Global Speakers

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Paul Appel

Teacher / Radio Presenter

TAFE NSW / Port Stephens FM Radio

Paul holds a Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety and a Diploma in Work Health & Safety. He is also an accredited WorkCover NSW trainer and assessor, and has delivered multiple trainings through various Registered Training Organisations, private and government schools in NSW and Correctional Centres.

As someone with the syndrome himself, Paul has experience in delivering a small seminar for TAFE teachers to give them a better understanding of Tourette’s Syndrome and how to cater for any students they may have with the syndrome.

Topic:

Case Study: Re-integrating Students with Mental Health Issues (Tourette’s Syndrome) Back into the School System

TAFE NSW

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Ken Rigby

Adjunct Professor

University of South Australia

Dr Ken Rigby is Adjunct Professor in the School of Education and the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia.  His research interest is in bullying in schools. He is the author of several books and numerous articles in this field, some of which have explored the relationship between bullying and mental health while others have been concerned with examining methods of intervention to reduce bullying.

Topic:

Working with Students Engaged in Bullying : The Method of Shared Concern

University of South Australia

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Bob Willetts

Principal & Founder and Champion of The Flourish Project / Vice President / NSWPPA Representative

Berry Public School / NSW Primary Principals’ Association / NESA Assessment Committee

Bob is the principal of Berry Public School, as well as the founder and champion of The Flourish Movement. He has over 20 years of experience as a leader in NSW Public Schools across a variety of contexts including isolated rural communities.

Bob is passionate about promoting wellbeing and positive school culture as a critical determinant of student learning outcomes. His personal experiences, understanding of the exponential rise in extraordinary challenges facing principals and teachers, as well as a range of research showing the resulting negative impact on the health and wellbeing of principals, led him to initiate The Flourish Movement.

Bob is a recipient of a NSW Leadership Fellowship Award following his previous school’s work on instructional leadership as a National Partnership Centre for Excellence in Quality Teaching.

His current school community has built extraordinary positive collective efficacy known as “The Berry Way” by focusing on their core values and supporting the wellbeing of all stakeholders.

He has recently been elected as Vice President of the NSW Primary Principals’ Association and holds multiple system leadership roles including:

  • Chairperson of the NSWPPA Assessment Planning and Accountability Reference Group;
  • NSW Educational Standards Authority Assessment Committee;
  • NSWDoE Assessment and Reporting Working Group;
  • NSWDoE School Excellence Advisory Group;
  • Founder and champion of The Flourish Movement.

Bob is on a personal quest to keep his own passion for education in balance with his passion for his family, friends and surfing.

Topic:

The Flourish Movement: From “Coping” to “Flourishing” – How The Flourish Movement Improves Mental Health and Well-being in Schools

Berry Public School

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Catherine Misson

Principal

Melbourne Girls Grammar

Catherine Misson is an educator with 30 years experience in shaping and delivering exceptional experiences for children in school settings. She has been committed to girls’ education, championing expansive opportunities to influence the way girls can be empowered to enter their work and social lives ready to influence more equitable outcomes for women.

Catherine is currently Principal at Melbourne Girls Grammar (MGGS) where her leadership of vision, staff and programs over eleven years has resulted in a transformational design of schooling, making wellbeing of young people the value proposition. Catherine has led on the development of new workforces for schools, such as Wellbeing Coaches and Academic Coaches, working alongside teachers to implement more personalised and responsive educational programs.  Her reform of physical education provisions for girls is leading the way on engaging girls to develop fitness for life habits, a core underpinning for positive mental health for life.

The Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE) was established in 2015 as part of Catherine’s strategic vision to provide customised professional learning opportunities for teachers and to create a network of enterprising schools dedicated to transforming education to be fit for purpose in a rapidly transforming world. Catherine and her team have shared their insights and accomplishments widely through conferences, workshops and an open invitation for educators to visit MGGS. In 2017 – 2018, over 100 educational organisations from Australia and internationally, have connected with Catherine and her team, to learn about how to develop and implement exceptional school design that enhances the wellbeing of young people.

