TheMHS 2018 Summer Forum: Trauma Matters

Values, Evidence and Responses to Trauma in Mental Health Services

The Mercure, Sydney Australia, 22-23 February 2018

Registration opens October each year.

Join us Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February 2018 at the Mercure, Sydney Australia for the 20th annual TheMHS Summer Forum

We believe in promoting positive attitudes about mental health and mental illness.
Our forums foster the exchange of ideas, focus discussion on workforce development, and are a great place for networking and debate for professionals, consumers, families and carers, managers, researchers and policy-makers.

The 2018 TheMHS Summer Forum program is now available.

Click Here

Key Dates

Online Registrations Open
14 December 2017
Early Bird Registration Closes
20 February 2018
Online Registrations Close
22 – 23 February 2017
TheMHS Summer Forum

Registrations for TheMHS Summer Forum are closed. 

See you in 2019!

Keynote Speakers

Matt Ball

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Matt Ball is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who was recently named the 2017 Mental Health Nurse of the Year by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Matt is co-director and founder of the HUMANE clinic. He brings compassion borne out of personal and professional experience to his roles, as well as a determination to look beyond psychiatric labels.  He facilitates alternative approaches to working with people labelled as experiencing psychosis, and  is currently a trainer with Blue Knot Foundation, teaching trauma informed practice and the three phased approach to complex trauma.

Matt has over 15 experience years working with individuals and groups in the United Kingdom and Australia. Matt also provides supervision, education and workshops and consultancy for individuals, families and organisations.  He currently works in private practice, the public health system and as a trainer for Blue Knot Foundation teaching trauma informed practice and the three phased approach to complex trauma.

Margaret Cutajar

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Dr Margaret Cutajar is a clinical-forensic psychologist and honorary teaching fellow, Swinburne University, continuing her research on child sexual abuse.

Indigo Daya

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Indigo is Human Rights Advisor at the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council, an Adjunct Research Fellow at Swinburne University, an independent mental health consultant and trainer, and author of a popular online blog about trauma, madness and recovery. She has worked in consumer leadership roles across the mental health sector, including government, for more than a decade, with a particular focus on trauma-informed practice. Indigo has lived experience as a survivor of trauma and of mental health services.

Dr Barbara Disley

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Dr Barbara Disley, Chief Executive Emerge Aotearoa. Barbara was the inaugural chair of the Mental Health Commission, leading the development of the first Mental Health Blueprint. She was Deputy Secretary Ministry of Education where she had responsibility for special education. She was a member of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, the forum set up for people who had been abused while in State Care in New Zealand and chaired the Review of the Sensitive Claims area of ACC who support victims of abuse. In 2011, Barbara was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health.

Martin Dorahy, PhD

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Martin Dorahy, PhD, DClinPsych, is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and is currently the director of the Clinical Psychology Programme. He has a clinical, research and theoretical interest in self-conscious emotions, and complex trauma and dissociative disorders. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and Co-edited three books in the area of psychotraumatology. He is a member of the New Zealand Psychological Society, the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists. He is a Fellow, Board member and current President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). He maintains a clinical practice focused primarily on the adult sequelae of childhood relational trauma.

Clair Edwards

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Director of Nursing, District Mental Health Service
Deputy Director of Mental Health Services
Adjunct Associate Professor University of Western Sydney

Kim Felmingham

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Professor Kim Felmingham is the Chair of Clinical Psychology at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Kim is a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, who specializes in the field of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has over fifteen years experience in treating PTSD, including treating adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Professor Felmingham is recognized for her research examining the neural and biological mechanisms associated with PTSD, with a specific focus on key mechanisms such as emotional memory consolidation, fear conditioning and extinction, emotion regulation and hormonal and genetic influences on these processes.

Kim has published extensively in neuroimaging, event-related potential and psychophysiological fields in PTSD.

A recent research focus is to identify the impact of childhood trauma on neural and psychological functioning, with a specific interest in identifying the impact of critical periods of trauma exposure during development.

Sophie Isobel

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Sophie Isobel is a Clinical Nurse Consultant for Quality, Research and Ethics for Mental Health Services in Sydney Local Health District. She project managed the original TIC project in the district and continues to work to drive and evaluate local implementation. Her background is as a mental health clinician and she is midway through a PhD on the integration of intergenerational trauma prevention into mental health services.

Roger Gurr

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Associate Prof Roger Gurr, Clinical Director at headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program (hYEPP), Chair of the Board, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.

Katherine Mills

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Katherine Mills is an Associate Professor and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales. She is also Director of Treatment Research for the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. Katherine’s research focuses on improving our understanding of co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions, developing and evaluating innovative treatment responses, and translating research findings into evidence based resources.

