Commissioner John Feneley
NSW Mental Health Commission
Mr Feneley was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner of the NSW Mental Health Commission on 1 August 2012.
He brings to the position extensive experience within the mental health sector as Deputy President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (2007 to 2012) and prior to that through mental health policy and law reform work as Assistant Director General NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice.
He has served on the board of the Schizophrenia Fellowship and government boards and committees such as the Youth Justice Advisory Committee, the Child Death Review Team and the Legal Profession Admission Board. Mr Feneley is also a former Deputy Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Associate Professor Jane Burns
Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
Associate Professor Jane Burns is the founder and CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, an organisation that unites young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators to explore the role of technology in improving mental health and wellbeing for young people aged 12 to 25.
Jane holds a Principal Research Fellowship at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre and an Honorary Fellowship at the Brain & Mind Research Institute. She has led the youth agenda for beyondblue, was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and was Director of International Partnerships at Inspire Foundation. Jane held a VicHealth fellowship from 2006-2013, an NHMRC fellowship from 1997-2000 and an NHMRC scholarship from 1994-1996. She holds a PhD in Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine (Public Health and Epidemiology) University of Adelaide.
Jane was a Victorian Finalist in the 2012 Telstra Business Women's Awards and was listed in the Financial Review and Westpac Group 100 Women of Influence in 2012. Jane is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
Zoe Betar is a proud Bundjalung woman from Tweed Heads. She pursued her career in education after graduating from the University of Sydney with a double degree in Education and the Arts. In her role at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE), Zoe works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across Australia in the 'Community of Excellence’, the NCIE-hosted social media network.
In this role Zoe develops engaging content, links young ones up with people that can help them achieve their goals, promotes events and celebrates the achievements of Indigenous people.
“My passions are teaching and education, Indigenous Australian culture, health and wellbeing, youth and general health and fitness. I believe that good education leads to hundreds of doors being open for any individual. I love the idea of being able to help another. Not having a lot of support growing up from some teachers, I love the idea of being that small difference between a person’s desire to keep studying, deciding what to do with their lives, or just being that extra support when they need it."
Dr Michelle Blanchard
Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
Dr Michelle Blanchard is the Head of Projects and Partnerships at the Young and Well CRC and an Honorary Research Fellow at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne.
As Head of Projects and Partnerships at the Young and Well CRC Michelle’s role is to identify, develop and facilitate strategic partnerships to ensure that the Young and Well CRC’s research agenda is delivered in a way that maximises benefits for young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Michelle has been part of the Young and Well CRC team since its inception, project managing the bid to establish the Young and Well CRC in 2010.
Previously, Michelle was a Senior Research Officer at ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation and worked in both state and local government on projects promoting social, civic and cultural participation for young people. She was also a co-director of a peer-led youth leadership program for three years.
Michelle is currently a member of the Youth Grants Advisory Panel for the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and is a delegate to the 2014/15 Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue, which brings together young Australian and American leaders from government, enterprise, media, education and the community to engage one another in developing innovative solutions to challenges facing their nations.
Michelle holds a PhD in Youth Mental Health from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare.
Hunter Institute of Mental Health
Marc works for the Hunter Institute of Mental Health as the national Program Manager for the Community, Media and Arts area, which includes the Mindframe National Media Initiative and Conversations Matter projects. He is a qualified journalist and communication professional. Marc has 17 years’ experience working in and with the media, both as a senior print journalist (UK), in media and communication for the National Health Service (UK) and the South Australian Health Department (mental health reform), before joining the Hunter Institute as a senior manager in 2009. For Marc Bryant's full biography, click here.
ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation
Kerrie has been the Director of Service Delivery at ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation since January 2012. After completing a PhD at the University of Sydney, Kerrie spent the subsequent 10 years working for the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland managing key strategic projects including a national mental health improvement program, a range of projects focused on capacity building across primary care, community and acute hospital settings, and consulting on a range of service modernisation initiatives. Kerrie has a keen interest in health care reform and modernising services to meet the changing needs of consumers. She brings expertise in online service delivery, change management, healthcare improvement and translation of research into practice.
