Sophie Scott ABC

Sophie Scott

Master of Ceremonies

Sophie Scott is the national medical reporter for the ABC, in addition to being a prominent public speaker. Sophie has won numerous awards for excellence in medical and health journalism, including an Australian Museum Eureka award and multiple awards from various professional medical colleges. Sophie's reports appear on ABC TV news, radio and online, as well as 7.30 and the ABC News Channel.

Katherine Whetton

Katherine Whetton

Opening address

Katherine Whetton is Deputy Secretary for Mental Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. She is a former Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Performance Group and Executive Director, Education State Policy and Design, where she was responsible for leading development and policy coherence of the overarching Education State agenda across the Department’s three portfolios: early childhood development, schools, and training and skills.

Robyn Mildon

Keynote speaker

Robyn Mildon, PhD, is an internationally recognised figure in the field of implementation science, evidence synthesis and knowledge translation, and program and policy evaluations in health, education and human services. She is the Founding Executive Director of the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI, a global social purpose organisation whose work now spans seven countries.


Adam Fennessy

Keynote speaker

Adam Fennessy PSM is the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner. The Victorian Public Sector Commission works to strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness and capability of the public sector and maintain and advocate for public sector professionalism and integrity. Adam has over 20 years of public sector experience at state and federal levels, including four years as Secretary (CEO) of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning.

lesley cook.jpg

Lesley Cook

Keynote speaker

Lesley Cook established Partners in Practice as the health and welfare arm of Blackboro Associates Pty Ltd consulting services in 2007. Partners in Practice is a Sydney based consulting service that supports capacity building for community organisations. It works with clients to strengthen their collaborative capacity and improve the impact of the organisation’s activities.


Panelists: Implementation in practice 

Panel #1

Dr Andrew Milat (PhD, MPH Hons, BHMS Ed Hons) is Director, Evidence and Evaluation at the NSW Ministry of Health. His PhD focused on implementation science, scale up of health interventions and research impact assessment.

Mary O’Hagan is a well known innovator, thinker and writer. She has used her lived experience of mental health problems and her extensive work experience to develop straight answers to the curly questions in mental health. 

Mary Roberts will speak from her experience working in the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

Panelists: Coproduction in practice

Panel #2

Fiona Browning is a member of Mental Health Victoria's Lived Experience Advisory Group. Today in her consultancy work she combines the perspectives of over 30 years personal lived experience and 20 years working in clinical and community health roles.

Kerry Hawkins is Commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission. She has been President of Western Australian Association for Mental Health, Vice President of Community Mental health Australia, and a board member of Emerging Minds Australia.

Cath Roper holds a pioneering consumer academic role at the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing. Using perspectives arising from lived experience of mental health services, Cath develops and co-delivers training across specialist mental health service setting.

Panelists: Putting reform into practice in the Victorian mental health sector 

Panel #3

Tricia Szirom is acting co-CEO at Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council Inc. She was previously General Manager of Children, Youth and Families at Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Marie Piu is Chief Executive Officer at Tandem Inc. She was previously Senior Manager Population Health at Nillumbik Health and a Service & Professional Development Consultant at Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit.

Ravi Bhat is Divisional Clinical Director at Goulburn Valley Health.

Jayne Nelson is CEO of IPC Health, one of the largest providers of community health services in Victoria. Her expertise is in developing strategies and leading complex teams to deliver a service-oriented, high performance work culture.