Lucy is a retired nurse, mother and grandmother from NSW but now residing in Queensland. Her 20-year nursing career included the establishment of a successful home nursing care agency.
Together with husband Lou (a retired NSW Police officer), they raised three sons in Tamworth. Lucy always considered herself fairly conservative in her views and strict in her parenting style but the diagnosis of stage four bowel cancer for her youngest son Daniel, in 2010, challenged her perceptions around cannabis as it became a miraculous remedy for the extreme side effects of chemotherapy.
With a strong desire to care for her son, Lucy embarked on a mission to educate herself and the Australian audience about the therapeutic properties of cannabis. In 2014 Lucy and Daniel were considered criminals as they accessed cannabis on the black market. Dan sadly lost his battle with cancer in February 2015. Despite this Lucy’s campaign for the re-introduction of Medicinal Cannabis has seen its legal status change at a state and federal level.
Lucy founded United in Compassion in 2014 and she now sees her role as both advocate for other patients and as an educator in Dan’s memory. In her role as UIC Director Lucy strives to keep the emerging industry patient-centric and morally grounded. In 2014 she organised the Inaugural Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium and followed up in 2016, 2017 and 2019 with three more international conferences with plans to continue on a regular basis into the future.
Lucy sat on the Advisory Council for the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation and on the ACT Non-Executive Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Council. She is keen to remain active in the industry to continue to represent patients and keep their needs at the centre of the emerging medicinal cannabis market.
Lucy was nominated and a NSW State finalist in the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards. She has received the Paul Harris Fellowship Rotary Award for her medicinal cannabis advocacy and was named as one of the top 100 Women of Influence in 2016, again for her work in reintroducing medicinal cannabis.
Lucy believes that once you understand the benefits of Medicinal Cannabis and its potential to relieve suffering, you cannot hold on to views that were born of the “war on drugs”. She predicts that Cannabis will one day be viewed as a “wonder drug” and hopes that mothers and nurses can lead the revolution!
Dr Teresa Nicoletti is a dual-qualified PhD-qualified scientist and lawyer, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading legal practitioners in the health and life sciences sectors, particularly in the therapeutic goods space in which she has operated for more than 25 years.
She holds the highest Band 1 ranking for Life Sciences in Chambers Asia Pacific and is listed in Legal 500 for Intellectual Property and Best Lawyers for Health & Aged Care, Life Sciences and Biotechnology. She is also a dual winner of the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year in Health award and numerous other awards relating to her legal practice and training.
In her day-to-day legal practice, Teresa leads Mills Oakley’s Intellectual Property, Health and Life Sciences team, which provides broad advice to clients across their businesses, and draws on her unique mix of legal, regulatory, scientific and commercial expertise to obtain the best possible outcomes. She represents clients regularly in dealings with the TGA, state and territory health and food authorities, the APVMA, NICNAS, ACCC, HCCC, medical and pharmacy boards, AHPRA, VCAT and NCAT.
In addition to her legal practice at Mills Oakley, Teresa has a strong administrative law background, having been a senior member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal since 2006. She is also a board director of a number of companies in the health and life sciences sector, with a strong focus on corporate governance and compliance.
Teresa is well-recognised as one of the pioneers in the developing medicinal cannabis and hemp space in Australia, and since 2014 has strongly advocated for a facilitative legal and regulatory framework which provides access to high quality, safe and affordable medicinal cannabis to patients who may benefit from it. She also continues to advocate for a more facilitative industrial hemp scheme which provides broader access to hemp products in the cosmetics, food and textiles space.
Leon Beswick is a communications and public affairs leader who most recently held the position of Group Managing Director of Ogilvy Public Relations’ Corporate team. For the past 21 years he has worked across the agency’s Government, Corporate and Healthcare practices.
Prior to his work with Ogilvy, Leon worked across State and Federal Governments and has helped to redefine the work undertaken in Public Affairs by working on some of the largest private sector campaigns for Government funding.
The breadth of his experience extends from advising on legal communications to Government campaigns helping to sell their flagship programs.
Leon is currently Co-Chair of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science and is a former Federal President of the Young Liberals. He has also written several Op Ed’s and National Press Club Addresses and major stakeholder event speeches.
Leon has won a number of domestic awards for his work and has been recognised at Ogilvy with several global awards.
Joel Hardy is the CEO of Cymra Life Sciences, an Australian owned licenced cultivator and manufacturer of medical cannabis.
Cymra has set out to cultivate full spectrum medicines to enhance the lives of people living in chronic and neurpathic pain.
