Prevention in Practice Summit

The Prevention in Practice Summit was a one-day summit focused on bridging the knowledge-to-practice gap in the prevention of mental ill-health.

Held 6 December 2023 in Newcastle, the summit brought together leaders in policy, research and practice from across Australia, and featured four-themed keynote presentations and panel discussions.

Attendees were provided with an opportunity to contribute to national priority setting and sharing of best-practice examples.

Featured speakers


Dr Jaelea Skehan

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM, Director of Everymind

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide. She is a registered psychologist, researcher, facilitator and policy adviser. Jaelea has worked at Everymind since 2001 and was appointed as the Director in 2012.

Jaelea has supported the development of government and industry strategies and policies at a state, national and international level. Between 2019 and 2020 she took leave from Everymind to head up the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce, supporting delivery of the Final Advice to the Prime Minister's on Suicide Prevention.


Professor Rob Moodie

Professor Rob Moodie of Public Health at the University of Melbourne and former Chair of the National Preventative Health Taskforce (Session 1 keynote)

Professor Rob Moodie is a highly-respected leader, mentor and teacher in public health. He trained as a medical doctor, working as a clinician in rural Australia and in Africa before moving into public health, and is currently Professor of Public Health at The University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health (MSPGH), Professor of Public Health at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi.

Rob’s major interests are in public health leadership skills, health promotion, the role of unhealthy commodity industries (Big Tobacco, ultra-processed food, alcohol, gambling) in harming health, as well as road safety.

He has chaired the National Preventative Health Taskforce and the Federal Minister’s Men’s Health Reference Group, and is now Chair of Health Futures Australia and sits on the Board of Directors for Movember.

Dr Sally Fitzpatrick

Dr Sally Fitzpatrick, Program Manager at Everymind (Session 2 keynote)

Dr Sally Fitzpatrick is a Program Manager and member of Everymind’s Senior Leadership Team. She commenced with Everymind in January 2018 and leads the families and caregivers priority program area, as well as Everymind's research team.

Sally is a registered Psychologist (with Clinical Psychology endorsement) and researcher who is passionate about the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide, as well as the promotion of wellbeing for all Australians.

Sally has combined her research with clinical work since 2008. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, presented her research at national and international conferences, and is an affiliate investigator on several large research projects. Sally is available to supervise PhD, Masters and Honours students in both Psychology and Public Health disciplines.

Ivan Frkovic

Ivan Frkovic, Queensland Mental Health Commissioner (Session 3 keynote)

Ivan Frkovic was appointed Commissioner from 1 July 2017 and brings substantial policy, academic and patient-centred experience to the role, having worked in the Queensland mental health system for over 20 years.

With a focus on strengthening partnerships and collaboration, he oversees delivery and implementation of the State's strategic plan for mental health, alcohol and other drugs - Shifting minds.

Ivan’s experience across government and non-government organisations provides valuable insight to help bring all sectors together to focus on delivering better mental health outcomes for Queenslanders.

He has made a significant contribution to community mental health through published papers and articles.

Dr Stephen Carbone

Dr Stephen Carbone, Founder and CEO of Prevention United (Session 4 keynote)

Stephen has considerable clinical experience in mental health having worked as a GP in Melbourne’s Northwest and as a medical officer in Victoria’s specialist mental health services. He also has extensive experience in mental health policy, and program and service development having held senior roles in the Department of Health and Human Services, Orygen Youth Health, headspace, and Beyond Blue. Over recent years, Stephen’s focus has shifted from a focus on mental healthcare to a focus on mental health promotion, and he established Prevention United to help fill the gap in Australia’s approach to promoting mental wellbeing and preventing mental health conditions cross the community.


Shane Hamilton

Shane Hamilton, Deputy Secretary Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Government

Shane Hamilton is a Wakka Wakka and Bundjalung man from Queensland. He is a respected leader with executive experience across housing, corrections and professional services sectors in government, non-government, and corporate enterprises. Shane is the current Deputy Secretary Aboriginal Affairs at Department of Premier and Cabinet in the NSW Government. He came to the role after almost four years in Management consulting with PwC’s Indigenous Consulting and Inside Policy, where he was the Managing Director.

Professor Daryl Higgins

Professor Daryl Higgins, Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at Australian Catholic University

Professor Daryl Higgins is the Director of the Institute of Child Protection Studies at Australian Catholic University. For 30 years, he has been researching child abuse prevalence, impacts, and prevention; public health approaches to protecting children; and child-safe organisational strategies. He is one of the Chief Investigator on a National Health and Medical Research Council grant to conduct the first national study of the prevalence in Australia of child abuse and neglect, and its health outcomes – the Australian Child Maltreatment Study (ACMS).

Samara Shehata

Samara Shehata, Acting Manager for LGBTQ+ Health Equity at ACON

Samara Shehata is the current Acting Manager for LGBTQ+ Health Equity at ACON, she has worked alongside many fierce community leaders and advocates for the past 10 years to improve the health and wellbeing for all people in the LGBTQ+ community across NSW. She is informed by her cross-disciplinary background as an artist, art therapist, international sex worker rights advocate and program manager. Samara is a queer woman of colour who has lived experience of suicide and mental health. She is passionate about community led and designed projects that centre self-determination, community care and social transformative justice.

Associate Professor Sarah Wayland

Associate Professor Sarah Wayland, Senior Research Fellow Manna Institute, Discipline Lead, Social Work, University of New England

Associate Professor Sarah Wayland is a Social Work academic researcher who has devoted much of her career to exploring the lived experience of suicide and having a family member or friend go missing. Her role in the Manna Institute is focussed on the emerging health workforce, and ensuring more regional voices in their health research.

