Workplace Mental Health Conference

Conference Presenters

The 2017 Conference LEADING THE WAY Workplace Mental Health Conference, will provide an opportunity for workplaces to come together to exchange expertise, learn and collaborate.

The program will bring together international and national presenters in the field, as well as open forums for discussion of practical experiences and exchange new ideas.

Morning Session Presenters

Dr Paul Quinnett

Dr. Paul Quinnett is a clinical psychologist and the President and CEO of the QPR Institute, an educational organization dedicated to preventing suicide. Author of eight books and an award-winning journalist, he is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington School of Medicine. For 30 years he directed a large clinical service in public sector mental health and served as Director of Training for an American Psychological Association-approved internship program. He maintained a limited private practice in psychotherapy, law enforcement, and corporate consulting. In his pre-college years he worked as a land surveyor at ore mines and pipeline construction sites. In the early 1960’s Dr. Quinnett served in the US Army Security Agency in Asia (now NSA).  Much of his work in suicide prevention is based on his military training in surveillance, signal detection, intelligence gathering, threat assessment and analysis of human behavior. Dr. Quinnett enjoys a second career as an avid fly fisherman, travel writer, essayist, public speaker and author of such classic fishing books Pavlov’s Trout and Darwin’s Bass.

Chris Lockwood

Chris Lockwood manages Industry Partnerships and the Member Health Program for Cbus, the construction industry super fund. Chris’ work to improve Health outcomes for Cbus members, has a strong focus on supporting the delivery of evidence based programs aimed at reducing the incidence of suicide in the construction industry. Cbus works with valued partners who deliver programs on-site, face to face and online, supporting better mental health outcomes in construction industry workplaces. Chris also chairs the Board of Permanent Care and Adoptive Families, a Victorian NGO providing essential education and support services to ensure better outcomes for children and families in kinship care, permanent care and adoption.

Gus Worland

Gus Worland is an Australian television and radio personality. He is one of the hosts of the Triple M Sydney breakfast radio show The Grill Team. Gus recently hosted “Man Up” a three-part documentary series and social awareness campaign, which aims to get to the bottom of the male suicide crisis, effect real social change and hopefully even save lives.

Keith Schleiger

A talented and skilled carpenter, builder and foreman, Keith Schleiger is also a popular television personality – best known as ‘The Blockinator’ for his role on Nine Network’s hugely successful series, The Block.
Keith joined The Block as the on-site foreman in the 2011 series and quickly became an audience favourite. His extensive building knowledge, easy going nature, and instinctive attention to detail proved key to keeping one step ahead of the contestants. With a firm, fair and friendly leadership style, he was able to gain the respect and trust of both the contestants and audience.
Alongside his role with The Block, Keith has just finished building his own home for his young family. A perfect ambassador for his trade, Keith has excellent communication skills and is admired amongst his peers for being ethical, energetic and a positive role model for both young and old.

Concurrent Session Presenters

Dr Alison Milner

Allison is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University. Her current areas of research interest include the influence of employment characteristics, quality of work, job stress, and unemployment as determinants of mental health and suicidality. Allison’s work ranges across a number of externally-funded etiologic and intervention projects. She works with key policy stakeholders to promote research on the link between work and suicide, and is the co-chair for an international panel of researchers aiming to promote workplace suicide prevention. Allison also has interests in research on disability, mental health and employment.

William Stubbs

William is an award-winning social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant. The son of a software entrepreneur and an artist, William was influenced early on by the power of technology and creativity to change people and the world.
Experiences of childhood depression led William to be fascinated by social change and public health and in 2011 he co-founded the acclaimed mental health non-profit Spur Projects – now known for its cutting-edge mental health campaigns including Soften the Fck Up, #oldmate and the world’s first global mental health data project How is the World Feeling?
In 2016 he was recognised by the Queensland Mental Health Commission with the Jude Bugeja Peer Experience award for his work in progressing mental health in the public space. He has also been named as one of Australia’s Top Young Social Entrepreneurs, nominated for the Australian Mental Health Prize and a Semi-Finalist for the Queensland Young Achievers Awards.
William is a proud Telstra Foundation Ambassador, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and mentor to Indigenous business accelerator Barayamal. He also once won a push-up bet on the floor of a bar in Macau.

Lucinda Brogden

Commissioner, National Mental Health Commission
Chair, Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance
Chair, Australian Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention

Lucinda is has a strong commitment to helping others and building stronger communities.  Her primary areas of focus are Mental Health and Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention particularly in the workplace and the community.  She takes an evidenced based approach to problem solving and social investment and draws on her own lived experience and that of her family.
Lucy has more than 25 years’ experience commercial experience with companies including Macquarie Group and Ernst & Young and more than ten years in organisational psychology.   Specifically, Lucy has worked in trusted advisory roles with some of Australia’s leading CEO’s, Managing Partners, Ministers and Chairs in investment banking, finance, law and government.   In 2015, Lucy was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Australia in the Public Policy category.

Nataly Bovopoulos

Nataly Bovopoulos is the current Acting CEO at MHFA Australia. She joined the MHFA Australia team in 2011, first as Program Manager, since 2012 as Deputy CEO and also served as the Company Secretary from 2011 to 2015. Nataly brings more than 10 years experience working in the not-for-profit mental health sector. Nataly has previous experience in state-wide mental health promotion roles and coordinating research projects with young people and families experiencing anxiety and mood disorders. Nataly is passionate about innovation, technology and disseminating effective population based evidence-based strategies like Mental Health First Aid. She has a particular interest in the workplace and is completing a PhD on mental health first aid strategies in the workplace. She is an accredited Standard MHFA Instructor.

Pip Seldon

Pip Seldon is a Construction Project Manager, Health & Nutrition Coach  and founder of the Healthy Tradie Project. Her transformational journey began in 2009 with the loss of her eldest brother, a carpenter, to suicide. Pip’s mission now, “To inspire tradies to live healthier, happier lives with movement, mindfulness and real whole food.”

Pip believes that wellness exists in all of us and through the right nutrition, exercise and lifestyle practices we can each unveil our healthiest self – physically, mentally and emotionally.

In her quest to implement a proactive approach to suicide prevention, Pip founded the Healthy Tradie Project.  She now delivers Healthy Tradie Workshops, Health and Nutrition Coaching, Mindfulness and Yoga to Australia’s construction industry.  Pip gives tradies the tools they need to make step-by-step changes in their lifestyle unlocking the keys to looking better, feeling better and living better!

Ingrid Ozols

B.Sc, GradDipBusMgt, GraDDipCommMHealth,
Master of Mental Health Science (Monash),
Master of Suicidology,
Postgrd Mental Health Recovery & Social Inclusion (UK).

Ingrid Ozols, a 2016 Australian Human Rights Medal finalist, , is an active workplace mental health and suicide prevention advocate and educator of more than 16 years, founder and managing director of Mental Health at Work (mh@work®) a consultancy aimed at improving workplace understanding of mental health, resilience and creating supportive cultures.
She contributes to mental health policy reform in Australia, participating as a member of many national mh & suicide prevention boards, committees, government advisory, university and research groups. Ingrid travels the country and internationally speaking (and chairing) many conferences & workshops.
Having appeared widely in Australian media and radio Ingrid shares her journey of loving, living and working with many people in her family and workplaces who have been touched directly and indirectly by mental illness and suicide.
A recent TEDx UK speaker, Ingrid was the 2007 State finalist for Telstra Business Women’s Awards and finalist in the Social Contribution section of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurship Awards in 2009.

Brent Headley

Brent is the Mental Health & Wellbeing Manager at the AFL Players’ Association.

The AFL Players’ Association is the representative body for all current and past professional Australian Football League players.

Players welfare is the primary function of AFL Players’ Association, and it aims to ensure the sustainability and integrity of the game by investing in the personal development of past, present and future AFL footballers. In line with this commitment, the AFL Players’ Association has a team dedicated to building good mental health, wellbeing and life performance for past and present AFL players.

James Polkinghorne

James Polkinghorne is a former professional Australian Rules footballer who played with the Brisbane Lions and Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). Since retirement from professional football James has worked with the AFL Players Association on the Better Out Than In campaign. The program encourages blokes to talk about their experiences, recommend positive actions and how to support mates in need.

Allison Johnson

Allison Johnson is a qualified counselling psychologist, with more than 20 years’ experience. Allison is fuelled by passion to develop unique ways of understanding how we think, what we feel and why we behave as we do. Allison has worked in a range of state government, public and not for profit sector roles in addition to independent practice as a clinician, manager and supervisor and training consultant.

Allison has significant experience working within the criminal justice system and working with victims of serious crime including homicide, manslaughter, sexual assault and domestic violence. She is highly experienced working in the area of trauma and with those who experience suicidal ideation. Since 2009, Allison has primarily worked within the EAP sector and has been successful in the provision of the suite of services available to organisations and their people.

Ebohr Figueroa

Ebohr Figueroa is an organisational consultant and mediator. He has a strong understanding of group dynamics with a flexible facilitation style to engage with a wide range of contexts and client groups. He has consulted to organisations on workplace wellbeing with a focus on psychological wellbeing, culture and team dynamics. This has included addressing risk factors arising from conflict and critical events. He has also worked as a counsellor and family mediator, specialising in family law and relationships.

