Upcoming Webinars

October 2020

Featuring Patrick McGorry and hosted by ABC science journalist Natasha Mitchell (founding presenter and producer of All in the Mind, now of Science Friction).

If Australia’s mental health system is failing those in most need – what do effective mental health services look like?

Join us for a constructive conversation following the recent ‘ABC Four Corners’ programme about the system’s current approach to those with complex mental health issues.

In this free, interactive webinar expect the consumer and carer voices to be at the forefront of a conversation that challenges our current models of care.

Featuring, Patrick McGorry AO, Paula Hanlon, Lisa Sweeney and Simon Stafrace, this webinar brings together perspectives from lived experience, an evidence-based approach, and service development and provision.

Be part of this conversation! Send in your questions to Natasha and the panel during this dynamic webinar!


  • Location: Online
  • Date: October 1, 2020
  • Time: 7 – 8pm
  • Price: FREE
  • Title: If Australia’s mental health system is failing those most in need – what do effective mental health services look like?

Patrick McGorry


Professor Patrick D. McGorry AO, MBBS, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRANZCP, FAA, FASSA, FAHMS is Executive Director of Orygen and Professor of Youth Mental Health at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne. He is also a Founding Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (headspace). Professor McGorry is a world-leading researcher in the area of early psychosis and youth mental health and his innovative research has played an integral role in the development of safe, effective treatments for young people with emerging mental disorders, notably the psychotic and severe mood disorders.

Professor McGorry has published over 800 refereed journal articles and book chapters and has edited nine books. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Early Intervention in Psychiatry. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science. He is current President of the International Association of Youth Mental Health and past President of the Society for Mental Health Research (2013-2017) and the Schizophrenia International Research Society (2016-2018). He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Society of Biological Psychiatry Humanitarian Award in 2019, the NHMRC Research Excellence Award in 2019, the Schizophrenia International Research Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research in 2015, the NAMI Scientific Research Award in 2013, and Australian of the Year in 2010.

Paula Hanlon


Paula Hanlon (BA Psychology), is a person with lived and living experience of mental health issues and peer worker of nearly 23 years in NSW. Paula has been a Board member with TheMHS since 2000 and currently also serves on the Flourish Australia Board, is an Assessor for the Australian Council on HealthCare Standards and is a Senior Peer Support Specialist in the BEING, Mental Health Consumers pilot warmline project.

Lisa Sweeney


Lisa has a lived experience of trauma, anxiety and dissociative symptoms. She is also a carer for family members living with psychosis.

In her professional life, Lisa has held various policy and research roles with the Victorian government across health reform, prisoner health, and alcohol and gambling regulation portfolios. Throughout her career, Lisa has maintained a keen interest in mental health advocacy and has held a number of volunteer positions including Board membership with Tandem and grassroots advocacy organisation Australians for Mental Health. Lisa is currently the Head of Policy and Advocacy for SANE Australia.

Lisa has academic qualifications in Arts (Political Science, Social Theory), Health Sciences, and is currently undertaking a Masters of Public health.

Simon Stafrace


Simon Stafrace is a psychiatrist, a Fellow of the RANZCP, and an accredited member of the Faculties of Psychiatry of Old Age and Adult Psychiatry.

As a clinician, Simon has worked in hospital & community settings, and in the public & private sectors. He has held a number of leadership roles in clinical, professional and community organisations.

At present, Simon is on secondment to the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services, as Chief Adviser at Mental Health Reform Victoria.  MHRV was established in February 2020 for the purpose of implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. Simon provides expert mental health advice to the Minister of Mental Health, the CEO of MHRV and the broader team to ensure the implementation work aligns clinical and operational outcomes with the original vision and intent of the Royal Commission.

In his substantive role, Simon is the Program Director of Mental & Addiction Health at Alfred Health, leading a public area mental health service in inner southeast metropolitan Melbourne. The program provides mental health & addiction services in hospitals, community residential units and clinics across 12 sites.

Simon holds an honorary appointment at Monash University as Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor.

Natasha Mitchell (Moderator)


Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning science journalist, host, audio producer and podcaster. She is the presenter and producer of the weekly culture and science show, Science Friction, which won best Science and Medicine Podcast at the 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. She was host of the flagship daily social affairs program on ABC Radio National, Life Matters, for 4 years, and founder of the popular program and podcast, All in the Mind, which she hosted and produced for 10 years. Natasha’s commitment to mental health journalism has been recognised with four Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Broadcast Media Awards. Natasha served as vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists, was recipient of the prestigious MIT Knight Journalism Fellowship, the New York Radio Festivals’ Grand Prize and four Gold World Medals, amongst other awards. She has an engineering degree from Monash University, and a postgraduate diploma in science communication from the ANU. She regularly facilitates public events and dialogues around Australia, including a series of four dialogues with the Dalai Lama and scientists.