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Major conferences keep Townsville on the cutting edge

19 September 2018
There are 120 clinical trials happening across the Townsville Hospital and Health Service and for advanced pharmacist Kelvin Robertson staying up on the latest in health law, ethics and research governance is crucial.

In the coming fortnight two international conferences are coming to Townsville with a focus on research ethics, bioethics and health law.

Mr Robertson provides pharmaceutical advice to clinicians and patients involved in clinical trials and appropriate dispensing and evaluation of drug use.

“In this day and age with all the advancements in pharmaceuticals; medications have become such a large part of clinical trials,” he said.

“My job is to make sure that our participants are always at the forefront of all our decision making from the effects of pharmaceuticals to explaining benefits vs risk and making sure that those involved are completely aware of the consenting process.

“Keeping up to date with the latest international standards makes sure that I have the skills and confidence to ensure that this work is done with the necessary scrutiny and accountability.”

Mr Robertson said the two conferences; The Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law and The Australasian Ethics Network would be of interest to researchers from beginners to advanced.

“Townsville as a major tertiary referral hospital is really starting to gain a reputation as being a leader in health research which is helping us to attract these significant conferences,” he said.

“We are starting to get the message through that the work we can do here in Townsville can be done to the same capability, standard and with the same expertise as any other centre in Queensland or Australia.

“My hope is the more conferences we can attract the greater incentive and confidence our local clinicians will have to develop their own clinical trials.”

Townsville research education, support and administration unit manager Sue Jenkins-Marsh said registrations for both conferences were still open.

“This is a major coup to get these conferences to Townsville,” she said.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in research to look at the programs and consider attending.”

The Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law conference will be held at Rydges Townsville from 23 – 25 September. More information about the conference and registration details can be found here:

The Australasian Ethics Network (AEN) Conference will be held at Rydges Townsville from 26 – 28 September. Registrations can be made at and the full program is available at

Last updated: 23 October 2018