Symposium 2019 speakers

John AllanDr John Allan MBBS, FRANZCP, PhD completed his medical training and PhD in Queensland and his psychiatry training in Adelaide.
John is the Executive Director of Mental Health Alcohol and other Drugs Branch in Queensland Health. He has been Chief Psychiatrist in both Queensland and New South Wales and led clinical services in North Queensland for 20years. He is a leader in national mental health reform, and is particularly interested smoking and mental illness. He is the President Elect of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He is the chair of the Safety and Quality Partnerships Standing Committee.

Andy BellAndy Bell has been with the Centre for Mental Health UK since 2002. Previously working for the King’s Fund, he began as Director of Communications, becoming Deputy Chief Executive in 2009.
He is a member of the Mental Health Policy Group and was chair of the Mental Health Alliance between 2006 and 2008.
Andy has carried out research on the implementation of national mental health policies and on local mental health needs assessments. He writes a regular blog on mental health policy for the Huffington Post.

Wanda BennettsWanda has a background in education and a lived experience of mental health services.
She has worked in a variety of consumer perspective roles since 2000, mostly at a systemic level. The roles have included Consumer Consultant, consumer researcher, educator, senior advisor, freelance worker and Senior Policy Advisor – consumer portfolio holder at DHHS.
Wanda is passionate about:
• Wanting to positively influence mental health systems
• Consumer perspective education & training for clinicians, professionals and consumers
• Advance Directives
• Progressing and supporting the consumer workforce
Wanda’s current roles are Senior Consumer Consultant for Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) and casual consumer academic for the CPN. 


Jenny BowmanProfessor Jenny Bowman is a health psychologist and researcher at the University of Newcastle. Jenny is passionate about understanding and addressing physical health disparities among people with a mental health condition, and leads the Physical Health in Mental Illness (PHiMI) research team, which addresses preventive care for smoking, nutrition, alcohol use, and physical activity risk factors for people with a mental health condition.
Jenny and the PHIMI research team are undertaking a program of work focusing on strategies to increase the capacity of mental health services and community agencies to provide best practice preventive health care for people with a mental health condition. In partnership with key policy agencies, end-user organisations and consumers, this program of work strives for both scientific value and relevance to health policy and practice.

Lucy Brogden Lucy has a strong commitment to helping others. Her primary areas of focus are issues facing Women and Girls and Mental Health and Wellbeing, particularly in the workplace. She takes an evidenced-based approach to problem-solving and social investment.

Lucy has more than 25 years commercial experience with companies including Macquarie Group and Ernst & Young working in accounting, finance and organisational psychology. Specifically, Lucy has worked in trusted advisory roles with some of Australia’s leading CEO’s, Managing Partners, Ministers and Chairs. In 2015, Lucy was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia.

Lisa BrophyLisa is Professor and Discipline Lead in Social Work and Social Policy, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University and concurrently Mind Australia’s Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne. She has undertaken multiple research projects involving consumer researchers and her focus has been on improving interventions focused on recovery and social inclusion and reducing coercive practice.

Peggy BrownDr Peggy Brown is a psychiatrist who works part-time as the Director of Quality, Safety and Leadership at Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service (MSAMHS) and is a Senior Clinical Advisor to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on a project on digital mental health services. She also is a Member of the Agency Management Committee of AHPRA and a Member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Dr Brown has held numerous clinical and administrative positions in psychiatry, including Chief Executive Officer of the National Mental Health Commission, Chief Psychiatrist in three jurisdictions, and as an NHS International Fellow.
She was the Director-General of ACT Health for over five years, and served as the Chair of the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council (AHMAC) from 2013-2015.


Debbie ChildsDebbie is CEO of HelpingMinds, a West Australian based Mental Health and Carer Support organisation. Debbie leads a team of over 90 to deliver quality support services to people experiencing mental ill health and their families.
With lived experience as a Mental Health Carer, Debbie is a passionate advocate within the sector. She currently holds seats on several committees and groups. In addition to this, over the last four years, Debbie has been an active member of the steering committee developing the new national guide: “A Practical Guide for working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness”.
Debbie brings a wealth of experience both in the leadership of smaller ventures and larger corporate enterprises as well as extensive experience as a Board Director with both not for profit and commercial businesses.

