Speaker Profiles

Speaker Profiles

Meet Our Speakers

Diego De Leo Address

Tom Calma Photo

Prof Tom Calma AO
Diego De Leo Address

Professor Tom Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan (Koong ara kan) tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja (Ee wad ja) tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 45 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, mental health, suicide prevention, all levels of education, culture and language, justice reinvestment, research, reconciliation and economic development. In 2010 after a distinguished career of 38 years in the Australian Public Service Professor Calma retired and currently works as a consultant, volunteer and academic.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 9.55am to 10.30am.

Keynote Speakers

Nathan Bolton NEW

Nathan Bolton
National Keynote Speaker

Nathan Bolton was a Special Operations Engineer, deploying twice to Afghanistan as part of the Australian Special Forces. He worked alongside the Commandos and the SAS, as they landed time and time again into hostile enemy territory. However, after his second tour, Nathan was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression, which became an inner battle that almost took his life. But the soldier in Nathan kept fighting, and through years of hard work and a firm belief in a better life, Nathan made a profound recovery.

Nathan now advocates heavily for mental health, pushing for its increased awareness, the reduction of its stigma, and the promotion of help-seeking behaviour. Nathan has just one goal in mind, being to inspire and empower others to find the courage to reach out and ask for help during times of crisis and need.

Nathan has further advocated for mental health, having sat on the SA Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention, WellbeingSA’s Community Advisory Committee for Mental Health, and was the State Representative of the Special Operations Engineers Welfare Association. He was also the Director of Bolton Brothers, a men’s psychology company, and a wellbeing and resilience trainer, as he attempted to support others who languished needlessly.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 3.20pm to 4.00pm

A/Prof Laura Shannonhouse
International Keynote Speaker

Laura Shannonhouse is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University. Her clinical experiences have included working with disaster impacted populations both domestically and internationally. Her research has focused on crisis intervention and disaster response, specifically to prevent suicide (suicide first aid), and with disaster impacted populations in fostering meaning-making through one’s faith tradition (spiritual first aid).  She has been evaluating and helping implement ASIST (and other LivingWorks programs) in k-12, university, and aging contexts, including leading a clinical trial to help garner the evidence needed for ASIST to be on the NCOA Evidence Based Registry.  She feels lucky her research has been funded by the US government (Department of Health and Human Services) and foundations (John Templeton Foundation) entities.

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 9.35am to 10.30am.

David McDaid - Headshot

A/Prof David McDaid
International Keynote Speaker – Opening Session – Plenary 1 

David is Associate Professorial Research Fellow in Health Policy and Health Economics within the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at London School of Economics. He has advised many national governments and international agencies, including work to assess intersectoral actions to promote health and wellbeing for the World Health Organization as well as reviewing mental health promotion and prevention policy and actions for the OECD. He has delivered international keynote lectures on health economics, mental and public health policy issues.

Presenting: Thursday 2 May – 9.00am to 9.40am

NSW Australian of the Year Awards 2021 © Salty Dingo 2020

Shane Fitzsimmons AO AFSM
Keynote Speaker

Shane has been a chief executive leading high-profile, complex, public-facing agencies, including the NSW Fire and Rescue, with legislated and policy  responsibilities for community service and safety. He is skilled at leading multi-agency and multi-disciplinary teams, crisis and disaster responses and community preparedness and recovery. He is a recognised chair and director of government, industry and voluntary boards and committees as well as keynote speaker at major conferences and events in public, private and non-government forums.

Presenting: Thursday 2 May – 9.45am to 10.30am

Invited Speakers

Chris Picton MP
Fireside Chat with MP’s

Chris is passionate about improving health care outcomes for all South Australians, and delivering improved services and opportunities for people in his southern suburbs electorate.

Chris has previously served as Minister for Police, Correctional Services, Emergency Services and Road Safety, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer and Convenor of SA Labor’s Policy Platform Committee.

Before election to Parliament he served as Adviser and Chief of Staff to the federal former Health Minister and Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, as Chief of Staff to former SA Health Minister John Hill and as an Associate Director at Deloitte Access Economics. His areas of policy work included tobacco plain packaging and national public hospital funding reforms.

He was educated at public schools in Adelaide and graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice and a Bachelor of Arts.

