Safe Work Month and Mental Health Week speakers

Keith Adam

Dr Keith Adam
Chief Medical Officer, Sonic Health Plus

Dr Keith Adam established his own occupational health clinic and consultancy in Brisbane in 1983 and has held specialist qualifications in Occupational Medicine since 1986. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer for Sonic HealthPlus, which runs over 40 occupational health clinics across Australia. In that role, Keith has clinical oversight of the 200+ occupational physicians, occupational physician registrars and medical practitioners working for Sonic HealthPlus. He also supervises the quality of the drug and alcohol testing performed by Sonic staff, and assisted in developing the quality assurance program that permitted Sonic to achieve National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation for this testing.

Through treating and rehabilitating injured workers at his clinics since 1984, Dr Adam has extensive experience in determining what duties injured workers may be able to perform, and managing return to work programs.

Tessa Boersma

Tessa Boersma
MasterChef Australia chef

Tessa will teach you how to cook an easy and healthy breakfast to energise you for work at our launch event.

Tessa recently wrapped up filming for the latest season of MasterChef Australia (Back to win) after making it to the top seven and becoming a fan favourite on MasterChef season 11.

Tessa is a passionate cook, educator, presenter, recipe writer and public speaker. When she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, you'll find her travelling the world discovering new cuisines or exploring all that the great Australian outdoors has to offer.

Simon Black

Simon Black
Ex AFL superstar and Survivor alumni

Simon Black is an Australian Rules football legend and one of the game’s most celebrated players. Hardworking and gifted with incredible football skills, he was a loyal team man and valued group achievements over the many individual accolades he received. Whether at an elite or grassroots level, nurturing talent is Black’s passion and in 2015 he launched the Simon Black Australian Rules Academy. Following time as Midfield Coach at the Brisbane Lions, Simon turned his focus to growing his Academy and his media commitments with the Triple M footy team. In 2019, Simon featured as a contestant on Channel 10's 'Survivor Australia', fighting it out for 42 days and making it to the final eight. Throughout his time on the show he demonstrated his humility, leadership and sheer physical ability.

Matt Brearley

Dr Matt Brearley
Occupational heat stress consultant

Dr Matt Brearley is Australia's pre-eminent occupational heat stress consultant, conducting and applying research to guide industry practice. He’s the 2018 Exercise Scientist of the Year, holds a PhD in Thermal Physiology and has developed practical, evidence-based procedures to maximise health, safety and performance in the heat. Matt and a team of international colleagues developed resources on behalf of the World Health Organisation and partners regarding heat stress management for COVID-19 responders.

Brooke Dench

Brooke Dench
Human Factors Specialist

Brooke is a Human Factors Specialist working across the health, defence and aviation industries.  Brooke began her career as an intensive care unit-trained registered nurse, then moved into various clinical safety and quality roles, where her passion for human factors sparked. To complement her Bachelor of Nursing, and to gain specialised knowledge, Brooke earned a Bachelor of Social Science Psychology (Honours) and a Master of Science – Human Factors/Ergonomics and Organisational Behaviour from the University of Derby. Brooke is also Chair of the Health Special Interest Group for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia and a Clinical Council member for the Safety Airway Society.

Brooke is passionate about integrating Human Factors into the design of work in complex systems to promote the health and safety of all users, and mentoring young professionals in Human Factors and organisational design.

Lara Bakes-Denman

Lara Bakes-Denman
Clinical Initiatives Coordinator, Mental Health and Specialised Services, West Moreton Health

Lara Bakes-Denman has enjoyed working in a range of clinical and professional leadership roles within government and non-government health services. In her current role in Mental Health and Specialised Services (MHSS) at West Moreton Health, one of her core responsibilities is coordinating a peer support program that has operated since the late 1990s. This program, which offers psychological first aid to MHSS staff who have been exposed to occupational violence or other types of traumatic incidents while on duty, is valued and highly regarded by staff.

Trisha Cabrero

Trisha Cabrero
Senior Psychologist, Safety and Wellbeing People and Capability Command, Queensland Police Service

Trisha Cabrero has worked for the Queensland Police Service as a Senior Psychologist for 12 years. She provides face to face clinical services, organisational consultancy, critical incident support, group training programs and coordinates the Peer Support Officer (PSO) Network for her area. She has a special interest in peer support within frontline emergency services organisations. She has witnessed how it can be utilised within a Psychological First Aid, critical incident context, as well as PSO’s supporting the daily challenges originating from work and home. She also operates a private practice with a focus on relationship counselling.

