Type 1 Summit Speakers & moderators

Type 1 Summit

Check out some of the exciting line up of speakers and moderators who’ll be appearing at our Type 1 Summit on May 7th.


Andi Balog

Andi Balog

Andi Balog is a nutritionist and personal trainer from Adelaide, and is the owner of Empowering Health – Nutrition & Health Coaching for Women with T1D.

After living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, Andi combines her own experiences and knowledge of nutrition and fitness to coach and empower other women with T1D, who are seeking overall health and confidence.

Visit empoweringhealth.com.au or follow Andi on Instagram or Facebook.

→ See Andi’s session in our event program.  


Lorelai Burns

Lorelai Burns works as a child and adolescent counsellor in her private practice, Embracing Obstacles. Prior to this, she worked as a mental health nurse for over 20 years in a range of acute and rehabilitation settings. She has recently undertaken studies in art and play therapy and is looking forward to using expressive therapies in her work. She is also a fitness trainer and runs an outdoor obstacle course business, Burns Outdoor Obstacle Training, with her husband Wayne. Lorelai is passionate about the promotion of both mental and physical wellbeing and is happy she can do this through the work that she does.

Lorelai is mum to teenager Javier, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three. Lorelai and Javier are doing their best to navigate all the challenges that teenage years and diabetes offers, and try and focus on the positives where possible. It was Javier’s diagnosis that prompted Lorelai and Wayne to start their fitness journey, gain their fitness qualifications, and run a business that centres on fun and fitness as they strive to be great role models for their son to live his healthiest life. 


Jenna Cantamessa

Jenna Cantamessa is a marketing professional from Townsville, in Far North Queensland. After been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19, Jenna has now lived with the condition for 11 years. She’s currently the International Diabetes Federation Young Leader in Diabetes for Australia, and recently attended the Young Leaders in Diabetes training Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

Jenna joined the online diabetes community through her Instagram page, @typeonevibes, and found a love for creating art for the diabetes community.

In her spare time you’ll find Jenna travelling, adventuring in the great outdoors, doing DIY crafts, and being a part of her local diabetes community.

Jenna will be a moderator at the Type 1 Summit. 


Simone Collins

Simone Collins has practiced social work for over 20 years, working with children and families across several government and non-government services. She has spent the last decade specialising in the psychosocial impacts of diabetes diagnoses, adjustment and management on children, youth, and families, drawing on her experience in the fields of family therapy, child protection, group facilitation and individual therapy.

Simone has contributed her expert knowledge on numerous diabetes resources, both published and online, focusing on child and parental wellbeing. She also speaks nationally and internationally at conferences and summits designed to explore and maximise individual and collective strengths used to build capacity and confidence in families faced with the management of type 1 diabetes.

Simone’s current role has afforded her the opportunity to work alongside countless families at various stages of their diabetes journey. She provides clinical services to the Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Service within Canberra Health Services.

→ See Simone’s session in our event program.  


Melanie Cullen

Melanie Cullen is a registered psychologist and works at JDRF as the Mental Health Lead, and is also the Lead for the Insulin Pump Program

She has a long history of working in the diabetes field, both in the public and private sectors. Having worked as a paediatric psychologist at Nepean Diabetes Service for over 10 years, she then completed her Graduate Certificate in Person-centred Diabetes Care and Education.

As the facilitator of JDRF’s Breathe mental health series for parents of kids and teens living with T1D and our Let’s Talk T1D chats, Melanie is dedicated to supporting those living with type 1 diabetes and their families, helping them navigate through these sometimes difficult times. As a mum to a teen who was diagnosed with T1D at age two, she also understands and recognises the demands and psychological burden that a diagnosis can place on all members of the family. 


Suzanne Culph

Suzanne Culph is JDRF’s head of government relations and advocacy. She’s worked at JDRF since 2012 and been involved in every government campaign at JDRF since that time, including twoKids in the House, the expansion of the T1D Clinical Research Network, as well as the Insulin Pump Program, and the establishment, evaluation and expansion of the CGM access program.

→ See Suzanne’s session in our event program.  


Maggie Dent

Commonly known as the ‘queen of commonsense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators. She has a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience, and is an undisputed ‘boy champion’.

Maggie is the author of nine major books, including the bestselling Mothering Our Boys and her 2020 release From Boys to Men. She hosts the ABC podcast ‘Parental As Anything’ and in 2021 released a book of the same name. In May 2022, Maggie released her first book about girls, Girlhood: Raising Our Little Girls to be Healthy, Happy, and Heard.

Maggie is a dedicated advocate to quietly changing lives in our families and communities. She is also the mother of four sons, one of whom lives with T1D, and a very grateful grandmother.

Visit maggiedent.com.

→ See Maggie’s session in our event program.  


Kristine Heels

Kristine Heels has worked as a diabetes educator for the past 23 years, after completing her Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management at UTS. She’s been the Nurse Manager of the Diabetes and Endocrine Clinical Services at CHW since 2009.

Kristine originally trained as an RN at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, then started her paediatric nursing career at the Royal Alexandria Hospital for Children. She’s cared for children living with diabetes since 1987.

Kristine also holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Management, awarded by The University of Newcastle in 2013.

Kristine has always enjoyed educating and supporting children, adolescents and their families to navigate and thrive through their diabetes journey.

→ See Kristine’s session in our event program.  


Elissa Jacobs

Elissa Jacobs is the manager of the Psychology Department at The Canberra Hospital (TCH). After obtaining her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the Australian National University in 2000, she has spent the last 23 years primarily working with children who have chronic illnesses and their families.

Elissa continues to provide services to children and adolescents at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. As such, she is keen to share her expertise in this area, not only building the capacity and confidence of new clinicians that come through the teaching hospital, but also in the parents and families who support their children in coping with these illnesses.

