AMHOCN would like to thank all speakers who participated in AMHOIC 2017.

Keynote Speakers

  • Kelly Pope

    Kelly Pope
    Youth Participation and Consumer Advice, CYT Consulting

    Kelly Pope is a mental health worker, self-identified “person with lived experience” and mental health activist based in Christchurch, New Zealand. As a teenager using youth mental health services, Kelly realised her passion for improving mental health services and seeing better support available for people. Over the ten years since then, she has gained  BA in Sociology, trained as a mental health support worker, worked in youth residential, peer support, systemic advocacy, research and evaluation, mad pride event coordination, youth participation and consumer advisory roles. 

  • Prof Pat Dudgeon

    Prof Pat Dudgeon
    Psychologist and Research Fellow, School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia

    Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberly area in Western Australia. She is a Psychologist and Research Fellow at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Her area of research includes social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention. Amongst her many commitments, she is a Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission, on the executive board of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, and co-chair of the Commonwealth Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.  She is currently the project leader of the National Empowerment Project: an Indigenous suicide prevention project working with eleven sites in Aboriginal communities across the country and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health in particular, the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice 2014. She is actively involved with the Aboriginal community and has a commitment to social justice for Indigenous people.

  • Dallas Hibbs

    Dallas Hibbs
    Chief Executive, He Waka Tapu

    Can we make “recovery” beautiful?  Not instead of being “functional or clinical” but more importantly, can we make recovery about pursuing a better life?  I think we can, and although progress will not always be at lightning speed - we are slowly getting better at responding to these types of questions.

    It would be fair to say that many organisations struggle to be excellent at aftercare.  In fact, my organisation struggled to be ordinary.  We had no knowledge, apart from the anecdotal, about the impact our treatment and relationships had on our 8 week residential programme for people with alcohol and other drug addictions.  Whaiora Online (In Maori, “whaiora” means people pursuing wellness) is the 3 year result of a trialled and tested tool that documents the behaviour change of nearly 300 clients post discharge.  We now have over 92,000 pieces of data that detail our contribution towards outcomes that are achieved in a person’s life in addition to the data we collect about treatment.  I suppose this experience means that we are software creators now – great for a C.V. that was looking decidedly conservative.

    If like us, you believe that staying connected, supporting, validating and cheering the results of clients in recovery then I’d like to hear from you – a response from you allows me to add international relations to that conservative C.V.

    Outside of my professional life, my joy comes from belonging to a large family, planning trips abroad with my wife, and a triathlon planned for December 2017. 


  • Dr Peri O'Shea

    Dr Peri O'Shea
    Mental Health Care Consultant

    Dr Peri O'Shea has just completed a very successful tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of NSW CAG from 2010 to 2017. She currently is a mental health care consultant. Prior to this Peri was the Research Program Coordinator at the Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. Peri's work and personal histories have given prominence to social justice, social inclusion and participation. Peri has a strong history in working with Human Service NGOs and in service management and a strong understanding of mental health policy and consumer issues. Peri has a PhD in Applied Sociology, a Masters degree in Social Policy and a Bachelor of Social Science with Honours in Psychology. Peri has a lived experience of mental illness as both a consumer and a carer.


  • Associate Prof John Allan

    Associate Prof John Allan
    Executive Director, Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch, Queensland Health


    John 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 previously been Chief Psychiatrist in both Queensland and New South Wales. He spent twenty years working in North Queensland where he developed a wide range of new mental health services. He is highly experienced in government policy, mental health legislation and service development.

    His clinical interests include the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and care for those with serious mental illness in community settings. His current research and policy interests focus on national mental health reform, clinical service standards, seclusion and restraint reduction, recovery oriented practice, insight into schizophrenia, rural and remote mental health, carer and consumer involvement and smoking reduction strategies. He recently led the introduction of the new Queensland Mental Health Act 2016.

    He is the President Elect of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has previously held positions on the RANZCP Board and in Education. 

  • Lynette Anderson

    Lynette Anderson
    District Indigenous Mental Health Worker Coordinator, Townsville Hospital Health Service

    Cultural background – Waanyi (mothers side) from Mangurindji Country located on the Barkly Tablelands.

