Global Health Unzipped seeks to empower individuals to take action in Global Health. Be inspired by Dr Stewart Condon, President of MSF Australia, and Nova Peris, our first female indigenous parliamentarian. Engage with world-class experts during a panel discussion focusing on the promises and pitfalls of volunteerism, the effect of war on health, and the rise of telemedicine. GHU will be held on Sunday August 7, at CADET Building, Waurn Ponds (Building KE, at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds)

For the complete program, please view our Delegate Handbook.

Inspire. Empower. Act.

Be inspired.

President of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia

Indigenous Senator and Olympian

Chair and Co-Founder of Global Ideas 


Former President of Medical Association for Prevention of War

Coordinator at Rethink Orphanages



Dean of Medicine, Deakin University


1. Volunteering - Promises and Pitfalls

2.  War and Unrest on Health

3. Cultural Competency

Panel Discussions

Dr Bill Williams

Leigh Mathews

Joined by your speakers,
Dr Stewart Condon and Nova Peris

Chaired by
Professor Jon Watson 

On the topic of...



Dr Stewart Condon, President of MSF Australia, is a medical generalist with a diploma in paediatrics. He has worked in emergency departments around NSW and Queensland, as a rural medical practitioner in indigenous communities of Central Australia and also has experience working in Sydney prisons. Stewart has done various field placements with Médecins Sans Frontières since 2004 in Sudan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as medical doctor, field coordinator and country medical coordinator. He currently works in emergency departments as a senior non-specialist, and continues to support the Central Australian Remote Health team by on-call work when required.

Nova Peris is a staunch campaigner for indigenous rights and reconciliation in Australia. She was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, which she values as a remarkable achievement given the difficulties she faced as “an Aboriginal girl from the territory”. Nova Peris was the first Aboriginal woman elected to the federal parliament of Australia, as position she has leveraged to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal Australians. As a treaty ambassador for the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), she has travelled around the country, campaigning for a treaty between black and white so that a fundamental understanding between two groups can be forged. Her aim is to build the foundations for a fairer society for all.

Dr Lloyd Nash is a specialist General & Acute Care physician and global health practitioner who believes in building systems for better health ( His clinical work is focused on indigenous health in the remote Kimberley and pacific is-land health in Vanuatu as part of the Australian Aid program. He is Co-founder & Chair of Global Ideas, taking a design approach to solving global health challenges. Lloyd holds appointments as Clinical Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is formerly a Director of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, and remains active in working groups on Climate and Health and the Social Determinants of Health. As a Fellow of Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Community Leadership Pro-gram, Cranlana Program and recipient of the ADC Forum Australian Leadership Award, Lloyd has been recognised as a next-generation Australian leader.



Panel discussions

See our Delegate Handbook.


Topic 1: Volunteering – Promises and Pitfalls
Estimated time: 40 minutes

Every year, thousands of people travel to developing nations to participate in volunteer programs. Many go with good intentions, giving up time and money for the promise of making a difference and undertaking a meaning, cultural experience. Volunteer tourism, often referred to as “voluntourism” has been an explosive trend, and has created a substantial global industry. However, controversy has arisen and the ethics of voluntourism are in disrepute. Questions are posed whether these volunteer ventures do more harm than good, and who the real beneficiaries of the program are – the volunteer or the community? Is change real and sustainable, or is it merely a guilt-offsetting project for volunteers? Development work is complex and multifaceted, and requires more than a ‘short stint’ in an underprivileged community. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) arguably run an effective volunteer program which mobilises large numbers of highly qualified volunteers to serve in war-torn communities, classrooms, hospitals and homes. Moreover, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a revered international NGO, winning the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and becoming the instrumental medical aid provider in areas of need.  So the question remains - what makes volunteering overseas effective and ethical?  Perhaps the difference lies in the type of venture or goals of the organisation; or perhaps, more inherently in the skills of the volunteer. Perhaps we need to do more learning before we can service the needs of others overseas. 

How can we capitalise on the altruistic intentions of volunteers to benefit those in need, without perpetuating the harmful exploitation of those from developing nations? 


Topic 2: War and Unrest on Health
Estimated time: 40 minutes

Our world is one in which war and terror is a reality and the reason why millions of people flee their country. The few remaining are brave doctors and healthcare workers, providing assistance and saving lives, regardless of religion or race. However, these medical personnel and hospitals are extremely vulnerable. In Syria, military forces deliberately target medical personnel to gain military advantage by denying treatment to wounded fighters and civilians. MSF hospitals have since become the target in these wars. During airstrikes, doctors are required to perform impromptu surgery in makeshift operating theatres on colleagues and patients amidst all the carnage. Sadly these attacks are not an anomaly but a frightening actuality for many living in countries devastated by war. The effect of war on health extends further than the displacement of people, lack of resources and inadequate access to health services. It can reverse progress in all aspects of global development. When inhumane attacks are targeting those providing the aid and need, what hope do we have?

Given there is ongoing conflict and the urgent need to provide aid to those living in war stricken areas, what efforts are there being made to ensure the safety and protection of doctors and healthcare workers, and to defend against the fear that has been instilled upon them through such violent attacks? 


Topic 3: Cultural Competency
Estimated time: 20 minutes

Cultural competency is the concept of becoming aware of values, beliefs and individual needs surrounding different cultures to enable effective cross cultural communication. Becoming culturally competent enables us to 'bridge the gap' between areas of health disparity and deliver equitable healthcare regardless of race, culture or geographic location. 

What steps are required by healthcare professionals to become competent and informed in a public health environment – in overseas aid work, Indigenous communities, and other marginalised societies? 


Global Health Unzipped is supported by MIPS, the Deakin University Students Association and the Faculty of Health Student Experience Committee at Deakin University. Find out more at and