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Program / Schedule at a Glance

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Pre Conference Workshops, Sunday 24 July

Pre-Conference workshops are all held at Hotel Realm, Canberra, and include tea and coffee on arrival, and lunch served at the end of the workshop. These workshops will run concurrently.

Registration for workshops is essential as there are limited places available.

These workshops offer a unique opportunity to learn from international and local experts in suicide prevention and they sell out fast!

Workshop A: The Continuum of Survivorship: Understanding and Helping Loss Survivors and Attempt Survivors

Facilitator: Associate Professor Julie Cerel
Associate Professor, College of Social Work, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, USA
President-Elect, American Association of Suicidology

Date & Time: Sunday 24 July : 10.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $150 (inclusive of GST)

Previous thinking on bereavement following suicide has been based on the assumption that people who are bereaved by suicide are family members who are seeking help due to bereavement.
This workshop will look at a new model of thinking about who suicides and attempted suicides impact. This is based on data we have collected which finds that almost half of the population reports they know someone over the course of their lifetime who died by suicide, which we refer to as suicide-exposure. As we have found that suicide-exposure alone appears to be related to increased symptoms of depression including suicidal ideation and anxiety, Thus, some people exposed to suicide go on to have some degree of impact, which we refer to suicide-effected.
Finally, a small proportion of people effected by suicide go on to have both short-term or long-term, sometimes lifelong bereavement experiences. This continuum provides a new way of understanding the diversity of experiences following exposure to suicide, and extends thinking around those effected well beyond traditional first degree kinship relationships.
This workshop will describe why it matters to think about suicide exposure on this continuum and not to focus merely on those individuals with long-term bereavement or those who seek treatment due to their bereavement. It will describe the range of people exposed, effected and bereaved by suicide. It will provide case examples from research and clinical practice of how these experiences have played out for people and discuss possible interventions for each.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the continuum of survivorship and why it matters in thinking about who is impacted by suicide
  2. Discuss different types of bereavement reactions following suicide
  3. Demonstrate what is best needed to help people exposed to suicide

Workshop B: An Overview of the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)

Facilitator: Dr. David Jobes
Professor of Psychology & Associate Director of Clinical Training
Department of Psychology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA

Date & Time: Sunday 24 July: 10.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $150 (inclusive of GST)

CAMS is an evidence-based, suicide-specific clinical intervention designed to enhance the therapeutic alliance and increase motivation in the suicidal patient. CAMS uses a therapeutic framework that uses a multi-purpose assessment, treatment planning, tracking, and clinical outcome tool called the "Suicide Status Form" which provides a clinical road map to guide stabilization and ideally treat the suicidal patient on an outpatient basis. CAMS features the treatment of "suicidal drivers" which are patient-defined problems that lead them to consider suicide. CAMS is supported by 25 year of clinical research including 7 correlational studies, 2 randomized controlled trials, and many related publications.


  1. Formulate different suicidal states based on collaborative SSF assessments
  2. Identify patient-defined suicidal drivers and treatments for those drivers
  3. Identify the course of successful CAMS-guided care to optimal clinical outcomes.

Workshop C: Warning Signs for suicide: Myth or Reality?

Facilitator: Dr. Christabel Owens
Senior Research Fellow, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom

Date & Time:Sunday 24 July: 10.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $150 (inclusive of GST)

It is commonly accepted that there are warning signs for suicide, in the same way that there are warning signs for physical crises, such as heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, there is a belief that if people could be taught to remember what they are and to recognise them when they see them, many suicides could be prevented. Lists of warning signs are available on many suicide prevention websites, but there are problems with them.

In this workshop, we will start by critically examining current thinking about warning signs for suicide and the underlying assumptions, together with some examples drawn from suicide prevention organisations around the world.

Participants will then have the opportunity to engage with some narrative accounts in which bereaved family members and friends describe what they saw and heard in the period leading up to a suicide. The accounts are drawn from Dr Owens’ extensive qualitative research, which has highlighted the ambiguous and contradictory nature of the signals that individuals who are planning to take their own lives give out and the difficulties that significant others face in trying to decipher them. The exercise will offer participants insight into the everyday domestic settings in which lay people have to make judgements about what is happening, and the complexity of those judgements. It will introduce them to the notion of signs versus countersigns, and the influence of context on the interpretation of both.