Associate Professor Rafael Calvo
University of Sydney
Rafael Calvo is Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. He has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence applied to automatic document classification (e.g. web site classification). He has taught at several Universities, high schools and professional training institutions. He worked at the Language Technology Institute in Carnegie Mellon University, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina) and on sabbaticals at The University of Cambridge and University of Memphis. Rafael also has worked as an Internet consultant for projects in Australia, Brasil, the US and Argentina.
Rafael is the recipient of 5 teaching awards for his work on learning technologies, and the author of two books and many publications in the fields of learning technologies, affective computing and computational intelligence. Rafael is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies and of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and Senior Member of IEEE. His author of the forthcoming “Positive Computing” (MIT Press) and lead editor of the Oxford Handbook on Affective Computing.
Daniel Donahoo is the Director of Project Synthesis, an ideas consultancy whose work is driven by play, technology and trust.
Daniel is the author of two books on children, family, media and technology "Idolising Children" and "Adproofing Your Kids". He has developed alternate reality games that teach students the foundations of Chinese for Melbourne University, developed iPad apps with Bell Shakespeare to engage primary school students in the Bard and works with schools, government agencies and not-for-profits on projects that explore social innovation, playfulness and connection. You can find out more about his work at:
ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation
Justin is the Product Manager at ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation. Coming from a background in Information Technology, Justin has spent the past 5 years working with ReachOut.com to improve technical infrastructure, systems and processes, and product development. In his role as Product Manager, Justin has oversight of the ReachOut.com platform and its emerging digital products, ensuring that technology provides a high-quality user experience, while also scanning for new and innovative developments to enhance the service.
Larissa Hjorth is an artist, digital ethnographer and Deputy Dean in Research & Innovation in the School of Media & Communication, RMIT University. Since 2000, Hjorth has been researching the gendered and socio-cultural dimensions of mobile, social, locative and gaming cultures in the Asia–Pacific—these studies are outlined in her books, Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific (London, Routledge, 2009), Games & Gaming (London: Berg, 2010), Online@AsiaPacific: Mobile, Social and Locative in the Asia–Pacific region (with Michael Arnold, Routledge, 2013), Understanding Digital Media in the Age of Social Networking (with Sam Hinton, Sage, 2013) and Gaming in Locative, Social and Mobile Media (with Ingrid Richardson, Palgrave, 2014).
Hjorth is currently first CI on two Australian Research Council grants—one discovery (Games of Being Mobile: DP140104295) and one linkage with Intel (Locating the Mobile: LP130100848).
Janet is currently the Director of Operations at SANE Australia, and was previously CEO at Lantern, a community managed mental health service in Melbourne.
Janet has worked across the mental health sector for over 17 years and is highly regarded as a strategic, innovative and visionary leader.
Janet founded the popular Lantern Mental Health 2.0 Unconference and has worked on a number of mental health projects including the Obsessive Hope Disorder Report, which reflected on 30 years of mental health reform in Australia and She is a qualified accountant (CPA) with postgraduate studies in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University and has worked in private practice, the Government and not for profit sectors.
Janet brings extensive experience in a variety of management functions including: change management, strategic planning and transformation, visioning, quality management, social media, digital strategy and business development.
Janet is passionate about working to drive and support people and projects that make a real difference in the community, which underpins all that she does.
NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use
Frances is the current NHMRC Research Fellow and Director of Translation of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use.
She leads an innovative and challenging program of research that has attracted international collaborators across multiple disciplines and successfully funded research projects. She is committed to bridging the gap between need for and receipt of treatment for comorbid mental and addictive disorders, and is focussed on the integration of technologies to the point-of-care for people experiencing comorbid disorders, to ensure that the right person receives the right treatment at the right time.
News Corp Australia
Neal Mann is currently on secondment to News Corp Australia from the Wall Street Journal where he was Multimedia Innovations Editor. He specialises in changing the way news organizations create digital content. As part of this role he trains journalists in social media verification and has worked on a number of major social media projects during the Arab Spring including 'Borderlands' which included a year's worth of social media content from Syria.
His projects for the WSJ have been nominated for the European Press Award, Gerald Loeb Award, and he is a 2014 Emmy Award nominee. Previously he was an international news journalist, covering stories such as the war in Libya.
