Women's mental health webinar — speaker bios

Mental Health Victoria is partnering with the Women’s Mental Health Alliance for a webinar titled The Royal Commission and women’s mental health: Challenges and opportunities.

The event will examine the implications of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System for women’s mental health and opportunities to ensure that the redesign of the mental health system meets the needs of women and girls.

Read on for more on our lineup of fantastic speakers and click here to register.

Maggie Toko, Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience & Engagement, Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

Maggie identifies as having a lived experience and as being indigenous to Aotearoa and comes from Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi tribes. Maggie is currently the Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience and Engagement at the Mental Health Complaints Commission. Maggie has worked in homelessness, youth, sexual assault and young women’s services as well as mental health most recently having been the CEO of VMIAC — Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council and the Peak Consumer organisation in Victoria.

Prof Jayashri Kulkarni AM, Professor of Psychiatry at Monash University and The Alfred and Director, Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc)

Jayashri commenced her appointment as Professor of Psychiatry, The Alfred and Monash University in 2002. She directs a large psychiatric research group, the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), a large multisite clinical research centre with an extensive collaborative network nationally and internationally. The Centre is dedicated to discovering new treatments, new understanding and new services for people with a range of mental illnesses. Between 2017-19 Jayashri was the President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health. She sits on many advisory boards for Government, the NHMRC, Industry and Universities. Professor Kulkarni was recognised for her contribution to Medicine, particularly Psychiatry, by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2019.

Dr Adele Murdolo, CEO, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health

Adele is the Executive Director of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, a national women’s health centre run by and for migrant and refugee women. Adele has a PhD in History and Women’s Studies and is a passionate speaker and advocate for building the status of migrant and refugee women through research, practice and policy. Her research and advocacy centre around violence against women, women’s health, and the history of feminist activism in Australia. Adele is also an honorary senior research fellow at the Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne.

Jackson Fairchild, Head of Policy and Programs, Rainbow Health Victoria

Jackson is Head of Policy and Programs at Rainbow Health Victoria. They have over ten years’ experience working as a clinician, educator, supervisor and service leader across family violence, suicide prevention, trauma recovery and LGBTIQ health. A qualified counsellor and clinical supervisor with a lived experience of family violence, Jackson’s recent roles include Director of Practice and Learning at No to Violence and Manager of Counselling, AOD and Family Violence services at Thorne Harbour Health.

Lena Risteski, Counsellor at Mind Australia

Lena is a Lead Practitioner at Mind Australia, who has worked in community services since 2007, working predominantly in CALD communities and also with carers. Lena utilises her queer identity to inform her work, and to shine on a light on the systemic oppressions women, carers and LGBTIQ individuals face. Lena is passionate about destigmatising mental health, and working holistically with individuals.

Mischa Barr, Policy & Health Promotion Manager, Women’s Health Victoria; Chair, Women’s Mental Health Alliance (Facilitator)

Mischa is the Policy & Health Promotion Manager at Women’s Health Victoria - a statewide women’s health promotion, advocacy and support service. Mischa oversees work in policy, advocacy, and research across WHV’s priority areas including sexual and reproductive health, prevention of violence against women, mental health and women's equality. As part of her role, Mischa oversees the Gender Equality in Advertising project and chairs the Women’s Mental Health Alliance, established by Women’s Health Victoria in 2019.