    Lynette has worked as a health worker for 24 years, 17 of those years spent with Mental Health in Townsville. She enjoy's working in Mental Health. Lynette is very passionate about improving the cultural capability of the Mental Health Service Group and implementing activities within the Teams to improve clinical staffs understanding of the cultural influences that impact on the mental health and social and emotional well-being of indigenous people. 

  • Ashley Bajaj

    Ashley Bajaj
    Decision Support Coordinator, Midland MH&A

    Ashley has a background in Business Management and Social Policy. Ashley worked in mental health and addiction NGO sector for over 4 years before moving into the world of data collection and analysis. In her current role, she supports Midland Providers with their PRIMHD reporting, monitoring and analysis and enjoys the challenges that a regional position presents.

    Ashley is of Indian descent and has lived in New Zealand for 8 years.  Ashley brings to the role a strong commitment to making a positive difference to lives of the people we serve through enhanced service delivery.

  • Rachel Barbara-May

    Rachel Barbara-May
    Chief Social Worker/Eating Disorder Program Coordinator, Alfred CYMHS and headspace YEPP

    Rachel Barbara-May is the chief social worker at the Alfred Child and Youth Mental Health Service and the workforce development coordinator at headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program in Melbourne. As a clinical social worker in the child and youth mental health setting, Rachel has over many years integrated the use of client directed outcome measures in to clinical practice. This practice relies on the routine monitoring of both the clients progress in treatment and their experience of the relationship with their provider. This work enables young people and families to direct the care they receive and provides important opportunities to adapt what is happening in treatment in order to improve outcomes. At headspace, Rachel leads the service wide implementation of this practice across the Youth Early Psychosis Program.

  • Rick Bastida

    Rick Bastida
    Manager, Queensland Mental Health Clinical Improvement Team, Queensland Health

    Rick is manager of the Queensland Mental Health Clinical Improvement Team, a mental health informatics team who assist mental health clinicians to integrate information use in clinical practice and improve system performance. Rick has been a registered nurse since 1994, has post graduate qualifications in developmental psychiatry, specialist psychiatric nursing, a masters of nursing, and qualifications in investigations and workplace training. He has contributed to the mental health information agenda on national committees and within Queensland since 2009. His clinical experience includes the public, private and defence sectors, in a variety of inpatient and community settings and has included education and consultancy roles. 

  • Sandra Baxendine

    Sandra Baxendine
    Information Analyst, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui

    Sandra is an analyst of mental health and addiction information, focusing particularly on outcomes. The sector uses this information to improve service delivery and strengthen the workforce. Sandra contributes to developing better reporting and uses of information. She has a Master's degree in Statistics with additional skills in data analysis and demography; Sandra enjoys looking at numerical patterns and trends. Sandra previously worked in the health and disability analysis unit at the Midland Regional Health Authority, the Population Studies Centre at the University of Waikato, and the Population Health Service at Waikato District Health Board in research and analyst positions.

  • Ossi Beck

    Ossi Beck
    Mental Health Clinical Improvement Coordinator, Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch, Queensland Health

    Ossi Beck is a psychologist who has worked in Queensland Public Mental Health Services for the past 20 years. His current role is with the Queensland Mental Health Clinical Improvement Team to support mental health clinicians and services in service development with a focus on improving the integration of clinical practice with clinical information systems. He has a clinical background as psychologist working with people recovering from severe and persistent mental illness in a variety of settings here and overseas. In his current role with the Clinical Improvement Team his interest lies with converting the data richness in mental health to information that is meaningful to service users, clinicians and service managers.

  • Dr Peter Brann

    Dr Peter Brann
    Director of Research and Evaluation/Adjunct Lecturer, Child Youth Mental Health Service/School of Clinical Sciences, Eastern Health/ Monash University

    Peter Brann is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Eastern Health Child Youth Mental Health Service located on the outskirts of Melbourne. He also holds an Adjunct position with Monash University. He hates writing bios. He has been heavily  involved with the implementation of HoNOSCA and the SDQ across Australia and chairs the National CAMHS Information Development Expert Advisory Panel. On average he supports the glass half full approach and thinks that outcomes and information are an important challenge to the orthodoxy in mental health.   

