Academic Program

Medical and Dental Conference for GPs and Specialists.  


A number of health issues prevalent in Japan have informed the topics for this conference.


Japan has the highest proportion of elderly people in the world with 26% of the population being over 65. The low birth rate, minimal immigration and changes in the family make this a massive evolving problem. Australia currently has 15% over 65 and increasing. During the conference a series of presentations will explore geriatric issues in Australia and Japan, the latest in cognitive impairment, the newly developing discipline of general practice in Japan as well as one of Japan’s solutions – possibly coming to Australia too – robot carers.

dr david lie


Dr Lie is the Clinical Director of the Older Adult Academic & Clinical Unit within Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service in Brisbane, Australia.  Following general practice and specialist training he set up the first public geriatric psychiatry service on the Gold Coast in 1999 and has had a role in developing psychogeriatric services elsewhere in Queensland.

He has been Chair of the Statewide Older Persons Mental Health Clinical Group for Queensland Health since 2006 and received a Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Award in 2011.  Research collaborations include the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre: Early Detection and Prevention based at ANU and the UQ Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine

David also serves on the (Older Persons) Mental Health Information Development Expert Advisory Panel (Dept of Health & Ageing).


Although it is slowing, Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world with close to 22,000 suicides reported in 2016 (.002%), 70% of whom were men. In Australia the figure is approximately 0.001% and again the majority is male. The presentations will cover the latest understanding of depressive disorders, the relevance of sub-cortical vascular disease to depression in the elderly, post-infective neuropsychiatric disorders (persistent fatigue states), suicide prevention and e-mental health.

Vascular Medicine

With the aging population in both Australia and Japan peripheral vascular disease (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) and chronic venous insufficiency are becoming more prevalent. This series of talks covers the latest recommendation for assessment and management of these conditions, when surgical options are appropriate and which kind, the management of superficial and deep venous thrombosis and the management of leg ulcers.

Dr Neil Wright.png

Dr Neil Wright

Dr Wright was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1958. He was trained at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburgand completed his MBBCh in 1983. He received the Fellowship of the South African College of Surgeons in 1992, and was registered as a Vascular Surgeon in 1995. He worked in a busy private practice as a Vascular and General Surgeon and as a lecturer at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. He and his family relocated to Australia in January 2009, and he was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in General Surgery and also in Vascular Surgery.

Neil worked as a Vascular Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, for five years and during that time served on the Ethics committee for the central South Australia region. He was part of the Adelaide multi-disciplinary diabetic foot unit, with outreach to multiple regional South Australia Hospitals and has worked as a locum surgeon in several Regional Hospitals in Australia. He is Head of Surgery at Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital in WA.  He has a number of publications, including a chapter in the current edition of Thomsons textbook on Diabetic foot disease. He is an instructor in the cCrisp course, EMST courses and DSTC courses, and an Honorary lecturer at the rural clinical school, WA

Each of our professional development programs is designed to address topics of interest and relevance to our delegates and their practices.

Our Academic Advisory Committees, comprised of practitioners from a range of fields of practice, endeavour to source the best possible speakers to provide a series of presentations, workshops, case studies and panel discussions for each conference.

Unconventional Conventions’ director for the past 22 years is a practicing doctor who takes great pride in offering a comprehensive, stimulating and appropriate academic program. Unconventional Conventions aims to ensure that the combination of lectures, workshops, hospital visits, training activities and clinic in the community make up more than 50% of daily activities during the main conference tour.

Many of our travel destinations provide an opportunity for local professional contribution and cultural exchange through workshops and structured visits to local clinics.

Our conference programs are prepared over a 12 month period and full details are available 3 months prior to the conference. Unconventional Conventions is an accredited education provider for RACGP. Application for ACRRM points is made for each conference. Dental programs are certifiable with Dental Board of Australia.  Specialists may apply for CPD points at their own discretion.


Current Academic Advisory Committee members

Dr Diana Hart OAM

GP in Brookvale, NSW, with interests in travel medicine (ISTM international certificate - CTH 2008), sports medicine (M Sp Med (UNSW) 2001), shared antenatal care (currently on the Northern Area Committee), and Skin cancer (Healthcert skin cancer medicine and surgery certificates).

Dr Jayne Ingham

GP in North Lakes, Queensland, involved in education, teaching of GP registrars and medical students from the University of Queensland . She is Chair of GP partners which is a GP network in Metro North Brisbane. She arranges education sessions for GPs with local specialists and on relevant topics and writes the GP partners monthly bulletin.

A/Prof Ralph Audehm

GP in Carlton, Victoria, and is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne. He has had a long-standing interest in the management of chronic conditions in General Practice especially diabetes and heart disease. He teaches medical students, GP registrars and General Practitioners.

Dr Alan Giles

Senior Staff Specialist, Emergency Department, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga, NSW. He is the Area Medical Educator in Emergency Medicine and Hospital Skills Program Director for South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health District.

Dr Margot Cunich

GP in Bondi Junction, NSW, and co-director of Unconventional Conventions. She is the Chair of the Academic Advisory Committee and designs and administers all the conference programs. She teaches medical students and registrars.