→ See Elissa’s session in our event program.  


Sarah Lam

Sarah Lam is currently the senior clinical psychologist at the Bankstown Lidcombe Diabetes Centre. She has worked with people living with diabetes, and diabetes health professionals, for over 20 years.

Sarah is passionate about supporting people living with diabetes to work towards their best possible total health.

→ See Sarah’s session in our event program.  


Dr Jane Overland

Dr Jane Overland is recognised as one of Australia’s leading nurses in the field of diabetes. She has a wealth of experience in diabetes clinical management, psychological support and education, and was Australia’s first diabetes nurse practitioner.

Jane worked as the lead clinical nurse at the Diabetes Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney for over 30 years. She was also Clinical Associate Professor with The Faculty of Medicine and Health at The University of Sydney.

Jane is the co-founder of Total Diabetes Care, and is also one of the authors of the comprehensive book for adults living with diabetes, Straight to the Point.

→ See Jane’s session in our event program.  


Dr Dorota Pawlak


Dr Dorota Pawlak is JDRF’s Chief Scientific Officer. She focuses on developing strategic approaches towards finding cures, treatments and preventing type 1 diabetes.

Dorota is a member of JDRF’s Executive Team, previously managed the federally funded Islet Transplantation Program, and for the last 10 years developed and managed the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network. She is also responsible for international partnerships with world-leading government, non-government, foundation and commercial organisations. 

→ See Dorota’s session in our event program.  


Dr Lisa Raven

Dr Lisa Raven is an endocrinologist working at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. She currently works in the diabetes clinics, leading the Diabetes in Youth Clinic for transition from paediatric to adult care.

Lisa is passionate about medical education, is involved in teaching junior doctors, and is a Conjoint Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

She has an interest in endocrine pathologies associated with solid organ transplant, and is a PhD Candidate at UNSW and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, focussed on diabetes after cardiac transplantation.

Lisa completed endocrinology training at St Vincent’s and Campbelltown Hospitals.

→ See Lisa’s session in our event program.  


Dr Jeremy Robertson

Jeremy Robertson grew up in Canberra and has always loved aeroplanes. He studied aviation at UNSW and aerospace engineering at Sydney Uni, then worked as a flying instructor, charter pilot and international airline pilot – until 2010, when a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes forced a career change. Jeremy went back to uni and studied medicine, and has been working as a doctor since 2016.

In early 2020 Jeremy became the first pilot in Australia to be issued a Class 1 aviation medical certificate, allowing him to resume work as a commercial pilot.

→ See Jeremy’s session in our event program.  


Sam Rooney

Sam Rooney is a living diabetes and exercise experiment. With a background in exercise physiology, he is both a qualified health professional and type 1 diabetic of 23 years.

Driven by providing the community with easy-to-understand information about how to manage their own wellbeing, Sam cuts through the crap to help simplify your approach to exercise.

Follow Sam on Instagram.

→ See Sam’s session in our event program.  


Fiona Scott

Fiona Scott has been working as a diabetes educator (DE) for the last 14 yrs.

In 2010 she helped establish the Paediatric Diabetes Service at Barwon Health, and she also works in private practise. She is proud to run the annual Dream Achieve Succeed event, and participates as a DE with Diabetes Camps Victoria to help inspire people with diabetes and their families to see that diabetes is no obstacle.

Fiona is passionate about helping people with diabetes believe in themselves and not see diabetes as a barrier towards achieving their dreams.

In 2017 Fiona was the proud recipient of the Victorian Diabetes Educator of the year award, and she is also privileged to be a member of Beta Change, who share her passion to make a global impact.

→ Fiona is the Kids and Teens leader at Type 1 Summit. See the sessions in our event program.  


Ben Sive

Ben Sive grew up in Sydney and has always loved flying.  He studied a Bachelor of International and Global studies at the University of Sydney while living at St Pauls College, and in 2017 he become a cadet with Rex Airlines, honing his skills in Wagga Wagga before being checked to line on the SAAB 340 as a First Officer based out of Sydney. 

In 2020 Ben accepted a Command position on the SAAB and moved to Perth to chase this amazing opportunity, but his career success came crashing down a year later when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It likely signalled the end of a career as an airline pilot before it had really begun. 

Despite this, and spurred on by an amazing support network, Ben was able to recover from this initial diagnosis, and in less than a year returned to the flight deck as an airline captain – becoming the first airline pilot in Australia to do so. 

In his spare time Ben enjoys long lunches and days spent flying privately with his mate Jeremy Robertson.

→ See Ben’s session in our event program.    


Emily Vilé

Emily Vilé is a multi-passionate high school teacher from Perth, Western Australia. Having lived with type 1 diabetes for over 25 years, she finds a great sense of community in sharing her diabetes journey through her Instagram page, @emilysdiabetes. She loves running, drinking coffee with her husband, and all things food.

Follow Emily on Instagram.

Emily will be a moderator at the Type 1 Summit. 


Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson joined JDRF in 2004. Under Mike’s leadership, JDRF has been awarded the PricewaterhouseCoopers Transparency Award (2007), the Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement (2013 & 2017) and Australian Charity of the Year (2014) in the Australian Business Awards, and was finalist in the NSW Telstra Business of the Year Awards in 2019.

Mike was a director of the Glycemic Index Foundation Ltd from 2005 to 2016, and a member of the Federal Government’s ministerially appointed National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group. Prior to joining JDRF Mike worked for The Smith Family, and before that Andersen Consulting.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Economics with Honours and a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University, where he studied under a National Undergraduate Scholarship. He was awarded an Order of Australia medal in the 2020 Australia Day Honours for services to diabetes research.

→ See Mike’s session in our event program.  

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