The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) is pleased to announce that Australia’s former Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop, is the opening speaker for the 2019 AFA Conference in Adelaide in August and Thai caves rescuer and joint 2019 Australian of the Year, Dr Richard ‘Harry’ Harris, SC OAM, is the closing speaker.

AFA CEO, Philip Kewin said the AFA, along with partner AIA, is honoured to offer the Australian financial advice profession the opportunity to hear from Ms Bishop, who was Foreign Minister for almost five years, following four years as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Ms Bishop has had a long and distinguished career in Australian politics,” Mr Kewin said. “As Foreign Minister she led the development of the 2017 Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, which set out a comprehensive policy framework for Australia’s engagement with the world over the next decade. She also oversaw the single largest expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years and established the innovationXchange within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to develop creative solutions to long standing development challenges.” 

Ms Bishop was awarded the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2014, after playing a lead role in the international response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. 

Mr Kewin said the AFA, in conjunction with long-standing partner, TAL is also honoured to welcome Dr Harris to the AFA Conference. Dr Harris was an integral part of an international rescue mission that ultimately saved a Thai soccer team of 12 boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.

“Dr Harris will be speaking to delegates about the power of collaboration in helping to break through seemingly insurmountable barriers to achieve goals against the odds,” Mr Kewin said. “We can’t think of a better person to speak to our members about strength, resilience, staying the course and pushing through adversity than Harry.”

Dr Harris works in anaesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia and has expertise in wilderness and remote area health. He also has a long held passion for diving which has taken him all around the world. He has dived the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand to a depth of 229m, Daxing Spring in China to 213m and Song Hong Cave in Thailand to 196m. 

He has a professional and voluntary interest in search and rescue operations, establishing the first sump rescue (deep, scary caves) training course in Australasia. 

More information about the conference and registration details are available at