The workshop will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this knowledge for suicide prevention practice and how it might be translated into more nuanced public health messages. The session will be of interest to all those who are involved in the development of community-based prevention programmes and in strengthening capacity among families and communities to recognise and respond to suicidal crises.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant should be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the concept of warning signs for suicide
  2. Appreciate some of the challenges involved in deciphering warning signs within real-life contexts
  3. Recognise the limitations of some of the guidance provided on suicide prevention websites and in public education materials
  4. Incorporate this knowledge into community-based suicide prevention practice.

Workshop D: Public Speaking and Media for Lived Experience Spokespeople and Organisations Engaging Spokespeople. Presented by Suicide Prevention Australia and Mindframe National Media Initiative

Kim Borrowdale
Head of Communications, Suicide Prevention Australia
Kristy Platt
Senior Project Officer (Mindframe), Hunter Institute of Mental Health
Marc Bryant
Program Manager (Mindframe), Hunter Institute of Mental Health

Date & Time: Sunday 24 July: 10.30am - 1.00pm
Cost: $100 (inclusive of GST)

Mindframe and SPA have identified a need for more detailed resources for:

  • The media about safely interviewing people with lived experience of suicide and/or mental illness
  • People with lived experience of suicide and/or mental illness about working with the media and public speaking
  • Mental health and suicide prevention organisations on supporting people lived experience of suicide and/or mental illness about working with the media and speaking in public forums

This workshop will introduce you to their work as well as give you the opportunity to feed back on the resources and discuss how to put this into practice.

Learning objectives for individuals:

  • How to safely communication about suicide and mental illness
  • Tips for sharing stories of lived experience
  • Working with the media and developing key messages
  • How to self-assess your readiness to participate in a media interview or public speaking engagement
  • Suicide and mental illness including risk factors and warning signs of suicide and mental illness

Learning objectives for media

  • Responsible communication and reporting about suicide and mental illness
  • Safe interview techniques
  • Duty of care, and consent

Learning objectives for mental health and suicide prevention organisations will include:

  • Introduction to media and lived experience resources with additional discussion about supporting people with lived experience in making the decision to work with media or speak in a public forum
  • Preparing for a media interview or speaking engagement
  • How to provide support during and following an event.

Lived Experience Session and Reflection Ceremony, Sunday 24 July 2016

The Lived Experience Session, will include a performance of “Out of the Blue” and provide an opportunity for members of the audience to explore how different individuals in different settings and places can learn from and support each other. Presented as a theatrical performance, “Out of the Blue” will be thought provoking and supported by a facilitated forum exploring the issues, topics and challenges raised during the performance. Afternoon tea will be served after the Lived Experience Session.

The Reflection Ceremony is a supportive opportunity to consider all aspects of our lives –past and present – surrounded by others who also have a lived experience of suicide.

Note: the Sunday Public Lecture is not included in standard conference registration. You must register for this component separately.

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International Keynote Speakers

Dr. Christabel Owens

Dr. Christabel Owens
Senior Research Fellow, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom

Christabel Owens, MA, PhD, has been researching suicide and self-harming behaviour since 1997. Drawing on a background in the social sciences and philosophy, she works outside the dominant medical paradigm, focusing on non-clinical populations and settings and specialising in qualitative research methods. She pioneered the use of qualitative methods to analyse psychological autopsy data, in an effort to understand how those bereaved by suicide made sense of the death. Her more recent research has focused on what the suicidal process looks like from the point of view of family members and friends, and the difficulties they face in trying to decipher warning signs and decide whether and how to intervene. The aim is to use this knowledge to underpin community-based prevention efforts and to equip lay people with the resources they need to play a part in suicide prevention. She works closely with The Alliance of Suicide Charities (TASC) and many other voluntary-sector organisations in the UK concerned with self-harm, suicide prevention and bereavement care.

Dr. David Jobes

Dr. David Jobes
Professor of Psychology & Associate Director of Clinical Training
Department of Psychology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA

David A. Jobes, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training at The Catholic University of America; he is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has published five books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Jobes is a past President of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and he is the recipient of various awards for his scientific work including the 1995 AAS “Shneidman Award” (early career contribution to suicidology), the 2012 AAS “Dublin Award” (for career contributions in suicidology), and the 2016 AAS “Linehan Award” (for suicide treatment research). He has been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jobes is member of the Scientific Council and the Public Policy Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and is Board certified in clinical psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology). Dr. Jobes maintains a private clinical and forensic practice at the Washington Psychological Center.