Tara Clinton McHargDr Tara Clinton-McHarg is a behavioural scientist located in School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle. Her area of research expertise is in implementation science, and understanding the structures and processes of organisations that provide care to people with a mental health condition. Her research interests include identifying ways that evidence-based models of preventive care designed for clinical settings can to be tailored and adapted to make them more suitable for implementation in non-clinical settings. Tara is currently working with community managed organisations to co-design and trial models of preventive care that are suitable for implementation in this setting.

Nadine is a Peer researcher at Mind Australia and is a consumer researcher on the Qutlink Project. She has been involved in several research projects as a peer researcher at Mind and the University of Melbourne and has a keen interest in how mental health and physical health intersect.

Lynne Coulson BarrDr Lynne Coulson Barr is Victoria’s first Mental Health Complaints Commissioner. The office was established under the Mental Health Act 2014 as a key part of the safeguards, oversight and service improvement provisions of the Act. Dr Coulson Barr is committed to working with consumers, families, carers and services to ensure complaints are seen as an opportunity to improve public mental health services, and to use the information from complaints to drive positive changes in the mental health system for all Victorians.

Steven is the Senior Pharmacist for the Bloomfield Mental health campus, Orange, NSW. Bloomfield hospital is a historic mental health facility and the services offered on campus range from drug and alcohol treatment to state-wide forensic rehabilitation services. Steven began his career working in Sydney in both the hospital and community health sectors. He has worked on several quality improvement strategies in different fields of health. Steven’s current area of interest is to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration in order to improve outcomes in mental health clients.

Indigo DayaIndigo Daya has held consumer leadership roles across the mental health sector for more than fourteen years, including community and clinical sectors, academia and government. Indigo has lived experience as a survivor of childhood trauma, madness and coercive mental health services. She is passionate about consumer-led change that puts human rights first. Indigo is currently Human Rights Advisor at VMIAC and Research Fellow at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Melbourne.

Libby DunstanLibby Dunstan is the Deputy CEO at the Brisbane North PHN providing organisational and operational leadership as well as leading key external stakeholder engagement and partnership building for the organisation. She provides operational leadership to key organisational functions such as Primary Care Liaison and Integration programs. Libby has over 20 years experience and expertise in senior health leadership roles, managing the strategic, operation and business and operational aspects of a number of organisations in the not for profit sector. Her particular expertise includes business development, government relations, health care integration, health system improvement, policy analysis and development, project management and stakeholder management. Prior to her role at the Brisbane North PHN she held senior roles at the Stroke Foundation and CheckUP.

Caitlin FehilyCaitlin Fehily is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle. Her research focuses on identifying effective and cost-effective strategies to address the poor physical health of people with a mental illness. Her PhD trials one model for enhancing the provision of preventive care (for smoking, nutrition, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity) in mental health services; whereby a specialist clinician is allocated to this specific role. Ms Fehily is passionate about enhancing positive health behaviours. She is particularly interested in researching service delivery methods to address the high prevalence of chronic disease risk factors among people with a mental illness.

Lauren GibsonMs Lauren Gibson completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology, receiving first class Honours in 2017. A member within Professor Jenny Bowman’s research group ‘Physical Health in Mental Illness (PHiMI)’, Lauren has experience working on and contributing to various projects aimed at addressing the physical health needs of individuals with a mental health issue. Lauren began her PhD (Psychology) in August 2018 with a focus on Community Managed Organisations and exploring their potential in delivering chronic disease preventive care to people with a mental health issue accessing support from their services.

Kate is a research scientist, a Registered Occupational Therapist and Mental Health Consumer Researcher. She is the Chair and founding member of the Consumer Led Research Network, now based at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. Kate is also the President and Founder of FND Australia Support Services. In 2018 Kate received the SANE Australia Hocking Fellowship to facilitate a co-design knowledge exchange and knowledge translation process to enhance community awareness of FND, and break down barriers and stigma associated with the condition. She has recently undertaken a study funded by the National Mental Health Commission that surveyed and analysed the experiences of Australian consumer and carers in relation to FND in Australia. A snap shot of these outcomes will be presented at the symposium, ahead of publication.

