Following the success of Impact Makers 2020, the QUT School of Public Health and Social Work (SPHSW) approved for the organisation and hosting of Impact Makers 2021 (IM2021). In keeping with the aim of the conference, it was designed to provide a platform for Higher Degree Research (HDR) students with the platform to showcase their research and also collaborate with other researchers and industry actors in their space.

AAP Presenting his research

IM2021 boasts of being an international conference because of the representation of presenters, panellists and research drawn from several countries, including Nigeria, Australia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The IM2021 conference hosted very important academics, HDRs and industry partners who contributed through the keynote, panel discussions or talks.

The Head of School of SPHSW, Professor Sharon Bentley, was there at the start to deliver a welcome remark. We appreciate the School for the moral and financial sponsorship of this conference.

AAP presenting a gift to the Head of School, SPHSW on behalf of the IM2021 Committee

We were thrilled by the very deep, touching and reflective Keynote delivered by Dr. Francesco Ricatti, the deputy director of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre. Dr. Ricatti’s keynote was titled “Olive, peach, fig,: fruitful reflections on racism, belonging and research”. We were privileged to have him.

The conference had, in addition to presentations, talks:

  1. Preparing for final seminar by Dr. Leisa-Maree Toms, a Senior Lecturer in SPHSW.
  2. Career pathway and lessons learned by Dr. Nicole White, a Senior Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI)

Additionally, a panel discussion was an important session during IM2021. The panel was titled “A shelter from the Storm: Housing in the face of Climate Change and COVID-19”. Panellists included our very own Dr. Shane Warren (Lecturer in Social Work, SPHSW), Karyn Walsh AM (CEO, Micah Projects) and Fiona Caniglia (Executive Director, Q Shelter). We appreciate Dr. Shane Warren for supporting the community to get sponsorship and participation from different industry actors.

It was humbling to have participated in this conference in the following capacities:

  1. I Chaired the Scientific Committee that planned and organised this conference. I worked with an incredible team of HDR students and academics who worked for over a year to deliver an amazing conference. Special thanks to Associate Prof Sanjeewa Kularatna, Dr. Naomi Stekelenburg, Anjana Koyu Rai, Shayma Mohammed Selim, Nadirah Pozian, Manasha Fernando, Caroline Grogan and Asif Khaliq. I am incredibly proud to have worked with this team.
  2. I presented my recent work titled “Lived Experiences of persons with disabilities living with HIV in accessing HIV Services in Africa: A Scoping Review”.
  3. I co-hosted the conference. It was great to do this as I remembered my time serving as MC at different corporate events.

IM2021 was indeed Impactful, and it gave me the opportunity, through my participation, to sharpen my leadership skills, communication skills and presentation skills, team building and collaboration skills.

The IM2021 Committee (L-R): Shayma, AAP, Nadirah, Caroline, Anjana, Manasha

Special thanks to our resource and financial Sponsors, The SPHSW, AusHSI, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, HDR Society of Public Health and Social Work, Parity.

IM2021 was a truly rewarding experience. The pictures say a lot more.

We look forward to IM2022.

✂️ AAhashem Agwai
📷 Ashleigh Jade