Conference Committee Members

Dr Paulie (Paulina) Stehlik


Dr Paulie Stehlik has been actively involved in the Skeptics movement since 2012. It all started when she was asked to present at, her then local, Vic Skeptics Café which subsequently led to her joining the 2012 Skepticon Committee.

Since then Dr Paulie has been actively involved in skepticism, from teaching pharmacy students critical thinking, to the occasional appearance on SkepicZone. She has furthered her involvement since 2017 as the Gold Coast Skeptics Inc. President ( and is the Chair of the Skepticon 2020 Conference Committee.

In her regular life, Dr Paulie is a Senior Research Fellow and Evidence Based Practice Professorial Unit Coordinator at the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare at Bond University. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (First Class Honours), a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice, and Graduate Certificate in Data Science and a PhD.

Dr Paulie’s research focuses on clinician engagement in research, clinical research, and health professional education, and she was recently named on The Educator Higher Education​ Rising Stars 2020 list for her work in teaching Evidence Based Practice to clinicians.

Sarah Webb


Sarah teaches science and math to secondary school kids and is the current GoldCoast Skeptics secretary.

In a previous life she held laboratory careers using BSc (Tech) in Biotechnology including cytogenetics and autoantigens.

Casey Shannon


Casey Shannon has been part of the Gold Coast skeptics for over three years, providing audio-visual support for the monthly meet-ups and is the current treasurer of the Skepticon 2020 Committee.

Casey has a strong interest in science; particularly engineering, mathematics and physics. He is currently studying in his final year of university, where he is majoring in civil engineering and applied mathematics at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.

Casey describes himself as a long-term skeptic, even before being aware of the skeptical movement, and values logic, critical thinking and trust in science as fundamental to positive progression.

Areta Kaur

Media Comms

Areta Kaur is a Canberra based skeptic completing a Bachelor of Genetics at the Australian National University. Her path to science-based thinking and scepticism was a winding one, starting life studying at a convent school and being raised in a religious household in Singapore. After migrating to Australia, she worked her way through various religions and spiritual beliefs until finally landing on her skeptical feet in her mid-twenties. Areta is now passionate about science and critical thinking and their importance in the education system.

Having been a quiet observer of the Australian skeptic community, Areta wanted to become more involved in the movement. After reaching out to us following last year’s Skepticon, Areta is now volunteering as a committee member for Skepticon 2020.

Sheryl Backhouse


If you ever caught the wonderful SBS series “A Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia”, then you would understand how Sheryl Backhouse enjoys her retirement. Sheryl enjoys horticultural pursuits and quickly discovered that much information on the subject was missing from publications- something she wanted to improve. 

Through her roles as the organiser of the Qld Skeptics Association, the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Qld, the Qld Bushfood Association and is leader of the Australian Food Plants Study group, she has interviewed knowledgeable people and recorded talks, then converted the material into articles for non-attending members to have access to more information.  Sheryl believes that being an active member of the skeptic community has helped her gain access a great source of knowledge and intellectual stimulation that wouldn’t normally come across through mainstream media.

Married to Robert, she enjoys travelling, loves country life, enjoys the arts of Asia and lives with thousands of books. 

Life’s good – hope yours is too but … life is what you make it. As the saying goes: You only get out of life what you put into it.”

Simon Leonard


Simon Leonard is a member of Gold Coast Skeptics and on the Gold Coast Skeptics Inc. committee.  With 25 years of nursing experience as an Infection Control Nurse working with Gold Coast Health, Simon has a keen interest in health science and has recently presented on Covid-19 pseudoscience based on his knowledge at a Gold Coast Skeptics meet-up. 

Simon is also an accomplished sports photographer working with Netball Scoop covering Suncorp Super Netball as well as events for Supercars Australia. As a father of four there is rarely a spare moment, but Simon enjoys online gaming, other genres of photography and learning the guitar to relax in his spare time.


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