Baird News

Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival 2016

Blackmore’s Bridge Run – Part of the Sydney Running Festival 2016

Our regular readers may remember when we wrote some years ago about Steve Suttor and his amazing determination to walk the Kokoda Track in PNG for The Baird Institute. Steve achieved his goal back in June 2011 – he walked the Track and raised almost $10,000 for the Baird Institute! Not only do we appreciate Steve’s generosity and willingness to do this for us but we were also very grateful to his wife Sam, who willingly let him go, despite the fact that their second child was due to be born only a few days after his scheduled return date home!

Recently, Steve achieved another inspiring personal goal – He competed in the 9 kilometre Blackmore’s Bridge Run, as part of the Sydney Running Festival 2016. He completed the run in just over 50 minutes (50.30) in the 40-49 age group! This is an amazing achievement considering that In 1989, when Steve was only 15, he was diagnosed with a spontaneous pneumothorax. The operation to deal with this condition – a pleurodesis – causes the membranes around the lung to stick together and prevents the build-up of fluid in the space between the membranes. The operation was conducted at St George Hospital. He had further surgery in 1991 at Strathfield Hospital where they inserted liquid into his lung cavity. This was intended to make the lung stick to the side, therefore preventing it from collapsing. So his lungs are now permanently stuck together at the top on both sides.   Many people have expressed their amazement at Steve’s willingness to take on such an enormous challenge as the Kokoda Trek. When we asked Steve about why he was prepared to do this, this is his response:

“I was only 15 when I got sick. I owe my life to the cardiothoracic doctors, surgeons and nurses who worked to save my life. For me, the choice to support The Baird Institute and to help them fundraise for their research work is obvious. I would never want others to experience what I experienced. I want to help others in the same situation – perhaps even through the money I raise to help save someone else’s life. I really want to give something back – to support those who helped to save my life.”

Our most sincere thanks go to Steve and to Sam for supporting us in this amazing way – for being prepared to disrupt their lives to help us raise money for our surgical research and training – you have both been amazing!

Morning Tea at Vaucluse House

Over 80 of our generous donors joined Professor Paul Bannon and The Baird Institute Team for morning tea at Vaucluse House

Our Donor Morning Tea was held at Vaucluse House Tea Rooms on Thursday, 12 May 2016. Over 80 guests attended – most of whom have supported The Baird Institute for many years. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow donors and enjoy a delicious morning tea at one of Sydney’s most beautiful historic homes.

Guests were joined by Professor Paul Bannon (our Chairman), who provided an update on The Baird Institute’s latest research. It was also a chance for The Baird Institute’s team to thank some of the many people who help make our important work possible.

After the presentation, guests enjoyed a tour of Vaucluse House and a walk around the beautiful surrounding gardens.

Inaugural Cardiac Nurses Education Conference

Inaugural Cardiac Nurses Education Conference

The Baird Institute’s first Cardiac Nurses Education Day focused upon the surgical care of patients requiring cardiac intervention with four rotating workshops to enable small group learning in conjunction with patient-centred care. The day was designed to provide practical and informative updates on the management and care of patients in the perioperative and post-operative period.

The event was held on Saturday 28th November 2015 through the support of The Baird Institute and Strathfield Private Hospital. Nurses from Strathfield Private and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals participated in the event. Major sponsors for this occasion were Strathfield Private Hospital and St Jude Medical.

The Baird Institute wishes to extend its thanks to Ms. Cassandra Broad who helped organise the day and to the key speakers who made the day such an exciting and informative event. These experts included The Baird Chairman and Board members speaking from their cardiothoracic and research expertise, The Baird Institute doctoral fellows and Registered Nurses with expertise in patient care, management and critical problem-solving.

Guest speakers from The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Repatriation General Hospital and from St Jude Medical helped make the day a successful and productive event.

Presentations discussed major surgical procedures, complications from cardiac and lung disease encountered during the perioperative and post-operative period and current treatment modalities.