  • Prof Philip Burgess

    Prof Philip Burgess
    Professor, Mental Health Services Research, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland

    Philip Burgess is Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland. Since 2003, he has led the Analysis and Reporting Component of the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) in the design, analysis and reporting of the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection.  He has worked extensively with national data collections including the design of the service utilisation modules of the 1997 and 2007 surveys of mental health and wellbeing. He has considerable experience with national minimum data sets that support mental health services reform.

  • Haylee Clark

    Haylee Clark
    Senior Social Worker/Case Coordinator, Pathways, Child and Adolescent Health Service CAMHS WA

    Haylee Clark is a senior social worker who has worked in the areas of adolescent and family drug and alcohol, disability and for the past 11 years in specialist mental health services. Haylee developed and led consumer participation process whilst working in youth mental health developing a process which resulted in up to 100% of consumers developing and signing care plans. 
    She moved into a leadership role within a specialist CAMHS service and has had responsibility for the use of outcome measures in care planning for the service resulting in significant increase in the use of outcome measures and care plans by clinicians. Haylee has previously presented at AMHOCN conferences including co presenting with a young consumer. 
    Over the past 5 years Haylee has moved into leadership and management roles which have provided her the opportunity to work with clinicians and managers to drive outcome measures and the use of data at a service development level.


  • Tim Coombs

    Tim Coombs
    AMHOCN Consultant, AMHOCN

    Tim Coombs (RN MNurs BSoSci (Hons Psych) Grad Dip Theo DPM PhD) he has a breadth of health care experience having worked in the sector for nearly 30 years. He began his career as a hospital trained general nurse. He then moved to mental health and has worked in general adult inpatient and community mental health services including 10 years working on a crisis/ assertive outreach team. He has led education and training and been the director of mental health nursing in the illawarra Shoalhaven local health district (LHD). Where he was also a member of the LHD board for several years. He has sat on state and national committees guiding mental health information development. Tim is also a surveyor for the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards recently focusing on the accreditation of trauma recovery programs. This range of experience means that Tim has a considerable understanding of health care from direct delivery to the highest level of governance. He is currently a fellow of the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health and a Senior Research fellow at the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong.

  • Stacey Cooper

    Stacey Cooper
    Project Officer, Wide Bay Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Service, Wide Bay Hospital & Health Service

    Stacey graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Social Work and has embarked on further post graduate mental health studies. Stacey has worked as a social worker for Wide Bay Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Service, Queensland and has previously worked in Continuing Care and Acute Care Teams and has been clinical senior and team leader for adult mental health teams. Stacey’s current role as a project officer for the clinical redesign project of this service has included the interpretation of data that has been presented to health executives to guide the allocation of resources for future service change.

  • Peter Cox

    Peter Cox
    Associate Clinical Services Coordinator: Registered Mental Health Nurse - Western Community Mental Health Services, SA Health

    Peter Cox is a Mental Health Nurse of 4 years, however Peter has been in the health profession either as a paid employee/ volunteer for the past 25 years. 

    After 16 years of therapy and medications, and despite many from within (Nursing Profession) saying it couldn't be done (going from being a Mental Health Consumer to Mental Health Clinician), Peter graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing (2013) and then a Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing (2015) and became a Mental Health Nurse. 

    Peter has spent time working as either a Graduate Mental Health Nurse and/or Registered Mental Health Nurse at various Mental Health Facilities/Services across Western Australia and South Australia, these facilities/services include:    

    • Department of Health, Western Australia - Royal Perth Hospital - Ward 2K (Adult Inpatient).  
    • WA Country Health Service - Albany Health Campus - Mental Health Inpatient Unit (Adult Inpatient). 
    • SA Health - CALHN - Eastern Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (Adult Inpatient). 
    • SA Health - CALHN - Eastern Rehabilitation Services (Adult Inpatient). - 
    • SA Health - CALHN - Eastern Intermediate Care Centre. 
    • SA Health - CAMHS - Women's and Children Hospital - Boylan Ward (Child and Adolescent Mental Health inpatient Unit). 
    • SA Health - CALHN - Western Community Mental Health Service.