Chris is the lucky husband to Connie and proud dad of three young kids. When has free time he enjoys walking his dog on the beach, taking his kids to the playground, volunteer surf life saving at Moana and barracking for the Crows.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 9.00am – 9.55am

Dr Peggy Brown

Dr Peggy Brown AO
Plenary: Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

Peggy Brown is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), a member of the RANZCP Section on Leadership and Management, a member of the RANZCP Military, Veterans’ and Emergency Services Personnel Mental Health Network (MVESPMHN) and also of the RANZCP ADHD Network. She is currently a Member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

She was previously contracted by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to conduct two reviews: 1. Review of Trauma Recovery Program, and 2. Review of the Wellbeing and Support Program. She was a member of the DVA Chief Health Officer’s Mental Health Expert Advisory Group from February to July 2021, and was engaged by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to provide strategic support and advice; and to chair the Expert Advisory Group for the Independent Qualitative Review of Past Defence and Veteran Suicides being conducted by the ACSQHC on behalf of the Interim National Commissioner on Defence and Veteran Suicides. She was the CEO at the National Mental Health Commission when it conducted the Review of Suicide and Self-Harm Services for Current and Former Members of the Australian Defence Force and their Families in 2016–17.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 12.00pm to 12.30pm. 

Nadia Clancy MP
Opening Session – South Australia’s Suicide Prevention Council

Nadia Clancy is the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention and Chair of the Suicide Prevention Council. Nadia believes in supporting collaboration between government and community. She is committed to working closely with the community and people with lived experience of suicide and advocating to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Premier on reforming policy and services. 

As the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention and Chair of the Council, Nadia aims to improve engagement and early intervention for people, provide opportunities for training and education to South Australians, and increase access to suicide prevention, treatment, and crisis intervention for our State. 

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 9.00am – 9.30am


Dr John Brayley, Chief Psychiatrist
Opening Session – South Australia’s Suicide Prevention Council

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 9.00am – 9.30am


Amanda Braddock
Opening Session – South Australia’s Suicide Prevention Council

Qualified Suicidologist and Counsellor living on Kaurna Land, with 10+ years experience in the Mental Health sector.
National Operations Manager – MATES in Energy & Manufacturing, WHO endorsed leading workplace suicide prevention model.
Member of Australia’s first legislated suicide prevention council.
Passionate about all things Suicide prevention & mental health, loving parent, average golfer and sub-par succulent keeper.

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 9.00am – 9.30am

Ellie Hodges
Opening Session – South Australia’s Suicide Prevention Council

Ellie has worked in the non-government mental health sector for over twenty years as a community development lead, therapeutic practitioner, manager, educator, strategy/policy worker, advisor and consultant. She combines her professional, personal and socio-political worlds, centering lived experience and a commitment to action. This is underpinned by a focus on innovation, social justice and leading together.

In 2017 Ellie founded LELAN (the Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network), the peak lived experience organisation in South Australia that she leads as Executive Director. LELAN draws on the collective experiences, expertise and leadership of people with lived experience of mental distress, social issues or injustice to drive desperately needed change in the mental health and social sectors.

LELAN recently launched their work related to lived experience leadership for transformative systems change and the first model for lived experience leadership identifying the key skills, qualities and attributes of lived experience leaders. This was a partnership project with UniSA’s Suicide Prevention Research and Education Group and can be accessed via www.lelan.org.au.

A core focus for 2022 is the embedding of Alternatives to Suicide (Alt2Sui) across South Australia. An exciting initiative with financial input from both primary health networks, wellbeing SA and LELAN

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 9.00am – 9.30am

A person on a panel delivers a presentation. The person presenting is shown standing while two other board members sit at his side.

CEO Panel Discussion
Psychological Hazards in the Workplace

1. Jason Trehowan – Headspace
2. Katherine Newtown – RuOK?
3. Colin Seery – Lifeline
4. Gill Callister – Mind Australia
5. Chris Lockwood – Mates in Construction
6. Stu Cameron – Wesley Mission
7. Amanda Glenwright – Youturn
8. Darren Black – SuperFriend
9. Jorgen Gullestrup – Mental Health Lived Experience Peak QLD

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 11.00am – 12.30pm

Jason Trethowan Photo

Jason Trethowan
CEO Panel Discussion – Psychological Hazards in the Workplace

Jason Trethowan commenced as Chief Executive Officer at Headspace in February 2017.

Jason has spent the bulk of his career in the health sector where he has been driven by a passion to improve health services and access for Australians. Before beginning at headspace he spent 18 months as CEO of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network where he implemented a new organisational structure and led the transition of three Medicare Locals into a single PHN.

