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Wed 6 - Fri 8 Nov 2024 Pullman Cairns International Hotel 17 Abbott Street Cairns QLD 4870

Empowering Rural Communities: From Crisis to Wellbeing Initiatives

Connecting communities and breaking barriers to forge pathways to inclusive rural wellbeing.


RMHC24 brings together mental and behavioural health professionals, peer and support workers, lived and living experience, and government and policy professionals within the rural mental health sector.


RMHC24 is designed to connect you with the most advanced and adaptable mental health service solutions so that you can see immediate and effective change within your rural community.

The Destination

This year we’re bringing the conference to Cairns, Queensland.

Nestled amidst the lush tropical landscapes of Queensland, Cairns offers a serene backdrop for both professional growth and personal relaxation. Why not create a team escape around this year’s RMHC (or plan a personal holiday before or after the conference)! Picture yourself engaging in insightful discussions, masterclass, and networking sessions during the day, while the evenings are reserved for exploring the vibrant local culture and enjoying the region's natural wonders.

Speak to us today about rates for your whole team to attend RMHC24.
2024 RMHC Website Side Image (Main)

The Mission

Join us and be a part of the RMHC 24 mission. Together we will:

  • Address key mental and emotional health challenges facing rural and remote communities and plan for brighter future.
  • Support mental health professionals and emerging workers in the field by providing access to networking opportunities and a high level of professional development.
  • Provide a platform for government policy and initiatives to update, inform and seek feedback from the people who are delivering the services in the community.
  • Encourage multi-sectoral collaboration and create an engaging space for knowledge sharing, and learning opportunities within the rural and remote mental health sector.

What will I gain from RMHC24?

Connection, Community & Innovations

Learn more about the Rural Mental Health Conference, who attends, the type of content shared and what you’ll gain from joining us.

Who attends RMHC?

Here’s a snapshot of delegates who typically attend RMHC

RMHC brings together mental health professionals, government, peer workers and people with lived experience to progress mental health and wellbeing for all rural and remote communities. Delegates include:

  • Psychologists and Psychiatrists

  • Mental Health Nurses, GPs, Clinical workers

  • Peer workers, support workers

  • Counsellors, Occupational therapists, Clinical workers, Social workers.

  • Rural community leaders.

  • Rural Heads of organisations: Resource Sector, Construction, Banking, Lawyers, Retail, Healthcare, Energy, Police, Fire & Rescue, Manufacturing, Tourism and Hospitality.

  • Education and Academia: Professors, Lecturers, Researchers and Students.

  • Government: Policy and advocacy.

Is RMHC for me?

Yes! The Rural Mental Health Conference is for you if you’re looking for…

  • Honest and brave conversations around the current issues facing the rural and remote mental health sector.

  • Thoughtful sessions from some of the sector’s leading minds.

  • A platform to ask the big questions and address the big opportunities within the sector including First Nations and Indigenous Mental Health Resilience, Workforce Development in rural mental health, Tackling Social Isolation, Stigma and Mental Wellbeing in rural communities, Resource Allocation for rural mental health programs plus more.

  • Information on new ideas, holistic treatments, innovations and technologies supporting sector professionals.

  • A break away from your every-day to focus on the future of what rural and remote mental health looks like for you and your community.

What will you gain from attending?

RMHC24 will be the best conference you attend this year!

Connect with your peers across the rural mental health community, learn from each other, network and share ideas.

Be refreshed with new ideas and innovative approaches to maximising the potential in rural mental health care.

Walk away engergised by the changing landscape of the sector and your future within it.

You'll have:

  • Access to all recorded keynote presentations (30 days)

  • All recorded concurrent presentations (30 days)

  • Access to event app

  • Printed event materials

  • Over 10 hours towards CPD points

  • Your personalised certificate of attendance

Here's what you can expect

Attend RMHC24 in Cairns and enjoy:

An exclusive welcome networking function with drinks and canapes

A 5-star catering package for the entire conference

The chance to win awesome prizes at the conference

Chillout mindfulness zones

Special extras organised for all delegates

Returning delegate gift if you’ve joined us before

Introductions to exhibition partners to see what’s new and interesting

The RMHC24 Program

Empowering Rural Communities: From Crisis to Wellbeing Initiatives

With the full program to be announced in the coming months, take a look at the main topics and subtopics which will form the program.