    Today Peter uses the skills he has learnt as a consumer and clinician as a Community Mental Health Nurse to inspire other consumers to achieve their dreams.

  • Chris Crawford

    Chris Crawford
    Lecturer, Health, Medical and Applied Science, CQUniversity

    Chris Crawford was employed as a psychologist on community mental health teams in Central Queensland between 2000 – 2015. During this time, he also served as program coordinator for the rehabilitation unit at Rockhampton Base Hospital. Prior to working in mental health, Chris worked in community counselling and for Queensland Corrections.

    Over the last two years Chris has been employed as a lecturer, teaching into the psychology program at CQUniversity.  Chris is currently engaged in research for a PhD which explores the validity and usefulness of outcome measures utilised by public mental health services in Australia.

  • Dr Gordana Culjak

    Dr Gordana Culjak
    Epidemiologist, Healthcare IT Consultant and Honorary Associate, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney; Consultant, AMHOCN

    Gordana Culjak, BAppSc(HIM), MScMed(Clin Epi), Grad Dip (IT), Grad Cert (HETL), PhD (USyd) is an Epidemiologist, Healthcare IT Consultant and Honorary Associate, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, where she currently lectures in Evidence-Based Medicine. Her research has focussed on applying Internet Interventions to large populations to improve health outcomes. Her areas of interest and expertise span study design, population screening, protocol development and evidence-based research translation to inform health policy. Her recent work through the Higher Education and Training Institute with the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) includes Development of the Health of the Nation Outcomes Scales for Infants (HoNOSI); A Health Outcomes Measures Instrument. 


  • Tim Davidson

    Tim Davidson
    Program Manager Community, Children's Health QLD, QLD Health

    Tim Davidson is a Social Worker with 23 years experience in the areas of child protection, intensive family support and child and youth mental health.  This experience has been gained in both government and non-government sectors.  Tim has had the privilege of working with and learning from many children, young people and their families as they walk life’s journeys.   Since mid-2005 Tim has served in organisational leadership roles within CYMHS.  Like many colleagues, Tim has a strong desire to learn from and work with families to improve and develop child and youth mental health services. Formally Tim has a Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Science (counselling) and a Graduate Certificate in Management.  

  • Dr Simon Davies

    Dr Simon Davies
    Director, Specialised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

    Dr. Simon Davies is the Director of the WA CAMHS WA Specialised Directorate responsible and accountable for Specialised Tier 4 clinical services and the Research, Education and Training, and Policy portfolios. Simon completed a PhD and Masters of Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Australia in 2004. He began his career as a clinician working in the public service before moving into academia for several years. He went back into the public service in 2010 in an Executive role. Simon has recently acquired qualifications in Project Management and Scientific Knowledge Translation. Implementation science is his latest passion.

  • Dr Paul Denborough

    Dr Paul Denborough
    Head of CYMHS, Alfred CYMHS and headspace YEPP

    Dr Paul Denborough is a consultant child and youth psychiatrist and clinical director of SE Melbourne Headspace Youth Early Psychosis Service.

    Dr Denborough has worked in the public mental health services for over 20 years with special interest in psychosis, anorexia nervosa and chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • John Dillon

    John Dillon
    Clinical Improvement Coordinator (North Queensland), Department of Health

    John Dillon is a Psychologist based in Townsville.  He is a Northern Coordinator of the Queensland Mental Health Clinical Improvement Team at Queensland Health.  He has previously worked in a number of positions in the public sector including child protection, corrections, junior sport development and health promotion.  

  • Sheree Dimitrescu

    Sheree Dimitrescu
    Registered Nurse, Mental Health, Central Coast Local Health Service

    Born in Sydney, Sheree Dimitrescu graduated from Nursing Science at Sydney University Cumberland College NSW in 1995. Sheree worked at Nepean Hospital Pialla Unit after graduating before moving to Canberra in 2006 where she spent 6 years working in the Psychiatric Service Unit and Adult Mental Health Unit in both clinical and managerial roles. Sheree made a sea change by moving to the Central Coast NSW where she currently works in Non-Acute Community Mental Health. Sheree is passionate about quality care and ensuring a recovery focus is maintained with all clients.  Sheree also loves horse-riding and values family time. 