He was also CEO at Barwon Medicare Local in Geelong, CEO of the General Practitioner’s Association of Geelong, Board Director at Barwon Health and Board Director at Professionals with Alzheimer’s (PALZ). Earlier in his career Jason held managerial roles within Ballarat and Geelong Health Services.

Jason is involved in many national health system networks and is currently a Board Director with gforce Employment Solutions.

Jason holds an MBA from Deakin University and has completed graduate degrees in Health Informatics and Health Management at Monash University and La Trobe University.

Jason lives in Geelong with his wife and three children and is an active member of the local community.

Presenting: Wednesday 1 May – 11.00am – 12.30pm

Stu Cameron_portrait suit & open collar

Rev Stu Cameron
CEO Panel Discussion – Psychological Hazards in the Workplace

Rev Stu Cameron has served as CEO and Superintendent for Wesley Mission since 2021, joining the organisation in the midst of the COVID crisis. A passionate South Australian and recovering accountant, Stu is known for his public advocacy for gambling reform and its impacts on financial stress, mental health and suicide. In addition to establishing the Lifeline movement, delivering suicide prevention training and supporting 130 suicide prevention networks, Wesley deliver’s Suicide Memorial and grief and loss events around Australia.

Stu is an entrepreneurial leader passionate about unlocking the power of innovative and collaborative partnerships in building strength and resilience in individuals and communities.


Jo Robinson

Jo Robinson
AI & e-safety Panel

Professor Jo Robinson leads Orygen’s suite of research programs around suicide prevention. She currently coordinates several research projects in collaboration with Australian and overseas universities.

Some of the projects underway include a randomised controlled trial of an internet-based program for at-risk secondary school students, a study examining the role of social media in suicide prevention, and the evaluation of a gatekeeper-training program designed to assist school staff to identify and support students at risk.

Jo’s work focuses on improving our knowledge about the best approaches to reduce suicide risk among young people. This includes developing programs, testing novel approaches that specifically target at-risk youth, and translating the research evidence into practice and policy.

Jo has also been involved in the development of several government-commissioned community resources and has contributed to numerous advisory panels and expert committees.

She has been a member of advisory committees on suicide prevention for both the state and federal government.

Presenting: Thursday 2 May – 1.30pm to 3.30pm


Susan Edgar
Plenary – National Suicide Prevention Office Panel Discussion

Susan is a passionate suicide prevention advocate and healthcare educator, having worked in the health and education sectors for over 30 years, including as a physiotherapist, Youth Mental Health Advocate, and currently as an accessibility adviser. In 2016 Susan won a National Citation for implementing coursework strategies to enhance the mental health of physiotherapy students. She delivers MHFA for the Australian Physiotherapy Association and co-wrote the Level 1 Mental Health course for Australian physiotherapists. Susan is Chair of the Lived Experience Partnership Group (National Suicide Prevention Office) and volunteers weekly for Lifeline WA as a Crisis Supporter and Student Mentor.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 11:00am – 11:55am

Portrait 2022

Dr Alan Woodward
Plenary – National Suicide Prevention Office Panel Discussion

Dr Alan Woodward has worked in mental health and suicide prevention for 25 years. He is an expert in crisis support.

Alan has contributed to policy development for suicide prevention globally and nationally. He is Chair of the Advisory Board to the National Suicide Prevention Office. He is the Director of Policy for Lifeline International. He served as a National Mental Health Commissioner and as an elected Board Director with Suicide Prevention Australia.

In 2022 he received the National Mental Health Prize and in 2021 received a LIFE Award for Leadership in Suicide Prevention.

Presenting: Tuesday 30 April – 11:00am – 11:55am

Conference MC

1.Mark_Carter_Keynote_Speaker_Media_Kit 1

Mark Carter is an international keynote speaker, trainer and coach. He has over 25 years experience as a global learning and development professional with his first role being developing leaders for Contiki Holidays.

His TEDx talk was the movie trailer for his second book, ‘Add Value’, published globally by WILEY. Mark is the creator of a learning management system for SME’s and a media contributor. He regularly consults businesses around critical business pillars including: culture, leadership, value, adaptability and sales. His keynotes and rich academy of training programs all have a common thread specialisation in people and behaviour.

Born in England, raised in Scotland, nurtured by Europe and several round world trips he’s called Australia home since 2002. Mangoes, after all, don’t grow in Edinburgh.

 Save as PDF