A social enterprise providing education and information to protect and enhance the mental health of young people.


Speakers and facilitators at our 2016 seminars and programs include:


Jean-Paul Bell

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.

See http://www.artshealthinstitute.org.au

Johnston, HettyHetty Jonston AM

Child Protection Advocate, and Founder of Bravehearts Inc.

Australia’s leading child protection advocate. A born lobbyist, Hetty is a woman of passion and determination who has succeeded in highlighting the crime of paedophilia and child sexual assault to media, families, schools and the general community both nationally and internationally. Hetty established Bravehearts in 1997, an organisation with a Vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child by 2020 through Bravehearts The 3 Piers to Prevention, Educate, Empower, Protect. Hetty was awarded 2015 Queensland Australian of the Year, Inducted 2015 into Logan’s Wall of Acclaim, and awarded in 2014 as Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

See http://www.bravehearts.org.au


Coulson, JustinDr Justin Coulson

Parenting and wellbeing/ positive psychology Expert

Justin shares his expertise regularly on the TODAY show and Channel 9’s Mornings, as well as The Project, The Morning Show on 7, The Daily Edition, and a host of major market radio stations.

His writes a weekly advice column in The Daily Telegraph, and several blogs each week for kidspot.com.au. His articles have also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women’s Weekly, news.com.au, Dolly, OK, and various other national magazines.

Justin’s academic work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and books, and online at Psychology Today, and his parenting book, What Your Child Needs From You: Creating a Connected Family has been widely acclaimed by experts in the field.

Justin has been a content reviewer for the Australian Government’s Raising Children Network. He has also been an advisor to the “Life Education/McAfee bCyberwise” education program which delivers cyber safety training to up to 600,000 school children each year. He is an honorary fellow at the University of Wollongong, and a Senior Associate of the Positive Psychology Institute.

See www.happyfamilies.com.au and  justincoulson.com


Barelle, KateDr Kate Barrelle

Consultant Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

Dr Kate Barrelle is a clinical/forensic psychologist who specialises in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and reintegration of at-risk youth. She co-founded STREAT, a social enterprise that provides holistic support and hospitality training for disenfranchised, at-risk and homeless youth. Dr Barrelle has 20 years experience in community mental health, private practice, expert court evidence and CVE work. Her PhD involved in-depth interviews with radicals about their involvement in extreme political groups, and how and why they eventually left. Dr Barrelle consults to government and grassroots programs. She is a great believer in helping young people find constructive ways to belong in society.


Jones, ClarkeDr Clarke Jones

Co-Director – Australian Intervention Support Hub (AISH)

Dr Clarke Jones holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, which examined the burring roles of the military and police in response to non-traditional security threats. He also has a Masters degree in criminology from RMIT University, which challenged perceptions of structure in organised crime in Australia. Before moving to academia, he worked for the Australian Government for 15 years in several areas of national security.

His research interest includes prison radicalisation; disengagement and de-radicalisation of terrorist inmates in the Philippine corrective system;  intervention and community-led intervention


Hamilton,MaggieMaggie Hamilton

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?

See http://www.maggiehamilton.org 


Dillon, PaulPaul Dillon

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.

See http://darta.net.au and http://doingdrugs-darta.blogspot.com.au


Dr Beth Shelton

Psychologist and Eating Disorders Senior Clinician, The Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders

Dr. Beth Shelton is a psychologist, consultant and educator in the areas of eating disorders and body image. Beth has a distinguished professional history as a contemporary dance choreographer, community artist and dance educator. She is interested in the role of movement and body experience in interventions for disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. Beth is treasurer of the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders. In addition to her role with CEED, Beth also works as Senior Clinician / Coordinator, Adult Out-patient Service, Southern Health Wellness and Recovery Centre: A Centre of Excellence in the Treatment of Eating Disorders.

See http://ceed.org.au/about-ceed


Fuller, Andrew (2)Andrew Fuller

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.

See http://andrewfuller.com.au


Highfield, KateDr Kate Highfield

Lecturer, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University

Prior to arriving at Macquarie University in 2006, Kate spent over ten years as a classroom teacher. Kate currently lectures in the areas of Technology, Mathematics and Science.

Broadly Kate researches the impact of technology as a tool in learning and play, with young children, undergraduate students, parents and educators. This research focuses on tech toys and touch technologies, including mobile devices, Tablets, iPads and smartphones. Her research  examines digital play, in both home and educational settings, and focuses on the impact of interactive multi-media on learning and higher order thinking.



Dr Naomi Priest

 ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods

Dr Naomi Priest was leader of the VicHealth funded Anti-Racism and Diversity program at the University of Melbourne from 2012-2015, and also a Senior Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation from 2014-15. She then completed a NHMRC post-doctoral fellowship also at the University of Melbourne with training in social epidemiology.

Naomi received her PhD in population health at the University of Melbourne, conducting a qualitative participatory study exploring Aboriginal perspectives of urban child health and wellbeing.   In 2014-15 she was a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Driver, JamesJames Driver

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.

See http://www.netaddiction.co.nz


Kelly, ClaireDr 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


Haesler-DanDan Haesler

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


Michelle Mitchell

 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


Gerbhart, GregGreg Gebhart

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.

See https://www.esafety.gov.au