Fiona Glover is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and currently works as a Lecturer and clinical supervisor at Flinders University. Fiona coordinates the Low Intensity Cogntive Behaviour Therapy Training and Supervision Programs training both mental health and non-mental health professionals in LiCBT. Fiona has worked in the field of mental health for over twenty years as clinician in both public and private settings. Fiona has a passion for making quality evidence-based psychological interventions accessible to all people and delivered in ways that are collaborative and enhance the capacity and strength of people to self-manage.

Rebecca HallamRebecca is the Senior Exercise Physiologist with the headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program (hYEPP) in Melbourne. She is an experienced Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) who has worked across the healthcare spectrum with clients from all backgrounds with a variety of health conditions. Rebecca is passionate about embedding the role of exercise into standard care in mental illness, and treating the whole person, rather than categorising people as physical or mental health conditions. Rebecca leads a team of four AEP’s at hYEPP covering a large area of south-eastern Melbourne, servicing young people between the ages of 12 and 26. Until 2019 Rebecca has served on the Victorian State Chapter for Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), chairing the chapter from 2016-2018.

Brenda HappellProfessor Brenda Happell, University of Newcastle, is a registered nurse with specialist qualifications in mental health nursing. She has 29 years’ experience in academia in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. Throughout her career she has been a passionate and unrelenting advocate for Mental Health Nursing. Brenda was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Melbourne, former Director of the Institute for Health and Social Science Research at Central Queensland University and Professor of Nursing and Executive Director of Synergy, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at University of Canberra and ACT Health. She is a Fellow and Board Director of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, and former Editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Her research interests include: consumer participation in mental health services, physical health of people experiencing mental illness, and mental health nursing education. Brenda is the lead investigator of a NHMRC grant: Improving the cardiometabolic health of people with psychosis: The Physical Health Nurse Consultant service, a nurse-led initiative. She was the proud recipient of the inaugural VMIAC lifetime ally award in 2018.

Ben HarrisBen Harris is Health Policy Lead at the Mitchell Institute, Victoria University, which manages the Australian Health Policy Collaboration. Ben has worked in health and social policy roles for state and federal governments, for professional associations and for a consumer organisation. He has worked as an adviser to a Commonwealth Health Minister, and has also served as Chief of Staff to the Victorian Minister for Community Services, Mental Health and Disability Reform. Ben has extensive policy experience in workforce, health financing, population health, community services and disability reform. He is a strong strategic thinker and has a sound understanding of government processes. Ben is an economist and holds degrees from the Australian National University and Monash University. He has a range of publications, including opinion pieces and research work. Recent publications include Australia’s Mental and Physical Health Tracker, and Australia’s Health Tracker by Socioeconomic Status.

Sarah HughesSarah has worked in mental health and criminal justice for 27 years. Having initially trained as a social worker, Sarah has managed a range of innovative community and secure services, most recently at Mind in Cambridgeshire.
In recent years, Sarah has led Mind in Cambridgeshire (among other organisations) which is known for values led practice and high impact campaigns including Stop Suicide and StressLess.
Sarah is passionate about the mental health of the nation and believes it is possible to achieve parity of esteem by drawing on the amazing work already being undertaken across the country.

Fay JacksonFay Jackson is the General Manager of Inclusion at Flourish Australia, which is a large not for profit organisation supporting people with mental health issues across NSW, Queensland and Victoria. She is an Emeritus Deputy NSW Mental Health Commissioner and a current member of the Clinical Innovation and Clinical Excellence Commission Council. She is the founder and CEO of Vision In Mind, which is a consultancy and training company. Fay has been one of the National Mental Health Commission Leaders, the Director of Consumer, Carer and Community Affairs with the Illawarra South East Sydney Mental Health Service. She began her work in mental health as a volunteer and then as a paid Peer Worker. She had her first permanent job at the age of 40 owing to the discrimination she had previously experienced. Fay has won many awards for her work in mental health and was a guest on the ABC TV One Plus One program in 2017 and 2019, and was a guest panellist on QandA in 2015.