Rachel Clements

Rachel Clements
Registered psychologist
Co-founder, Director of Psychological Services and Principal Organisational Psychologist, Centre for Corporate Health (CFCH) and Resilia

Rachel is a registered psychologist with the NSW Psychology Board and a member of the Australian Psychological Society and Specialist College of Organisational Psychologists. She is also an active member of R U OK’s? Conversation Think Tank Panel.

For the past 16 years, Rachel has helped professional services firms to better manage mental health and workplace stress and build emotional resilience, including consulting on large scale resilience, wellbeing and mental health training for executives and senior leaders.

Rachel presents at national and international conferences on emotional resilience and mental health at work, and is frequently asked for comment by the media on areas such as workplace stress, resilience building, mental health and organisational functioning.

Rachel has a Bachelors degree in Science with Honours in Psychology from the Australian National University and a Masters degree in Organisational Psychology from the University of Western Australia.

Melissa Connell

Dr Melissa Connell
Clinical psychologist

Melissa is a clinical psychologist working in mental health and alcohol and drug treatment. She has worked in a variety of areas and has a background in research and early intervention for psychosis. Melissa has a particular interest in trauma informed care and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma. She recently completed a project as Manager, Trauma informed care and practice for Metro North Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Service. In this role, she led a team that developed and implemented trauma informed care across the service.

Samuel Eddy

Samuel Eddy
Workplace wellbeing educator and executive coach

Samuel specialises in helping individuals and organisations across a range of industries improve wellbeing, maintain mental health and prevent burnout through online webinar events and workshops. His session is designed to be practical and simple to understand, using interactive models he has developed including the 'Stress Temperature' check-in and 'Wellbeing Anchors'.

Samuel has a Master of Science (Psychology) from the University of East London and trained with No Panic (NHS funded UK not for profit) helping clients manage anxiety and related disorders. He is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider.

James Fletcher

James Fletcher
Occupational physiotherapist and exercise physiologist
Director, Safe & Healthy (safety and wellness tools and programs)

After travelling the world with Cirque Du Soleil for three years, managing the health of 200 athletes and Cirque employees and being exposed to how health systems are run throughout the world, James's passion is to reduce the impacts of injury and illness in the workplace.

As Director of Safe & Healthy, James develops innovative tools and programs to reduce injury and improve workplace wellness, with the aim of reducing the burden of chronic disease and illness in the workplace. His return to work programs and employee wellness solutions have helped some of Australia’s largest organisations—such as Carlton & United Breweries and Bluescope Steel—to reduce injuries and improve the safety and the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Ngaire Graham

Ngaire Graham
Principal Advisor, Safety Wellbeing and Injury Management, Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

Ngaire has 30 years' work health and safety experience, working across the academic, private and public sectors in workplace rehabilitation and return to work, counselling, health safety and wellbeing, occupational hygiene and training roles.

For the past 16 years, Ngaire has worked for the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors. In her current role as a Principal Advisor, she steers the department’s health, safety and wellbeing agenda, while also refining their complex case management practices; managing their Return to Work and Remain at Work programs; and implementing their early intervention support programs. She also works preventing and managing psychological injury and illness within the workplace.

Ngaire is highly qualified with a Master's degree in public health and tropical medicine, and tertiary qualifications in environmental health, occupational health and counselling. She has a strong interest in developing initiatives that promote workplace psychological safety and wellbeing.

Curtis Gray

Dr Curtis Gray
Psychiatrist

Dr Curtis Gray is an experienced adult psychiatrist with clinical interests in mood and anxiety disorders, trauma and stressor related disorders, the interplay between medical conditions/injuries and mental health, sleep disorders and their relationship to psychiatry, and medicolegal matters related to those areas.

Curtis is a Senior Lecturer with Queensland University School of Medicine. He recently completed a six-year term as a federal examiner for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Committee for Examinations, and a term as Assisting Psychiatrist to the Mental Health Court of Queensland. He has been a Senior Staff Specialist at the Gold Coast Hospital and in the Department of Psychiatry at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital (where he was also Acting Clinical Director). He is also involved in civil medicolegal work.