  • Debra Fast

    Debra Fast
    Service Manager, Mental Health Programs, Baptcare

    Debra Fast is the Service Manager of Mental Health Programs at Baptcare.   Debra has over 20 years experience working across the Disability and Mental Health Sectors in Tasmania.  She has been in her current role since managing the initial development of the MIcare Program in 2013.  Debra has a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, majored in psychology and sociology for her Bachelor of Arts degree, and a Certificate 4 in Business Management. She lives happily in Tasmania with her two daughters, and a menagerie of pets.

  • Phillipa Gaines

    Phillipa Gaines
    Project Manager, Platform Trust

    Phillipa has worked for a variety of agencies in the mental health and addiction sector in New Zealand (including NGOs, District Health Boards and government) before she established Lattice Consulting in 2004. As an independent consultant, she has focused on future- orientated mental health and addiction service developments.

    In 2014 she was commissioned by Platform Trust and Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui to write a report on the future development of the mental health and addiction NGO sector. The report On Track: Knowing where we are going (2015), along with subsequent sector activity (including evaluation), informs her presentation. 

  • Anne Galloway

    Anne Galloway
    Senior Mental Health Clinician and Mental Health Manager, HealthWISE NENW

    Anne Galloway is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse with an extensive background and experience in Primary Mental Health Care in rural and regional locations. Anne is the Senior Mental Health Clinician and Mental Health manager for HealthWISE NENW.

  • Michelle Haling

    Michelle Haling
    Clinical Nurse Consultant, Raphael Services Blacktown, St John of God Health Care

    Michelle Haling is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse with a background in Midwifery and Child and Family Health Nursing. She has a Master of Infant Mental Health and is a Marte Meo Supervisor. She has worked in the field of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health for the past 14 years across public and private sectors. During this time Michelle has been instrumental in establishing Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services in metropolitan, rural and regional areas. She has also supported the development of services by providing education and training to health professionals and NGO’s. Michelle is currently working at the St John of God, Raphael Services, Blacktown. This Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service provides prevention and early intervention for women and their families experiencing anxiety and depression and related mood disorders from conception to 4 years of age. In her clinical role Michelle provides individual, couple, parent-infant and group therapy.

  • Sarah Hamilton

    Sarah Hamilton
    Statewide Allied Health Professional Practice Leader - Social Work Addiction and Mental Health Services, Metro South Health Service

    Sarah Hamilton is a social worker with 20 years’ experience across mental health services in Australia and New Zealand. Sarah has an interest in research, leadership and clinical supervision and is a PhD candidate with Griffith University researching the development and psychometric validation of a new clinical supervisor competency tool. She works with Queensland Health as the Statewide Professional Practice Leader for Social Work and holds an adjunct lecturer position with Griffith University School of Human Services and Social Work.

  • Dr Mohajer A. Hameed

    Dr Mohajer A. Hameed
    Team Leader - Research and Evaluation, Berry Street Victoria

    Mohajer is Team Leader Research and Evaluation for Take Two Berry Street Victoria. As a competent early career researcher and senior clinician, Mohajer have authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and presented at a number of national and international conferences pertaining to child and adolescent developmental psychopathology. At a community level, Mohajer is an endorsed community leader within the Iraqi “Shia” Arabic speaking community in Melbourne.

  • Paul Hanton

    Paul Hanton
    Clinical Project Lead, Service Information Development Team, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui

    Paul Hanton has worked in mental health and addictions for over a quarter of a century in the UK and NZ and holds a Masters degree in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Paul is currently the National Lead for the implementation and post implementation support for the Alcohol and Drug Outcome Measure (ADOM) in NZ. Paul is passionate about doing a job that always has the end beneficiary (service user) in mind.

