Global Speakers


Dr Tony Mordini


Melbourne High School

Forum Chairperson

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Tony’s educational leadership extends across the Government and Non-Government sectors, and from K–12 through to Higher Education. His achievements include four Principal Class appointments; a Ministerial appointment as a senior policy consultant; and senior university roles including as an Associate Dean at Flinders University and as part of the start-up team of Swinburne Online – a partnership between Swinburne University and SEEK Ltd (an ASX listed company).

In November last year, Tony was appointed Principal of Melbourne High School. Melbourne High School is a unique educational institution with a strong tradition of academic excellence and influence. Its alumni have made significant contributions in a wide range of areas including medicine, the performing arts, education, and business. The school prides itself on providing a unique holistic curriculum that includes a commitment to the liberal arts and community service.

Prior to his appointment at Melbourne High School, Tony was a member of the Leadership Team at Mount Ridley College. The College on Melbourne’s rapidly expanding northwestern corridor is one of the largest public schools in Victoria with approximately 2,750 students. His Assistant Principal portfolio included Headship of the Junior School and College-wide responsibility for operations, information systems and eLearning. Tony’s achievements at the College included establishment of the College’s highly regarded, student services model and the development of a Community Hub for the College’s significant refugee community.

Tony’s broad academic scholarship includes a Bachelor of Arts from Swinburne University with a double major in English and Italian Literature. Tony’s postgraduate studies include research into child and adolescent development (Bachelor of Education (Hons) thesis); and the psychopathology of adolescent self-harm (doctoral thesis). Post-doctoral studies have included a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Melbourne University. Tony has presented and published on a range of topics including applied ethics, workforce management and development, student engagement and high impact teaching strategies.

Tony is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; was Secretary to Council at Deakin University and he has been a director of several boards including the Victorian Advisory Board of Community Hubs Australia.


Sally Morris

Service Delivery Manager

Open Doors Youth Service


Tackling LGBTIQA+, Religious And Transgender Discrimination In Schools And Colleges

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With a background in Human Services, Sally Morris has worked in mental health and suicide prevention over the last 20 years and her work has had a primary focus on improving the mental health of LGBTIQ people and communities. Sally has a particular interest in the role of social inclusion and belonging in mental health and completed a Masters of Development Practice (Community Development) through the University of Queensland in 2018. Sally is the Service Delivery Manager at Open Doors Youth Service and also the co-founder of a volunteer run community group, Wendybird, which brings together a passionate and skilled group of LGBTIQ people that build and facilitate community spaces that foster belonging for those who are often excluded. Sally has published a number of articles in the areas of LGBTIQ people and suicide prevention, and is currently undertaking a PhD at Griffith University.


Grant Shannon


Dogs Connect


Pre-Forum Workshop: From Animals to Music – Using New Techniques To Improve Student Resilience, Wellbeing And Mental Health

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Dogs Connect was launched in 2015, by former primary school teacher Grant Shannon.

During his ten-year teaching career Grant recognized that his students needed more from traditional education and decided to create a program to help students feel more connected and engaged in their school environment.

Grant’s great passion for education has driven him to research the significant benefits of having a dog in the classroom. Grant willingly shares his knowledge and scientific evidence, teaching students and staff how to build emotional intelligence and resilience. Many schools are now witnessing first-hand the impact the program is having on academic outcomes.

 He is currently working on a research partnership with Latrobe University to contribute to the growing evidence supporting the beneficial use of dogs working as learning support in school settings.


Gregory Tim Ward

Student Wellbeing Co-ordinator

Koo Wee Rup Secondary College


Identifying Warning Signs Of Hidden Student Depression, Mental Illness, Anxiety And Suicidal Thinking: Effectively Training Your Admin And Teachers To Spot Early Indications Of Mental Health Struggle

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Tim Ward has been a Student Wellbeing Coordinator in four schools in the northern, central and southern regions of Melbourne over the past 25 years. He coordinated a Teaching Unit for disengaged students in Richmond and worked in a team in the northern and western suburbs to provide Health and Wellbeing Conferences for teachers. He has been involved in training new wellbeing coordinators and has contributed to a number of regional and state wide forums related to student wellbeing and mental health. He has a passion for developing pastoral programs in schools aimed at early identification of mental health issues. Tim currently works at Koo Wee Rup Secondary College leading the Wellbeing Team and has recently made representations to members of parliament and to the Mental Health Royal Commission on issues related to student mental health. He is a current member of the Training & Practice Advisory Group developing cross-sectoral information sharing training materials.


Stefani Caminiti

CEO & Founder | Expert Advisory Group Member | Expert Advisor

The Inner Ninja Foundation | Department Of The Prime Minister And Cabinet | National Suicide Prevention Plan


Lived Expertise And The Difference It Makes With One On One Counselling For Youth Who Are Experiencing Suicidal Ideation Or Living With Mental Health Issues Diagnosed Or Not

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Stefani Caminiti is the founder and CEO of The Inner Ninja Foundation. Stefani is an avid mental wellness advocate and international speaker. Stefani has completed a bachelors degree in psychology and counselling and will begin a masters degree in suicidology. Stefani volunteered and worked within in the mental health sector for the past 11 years for various organisations. Currently Stefani is an ambassador for Lifeline WA, a speaker for SANE Australia, on the advisory committee for Roses in the Ocean primary health network Perth, a volunteer for CYPRESS, a member of the CQNR collective and a member of the lived experience network with Suicide Prevention Australia.