Subject matter ranged from the latest in robotic surgery, use of innovative materials to improve surgical outcomes and advances in technology that improve cardiac surgical techniques.

Four workshops were presented for all attendees to experience smaller group discussion and to have input from radiology, surgery, nursing and trade company specialists. A wet lab was held for pig heart dissection and anatomy and physiology review, as well as chest x-ray interpretation, management of emergent chest re-opening in critical care and the use of intra-aortic balloon pump for patient survival.

The patient voice was heard with a discussion of unanticipated psychological effects of surgery, including the management of depression despite a successful surgical outcome. Mr. Phillip Koperberg spoke about his own personal experiences after cardiac surgery – a discussion which resonated with operating theatre, intensive care and cardiac ward nurses.

Sixty-three delegates were registered for the event from Perioperative Nursing, Critical Care and Cardiothoracic Surgical departments. This presented a challenge for the organisers to ensure that the sessions appealed to the three different areas of expertise in cardiac nursing. Forty-three survey responses were received at the conclusion of the day; a response rate of 73%.

Continuing Professional Development certification (CPD) was obtained through the Australian College of Nursing, providing a professional and documented approach to acknowledging the content delivered to participants. Overall the Cardiac Nurses’ Education day was deemed a success by both participants and organisers. It is anticipated that a biennial event will be held and that it will be open to perioperative, intensive care and ward-based nurses.

The Baird Institute & Indigenous Communities

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an overarching term used to describe a group of diseases that affect both the heart and blood vessels. The most common forms affecting Australians is coronary artery disease (which includes angina and heart attack), stroke, and high blood pressure. High blood pressure will also result in kidney disease. Factors that affect the heart and blood vessels and cause disease include smoking (both smoking and exposure to second hand smoke), high cholesterol, being over-weight, a lack of exercise, poor nutrition and diabetes.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders either have CVD or are affected by CVD. The statistics for CVD show a rate of disease that is multifactorial in development, and is complicated by the need for advanced care to often remotely living Australians. One in twenty indigenous people have reported having high blood pressure and one in 25 have had heart, stroke or vascular disease or a combination of these (Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey 2012-2013). These heart and related conditions occurred 1.2 times more often for Indigenous peoples than for non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people are more likely to die from CVD when they’re young or in middle age than non-Indigenous people.

In 2009-2010 in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT, the death rates for all coronary heart disease (the leading cause of CVD-related deaths) were seven to thirteen times higher for Indigenous people in the 25-39 and 40-54 years age-groups than the rates for their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Sydney LHD, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and medical professionals from The Baird Institute are involved in addressing cardiovascular and cardiothoracic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as a direct health care approach for indigenous people accessing Sydney LHD healthcare or through resources developed by the Australian Department of Health and through individual philanthropic work.

Some key developments that have taken place in the area of Indigenous Australian cardiovascular health include the

  • National chronic disease strategy for all Australians and recognises the need to value cultural differences of Indigenous Australians and barriers to accessing health care.
  • Rheumatic fever strategy – preventing and treating oral and bacterial causes of the disease which results in heart valve failure
  • Cardiac geographic information system – a project that provides primary care services with further knowledge of cardiac rehabilitation against areas of cardiac disease prevalence.
  • Medical specialist outreach assistance program – funded by the Australian Department of Health to improve Indigenous peoples’ access to specialist medical services when living in rural and remote regions of Australia.
  • Indigenous chronic disease fund aims to target three areas of priority to prevent and reduce the disease burden of CVD, including tackling risk factors, identifying services that can deliver results and fixing the gaps and improving the person’s journey through the health care system.

Click to enlarge images (Graphs courtesy of the ABS):

Launch of the Kenyan Fellowship

The Kenyan Cardiothoracic Surgical Trainee Fellowship was launched at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Reunion Week, 2-4 September 2015.hin Nairobi and Kenya.

The fellowship aims to raise funds for an ongoing rolling fellowship to support a 2 year registrar placement at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The Baird Institute and the University of Nairobi are working together in this venture to help support cardiothoracic surgery capability within Kenya.

Kenya lies between Somalia to the East, Ethiopia to the North, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the West and Tanzania to the South. The economy of Kenya, at present, depends mainly on agriculture (tea, coffee, dairy produce, meat, sisal, pyrethrum) and tourism. Kenya’s population is about 38 million with a concentration in the central and western parts of the country. The northern and north eastern parts of the country have sparse population due to the semi desert climatic conditions prevalent there.

There has been an exponential rise in cardiovascular disease in Kenya and it is soon to become the nation’s largest health problem in the next decade – placing a significant strain on the health care system, as well as the Kenyan economy as a whole. Ideally, the ratio of cardiothoracic surgeons to the population is said to be around 1: 160 000 – in Kenya it is a staggering 1: 5, 000, 000 (perhaps 78 cardiothoracic surgeons for the nation)

Kenya commenced a cardiovascular and thoracic surgical training program in 2012 and successful trainees from this program are awarded a Master of Medicine in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

However, in a developing country there are some gaps in exposure to critical aspects of cardiothoracic practice which underpin the development of an effective and sustainable Kenyan cardiothoracic surgical service.

The Fellowship will allow trainees who have completed their local training, to come to Australia – with the first trainee expected in January 2017. The Baird has launched the Kenyan Fellowship Campaign in order to provide a sustained approach to funding trainees to study this exacting form of surgery and to further the training programs clinically within Nairobi and Kenya.

The 8th Annual Cardiothoracic Seminar

The 8th Annual Cardiothoracic Seminar


The topic addressed was:

Cardiac surgery complications

The Baird institute is committed to the education of doctors and nurses in the field of cardiothoracic medicine and as such, recently funded six nurses to attend the 8th Annual Cardiothoracic seminar in Newcastle. The conference was aimed specifically at nurses and allied health professionals.

One of the sponsored attendees at the conference – Francesca Rowshanzadeh, Clinical Nurse Educator at Royal Price Alfred Hospital – commented that the seminar discussed common and lesser known post-surgical complications which she felt better prepared her to support the patient and to educate clinicians in the ward environment.  See below her feedback on the seminar:

“I am the Clinical Nurse Educator of ward 6E2, the cardiovascular ward at RPAH, and I was extremely impressed with the quality of this seminar as the content was extremely applicable to the care we provide to our patients on a day to day basis.  Education in nursing care is very often reactive in nature, waiting for a complication to occur for an opportunity to educate on the management & treatment. I feel this seminar provided my nurses and I with the knowledge to be adequately prepared for any complications post-operatively which would directly  impact on our patient’s journey. The presentation regarding sternal wound dehiscence is extremely applicable to my role on the ward, and is an area I have a special interest in. It was extremely beneficial to follow the patient journey post pec flap advancement surgery and see the wound’s journey via photographs. The topic of tamponade was also extremely valuable as it is a complication which occurs to our patients every so often and which requires preparation and  knowledge of the signs and symptoms, as well as the treatment options, to manage adequately. Finally, the presentation on post-operative  arrhythmias was perhaps the most pertinent topic as it is managed by myself and my nurses on a daily basis. I believe it reinforced our prior knowledge whilst also adding to it. All up, it was an excellent opportunity for my staff and I and I really appreciate the opportunity that the Baird Institute gave each of us to attend.”

One of the presentations at the seminar was  “Prolonged Bypass – Myocardial Protection” by Perfusionist, John Dittmer. Below is a summary of John’s presentation.

“Cardiac surgery remains unique in that most procedures require Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) to allow the surgeon to operate on a motionless and relatively bloodless heart. Cardiopulmonary Bypass is the most invasive procedure performed on the human body and unfortunately it is not without its consequences. Each time the blood passes through the bypass circuit it passes over between 2 and 3 square meters of non-endothelial surfaces. As the blood traverses the circuit, it is subject to rapidly changing pressures, sheer forces and comes in contact with foreign surfaces and with air. The blood is therefore subject to various stresses not normally experienced within the body. The longer the patient is on CPB there is an increased likelihood that its effect on the blood and the inflammatory response will cause coagulopathies and increased vascular permeability. Reducing the effects of CPB will bring about better outcomes for our patients. This requires a team effort. Already this year there are positive results from changes in our practice. Firstly, using the results of anaemia screening, patients have a higher pre op Hb. This has reduced the volume of hemodilution during bypass. Secondly there has been a reduction of the use of blood product used intraoperatively. This has been done by determining which products are needed by analysing the patients clotting profile, using the TEG monitor. During cardiac procedure, the heart is stopped by giving Cardioplegia directly into the coronary arteries and or coronary sinus. There are several techniques involved in preserving the heart for longer cases. We have been using three different types of Cardioplegia and are undertaking a small study to look at the efficacy of each formula.”

Prof. Paul Bannon discusses the RACS EAG Report on Bullying in Surgery on Lateline

Chairman of The Baird Institute, Professor Paul Bannon, joined Professor Rob Knowles & Tony Jones on Lateline to discuss the Royal Australian College of Surgeons’ EAG draft report on bullying in surgery. The video is also available on the ABC website.

The draft report found widespread bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment in surgery. The President of RACS, David Watters issued a public apology to all those who have been affected. The result of the final report will be released by the end of September

Fellows, Trainees and International Medical Graduates may seek support through the RACS Support Program in partnership with Coverage International.


  • Telephone 1300 687 327 in Australia or 0800 666 367 in New Zealand
  • Email
  • Identify yourself as a Fellow, Trainee or IMG of RACS
  • Appointments are available from 8:30am to 6:00pm Mon-Fri (excluding public holiday)
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone counselling is available

RACS Media Release Action Plan released November 2015

The President of RACS, David Watters, apologises for discrimination and sexual harrasment in surgery

The James Wadland Night of Hearts 2015

This event is dedicated to honouring the memory of the late James William Howard Wadland who passed away suddenly on 13th August, 2013 of an Aortic Aneurysm. James was a larger than life ‘Gentle Giant’ loved by all. A phenomenal man who achieved great success with anything he put his mind to.

The James Wadland Night of Hearts held on Thursday 2nd April, 2015 aims to raise awareness of heart related diseases and to honour his legacy. All proceeds of this event will go towards supporting The Baird Institute, the only group in Australia dedicated to improving clinical and surgical techniques for heart and lung conditions.

The night will be filled with James’ favourite indulgences, from his love of Greek food to a variety of amazing performances by a comedian, psychic, magician, acoustic singer, Belly dancers and a very talented percussionist. Exciting prizes to be won throughout the night so come along and enjoy the party! 

Date: Thursday 2nd April, 2015
Where: Yiamas Greek Taverna, St Peters

Prof. Paul Bannon is the new president of ANZSCTS


Congratulations to Baird Institute Chairman Prof. Paul Bannon who recently became the President of the Australian & New Zealand Society of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) at the Annual Scientific Meeting in November.

Prof. Bannon supervises many research students at The Baird Institute, and leads the Aortic Diseases and Biomaterials research teams.

He is also Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Professor & Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Sydney, Vice-Chair of the Royal Prince Alfred Institute of Academic Surgery, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

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Dr Sean Lal

BMedSci(Hons), MBBS(Hons), MPhil(Med), PhD(Med), FRACP

Dr Sean Lal is an Academic in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, sub-specialising in heart failure and cardiac MRI. He is also the Chair of the Heart Failure Council for the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Sean completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Science with first class honours at the University of Sydney, receiving full academic scholarship. He pursued his graduate Medical Degree (MBBS) and a Master of Medicine by research (MPhil) at the University of Sydney, where he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, the Medical Foundation Scholarship and the University of Sydney Bercovici Medal. As a medical doctor, Sean completed all of his general and specialty clinical training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. During his cardiology training, he was awarded a National Churchill Fellowship to study mechanisms of cardiac regeneration at Harvard Medical School.

Sean has a clinical and research interest in heart failure. For his PhD in this field, he was awarded a combined National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Heart Foundation (NHF) Scholarship, as well as the NHMRC and Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) scholarship for research excellence.

He was also awarded a Commonwealth Endeavour Postgraduate Fellowship to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he undertook proof of concept studies demonstrating the intrinsic regenerative capacity of the human heart following myocardial infarction; whilst also gaining clinical experience in acute heart failure management in the cardiac ICU at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Sean is the Director of the Sydney Heart Bank at the University of Sydney, which is one of the largest biorepositories of cryopreserved human heart tissue in the world. He is the Head of the Cardiac Research Laboratory in the School of Medical Sciences at the Charles Perkins Centre, which focuses on basic science and translational research into human heart failure.

Dr Brian Plunkett

This content is currently being updated.

Dr Benjamin Robinson

Mr Benjamin Robinson is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon with a long association with The Baird Institute. Whilst a medical student, he completed honours research with the Baird on outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, under the supervision of Professor Brian McCaughan. He was awarded a Baird Institute Fellowship for this work. He subsequently trained in cardiothoracic surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and was the inaugural Baird Institute – Stanford University exchange scholar. Mr Robinson later completed a cardiac surgery clinical fellowship at Bart’s Heart Centre in London. He then worked as a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, before returning to Sydney to take up appointments at Royal Prince Alfred, Concord Repatriation General and Strathfield Private Hospitals.

Mr Robinson has experience in the spectrum of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary, valvular and aortic disease, as well as in general thoracic surgery. He has specific clinical interest in minimal access aortic valve surgery, arterial coronary grafting and aortic surgery. He has completed postgraduate study at Cambridge University and has academic interests in surgical outcomes research and epidemiology.

Professor Tristan Yan

Dr Tristan Yan is the Head of Department of Thoracic Surgery at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Professor Yan graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with Bachelor of Science (Medicine), Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He also completed three postgraduate higher degrees, Master of Surgery (USyd), Doctor of Medicine (UNSW) and Doctor of Philosophy (UNSW). He was trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and then obtained Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Following advanced specialty fellowships in the United States, England, Scotland and Germany, he specializes in minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery.

Professor Tristan Yan is dedicated to surgical innovations. He applies the latest pioneering techniques to minimize surgical trauma and access sites and thus achieves a more rapid and comfortable recovery for his patients. He first completed his general surgical fellowship with Paul Sugarbaker in the United States, one of the most prominent surgeons in the world. He was then closely trained by the pioneer of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Mr. William Walker, in Edinburgh, where he mastered the technical expertise of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) to perform complex lung resections, such as lobectomy and segmentectomy.

Associate Professor Chris Cao

After completing his medical degree at the University of New South Wales with First Class Honours, Christopher attended his pre-internship at Yale University, USA. He scored 99/99 for his United States Medical Licensing Exam, and completed his Cardiothoracic surgical training in Sydney. Concurrently, Christopher completed his PhD degree with Sydney University, focusing on the surgical management of lung and pleural diseases.

After completing his surgical training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Christopher was invited to a Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City, one of the largest cancer centres in the world. This was followed by a Fellowship in New York University, where he was asked to join the Faculty in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. His fellowship was focused on robotic and minimally invasive thoracic surgery, treating lung cancers, mediastinal tumours, mesothelioma, and other lung-related diseases. During his 18-month Fellowship at MSKCC and NYU, Christopher was fortunate to work with some of the leading international surgeons, gaining invaluable clinical and academic experience.

With over 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, A/Prof Cao has a keen interest in thoracic surgery, particularly the treatment of lung cancers through minimally invasive surgery. He has made more than 50 presentations in international meetings as a Faculty Member in Paris, New York, Edinburgh, Taipei, Sydney, and Guangzhou. Christopher has personally supervised students and residents from Sydney University, University of New South Wales, Cornell University and New York University.

He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, and works as a Consultant Surgeon at Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital, and Macquarie University Hospital.

Dr Mike Byrom

Dr Michael Byrom is a modern, innovative cardiothoracic surgeon with training and experience in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Truly minimally-invasive surgery to the aortic valve that avoids complete division of the breast bone (hemi-sternotomy, right anterior mini-thoracotomy); allowing faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Mitral valve repair with excellent repair rates and outcomes – resulting from diverse training in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom
  • Avoidance of the need for anticoagulation through valve selection, valve repair, and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation
  • Minimally-invasive lung resection, avoiding a large thoracotomy wound and enabling faster recovery and return to normal activities with reduced pain and discomfort
  • Sternal and rib titanium plate fixation of chronic non-united fractures
  • Performing these procedures while minimising risk of complications, allowing Dr Byrom to achieve world-class results for his patients

Dr Matthew Bayfield

Dr Matthew Bayfield is an extremely experienced cardiothoracic surgeon with a broad range of skills and special interests within his field. He has performed more than 6000 heart and lung procedures. Dr Bayfield has hospital appointments at Strathfield Private Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Concord Hospital. His surgical interests include:

  • Coronary artery surgery: Dr Bayfield is one of Australia’s busiest coronary surgeons; with particular focus on minimal access incisions, and use of in-situ bilateral internal mammary artery grafts for enhanced longevity of the benefit of coronary revascularization.
  • Aortic root and arch surgery: Dr Bayfield has been performing aortic root and arch surgery since 1995, when he completed a Cardiovascular Fellowship at the University of Virginia in the USA. His focus is on o minimal access incisions, short cardiopulmonary bypass times, and for arch surgery antegrade cerebral perfusion with cerebral oxygen saturation monitoring.
  • Surgery for emphysema / CAL: Dr Bayfield was trained in open lung reduction surgery whilst doing a fellowship at the University of Virginia in 1995. Since that time he has developed thoracoscopic techniques for the procedure, and since 2003 been an implanter of endobronchial valves as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. With over 100 endobronchial valve case experience, and long term follow-up of these patients, he is one of Australia’s most experienced endobronchial valve proceduralist.
  • Correction of pectus defects: Dr Bayfield has a special interest in correction of both pectus and carinatum defects, with techniques including implantation of Nuss bar under video-assisted control, and open radical sternochondroplasty.Lung cancer surgery: Dr Bayfield has been in surgical partnershio with Professor Brian McCaughan since 1996, and was trained by him as a registrar. Prof McCaughan is Australia’s most experienced and prolific lung cancer surgeon, has published widely on many aspects of its treatment, and has been awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to health in respect to his work on malignant mesothelioma.
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation: Dr Bayfield was trained in device implantation as a young surgeon in the 1980’s and has developed skills to ensure that a device can be safely and reliably implanted even in the most difficult case with minimal risk. He was trained in cardiac resynchronzation therapy techniques at the introduction of that technology. He has regular pacemaker and defibrillator implantation lists at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Strathfield Private Hospital, and Concord Hospital.
  • Surgical treatment for ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Dr Bayfield trained in heart and lung transplantation whilst at the University of Virginia. With this skill base he has been able to develop a multi-faceted approach to treat patients whose hearts have been damaged by coronary artery disease (heart attack). These therapies include coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair, and implantation of CRT defibrillators.

Professor Paul Bannon

Professor Paul Bannon is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon of international standing with clinical appointments at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord and Strathfield Private Hospital. At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Professor Bannon is the Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Co-Chair of the Institute for Academic Surgery, Director of the Robotic Training Institute and the current President of the Medical Officers Association. At the University of Sydney, he holds the inaugural Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery. He is also the current Head of the Discipline of Surgery for the Sydney Medical School and the Academic Director of the newly opened Translational Research Facility or Hybrid Theatre at the Charles Perkins Centre. He is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research. Professionally he is the Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and in that role serves on the steering Committee for the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgical Database, the National TAVI Accreditation Committee and is the Cardiac Surgical Chair of the Medical Benefits Schedule review program. For the Ministry of Health NSW he has been in the role of Co-Chair of the Cardiac Devices Committee for the Agency of Clinical Innovation.

Professor Bannon graduated from the University of Sydney in 1987, completed a PhD from the same institution in 1998 and was awarded a FRACS (CTh) in 1998. He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 scientific papers, published in peer-reviewed journals. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a Medline listed multimedia journal of cardiothoracic surgery. Professor Bannon has a reputation as the ‘surgeons surgeon’ and has particular expertise in surgery of the aortic root and arch, high-risk re-do surgery, total-arterial coronary artery bypass grafting and surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Professor Richmond W. Jeremy


Professor Richmond Jeremy’s medical and cardiology training were at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

His clinical research career includes a PhD on coronary physiology and a post doctoral research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore before returning to the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

University of Sydney responsibilities have included service as Associate Dean Sydney, Medical School, Head of Central Clinical School and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Campus Infrastructure and Services.

Professional responsibilities have included service as Editor-in-Chief of Heart Lung and Circulation, membership of Boards on National Heart Foundation (NSW), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Adult Medicine Division) and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Shaun Clyne

MA LLM (Syd)

Shaun is a corporate lawyer based in Sydney. He is the Australian Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He regularly advises on a wide range of corporate and securities law issues for public listed companies including takeovers, schemes of arrangement and capital raisings. He advises on Australian Stock Exchange compliance matters and regularly acts for both bidders and targets in connection with takeover bids and schemes of arrangement (hostile and friendly) for ASX-listed companies.

A leading practitioner in equity capital markets, Shaun has also advised numerous companies on their initial public offerings and capital raisings (rights issues, AREO’s, placements, employee share and options plans).

Shaun has presented at a variety of seminars and conferences and published several papers in his areas of specialisation.

His areas of expertise are mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory and capital markets.

Ms. Joanne Wade


Joanne Wade has been a plaintiff lawyer since her admission to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1996 and has worked in asbestos litigation for well over 18 years. Joanne is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and prides herself on her communication with her clients and, on many occasions, her clients’ families. She understands the importance and need to handle all her cases with the utmost diligence and compassion. Joanne has acted for hundreds of people suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease. Her clients are everyday people who have worked hard all their lives and deserve justice. Joanne acted for Steven Dunning in his claim against BHP Billiton Limited in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW (Dunning vBHP Billiton Limited [2014] NSWDDT 3). Mr Dunning suffered from malignant pleural mesothelioma and in a landmark decision; the court awarded Mr Dunning the highest amount for damages for pain and suffering in NSW. Joanne went on to represent Mr Dunning in the Appeal before the NSW Court ofAppeal where BHP’s appeal was unanimously dismissed (BHPBilliton Limited v Dunning [2015] NSWCA 55). Joanne has also successfully acted for the late Bevan McGrath in his claim against Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, for his condition of asbestos related pleural disease and ensured that case was resolved on a provisional damages basis. Mr McGrath went on to develop mesothelioma, one of only a small number of cases where he then brought a second claim for further damages because his first claim was resolved on a provisional basis. Joanne successfully acted for Mr McGrath in both his claims and the late Mr McGrath successfully received further damages in a judgment by the court (McGrath v Allianz AustraliaInsurance Limited [2011] NSWDDT). The judgement was upheld on appeal (Allianz Australia Insurance Limited v McGrath [2011]NSWCA 153).

“It is with great privilege to work with people suffering from asbestos illnesses, and the greatest satisfaction formed is securing a result for those people to help ease their suffering, and to know their families will be looked after.”Joanne takes great pride in the work Slater and Gordon have undertaken in representing victims of asbestos disease, unions and asbestos support groups, including the work of Ken Fowlie in 2004 who acted for the ACTU and asbestos support groups in negotiations with James Hardie to secure an agreement which will ensure current and future victims of asbestos –related diseases would be fully compensated for years to come.Joanne is a passionate advocate and one thing that separatesJoanne from other lawyers is perspective, with her own father being exposed to asbestos working at Cockatoo IslandDockyard, she is in the unique position of seeing it from both angles.“My clients are generally people who have worked hard all their lives, and are lovely people who deserve justice. I am glad to fight for that justice and to make a difference to their lives.”


  • Asbestos Claims
  • Dust Disease Board Appeals
  • Dust Diseases Claims
  • Compensation Claims

Career History

  • Slater and Gordon since 2008 (practice group leader)
  • 2000-2007 Watkins Tapsell (partner)
  • 1996-2000 Watkins Tapsell (lawyer)
  • 1992-1995 NSW Crown Solicitors Office (paralegal clerk)

Professor Clifford F. Hughes


Professor Cliff Hughes is President of the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Until March 2015 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Clinical Excellence Commission, a statutory health corporation established in 2004 to build capacity and design programs to promote and support improvement in quality and safety for health services across NSW. He has been chairman or member of numerous Australian state and federal committees associated with quality, safety and research in clinical practice for health care services. He has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, including Senior Examiner in Cardiothoracic Surgery and member of the College Council. In November 2015 the College bestowed upon him the highest award given to a Fellow in his lifetime, the Sir Hugh Devine Medal. He has received awards for his national and international work including an Alumni Award from the University of NSW. He has led five medical teams to China and has performed cardiac surgery in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. In 1998, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his contributions and “service to cardiac surgery, international relationships and the community”. In June 2014, the University of NSW conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, its peak academic award.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite


Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FIML, FCHSM, FFPHRCP (UK), FAcSS (UK), Hon FRACMA, FAHMS is Founding Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, attracting funding of more than AUD$131 million (EUR€81.8 million, GBP£70.8 million).

He has contributed over 470 peer-reviewed publications presented at international and national conferences on more than 915 occasions, including 97 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as JAMA, British Medical Journal, The Lancet, BMC Medicine, BMJ Quality & Safety, and International Journal for Quality in Health Care. He has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research.

He is interested in the Anthropocene and the impact of human activity on human and species’ health, population and climate. He blogs at

Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry:

Ms. Michelle Sloane


Michelle’s background is in psychology and human resources working for many years in senior executive positions at Westpac, IBM and Unilever. Twenty years ago she established a human resources management consulting practice, Diversity Management, and led that organisation for 16 years. Michelle has worked extensively in the areas of change management, organisational analysis and design, human resource management, program management, stakeholder engagement as well as leadership development and training.

Michelle has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales. In addition Michelle is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Michelle has also been a Councillor for the City of Willoughby in Sydney. During her time as Councillor and Deputy Mayor, she has worked tirelessly with the local community advocating across a range of local and state-wide issues. Her interest in local government was developed over many years as a very active volunteer in her local community.

Professor Paul G. Bannon


Professor Paul Bannon is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research, a not-for-profit medical research institute established in 2001, to improve the outcomes and better the lives of those undergoing heart and lung surgery.

He is Head of Department, Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and holds the Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery, University of Sydney. He has performed over 2500 adult cardiac surgical procedures ranging from coronary artery bypass to complex aortic root and arch reconstructions. He is President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons and is the Society representative to the Cardiac Surgery National Database. He is the Co-Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery at RPAH where he also oversees the robotic surgical program. He heads the National MBS Taskforce Review for Cardiac Surgery and has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Bannon’s teaching responsibilities are currently to all years of the Graduate Medical Program at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He supervises local and international Doctorate, Masters and Honours students as well as international elective students. He is the Co Editor-in-Chief of The Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a Director of the CORE Group for International Collaborative Research. Professor Bannon has published widely in books, journals and conference proceedings on cardiothoracic surgery, basic science and evidence based medicine.

He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He is a current Chief Investigator on NHMRC and NHF grants for biomaterials and congenital heart disease research as well as a current NHMRC CRE grant on mechanical circulatory support. His role in the CRE is to produce NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines and measure their dissemination, adoption and outcomes. He personally oversees more than $500,000 worth of research funding annually. His Department currently runs 16 clinical trials amongst many other laboratory and clinically based projects.