Curtis is a member of the Faculties of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychiatry of Old Age, the Faculties of Psychotherapy and Adult Psychiatry of the RANZCP, and the executive committee of the Medico-Legal Society of Queensland. He holds appointments to the Mater Health Services Mater in Mind Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service, the Mental Health Review Tribunal Psychosurgery Panel, and the Queensland Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services Medical Assessment Tribunal (MAT).

Jorgen Gullestrup

Jorgen Gullestrup
Founding CEO, MATES in Construction

Jorgen Gullestrup is the founding CEO of MATES in Construction, a mental health and suicide prevention program designed for the building and construction industry.

Jorgen is a suicide survivor, and brought this lived experience and his experience as a construction worker to the design of the MATES program.

Jorgen is a 2017 Churchill Fellow for his project investigating workplace and industry-based mental health and suicide prevention programs globally. He is the 2018 Suicide Prevention Life Award winner for Sector Leadership, a counsellor on the Queensland Mental Health Commission Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Advisory Council and a member of the Commonwealth Mental Health Commission National Workplace Initiative Framework working group. Jorgen has a Masters in Suicideology and is currently working on a PhD under the working title of ‘Help-offering amongst construction, mining and energy workers’.

MATES in Construction is one of the best evaluated workplace suicide prevention programs globally. Since its inception in Queensland in 2008, the program has expanded to New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory, and was also recently established in New Zealand. The program has created a number of spin-off initiatives such as MATES in Mining and MATES in Energy.

Maureen Hassall

Maureen Hassall
Associate Professor and Director and co-founder of UQ R!SK

As Director and co-founder of UQ R!SK at The University of Queensland, Maureen works collaboratively with industry to develop better human-centred risk management approaches that improve companies’ operational performance and competitiveness. Her research and consulting work focuses on developing and applying innovative, practical and effective user-centred solutions that address the range of potentially disruptive risks faced by industry. Maureen also provides risk management and human factors advice, education and training to undergraduate, Masters and PhD students. She holds Bachelor's degrees in engineering and psychology, a MBA, and a PhD in Cognitive Systems Engineering. Prior to joining UQ, Maureen worked for more than 15 years in the mining, processing and manufacturing industries in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne Johnson
Manager, Ergonomics Unit, Work Health Design Branch, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Suzanne has over 25 years' experience working in the areas of health and safety regulation, ergonomics, and injury management and prevention. She has worked in the public and private sectors in New South Wales, South Australia, and central and southern Queensland. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy and a Masters in Ergonomics.

The Work Health Design Branch provides specialist expertise in human factors and ergonomics and chronic disease prevention in the workplace.

April Jones

April Jones
Psychologist and executive committee member, Employee Assistance Professionals Association of Australia (EAPAA)

April is a registered psychologist and is Head of Psychology Services at Assure Programs in Queensland. She has a background in well-being and psychological services, employee assistance programs (EAP) and vocational rehabilitation. She is currently actively involved with the peak professional EAP body in Australia and holds a role on the executive committee of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association of Australasia (EAPAA).

April has more than 20 years' experience in mental health and works with customer organisations across all industry sectors. She continually supports employees and leaders to understand and manage the challenges faced in mental health and develops partnerships and strategies to promote workplace wellbeing. April is also responsible for the clinical quality and governance of the psychological services that are delivered by Assure Programs.

Being both a member of EAPAA and having the opportunity to work with the wider EAP provider industry, April is looking forward to further destigmatising mental health, increasing the resources that are available to assist employees and organisations support their people, and prioritising the benefits of community awareness in addressing mental health and wellbeing.

Karlie from That Pilates Passion

Karlie from That Pilates Passion

Karlie is a Brisbane-based, qualified Pilates instructor with more than five years’ experience in Pilates, deep stretch and Barre. She is the founder of That Pilates Passion.

Pilates expert Karlie will show you some simple stretches and low-impact exercises that you can do in front of your computer at our launch event.

Robyn Kirby

Robyn Kirby
Psychologist

Robyn has more than 25 years of experience working with peer support programs within various government departments and community agencies. For the past nine years, Robyn has managed the peer support programs for the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES), including driving the implementation of organisational initiatives as well as ‘in-the-field’ experiences of leading support teams during Queensland's major disaster events. Robyn is currently completing Masters research on the psycho-social needs of QFES personnel during disaster events.