Afternoon Session Presenters

Jorgen Gullestrup

Over the past 28 years, Jorgen has been heavily involved in the Queensland construction industry. A plumber by trade, in 2001 he became State Secretary of the Queensland Plumbers Union to improve working conditions within the industry. Whilst in this role, it started to become apparent that suicide rates in the construction industry for males were significantly higher than national and state averages for men generally. In 2007, MATES in Construction was formed as the industry acknowledged self-interest and conflict needed to be put aside on both union and employer sides to generate a genuine non-partisan intervention to address the issue. At this time, Jorgen was appointed Chief Executive Officer of MATES in Construction Queensland. The program continues to grow in strength with expansion into Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia.

Kylie Ah Wong

Kylie Ah Wong is the General Manager for Health, Safety and Training for Glencore Coal Assets Australia.   Having worked in the mining industry in both safety and operational roles for just under 20 years, Kylie believes that Mates in Mining can made a significant different in the industry, and as such, has been a keen advocate and spokesperson for the program.  Kylie lives in the Hunter Valley with her husband and two boys, which ensures there is never a dull moment, nor a peaceful moment, which is why the fruits of the hunter valley are always an enjoyable end to the day.

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon is the new face of MATES in Mining (MIM) – prior to joining MIM, Andrew worked in the mining industry as Director Health and Safety at the NSW Minerals Council and Minerals Council of Australia. He is passionate about suicide prevention and mental wellbeing, fostering landmark research on mental health in the mining industry and published a national mental health and wellbeing blueprint for the industry. Andrew can often be found in the pool, on his bike or running whilst training for Ironman triathlons. He also enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, wine and the violin.

Grahame Kelly

Secretary of the Northern Mining & NSW Energy District (a branch of the CFMEU Mining & Energy Division) since 2006. Chair of Mine Super (formerly Auscoal), the industry Super Fund for Coal Miners and mining communities. Have been a Member Trustee since Oct 2006 and Chair since 2015. Director of Mine Wealth & Wellbeing Services Pty Ltd (full owned subsidiary of Auscoal). Provides administrative services to the Superannuation Industry, principally Mine Super. Trustee of the Coal Services Health & Safety Trust since 2007. Member of the NSW ALP Administrative Committee since 2010. Member of Unions NSW Executive since 2010. Former Director of the Black Coal Long Service Leave Corporation. Husband to Karen and father of three adult children (Jessica, Jack and Katelin).

Jaelea Skehan

Director, Hunter Institute of Mental Health

Jaelea Skehan is an internationally respected leader who is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, organisations and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention.
Jaelea is an advocate for finding better connections between research and practice and for ensuring a national focus on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, and the prevention of mental ill-health to complement treatment and recovery approaches.
Jaelea has worked at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health since 2001 and now leads the organisation as its Director. She is a registered psychologist and holds a conjoint appointment with the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle.
Jaelea has worked across a range of settings and sectors and has been instrumental in the development of suicide prevention, community awareness and policy-related initiatives at state and national levels, including workplace mental health interventions such as Working Well: an Australian Coal Association Research Program into mental health and mining; NSW Minerals Council Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing in the mining industry; Strategic review of the NSW Police Force Workforce Improvement Program and other policy, training and suicide prevention programs.
Jaelea is currently completing her PHD in Psychiatry, exploring how evidence in suicide prevention can best be translated and integrated into the practice of sectors outside of health and mental health. In 2014, she was recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review & Westpac 100 Women of Influence.

Patrice O’Brien

General Manager, Workplace, beyondblue

Patrice O’Brien is General Manager of Workplace at beyondblue, an independent not‐for‐profit organisation that provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.
Leading beyondblue’s national Workplace team, Patrice drives workplace research and engagement activities with Australian workplaces, industry groups, workplace leaders, business owners and key stakeholders.
Patrice is an OT qualified, Senior Manager with over 8 years’ stakeholder engagement and relationship management experience. Patrice also has more than 12 years’ experience in the workplace health industry.

Justin Geange

Twenty years as a labourer, plumber and maintenance manager testify to Justin’s close connection to the building industry. Having lived with depression for most of his life and as a survivor of suicide, he is closely connected to the topic of this conference. Justin is also a talented entertainer – a finalist in Australia’s Got Talent 2012 and 19 years as the Brisbane Broncos mascot “Buck”.

Mrs Donna Shanahan

Mrs Donna Shanahan has been associated with Mates in Construction since 2015. She is currently studying Law at Monash University to be able to assist families in the aftermath of suicide.

Donna’s husband was a construction worker who took his own life five years ago. Donna speaks with sensitivity, humour and profound frankness around the effect of her husbands suicide.