Dr. Julie Cerel

Dr. Julie Cerel
Associate Professor, College of Social Work, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, USA
President-Elect, American Association of Suicidology

Dr. Cerel is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. Her research has focused on suicide bereavement, suicide attempt survivors and suicide prevention. She completed her PhD from The Ohio State University, an internship and post-doctoral fellowship from West Virginia University and a post-doctoral fellowship specifically in suicide prevention from University of Rochester. She currently serves as President-Elect of the American Association of Suicidology and has also served as Research Division Chair and Board Chair. She is the author of over 35 academic publications and co-author of Seeking Hope: Stories of the Suicide Bereaved. Her work has been funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium from the U.S. Department of Defense, the CDC, SAMHSA, SPAN-USA and AFSP. She is a Board member and former chair, Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group, Inc. and Editorial Board Member, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

Invited Speakers

Alan Woodward

Alan Woodward
Executive Director, Lifeline Foundation
Lifeline Australia

Alan has worked in the field of crisis support and suicide prevention for 15 years.

He is the Executive Director for the Lifeline Research Foundation in Australia, working with academic and professional experts to build the evidence base for Lifeline Australia crisis support services, and to translate research knowledge into best practices for crisis support and community based suicide prevention.

Alan has led service development for the Lifeline Australia 13 11 14 crisis line, participated in the development of Lifeline Online Crisis Support Chat and conducted policy advocacy on suicide prevention with particular attention to crisis intervention.

He has been a Board Director for Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) since 2009 and contributed to the establishment of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention in Australia and the development of the National Research Plan on Suicide Prevention.

He has a long-term interest in the use of evaluation methods to inform program improvements in suicide prevention; he is an experienced evaluator and a Past President of the Australasian Evaluation Society.

Alan sits on several advisory bodies including the NSW Mental Health Commission Community Advisory Council and the RUOK? Day Scientific Committee. He has participated in the steering committee to establish the World Alliance of Crisis Helplines, which is seeking official recognition from World Health Organisation.

Alan is also a PhD Candidate through the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, undertaking research on the experience and impact of Lifeline telephone crisis line on callers through a longitudinal study of a cohort of callers.

Alan holds a Masters Degree in Social Science and Policy, a Business Degree in Public Administration and a Diploma in Arts/Communications.

Anthony Shakeshaft
Bio Coming soon

Fiona Shand

Dr Fiona Shand
Senior Research Fellow
Black Dog Institute, University of News South Wales

Fiona is part of a team of suicide prevention researchers in the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention.  She is based at the Black Dog Institute where she leads a research program in suicide prevention which spans interventions, health service research, identification of risk factors and coping strategies, men’s suicide, and geospatial mapping. Fiona was the lead investigator on the Care after a Suicide Attempt project, and is co-chair of the research evaluation committee for the Systems Approach to Suicide, now funded for roll out in four NSW communities. One of her most important projects is in the Indigenous health field. In partnership with community controlled Aboriginal organisations, her team has completed the first Australian randomised controlled trial of a suicide prevention intervention with Aboriginal youth, using an app to deliver therapy. From her 11 years at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, she also has a strong background in alcohol and other drug research. Over the next couple of years, Fiona will be focusing on the systems approach to suicide prevention, with a particular emphasis on the provision of care after a suicide attempt.

Gregory Carter

Professor Gregory Carter
Senior Staff Specialist and Acting Director, Department of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, NSW
Conjoint Professor School of Medical Practice and Population Health, Faculty of Health
University of Newcastle, NSW

Professor Carter graduated in Medicine from the University of New South Wales in 1979, qualified as a Psychiatrist with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1987 and obtained a PhD from the University of Newcastle in 2004. He is a full time clinician who is also involved in translational research.

He has extensive experience in various clinical and epidemiological studies related to suicide prevention and in particular he has led large scale clinical trials aimed at reducing suicidal behavior and depression. The suicide prevention trials include the Postcards from the EDge, Postcards in Persia, the Hunter DBT Program for Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the DBT versus Conversational Model trials.

