Most first responder leaders are aware of increased mental ill health within their workforce. Yet, many are only taking the first steps to provide adequate wellbeing and mental health care. Despite many approaches, there has traditionally been no central platform to share resources, best practices, and training across all first responder agencies.
The Frontline Mental Health Conference is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of first responders in leadership positions, so that you can actively promote positive mental health within your organisation.
Unite with other leaders and learn from the diversity of experiences - personal perspectives, recovery innovations, strengths and gaps in the mental health system, and practical efforts being made to break the stigma.
Learn real techniques and practical solutions to implement into your agency.
Share insights, resources, and strategies to improve the mental health of our first responders with your fellow leaders.
One in three emergency workers suffer from high to very high levels of psychological distress.
One police officer, paramedic or firefighter is taking their own life every 6 weeks.
10% of frontline workers have probable PTSD, compared to an estimated 4% of the general population.
National Coronial Information System Intentional Self-Harm Among Emergency Services Personnel 2015
National Mental Health and Wellbeing Study of Police and Emergency Services (2016-2020)
First responder culture can often perpetuate a stigma against seeking help.
By not speaking up, our frontline workers face long-term consequences.
Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance abuse are just some of the mental health issues that can manifest as the result of repeated exposure to trauma.
Connect and collaborate with leaders on the front line, from fire and rescue to police and ambulance officers, defence force personnel, surf lifesaving and SES volunteers.
School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales
Simon Rosenbaum is Scientia Associate Professor in the School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney. Simon’s research focuses on physical activity and mental illness with a focus on trauma. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and serves as the President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and co-chair of the Olympic Refuge Foundation’s Think Tank on sport and humanitarian settings. Simon has worked with a variety of groups including veterans, emergency service workers and refugees, including with the UN in the Rohingya crises in Bangladesh.
Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria
Tony Walker ASM is Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria. He is a Registered Paramedic with over thirty-five years’ experience working in a range of senior clinical, operational and leadership roles within the ambulance sector.
Over past six years Tony has led significant transformation at Ambulance Victoria to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the response they provide to the community.
Tony holds an adjunct appointment as Professor within the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, Associate Professor in the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Care at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Paramedicine, Chair of the Australasian Council of Ambulance Authorities and a non-executive director of the Emergency Services Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Tony is a recipient of the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for his contribution to the development of ambulance services at a state and national level and has also been awarded the Australian Resuscitation Council Medal for his significant contributions to improving resuscitation practice and outcomes. Tony was also a finalist for the Australian Mental Health Prize in 2019 in recognition of his work in improving paramedic mental health and wellbeing.
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, The University of Adelaide
Professor McFarlane is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and an international expert in the effects of traumatic stress. He has acted in multiple roles as an advisor, clinician and expert witness in the provision of care to emergency service personnel. He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the ITSS for outstanding and fundamental contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies. He has published over 460 articles and chapters in various refereed journals and has co-edited three books. In 2011 he received the Officer of the Order of Australia award, for his “outstanding contribution to medical research in the field of psychiatry”.
Senior Firefighter and Peer Supporter, Fire & Rescue NSW
Tara AFSM is a professional firefighter and peer support officer with Fire and Rescue NSW. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of New England and was awarded the inaugural Australian Rotary Health scholarship for research into the mental health of emergency service workers in 2018. Her research focusses on understanding the impact of suicide on firefighters. She is also the internationally published author of Standing on My Brother’s Shoulders – Making peace with Grief and Suicide. Tara is a Mental Health First Aid instructor and has managed the psychological wellbeing program in Fire and Rescue NSW working with researchers at the Black Dog Institute to implement programs aimed at building resilience and improving mental health outcomes in firefighters. She was a finalist in the Rotary Inspirational Woman of the Year awards in 2017. In March 2021 Tara cycled 5000km unsupported from the western most point to the eastern most point of Australia raising over $21k for Lifeline and awareness for two organisations for which is an ambassador - Fortem Australia and StandBy Support After Suicide. Her mission is to use the voice of lived experience in her research to effect meaningful change at individual, organisational and community level.
