AVA Annual Conference 2022 - meet the Plenary speakers

06 May 2022


We’re in the final countdown for the 2022 AVA Annual Conference, which will be held 22-27 May at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. After two rollercoaster years, delegates are keen to catch up with their colleagues and undertake intensive learning sessions, with tickets to the Gala Dinner, the social events and the workshops selling out fast.

One of the biggest highlights of the program are the Plenary talks, held daily from Monday 23 May to Thursday 26 May. These offer us the chance to be inspired by speakers from all walks of life, many of whom deliver a completely unique perspective on the challenges faced by the veterinary profession. 

Meet the 2022 Plenary speakers


Life Beyond Fear with Mark Mathews

World class big wave surfer Mark Mathews has become obsessed with the relationship between personal growth, high performance and fulfillment. Winner of an unprecedented three back-to-back Oakley Big Wave Awards, Mark has cemented himself as one of the best big wave surfers in the world.

‘Life Beyond Fear’ on Monday 23 May 2022, 10.45am-12.15pm, will offer game changing and sustainable ways to adapt to stress, harness resilience and perform when it counts. 


Cultivating Climate Courage with Anika Molesworth

Anika Molesworth, who established Climate Wise Agriculture in 2014, is a thought-leader of food systems resilience, a researcher in international agricultural development and a sought-after keynote speaker.

With a rapidly growing global population we need to transform the food system to one that is good for both people and the planet. ‘Cultivating Climate Courage’ on Tuesday 24 May 2022, 12.00pm-1.00pm will discuss how changes can be made from the paddock to the plate to create a more just, equitable and sustainable food system.

Veterinary Science, Technology and the Future with Paul Higgins

Paul Higgins is a Futurist and Strategist with Emergent Futures. He holds a First-Class Honours Degree in Veterinary Science, a Bachelor of Animal Science (Research) and a Masters Degree in Strategic Foresight.

‘Veterinary Science, Technology and the Future’ on Wednesday 25 May 2022, 12.30pm-1.30pm will explore some of the key technological changes that will affect the future of veterinary science. The emphasis will not be on the “shiny new things” but on what those shiny new things can do for you, your clients, veterinary business models, organisational practices, and the way that clients interact. 

Ben Cunneen Memorial Plenary - Hendra: Past, present and future

On Thursday 26 May 2022, 10.30am-11.30am, Peter Reid and Ed Annand will take us through luminary scientific discoveries, latest research findings, and personal experiences of Hendra virus (HeV), a zoonotic disease that has caused death and illness among veterinarians, their veterinary staff and their clients.

Since his clinical attendance at the 1994 outbreak of Hendra virus at Vic Rail’s Brisbane racing stables where the virus was discovered, Peter Reid has spent a significant proportion of his professional life studying HeV and educating others on the risks and prevention of this highly lethal zoonotic disease. He has successfully lobbied Governments to fund the crucial Hendra virus horse vaccine trials. He also represents the AVA and EVA on several scientific advisory authorities including the “Horses as Sentinels” research collaborative.

Ed Annand has worked in referral, stud and first-opinion equine practice. He holds postgraduate qualifications in areas of Equine Reproduction, Equine surgery and Epidemiology and has taught and lectured in these subjects. His ‘Horses as Sentinels’ research verified the presence of a novel bat-borne paramyxoviruse variant which posed a significant zoonotic risk. This allowed updated testing capacity with interpretation of expected pathogenicity, vaccine efficacy and geographical spillover risk.

Don’t forget to register for the AVA Annual Conference to access these Plenary talks, as well as social events, workshops, the exhibitors’ hall, and over 150 talks from leading veterinary experts.