expertise in public health and communicable diseases, gained through emergency medicine and field-based international work, including in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. He represents Victoria on a number of key national bodies including the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee). He is also Chief Human Biosecurity Officer for Victoria. Prof Sutton has a keen interest in tropical medicine and the incorporation of palliative care practice into humanitarian responses.
Prof Sutton is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM). He is also a member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine.
Brigadier Whelan has extensive experience in command, leadership and management roles across the ADF and the Emergency Services sector. In the latter years of her full-time ADF career she completed appointments as the Director General Garrison Health, the Director General Select Strategic Issues Management, and the inaugural Chief of Staff, ADFHQ.
Brigadier Whelan transferred to SERCAT 3 in Jun 2018. In her Reserve capacity she is an active contributor to the Army Health ECR and CER process.
Georgeina was appointed as Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency in October 2019 in the lead up to the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires National Disaster. She led the ACT through this period, appointed as the ACT’s Emergency Controller. She chairs the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council (AFAC) Professionalization Scheme Board and the AFAC State Emergency Services Operations Group. She is a member of several advisory groups focused on the mental health and wellness of first responders. She is the Patron of the ACT Downs Syndrome Association.
Brigadier Whelan was awarded a CSC in 2004 for her work in developing the Army Health Continuum, an AM in 2006 for her command of the ANZAC Field Hospital on Operation Sumatra Assist and a Bar to her CSC in 2016 for her performance as DG Garrison Health Services. She holds tertiary qualifications in Business and Strategic Management.
Director Army Health & Head of Corps, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps
COL Bushby commenced her appointment as Director Army Health in September 2019.
A Nursing Officer by background, and the current HOC RAANC, her regimental and clinical experiences have been a combination of Joint and Army appointments. These have included 2nd Field Hospital, 1 and 3 Combat Service Support Battalions, 5th Aviation Regiment, Robertson and Simpson Barracks Health Centres, HQJOC, DOCM-A and SO1 Health Policy at Joint Health Command. She was both an instructor and subsequently the Commanding Officer at the Army School of Health, and was the SO1 Health Workforce and Capability at DAH prior to her current appointment.
She has operational experience in East Timor, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and has qualifications in Health Services Management, Vocational Education and Training, Emergency Nursing and Pre-hospital Care. COL Bushby is an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Services Management and a member of the Australian College of Nursing. She is a passionate advocate for combat health care within the land domain and for all health craft groups within it.
COL Bushy is married with two young girls, a gracefully aging Labrador retriever, and they are volunteer puppy raisers with Guide Dogs Australia.
As Medical Director, Tony Smith has led the clinical direction of St John New Zealand since 2005.
Tony chairs the working group that develops the clinical procedures and guidelines for the ambulance sector in New Zealand. Within his tenure as chairman, Tony has led the development of national policies that determine the treatment and destination of patients in New Zealand with spinal cord injury, major trauma, stroke and heart attack. Having an active involvement in pre-hospital care and research, Tony leads a collaborative approach to contributing to multi-centre trials.
Tony also serves on several medical councils and committees. He is a member of the New Zealand Resuscitation Council, The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Recitation, the and the New Zealand Clinical Network for major trauma, stroke and cardiac conditions.
Tony serves as a doctor for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service and is an active member of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust.