Chris McMillan.jpg

Chris McMillan

Chris is a PhD student at The University of Queensland working in a molecular virology lab. After completing a Bachelor of Science, he started research on influenza vaccines during his Honours year. His research focuses on viruses, how they make people sick and especially, how we can prevent the impacts of viruses on our health. Currently, Chris is investigating the influenza virus and developing a universal influenza vaccine – one that you only need once, and that will protect you from all strands of the flu! His team has been able to produce a vaccine 80 times more effective than the current flu treatment and they believe their work can be expanded to develop vaccines for other viruses, such as the Ebola virus. Chris’ TEDxUQ talk will outline his research journey thus far and discuss the promising progress that has been made towards reaching a flu-free future.


Zoe Brereton.jpg

Zoe Brereton

Zoe is a final year Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student at The University of Queensland. Since January 2015, Zoe has worked as a legal research assistant for Professor Simon Bronitt with a particular focus on rape law reform. In early 2015, Zoe became the inaugural New Colombo Plan fellow for India, where she spent 12 months conducting socio-legal research into police investigations of crimes against women and later interned for Justice Gita Mittal on the Delhi High Court. Zoe was awarded the Australian Academy of Law Prize for her presentation of this work at the 2017 National Law Honours Student Conference. Drawing upon early drafts of the Indian Penal Code, the experiences of women who report sexual violence, and her conversations with police officers, Zoe’s talk will look to the development of the Indian doctrine of ‘rape by fraud’ as a case study to explore how culture shapes concepts such as consent and autonomy.


Jason Whitfield

Originally from rural New Zealand, Jason Whitfield grew up playing sport and exploring Tolkien's “Middle-Earth”. He was always curious about the world’s composition and the way all its parts fit together, leading him to study Biochemistry at The University of Canterbury. After completing his undergraduate degree, Jason migrated  to Australia to obtain his PhD, focusing on designing biosensors for neurotransmitters, from The Australian National University. Currently, Jason competes in athletics and is a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Fellow at The University of Queensland. Jason’s work focuses on developing methods to detect and monitor small molecules inside cells or in bodily fluids. The research field Synthetic Biology allows us to “hack” biology, re-engineering it to help address the challenges of modern society in a sustainable manner. His TEDxUQ talk brings together his passion for sport and molecular curiosity, exploring the possibilities behind using synthetic biology principles to re-purpose the technology used in glucometers for sports anti-doping and high performance.

Jason Whitfield.jpg
Edwin Trevor-Roberts.jpg

Edwin Trevor-Roberts

As a sought-after facilitator and keynote speaker, Edwin Trevor-Roberts’ working life is devoted to understanding the critical intersection between individuals and their work. This immersion in research and practice has centred on how the world of work is evolving in response to changes in society, technology, and organisations. His journey has seen him work in the UK and Canada and present to a wide range of audiences both in Australia and internationally. Edwin holds a PhD from The University of Queensland’s Business School. He is a regular writer on career issues and has co-authored several articles and book chapters on careers, culture, and leadership. As CEO of the career management firm Trevor-Roberts, Edwin also has significant experience guiding organisations of all sizes through transformational change driven by industry reform and disruption. Through the TEDxUQ forum, Edwin is looking forward to challenging the dominant negative narrative about work - as something we ‘have’ to do - and offering instead an alternative view that reframes work as something positive - an opportunity to build one’s identity through contribution.


Scott Millar

Scott Millar.jpg

Starting his entrepreneurial journey at age 14, Scott Millar is now the 18-year-old CEO and founder of Brisbane-based startup BOP Industries, which is on a mission to make learning about new and emerging technologies fun, engaging and, most of all, creative! Growing his company from selling keyrings at local markets to now running workshops and events across the country, he is a passionate advocate for young entrepreneurs and all things technology. Along his journey, however, Scott found a disconnect between the technology he was using in the industry and the technology he was learning about in school. Scott looks forward to reflecting on how technology is currently taught, looking at the good, the bad, and where we can improve. As a student and educator, Scott has found some fantastic ways for teachers to implement technology in the classroom in a fun, simple, and creative manner and looks forward to sharing his knowledge.

Kristen Lyons.jpg

Kristen Lyons

Kristen is an Associate Professor in Environment and Development Sociology in the School of Social Science at The University of Queensland. Kristen has over twenty years’ research, teaching, and service experience, she is committed to delivering positive social change on national and international issues that sit at the intersection of sustainability and development. Kristen works in Africa, the Pacific, and Australia, and her work is grounded in a rights-based approach. This focus has centered the rights and interests of local communities, especially Indigenous peoples, in her research design and collaboration. In her TEDxUQ talk, Kristen will explore the limits of global carbon trading projects as a response to the climate crisis, exposing the human and environmental costs of these so called ‘climate solutions’.  


Lee Hickey

Lee Hickey.jpg

Dr Hickey is an emerging leader in the field of plant breeding and genetics. He leads a research team working on Australia’s most important cereal crops, wheat and barley, situated within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland. His lab investigates the genetics of disease and drought resistance in order to design more robust crops for farmers. Dr Hickey has played a pivotal role in developing 'speed breeding', the rapid generation advance technology, which enables up to six plant generations per year and provides a powerful tool for crop improvement. In his talk, Lee will share his passion for developing more efficient crop breeding methods that are key to producing 60-80% more food by 2050 to feed nine billion people - making famine a thing of the past.

Claire Jones.jpg

Claire Jones

Claire founded Australian Refugee and Migrant Care Services (ARMCare) to address the health gaps experienced by refugees in Brisbane. Ineligible for citizenship after Kenyan independence, Claire migrated with her family to South Africa as a teenager, where she completed three veterinary degrees and worked as a specialist veterinarian, researcher, lecturer, academic, and as an invitational speaker across Western Europe. She won the Clinical Excellence Award of the South African Veterinary Association in 1991. In 1998, Claire again made the difficult decision to leave her home country with her family, this time to Australia, where she worked as a veterinarian before completing a Master of International Public Health with Dean’s Commendations at The University of Queensland. In 2012, she began her work with refugees, for which she was awarded the 2017 Hesta Primary Health Care Individual Distinction Award. Claire will speak about her experiences in working to improve the health and wellbeing of refugees and the model she developed to efficiently and effectively manage their complex health needs.