Featured Speakers

Mr Craig Hamilton, Mental Health Advocate, Broadcaster, Author, ANZMHA Ambassador

Craig Hamilton was a high-profile sports broadcaster for the ABC when, in September 2000, on the eve of his assignment for the Sydney Olympic Games, he experienced a major psychotic episode in public that led to him being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Craig spent 12 days in hospital and once he recovered, set out to create awareness of mental health and also break down the stigma that surrounds those that suffer from mental health issues. He has since become one of Australia’s most high profile and most sought-after speakers on mental health awareness, lifestyle, overcoming adversity and work/life balance.

Today Craig leads a very busy and fulfilling life. As well his role as the presenter of Saturday Morning Breakfast for ABC Newcastle Radio, he travels widely, telling his story in the hope that others will open up and tell theirs. He has made around 400 appearances as a mental health advocate in front of audiences from big city executives to desperate rural survivors in dusty townships. In sharing his story and experiences he offers hope to others.
Craig is just one of the 800,000 Australians who each year suffers from the insidious illness, depression. His goal is to encourage sufferers (particularly men) and their families to break the conspiracy of silence, step forward and seek help.

Craig’s acclaimed memoir Broken Open published in 2004 gives a very personal account of living with Bipolar Disorder and was chosen by SANE Australia as its 2005 book of the year.

In July 2012, Craig’s second book, A Better Life, co-written with Will Swanton, was published. It acknowledges his own illness and how he manages it, but also tells how other public figures like Andrew Johns, Garry McDonald, Jessica Rowe and Wally Lewis are dealing with mental illness to live as normal and fulfilling a life as possible.

Craig Hamilton has covered Rugby League, Rugby Union and cricket at international level as a commentator. He is a well-known member of the Grandstand Rugby League commentary and has worked on the past 17 Grand Finals, State of Origin series and a number of Test Matches.

Mr Shaun Robinson, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand

Shaun is a father, partner, musician, gardener, sometimes surfer and organisational leader. His professional passion is developing organisations to deliver social good and social change, particularly from a public health perspective.

Shaun has worked in social and health services for over 30 years. With degrees in business and community work, he has held four other CEO positions in not-for-profit organisations, addressing issues from child wellbeing to HIV and AIDS. He has been a management consultant to public hospitals, and a policy advisor to former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark. He has served on commercial and not-for-profit boards and on a range of government working parties and advisory groups.

Ms Barbara Disley, Chief Executive, Emerge Aotearoa

Barbara has extensive leadership and management experience leading large teams within the education and health sectors.  She has held a number of senior public positions including chair of the first Mental Health Commission and Deputy Secretary Ministry of Education where she had responsibility for special education.  Barbara has worked in a number of non government organisation Chief Executive roles including the Mental Health Foundation, Richmond Fellowship and now Emerge Aotearoa.   She has been involved in a number of Government reviews including chairing the review of the ACC Sensitive Claims pathway and as a panel member of the current Mental Health Inquiry.

Barbara was also a panel member for the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service which heard the stories of over 1000 people who had experienced abuse or neglect while in state care.  She is currently the Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa, a large non government mental health, disability and social housing provider. Barbara has a doctorate in education and in 2011 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to mental health.

Ms Samantha Wild, Director, Awakening Cultural Ways

Invited Featured Speakers

  • Ms Lucy Brogden, Chair, National Mental Health Commission
  • Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director, Orygen
  • Ms Georgie Harman, CEO, Beyondblue

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Abstract submissions close 15 April 2019