  • Meredith Harris

    Meredith Harris
    Senior Research Fellow, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland and the Australian Mental Health Outcomes & Classification Network (AMHOCN)

    Meredith Harris is a researcher in the field of mental health services research and evaluation. She is a Senior Research Fellow with the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland, and is the Deputy Director/Principal Researcher of the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. Meredith works within the Analysis and Reporting component of the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN), leading projects designed to improve the measurement of consumer- and service-level outcomes in Australia's specialised public sector mental health services.

  • Bronwyn Hyde

    Bronwyn Hyde
    Project Manager, Mental Health, Western NSW Local Health District

    Ms Bronwyn Hyde is the Project Manager for the Pathways to Community Living Initiative (PCLI) for Western NSW Local Health District. She is a senior social worker with many years of experience leading innovation and clinical practice improvement within a large mental health hospital in Orange, NSW. Bronwyn’s qualifications include Master of Social Work (Advanced Practice) and she is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Social Work degree through Charles Sturt University. Bronwyn has published three articles on the topic of mental health including the British Journal of Social Work (2015) 45, Supplement 1, i62–i78: ‘We’re Still in There’ – Consumer Voices on Mental Health Inpatient Care: Social Work Research Highlighting Lessons for Recovery Practice.

  • Julie Kneebone

    Julie Kneebone
    Consumer Development Advisor, Waikato District Health Board, New Zealand

    Julie is a Consumer Development Advisor at Waikato District Health Board NZ. Her roles sits within the executive management governance team whereby she contributes towards quality improvement initiatives by advocating service user perspective at all levels.

    Julie's passion has been in strategic and workforce development; facilitating and mentoring the development of other services user participation through in-service education.

    At the heart of it, Julies work is about having a can do positive attitude. She sees the strength and value of working in partnership and co design with other professionals and consumer groups striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for all service users.

  • Lisa Jones

    Lisa Jones
    Director of Recovery, Consumer and Carer Participation, Metro North Mental Health Service

    Lisa Jones is the Director of Recovery, Consumer and Carer Participation for the Metro North Mental Health Service.  A lived experience of recovery from mental health issues as well as caring for a family member with mental health alcohol and other drug issues drivees her passion for service improvement. In particular improving the recovery orientation of services for consumers and carers, and ensuring meaningful consumer and carer participation at all levels of service planning, implementation and evaluation. 

  • Ruth Lawrence

    Ruth Lawrence
    Service Manager, Health, Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Touchstone)

    Ruth Lawrence is a mental health nurse with experience in adult inpatient and community mental health, forensic psychiatry and community child and adolescent mental health service settings. She is currently employed as the Service Manager for Touchstone Community CAMHS; a service that provides a day program for young people with emerging borderline personality disorder as well as a community based service user network for young people presenting with emotional dysregulation and relationship difficulties. She is an accredited NOCC trainer in Perth Western Australia.

  • Helen Lockett

    Helen Lockett
    Strategic Policy Advisor, the Wise Group and Doctoral Candidate, University of Auckland

    Helen is an experienced researcher and director and is the strategic policy advisor in the Wise Group, a New Zealand non-government organisation working in the mental health and addictions sector. Helen’s focus is on how to influence and bring together policy, research and practice to improve outcomes for individuals and families.

    Helen is currently leading Equally Well, an award winning national collaborative of people and organisations committed to taking action to improve physical health outcomes for people who experience mental health conditions and/or addiction.

    Prior to emigrating to NZ in 2010, Helen was director of programmes at the UK’s Centre for Mental Health, a leading international policy centre.

    Helen has a psychology degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of Bradford and is currently undertaking a doctorate at the University of Auckland’s School of Psychological Medicine. The thesis seeks to identify ways to improve vocational rehabilitation for people who experience mental health conditions and/or addiction.

    Helen is on the Community Board of Pegasus Health, in Canterbury. 

  • Josephine Logan

    Josephine Logan
    Master of Mental Health Practice student, Griffith University

    Josie Logan is a Master of Mental Health Practice student at Griffith University, with a Bachelor in Psychological Science. It was through undertaking work placement with a local mental health NGO that she developed an interest in community-based mental health services. The praxis revealed to her the important role NGOs play in the mental health sector, as well as how these services can often be overlooked and devalued by government-based services. Combining this experience with her interest in psychological assessment she found that little research has focused on investigating how NGOs, who have adopted outcome measurement practices, view and experience the processes.