He is @fieldproducer on Twitter.
With over 10 years’ experience in corporate communications, media and public relations, Angela joined Lifeline Australia in February 2014.
In her current role, she is responsible for media relations activities; building on the brand value of Lifeline Australia, in addition to enhancing communications within the Lifeline network. This includes providing regular content for Lifeline’s social media channels.
Previously, Angela held senior communication appointments in some of the largest government departments in Australia. She also worked in global communication teams during four years in London, United Kingdom.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Communication degree (specialising in public relations) and is a Member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.
Jennifer is the General Manager of Primary Communication, one of Australia’s leading social issues communication consultancies (www.primary-pr.com)
For more than twenty years Jennifer has worked across Australia and Asia, developing solutions for social issues. She is a multi-award-winning communication specialist, with incredibly broad work experience in politics, major events, consumer marketing and entertainment. She has built an enviable portfolio of work, building on her background as an Australian news producer, who has made documentaries in international conflict zones. She is a deft hand at creating influence and awareness of important social issues, as someone who knows when, how and who to work with to achieve long-lasting systemic results.
Jennifer is a registered lobbyist who works closely with corporate and non-profit boards, civil society groups, industry and government leaders, to help them understand and embrace the creation of influence in a fluid and challenging environment. She is a national advocate for women’s rights, child protection and mental health and wellbeing, and is a fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, holding NSW and national representative roles. Her team at Primary works closely with many Australian mental health and wellbeing organisations, using evidence-based collaborative strategies to achieve lasting awareness and sustainable behavioural change.
Suicide Prevention Australia
With a background in education and specialty in health promotion Sue has been a passionate advocate for improving the health and well being of the community throughout her career. She has more than 25 years experience in the community sector and held positions with responsibility for education, media, communications, fundraising and organisational leadership.
After 10 years leading the National Breast Cancer Foundation where she positioned the organisation as one of the most highly recognised in the community sector and raised more than $100 million for breast cancer research, Sue moved to build on her experience to create the George Foundation for Global Health. Now she has taken on the challenge of suicide prevention as the CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.
Sue is Chair of Macquarie Community College, a director of Charities Aid Foundation, a graduate of the AICD and a member of both the Advisory Council for the Centre for Social Impact and Chief Executive Women.
On the Line
Randal Newton-John is the Executive General Manager of Operations at On the Line, the provider of MensLine Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Health Science.
Randal’s clinical career commenced as a group facilitator and trainer. He has worked in the area of men’s health and wellbeing for over 10 years as a counsellor, group facilitator and manager.
Randal has overseen the development of the MensLine Australia service for the past five years, including the introduction of online chat and video counselling.
Randal leads the Operations team in the management of all On the Line’s service contracts. He has overall responsibility for the operations of eight counselling services, and more than 80 clinical staff. This involves overseeing staffing levels, developing and implementing procedures and monitoring service performance.
Randal and his team play a significant role as On the Line continues to pioneer new modalities of remote counselling to the Australian community.
Randal has presented at numerous conferences on MensLine Australia and is a regular media spokesperson for men’s issues for On the Line. He has a particular interest in highlighting men’s issues and encouraging men to seek support – like contacting MensLine Australia.
Sean Parnell is the Health Editor and FOI Editor at The Australian newspaper. A multi award-winning journalist, Parnell has worked in the media for 20 years, including a lengthy stint as a political reporter. He is a member of the Open Government Partnership Media Council, a sessional lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, a current affairs panellist for 612 ABC Brisbane and the author of ‘Clive: the Story of Clive Palmer’. Parnell is based in Brisbane, where he lives with his wife and two children. Sean is also a member of the Mindframe Media Advisory Group.
Luke Pearson is a Gamilaraay man from NSW, and is best known as the creator of social media project IndigenousX, an engaging and innovative platform celebrating the diversity of Indigenous Excellence nationwide.
Luke’s background is in education, and he began his professional life as a primary school teacher. Since then he has worked in all education sectors, and has also dabbled as a social commentator, freelance writer, public speaker, researcher, consultant, dancer, campaigner, event organiser, and online advocate for a number of Indigenous causes and campaigns.
