Mental Health Symposium 2017

  • Tuesday September 12, 2017
  • 9:30 AM – 5:10 PM
  • ANU Commons, 3 Rimmer Street, Canberra City

This full-day Symposium showcases evidence-based practice in mental health with a focus on three vulnerable groups in the community: prisoners and ex-prisoners, people who identify as LGBTI, and people with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. These groups are particularly vulnerable to mental illness and face multiple barriers to effective treatment.

Speakers include mental health professionals, industry leaders, clinicians and academics who will lead discussion and present ideas about the translation of current research into new service and practice approaches.

The event is designed to promote industry networking and foster the exchange of ideas between mental health researchers and those at the front line of service delivery and program development. Speaker sessions will be followed by Q&A sessions, giving audience members plenty of opportunity to engage, exchange ideas and gain relevant insights from speakers with expertise in a range of fields.

Chris EndreyChris Endrey, local comedian, musician and writer will provide some comic relief as Master of Ceremonies.

Shane Rattenbury

Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Mental Health, will open the event. Mr. Rattenbury is also Minister for Corrections, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Member for Molonglo, Member of ACT Greens, and former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Prior to his election, he was the International Political Director of Greenpeace International.

Who will attend?

Attendees will come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and include mental health service providers, service managers, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, carers, consumers, students and educators with an interest in service design innovation and vulnerable communities.


Click program items to expand section…

Simon Viereck, Executive Officer, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT

Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Member for Molonglo, Member of ACT Greens, and former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. Shane Rattenbury was the first Greens politician to be appointed to the post of Speaker in any Parliament in the world. Prior to his election, he was the International Political Director of Greenpeace International.

Dr. Brett Scholz is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SYNERGY Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, University of Canberra. Brett’s research is concerned with critical perspectives in mental health. He he is active within two main research streams: partnership between mental health consumers and mental health services, and the ways in which social norms shape the mental health care experience.
Sessions resume at 10:40am
Sam has lived experience of mental illness and has worked in the mental health and community services sectors for 20 years, inspired by the impetus of the mental health consumer movement. Prior to her time at MIEACT, Sam was Team Leader with Closing the Gap in the ACT, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health initiative. She was Regional Manager for the greater southern area of NSW Housing, Accommodation and Support Initiative (HASI). Sam’s Post Grad studies are in Commerce and Business Management. She also has degrees in Social Science and Psychology, and Criminology. She is currently writing a trilogy for young adults.
Professor Douglas Boer, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Canberra –

Professor Boer worked for the Correctional Service of Canada for 15 years before moving to the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where he stayed for seven years before moving to Canberra. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Criminal Psychology, the British Journal of Forensic Practice and the Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability. He is active as a clinician, assessor and clinical supervisor, working primarily with multi-diagnosed offenders. His main area of teaching is forensic clinical psychology in the Masters in Clinical Psychology program at the University of Canberra.

Dr. Nicola Hancock, Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy, University of Sydney

Dr. Hancock is an occupational therapist and academic with a strong mental health background: clinical practice, education and research. She has extensive clinical experience and has worked internationally in hospital and community-based practice. She was responsible for establishing and directing the first NSW program based on the international ‘Clubhouse’ model of psychosocial rehabilitation and has developed a self-report recovery assessment instrument which is widely used in clinical and research settings internationally.

Sessions resume at 1:20pm
Peter Hyndal, Director, Director, Transformative Solutions. –

Peter is an advocate and adviser on gender identity issues. With an academic background in gender studies and sociology, he has worked directly with transgender communities and issues since 1998. He has an extensive history of involvement in local, national and international legal and policy reform and has been engaged in a range of UN human rights processes related to sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Peter has designed and delivered trans specific training packages to a wide range of organisations and has designed, implemented and evaluated a number of award winning pilot projects including the educational resource ‘Being True to Ourselves’. Peter was instrumental in setting up A Gender Agenda, an organisation providing support to sex and gender diverse people in Canberra.

Sue Webeck, Deputy Executive Director of the AIDS Action Council in the ACT (currently working a reduced workload while acting as Deputy Principal of a university residential college). Sue has worked in the community sector in the ACT for her entire career, working across out of home care, youth services, drug and alcohol, sexual health and sexual assault services as well as LGBTIQ services. Sue has worked in roles from frontline service delivery through to Executive positions. She has worked the bulk of her career in health promotion roles specifically in the context of sex, sexuality and sexual assault. With a particular interest in governance, she has served on many boards including the Youth Coalition of the ACT, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Canberra Youth Theatre and currently an ACT Government Primary School.

Stephanie Harvey, CEO, Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV). –

Stephanie has worked in the human and community services sectors in government and in community organisations for over 30 years. As CEO of ICV, she is helping the organisation to develop the capacity of Indigenous people to improve their quality of life, health, and social and economic wellbeing. ICV works by invitation from Aboriginal communities, providing volunteers with the skills the community asks for to accomplish their aims. Stephanie is a Bidjara woman from Queensland, and is passionate about community development, social justice and human rights, with a strong focus on the rights of women.

Sessions resume at 3:35pm
All of the day’s presenters will come together for a panel discussion on the issues raised throughout the day. There will be plenty of opportunity for audience engagement in the Q&A to follow.
Venue closes at 5:10pm