NSW State Emergency Service
Former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police & Deputy Commissioner of Australian Federal Police
40 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.
CHIEF COMMISSIONER VICTORIA POLICE (5 YRS).
GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP EXPERTISE.
MENTAL HEALTH AND GENDER EQUALITY
SIGNFICANT STRATEGY AND BRAND MANAGEMENT
• Graham has a unique combination of management
and leadership skills having led a force of over
20,0000 people with an annual budget in the
billions from 2015 – 2020.
• Leading internationally significant investigations
and counter-terrorism operations including the
Australian investigation into the 2002 Bali
bombings for the joint Australian/Indonesian
Taskforce, in Bali.
• Led establishment of Victoria Police Family
Violence Training Centre – an Australian first.
• Establishment of the Jakarta Centre for Law
Enforcement Co-operation in Semarang Java was
led by Graham – a $50million facility, and first of its
• Graham has an international reputation as an
advisor on matters of sports integrity. He has
addressed many audiences nationally and
internationally about sports integrity and
corruption. As Commissioner, he established the
world’s first ‘Sports Integrity Police Intelligence
Unit’ in Victoria, Australia.
Queensland Police Service
Assistant Commissioner Brian Swan APM took up his current position as the Executive Officer, Brisbane Region, in March 2021. Prior to this appointment, Assistant Commissioner Swan was the District Officer for Logan District.
Assistant Commissioner Swan has been a police officer for over 36 years and has held commissioned rank since 2009. He served thirty years as an investigator in various parts of the state holding positions in regional criminal investigation branches and child protection units across the Logan and Gold Coast Districts. He also served as an investigator at the Ethical Standards Command for a short period of time. As a Detective Inspector in South Eastern Region, and later as Detective Superintendent in Southern Region, he was responsible for managing and leading the investigative response to many serious and major crimes and incidents.
Assistant Commissioner Swan holds tertiary qualifications including a Master of Arts and Master of Leadership and Management through Charles Sturt University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management from the Australian Institute of Police Management. He was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2018 for his service and contribution to criminal investigation in Queensland.
Department of Defence
MAJ Julie Bodin’s extensive career in the Australian Army has spanned multiple postings and deployments as both soldier and officer. She has served in the Australian Army Psychology Corps for over 20 years and has dedicated her career to enhancing Defence capability through the provision of high-quality mental health and psychology services to Army, Navy and Air Force personnel in deployed and garrison environments.
Senior Medical Advisor, Bupa, Australian Defence Force Health Services
Dr Katrina Sanders is the Senior Medical Adviser for Bupa Australian Defence Force Health Services and has extensive clinical and leadership experience in high risk organisations. As former Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Federal Police and former senior medical officer in the Australian Army, Dr Sanders expertise includes military and first responder health, mental health, operational medicine, leadership and diversity.
Dr Sanders has experience consulting to private and government agencies on health initiatives in support of strategic objectives including the United Nations, international intelligence and law enforcement communities, and emergency services sector amongst others. Dr Sanders is widely regarded as a leader in the field of health in military and emergency services personnel and is the recipient of the Australia Day Achievement Medallion 2019 and 2021 for her contributions. She is deeply committed to mental health and wellbeing in military and first responder populations.
Dr Sanders is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has a Master’s Degree in Public Health and is a Fellow of the Security and Health Executive Leadership Institute. She holds a number of Board positions, has authored articles directly relating to health and wellbeing, and has presented and participated in numerous keynote and panel presentations domestically and internationally.
Director, Priority One, Queensland Ambulance Service, Department of Health, Queensland Government
Todd is the Director of the QAS Staff Support Services, known as “Priority One” where he leads a multidisciplinary team. He has spent more than 25 years in the First Responder sector, initially as a fire fighter, and later becoming a paramedic.
Having already completed a degree in psychology and later a master’s degree in counselling he was able to focus his study on emergency services and combine this with his lived experience. During his time in ambulance, he has also had the privilege to speak and provide training with other agencies nationally and internationally.
