Speaker Q&A

Get to know our invited speakers better through the Wounds Australia Q&A!

Thomas Bjarnsholt

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? To be invited as Keynote speaker is fantastic
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? We have just been going around in circles, we need a new mental picture of the wounds and bacteria to move the field forward
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Nothing really
Q4. Have you been to Australia previously and if so what was your most memorable experience? If not – what would you REALLY want to do here (apart from speaking at the conference) if you could? Yes Diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Well just experiencing the country.

Allison Cowin

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? Talking “wounds” with people who live and breathe wound healing.
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? Plenty of innovation, plenty of ideas. The difficulty is translating the innovation into practice- crossing the chasm between research and real life.
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Microphones not working is the only thing that I can think of. Mostly only good things happen when invited to speak.

Nikki Frescos

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? Sharing knowledge with my colleagues and a wider audience
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? Yes but not as much as should be recognised.
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Fainted due to new medication taken on the day. (not a good way to be remembered)!

Paul Johnson

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? The chance to make sure everyone is aware of Buruli ulcer and its increasing incidence in Australia.
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? Not sure.
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Last speaker, final day, vacuuming and packing up around me.

Karen Ousey

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? Being able to share experiences, promote best practice and explore the unmet needs in wound care. Australia has a raft of key opinion leaders and I am excited to be able to discuss the future of wound care with them that will not only improve health outcomes but will enthuse staff to work in this specialist area.
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? There is innovation – the rise of social media, Virtual reality, artificial intelligence are areas that wound care must embrace. Wound care is far more than a wound dressing and as specialists we must ensure we share this message
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? I had taken the wrong presentation to the conference!
Q4. Have you been to Australia previously and if so what was your most memorable experience? If not – what would you REALLY want to do here (apart from speaking at the conference) if you could? I have been lucky to have been to Australia before – There are many memorable experiences but the ones that really stay with me are visiting the koala sanctuary in Brisbane – I think I want to care for koalas for ever! The other is visiting Alice Springs – a beautiful area of the country with such a diverse culture that can challenge traditional wound care practice.

Alberto Piaggesi

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? The possibility of getting in touch with Australian specialists
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? I definitely think there is innovation in wound care
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Being stolen of my bag with laptop and presentations
Q4. Have you been to Australia previously and if so what was your most memorable experience? If not – what would you REALLY want to do here (apart from speaking at the conference) if you could? Travel the continent and see as much as possible

Eugene Salole

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? The prospect of engaging with passionate professionals focussed on optimising outcomes for patients.
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? There is (and will continue to be) innovation in wound care – the conundrum is identifying best value in a complex segment of health care.
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Completely losing my train of thought mid-way through answering a question from the floor, in front of an international audience of about 500 colleagues in Beijing. (There was a reason but…!)

Geoff Sussman

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? Help delegates understand my topic
Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? Yes we continue to innovate
Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? Poor AV, no screen on the lectern, flight problems

Wendy White

Q1. What excited you the most about speaking at this conference? I am excited to present at this Wounds Australia national event because the subject ‘Wound Debridement’ is such a ‘hot topic’ not only in our region but throughout the international ‘wound village’. Addressing local barriers within the wound is even more relevant today than it has been in the past. This relates directly to our current understanding of the negative impact of failing to debride on the person, on clinical outcomes and on the cost of care. This is the first time that a 4 hour pre conference workshop has been offered on this topic and I’m excited to raise awareness to our role when delivering safe, effective care and to the wide range of diverse modalities available. Local and international clinical leads along with industry partner support will ensure attendees can combine theory with ‘hands on’ practicums – a workshop designed to change the current paradigm of wound debridement in clinical practice.

Q2. Do you think there is innovation in wound care or are we just going around in circles? No I don’t think we are going in circles – has the pendulum ‘swung’ to and fro in some areas of practice …yes. For example in the past 30 years we have gone from indiscriminate use of past antiseptics options, to effective ‘ banning’ – no use at all to now safe and effective use of a range of antiseptic cleansers and a variety of dressing product modalities. This now firmly established component of wound bed preparation and biofilm based wound care has come about through increased knowledge and understanding which changes practice thanks to the commitment of both local and world researchers and clinicians.
I don’t see this as going around in circles – I see wound management (Woundology) as an evolving science and speciality. Access to technology and innovation continually delight and excite me ( and those in my care). Together, with ‘ the wounded or those at risk of wounding’, researchers, industry, clinicians, educators and policy makers we are moving forward – just adjusting our compass as we go.

Q3. What is the worst thing that has happened to you when you have been invited to speak at a conference? I’ve been pretty lucky really over the years – there have been many opportunities both here and overseas for things to go ‘belly up’ but they haven’t for which I am very grateful!
I did get caught out though on a few occasions
1. Suitcase containing makeup/ hair product and suit lost on plane – ended up presenting in the casual clothes I had travelled in and no product … all girls out there can feel my pain!
2. Circled for hours (literally) with a fog closed airport – with talk of returning to Sydney if it didn’t burn off. Eventually we did land but hours late to the presentation – very stressful and just felt dreadful.
So my issues seem to be around planes… but I’m sure many worse things could happen – but hope they don’t!