The topics the sector needs to discuss

Click to expand each of the topics below.
  1. First Nations and Indigenous Mental Health Resilience and Equity

    • Culturally aware support and services for Indigenous communities, including strategies to sustain and expand tailored services.
    • Incorporating cultural competence training for mental health professionals.
    • Supporting Indigenous communities to lead mental health initiatives and supporting Indigenous workforces through targeted training programs and career development opportunities.
  2. Empowering Community Voices: Centring Lived Experience in Mental Health Service Provision

    • Incorporating lived experience perspectives in service design and delivery and fostering meaningful collaboration
    • Integrating peer support workers into service delivery models and recognising their valuable contributions
    • Promoting consumer leadership and involvement in decision-making processes
    • Cultivating culturally responsive and community-driven approaches to mental health care.
  3. Improving Mental Health Support in Rural and Geographically Dispersed Areas

    • Strategies for overcoming service gaps and shortages in mental health, lived experience, peer professionals.
    • Innovative outreach programs and addressing transportation barriers in accessing facilities and specialists.
    • Promoting tailored mental health awareness campaigns and community-driven initiatives.
    • Overcoming obstacles related to cultural and human rights to facilitate support and healing
  4. Workforce Development in Rural Mental Health

    • Ensuring a robust workforce in rural mental health, including recruitment and retention strategies.
    • Providing training programs for both professionals and local community members.
    • Implementing collaborative care models to address interdisciplinary needs in remote settings.
    • Addressing specific stressors and challenges faced by farmers
    • Supporting the peer and emerging workforce through mentorship programs, skill-building and opportunities for career advancement and leadership
  5. Promoting Inclusion and Mental Well-being in Rural Communities

    • Implementing inclusive initiatives and community-based awareness campaigns for LGBTIA+, CALD and other diverse communities
    • Promoting mental health through community engagement and social activities, particularly in close-knit communities.
    • Recognising virtual community support networks, both establish and new platforms to combat isolation and promote mental health
  6. Resource Allocation for Rural Mental Health Programs

    • Supporting community-led initiatives through funding, training and resource-sharing to foster local ownership and sustainability in mental health initiatives.
    • Implementing strategies to maximise the impact of limited resources in rural settings and forming partnerships to enhance mental health services in remote areas.
  7. Integrating Early Distress Interventions into Rural Suicide Prevention Strategies

    • Implementing proactive measures to address distress in rural and remote communities.
    • Identifying early warning signs and risk factors unique to rural settings.
    • Engaging communities in mental health first aid and crisis response.
  8. Environment Sustainability and Mental Health

    • Understanding mental health impacts of environmental stressors: droughts, natural disasters and climate change.
    • Building resilience and coping strategies within rural communities to address these challenges.
    • Integrating mental health support into disaster preparedness and response plans.
    • Promoting sustainable practices that balance agriculture, biodiversity and community well-being while addressing climate and environmental challenges in rural communities.
    • Understanding mental health effects stemming from domestic family violence, poverty and the deprivation of opportunities
  9. Telehealth Solutions and Challenges in Rural Mental Health

    • Maximising the potential of telehealth to ensure equitable services for diverse rural populations
    • Addressing limitations: Internet connectivity, digital literacy and technology access.
  10. Enhancing Mental Health through Nature-Based Therapies and Alternative Programs in Rural Communities

    • Implementing nature-based trails, eco-therapeutic initiatives and outdoor programs tailored to rural areas.
    • Developing community-driven nature-focused initiatives aimed at promoting mental health awareness, resilience and well-being.
    • Integrating nature-based interventions into existing mental health support systems to provide holistic care for rural residents.
    • Enhancing community capability to provide diverse and tailored support


Ivan Frkovic
Ivan Frkovic

Queensland Mental Health Commissioner

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Tahnee Bridson
Dr Tahnee Bridson

Queensland Young Australian of the Year for 2022

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Ernest Hunter
Professor Ernest Hunter

Adjunct Professor: The Cairns Institute,  James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland. 

Consultant: Schools Up North (SUN) project; Youth Empowered Towards Independence (YETI), Cairns

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Dr Miles Holmes
Dr Miles Holmes


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Professor Myfanwy Maple
Professor Myfanwy Maple

Director, Manna Institute, University of New England

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Steph Schmidt
Steph Schmidt

Farm Life Psych

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Paul Klotz
Paul Klotz

Lived and Living Experience Journeyman

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What do past delegates say about Rural Mental Health Conference?