Through sharing her lived experience of surviving a suicide attempt, living with depression, generalised anxiety disorder and OCD for most of her life and how she now manages it. Stefani encourages others to seek help and deliver the message of hope. Stefani shares her experiences through the lens of being a new mother, a CEO, an advocate for those whose voices haven’t been heard and a suicide survivor. Stefani’s story has lead her to travel the globe and complete speaking tours in the USA. Stefani believes we all have an inner ninja within us and through self awareness, self acceptance and kindness we can allow our inner ninja to grow. Through education and sharing lived experiences of survival, we can create a contagion of hope and change the culture which surrounds mental illnesses.


Claire Thompson

Director - Middle Years

Whitefriars College


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

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Experienced educational leader with a demonstrated history of working in secondary schools across Australia. Skilled in E-Learning, Numeracy, Coaching, Classroom Management and Lesson Planning. Strong education professional with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Student Wellbeing from University of Melbourne.


Nick Busietta

Managing Director

Liminal Virtual Reality


Using AR/VR Technology To Boost Students’ Mental Health

Liminal VR

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.


Katherine Doyle

Director of Wellbeing

The Pavilion School


The Pavilion Wellbeing Model: A Whole School Approach

  • What a trauma informed approach looks like in practice
  • Our core focus: promoting psychological strengths and skills, developing regulatory processes and building relational strength
  • Our school expectations and how they underpin and inform our work



Kat is the Director of Wellbeing at the Pavilion School, a proud Victorian government school for students who have been disengaged or excluded from mainstream education. Kat is an experienced Social worker who has been working with at risk young people and schools for over 10 years. With expertise in working from a trauma informed perspective and navigating complex presentations, Kat has been instrumental in leading the development and implementation of the wellbeing model at The Pavilion School.


Adelaide Brown

Preparatory Classroom Teacher

The Scots College Sydney


Case Study At The Scots College: Tracking And Managing A Student’s Mental Health

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Adelaide Brown is currently a Year 5 Preparatory Teacher at The Scots College. With over 11 years of teaching experience, Adelaide has worked in both the corporate sector and in education. As an Assistant Principal in a Public Primary School in NSW, she recognised and supported both students and teachers in the classroom, learning support, sport coordination and teacher accreditation. This enabled her to develop the necessary strategies to support staff and children to manage stressful situations.

As an elite sports woman, Adelaide also developed effective strategies to deal with stress around training and competitions. These strategies have helped Adelaide in her teaching and in general. She has huge passion for mental health programs and advocates for these to help and support students at risk. Adelaide believes that conversation is key and it is crucial to create opportunities for dialogue around mental health. Adelaide currently designs and implements the tracking surveys for mental health of Year 5 and 6 boys and runs the yearly Mental Wealth Forum at The Scots College.


Kristen Beagley

Legislative Policy Coordinator

Peninsula Grammar


Knowing Your Legal Responsibilities And Implications When Working With A Student Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts

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Gerard Houlihan

Deputy Head of the School

St Michael's Grammar School


A Mentally Health Culture: Building A ‘Triage’ Process At St Michael’s Grammar School To Respond Rapidly To Personal And Community Challenges

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Dr Christine Grove

Educational and Developmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer

Monash University Educational Psychology and Inclusion, Faculty of Education


Inclusive Education And Facilitating Positive Mental Health For Students

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Dr Christine Grove is a board-endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Monash University  (Educational Psychology and Inclusion). She has extensive experience supporting the inclusion and mental wellbeing of children, young people and adults through research, education, policy development and in clinical practice roles.  Her work focuses on supporting leaders, teachers and students to develop knowledge on practices that support mental health and inclusion in the classroom and also schoolwide. Christine’s work examines the primary prevention of mental health disorders with a focus to reduce health risks and illness, ultimately addressing stigma and improving resilience and protective factors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child, Parent and Family Mental Health and Associate Editor of the Educational and Developmental Psychologist.


Edmond Otis

Senior Lecturer, Health and Sport Science, MHSc

Eastern Institute of Technology Hawke's Bay, New Zealand


“Let’s Make Me Resilient”

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Edmond Otis has a unique background. A peak-performance coach, health educator and licensed psychotherapist, he has been a Senior Lecturer in Health and Sport Science at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in New Zealand, since 2008.  Prior to moving to New Zealand, Edmond was a Senior Lecturer in Humanities at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) where he was twice recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award, and held positions across Psychology, Honours, the Graduate School of Education, Physical Education, and served as Director of Martial Arts in Athletics.

In the private sector Edmond consults with select businesses, public and private organizations, education, health and social service agencies and individuals, on topics related to resilience, performance & leadership, mental health, conflict, stress and interpersonal synergy. He works with athletes, coaches, and sports teams to develop effective mental skills and improve competitive outcomes.

