Keynote Speaker Abstracts

Organising for Strategic Influence – the Challenge for Smaller Professions


University of Southern Queensland, Australia

The increasing complexity of health care organisations and systems, and the policy context in which they operate, has challenged health professions to find effective ways of achieving influence and strategic outcomes. The medical profession is able to mobilise their historical social and political power to secure policy influence. Nursing draws on their numerical dominance and industrial clout to ensure their voice is heard. What are the options for smaller diverse health professions such as dietetics who possess only modest social, political, economic and industrial resources? In this presentation I will explore the development of ‘allied health’ as a managerial and political entity for securing influence at every level in the health system and show how dietetics might operate within such an arrangement. The presentation will focus on the strategic development of a distinct ‘allied health’ identity capable of achieving sustainable influence in the crowded policy marketplace of health care whilst preserving the integrity of the constituent professions. Specifically, I will explore how the powerful interaction of ‘allied health’ identity, infrastructure and leadership are the platform upon which strategic influence can be attained. I will demonstrate how the challenge of building strategic capacity is different for allied health compared to the challenge for medicine and nursing. Using examples from the Australian, New Zealand and other international experience I will show how attention to identity, structure and leadership can foster a vibrant ‘allied health’ culture at local, regional, national and international levels in which the influence of professions such as dietetics can thrive and grow.

Leadership Boot Camp 101


College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University, United States of America

Leaders are made, not born. Leaders must handle conflict, solve problems, motivate the team, and apply evidence-based decision-making. There are five critical components needed by all leaders, which will be discussed. In addition, there are multiple leadership styles that have different levels of effectiveness. Leaders must communicate and inspire. The most effective motivation comes from within; knowing the individual is the best approach. Indeed, people skills are a priority for leaders. The twelve levels of people skills require increasing skills for success. Finally, the essence of teamwork will be addressed.

Creating Social Media Savvy Dietitians: Increasing Our Voice and Impact


Scoop Nutrition, Melbourne, Australia

Just as nutrition is a fast-moving science, the way we communicate is changing rapidly too. More and more people are turning to the online environment to obtain, publish, share and discuss information and one of the fastest growing areas is the use of social media. Social media, which includes blogs and platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, is not a passing fad, it is fundamentally a new direction in communication. New directions pose new challenges, but also exciting opportunities for nutrition professionals. It's important to up skill to keep up with the next generation of digital natives. Plus, more importantly, enable dietitians to continue to drive nutrition innovation for the profession, in this emerging space that easily amplifies our voice and impact. As dietitians, we are aware of the ethical principles and code of conducts within our profession. However social media has blurred the boundaries between our professional and personal lives. It is important to consider additional guidelines1, plus ethical and legal issues related to blogging and social media2. From private practise to academic settings, there are positive cases of dietitians using social media successfully. Established tools plus new, exciting platforms such as Pinterest3 are being utilised, with examples including twitter chat #eatkit,,,


1. PEN Nutrition eNews with highlights from the Dietitians Association of Australia's, ‘Dialing into the digital age: Guidance on social media for DAA members’ resource (2011). Parts 1–5.

2. J Helm. Ethical and Legal Issues Related to Blogging and Social Media. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013; 113(5): 688690.

3. T Peregrin. Pin It to Win It: Using Pinterest to Promote Your Niche Services. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2012; 112(12): 19301934.