Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers of the 2019 International Mental Health Conference will be released shortly. Ensure you keep updated!

The Program Committee would like to thank the 2018 Featured Speakers

Ms Gabrielle Vilic, Director Social Inclusion and Recovery, Addiction and Mental Health Services, Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health

Ms Gabrielle Vilic is a well-respected leader in the mental health sector with over 24 years’ experience, working across government and government sectors. She joined Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services as the Director for Social Inclusion and Recovery in 2013. Gabrielle has developed the lived experience workforce to over 50 positions in the last 4 years in MSAMHS.

Gabrielle has won a number of state-wide awards for her achievements in the area of mental health. She has and continues to be involved in research and has published a number of abstracts around consumer and carer participation.

Gabrielle is actively involved on a range of committees, including as the newly appointed Deputy Chair of the Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council. Gabrielle is the Chairperson for the State-wide Consumer and Carer Network meeting.

She has also worked as a consumer consultant for the Gold Coast Mental Health Service and provided consumer input in all aspects of the service’s planning, delivery and evaluation, and assist in improving the service’s response to consumer needs.

Gabrielle was also involved in coordinating the implementation of the Mental Illness Education Program into Queensland primary and secondary schools. The program focused on positive lifestyle choices, self-awareness, and early recognition and intervention for potential mental health issues.

Gabrielle’s areas of interest include the development of consumer and carer workforce, consumer led research, reduction of seclusion and restraint, and consumer feedback.

Professor David Crompton, Director, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP)

Professor David Crompton was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) for development of community based mental health services for veterans, and the development of community Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and anxiety and substance abuse treatment services.

Professor Crompton worked in private practice as a rural general practitioner prior to commencing psychiatry training and spent 12 years in private psychiatry practice.

Professor Crompton has subsequently held leadership roles in Queensland Health and New South Wales Health Mental Health Services.

Professor Crompton contributes to a significant number of organisations/ committees. His roles include and have included:

  • Chair Southern Queensland Mental Health Clinical Cluster (Queensland Health)
  • Chair Centre Neuroscience Recovery and Mental Health
  • Australian Council on Health Standards (ACHS) surveyor
  • Member of Australian Expert Advisory Disaster Committee and Queensland Health Psychosocial Disaster Committee
  • Member of Centre of Excellence in Relapse Prevention
  • Project lead for the activate: mind & body initiative
  • Head of Centre Trauma, Loss and Disaster Recovery
  • Board member for Stepping Stones Clubhouse
  • Clinical Consultant, Translational Research Institute

Mr Kevin Allan, New Zealand Mental Health Commissioner

Kevin Allan is the New Zealand Mental Health Commissioner, a position in the Office of the New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner.  He leads the Office’s monitoring and advocacy for improvements to mental health and addiction services, and makes decisions on complaints about services.

In 2016, Kevin developed a framework, in consultation with the sector, for monitoring and reporting publicly on New Zealand’s mental health and addiction services.  The first public report was released in February 2017.

Kevin’s academic background is in law.  Prior to commencing his appointment to HDC in February 2016 Kevin held CE and other senior leadership roles in the health, disability and justice sectors.

Professor Mark Dadds, Co-Director, Sydney Child Behaviour Research Clinic, School of Psychology, Principal NHMRC Research Fellow The University of Sydney

Mark Dadds is a Principal Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney Australia.

He is Director of the Child Behaviour Research Clinic which develops state-of-the-art treatments for children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems, and has developed and directed several national intervention programs for children, youth, and their families, at risk for mental health problems.

Mark has been National President of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy, Director of Research for the Abused Child Trust of Queensland, Professor of Parenting Research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London and a recipient of several awards including an Early Career Award from the Division of Scientific Affairs of the Australian Psychological Society, the Ian Matthew Campbell Award for Excellence in Clinical Psychology, and Distinguished Career Award of the Australian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy. He has authored 4 books and over 240 papers on child and family psychology, and has given invited keynote addresses to international audiences throughout the world.

Mark also practices as a clinical child psychologist and his treatment methods were the subject of the 2014 ABC TV documentary ‘Kids on Speed’ for which he was awarded the Inaugural APS Award for Media Engagement with Science.

Mr Ivan Frkovic, Commissioner, Queensland Mental Health Commission

Ivan Frkovic was appointed Commissioner from 1 July 2017 and brings substantial policy, academic and patient-centred experience to the role.

He was Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Operations for Aftercare, one of Australia’s oldest non-government mental health organisations. His responsibilities included leading Aftercare’s national operations and overseeing the development and implementation of new programs and services.

Prior to his five years with Aftercare, Ivan held senior government positions including as Director, Mental Health Programs and Reforms in the Department of Communities, where he was responsible for policy development, funding and reform of the non-government mental health sector in Queensland.

Ivan has worked extensively within the mental health system in Queensland for some 20 years, holding a number of senior positions across Government. He was also a director within the Mental Health Branch of Queensland Health where he led the Queensland Mental Health Commission Transition Team, which supported the establishment of the Commission.

While in the mental health sector, Ivan has focused on realising the benefits of strengthening partnerships and collaboration, into fully integrated relationships.

Ms Leshay Maidment, Regional Manager of Social Health, Institute of Urban Indigenous Health

Leshay Maidment is an Arrernte woman from Alice Springs in Central Australia. Fulfilling her passion to further the health and well-being of her people, Leshay has spent much of her working career in leadership roles within the Aboriginal community control sector in areas of health, education and research. Her roles have included Manager of Congress Alukura, Manager of Early Childhood Youth and Family Services with the Tangentyere Council, Deputy CEO of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Board member with Centrecorp Aboriginal Investment Corporation, and currently Regional Manager of Social Health with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in South East Queensland – all underpinned by a strong focus on community empowerment, engagement and self-determination for individuals and families.

Dr Harry Minas, Head, Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Harry Minas is Head of the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit at the University of Melbourne. Harry is a psychiatrist whose work is in three broad areas: mental health system development, particularly in low-resource and post-conflict settings; culture and mental health, with a focus on mental health of immigrant and refugee communities and the development of services for culturally diverse societies; and the human rights of people with mental illness.

Dr Carmel Nelson, Director, Clinical Services & Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute of Urban Indigenous Health & University of Queensland

Carmel Nelson was born and raised in Melbourne, where she completed a medical degree before moving to Northern Australia to live and work as a general practitioner for the next 20 years in Aboriginal communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Carmel has had the opportunity to work as Medical Director with the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council and as Vice President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, and in 2011, joined the newly established Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in South East Queensland where she now works as Director of Clinical Quality and Innovation.

Professor Hector Tsang, Head, Department of Rehabilitation Services, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Prof. Tsang has been researching on neuropsychiatric rehabilitation for people with severe mental illness (SMI) over the past two decades. His research on social skills in the workplace and its integration with supported employment attracted worldwide interest. He has altogether secured more than AUD 12 million research grants from Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia and USA. He spent his sabbatical at Yale University School of Medicine in 2007 working with researchers on social cognition and vocational rehabilitation for people with SMI. He has more than 200 publications and is currently Associate Editor for Administration and Policy in Mental Health (APMH) and American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. In addition, he is now serving as Editorial Board member of Psychiatry Research and reviewer of more than 100 SCI journals including, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Schizophrenia Research, and Psychological Medicine. He is also Honorary Professor of the University of Hong Kong, and Visiting Professor of Peking University, Sichuan University, and Kunming Medical University. He currently leads a large-scale consultancy project on the review of rehabilitation programme plan (RPP) in Hong Kong for the Government of the HKSAR.