Keynote Speaker

Dr Craig Challen

Australian of the Year, cave explorer and part of the Tham Luang cave rescue team

Craig puts the ‘Challen’ in challenge and accepts all that come his way. He’s an accomplished Australian cave explorer and member of the Wet Mules diving group.

After commencing cave diving in the 1990s, he was an early adopter of closed-circuit mixed gas rebreathers. A veterinary surgeon by profession, he founded the Vetwest (later Australian Animal Hospitals) group of veterinary practices.

In July 2018 Craig Challen participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue of 13 people in Thailand.

He has been named as the 2019 Australian of the Year for Western Australia and the joint 2019 Australian of the Year with his dive partner Richard ‘Harry’ Harris.

With a wealth of travel experiences under his belt, Craig Challen is truly a man of the world. His intelligence, professionalism and laid-back nature is infectious and will leave your team inspired to tackle anything in business, and in life.

Conference Dinner Speaker

Dr Ruben Meerman

Surfing Scientist


Ruben Meerman is a physicist, author and science educator better known as the “Surfing Scientist”. Ruben has appeared on ABC television programs including Catalyst Sleek Geeks, Roller Coaster and was Play School’s first ever resident scientist.

Ruben’s career began in the laser industry manufacturing thin film optical coatings for medical, military and industrial systems. He has taught primary science education at Griffith University and visits more than 100 primary and high schools every year.

His interest in weight loss and health literacy stems from his personal experience of shedding 16 kilograms and wondering where they all went. His subsequent research and calculations were published in the British Medical Journal in 2014.

Ruben is currently a visiting industry fellow at QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and consulting physicist at Laserdyne Technologies Pty Ltd.