Connect 2020


Connect 2020 brings thought leaders, experts and those at the forefront of suicide prevention to you. In this year of change and physical distancing, Connect 2020 allows you to collaborate, explore and connect with others working in suicide prevention and mental health.

In 2020, we’ve explored topics from mentally healthy workplaces, male mental health and youth mental health, to the incorporation of lived experience into research and groundbreaking new initiatives in suicide prevention.

Some of the expert speakers we have already heard from are:

  • Lucinda Brogden AM – Chair, National Mental Health Commission`
  • Brendan Maher – Global Director, Mental Mealth & Suicide Prevention, Movember
  • Dr Zac Seidler – Director of Mental Health Training, Movember and Research Fellow, Orygen
  • Dr Laura Shannonhouse – Associate Professor, Georgia State University
  • Sally Morris – Executive Secretary, American Association of Suicidology
  • Professor Jane Pirkis – Director, Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne
  • Samuel Hockey – Youth and Lived Experience Researcher, University of Sydney Brain & Mind Centre
  • Marc Bryant – Business Development Manager, LivingWorks Australia


It is estimated that over half of all Australians know someone who has taken their own life. Research indicates that for every death through suicide, more than 135 people are impacted.

We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community.

How do we best support those who are bereaved by suicide? This webinar will explore best practice approaches to postvention, and look at some of the variety of ways that we can support people who are bereaved by suicide.

Join us to hear from our dynamic line-up of expert speakers on new initiatives in suicide prevention.


This series is proudly supported by LivingWorks – Australia’s leader in suicide first aid training, including well known evidence based programs ASIST, safeTALK, suicide to Hope and LivingWorks Start. Learn more about their new 90 minute online suicide intervention skills training program, START.


Date: Tuesday 03 November 2020
Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm AEDT
Register: Click here to register (registration closes 5pm AEDT 02 November)

Registration is complimentary for members of the Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel. Please contact us to find out more.


Phone: 02 9262 1130
Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about the series.




Senior Lecturer – Program Director Suicidology, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University

Jacinta Hawgood is a Senior Lecturer and Program Director of Suicidology at the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, where she has worked for over 20 years. She is a clinical psychologist and suicidologist who has devoted her career to understanding and supporting those with lived experience of suicide. Her research and clinical interests are in psycho-social, person centred suicide risk assessment processes, personal suicide stigma, the impacts of client/co-worker suicide on the worker, and suicide prevention training design and evaluation.

Her PhD (candidate) is in psycho-social suicide risk assessment and specifically, the feasibility and validity of Systematic Tailored Assessment for Responding to Suicidality (STARS) interview protocol. She is the lead author of STARS protocol published first in 2015 (most recent version, 2018). Jacinta has provided expert advice and guidance on suicide risk assessment, and other suicidology topics to state and national government departments and private organisations. She has presented research findings at a range of state, national and international conferences, has co-authored and edited a book, book chapters, and numerous peer-reviewed articles and government reports in the field. Jacinta is a non-executive Director of the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia, and Mates in Construction (Qld/NT), and a member on several national and international advisory boards regarding suicide prevention.


Postvention Australia National Reference Group

Sienna is on the Postvention Australia National Reference Group and has recently worked with Orygen contributing to their efforts to amplify youth voices in suicide prevention. Sienna is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the ANU with a strong interest in suicide prevention research and plans to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. Sienna currently works as a swimming teacher for young children.


Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement

For the past 23 years Christopher Hall has held the position of Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, a government funded specialist bereavement service, which is based in Melbourne, Victoria. He is a psychologist who has developed a specialisation in the field of grief and bereavement over the past 25 years. Chris has trained many health and education professionals in grief theory and interventions and has keynoted at conferences throughout North America as well as Europe, Asia and Australia. He has a strong interest in complex bereavement experiences, the organisational impact of grief and loss and bridging research and practice.

Christopher was elected President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling in 2015. In 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Work Group on Dying, Death and Bereavement and served as chair from 2010-2013. He currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the work group. The Association for Death Education and Counseling in 2018 awarded him the ADEC Service Award for his commitment to the field and advancing the study of dying, death and bereavement.

A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Christopher is also an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. He serves as the Editor of the journal Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement and is a former Associate Editor of Death Studies. In 2010 Christopher was appointed to the Coronial Council of Victoria.


Program & Innovation Manager, StandBy National

After working as an advisory teacher in Queensland’s cape, gulf and Torres Strait for many years Susan’s move to the suicide field began when she volunteered as a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter and discovered her passion.  Susan has now been with StandBy Support after Suicide for approximately 14 years, beginning in Far North Queensland on StandBy’s outreach support team before coordinating StandBy in the region for a number of years. Susan is now StandBy National’s Program and Innovation Manager and continues to support and advocate for the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities bereaved or impacted by suicide across Australia.


Lived Experience Member - Expert Advisory Group, National Suicide Monitoring System, Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel

Peter Smith was Nerida’s husband and dad to Sienna and Lucia. Peter died by suicide in 2008.

Nerida is a lived experience member on the Expert Advisory Group for the National Suicide Monitoring System and is a member of the Suicide Prevention Australia Lived Experience Panel. In her professional life Nerida is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and public health practitioner with almost 30 years’ experience in the health and community sectors at the state, national and international levels. She currently works as Industry Lead for Allied Health for TAFE NSW.

Moderator: Professor Myf Maple

Myfanwy Maple is a social work Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. For more than 15 years, Professor Maple’s research has focused on trauma and loss, with a particular emphasis on understanding risk and resilience following exposure to suicide. A focus on lived experience underlies all of Professor Maple’s work where her emphasis remains on authentically including the voices of those with firsthand experience to better inform policy, research and teaching.

While research is her key activity, she is also involved internationally, nationally and locally in activities to prevent suicide and the distress associated with suicide. She is a member of the Prime Ministers Suicide Prevention Advisor’s expert advisory group, is co-chair of the International Association for Suicide Prevention special interest group on suicide bereavement and postvention. She is Deputy Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Research Fund, managed by Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) and was a member-elected Director of SPA (2013-2018), during which time she also chaired the National Suicide Prevention Conference (2015-2018). In her spare time, she is an ASIST trainer, delivering suicide intervention skills training to members of rural communities.

“Attending Connect 2020 has been a highlight of my working from home experience (re: COVID 19). This webinar has given me food for thought about the industry I work in as well as my own mental health. A big thank you Suicide Prevention Australia for organising this event! The thought behind the choice of speakers was spot on and their content most relevant.”-
“Together we are building a new body of evidence of what works. Thanks to Suicide Prevention Australia for creating the platform that enables us to connect, understand and do better with, and for people, their families and communities.”-
“I would like to thank all for your support in sharing the Connect 2020 to our workplaces or living rooms during these testing times we are all facing in today’s world.”-

Connect 2020 is a unique opportunity to connect and learn from mental health and suicide prevention leaders. Don’t miss out, secure your spot in our next webinar today.