Cymra is focused on the development of cannabis medicines for chronic and neuropathic pain because they don’t believe there are good long term medication options for chronic pain conditions (e.g. opiates have serious side effects).
Cymra is one of the first Australian companies to develop medical cannabis through tissue culture propagation, a method which delivers a consistent, natural product, free from pests and chemical dependencies.
The team at Cymra Life Sciences is innovative, ambitious and fast-moving, all backed up by years of experience across pain management, medical research, plant genetics and breeding.
Rita is a Registered Nurse who has worked in many countries including UK, USA, France, The Netherlands and Australia over 35 years. She has clinical backgrounds in ICU, Palliative Care, Aged Care, Emergency and public hospital Management.
She currently works as the Government and Community Relations organiser for the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association. (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation – NSW Branch).
She studied Political Science and Industrial Relations at th University of NSW and her role at the NSWNMA is to ensure that Nurses & Midwives’ voices are at the forefront in influencing the development of Health policy and that they are recognised in the community as leading healthcare professionals and patient advocates.
She was one of the founding members of the NSW Aged Care Round table which has built a network of clinical, consumer and advocacy groups that works towards improvements in Residential Aged Care.
Rita has extensive professional networks in Australia and overseas, and her vision is to build on the work and expertise of evidence based research to make medicinal cannabis a safe, reliable and affordable treatment option for Australians.
Since gaining a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery degree with honours at Melbourne University in 2002, Tamara has gained extensive experience in many areas including surgery, trauma, paediatrics, oncology and reproductive medicine.
After moving into general practice, Tamara first became interested in medicinal cannabis in 2017 following a patient's request to treat her cancer pain. She has since gained extensive local and overseas experience through courses, conferences and professional interactions. She has been an Authorised Prescriber for medicinal cannabis since 2018 and currently works at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine and Your Community Health.
Tamara is passionate about patient-centred care. She sees her special interest in education as a means to ensure that clinicians are more comfortable and safe to provide high quality patient care. As well as providing education through several channels, Tamara is also an accredited assessor and examiner for AHPRA, MCCC and the RACGP.
Tamara has been on the Advisory Panel of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians Australian Chapter (SCCAC) since its foundation and will provide an important link between AMCA and SCCAC, as well as providing clinical expertise to the AMCA Board and leadership for AMCA clinical initiatives such as the planned compassionate access scheme.
Tamara is married to husband, David, and has three sons who are all keen Melbourne Demons supporters!
Emily needs little introduction as she is well known and highly respected in this field as a horticultural research scientist who has been working in the field of Medical Cannabis since legislative changes came into effect in Australia in 2016. She currently runs her own consultancy.
Most recently, Emily occupied the roles of Head of Research & Development at Cannatrek (May 2017 - July 2021), Director of Research Programs at the Australian Institute for Medical Cannabis (May 2017 - July 2021) and President of the Australian Society of Horticultural Science (Nov 2016 - Feb 2021).
Emily continues in her role as a Director of Protected Cropping Australia (PCA), Australia’s peak industry body for greenhouse and hydroponic growers, a position she has held since August 2017. In that role, she has developed a dedicated Medical Cannabis stream at Protected Cropping Australia's conference in 2019 and again in March 2022.
Emily has demonstrated her continuing strong commitment to this field through the generous time she has given to the development of the industry program for the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium now planned for 20-22 May 2022.
Justin is Chief Scientific Officer with ANTG.
Previously a Research Fellow at the NICM Health Research Institute at the University of Western Sydney, Justin coordinated the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Research & Education Collaboration (AMCREC).
Justin is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians Australian Chapter (SCCAC) Advisory Panel and has also served as an advisor to United in Compassion, Australia’s leading medicinal cannabis patient advocacy group, in a pro bono capacity, since January 2015.
Justin's scientific background is in pharmacognosy (i.e. drugs that come from plants, fungi and natural sources), but his research interests extend into botany, ethnopharmacology, analytical phytochemistry and psychopharmacology.
He is currently a co-investigator on several medicinal cannabis clinical research projects and has presented over 70 medicinal cannabis lectures to medical practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and the general public since 2016.
Justin has published on the topics of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, pain management and herb/drug interactions in peer reviewed publications and is currently pursuing research focusing on the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for endometriosis.
Disclosures 1. Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute (NICM) at Western Sydney University. 2. Co-ordinator, Australian Medicinal Cannabis Research & Education Collaboration (AMCREC) 3. Lead, Scientific Advisory Board of United in Compassion 4. Former Scientific Advisory Board member, BioCeuticals (Resigned April 2019)
Dr Nial Wheate is an Associate Professor and Program Director, Undergraduate Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, having previously held academic positions at the University of Strathclyde (Scotland), the University of Western Sydney, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Dr Wheate has more than 20 years’ experience in pharmaceutical drug design, formulation and use, which drives his interest in the quality of use medicinal cannabis by patients.