  • Ann MacRae

    Ann MacRae
    Family Services Project Manager, Research Team, Baptcare

    Ann MacRae is a family services project manager in the Research team at Baptcare.  Ann has over 10 years of practice experience working with vulnerable children and families and has been in a research and project management role since October 2015.  Ann has a Bachelor of Social Science (psychology) and is working toward completion of a Master of Family Studies in 2017.  Originally from Tasmania, Ann has recently relocated to Victoria in order to be closer to her 20 year old daughter who lives in Melbourne.  

  • Yolanda Mansfield

    Yolanda Mansfield
    Research Co-ordinator, Service Evaluation & Research Unit, West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

    Yolanda Mansfield has an extensive background in research, evaluation and policy across a range of areas including public health, palliative care, mental health and medical education and training. She currently works at The Park Centre for Mental Health coordinating both state-wide and local research and evaluation projects in the area of mental health service provision.

  • Irene McCarthy - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Irene McCarthy

    Irene McCarthy
    Manager (jobshare), Mental Health Clinical Collaborative, Queensland Health

    Irene McCarthy currently 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. Prior to joining MHCC in 2007, Irene worked for Queensland Health’s Clinical Practice Improvement Centre and implemented the collaborative methodology for service improvement across a variety of clinical areas, including renal, cardiology, diabetes, and anaesthetics. Irene is a speech pathologist, and before embarking in service improvement, she held the position of Director of Speech Pathology at Redcliffe Hospital.

  • Associate Professor Peter McGeorge

    Associate Professor Peter McGeorge
    Universities New South Wales & Notre Dame

    Associate Professor Peter McGeorge (Universities New South Wales and Notre Dame) is  an Adolescent and General Psychiatrist who has extensive experience in the development and delivery of services as the Director of three major mental health services in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney. He is a past Chair of the NZ Mental Health Foundation and the Mental Health Commission. Currently he is the Clinical Lead for NSW Health’s “Pathways to Community Living Initiative” and is involved in the implementation and evaluation of person-centred, integrated systems of mental health care in NSW in association with the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC Australia).

  • Marian McKenzie

    Marian McKenzie
    Credentialed Mental Health Nurse, Smith Street Practice

    Marian McKenzie is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse whose career has featured a variety of roles in both the private and public health sectors. Marian currently works in a general practice.

  • Jason Monk

    Jason Monk
    Clinical Improvement Coordinator (Southern), Queensland Mental Health Clinical Improvement Team

    Jason Monk has worked as a psychologist in Regional and Metropolitan mental health services in Queensland for the past 8 years. His current role is with the Queensland Mental Health Clinical ImprovementTeam as the Clinical Improvement Coordinator for Southern Queeenland. This role supports services and clinicians in quality improvement and service development by intergrating MH data and information with clinical experience and evidence-based practice. As a psychologist, Jason worked with people recovering from severe and persistent mental illness and had a key interest in providing support to consumers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

  • Dr Vineet Padmanabhan

    Dr Vineet Padmanabhan
    Area Director-Child and Adolescent Mental Health, West Australian Country Health Service and Head of Service, Paediatric Consultation and liaison team, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth

    Dr Vineet Padmanabhan is a consultant psychiatrist with 14 years of experience in mental health services. He is currently the Area Director-Child and Adolescent Mental Health in West Australian Country Health Service and is also the Head of Service, Paediatric Consultation and liaison team, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth. He has extensive experience in service innovation, delivery, evaluation and implementation of policy. He has a special interest in Tele Mental Health and is currently involved in the development of a sustainable Tele psychiatry service to the rural and remote regions of Western Australia.     

  • Tanith Petersen

    Tanith Petersen
    IT Admin Manager, He Waka Tapu

    Tanith’s background has been in business ownership, sales and makeup artistry.  For the past 4 years Tanith has been involved in the transformation of HWT’s online presence, social media marketing and building the online tool Whaiora Online.  This project has been very successful.  Moving forward HWT hopes to have this tool accessible to the sector. 