In 2016 he was recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and received the National Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for his work in supporting ambulance personnel and their families.
Australian Army Psychology Corps
Lieutenant Colonel Costello was commissioned into the Australian Army in 2002 and has undertaken a diverse range of clinical, organisational, operational, command and staff appointments during her service.
Lieutenant Colonel Costello holds a Master’s Degree in Organisational Psychology and currently leads the Human Performance Optimisation team at Headquarters Forces Command. She has served as the Officer-in-Charge of the Australian Defence Force Centre for Mental Health, as the Senior Psychologist in the Commander’s Advisory Group at Headquarters Forces Command and prior to her current appointment, as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Psychology Unit.
Lieutenant Colonel Costello has dedicated her career to best practice, innovation and leadership in military psychology; she is passionate about ensuring that those who serve on the frontline, in garrison and deployed on operations, are supported to do so with purpose and dignity.
|Drive For Meaningful Change||Develop and Sustain a Mentally Healthy Workforce||Identify and Utilise Varying Treatment Models||Navigate Post-Service Support|
Take the stage and present to the audience in a 20 minute speaking session.
Be part of a discussion amongst a panel of 3+ fellow industry professionals.
Keep the attention of attendees on a dedicated workshop day with an engaging, hands-on learning experience.
Share short, sharp bursts of information in an interactive, round table setting.
Visually showcase your research or services via a printed poster, displayed in the conference exhibition area.
|Conference Date||Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 March 2022|
|Presentation Applications Close||Friday 10 September 2021|
|Presenter Registration Due||Friday 1 October 2021|
|Program Launch||Tuesday 12 October 2021|
|Early Bird Closes||Friday 10 December 2021|
|Scholarship/ Concessions Close||Friday 3 December 2021|
Founder, Code 9 Foundation
Professional occupation: Police officer with Victoria Police (25 years). Mark is a trained peer support officer within Victoria Police and is a “go to” person for the Police Media Unit when media requests coming for mental health related stories. Mark has presented his mental health journey to a wide range of units within the organisation.
Mark is diagnosed PTSD, depression and anxiety and to help his colleagues, founded The Code 9 Foundation. A foundation that sponsors assistance dogs and supports current and veteran professional first responders, their partners, their children and their careers.
Mark has been a Beyond Blue speaker for six years and has assisted with a wide range of projects researched and launched by Beyond Blue.
Mark has his own inspirational speaking business, After Ice Melts, to help spread the mental health message.
Commanding Officer, 1st Psychology Unit, Australian Defence Force
Lieutenant Colonel Costello was commissioned into the Australian Army Reserve in 2002 while completing her Masters Degree in Organisational Psychology. Upon promotion to Captain she transferred to the Australian Regular Army in 2003. Lieutenant Colonel Costello has undertaken a range of clinical, organisational, operational, instructional and staff appointments which has included postings to 1 Psych Unit, the Mental Health & Psychology Sections within Joint Health Command (JHC), the Royal Military College, the Directorate of Psychology and JHC Headquarters. She has recently served as the OIC of the ADF Centre for Mental Health and the SO1 Psychology in the Command Advisory Group on Headquarters Forces Command. Lieutenant Colonel Costello was appointed to Commanding Officer 1st Psychology Unit in August 2020.
Lieutenant Colonel Costello has been awarded the Psychology Corps E.F. Campbell Medal (2006) for her work managing organisational change in the Directorate of Psychology, the W.H Hall Award (2019) for her “contribution to the promotion, values, ethos, professional standing and reputation of military psychology” and a Chief of Joint Capabilities Gold Commendation for her leadership of the ADF Centre for Mental Health. She has deployed in support of operations in the Middle East and the ADF’s contribution to Australian Antarctic Expeditions.
Lieutenant Colonel Costello is married to Geoff, a serving Army Officer and together with their children Audrey and Henry they enjoy the lifestyle afforded by Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Senior Mental Health Adviser at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Dr Poerio is currently the Senior Mental Health Adviser at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs where she provides clinical advice to support policy, program development and research in relation to mental health, and contributes to the broader focus on mental health in DVA. She has also held the position of Assistant National Manager of the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (now Open Arms). Dr Poerio has a deep connection with the military; she worked as a Psychologist and clinical supervisor for the ADF in Darwin, her husband served the Army for 27 years, and her youngest daughter is currently serving in the Australian Air Force.
