Speakers and facilitators at our 2017 seminars and programs include:
Founder and CEO, Top Blokes Foundation
Melissa Abu-Gazaleh is the Founder and CEO of the Top Blokes Foundation, a boy’s social education organisation improving boys mental health and well-being.
Melissa believes that empowering young men to challenge and redefine their own thoughts and behaviours is key to reducing social issues including youth suicide, family violence, drugs, alcohol and other risk-taking behaviours.
Dedicated to improving the state of young men’s health in Australia, Melissa was named as NSW Young Australian of the Year in 2016, Illawarra Entrepreneur of the Year and more recently named in Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.
She is passionate about youth leadership and empowering young people to be agents of change, not tomorrow, but today.
Creative Director, Arts Health Institute
Since creating and co-founding the Humour Foundation and their Clown Doctor Program in 1996, Jean-Paul has been showing the world that laughter is the best medicine. In 2010 he published a book; Laughter is the Best Medicine, which chronicles the experiences of a number of Clown Doctors as they do their rounds at children’s hospitals around Australia.
The Clown Doctor Program benefits patients, family and the entire hospital community, bringing fun and laughter to sick children in hospital, providing diversional therapy and giving the chance for families to reconnect through laughter.
Jean-Paul is also known for taking his physical comedy to war torn countries like Afghanistan and East Timor, as shown on the ABC documentary Honeymoon in Kabul.
Educator, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia
Paul Dillon has been working in the area of drug education for the past 25 years and continues to work with young people and their families across the country. He has been contracted by many agencies and organisations to give regular updates on current drug trends within the community. He has recently published a book ‘Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs’, released nationally in February 2009. Paul is regarded as a key social commentator in Australia, and has appeared on a wide range of television programs including Sunrise, Today and A Current Affair discussing topical issues.
Psychotherapist and Founder, NetAddiction NZ
James Driver is a psychotherapist working both in private practice and with the Salvation Army’s drug and alcohol addiction service. He has a particular interest in gaming addictions, stemming from his own experience of being addicted to gaming as a teenager.
James has researched the experiences of people with gaming addiction who have received treatment for the problem, and provides clinical training around working with this client group. He is the founder of NetAddiction NZ, a resource site for people wanting to understand or overcome gaming addiction.
Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist, Inyahead
Andrew has recently been described as an ‘interesting mixture of Billy Connolly, Tim Winton and Frasier Crane’ and as someone who ‘puts the heart back into psychology’. As a clinical psychologist, Andrew Fuller works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families. He is a Fellow of the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Learning and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne. Andrew has recently been the scientific consultant for the ABC on a 5 episode series called Whatever: the science of the teenage brain. He has also been a principal consultant to the national drug prevention strategy REDI, the ABC on children¹s television shows, is an Ambassador for Mind Matters and is a member of the National Coalition Against Bullying. Andrew is author of the best selling Life: A Guide, Tricky Kids and Tricky People and the Brain Based e-manual.
Senior Education Trainer, Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
Greg Gebhart is the senior education trainer for the office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. Greg is one of Australia’s leading experts on cybersafety and has provided presentations to more than 300,000 students, teachers and parents. Greg is wildly recognised for his passion for education technology and cybersafety and has been awarded several national and international awards.
Teacher, Writer, Consultant
Dan Haesler has worked with young people for over 20 years. He also consults to education departments, schools, not-for-profits and corporate companies around issues of engagement and wellbeing in young people. From being Head of Year 10 in one of England’s largest inner-city schools to his position of Head of House in a school in Sydney, throughout his career, Dan has worked with students, teachers, parents and wider communities from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. He is passionate about equity in education and engaging our hardest-to-reach kids. You can read his regular School of Thought column in Australian Teacher Magazine.
See http://danhaesler.com »
Writer, Researcher, Social Commentator
Maggie Hamilton is a writer and researcher. She is also a regular media commentator and keen observer of social trends. Maggie has written several books that have been published around the world, including What Men Don’t Talk About, What’s Happening to Our Girls? and What’s Happening to Our Boys?
Prof Jennie Hudson
Director, Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University
Professor Jennie Hudson is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Centre for Emotional Health in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University.
Jennie’s research focuses on understanding the factors that contribute to children’s emotional health and working to improve the services available to children experiencing anxiety and other emotional disorders, as well as their families. Hudson co-authored the book “Treating anxious children: An evidence-based approach” (2000) and edited “Psychopathology and the Family” (2006).
Her research has been published in national and international journals and her work has been cited over 1200 times in peer reviewed journals. She is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and is on the editorial board: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review and Behaviour Research and Therapy.
