Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Haley Peckham - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Dr Haley Peckham

    Dr Haley Peckham
    Spectrum Personality Disorder Service for Victoria

    Haley has been curious about brain and mind since she could think. Whilst studying philosophy, Haley worked with children in out-of-home care and was intrigued and saddened to learn that these children have a high risk of developing mental health issues later. Wanting to understand how our lives shape our brains, Haley became a mental health nurse, began her own psychotherapy and studied neuroscience. Last year, Haley gained a PhD from Melbourne University on the topic of neuroplasticity: how experiences shape brains. She wants to share her understanding of the biology of complex trauma and the necessity for trauma-informed care.

  • Kerry-Ann & Cherida Chapman

    Kerry-Ann & Cherida Chapman

    Kerry-Ann and Cherida Chapman are a mother-daughter team. Their story was recently featured on ABC Radio National 'All in the Mind' with Lynne Malcolm. They present their recovery experiences at national mental health conferences to challenge the stigma of BPD. Kerry-Ann is a national BPD advocate and presenter. Kerry-Ann is a Wiradjuri woman with lived experience, mental health recovery advocate and peer educator. She is the Aboriginal representative on the NSW Consumer Subcommittee and the Deputy Chairperson on the NSW Peer Workforce Network Committee.

  • Mahlie Jewell

    Mahlie Jewell
    Graphics for Good

    Mahlie's advocacy on the experiences of living with borderline personality disorder, PTSD and brain injury have been published nationally and she now advocates on the importance of specialised services and lifestyle mindfulness in achieving meaningful recovery. She is active social justice advocate and is currently working with Project Air and the Department of Education concerning teenagers with self harm behaviours. Mahlie Jewell is a qualified counsellor, Intentional Peer Support worker and graphic artist. She has worked in the NFP community services sector for over 10 years and now specialises in design and campaign work.

  • Peggy Brown - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Peggy Brown

    Peggy Brown

    Dr Brown is a consultant psychiatrist who has held clinical and administrative positions in psychiatry in Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, and in the United Kingdom. She has also previously held the roles of Director-General of ACT Health and CEO of the National Mental Health Commission. Currently, she works part-time at Metro South Addictions and Mental Health Service in Brisbane and serves as a Senior Clinical Advisor to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on a project relating to digital mental health services. 

    Peggy is also a Member of the Agency Management Committee of AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency) and a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. 

    Senior Clinical Advisor for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and former CEO of the National Mental Health Commission.

  • Professor Brin Grenyer

    Professor Brin Grenyer
    Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Wollongong and Director, Project Air Strategy

    Professor Brin Grenyer is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Wollongong and Director of the Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders, in partnership with NSW Health. He is also Foundation Chair of the Psychology Board of Australia. He was a member of the NHMRC Borderline Personality Disorder Guideline Development Committee, and is on the RANZCP Advisory Group for a Consumer Guide on Borderline Personality Disorder. He is on the Editorial Boards of Psychotherapy Research and Personality and Mental Health, and is active in clinical practice and research through Northfields Psychology Clinic.

Pre-Conference Workshop (Monday 10 September)

  • Associate Professor Sathya Rao

    Associate Professor Sathya Rao
    Director, Spectrum

    Sathya Rao the Director of Spectrum the Statewide Personality Disorder Service for Victoria, has treated people with BPD for the past two decades and is extensively involved in teaching and training clinicians in the field. He has published research papers, contributed chapters to books, co-authored a book on BPD and was part of the NHMRC clinical guidelines development committee for BPD.

Master of Ceremonies

  • De Backman-Hoyle

    De Backman-Hoyle

    De Backman-Hoyle is a well known National Mental Health Advocate Leader and Public Speaker. De has held a long association with the Australian BPD Foundation and proudly MC’ed the 1st National BPD conference in Melbourne in October 2011. De is known for her passionate views on needing to decrease the stigma sometimes related to BPD and other Mental Illnesses.

    • Co-chair Community Collaboration Committee − The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).
    • Co-chair − Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP) Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) Australia.
    • Community Representative Committee for Education, Evaluation, Monitoring and Research    − The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).
    • Faculty of Psychotherapy Community and Carer Committee representative − The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP).
    • Former Board Member in the role of Deputy Chair for the Victorian Mental Health Carers Network, (now known as Tandem) for three years − the peak body for families and carers of people in Victoria, Australia experiencing mental ill health.
    • Former Co-chair within the Executive Team of the National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum (now known as the beyondblue Blue Voices Carer Representative) since 2008 - 2015. The NMHCCF is the Peak Australian Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, auspiced through Mental Health (Australia).
    • Former Victorian Network Coordinator for the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia).


  • Aaron Fornarino

    Aaron Fornarino
    BPD Foundation (SA Branch)

    Aaron Fornarino works as a Taxation Officer for the SA Government and studies a Bachelor of Laws degree part-time. Aaron was diagnosed with BPD in 1994 and has lived experience of over 24 years. He is a dedicated father and passionate advocate of assisting those with BPD.

  • Carol Addicoat & Peter Fairbanks

    Carol Addicoat & Peter Fairbanks
    Eastern Health Dual Diagnosis Service

    Carol Addicoat (Dual Diagnosis Clinician: Registered Psychiatric Nurse) with 17 years working in Mental Health/Substance Use . She now works as a HYDDI (Homeless Youth Dual Diagnosis Initiative) clinician and has a long history of working with Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex presentations. 

    Peter Fairbanks is a senior social worker who currently works with the Eastern Health Dual Diagnosis Service based at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne. Prior to this role, Peter worked at Spectrum Personality Disorders Service for Victoria for 18 years across a number of areas including intake, referral and information, secondary consultation, direct treatment and more recently with Spectrum’s consumer and carer program. Peter also co-facilitates a BPD family/carer support group through MIND Australia.

  • Elise Carrotte

    Elise Carrotte
    SANE Australia

    Elise is an experienced Research Assistant and has worked at SANE Australia since December 2017. She has a background in public health research and has more recently focused on mental health research in the Australian context. Elise is also a provisional psychologist with experience in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). Her research and professional interests include Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, women's health and youth mental health.

  • Melissa Kent - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Melissa Kent

    Melissa Kent
    Partners in Recovery West Moreton-Oxley

    Melissa is a clinical psychologist in private practice, DBT Coordinator at Partners In Recovery West Moreton-Oxley, and a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine. Her area of special interest is working with people with BPD and complex trauma.

  • Suellen McKerlie - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Suellen McKerlie

    Suellen McKerlie
    Ipswich-West Moreton Hospital Health Service District

    Suellen is a clinical nurse currently employed at the Community Care Unit in Gailes, Queensland. She is interested in and passionate about helping people with BPD and other complex disorders.