For the past 18 years, Catherine has supported and developed scholarship programs for Indigenous girls, an area of passion given she grew up in the Manning Valley and Forster areas of NSW, where Indigenous children were compromised in health and education.   In 2010 – 2017, Catherine chaired the inter-sectoral Indigenous Education Focus Group (IEFG), a committee of the Centre for Strategic Education, of which Catherine was Board member.

Catherine’s leadership and influence have been recognised through a number of awards. 2017: Catherine was awarded Victorian Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) for services to education, the John Laing Award for Professional Development for demonstrating outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in schools, and was named by The Educator magazine in the top 40 most influential people in education, and MGGS was recipient of The Educator’s Innovative Schools Award. 2018: Catherine is finalist in The Educator’s Awards for Principal of the Year, non-government sector, as well as having the Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE) initiative finalist for Best Professional Learning Program and MGGS’s Senior Years Program finalist for Best Wellbeing Program. MGGS is also finalist for the Australian Financial Review’s top 100 Innovative Australian Companies.

Topic:

What Does it Take To Develop an Evidence-Based Integrated Wellbeing Programs: Case Study of Melbourne Girls Grammar School’s Community Hub

Melbourne Girls Grammar - new

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Janis Coffey

Head of Middle School / Board Member

Southern Cross Grammar School / Australia Positive Education Schools

Janis Coffey, Head of Middle School, Southern Cross Grammar, is in-charge of the “Mindfulness Intensive Program” in her school, a first in Australia. Janis has been at the forefront of the international Positive Education movement. She has trained early childhood educators through to university professors on wellbeing strategies and positive initiatives for culture change in schools. Janis’ expertise in mindfulness has been cultivated over 20 years of dedicated personal practice and formal training through the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australasia. Janis is on the Board of Directors for the Positive Education Schools Association and is currently the Head of Middle School at Southern Cross Grammar in Melbourne’s west.

Topic:

Mindfuel for Students: Case Study with Quantitative and Qualitative Results – Nurturing Mental Fitness in Students: Using a Strength-based Framework for Role-modelling & Reinforcing Positive Wellbeing Values

Southern Cross Grammar School

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Dr Alasdair Vance

Head- Academic Child Psychiatry Unit

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne

Dr Alasdair Vance is the head of the Academic Child Psychiatry Unit (ACPU) and the Developmental Neuropsychiatry Program (DNP) at the Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne. He is an expert in high prevalence and high risk child psychiatric disorders and the psychiatric aspects of key paediatric neurological and endocrine disorders.

Topic:

Identifying Warning Signs of Hidden Student Depression, Mental Illness, Anxiety and Suicidal Thinking: How Teachers Can Spot Dangerous Symptoms with E-Screening Before Onset of a Major Crisis

The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne

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Judith Marychurch

Assistant Dean, Teaching & Learning, Melbourne Law School

The University of Melbourne

Judith Marychurch is the Assistant Dean – Teaching & Learning at Melbourne Law School. She is also a co-convenor of the Legal Education Associate Deans (LEAD) Network, which comprises representatives from all Australian Law Schools. The LEAD network aims to enhance collaborative approaches to teaching and learning in Australian legal education through leadership, encouragement and promotion of good practice in learning and teaching in the discipline of law.

Judith is a previous recipient a national Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning as well as the Vice Chancellor’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning during her tenure at the University of Wollongong, NSW. In 2013 Judith was selected as a member of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Register of Experts in the Discipline of Law; Academic administration; and Curriculum development and design. Judith’s interests include legal education, particularly student wellbeing and innovation in assessment; also evidence and corporate law, with a specialisation in the legal issues surrounding forensic accounting.

