Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
Quick Exit

For Professionals

Reproductive rights and abortion conference

Join our In-person conference. Register today!

We are excited to announce that the 2022 Reproductive Rights and Abortion Conference will be opened by Dr Melissa Kang.

Over two days (August 4 & 5) the 2022 conference will explore the theme: Towards Universal Access, and offer delegates breakout sessions organised around the streams of Access, Innovation, Justice, Clinical and Storytelling. 

As professionals, clinicians, advocates and consumers we all want to live in a world where access to healthcare is universal. In the context of a disrupted environment, the Reproductive Rights and Abortion Conference is your gateway to collaboration and knowledge sharing to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Check out our amazing keynote speakers for our Conference! Including Dr Melissa Kang, Jess Hill and Cherisse Buzzacott!

Check out our amazing keynote speakers for our Conference! Including Dr Melissa Kang, Jess Hill and Cherisse Buzzacott!

Dr Melissa Kang

Melissa Kang (MBBS MCH PhD) is a medical practitioner and academic specialising in adolescent health. She provides preventive and primary healthcare in a Youth Health service for at-risk young people. Melissa is Associate Professor in General Practice at The University of Sydney and Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Health at The University of Technology Sydney. Her research focuses on access to health care and adolescent sexual health. She was the medical consultant for 23 years behind the ‘Dolly Doctor’ column in the Australian teenage girls’ magazine Dolly. She recently published two books for adolescents (co-authored with media personality Yumi Stynes): Welcome to Your Period and Welcome to Consent.

Jess Hill

Jess Hill is a Walkley award-winning journalist who specialises in reporting on coercive control and gendered violence. Prior to this, she was a Middle East correspondent, and worked as both a producer and reporter for various current affairs programs across the ABC. In 2019, she published her first book, See What You Made Me Do, about the phenomenon of domestic abuse in Australia. It was awarded the 2020 Stella Prize, has been shortlisted for several others, including the Walkley Book Award and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, and has been adapted into a television series for SBS. Recently, Jess has also produced an audio documentary series on coercive control called ‘The Trap’, and a Quarterly Essay on #MeToo in Australia, ‘The Reckoning’.

Cherisse Buzzacott

Cherisse Buzzacott is an Arrernte woman with Anmatyere/Kayteje/Arabunna connections raised in Alice Springs, NT, a mother and a midwife she works directly with Aboriginal women from Central Australia and remote communities through the local hospital. Cherisse is passionate about supporting her own community as she has seen the impact of second-rate care for those women removed from community to birth alone and unsupported, as well as the removal of choice and autonomy on women’s own pregnancy experiences. Like many other women she herself has also experienced racism within the health care system on many occasions.

Cherisse’s personal experience with the maternity system was traumatic as she endured a very raw and traumatic birth of her daughter Senna. At that time, Cherisse did not feel supported in the interim of her hospital care, enduring discrimination and sub-standard care, made worse by the fact that she was away from her family and traditional homeland. She shared her story nationally through an article in the Guardian and the documentary “Birth Time”. Cherisse has also written Senna’s birth story in publications and book chapters alongside other Aboriginal women’s experience accessing maternity care and, in her case, discussing why Aboriginal women avoid mainstream services in pregnancy, and the intergenerational trauma and racism that is very real in these settings.

Previously Cherisse was involved in the Australian College of Midwives leading the Birthing on Country (BoC) Project, a national project aimed at implementing Aboriginal models of maternity care. The aim to implement culturally appropriate and Aboriginal-led maternity care services in collaboration with Aboriginal women, ensuring the provision of culturally safe care to women and families.

Currently, Cherisse is the Chair of the Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Trust – Indigenous Midwives for Tomorrow, providing scholarships to student midwives and qualified midwives, furthering their professional development opportunities’. It is important to increase the Indigenous workforce to provide enhanced support of women by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives. As a midwife in Alice Springs, Cherisse’s role is to provide advocacy and care to local Aboriginal women and advocate on the rights of Aboriginal women to have autonomy and choice over their maternity care.

Cherisse is a mum to Angus, Dylan, Douglas, and Senna (living in memory), and lives alongside her extended family 30kms west of Alice Springs on her Traditional country known as Iwupataka.