Kate JacksonKate Jackson is the Director, Older People’s Mental Health Policy, Mental Health Branch, NSW Ministry of Health. Kate has been in this role since 2004 and has overseen the development and implementation of one 10-year statewide service plan for older people’s mental health services, and now the development and early implementation of a second 10-year statewide older people’s mental health service plan. She has led a range of policy and program developments in older people’s mental health over this time, including the development of new models of care for community, inpatient and mental health-residential aged care partnership services. Kate’s previous roles have covered dementia, carer support and disability, aged care and mental health. Kate’s formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts – History, PhD – History, and Executive Masters of Public Administration (Australia New Zealand School of Government) – all through Sydney University.

Kym JenkinsDr Kym Jenkins is the current President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). Dr Jenkins has held a range of roles as a Psychiatrist in both public and private sectors. In her private practice, she specialises in Consultation-Liaison and women’s mental health. Dr Jenkins worked in General Practice 10 years before commencing psychiatry training. This broader medical experience led to her particular interest in the physical health of those with mental illnesses. Dr Jenkins has a clinical and academic interest in the health and welfare of the medical profession and is the ex- Medical Director of the Victorian Doctors Health Program. Dr Jenkins has had extensive involvement in psychiatry-related medical education and is an adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University and an honorary senior fellow at Melbourne University. She is also on the Board of Mental Health Australia, and Chair of the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership.

Katherine JohnsonKatherine Johnson is Professor & Director of the Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT and Visiting Professor, Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender, University of Brighton, UK. Her research is in the field of gender, sexuality and mental health, with specialisms in critical community psychology and psychosocial studies, qualitative, participatory and visual research methods, and interdisciplinary research about LGBTQ lives. Her research collaborations and partnerships focus on improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people and have impacted on social policy and practice, particularly in the field of suicide prevention, mental health and end of life care. Recent publications include Community Psychology and the Socio-Economics of Mental Distress (Palgrave, 2012) and Sexuality: A psychosocial manifesto (Polity, 2015). She is also Routledge book series editor, Transforming LGBTQ Lives.

Kate Johnston-AtaataDr Kate Johnston-Ataata is a Research Fellow in the Social & Global Studies Centre’s Social Research in Health Program at RMIT and coordinator of Healthtalk Australia. Kate has had a long association with Healthtalk Australia (HTA), having worked on four HTA research projects, including early menopause (from women’s and health practitioners’ perspectives), early parenthood, depression, and serious mental illness from the perspective of both people with lived experience and carers. Kate’s research interests centre on how people make sense of experiences of (in)fertility, reproductive health, and family life in the context of social and demographic change.

Natalie JovanovskiDr Natalie Jovanovski is a sociologist and research fellow at Swinburne University of Technology. Dr Jovanovski’s research focusses specifically on women’s relationships with food and eating. In 2014, Dr Jovanovski completed her PhD, which examined body-policing attitudes in popular discourses on food and eating. Dr Jovanovski translated the findings from this research for a wider audience in her publication, “Digesting Femininities”. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr Jovanovski has conducted research with low-income single mothers in receipt of welfare benefits and investigated how socio-economic status affects women’s relationships with food, eating and mental and physical health.

Teresa KellyTeresa Kelly is a mental health nurse. She also holds academic qualifications in Gestalt therapy and health information management. Teresa values the contribution of interprofessional collaborations that include authentic consumer and carer partnerships to achieving in-depth contextual understandings of complex health problems. Teresa is passionate about the heart and heart health. She is a PhD candidate at The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Vicki LanganVicki began her career working in Juvenile Justice and AOD services. With a background in Sports Science, she worked with the Irish Sports Council concentrating her efforts developing strategies in disadvantaged communities engaging young people in physical activity/sport. With a lived experience and qualifications in Addiction Studies, Vicki clearly saw the link between poor mental health and the impact on physical health. In 2012, Vicki began working as a frontline mental health outreach worker the Aboriginal homelessness service within Neami, moving into the NSW Health Promotion Officer position and then to her current position as the Health and Wellbeing Manager for NSW. Vicki has contributed to the development of several physical health programs/initiatives and research projects with UWO, Neami’s Health Literacy Project and Oral Health E-Learning with University of Melbourne. Vicki is dedicated to improving the physical health of people living with mental illness through innovation and collaboration.

