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Webinar: Alternative Therapies in cancer care - regulation and risk

Monday 14 September, 2015


Many health professionals express concerns about alternative therapies offered to their patients by unregistered health practitioners. Cancer Council Victoria and the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer are hosted this free webinar to support health professionals who want to know what action they can take when they’re concerned about alternative therapies offered to their patients. 

In this webinar, you will:

  • hear a clinician’s perspective on discussing alternative therapies with patients, including useful resources;
  • learn how unregistered health practitioners are regulated in Australia, with a focus on avenues for making complaints about unethical or unsafe alternative therapy providers;
  • hear from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about its role in responding to healthcare complaints;
  • hear from Victoria’s Health Services Commissioner about his functions and powers with respect to unethical or unsafe alternative therapy providers.

 Watch: Alternative therapies in cancer care – regulation and risk



Dr Anthony Dowling

Anthony DowlingDr. Anthony Dowling is a Medical Oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. He also is a Visiting Medical Officer for Werribee Mercy and St Vincent’s Private Hospitals. Dr Dowling has a special interest in urogenital cancers, neuro-oncological and breast tumours. He has been actively involved in clinical trials throughout his career and currently is either the principal or associate investigator in many clinical trials. Since 1999 Dr Dowling has also been a lecturer at The University of Melbourne, giving lectures to medical students and undertaking postgraduate training of physician trainees. Dr Dowling has a strong relationship with Cancer Council Victoria, as a past member of the Clinical Network’s Executive committee and through work on learning modules for nurses and patient resources. In 2011 he was awarded a travelling fellowship and undertook a three months sabbatical on the management of high grade gliomas at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 2014 he was awarded a Doctor of Medical Science from The University of Melbourne.

Dr Deborah Lawson 

 Deborah is a legal policy advisor for Cancer Council Victoria and the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer. She is currently working on legal issues that impact on cancer treatment and supportive care. Deborah LawsonHer projects include the 'Making the law work better for people affected by cancer' project, supported by the Legal Services Board of Victoria. Deborah trained and practiced as a lawyer in New Zealand, before undertaking a PhD in law. She has a background in health law research and human rights.

Heidi Snell

Heidi SnellHeidi Snell is a Director in the Victorian and Tasmania Enforcement Branch of the ACCC. Heidi has worked at the ACCC for over 10 years in its Melbourne and Darwin offices and is currently responsible for a team of investigators in both Victoria and Tasmania. Heidi has extensive experience managing investigations and litigation relating to anti-competitive conduct and consumer protection matters. Heidi is currently managing the ACCC's litigation against the CFMEU, a cables cartel and various consumer protection investigations and has previously been responsible for managing a petrol cartel litigation which resulted in penalties of $20 million, a criminal investigation of product safety breaches and investigations and litigation of consumer protection matters including misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct. Other significant matters Heidi has been responsible for include litigation of a telecommunications company misleading conduct towards Indigenous consumers, negotiated undertakings, infringement notices and litigation in relation to false representations of food products and a submission to a Senate inquiry into unconscionable conduct in the Indigenous Art sector. Heidi has a Bachelor of Law and an Executive Master of Public Administration and is a Vincent Fairfax Fellow.


Dr Grant Davies

Grant DaviesDr Davies has been in the role of Health Services Commissioner since January 2013, initially in an acting capacity until October 2014. Dr Davies worked for Queensland Health and then the Victorian Department of Health for many years in policy work, including the areas of palliative care and guardian legislation. He then moved into the Office of the Federal Commissioner for Complaints in early 2001. In 2009, he commenced in the Office of the Health Services Commissioner as Deputy Commissioner. He holds a Bachelor of Nursing (ACU), a Master of Arts (Research) (QUT) in applied ethics, a PhD (Melbourne) in applied ethics, is a nationally accredited mediator and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Facilitator: Sonia BrockingtonSonia Brockington

Sonia is the Knowledge and Training Manager for the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer and has previously worked as a lecturer of Nutrition and Dietetics at Deakin University. She has held a number of clinical dietetics positions in Australia and the UK, and has a particular interest in international health, having worked in humanitarian roles in the Sudan and Timor Leste.