She has practised in the field of psychology in both clinical and management/advisory roles for over 25 years. She completed her PhD at Griffith University and her Clinical Masters at the University of Adelaide. Dr Poerio has worked in professional positions at the executive level across a range of organisations including the University of Sydney, Department of Defence, Centrelink, and the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.
She also works in part-time clinical practice, with her areas of interest involving trauma, bereavement, organisational change, resilience, workplace health, depression and anxiety.
Regional Director South Queensland,Open Arms - Veterans and Families
Bio coming soon.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Interoperability, Fire Rescue Victoria
Tony is a career firefighter with over 25 years’ experience. He has tertiary qualifications in business and emergency management and was the Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) / Director - Emergency Medical Response / Wellbeing which included managing organisational wellbeing for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) of Victoria. At CFA he implemented a tailored wellbeing program for staff and volunteers and was a strong advocate for mental health, leading to the transition of the Wellbeing department from People and Culture into the non-traditional Operations Directorate, establishing wellbeing as being equally important as responding a fire truck. Tony commenced with Fire Rescue Victoria in 2020 and is the ACFO / Director of the Interoperability Department.
Manager, Mental Health Drought and Disaster Team, Queensland Health
Bio coming soon.
Senior Medical Advisor, Bupa, Australian Defence Force Health Services
Executive Director, Australian Institute of Police Management
Stuart first arrived at the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) in July of 2019 and, after an extended period as acting Executive Director, was appointed Executive Director of the AIPM in October of 2020.
Stuart has overseen the implementation of ‘Future Directions’, a vision of the future of public safety education, and is now implementing “Beyond 2020”, a strategic direction and rolling business plan for the AIPM. In 2020 Stuart successfully navigated the AIPM through the health and business impacts of COVID-19, assuring its commercial viability and, together with the AIPM team, implementing virtual delivery methods that saw the AIPM continue to reach and develop current and emerging police and public safety leaders.
Stuart is involved in a range of activities and committees that foster the development of police leaders. He is currently an advisory member of the Australian Capital Territory Police “Policing Futures” Board and an active member of the Fortem Advisory Board, an independent organisation dedicated to improving mental health and wellbeing in the national security and first responder community. In the international domain Stuart is a participant in the FBI’s National Executive Interchange program and is currently involved in and fostering a wide range of international partnerships and associations for the betterment of police leader development.
Prior to his current role Stuart spent 36 years as an operational police officer with the Western Australia Police, where he reached the rank of Commander. Notable achievements during Stuart’s police career include the implementation of major reform to the WA Police Forensic Division; the delivery of the Policing Logistics Operation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and, a two-year period as acting Assistant Commissioner and CIO for WA Police ICT, where he conceived the WA Police Digital Policing Strategy. Stuart left the WA Police as Commander for the Southern Metropolitan Region, having overseen the Regions transition to a new metropolitan policing model.
Stuart’s qualifications include a Master of Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Science (Forensic Investigation). In addition, he is a proud graduate of the AIPM’s own Police Leadership Strategy (PLS). Stuart has been awarded a Commissioners Commendation, the Commissioners Medal for Excellence and an Australian Police Medal.
Stuart is married with two children and in his spare time enjoys music and sport. He has a keen interest in Australian Football and is currently the patron of the WA Police Football team.
Senior Project Officer, Wellbeing Strategy Team, Queensland Police Service
Todd is a Senior Sergeant with the Queensland Police Service, currently seconded to the Wellbeing Strategy Team as a Senior Project Officer, where he is working on (PFA / PSO Reviews and Suicide Framework). Todd’s policing career spans over 20 years and has seen him work across a variety of settings including People Capability Command, Financial and Cyber Crime, Electronic Evidence, Railway Squad and General Duties. Todd a Peer Support Officer, volunteering to assist and support his colleagues experiencing personal and work-related difficulties. Todd is passionate about mental health, in particular the impact of frontline service on the psychological wellbeing of first responders.