[Co-Presenter: Natalie Peach is a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), University of New South Wales. Natalie is the project coordinator on the COPE-A clinical trial at NDARC, which will investigate the efficacy of integrated exposure-based therapy for co-occurring post-traumatic stress and substance use disorders in adolescents. She has recently completed a PhD on phenomenological relationships between psychotic symptoms, PTSD symptoms and childhood trauma in young people with early psychosis.]

Helen Milroy

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Helen is a descendent of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She was a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2013-2017. She is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Professor at the University of Western Australia, and a National Mental Health Commissioner.

Lachlan Murdoch

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Lachlan Murdoch is Acting Chief Executive Officer of STARTTS, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors. Lachlan has worked with refugees and asylum seekers for twenty five years in a variety of capacities. Since joining STARTTS Lachlan has held several management positions delivering programmes to refugee survivors of torture and trauma including within early intervention and rural and regional services.

Overseas, Lachlan worked with organisations assisting repatriated refugees and displaced people in Central America in the 1990s. He is presently a Management Committee member the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS Australia) and was previously a long standing Management Committee member of the Asylum Seekers Centre of NSW.

Louise Newman

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Louise Newman is the Director of the Centre for Women’s Mental Health at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

She was the founding Chair of Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry at the University of Newcastle and the previous Director of the New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry. In January 2011 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for work in child protection.

She is a practising infant psychiatrist with expertise in the area of disorders of early parenting and attachment difficulties in infants. She has undertaken research into the issues confronting parents with histories of early trauma and neglect. Her current research focusses on the evaluation of infant-parent interventions in high-risk populations, the concept of parental reflective functioning in mothers with borderline personality disorder and the neurobiology of parenting disturbance.

She was recently awarded grants for intervention studies in Domestic Violence, and she has published in the areas of infant mental health, attachment disorders trauma, and prevention of child abuse.

She is the Convenor of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group. She has been a Government advisor on asylum seeker and refugee mental health and contributed to the development of policy for mental health screening and response to torture survivors. She has been involved in research into the impact of immigration detention on child asylum seekers.

Janet Peters

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Janet Peters has many years experience working in the mental health sector of New Zealand and internationally through IIMHL.
She is passionate about helping people understand and learn about “Adverse Childhood Experiences” and “trauma informed services”. Janet has a high “ACE score” from my childhood and teenage years and now wish to work to ensure that other people do not.

Janet is enthusiastic about learning and communicating about health, mental health and addiction issues, and recovery processes. All health and community services need to focus on the people who use services – clinician/health worker/community worker and person/whanau working together for the best possible health outcome.

Pam Stavropoulos

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Pam Stavropoulos, PhD is an educator, consultant and psychotherapist who is Head of Research with the Blue Knot Foundation (formerly Adults Surviving Child Abuse). A former Fulbright Scholar, she is on the Advisory Board of the ISSTD Scientific Committee and co-author of the nationally and internationally endorsed Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery (ASCA, 2012). Pam has held lectureships at Macquarie University and the University of New England and is a former Program Director of the Jansen Newman Institute. The author of Living under Liberalism: The Politics of Depression in Western Democracies (Florida: Universal, 2008) she has written research reports in the community health sector and is a clinical supervisor who specialises in complex trauma-related issues.

Mark Tedeschi AM QC

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Mark Tedeschi AM QC is the Senior Crown Prosecutor for New South Wales. Over the last 35 years he has prosecuted many of the most prominent criminal trials in New South Wales. He is the head of Chambers of the New South Wales Crown Prosecutors and until recently was the President of the Australian Association of Crown Prosecutors. He is a visiting Professor at the University of Wollongong, a Director on the Board of the National Art School, and a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School. In 2013 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

Mark has had numerous articles published on criminal law, environmental law, social welfare law, commercial law, history and genealogy. He has written a legal textbook on the law of international trade, and three true-crime books which have been published by Simon & Schuster Australia. They are: ‘Eugenia: a true story of adversity, tragedy, crime and courage’, published in 2012; ‘Kidnapped: the crime that shocked the nation’ published in 2015; and ’Murder at Myall Creek: the trial that defined a nation’. ‘Eugenia’ was shortlisted in 2013 as a finalist in the Australian Book Industry Awards and the Australian Crime Writers Association Ned Kelly Awards. Mark has been a keen photographer for many years, and his photographs have been acquired for a number of public collections, such as the Art Gallery of NSW, State Library NSW, Museum of Sydney, National Library Canberra, as well as many private collections. He has had a large number of solo and group exhibitions of his photographs. A book of his photography over 25 years, entitled ‘Shooting around Corners’, was published by Beagle Press in 2012.

About the Conference

The annual TheMHS Conference is held in a different city around Australia and New Zealand each year and attracts approximately 1,000 delegates annually.

TheMHS Summer Forum is an annual two-day educational program that highlights a contemporary topic in mental health. It will guide, challenge and inspire delegates. Audience discussion and participation are encouraged.

The venue for 2019 is The Mercure, Sydney, and the dates are Thursday 21 and Friday 22 February 2019.