Whitney LeeWhitney completed a Bachelor of Psychology and began her career working at a non-government mental health organisation, Neami National. It was here, that as a support worker, she witnessed the gap in physical health for people living with a mental illness. As she has always taken an interest in physical health and is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle, she undertook a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion), to be able to work in the space to prevent poor health and promote physically healthy lifestyles for people living with a mental illness. Her role as Health and Wellbeing Officer at Neami National allows her to tie in both her passions to promote physical health for people living with a mental illness. She works closely with mental health consumers to co-design strength-based initiatives to improve physical health opportunities, access and health literacy for people living with a mental illness.

Helen LockettHelen is an experienced researcher, innovator and critical thinker. She is the strategic policy advisor for the Wise Group, a non-government organisation in New Zealand and also works as a senior advisor to the OECD and the New Zealand government. The focus of Helen’s work is on how to influence and bring together policy, research and practice to address inequities and to improve outcomes for individuals and families/whānau. Helen has a national leadership role for Equally Well New Zealand, an award-winning collaboration of people and organisations committed to taking action to improve physical health outcomes for people who experience mental health conditions and addiction. Since 2014, Helen has been on Pegasus Health’s Community Board, and now sits on the Pegasus Population Health Advisory Board. Prior to emigrating to NZ in 2010, Helen was director of programmes at the UK’s Centre for Mental Health.

Anna LoveAnna commenced her career in Scotland in the early 80’s and moved to Australia in 1989. She worked in both Inpatient and Community settings as a clinician and as a manager and as a Director of Nursing both in Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol services. During the early 90’s Anna was involved in the decommissioning of the North Eastern Metropolitan Psychiatric Services (NEMPS) which gave Anna her first experience of managing service change and reform and it has been an area of interest since. Anna’s vision is to ensure we have a skilled Mental Health Nursing workforce for the future which is flexible, responsive and works collaboratively with consumers and carers encouraging self-determination and self-management of mental health and wellbeing.

Rod McKayDr Rod McKay is a psychiatrist with a passion for improving mental health practice and the quality of life for people with mental illness of all ages. Based in NSW, he is a clinical advisor to the Older People’s Mental Health Policy Unit, Director Psychiatry and Mental Health Programs at the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), Chair of the National Mental Health Information Development Expert Advisory Group and a clinician involved in fly in/ fly out work in Far Western NSW. Dr McKay chaired the Expert Working Groups that developed and revised the policy and guidelines in NSW related to the physical health care of mental health consumers.

Chris MayleaDr Chris Maylea (BSW (Hons), MSHMP, JD, DSW) is a mental health social worker, mental health lawyer and a lecturer at RMIT University. Dr Maylea is the Manager – External relationships and consumer engagement and participation, for the Equally Well Initiative. He has practice experience in mental health services as a social worker and manager and regularly appears before the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal as a legal representative. Dr Maylea is informed in research and practice by his own lived experience of mental health diagnosis and is Chair of VMIAC’s Human Rights Subcommittee.

Mark MorganDr Mark Morgan is a senior RACGP representative. He is Chair of RACGP’s Expert Committee – Quality Care, where he advises on healthcare policy and development of guidelines. Mark’s RACGP representative roles have included Primary Health Care Homes Implementation Advisory Group and the Medical Benefits Schedule Review General Practice. Mark is an Associate Professor at Bond University and he is also a GP at Eastbrooke Family Clinic, Burleigh Waters. Prior to this, Mark was a GP partner in Hills Medical Service in the Adelaide Hills. Mark strives to develop trusting relationships with his patients to ensure the best evidence-based care.