He is currently an associate investigator for a NHMRC funded multi-centre trial, the Ketamine for Adult Depression Study (KADS) and he is a chief investigator for a national ambulance approach to reduce suicide and to improve the mental health of men and boys, funded by Movember and beyondblue.

He is the Chair for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Clinical Practice Guidelines for Deliberate Self Harm, an External Reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery (NICE UK) and an Associate Editor, for the journal Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.

Harry Minas

Associate Professor Harry Minas
Head, Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Victoria

Harry Minas is head of the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne. Harry is a psychiatrist whose work is in three broad areas: mental health system development, particularly in low-resource and post-conflict settings; culture and mental health, with a focus on mental health of immigrant and refugee communities and the development of services for culturally diverse societies; and the human rights of people with mental illness.

Harry is Director of the Melbourne Refugee Studies Program, Co-Director at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Research and Training. He is a member of the WHO Director-General’s International Expert Panel on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Harry is also the Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific, of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Systems, and advisor to the ASEAN Mental Health Taskforce, Ministries of Health and Ministries of Social Affairs in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Learne Durrington

Learne Durrington
CEO, WA Primary Health Alliance

Boasting a wealth of experience in the management of government and not-for-profit organisations, Learne Durrington has a reputation for driving innovation within and across the health and social care sectors.

Learne is passionate about achieving a connected and accessible health system that is patient and outcome focused.

As the CEO of WA Primary Health Alliance, Learne is leading the establishment of strategic alliances and partnerships across WA to support systemic change within the primary healthcare system.

Learne leads with the principle that good health outcomes can only be achieved through the combined effort of all levels of government, clinical and social care services together with private and public organisations.

Starting her career as a social worker, Learne has a MBA and is an Associate Professor of Health Sciences at Curtin University, a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Services Management and GAICD.

Megan Mitchell

Megan Mitchell
National Children’s Commissioner

Megan Mitchell is Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, appointed on 25 February 2013.

Megan has extensive experience in issues facing children and young people, having worked with children from all types of backgrounds, including undertaking significant work with vulnerable children. She has practical expertise in child protection, foster and kinship care, juvenile justice, children’s services, child care, disabilities, and early intervention and prevention services. In her role as Commissioner, Megan focuses solely on the rights and interests of children, and the laws, policies and programs that impact on them. In 2014, Megan presented her statutory report on children’s rights to the Federal Parliament, in which she examined intentional self-harm, with or without suicidal intent, in children and young people under 18 years old. In 2015, her statutory report will examine the impact of family and domestic violence on children. The year, Megan is conducting an investigation into on the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in the context of Youth Justice Detention Centres.

Dr Myfanwy Maple

Associate Professor Myfanwy Maple
Associate Professor, Social Work, University of New England

At least 2500 Australians die by suicide each year, leaving those around them grieving. At present there is no way in which to measure the number of people affected by each suicide death, or the way in which these events impact on those affected. From the late 1960’s there has been an estimate that six people are bereaved by each suicide death (Shneidman, 1969). This estimate was not based on evidence, but has become a standard measure in the literature. Over the past decade, several researchers have attempted to quantify the number of people affected by each suicide death, with estimates ranging from 10 to 115 (Berman, 2011). Moving beyond estimates is methodologically challenging, and there is not yet any rigorous data to demonstrate the population affected by suicide anywhere in the world. Furthermore, the impact of each suicide death on this unknown number of people is likely to vary depending on relationship and closeness to the deceased (Cerel, Maple et al., 2015). Exposure to suicide and/or suicide bereavement has long been identified as a risk factor for suicide (Maple et al., 2014). To both support people affected by suicide in their grief journey, as well as reducing the potential morbidity and mortality associated with this exposure is an important suicide prevention activity.

Dr. Myfanwy Maple has been involved in the suicide sector for more than 15 years, primarily researching the impact of suicide on individuals and communities. She is a Director on the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia and Program Chair of the SPA national conference. Dr Maple will present the preliminary findings of the Exposure to, and impact of, suicide in Australia Survey, being undertaken in partnership with SPA. This survey is the first large scale Australian study to explore exposure to, and impact of, suicide among a community residing adult population.

pauline coffey

Pauline Coffey
Executive Manager Commissioned Services at Brisbane North PHN

Pauline Coffey is the Executive Manager Commissioned Services at Brisbane North PHN and has been in the role since September 2015. Prior to this, she managed North Brisbane Partners in Recovery, for which the PHN is the lead agency. Pauline was responsible for the establishment of Partners in Recovery in the North Brisbane region.

