Keynote Speaker Announcement: Alanna Maycock

Alanna Maycock is a paediatric nurse and staunch opponent of the recently repealed Border Force Act - a provision of which intended to silence healthcare workers and prevent them from describing the atrocious conditions faced by refugees and people seeking asylum in on and off-shore detention centres. 


Having worked in Villawood and Nauru detention centres, Alanna felt it her duty to speak out about what she experienced.

Alanna's brave opposition and fierce advocacy helped ensure the repeal, but she says the fight isn't over yet; now, the employment of more foreign staff and fewer Australians intends to once again stop the truth about conditions in detention from reaching Australian shores. Join us for what will certainly be an eye-opening and passion-igniting discussion of contemporary refugee and asylum-seeker health issues!

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Global Health Unzipped Panel Announcement: Leigh Matthews

2009 Victorian Young Australian of the Year, Australian Leadership Award recipient, and the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award-winner, Leigh Mathews is a highly experienced non-profit practitioner and independent consultant with over a decade’s experience across Australia and Asia.


An expert on child rights and child protection, Leigh has spent her career fighting for children to be protected from all forms of harm, noting that, a lot of the time, the way we ‘help’ children overseas was not only ineffective, but harmful.

As founder of Alto Global Consulting, and co-founder and Coordinator of ReThink Orphanages: better solutions for children – a cross sector initiative that works to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children overseas by shifting the way Australia engages with overseas aid and development, Leigh has been instrumental in engaging diverse stakeholders in ending orphanage tourism and keeping children in families, as well as defending those living outside family care.

We look forward to discussing sustainable foreign aid and interventions with such an accomplished, passionate woman!

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Keynote Speaker Announcement: Shen Narayanasamy

Shen Narayanasamy is a lawyer, mother, Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp!, and founder of No Business In Abuse - an organisation that persuades super funds and investment advisers to pull out of companies that support offshore detention centres.

A firm advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum since her teenage years, Shen has been part of grassroots action movements as a student at MLC, while studying law at Monash University, working for Oxfam Australia, and now through her work with GetUp!. Shen advocates for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum very publicly, speaking to various media outlets, and at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.

Shen is ready to take down Australia's violent detention regime, and we can't wait to here all about it from her in person!

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Change-Makers Announcement: Michael Matulick

Director/CEO of Soap Aid - a charity that collects and re-purposes soap from the hospitality industry and redistributes new products to international communities in need. 


Soap Aid is founded on a deep understanding and consciousness about the commercial impact on the environment and a desire to protect the global community.

Michael helped establish Soap Aid in 2011 and remains CEO of the program as a philanthropic response to needless deaths due to the lack of sanitation in many developing countries. As a witness to the waste in the hospitality industry, he sought to develop a soap recycling program that would save lives. With his vision realized, today Soap Aid is an independent charity managed by a board of experts and focused on life-saving missions.

We can't wait to discuss Michael's innovative idea, and how we too can take an everyday experience and turn it into lasting change.

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Keynote Speaker Announcement: Dr. Damien Brown

Damien Brown is an Australian-trained doctor and published author, passionate about addressing health inequality in disadvantaged contexts.


He is experienced as a clinician in Australia and international humanitarian contexts, covering emergency, paediatric and general medicine, general practice, and aeromedical retrievals with the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Dr Brown's book, Band-aid for a Broken Leg, explores his experiences with Medecin Sans Frontieres as an advisor and a field doctor, and provides candid insight into the work many students hope to one day conduct.

We very much look forward to Damien sharing the wisdom he has gained from such a varied global health career thus far.

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Keynote Speaker Announcement: Sashenka Worsman

Born and raised in war-torn Sri Lanka, Sashenka Worsman has an unwavering passion and commitment to lead young people in creating a world where equality and peace are commonplace and treating others how you wish to be treated comes as second nature.

Since moving to Australia in 2009, Sash has completed a double degree in Law and International Studies and worked in development, peace building, youth leadership and community campaigning. Sash has represented youth at the UN Climate talks in South Africa, is setting up a community project in Sri Lanka, worked through East Africa for the Campaign for Australian Aid collecting stories of transformation and most recently, Sash worked for World Vision Australia as the National Director of their Youth Movement – VGen.