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    Dr Sarah Pollock

    Dr Sarah Pollock
    Executive Director Research and Advocacy, Mental Health Carers Australia

    Sarah has worked in a variety of research, strategy and development roles across the education, social care and mental health sectors. For the last ten years she has worked at the senior executive level two large community-managed service providers. She currently works at Mind Australia, where she is Executive Director, Research and Advocacy. Mind is one of Australia’s largest providers of community managed mental health services, and is also a member of Mental Health Carers Australia. Amongst other things, Sarah leads Mind’s program of research and policy advocacy on mental health carers. She is presenting here to day on behalf of Jenny Branton, MHCA’s Executive Office, who is unfortunately unwell.

  • Joanne Richdale

    Joanne Richdale
    Workforce Analyst, Workforce Planning, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui

    Jo Richdale is Workforce analyst at Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, with the Workforce planning team. Her recent work with the team includes developing the new Getting it right – Workforce planning guide and workforce data collection and analysis to support mental health and addiction services to plan and develop their workforce. She has worked in health and social services for 7 years as a researcher and analyst since graduating with a PhD in History from the University of Auckland. Before returning to study, her work experience was in accounting and business administration.

  • Dr Rosemary Skinner

    Dr Rosemary Skinner
    Senior Clinical Psychologist, Pathways, Child and Adolescent Health Service

    Dr Rosemary Skinner has worked as Clinical Psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for over 15-years.  She is currently a senior case coordinator with Pathways, a Specialised CAMHS program for children aged 5-12 years. She is enthusiastic about and dedicated to working with children with severe and complex developmental, social, behavioural and emotional difficulties and takes an eclectic approach to her work utilising attachment, narrative, CBT and mentalising based models of therapy. Rosemary is keen to develop evidenced programs targeting children with severe mental health challenges. She had a key role in developing, implementing and evaluating the Program for Evidenced Based Psychotherapy (PEP), a group based program for children and adolescents for delivery at CAMHS clinics. More recently she has been involved in developing, implementing and evaluating the Pathways Therapeutic Day Program and was the program coordinator from 2014 until 2016. 

  • Associate Prof Meg Smith

    Associate Prof Meg Smith
    Psychologist and President, Way Ahead

    A/Prof Meg Smith recently retired as a community psychologist in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Sydney. Meg is President of Way Ahead: Mental Health Association NSW, member of the National Mental Health Information Development Expert Advisory Panel (NMHIDEAP), part-time member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and a board member of the Black Dog Institute. She has been active in the reform of mental health services and policy since the early 1980s when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her current research interests are the management of bipolar disorder, cannabis use and mental illness and social and community issues for people living with mental illness.

  • Dr Mark Smith

    Dr Mark Smith
    Principal Advisor, Te Pou

    Mark Smith is principal adviser for Te Pou. In this role he helps provide strategic leadership in research and evaluation for Te Pou. He is project lead for outcome measurement for mental health and early intervention in psychosis in Te Pou. He has a background as a psychiatric nurse and registered nurse practitioner. He has a PhD in philosophy.

  • Claudia Sparti

    Claudia Sparti
    Research Officer, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research

    Claudia Sparti is a research officer with the AMHOCN analysis and reporting team at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. She holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) and a Masters of Applied Psychology with a Health major. Claudia is also a registered psychologist and has experience providing therapeutic treatment in the education and health sectors. During her master’s studies, Claudia found her passion for health research; she enjoys the challenge of transforming data into actionable insights and is passionate about contributing to projects that make a difference.


  • Cara Thomas

    Cara Thomas
    Clinical lead, Service and information development team, Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui

    After completing BSW (Hons) at Massey University, Cara embarked in a career in health social work. Extensive clinical experience in health and mental health roles, led to leadership, project and programme management roles in both specialist and primary care services. Cara joined the Te Pou team three years ago as a Clinical lead and is passionate about the interface between outcomes and information and clinical practice.