Her landmark work in developing frameworks to enhance communities of practice to better respond to trauma, distress and complex mental health has been evidenced by more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. Its unique knowledge translation focus allows for the workforce to readily access research outcomes.

Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings, Chief Engagement Officer, Beyond Blue

Greg Jennings is the Chief Engagement Officer at Beyond Blue. He’s responsible for helping more people to feel connected and for leading and influencing positive system and social change. Beyond Blue is an independent, not-for-profit mental health organisation that works with the community to improve mental health and make it easier for people to feel better earlier, get well and stay well. Greg is passionate about building capability to promote positive mental health, prevent ill-health, and better support those experiencing a mental health condition.

Adjunct Associate Professor Robyn Mildon

Adjunct Associate Professor Robyn Mildon, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Evidence and Implementation

Associate Professor Robyn Mildon, is an internationally recognised figure in the field of research translation and implementation science and program and policy evaluations in health, education and human services. She is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI), a global social purpose organisation whose work now spans across eight countries. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University, a Visiting Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Co-Director of the recently established Behavioural and Implementation Science Interventions (BISI), National University of Singapore, and Chair of the Evidence and Implementation Summit 2023.

Carolyn Nikoloski

Carolyn Nikoloski, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Australia

Carolyn Nikoloski is the Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Australia. Carolyn has more than 15 years’ experience in the mental health sector, having held the positions of Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Chief Experience Officer at Beyond Blue, and serves as a Director of national health promotion charity, Prevention United. Carolyn has a strong reputation of leading others through adaptive leadership challenges, transformations and change. She has significant experience in strategy development and execution, policy development and reform, and service delivery. She has a track record of developing high performing teams, and stabilising teams working through change. She is committed to improving mental health and wellbeing, and reducing social and economic disadvantage.

Cecelia Gore

Cecelia Gore, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, NT Health

Cecelia Gore is a highly accomplished healthcare executive with an impressive track record of leadership and strategic planning. Cecelia is currently the Acting Deputy Chief Executive Sector and System Leadership for NT Health, overseeing the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD), and Suicide Prevention sectors for five years.

Cecelia has been responsible for driving the strategic policy and planning agenda in these critical areas of healthcare within the Northern Territory. Her responsibilities included policy and legislative development, fostering community engagement, spearheading services development and commissioning, and executing cross-agency work focused on alcohol policy reforms. Through her career she has held leadership positions in government and non-government organisations, including her role as Director of Harm Minimisation, where she managed initiatives to reduce harm associated with alcohol consumption in remote Aboriginal communities. With over two decades of experience in healthcare leadership and a strong commitment to improving the systems which deliver mental health, addiction services, and suicide prevention outcomes, Cecelia has consistently demonstrated her ability to drive meaningful change and innovation within the healthcare sector.

David Burroughs

David Burroughs, Chief Mental Health Officer, Westpac Group

David Burroughs, Chief Mental Health Officer at Westpac and SafeWork NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Ambassador, has been working internationally in the area of workplace mental health for over 20 years. As a workplace psychologist, David collaborates with leading researchers and practitioners across workplace culture and behaviour, psychosocial risk management, and integrated approaches to Psychological Health and Safety. Outside of Westpac, David is Principal Psychologist and Director of Australian Psychological Services, a specialist psychological health and safety company advising and supporting several of Australia’s largest and most complex organisations from Board through to operational levels.

Monica Kelly

Monica Kelly, Executive Director of the Prevention, Equity and First People’s Branch of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Victorian Department of Health

Monica Kelly is Victoria’s first Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotion Adviser, commencing in the role in June 2022. She is also the Executive Director of the Prevention, Equity and First People’s Branch of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division in the Victorian Department of Health.

She has worked as an Executive in Public Health, Primary Care and Human Services for many years in Victoria and previously in the Northern Territory.
Monica’s areas of expertise are health inequities, public health and health promotion, particularly with marginalised communities. Monica also brings lived and living experience of the mental health system and of intellectual disability and neurodiversity as a carer.

Emily Fuller

Emily Fuller, Social Impact Manager, Future Generation Global

Emily is the Social Impact Manager for the Future Generation companies, Australia’s first listed investment companies to deliver both financial and social returns. Emily’s experience in the private and not-for-profit sector spans communications, research and strategy, international development and philanthropy. She spent 10 years as foundation manager of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation prior to joining Future Generation in 2020. Emily is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a member of the Investment Committee of Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) and a director of SEFA Partnerships and Mundango Abroad, a private ancillary fund grantmaking in Papua New Guinea.

Melanie Clark

Melanie Clark, Lived Experience Advisory Group Member, Everymind

Mel is a member of Everymind's Lived Experience Advisory Group. Mel’s passion for suicide prevention is grounded in her lived experience of caring for her brother and acting as his advocate in interactions with health services. Alongside the heartache and frustration, Mel found a source of hope in the use of her experiences as a means to drive real change. Mel has actively advocated for families as a Family Carer Representative in NSW, Australia. She has worked in the community directly alongside diverse groups, including children and young people, parents and caregivers, victims, offenders, Police and other frontline responders. She aims to reduce harm and promote wellness and connection. Mel draws upon wisdom from her lived experience to inform, collaborate, and educate in the mental health and suicide prevention sectors. The principles of co-design and family-inclusive practice are central to her work, and she believes that early intervention and prevention are the keys to timely recovery.

The Prevention in Practice Summit was hosted by Everymind, in partnership with members of the Wellbeing and Prevention Coalition in Mental Health, HMRI Healthy Minds Research Program and the Manna Institute.

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