Svetha Venkatesh is an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, Alfred Deakin Professor and Co-Director of Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) at Deakin University. She was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition in 2004 for contributions to formulation and extraction of semantics in multimedia data, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2006, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2021 for ground-breaking research and contributions that have had clear impact. In 2017, Professor Venkatesh was appointed an Australian Laureate Fellow, the highest individual award the Australian Research Council can bestow.
Professor Venkatesh and her team have tackled a wide range of problems of social significance, including the critical areas of autism, security and aged care. The outcomes have impacted the community and evolved into publications, patents, tools and spin-off companies. This includes three full patents, one start-up company (icetana) and two significant products – TOBY Playpad, Virtual Observer.
Professor Venkatesh has tackled complex pattern recognition tasks by drawing inspiration and models from widely diverse disciplines, integrating them into rigorous computational models and innovative algorithms. Her main contributions have been in the development of theoretical frameworks and novel applications for analyzing large scale, multimedia data. This includes development of several Bayesian parametric and non-parametric models, solving fundamental problems in processing multiple channel, multi-modal temporal and spatial data.
Laura currently holds the position of Head of Clinical Services at the Black Dog Institute and works part-time in private practice. She has worked as a Clinical Psychologist for over 28 years in individual therapy with clients, as well as running and designing groups and workshops, supervising students and in the development of self-management strategies and resources.
Laura has a passion for finding ways of translating evidence based psychological strategies into our day to day lives. She is an accredited Mindfulness Instructor and has been running mindfulness workshops for individuals and groups for the last 15 years. She is focused on making mindfulness easy to understand, accessible and integrated into everyday experience. She completed her PhD at UNSW, School of Psychiatry and the Black Dog Institute and she evaluated a mindfulness app (Headspace) in the University population.
Professor Ralph Maddison is a behavioural scientist and leads the Digital Health for Prevention and Management of Disease, at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University. Professor Maddison also leads the Digital Health cross domain research theme at IPAN. Previously he led the Physical Activity Research programme at the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), University of Auckland. He has expertise in the design, development and evaluation of digital interventions for the prevention of non-communicable disease, with a particular interest in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. His specialist research interests include physical activity, healthy lifestyles, health technology and clinical trials.