Katherine MossDr Katherine Moss is in her final year of advanced training in forensic psychiatry. She recently was awarded one of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry’s New Investigator Grants. She is using this grant to investigate the physical health and activity of patients with severe mental illness who reside in forensic institutions. She is passionate about improving the physical health of forensic mental health patients. Dr Moss currently works as a clinician in the high secure unit of The Park, Centre for Mental Health and as a researcher in the Forensic Mental Health Group at the Queensland for Centre Mental Health Research.

Anne MuldowneyAnne Muldowney joined Carers Victoria’s policy and research team in 2010 and is senior policy advisor in health and aged care. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology), and a Master of Social Policy and has more than 25 years’ experience working with and on behalf of people in care relationships. Anne is a member of several Victorian government advisory groups and represents Carers Australia at National aged care reform advisory groups. She is dedicated to addressing the challenges of the three-way relationship between consumers, carers and professionals.

Marcus NicolMarcus Nicol is currently a Director of Monitoring and Reporting at the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC), where he is responsible for reporting on the progress of the Fifth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan as well as the NMHC’s national reports. Prior to this he was the Director of Research Analysis for the Australian Research Council and Director of Evaluation and Reporting for the National Health and Medical Research Council. Marcus has a PhD in Physiology and a Masters of Public Health, and previously worked in clinical trials and at the National Stroke Research Institute.

Mandy is an accredited practising dietitian with Richmond Fellowship Queensland. She delivers the nutrition component of the Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds program (HBHM) – an eight-week group-based exercise physiology and dietetics program for people with mental illness. Mandy is also a verified Health at Every Size® (HAES®) provider and advocate for evidence-based health care.
Mandy is passionate about reducing weight bias in health care settings that can compound the stigma experienced by people with mental health conditions.

Dave PetersDave has a Lived Experience of Mental Illness and Recovery, and has been working on various projects to improve available services and outcomes for consumers engaging with supports. In working with these types of projects, Dave has become increasingly aware of the poor physical health outcomes for people living with mental illness, and has been very motivated to advocate for improved services to address this issue. In his own supports, Dave has encountered problems with gaining support to address his physical health within the NDIS-funded system, and has been passionate in advocating for this to be improved, both for himself and others like him.

Barri Phataford Dr Barri Phatarfod is a Sydney GP. After the reopening of Manus Island in 2013, Barri started the medical advocacy group Doctors for Refugees – a group of volunteer doctors which reviews the medical care provided to refugees and asylum seekers in detention.

Marie PiuMarie is proud to work with Tandem, the trusted voice of Victorian family and friends in mental health. Marie has been providing support to her now elderly migrant mother, since she was a young child. She believes that service users and their family and friends deserve a mental health system which focuses on relational recovery and actively mitigates the possible physical health deficits that can develop as a consequence of mental health issues and use of psychotropic medication.

Sally Plever job-shares the position of manager of the Mental Health Clinical Collaborative (MHCC) for Queensland Health. The MHCC is a state-wide initiative that uses the collaborative methodology to drive service improvement using a clinician-driven approach to identify topics for improvement. Sally is a Psychologist who has worked in both a clinical and project management capacity across community, in-patient and forensic services in adult mental health. Sally has been managing the MHCC since its inception in 2000.

Quit Evaluation Coordinator. Marty has over 16 years of monitoring and evaluation experience in a variety of domestic and international community based, not-for-profit program settings. He has a particular interest in evaluation capacity building and loves to assist others to bring together multiple lines of evidence that form a cohesive story of program performance- making sure that key stakeholders are indeed key in this process!

Russell RobertsDr Russell Roberts is a Professor at Charles Sturt University and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. Living in Orange, NSW he is a board member of the ANZ Mental Health Association, Chair of the Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium and Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Rural Health. He has also been on the NSW Mental Health Commission Advisory Council and Director of Clinical Training at Griffith University, Queensland. He has previously served as director of a large regional mental health service of over 1,000 staff, delivering comprehensive services across the spectrum of mental health care.