"Go! It's a wonderful experience, it's amazing hearing from ordinary, everyday people doing extraordinary things on the daily. It's inspiring and really brings home how important our work is."

“Great networking opportunities and confirms what you are doing in this space is best practise”.

“Attend if you can…the opportunity to network and hear form others helps recharge the batteries.”

“I would highly recommend attending the symposium, as it’s a way to broader your knowledge on mental health services within regional and remote areas across the nation.”

“This is the conference to learn how much is going on in rural communities and to spark exciting ideas for what you and your organisation could do next.”

“I have been inspired by so many likeminded clinicians and especially lived experience colleagues. I have learnt so much and really look forward to inspiring change in practices.”

Registration Options


Small team of one.

Me & My Team

Teams of two or more.

$ 439 + GST


Save $121 with Early Bird - Ends 20/09/2024.
  • Live streaming of all keynote presenters
  • Live streaming of all sessions in the plenary room over three day conference period
  • Virtual presentations
  • Complete online access to audio and visual presentations for 30 days*
  • Over 15 hours towards CPD points
  • Live online support
  • Your personalised certificate of attendance

$ 1,169 + GST

In-Person | 3 Day Program

Save $473 with Early Bird - Ends 20/09/2024.
  • All keynote presentations
  • All concurrent presentations
  • Discounted accommodation rates
  • Access to conference app
  • 5 star conference catering package
  • Access to exclusive networking functions
  • Complete online access to audio and visual presentations for 30 days post-event
  • Printed conference materials
  • Over 15 hours towards CPD points
  • Your personalised certificate of attendance
  • Exposure for your organisation
  • Plus, chances to win great prizes!

$ 2,997 + GST

In-Person Group of 3

Save $660 with Early Bird - Ends 20/09/2024.
  • All keynote presentations
  • All concurrent presentations
  • Discounted accommodation rates
  • Access to conference app
  • 5 star conference catering package
  • Access to exclusive networking functions
  • Complete online access to audio and visual presentations for 30 days post-event
  • Printed conference materials
  • Over 15 hours towards CPD points
  • Your personalised certificate of attendance
  • Exposure for your organisation
  • Plus, chances to win great prizes!

Have a team of 4 or more?

Fill in this form to receive a personal call from our team with your best possible rate.


Professor Russell Roberts

Charles Sturt University, Conference Co-Chair

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Barb Walters
Barb Walters

Manager Tasmania Growth & Transition, EACH

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Darryl Maybery
Darryl Maybery

Professor of Rural Mental Health, Monash University

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Annette Beautrais
Annette Beautrais

Suicide Prevention/Postvention Co-ordinator, Psychosocial Support Rural Health NZ

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Myf Pitcher
Myf Pitcher

Manager – Mental Health and Wellbeing, Rural Aid Ltd

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Clifford Lewis
Associate Professor Clifford Lewis

Charles Sturt University

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Celeste Russell
Celeste Russell

Registered Nurse - Mental Health & Wellness, The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia

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Ailsa Rayner
Ailsa Rayner


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Lyn English
Lyn English

SA Lived Experience Advisor

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Anita McRae
Anita McRae

Senior Manager Priority Populations, Murrumbidgee PHN

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Emma Coughlan
Emma Coughlan

Senior Policy and Project Officer, Mental Health Australia

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Chay Brown
Dr. Chay Brown

Managing Director, Her Story Mparntwe

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Vicki Pascoe
Dr Vicki Pascoe

CQUniversity and Manna Institute

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Mancel Carmont
Mancel Carmont

Senior Manager MHAOD, Country to Coast, Queensland

Where It's Happening

Venue & Accommodation

WED 6 - FRI 8 NOV 2024
The 2024 Rural Mental Health Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.

Accommodation is optional and can be booked during registration.

Superior City Mountain View $260
Superior City Mountain View with breakfast for one $288
Superior City Mountain View with breakfast for two $316

All prices include GST.


Host City Partner




Gold Sponsor

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service - Career Up Here logo

Silver Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

Guardian Exercise Rehabilitation

Bronze Sponsor

The Healthy Communities Foundation Australia

Bronze Sponsor

AWH Logo (RGB)-1-1

Showcase Exhibitor

Animal Therapies

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MacKillop Seasons

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Social Science Translated

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Showcase Exhibitor

DV Alert

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North and West Remote Health

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Contact Us

Use the form below to send us a message and we'll be in touch with you shortly.