Hayley Lewis

Hayley Lewis
Commonwealth, Olympic and World Champion swimmer
Small business owner/operator

Hayley captured the hearts of Australians by winning five Gold Medals at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games at the age of 15. Backing up a year later, she went on to become one of Australia’s youngest ever World Champions by winning the 200 metre freestyle at the Perth World Championships. In 1992, at her first Olympics, Hayley brought home a silver and a bronze followed by more medals at the '93 Pan Pacs, the '94 Commonwealth Games, the '95 World Championships and the '96 Atlanta Olympics.

After a short break, she returned to swimming in 1999 and achieved her goal of making the 2000 Olympic team, as well as the 2001 World Championship team. Hayley became the first athlete ever to compete for her country in both pool and open water swimming at the same meet. She went on to win a bronze medal and officially retire at the age of 27.

Since swimming, Hayley has opened a swim school, hosted five seasons of the reality show The Biggest Loser, authored a small business book 'Dream, Believe, Create' and had 18 years' experience as a small business owner.

While juggling her business in Balmoral ‘Coming Up Roses’ (nearing its tenth year of trade) Hayley has been busy studying and is now in her third year as a psychology student.

Dominic Manca

Dominic Manca
Acting Chief Advisor, Psychological Health Unit, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Dominic has worked across industry in strategic and operational safety and injury management roles as well as clinically as a rehabilitation counsellor. Dominic will provide insights into the psychological impacts of remote and isolated work—in particular, the impacts of working from home due to COVID-19, and what industry can do to achieve compliance and best practice by taking a psychological health risk management approach.

Aaron McCann

Aaron McCann
Mental Health Advocate, Energy Queensland

Aaron began working in the electrical industry in 2003 as a trades assistant on construction sites across Brisbane and the Gold Coast, before becoming an electrical fitter mechanic (EFM) and linesman with Energex in 2006. Aaron has a lived experience with suicide and a genuine passion around improving awareness and understanding of mental health in our workplaces and homes. Aaron is suicide first aid qualified, a trainer with the mates and living works programs, a current psychology student and a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Aaron is also a Mental Health Advocate for Energy Queensland, supporting the work they have undertaken to protect the mental health of their employees through their peer support program. The peer support program has been formally recognised by both the Queensland Mental Health Commission and the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Gina McLellan

Gina McLellan
Human resources specialist
Co-founder and Director of Integra (management consultancy)

Gina McLellan is the co-founder and Director of Integra, a management consultancy specialising in people engagement and development. Gina provides human resource advisory services that help organisations better manage their overall people and workplace experience.

One of Gina's most significant and successful work collaborations has been with award-winning, Brisbane-based architecture firm bureau^proberts. Gina has assisted the practice of 35 architects, interior designers and master planners to grow to cater to burgeoning urban renewal opportunities, from boutique developments to large-scale multi residential, mixed use and public projects, and national and international projects in Asia and the Middle East. Bureau^proberts has been recognised with 48 Australian Institute of Architects awards and has had three projects shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards. Their most recent work on 'Walan' — a multi-residential project at Kangaroo Point — was named Brisbane Building of the Year by the AIA's Queensland Chapter.

Sid O’Toole

Sid O'Toole
Occupational and environmental physician
Joint Director of LIME Medicolegal and Phoenix Occupational Medicine

With nearly 20 years' experience in medicine, Sid is passionate about the health benefits of good work. In fact, one of the drivers for starting Phoenix Occupational Medicine was so he could actively intervene in early treatment of injured and ill workers, having seen many (avoidable) poor outcomes when conducting independent medical examinations for insurers and solicitors.

Never one to shy away from asking difficult or challenging questions Sid is happy to turn the spotlight on his own profession. As a strong advocate for evidence-based medical services, Sid is well-known for his refreshing and clear opinions on function, causation and risk.

When not in the office, Sid can be found strumming on his guitar or whizzing along Brisbane’s bike paths on his scooter.

David Provan

Dr David Provan
Leading safety thinker and practitioner

David Provan is the former General Manager Health, Safety and Environment for Origin Energy. He has more than 20 years of safety management experience across several high-hazard industries with international operations.

David is the founder of safety consultancy firm Forge Works, and also a part-time lecturer and researcher at Queensland's Griffith University. He has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), Masters of Health Science (Risk Management and OHS), Masters of Business Administration (Finance), and a PhD in Safety Science, where his research thesis was titled, ‘What is the role of a Safety Professional? The identity, practice and future of the profession’.