Sash is currently the CEO of Australia’s largest youth run organisation – Oaktree . With over 200,000 members, Oaktree is young people leading a movement to end poverty. For her, change starts with a simple belief - that extreme poverty is unacceptable. Beliefs turn into action, and enough informed action will end extreme poverty in our lifetime. Sash is confident that young people and our human connectedness are the key to ending poverty, and she looks forward to discussing this with us at Change X Unzipped.

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Global Health Unzipped Panel Announcement: Prof. Paul Komesaroff

CxU 2017 is thrilled to have author, physician, and philosopher, Dr Paul Komesaroff, join us for a panel on global health.

Paul Komesaroff is a practising physician and Professor of Medicine at Monash University and Executive Director of the international NGO Global Reconciliation. He has a PhD in philosophy and an international reputation in health care ethics, and has made a major impact on the field of clinical ethics in Australia.

Paul Komesaroff’s work is interdisciplinary: spanning clinical medicine, biomedical research, social research, philosophy and ethical theory, clinical ethics and policy development with respect to ethics and clinical practice. As a physician, his field of specialty is endocrinology. Professor Komesaroff has also authored over 350 peer reviewed articles and 14 books, the most recent of which is his novel, "Riding a crocodile: A physician's tale", the world's first bioethical thriller.

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Change-Makers Announcement: Morgan Koegel

At the age of 25, Morgan Koegel is not only the youngest member of the One Girl team, but also its CEO.


One Girl is an organisation committed to educating girls across Sierra Leone and Uganda through programs that target gender inequality and factors that keep women out of the classroom. Previously Morgan has been the Sector Development Manager of Prison Legal Education and Assistance (PLEA) where she worked in prisons across Victoria, and CEO of Engage Education, a not-for-profit keeping Australian students from low socio-economic backgrounds in school. She is a passionate believer in the power of education and the capacity for young people to do anything they set their mind to.

But Morgan didn't always consider herself destined for global health and development stardom. Studying a law degree in Melbourne, she found herself faced with the opportunity of a lifetime, in the form of a Facebook video.

We are so excited to hear more from Morgan about her story, working in global development, and taking opportunities when you find them, no matter how daunting they may seem.

You can read more about Morgan's journey to her role as One Girl's CEO, and watch the video that changed her life, here:

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Change X Unzipped: Fast Facts

Your one and only Victorian Global Health Collaboration is returning on September 30th and October 1st!

Held across 2 days in Geelong and Melbourne, Change X Unzipped is an interactive, informative, and solution-focused global health event for the health students of Victoria.

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Workshop Announcement: Dr. Thomas Volkman

We're very excited to welcome change-maker Dr Thomas Volkman to Change X Unzipped in 2017, to hold a Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health workshop on Day 2.

Tom is almost finished his General Paediatric training and is a joint trainee in Infectious Diseases. He has worked his way around Australia anti-clockwise, from Tasmania to North Queensland to Western Australia with a stint at the International patients division at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and is glad to be settling in Melbourne.

Tom developed his interest in global health and the care of displaced peoples during medical school electives in Kenya and on the Thai/Burma border. He has worked as a general paediatrician with indigenous populations in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and completed his Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University in 2012. He has gone on to undertake humanitarian missions in neonatology in Pakistan (with MSF - read a report on his experience here:, PNG, and Haiti (amongst other scattered places).

Refugee health was a natural fit bringing together interests in public health, infectious diseases and care of displaced and disadvantaged patients. Tom enjoys public speaking, advocacy and teaching and will be a teaching fellow with the University of Melbourne in 2017.

Tom also loves Bushwalking and mountaineering, single malt whisky and travelling the world (70 countries andcounting). He is recently married, honeymooned and expecting a baby this year.

Keep September 30th and October 1st free to ensure you don't miss Tom's workshop - Change X Unzipped tickets will be available soon.

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