Prior to joining the PHN she managed a state-wide project for mental health promotion and resilience building with communities recovering from Queensland’s natural disasters. Her work on this project was recognised by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department as the 2013 Queensland winner at the Resilient Australia Awards.

Her previous professional experience includes 20 years in social work, having worked in clinical, community-based, training and development settings with vulnerable individuals, families and communities.

Sebastian Rosenberg

Sebastian Rosenberg
Senior Lecturer, Mental Health Policy, Brain and Mind Centre, Sydney University
Associate, Menzies School of Health Policy

From 2005 to the end of 2009 Sebastian was Deputy CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia and engaged in a range of mental health research and advocacy projects including in relation to employment, housing, innovative services and accountability. Part of Sebastian’s role here was supporting the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.

Prior to working with MHCA, Sebastian had 16 years’ experience in a variety of roles with Commonwealth and ACT Health Departments, including in health policy, casemix and managing parliamentary business.

Since 2008, Sebastian has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney and is currently undertaking a PhD focusing on mental health and accountability and the development of a National Mental Health Report Card. A key aspect of this work is consideration of the role of consumers and carers in influencing systemic quality improvement.

In 2011, Sebastian worked as expert facilitator to the NSW Taskforce to Establish a Mental Health Commission. Draft legislation to enact the Commission was introduced to the NSW Parliament in November 2011. Sebastian has become convenor of the first joint meetings of Australian mental health commissions, including representatives of NSW, the National Commission, WA, plus Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and commissions from Canada, NZ, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Sebastian has also prepared a literature review of international mental health benchmarking on behalf of the National Mental Health Commission.

In 2013-14 Sebastian worked as a consultant to the NSW Mental Health Commission, developing a new Strategy to reform mental health in that state. This involved wide consultations, a detailed appreciation of the scope and role of the Commission and a strong understanding of measures of success. The final draft Strategy was provided to the NSW Government in March 2014.

He conducted a series of community consultations around suicide prevention and mental health promotion with a final report and recommendations presented to the NSW Suicide Prevention Advisory Council in August 2012.

Sebastian also conducted a series of community meetings in relation to the review of the NSW Mental Health Act, working with an expert panel which included the NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley. A final report on these consultations was presented to NSW Health in January 2013.

He has provided consultancy services to the Commonwealth Government in relation to the application of Activity Based Funding to mental health. He is a member of the Mental Health Expert Group of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority. Sebastian has also provided consultancy assistance to the NZ Ministry of Health in relation to suicide prevention and also to Lifeline in relation to telehealth.

Sebastian is a member of the Sydney Health Policy Network and the Sydney Health and Work Research Network. Sebastian has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Canberra where his dissertation focused on the purchaser/provider system of health funding.

From 2009-12, Sebastian was a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Prevention and Community Health Care Committee and a member of the Board of Social Firms Australia from 2011-14. He is currently a member of the Clinical Senate of the Australian Capital Territory and joined the Executive of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance in September 2014.

Shari Sinwelski

Shari Sinwelski, MS/EdS
Associate Project Director
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, New York, USA

Shari Sinwelski, MS/Ed.S., has been working in the field of suicide prevention since 1994 and currently serves as the Associate Project Director for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where she oversees networks operations and best practices for its network of 165 crisis centers.

Prior to joining the Lifeline team, Ms. Sinwelski has been in leadership positions at several crisis centers across the country including in Tallahassee, FL, New Orleans, LA and Los Angeles, CA. While in Los Angeles, Ms. Sinwelski began to focus on supporting those with lived experience. At Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, she founded one of the nation’s first Survivors of Suicide Attempt’s support group and co-authored the accompanying training manual which has recently been accepted to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry. Ms. Sinwelski currently serves as the Senior Training Consultant for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center where she has developed and facilitates 2-day training on the support group curriculum.

Ms. Sinwelski was a member of the National Action Alliance Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force and helped to compile, “The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience.” She was the primary author of a booklet for Suicide Attempt Survivors published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) entitled, “A Journey of Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt.”