Media Access Australia
With an active dedication to philanthropy and social change, Chris works with a broad range of non-profit organisations with a focus on human rights, technology, innovation and mental health and wellbeing. Currently an Engagement and Operations Officer for Media Access Australia, Australia's only independent non-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability, Chris also serves as a Director for Vibewire, on the Executive of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and is a part of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre's Technology and Innovations Collective.
A passionate mental health advocate, Chris has been an ambassador for the Inspire Foundation, co-founded social media-focused initiative Rural Mental Health, and has advised on mental health as a public servant for state government.
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre
Jo Robinson is a Research Fellow at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre where she leads a program of work focused upon the prevention of youth suicide. She also coordinates the research and evaluation program for the headspace School Support service – a national postvention service for schools affected by suicide.
Jo currently oversees a number of projects, including a number that specifically focus on using modern forms of media for the prevention of suicide. These include a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of an internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy program on suicidal ideation among secondary school students, and two studies examining the potential utility of social media platforms in suicide prevention. Other studies underway include the development and evaluation of a training program designed to assist school wellbeing staff support at risk students, and a Delphi study examining best practice with regard to responding to a suicide in a school setting.
Jo also has a specific interest in the development and evaluation of suicide prevention policy both at a state and federal level. She has sat on numerous government-convened committees and has contributed to the evaluation of national and statewide suicide prevention policies.
Jo recently submitted her PhD, which focused on the prevention of youth suicide.
Within the last two and a half years beyondblue has launched several major awareness campaigns including ‘Anxiety’, ‘Man Therapy’ and ‘Stop Think Respect’, and have established highly active social media platforms. Janine joined at the start of this exciting phase, just as beyondblue was ready to transfer great research into fresh, engaging national campaigns. Janine’s previous role was Managing Partner of Jigsaw Strategies, a strategic communications consultancy. The company advised varied organisations including Metlink, Nestle Peters and IMG on large scale communications challenges, many specifically addressing behaviour change. Janine served on two not-for-profit boards for many years before the penny finally dropped and she realised not-for-profit is where she belongs; working with other talented people to make a difference to the quality and duration of people’s lives. Prior to her own business, Janine worked for Tourism Victoria and Tourism Tasmania in destination marketing.
Hunter Institute of Mental Health
Jaelea is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide. She is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, organisations and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention. Jaelea was instrumental in the design and development of flagship programs for the Institute including: the Mindframe National Media Initiative which she led for 10 years; Conversations Matter resources to support community discussion of suicide; Community Arts projects such as Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog; Workplace Mental Health Interventions including Working Well; and other policy, training and suicide prevention programs. For Jaelea's full biography, click here.
Elisabeth has more than 28 years of experience in communications, with her career beginning as a cadet journalist on a Sunday newspaper in Melbourne. She quickly moved on to edit a motor racing magazine and then became the only female motoring writer in Australia, contributing to The Australian, The Age, radio programs and several magazines. 17 years ago Elisabeth jumped the fence and stepped into the dark arts of corporate affairs and marketing. She has headed up teams within Victorian local and state governments, and her most recent roles were as GM Corporate Affairs at Rural Ambulance and Head of Communications at the Bushfire Appeal Fund. Elisabeth has been the Head of Corporate Affairs at headspace since May 2010. Her family, her footy team and a bolshie resolve to do something about the challenges facing young people are her passions, although the desires to own an EH Holden or spend a year chasing the snow across the world do occasionally distract her. Elisabeth is also a member of the Mindframe Communication Managers’ Group.
Mental Health Australia
Chris has over a decade of experience in the communication sector, working in ministerial offices, government departments and for a number of not for profit and corporate organisations.
A former journalist, Chris has a background in matters of mental health, suicide, criminal and civil justice, national security and emergency management, as well as grassroots community liaison, amongst others. He is also a White Ribbon Ambassador, married to a fellow communicator and a father of two very talkative kids. Chris is currently Director of Communications for Mental Health Australia (MHA).
Chris and his team have carriage of all the internal and external communications, strategy, planning, campaign management, media, PR, marketing, internal communications and government advocacy efforts for MHA. Chris is also a member of the Mindframe Communication Managers’ Group.