Topic:

Integrating Student Voice into Well-being Program Design

The University of Melbourne

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Dr Julia Choate

Senior Lecturer - Physiology

Monash University

Dr Julia Choate is senior lecturer and deputy course convenor in biomedical science at Monash University. Julia improves her students’ university experiences by using active strategies to enhance learning and by developing her teaching teams’ ability to build and expand students’ practical and employability skills. She uses rigorous evaluation strategies to gauge the impact of her interventions and has published the results in leading education journals. She established a Network of Victorian Biomedical Convenors that recently evaluated student career confidence, course engagement and wellbeing. The impacts of her interventions are published in leading education journals.

Her influence on her peers is reflected in her work on the Victorian Executive of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia and the Australian Physiological Society. Julia has received numerous education awards, bestowed by both peers and students, including a 2017 Australian Award for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Topic:

Factors Contributing to Student Well-being and Course Engagement in Biomedicine – Recent Findings: A Case Study

Monash University

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Dr Craig Hassed

Senior Lecturer

Monash University

Associate Professor Craig Hassed works at the Department of General Practice and is coordinator of mindfulness programs at Monash University. His teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management, mind-body medicine, meditation, health promotion, integrative medicine and medical ethics. Craig is regularly invited to speak and run courses in Australia and overseas in health, professional and educational contexts and has collaborated with a number of national and international universities helping them to integrate similar content. He was the founding president of the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association and is a regular media commentator. He writes regularly for medical journals and has published thirteen books.

Craig also featured in the documentary, The Connection and wrote the companion e-book, “The Mindfulness Manual” and co-authored with Richard Chambers the free online Mindfulness course in collaboration with Monash University and FutureLearn.

Topic:

Case Study: Building Student Resilience, Confidence and Mindfulness to Equip Pupils with the Ability to Bounce Back

Monash University

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Kerry Robinson

Professor

Western Sydney University

Kerry Robinson is a professor in sociology in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology and leader of Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR) at Western Sydney University. Her research expertise includes: gender and sexuality studies; sexual harassment; gender and sexuality based violence prevention; childhood, young people and sexual citizenship; sexuality education; and diversity and difference in education.

She was the lead researcher of the Growing Up Queer report (2014). She has written widely in her field including: Innocence, Knowledge and the construction of childhood: The contradictory relationship between sexuality and censorship in children’s contemporary lives (2013); a co-edited collection Rethinking school violence (Saltmarsh, Robinson & Davies, 2012); lead co-author of Diversity and Difference in Early Childhood Education: Issues for Theory and Practice, (Robinson & Jones Diaz, 2006; 2nd Ed. 2016); and co-editor of Feminists Researching Gendered Childhoods (Osgood & Robinson, forthcoming 2019).

Topic:

Addressing Homophobia, Transphobia, and Associated Bullying, Abuse and Discrimination within the Secondary, Tertiary Systems, and Religious Schools

Western Sydney University

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Zohrab Balian

Head of Counselling (Psychotherapist/Counsellor/Life Coach)

Australia Institute of Business & Technology (AIBT)

Zohrab Balian’s  interest in Psychology/Psychotherapy came late to him in life. He graduated with two Bachelors and a Masters Degree in the same field-Psychotherapy/Counselling/Life Coach. He has worked in private practice for many years (16 years) working with individuals, couples and families. His main interest lies in helping young people through integrative psychotherapy and with his life experience. He seeks to bring other/different knowledge to make it an integral part of Psychotherapy. Zohrab came from a suffering background and “it is true that those who have suffered in their youth choose the path I have taken”.

Topic:

International Students Suffering from Culture Shock: Helping International and Non-Native English Speaking Students Deal with Lack of Family Support, Mental Health and General Well-Being in Australia

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Fiona Devlin

Director

Loyola College

Fiona Devlin is a secondary school teacher of 20 years-experience; passionate about student well-being and building positive working environments and peer relationships for students in the classroom. Fiona completed an Action Research project at her school 2015-2016 which showed a positive link between the classroom environment and student well-being. Fiona is developing this research within her Master of Education degree at Melbourne University.