In sport, Edmond is a life-long practitioner and international instructor in traditional karate. He has coached numerous individuals and teams to national (USA) and international championships and has personally developed many high-ranking instructors.

Edmond blends these distinctive skills and insights into his training and consulting style – teaching real skills, and creating dynamic content, effective strategies, and pragmatic solutions for today’s most complex professional, personal and performance challenges.

“More than anything else – I’m continually fascinated by the endless ways our actions, our thoughts, our emotions, and our relationships – impact our performance, our success, our health, and our happiness.”


Heidi Sturk


Queensland University of Technology Centre for Children’s Health Research


Navigating The World Of Online Mental Health Options: How To Choose The Most Appropriate Services Or Resources For Students And Teachers

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Heidi Sturk is the Director of eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) at Queensland University of Technology. eMHPrac is funded by the Commonwealth Government and is led by QUT in partnership with Black Dog Institute, Menzies School of Health Research, and the University Centre for Rural Health (USyd). Heidi develops, delivers and evaluates training and support on digital mental health to health practitioners and service providers nationwide. She holds a Master of Organisational Psychology and has over 25 years’ experience working in mental health. Her areas of interest include how to integrate appropriate digital technologies into health care, rural and remote health care practice, and wellbeing of health practitioners.


Kim Huckerby

Founder and Director

The Wellbeing Affect


The Importance Of Youth Mental Health First Aid Training For Teachers And School Staff

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Founded The Wellbeing Affect with the hope of creating and delivering mental health and wellbeing services that educate, empower and inspire change. Kim is a Social Worker / Counsellor and has spent the last 20 years working extensively with young people, parents, secondary schools and the corporate sector, with a clear focus on mental health and wellbeing. She is a highly skilled and passionate professional, engaging in many diverse roles such as psycho-education, mentoring, strategic planning, leadership, teaching/training and coaching. She has equipped herself throughout her career with the necessary tools, skill-base, and knowledge to impart her years of knowledge to a large range of audiences. Kim and her staff at The Wellbeing Affect imagine a world where everyone has the skills and confidence to support those who need it.


Carmen Betterridge

Director | Principal Psychologist

Suicide Risk Assessment Australia


Pre-Forum Workshop: Essential Elements To Effectively Respond To A Student In Psychological Crisis 

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Carmen is Director and Principal Psychologist with Suicide Risk Assessment Australia, delivering training, supervision and consultation services specific to suicide prevention and workplace psychological health and safety. Carmen is Co-chair of the Suicide and Workplace Special Interest Group with the International Association of Suicide Prevention and has contributed to systems based suicide prevention initiatives within NSW Health via the Zero Suicide Australasia Institute.

Carmen has delivered hundreds of training sessions in suicide prevention and is a Lecturer and Senior Researcher with the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP), Griffith University.


  • International Association of Suicide Prevention, Member – IASP
  • Co-chair Special Interest Group, Suicide and the Workplace, International Association of Suicide Prevention – IASP
  • Suicide Prevention Australia, Member – SPA
  • American Association of Suicidology, Member – AAS
  • Australian Institute of Health and Safety, Member – AIHS
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine, Member – ANZSOM
  • Australian Association Psychologists Incorporated, Member – AAPi

Cody Byrns

Founder of The CB Foundation for Burn Survivors

Inspirational Speaker & Author


Pre-Forum Workshop: From Stuck To Empowered: Maintaining Momentum Through Trying Times

Very influential and effective, Cody Byrns is an internationally recognized speaker and a number one best-selling author. In May of 2013, Cody’s life was drastically changed. While stopped at a red light on the highway, Cody was rear-ended by a box-truck that failed to stop. As a result, he was considered dead until first responders saw his hand move. He received many injuries that day, including severe burns to almost 40% of his body. After years of countless surgeries and rehabilitation, Cody has chosen to not allow his scars to keep him bound in bitterness and defeat. Instead, he uses his story to uplift others.

His goal is to help people live free from the bonds of scars (physical and emotional), equipping others with the proper steps to walk out of their past hurt and defeat, and run towards their God-given potential. As a thought leader, he speaks worldwide to provide relevant, applicable, and thought-provoking messages. Thousands of people have been impacted by Cody’s story and outlook on life. From school students to business leaders, his presentations have been received by many. Be prepared to have an experience that will motivate you to move out of bondage into a life of freedom!

In addition to his speaking career, in 2016, Cody founded his own non-profit burns foundation that has been able to help multiple survivors recover.


Dr Michelle Jeffries

Tutor | Research Assistant

Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice Queensland University of Technology


LGBTQ+ Families And Schools: Diversity, Recognition And Belonging

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Michelle researches in the area of gender and sexual diversity in education, with a specific focus on families. Her doctoral study utilized a narrative approach to explore the experiences of gender and sexuality diverse parents in primary schools. Prior to undertaking her doctoral studies, she taught in primary schools across Brisbane and North-West Queensland for more than ten years.  She now teaches education students at the Queensland University of Technology. Michelle is passionate about schools as inclusive spaces of belonging.