International Keynote Presenter 

 Dr Anne v2

Dr Anne Alexandrov Professor of both Nursing and Neurology PhD, RN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, ANVP-BC, NVRN-BC, FAAN.

Dr. Anne Alexandrov is a Professor of both Nursing and Neurology, as well as the Mobile Stroke Unit Chief Nurse Practitioner at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. 

She is also Professor and Program Director for NET SMART at the Health Outcomes Institute, LLC in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  Developed in 2007, NET SMART (Neurovascular Education & Training in Acute Stroke Management & Reperfusion Therapies) is the world’s first and only post-graduate fellowship training program for advanced practice nurses (APN) in acute stroke, and Dr. Alexandrov has mentored more than 100 APNs from across the U.S. and internationally in this program.

Keynote Presenters

Ann Maree Keenan 

Ann Maree Keenan Victorian Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer 

Adj. Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan is the Deputy CEO of Safer Care Victoria and Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer for Victoria.

She is an accomplished healthcare executive who has combined senior nursing leadership with operational accountability. Her career includes 12 years as Executive Director of Ambulatory and Nursing Services at Austin Health.

Ann Maree believes nurses and midwives are in a key position to influence the safety and quality of healthcare as nurses and midwives are often the constant presence throughout a person’s healthcare experience. She is determined to continue to advance the professions of nursing and midwifery in the pursuit of outstanding care for all Victorians, always.

The role of the Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer is to provide leadership to the nursing and midwifery sector. Ann Maree provides a link between Safer Care Victoria, the Department of Health and Human Services, the private and public health sector and health education providers. Ann Maree also provides strategic advice to the Minister for Health on nursing, midwifery and clinical matters.

The Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer represents the interests of nursing and midwifery as a member of the Australian and New Zealand Council of Chief Nurses and Midwifery Officers.  She also develops policies and initiatives to support quality, safety and best practice within the Victorian health sector that are aligned with the objectives of Safer Care Victoria.

Matthew McCrone

Matthew McCrone Director for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Matthew McCrone is the Director for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services project team implementing real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria. 

Since graduating from the University of Sydney in 1991 with a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Matthew has worked for short period in community pharmacy, for the NHS in the United Kingdom and as a junior partner in a pharmacy group in Canberra.

Matthew worked at the Therapeutic Goods Administration for nearly ten years before becoming the Chief Officer of Drugs and Poisons Regulation in Victoria in 2009 for the then Department of Health. More recently, he led a Taskforce set up to implement a legal framework allowing access to medicinal cannabis in exceptional circumstances in Victoria.

Matthew has been a long-time advocate for addressing the growing public health issue of the  misuse of prescription medicines, particularly opioids, and he is proud to be leading the work in Victoria to reduce the increasing harms from prescription medicines through the introduction of SafeScript.

Plenary Presenters 

Annie Butler

Annie Butler Federal Secretary for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Annie was formally appointed to the role in June 2018, having served as the Assistant Federal Secretary since March 2014, and following years of experience in the clinical, professional and industrial areas of nursing.

Annie is a registered nurse with more than a decade’s experience working in public hospitals, the community and on health education projects, and a further decade working in research and education.

She worked for the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association, for a further decade, as a professional officer, organiser and lead organiser, prior to moving to the national position of Assistant Federal Secretary and now holding the position of Federal Secretary

Annie believes that we must fight to maintain the professions of nursing and midwifery in Australia and ensure their advancement. She is passionate about improving Australia’s system of health and aged care and the critical role nurses and midwives have to play in the future of our health system. Annie is particularly keen to see nurses drive change for improvements in Australia’s aged care sector.

Annie has a degree in Health Science, an Honour’s degree in Nursing and is currently completing a Bachelor of Economics

Amanda Davies

Amanda Davies Nurse Practitioner Acute and Emergency Care 

Amanda Davies was one of the first endorsed nurse practitioners in Queensland in 2007. Amanda’s specialty area of practice is acute and emergency care.

Amanda has played a significant part in the progression of the role at both state and national level and has a particular interest in the sustainability of nurse practitioner models of care.

In 2014, Amanda was awarded a Director-General Australia Day Achievement Award for leading, promoting and developing the role of the Nurse Practitioner in Queensland.

Amanda has held a number of senior leadership roles across the health sector including the inaugural CEO of the ACNP.  Amanda is currently the Director of Governance Risk & Assurance at Anglicare Southern Queensland and on the Board of Directors for the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners


Expert Panel - Breakfast Session - National Action Plan for Heart and Stroke

Sharon McGowan

Sharon McGowan Chief Executive Officer Stroke Foundation 

Sharon joined Stroke Foundation as Chief Executive Officer in 2016. 

Having spent her career in the health sector, Sharon has a wealth of experience and expertise that will take the Stroke Foundation forward on the next phase of its journey.

Sharon is an experienced communicator, with a background in management, community engagement, culture transformation, health promotion, fundraising and the volunteer service. Originally trained as a registered nurse, Sharon has worked in Australia and the UK with a range of government statutory authorities and not-for-profit organisations.

Sharon holds a Masters of Business Administration from Cranfield University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Acutely aware of the devastating impact that a stroke can have on survivors and their family members, Sharon is passionate about bringing government, health professionals and the broader community together to fight this terrible disease. Sharon aims to make a real difference by increasing awareness of stroke and support for it as a major health priority.