Fiona is currently the Director of Communications and Events at Loyola College which is a senior executive role and before this was a Head of House for eleven years. Fiona has held other leadership positions, Head of Year and Director of Sport, and has taught in the UK for seven years. Currently, her major teaching areas are Senior Biology and Science.

Topic:

Building School Connectedness and Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom

Loyola College

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Dr Lisa Warren

Clinical Director

Code Black Threat Management

Dr Lisa Warren is an Australian pioneer in the field of behavioural threat management, whose extensive experience encompasses hands-on assessment and development of treatment programs, education and training, standards and ethics, and international research.

Lisa has led innovations in the assessment, treatment and broader management of threateners, the persistent and fixated, and recidivist violent offenders. She embraces a balanced approach when dealing with those who perpetrate problem behaviours and those they target, delving into underlying drivers of the behaviour and the risks of persistence and escalation.

Her extensive practical experience includes:

  • Being the Foundation Manager of the Problem Behaviour Program at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), where she supported the development of treatment programs for violent offenders, sexual offenders, stalkers, threateners and vexatious complainants.
  • In her work at Forensicare and Code Black, undertaking assessments of hundreds of offenders and alleged perpetrators. This includes cases heard at every level of the state criminal courts, including the Children’s Court criminal divisions, and consultancy work for legal firms, universities, health services and government agencies.
  • Being an experienced expert witness, including in many Child Protection cases, and being recognised by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice as a ‘go to’ clinician for the most challenging cases. She is also recognised in the Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative (MACNI) program for cutting through in cases where other clinicians have struggled, such as concerns about radicalisation.

Lisa is proficient in the application of the Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) model and associated risk evaluations tools, their uses and limitations. This includes cultural considerations around violence risk and the development of tools for specialist groups, such as the fixated.

Lisa also has an interest in family violence, which has seen her develop the first post-graduate unit on contemporary research and practice in family violence in Australia for the Masters of Mental Health Science at Monash University.

Lisa has trained clinicians, lawyers, magistrates, threat assessors, academics and executives in these fields in threat management and the use of the SPJ tools for violence and stalking risk. She has also developed policies and operations manuals in these areas.

In Lisa’s international experience, she:

  • Works closely with colleagues from the United States, Canada and Europe, including the authors of the Terrorist Radicalisation Assessment Protocol.
  • Was also the Foundation President of the Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP).
  • Has collaborated with the European Threat Assessment Professionals (AETAP) on developing professional standards for threat managers.
  • Has presented at American Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) conferences, and is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management.

Lisa’s research work has focused on those who utter explicit threats, triage in threat management, and the association between homicide and suicide. Current projects include:

  • Population-based studies in collaboration with Sweden’s Karolinska Institut.
  • A review of threat management practices with the FBI in the United States.
  • An examination of the association between homicide and suicide with the National Coroner’s Office.

Lisa has an ongoing interest in professional ethics and is the Chair Elect of the Australian Psychological Society Ethics Committee.

Topic:

Case Study: Managing Physical Bullying Incidents, Violence and Trauma: Schools and Teachers’ Duty of Care

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Dan Davies

Assistant Head of Residences, Learning in Residence

Wesley College Melbourne

Dan Davies, multi-talented, has many responsibilities in the school he serves. He is currently the Assistant Head of Residences, Head of Learning Technologies and also serves as a Music Technology Teacher at Wesley College Melbourne.

Topic:

Health and Well-being in Boarding

Wesley College Melbourne

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Professor Phillip T. Slee (PhD)

Professor in Human Development / Director

Flinders University / Centre for Student Wellbeing & Prevention of Violence (SWAPv)

Phillip Slee is Professor in Human Development in the School of Education and is a trained teacher and registered psychologist. He is also Director of the Student Wellbeing & Prevention of Violence (SWAPv) Research Centre at Flinders. Professor Slee has published extensively in the field of child development, bullying, school violence and stress, and has produced educational resources in the form of videos and resource packages. He has presented his work nationally and internationally in workshops and lectures. Presently, he is undertaking a number of international research projects on the topic of school violence with researchers from Japan, Korea, China, Canada, England, and the USA.