Director, College for Law, Education and Training
Bio coming soon.
Senior Psychologist & Co-founder, Mindarma And The Black Dog Institute
Dr Sadhbh (Sive) Joyce) is a Senior Psychologist at Mindarma and has experience across clinical, academic and industrial settings. She is an External Research Fellow with the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Medicine. Sadhbh has over 16 years experience working in Mental Health. She provides evidence-based therapy to those struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement and workplace injury. Sadhbh has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as occupational rehabilitation. Following her research with first-responders, Sadhbh co-founded Mindarma in 2016 with the aim of bringing evidence-based programs to the workplace. This award-winning holistic program teaches practice skills and strategies to help bolster psychological resilience and wellbeing. Mindarma has since been adopted as a core workplace mental health initiative by numerous organisations including Ambulance Victoria, New South Wales Ambulance, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Health, UNICEF, Reuters, St John Ambulance NT, Corrective Services NSW, Youth Justice NSW, WorkSafe ACT, TAFE Queensland, Business Victoria, Mercy Health Services, Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA, UNSW- LAW, Queensland Fire and Rescue, Queensland SES, Queensland RFS, NSW Health Pathology and the NSW Ministry of Health. You can read more about Sadhbh’s work here.
Associate Lecturer in Paramedicine, Western Sydney University
Buck Reed is Lecturer in Paramedicine at the Western Sydney University; Buck is a Registered Paramedic and practices clinically in the state of New South Wales. Buck is a Churchill Fellows and first paramedic graduate of the NSW Health Rural Research Capacity Building Program. Buck is a PhD candidate researching paramedic regulation and identity and holds a Master of International Health Management. Buck has been involved in designing wellbeing programs around paramedicine students and has presented on paramedic student resilience and wellness. Buck is heavily involved in the Australian paramedicine community as an academic, researcher and a member of the Australian College of Paramedicine Future of Paramedicine Working Group.
President, NSW SES Volunteers Association
Bio coming soon.
Engagement Manager, Fortem Australia
James Maskey is a passionate engagement and advocacy professional, striving to enhance the mental, personal and social wellbeing of the emergency services community. James is also a retired front-line Queensland Police Officer with a service history including General Duties and the Child Protection & Investigation Unit. In 2013, James was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
James is currently the 'Engagement Manager' of Fortem Australia. Fortem provides evidence-based, comprehensive and integrated mental health and wellbeing support to first responders, and their families. In this position, James is responsible for developing and implementing engagement strategies across multiple stakeholders, including corporate, national security and first responder agencies to build sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships.
In addition, James remains a tireless advocate of creating mentally healthy workplaces, tackling stigma and improving help-seeking behaviours in the emergency services sector. In doing so, James supports executive and front line leaders in the emergency services sector to drive industry-led and sustained educational, cultural and policy changes that have a tangible impact for those on the ground.
For his ongoing mental health advocacy pursuits, in March 2020, James was recognised as one of 25 Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 Award recipients for 2019. In May 2019, James was also announced as a finalist in the Victorian Young Achiever of the Year Award in the ‘Create Change’ category.
As a world record holder and ultra-endurance athlete, James has represented Australia on the world stage in ultra-marathon running, raising funds for mental health organisations. James utilises his endurance pursuits as a platform to passionately share his own lived experience of mental health difficulties, challenge mental health stigma and encourage the help-seeking behaviours of others who may be impacted by mental health conditions.
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Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217
We have sold out of rooms, please contact Sea World directly to make a booking - 1300 139 677
If you have any questions, please contact us here - Contact Us.
Date: Monday 15 March 2022
Time: 5.00 - 6.00pm
Cost: Included in your full registration. $70 for guests.
Catering: Drinks and canapes will be provided
2 DAY PROGRAM
2 DAY PROGRAM
Per person, min. of 4
2 DAY PROGRAM