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Sophie Scott

Sophie 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 is Deputy Secretary for Mental Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. She is 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 early childhood development, schools, and training and skills.


James Merlino

The Hon. James Merlino is State Member for Monbulk in the Victorian Legislative Assembly. He has been Deputy Premier of Victoria and Minister for Education since 2014, and was sworn in as Minister for Mental Health in September 2019. The son of a migrant, he has also previously served as the Minister Assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs.


Patrick McGorry

Prof Patrick McGorry AO is Executive Director of Orygen. He is a psychiatrist known world-wide for his development and scaling-up of early intervention and youth mental health services and for mental health innovation, advocacy and reform. He is Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and founding editor of the journal Early Intervention in Psychiatry

Fireside chat

Adele Murdolo

Adele is from an Italian migrant background and has led the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health as its Executive Director for 17 years. She has a PhD in History and Women’s Studies, and her research and publication areas include women’s health, violence against women and feminist history and activism in Australia. Adele is a passionate speaker and advocate for building the status of immigrant and refugee women. 

Fireside chat

Tom Brideson

Tom is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah, NSW. He is NSW Mental Health Deputy Commissioner, a member of the National Congress of Australia’s First People and Indigenous Allied Health Australia, and chairs the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health Ltd. Since 2007, he has been State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program.

Fireside chat

Simon Pont

Simon is Director Quality Systems and Practice at Suicide Prevention Australia. He has close to 20 years experience as an accredited social worker. He is a conjoint lecturer at University of Newcastle and was formerly Project Lead (Suicide Prevention) for Life in Mind at Everymind.


Craig Wallace

Craig commenced as CEO of Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) in July 2021. He has been a committed and determined advocate for consumer rights for a number of years. Prior to joining VMIAC, he served as Senior Adviser Lived Experience (Consumer) with Mental Health Reform Victoria, working on the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations. 


Angus Clelland

Angus Clelland joined Mental Health Victoria, the peak body for mental health, as CEO in 2017. His previous roles have included leading Lifeline Australia’s national crisis service 13 11 14, managing the Commonwealth’s 1800 Respect and Cannabis Information helpline services, and advising Mental Health First Aid International on strategy and corporate governance. 


Day 1, 7 September 2021

Sandra Keppich-Arnold — Director of Operations Mental and Addiction Health, Alfred Health
Damian Ferrie — CEO Star Health
Gill Callister PSM — CEO MIND
Chris Vanstone — Chief Innovation Officer, TACSI

Deb Carlon — Lived Experience Supervision Project Lead Centre for Mental Health Learning Victoria
Sarah Fordyce — State Manager National Disability Service
Chris Hynan — Manager Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative
Jenny Smith — CEO Council to Homeless Persons
Dr Karen Price — Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Dr Kerryn Rubin — Deputy Chair Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, VicBranch
Zena Burgess — CEO Australian Psychological Society
Jade Chandler — Mental Health Nursing Officer Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Victorian Branch
Cindy Smith — CEO Australian Association of Social Workers
Lyn English AM — Mental Health Consumer Advocate and Consultant

Day 2, 14 September

Jackson Fairchild — Head of Policy and Programs Rainbow Health Victoria
Mischa Barr — Policy and Health Promotion Manager Women's Health Victoria
Rashmi Kumar — Executive Officer Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria
Sheree Lowe — Executive Director Social and Emotional Wellbeing Centre of Excellence (VACCHO)
Wayne Gatt — Secretary the Police Association Victoria
A/Prof Mick Stephenson — CEO Ambulance Victoria
Tom Dalton — CEO NEAMI
Fran Timmins — Director of Nursing St Vincent's Mental Health
Nicole Bartholomeusz — Chief Executive cohealth
Nikki Wynne — Director of Services Wellways
Neil Turton Lane — NDIS Manager Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council Inc
Marie Piu — CEO Tandem


Day 1, 7 September 2021

Dr Louise Byrne — Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow RMIT
David Butt — NCEO GROW​
Patrick Lawrence — CEO First Step
Jocelyn Bignold OAM — CEO McAuley Community Services for Women
Charlotte Jones — General Manager Mental Health Legal Centre
Clare Groves — Managing Director Clarity Healthcare
Caroline Crosse AM — Director Innovation Mental Health and Employment WISE Employment

Day 2, 14 September

Belinda Caldwell — CEO Eating Disorders Victoria
Rose Cuff — Executive Director Satellite Foundation