Ms. Sinwelski has trained thousands of individuals in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention in her various roles. She is a certified coaching trainer in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and certified crisis worker with the American Association of Suicidology. She earned her Master’s of Science (MS) and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees from Florida State University. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the State of California.

Plenary Panel Chairs

Alison Xamon

Alison Xamon
President, WA Association for Mental Health

Alison Xamon is the President of the WA Association for Mental Health, Vice Chair of Community Mental Health Australia and a Director of Mental Health Australia. Alison is also the Co-Lead for the WA Department of Health State-wide Mental Health Network, a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary network which brings together service providers, clinical expertise and lived experience from across the mental health sector to design sector reform. Alison is a former state Member of Parliament and is a qualified lawyer, still practicing law pro-bono. Alison is a Member of the WA Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention and has lived experience of suicide, including losing her father to suicide when she was just 11 years old. Through her various roles Alison undertakes systemic advocacy across the mental health and suicide prevention sectors but has a particular passion to raise awareness of the need for postvention services for children bereaved by suicide.

Pete Shmigel

Pete Shmigel
CEO, Lifeline Australia

Pete Shmigel is passionate about Lifeline Australia’s vision of a suicide-free Australia. Over some 20 years, Pete has worked at the highest levels of Australian public policy, business and the consulting sector, particularly in social and environmental sustainability.

Pete’s previous roles include:

  • Director Communities for a leading social research firm;
  • Chief of Staff to Ministers for environmental, indigenous, multicultural, veterans, volunteering, and youth affairs, and then NSW Leader of the Opposition Barry O’Farrell;
  • Senior sustainability management positions for two corporations;
  • CEO of industry associations / NGOs in the sustainability arena, and;
  • Co-owner of a sustainability consultancy with major corporate and public sector clients.

Pete currently voluntarily serves on the Boards of two sports-related organisations, and is an Honorary Life Member of RSPCA NSW. His creative and essay writing has been published.
Pete has documented his family's lived experience via the SMH. Follow Pete on Twitter @shmigel.

Susan Beaton

Susan Beaton
Psychologist, Suicide Prevention Specialist Consultant & Mindfulness Coach
Susan Beaton Consulting

Susan is a psychologist with 30 years' experience working in the Suicide Prevention field, currently providing advice to beyondblue and other organisations as a consultant. Susan worked as national advisor to Lifeline's National Office for 7 years and has been involved with suicide prevention both in Australia and the USA, working mostly for NGO's in: training and education; project management; service innovation, development and implementation; standards; policy development and advice; Board representation and various consultancy roles. Susan was elected to the Board of the American Association for Suicide Prevention (2008-2011) and contributed as advisor to the Australian Government's revised Suicide Prevention Framework Living is For Everyone suite of documents. In 2011 Susan received the Audrey Fagan Churchill Fellowship to study alternative models of suicide crisis support overseas. Susan's expertise covers prevention, intervention and postvention domains and she is interested in ensuring that when suicidal people seek help that they come into contact with a knowledgeable, skilled and compassionate workforce and broader community who do not fear, discriminate or stigmatise them. She also wants to see a paradigm shift where we reduce our focus on risk aversion and service liability and are able to harness the experiences of those who have been suicidal to learn more about this complex behaviour.

LiFE Awards

The LiFE Awards will be presented at the Conference Dinner on Tuesday 26 July 2016
From 7.00pm - 11.00pm.

Social Program

Meet & Greet Networking Opportunity

Date: Monday 25 July 2016
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Ostani Restaurant & Bar, Hotel Realm
Cost: Included in Full Registration
Additional Tickets: $50 per person

This function will provide the perfect opportunity for delegates to catch up with colleagues, renew past connections and make new contacts in a relaxed atmosphere.

Conference Dinner

Date: Tuesday 26 July 2016
Time: 7.00pm - 11.00pm
Venue: Hotel Realm
Cost: Included in Full Registration
Additional Tickets: $130 per person

This evening is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with other Conference delegates, whilst being entertained, wined and dined - a night not to be missed!

Suicide Prevention Australia remembers those we have lost to suicide and acknowledges the suffering suicide brings when it touches our lives. We are brought together by experience and unified by hope.