Topic:

Case Study of ’The PEACE Pack School Intervention’: Coping With Bullying – Promoting Well-being

Flinders University - SWAPv

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Adam Przytula

Director

Armed for Life

Adam Przytula is the Director and Key Speaker for Armed For Life. He has been speaking in schools for over 20 years now. He is incredibly passionate about the work that he does because of his own experience at school. He had struggled through Primary School – bullying started for him in Year 4 and by Year 7 his own friends were bullying him. He stepped into Year 8 with as little Self-Esteem as a 12 year old kid can have and that same year Mum left…and his Dad disappeared into work. He essentially grew up alone. The bullying daily the entire 5 years of secondary school. As a result of all the issues going on (especially the bullying) he had a plan in Year 10 to take his own life. And he barely passed Year 12 even though he was a part of the PEAC program in Year 5 and 6. All of this combined is the reason he started working in schools when he was 18 and why he created Armed For Life 7 years ago.

Topics:

Workshop: Coping with Teachers’ Stress and Burnout in Principals: Effective Evidence Based Coping Strategies

Armed for Life

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Chris Zhong

Accenture Digital Blockchain Lead & Founder & President (Former Lead Cloud Architect, Microsoft)

Blockchain Philanthropy Foundation

Chris Zhong is a passionate technology leader with extensive industry experience in Australia and has worked closely with Senior Executives across various industry sectors to deliver outstanding business outcomes through digital transformation. She is active in the global Blockchain scene and is a frequent conference speaker and panelist. She is a Co-organizer of Blockchain for Social Impact Melbourne and the Founder and President of Blockchain Philanthropy Foundation, a not for profit organization which vision is to promote blockchain technology for social impact and accelerate humanitarian work.

Topic:

Create Better Mental Health and Well-being in Schools through Technology Innovation

Blockchain Philanthropy Foundation

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Upulie Divisekera

Researcher

Monash University

Upulie Pabasarie Divisekera is an Australian molecular biologist and science communicator. Divisekera has wanted to be a scientist since she was a child. She is of Sri Lankan descent. After finishing high school she worked for biochemist Mary-Jane Gething from 1995 through 1997. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne in 2001. Here she worked on molecular parasitology with Malcolm McConville. Between 2002 and 2004 she worked as a research assistant at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research on apoptosis and antibody production. She joined Australian National University for her postgraduate studies, graduating in 2007. Divisekera worked on the epithelial to mesenchymal transition in fruit fly embryos in Canberra.

She worked as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne in 2007 and at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre from 2008 to 2012. During this time, she worked in developmental biology and cancer research with Mark Smyth. She studied CD73 as a potential immunotherapy for breast cancer. She is a doctoral student in the department of chemical engineering at Monash University working on nanoparticles and drug delivery. She is the co-founder of Real Scientists, an outreach program that uses performance and writing to communicate science. She has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, Crikey and The Guardian.

Topic:

Equipping Graduates & Research Students with the Mental Health Skills to Cope and Adapt

Monash University - edited

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Nick Busietta

Managing Director

Liminal Virtual Reality

Nick is a psychology graduate, former major projects IT lawyer and Liminal’s co-founder. He is obsessed with the idea that the interface of virtual reality with neuroscience is a natural progression for human psychology. Liminal VR is working with a global network of developers, to help create short virtual reality experience that are designed to empower people to consciously choose how they want to feel and perform. Nick’s team is presently working on overcoming challenges in VR of using entertainment to help achieve targeted psychological outcomes.

Topic:

Use of Augmented/Virtual Reality for Youth Mental Health in the Schools

Liminal VR

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Assoc. Professor Kylie O’Brien

Director

National Institute of Integrative Medicine

A/Prof Kylie O’Brien is the Director of Education and the Director of Integrative Chinese Medicine at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine. She is also a registered Chinese medicine practitioner. Kylie is an experienced educator, clinical researcher (both herbal medicine and acupuncture) and currently supervises postgraduate research students. She holds Adjunct Associate Professorships at Victoria University and Torrens University and is a Fellow of NICM. She published her first book on integrative oncology in the US last year. After graduating from University of Melbourne in 1986, Kylie practised optometry from 1987 to 2000, running volunteer eye-camps in India and working in paediatric optometry and general optometry in Australia. After completing a Master of Public Health at Monash University (1997) and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chinese Medicine at RMIT University (2000), she worked for the Department of Human Services on the implementation of the Chinese Medicine Act 2000 after Victoria became the first state in a western country to regulate the practice of Chinese medicine. Following this, Kylie developed the curricula for three Masters degrees in Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Australia: two at University of Western Sydney (Master of TCM, Master of Acupuncture) and one at RMIT University (Master of Chinese Herbal Medicine), coordinating the UWS courses whilst completing her PhD in Chinese Medicine at Monash University. Previous positions have included Course Coordinator for Masters of TCM/Acupuncture at UWS, Course Coordinator for Chinese Medicine at Victoria University (2006-2011), Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at Victoria University (2009-2011), and Director of Assessment and Learning Design at Deakin University (2011-2013), Director of Studies and National Academic Director Australian Institute of Applied Sciences (2014-2015).

Kylie’s research has included investigations into the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicines on cardiovascular risk factors and osteoarthritis of the knee. She conducted the world’s first comprehensive investigation into the reliability of the Chinese medicine diagnostic system, and the first research into the physiological effect of Toyohari acupuncture on physiological cardiovascular variables. She has authored several book chapters on Chinese medicine, as well as numerous journal publications. Kylie is a member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies’ Standardisation Committee, a member of the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) Expert Panel, an Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) Panel member and an international reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency (Scotland).

Topic:

What Educators Need to Know about Stress and Serious Illnesses & Strategies to Prevent These

National Institute of Integrative Medicine

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Ros Ben-Moshe

Director

LaughLife Wellbeing Programs

Ros Ben-Moshe is the Author of “Laughing at cancer – How to Heal with Love, Laughter and Mindfulness“. An experienced Positivity, Mindfulness & Wellness coach.  Harnessing the energy of laughter to promote wellbeing, Ros facilitates fun and energy-filled laughter wellness sessions in the workplace, community, education and health care settings. She also gives presentations on the science of laughter, and its wide range of health benefits incorporating both her own research and other leading researchers in this newly emerging field.

Topic:

Prevent Burnout by Avoiding Brownout: How to Shine Brightly Again

LaughLife Wellbeing Programs

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Dr Claire Kelly

Manager (Youth Programs)

Mental Health First Aid Australia

Dr Claire Kelly is the Manager of Youth Programs at MHFA Australia and an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. She is a curriculum developer and trainer of instructors around Australia and has taken the Youth and teen MHFA courses to a number of other countries. Claire has been involved with MHFA since 2003 when she first became an instructor while completing her PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra, where the program was first developed.

Topic:

Youth Mental Health First Aid: A Strategy for Increasing the Capacity of Schools to Help Students

Mental Health First Aid Australia

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Michelle Walter

Researcher, Youth Research Centre

The University of Melbourne

Michelle Walter is a PhD candidate and tutor at the Youth Research Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the University of Melbourne. She has a Masters of Teaching (secondary) from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and her research focuses on tertiary student mental health and help-seeking from a lived experience perspective.

Topic:

Practical Ways of Improving Mental Health and Well-being Amongst University Students in Australia

The University of Melbourne

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Deborah McKenzie

Program Manager, School Services Program

Australian Childhood Foundation

Deborah McKenzie currently serves as Program Manager, School Services Program, at the Australian Childhood Foundation.  She was Head of School/Acting Deputy Principal at the Mount Lilydale Mercy College and was also Head of Wellbeing. Prior to that, she also served as the Relationship, Marriage and Family Educator with the Family Relationships Institute.

Topic:

Making SPACE for Learning: Understanding the Neurobiology of Toxic Stress & Ways to Support Student Well-being

Australian Childhood Foundation

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Rabbi Daniel Rabin

Police Chaplain / Rabbi

Victoria Police / South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Daniel Rabin originates from Johannesburg  South Africa.  After matriculating from high school in South Africa Rabbi Rabin studied for 6 years in various religious institutions around the world, including Israel, USA, South Africa and Australia. He received his Rabbinical Ordination/ Semicha at the Machon L’Horoah / Rabbinical Institute of South Africa as well as  Semicha from the Machon Ariel in Israel.

Rabbi Rabin hold a masters degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and is passionate about mental health well-being. He is particularly passionate in the area of self-care for mental health practitioners He also loves teaching adult Jewish education, which he has taught in many parts of the world. He served as the director of Jewish Adult education at a synagogue in Johannesburg  as well as ran learning programs in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served as a chaplain at Universities across Melbourne and directed Chabad on Campus. He was instrumental during that time to arrange many successful events for young adults including the largest young adult dinner in Australia which had 500 University students joining together for the dinner.

Rabbi Rabin was elected President of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria in 2016 after serving as its Vice-President for two years and is currently the Immediate Past President. Rabbi Rabin served as Rabbi at the North Eastern Jewish Centre in Doncaster for 6 years and at the beginning of 2018 assumed the role of Senior Rabbi at the South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation. He also became a chaplain to Victoria Police in the beginning of 2018.

Topic:

Self-care for Teachers, Principals, Care-givers and Counsellors: Preventing the Danger of Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and Other Such Issues That Arise When Caring for Others

South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation

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Dr Tony Mordini

Assistant Principal

Mount Ridley P-12 College, Victorian Department of Education and Training

Tony began his professional life as a teacher.  He moved into leadership early in his career showing a real interest in the needs of “at risk” children and adolescents particularly those who have been affected by trauma, come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, are economically and socially disadvantaged, and/or are burdened by mental illness.

His broad experiences include the leadership of two schools in the Northern Territory; a Ministerial appointment as a senior policy consultant; and senior university and school leadership roles with portfolio responsibilities including equity, disability services, counselling, policy and learning support.

Tony is currently Assistant Principal at Mount Ridley College. The College, on Melbourne’s expanding North Western corridor is one of the largest public schools in Victoria with approximately 2,400 students K-12. He is currently responsible for the College’s Early Years and Junior Schools (approx. 1,200 students K – 7) and the overall College’s Operations portfolio. The College also has a dedicated trauma unit which he supervises.

Tony’s academic scholarship includes research into child and adolescent development (honours thesis); the psychopathology of adolescent self-harm (doctoral thesis and post-doctoral projects); and applied ethics (the focus of several published texts).

Tony has also been very active in the GLBTIQ and multicultural space for several decades. This has included leadership roles – President of the WA and SA AIDS Councils; Treasurer of the NT AIDS and Hepatitis Council.

Tony has extensive governance and management credentials. He has postgraduate business qualifications; is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; was Secretary to Council at Deakin University and he has been a director of several boards.  He is currently a director of the Melbourne Council of United Way, a global philanthropic working with disadvantaged communities around three focus areas –early childhood development; employment (particularly the transition from school to work); and mental health.

Tony is a strong child protection advocate. In recent years this has motivated him to undertake a program of study through the Victorian Department of Justice. In April 2016 he was appointed an Honorary Justice with the powers to execute Interim Accommodation Orders and conduct after-hours child bail and remand hearings.

Topic:

Improving Mental Health and Low Self Esteems for Students Suffering From Learning Disabilities, Poor Learning Absorption, ADHD and Autistic-Related Learning Difficulties

Victorian Department of Education and Training