Simon RosenbaumDr Simon Rosenbaum is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney and the Black Dog Institute. He currently holds an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship and is also an inaugural UNSW Scientia Fellow. Simon conducted the first clinical trial of exercise for inpatients with post-traumatic stress disorder and has published over 130 peer-reviewed publications and co-edited the first textbook on the role of exercise in the treatment of mental illness. Simon has worked with a variety of groups including inpatients, emergency service workers, contemporary veterans and refugees, both in Australia and overseas. Simon serves as an elected national director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia and is a passionate advocate for the integration of exercise as a component of treatment for people living with mental illness.

Jade RyallJade Ryall is the Manager of Flourish Australia’s Back On Track Health Program. Jade has a professional background in Occupational Therapy and has worked in community mental health for over 12 years. Jade has held a number of roles with-in Flourish Australia including delivering direct supports to people accessing the service, facilitating group activity programs and Chairing a number of Communities of Practice. Jade is a proud Wiradjuri woman dedicated to supporting people and communities to build their capacity to recognise and respond to gaps in service delivery and outcomes for people from vulnerable or marginalised communities.

Kim RyanAdjunct Associate Professor Kim Ryan, CEO, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN), the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised Credentialing body for mental health nurses in Australia. Kim is passionate about elevating mental health and mental health nursing on health agendas from local to international levels and believes this will be achieved with a strong, united, professional voice. Kim believes we can improve the lives of people with mental health problems through mental health nursing and nursing. She was awarded the position of Adjunct Associate Professor by Sydney University in 2009 for her contribution to the nursing profession, and the inaugural Australian Mental Health Prize by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016.

Cathy SeganDr Cathy Segan is Innovation Fellow at Quit Victoria. She is interested in tailoring Quitline services to meet the needs of people living with mental illness, e.g. by introducing monitoring of nicotine withdrawal symptoms to help allay concerns that quitting might worsen mental health. Cathy is CI on a NHMRC trial examining the effectiveness of peer worker brief intervention plus referral to an enhanced Quitline service for people with severe mental illness. Previously she led a beyondblue project demonstrating the value of Quitline-doctor co-management of smoking cessation and depression. Cathy also co-supervised a PhD on quitting success stories among people with severe mental illness.

Cathy Segan Andy Simpson completed psychology and >then mental health nursing training in the UK where he worked for 12 years across various inpatient mental health settings. Since moving to Sydney 9 years ago he has worked as a care coordinator, clinical nurse educator, community mental health team leader, and is now the program manager for Living Well Living Longer, which aims to improve the physical health of mental health consumers across Sydney Local Health District. He is committed to improving the physical health and wellbeing of mental health consumers to address the 20-30 year life expectancy gap.

Katie StewartAfter graduating from Southern Cross University in 1996 Katie worked for high performance triathlon coach Kieran Barry in Sydney, before moving to Perth in 2001. In 2002 she opened The Beach Lifestyle Club, one of Perth’s first health studios offering exercise physiology and sports science services. Katie started The Exercise Therapist at The Thrive Clinic in 2015. Here she designed, implemented and evaluated a unique exercise medicine protocol that removes psychological objections to exercise. This protocol has been clinically proven to significantly reduce symptoms in patients with mental and physical co and multi-morbidity chronic conditions. Her research findings will be published in a paper under the guidance of Chief Scientist of WA Peter Klinken AC.

Caro SwansonCaro Swanson is Principal Advisor Mental Health and Service User Lead for Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, national centre of evidence-based workforce development for the adult mental health, addiction and disability sectors in New Zealand. Caro has worked in mental health in a variety of lived experience roles for more than 20 years. Currently, she leads the national peer workforce development suite of projects and co-leads the national least restrictive practice suite of projects for Te Pou. As a champion of Equally Well, New Zealand for many years, Caro vigorously highlights the importance of lived experience leadership, participation and co-production as essential in seeking effective solutions and better futures for people and their families. In 2018 Caro nearly became an Equally Well statistic when she unexpectedly had to undergo open heart surgery from undiagnosed cardiovascular disease. This highlighted for her the urgent need to un-silo physical health, mental health and addiction services and meet the needs of people earlier and more holistically.