Simone Ryan

Dr Simone Ryan
Medical specialist and occupational medicine pioneer
Founder and CEO of TOTIUM (corporate medical and health services)

Simone is the founder and CEO of TOTIUM, an Australian medical and health services company. She is also a physician and Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), and formerly a Board and Risk Director of the RACP. She consults to and for large multi-national organisations on all types of occupational health and safety risk matters.

With three Bachelor degrees and a Master-level education, Simone has a keen interest in healthcare data. She is currently a nominee representative on behalf of the Commonwealth Health Minister to sit as a Board Director for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Simone has won dozens of awards within medicine and health, both due to her skill and peer nominations/voting. She has represented Australia in basketball and her team says her absolute gift is leadership.

Sarah-Jane Robson

Sarah-Jane Robson
Senior Advisor, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Sarah-Jane delivers Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Injury Prevention and Management program to employers of every size and from every industry. Sarah-Jane has extensive knowledge of WHS and workers’ compensation legislation, as well as qualifications in social psychology, rehabilitation counselling, industrial studies, human resources and rehabilitation and return to work. This enables Sarah-Jane to provide holistic and tailored advice to Queensland employers on managing their individual workplace risks and return to work processes.

Kuda Sekete

Kuda Sekete
Health and Wellbeing Culture Partner People and Safety, Urban Utilities

Kuda has worked in health and safety for more than ten years, ranging from designing and delivering programs grounded in applied psychology and neuroscience, to workplace wellbeing programs. In her current role at Urban Utilities, she is developing and implementing a holistic health and wellbeing program for more than 1000 blue and white-collar employees.

Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson
Authority on workplace culture and customer service

Steve works with organisations worldwide, helping them gain insights into their workplace cultures and what can be done in simple and practical terms to strategically transform them. His client list includes McLaren Automotive and Next in the UK, Kmart Australia and New Zealand, CBA, CUA, the University of Melbourne, Noble Systems and CHC Helicopters in the US. Steve is the creator of the UGRs (unwritten ground rules) concept, and the author of 'UGRs: Cracking the Corporate Culture Code' and co-author of 'A Culture Turned'.

Lorraine Stokes

Dr Lorraine Stokes
Organisational psychologist

After experiencing several organisational restructures working for a large telecommunications company, Lorraine left the organisation with a desire to help individuals and organisations to better manage the challenges of change. Despite not completing high school, she gained entry to Griffith University, and on completion was awarded the Behavioural Science and Psychology Medals. Lorraine went on to complete a PhD in organisational psychology, involving an in-depth exploration of employee responses to large-scale change in a Queensland hospital. Lorraine is now an organisational psychologist, and for the past 15 years has helped Queensland workplaces to manage issues, conflicts and psychological injuries. She provides individual and group counselling and coaching; supports managers to address and resolve HR issues; helps organisations to implement restorative conflict resolution processes; and conducts team assessments and workshops and organisational reviews.

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor
Senior Advisor, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Richard delivers Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Injury Prevention and Management program to employers of every size and from every industry. With extensive knowledge of WHS and workers’ compensation legislation and qualifications in WHS and case management, he has been supporting Queensland businesses to improve their WHS and injury management systems for more than 15 years.

Mark Watego

Mark Watego
Managing Director and owner, Meeting Place Consultancy

Mark’s Indigenous-owned and operated business delivers training and consultancy services nationally. Mark has worked alongside Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) providing consultative feedback for the Indigenous programs, Aboriginal mental health first aid and the upcoming Indigenous Youth Mental Health First aid program. He is also a master trainer for MHFA Australia, partnering with them to train new Indigenous trainers.

Mark has extensive experience working in community settings on the frontline in health, aged care and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. He is currently assisting companies with their Reconciliation Action Plans and delivering programs on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health first aid, suicide and non-suicidal self-injury, cultural competence and worker self-care.

Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams
CEO, Mindstar (Employee assistance programs and workplace wellbeing solutions)

Aaron Williams is CEO and founder of Mindstar, a leading wellbeing and mental health organisation. Known for his passionate and entertaining approach, Aaron uses light-hearted story-telling and his clinical insight as a mental health professional to teach about resilience, rediscovering joy and living a more balanced and 'mentally healthy' life. Combining his clinical mental health background, corporate and personal experience, Aaron's mission is to crush the stigma associated with seeking support, and to give people the knowledge, inspiration and tools to focus on, improve and maintain their wellbeing.

Last updated
07 September 2020