Dr Claire Kelly
Manager of Youth Programs, Mental Health First Aid Australia
Dr. Claire Kelly has been a provider on education for the public in mental health areas since 2003. She completed a PhD on the mental health literacy of adolescents in Australia in 2005, and has been working with Mental Health First Aid Australia ever since, in research, curriculum development and training. Claire is passionate about the mental health of young people, having experienced mental illness in her adolescence and young adulthood, and having an understanding of how difficult it is to seek or accept help during these important years, and knowing how important it is to do so.
See https://mhfa.com.au »
Mark Le Messurier
Teacher, Counsellor, Author
Mark Le Messurier is a teacher, counsellor and author. He is a recipient of an Australian National Excellence in Teaching Award and works in schools and in private practice with students he affectionately calls ‘Tough Kids’. Mark believes our mission lies in our desire to want to make a difference.
Internet Safe Education creator, Brett Lee, worked as a Queensland Police Officer for 22 years, 16 of those as a Detective in the field of Child Exploitation. In the 5 years prior to his retirement from the QPS, he was a specialist in the field of undercover internet child exploitation investigations. Brett has been personally involved in the online investigation, arrest and prosecution of numerous offenders whose medium for preying on children is the internet.
During his time in the Qld Police Service, Brett delivered lectures to numerous school students, teacher and parent groups at both State and non-government schools on all issues relating to internet safety. This inspired a passion to impart his expert knowledge to as many children and young adults as possible to ensure they remain safe online.
Brett has received the Queensland Police Commissioner’s Gold Award and the Crime and Misconduct Commissioner’s Award for his role in the development and implementation of software that is now utilised by various Australian Law enforcement agencies to track and identify online child offenders.
Founder, Speaker and Author, Youth Excel
Michelle worked as a teacher before founding Youth Excel in 2000, a charity which supports thousands of young people each year through education and psychological services.
Michelle is an honest and hope filled speaker. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, Today Tonight and Channel 10 Morning News, as well as countless print media including The Age, The Courier Mail and Women’s Weekly.
Michelle advocates for families and believes that safe choices, dependable role models and positive activity are critical in young people’s lives. She has a special interest in mental health and self-harm.
See http://youthexcel.com.au »
Associate Professor Michael Nagel
Researcher and Author, University of Sunshine Coast
Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast where he teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, human development, behaviour and learning. He is the author of ten books on child development and learning used by teachers and parents in over twenty countries. Dr Nagel has delivered over 300 workshops and seminars for parents and teachers nationally and internationally. Nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010, Dr Nagel has been a guest on ‘TV New Zealand Breakfast’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘The Project’, is a member of the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society, is the Queensland Director of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, sits on a number of education boards and committees and is a feature writer for ‘Jigsaw’ and the ‘Child’ series of magazines which collectively offers parenting advice to more than one million Australian readers.
Presenter, The Salvation Army’s Education and Outreach Initiative
Bee Orsini is a charismatic young Australian whose message is the embodiment of heart centered leadership. She is a passionate advocate for leading with compassion and breaking down negative social stigmas that inhibit people stepping into their potential.
Bee works as a schools liaison and presenter for The Salvation Army’s Education and Outreach Initiative. In 2013, Bee co-founded the Salvos Ambassador Movement, a leadership development platform that aims to equip students to be part of the next generation of history makers addressing social issues such as
Due to her outstanding leadership skills, Bee has received awards such as The Foundation For Young Australians ‘Young and Extraordinary’, Westpac’s 100 women of influence, and was nominated for the 2014 NSW Young Women of the Year.
See http://beeorsini.com.au/ »
Psychologist and Lecturer, Western Sydney University
Collett Smart is a consultant psychologist, qualified teacher, lecturer, writer and mum of 3. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working in private and public schools, as well as working as a consultant psychologist in private practice and with the media. Collett’s knowledge has led to her working with children, teens and their parents around Australia, inner city London and in Africa. She speaks regularly on the impact of pornography on the development of young people and is passionate about finding solutions for this issue. Collett was a speaker at the ‘Pornography and Harms to Children and Young People symposium’ in 2016.
See http://collettsmart.com/ »
Dr Wayne Warburton
Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director, The Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University
Dr Wayne Warburton is a Senior Lecturer in developmental psychology and Deputy Director of the Children and Families Research Centre at Macquarie University. Wayne is also a registered psychologist and has a strong research interest in the fields of aggressive behaviour, media psychology and parenting. He has a number of publications in scientific journals and books, primarily on topics around aggressive behaviour and the impact of violent and pro-social media. He is co-author of the International Society for Research on Aggression Statement on Media Violence, the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues Research Summary on Media Violence, and the world experts’ Statement on Violent Video Game Violence in the ‘Gruel Amicus Curiae Brief’ for the US Supreme Court case of California vs. Entertainment Merchants. His most recent book, Growing Up Fast and Furious: Reviewing the Impacts of Violent and Sexualised Media on Children (with Danya Braunstein) is available from The Federation Press.