He is a Fellow and Chartered Chemist of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr. Wheate has two doctorates, a PhD from UNSW and a DSc from the University of Sydney. He is currently completing an MBA degree, also through the University of Sydney.
On behalf of the AMCA Board, we are delighted to announce that Dr. Tamara Nation has been appointed as the Clinical Board Director for AMCA.
Tamara is passionate about patient-centred care and sees her special interest in education as a means to ensure that clinicians feel both comfortable and safe to provide high quality patient care. As well as providing education through several channels, she is also an accredited assessor and examiner for AHPRA, MCCC and the RACGP.
Tamara has been on the Advisory Panel of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians Australian Chapter (SCCAC) since its foundation and will provide an important link between AMCA and SCCAC, as well as providing clinical expertise to the AMCA Board and leadership for AMCA clinical initiatives.
Under the terms of the AMCA constitution, due to her extensive experience and strong support in the voting at the last AGM, we are delighted that Emily Rigby accepted an offer to join the AMCA Board in October following the resignation of James Gaskell due to the pressure of his commitments with ANTG.
Emily will be interim Industry Board Director at least until the next AGM, planned for early 2022, when voting for the longer term role by members will take place.
Media release courtesy of Mitchell Sariovski, Publicist, inthemedia PR, 17 March 2021
Leading scientist Justin Sinclair, an Adjunct Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, has just joined medicinal cannabis company Australian Natural Therapeutics Group as Chief Scientific Officer, where he will move into a front-line, product development role after decades of study, research, education and advocacy in the field of medicinal cannabis.
“‘Facta non verba. Deeds, not words’, is my one of my favourite Latin sayings,” says Mr Sinclair.
“One of the things I first noticed about Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG) is they are very deeds focused,” he adds.
ANTG was recently issued the country’s first GACP & GMP-accreditation, meaning it has the highest level of growing and production in the Southern Hemisphere; it produces four high-quality strains of cannabis flower as well as oil extract for research and clinical trials and is working on a $92 million, 10-year export deal with the European Union.
“Quality assurance is absolutely imperative and it’s something I’m very passionate about,” says Mr Sinclair.
Mr Sinclair will be working on projects which include pre-clinical research with the University of Newcastle around ANTGs Eve Cannabis’ potential to kill or inhibit cancer cells, and a partnership with the Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute on using cannabis-based medicine for cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.
He will also continue his own doctoral research on medicinal cannabis for endometriosis and will head up the development of a compassionate access program at ANTG.
“Attracting Mr Sinclair to the team is a real win for the company, he is one of the leading educators in Australia on the topics of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system,” says ANTG chief executive officer Matt Cantelo.
“There is about to be a big shift away from Canadian medicinal cannabis products in Australia and Mr Sinclair’s move will expedite that,” he says.
“One option is to continue importing sub-standard products from Canada, or we can level the playing field in Australia and bring the best possible person in to do that - and that’s what we have done.”
“Our intention is to lower the cost of this medicine for the Australian consumer, without lowering quality. We have already beaten the price where we can.”
“Now as we are scaling up, we will be in more of a position to pass on those savings in the future.”
But to do that, Mr Sinclair says the current stigma surrounding medicinal cannabis consumption needs to change.
“The first step is going to be the de-stigmatisation of medicinal cannabis. In the not-too-distant future we will see it accepted as an everyday medical treatment,” says Mr Sinclair.
“Because of the high standards in Australia it will also be a major export.”
Justin’s passion for herbal medicines began in the 1990s after spending years in the United States learning from the Native American’s use of plants as medicine.
Soon after he began studying at the University of New England, completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Master of Herbal Medicine with the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Pharmacy – and would end up playing a part in shaping the Australian medicinal cannabis industry as we know it today.
About Australian Natural Therapeutics Group
Formed in 2015, ANTG came about following personal experiences of the founder and CEO. It now produces four strains of medicinal cannabis flower, and is about to start production of four oil combinations. It was issued the country’s first GACP & GMP-accreditation and partners with research organisations including CSIRO, University of Newcastle and University of Western Sydney, to unlock the potential of cannabis in the fight against cancer, dementia and inflammation. For more information visit https://australiannatural.com
AMCA is also privileged to have the support of passionate and dedicated ambassadors who will promote the organisation’s vision and mission, and highlight prioritised issues that require intervention or support.