Shane Sweeney, Program Manager, SUMITT (NWMH) is a social worker with over 30 years’ experience in clinical mental health and alcohol and other drug services. He is particularly interested in organisational change and service improvement initiatives. He is passionate about involving people with lived experience in the planning and execution of projects.

Nicci TepperNicci manages the MindStep program at Remedy Healthcare, working with customers to tailor the service to meet their business needs and providing the phone based low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy to people with anxiety and depression. Previously, Nicci was delivering coaching programs for people with chronic physical health conditions in her role as an accredited practising dietitian. Nicci is passionate about empowering people to improve their physical and mental health both in the present and into the future.

Maggie TokoMaggie Toko is from Aotearoa and is of Maori descent. Maggie is from the Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi people and identifies as GLBTIQ and someone who lives with schizophrenia. Maggie is also the CEO of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council which is the PEAK Mental Health Consumer Body in Victoria. She has worked in youth, homelessness and family violence services for the past 25 years and is passionate about Human Rights in and outside of work. Maggie can be seen utilising her talents as a stand up comedian to get her message across.

Senior Quality and Service Improvement Coordinator (NWMH). Suzanne has worked for over 15 years in public mental health in clinical, research and project management positions. She has a keen interest health program evaluation and translating research into practice.

Andrew WatkinsAndrew Watkins is the co-developer and lead of the Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) across South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD). Andrew is a qualified Nurse Practitioner and is also a PhD candidate completing a thesis on physical health care in people experiencing severe mental illness. Andrew has a longstanding interest in the physical health of people with severe mental illness. He has done extensive training privately and through multiple education facilities including the Australian College of Nursing, UTS and UNSW. Andrew has published over 25 articles, a book chapter and evidence guides. His clinical research has had strong practical translation implications, influencing clinical practice, health service delivery, policy and guidelines in mental health services locally, nationally and internationally.

Carolynne WhiteRachel Whiffen is the Manager, Communities and Program at Quit Victoria. Rachel joined Quit in November 2017 after six years coordinating Cancer Council Victoria’s Clinical Network program. During this time Rachel oversaw the program’s policy and advocacy in cancer care portfolio. With Quit, Rachel leads a dedicated team who work with communities and support organisations, where rates of tobacco use are high, to co-develop initiatives that enable all Victorians the opportunity to become smokefree and reduce the health, financial and social disadvantage that is directly impacted by tobacco use. Priority populations include people living with a mental illness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people upon release from prison and the LGBTI community. Rachel holds a Masters in Public Health and degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology.

Carolynne WhiteDr Carolynne White is a registered occupational therapist and lecturer in health promotion at Swinburne University of Technology. Carolynne is interested in person-centred health care and empowering all people to participate in activities that benefit their health and well-being. Carolynne has worked extensively in health promotion and occupational therapy with adults in mental health (community and forensic), community health, and research settings. Carolynne values equity in health and uses collaborative, strength-based approaches to address health inequalities.

Emma WoodEmma is the Manager – Practice at Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui a national centre for evidence based workforce development for the mental health, addiction and disability sectors in New Zealand. Emma’s work oversees a portfolio of initiatives that aim to enhance the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills of the workforce working with people with mental health and addiction needs. Trained as a social worker and a partnership broker, one of her interests is how we make working in collaborations such as Equally Well successful in both how our organisations work as well as developing the right knowledge and skills of the workforce.

Murray WrightDr Murray Wright graduated from the University of Sydney Medical Faculty, completed his post graduate training in Psychiatry in South Eastern Sydney, and has worked in a range of metropolitan, rural and regional centres, as a clinician and, over the last 15 years, in a range of leadership roles, including NSW Chief Psychiatrist since October 2014. Clinical interests include consultation-liaison psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, psychiatric and substance misuse comorbidity, and psychiatric impairment among health professionals and police officers. In addition to his public sector roles, Murray has maintained a private practice since 1990. Murray’s role as NSW Chief Psychiatrist includes an oversight of quality and safety for mental health services, investigation/ review of critical incidents associated with mental health services, and contributing to improvements in patient safety.