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SMHR Executive Committee

President (Dec 2012 - Dec 2018)

Prof Patrick McGorry

Patrick D. McGorry is Executive Director of Orygen: The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia’s leading youth mental health organisation, comprising a world-renowned research centre and a clinical service targeting the needs of young people with emerging serious mentalillness. He is also Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and a founding member of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (headspace), and the current President of the Society for Mental Health Research (2013-2015).  Orygen Youth Health’s early psychosis service, known as EPPIC, founded in 1992, has been highly influential internationally. Professor McGorry has played a major role in many aspects of mental health reform in Australia as a key adviser to the Victorian and Federal Governments, and as the Chairman of the Foundation Executive Committee of headspace, 2005-2009 and subsequently as a headspace Board member. He has successfully led the campaign for the establishment of a national early psychosis programme based on the original EPPIC model, and advises on youth mental health policy in many other international jurisdictions.  Professor McGorry has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Australian of the Year 2010, the Melbourne Award for contribution to community in 2009, the Australian Government Centenary Medal in 2003 and the Founders’ Medal of the Australian Society for Psychiatric Research in 2001.

Secretary and Public Officer

A/Prof Frances Kay-Lambkin
A/Prof Frances Kay-Lambkin is the current Secretary and Public Officer of the Executive Committee for the Society for Mental Health.  She is a current NHMRC Research Fellow and Director of Translation of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use.  Frances leads an innovative and challenging program of research that has attracted international collaborators across multiple disciplines and successfully funded research projects. She is committed to bridging the gap between need for and receipt of treatment for comorbid mental and addictive disorders that is driven by rigorous scientific evidence, and is focused on the integration of technologies to the point-of-care for people experiencing comorbid disorders, to ensure that the right person receives the right treatment at the right time.


A/Prof Sue Cotton

A/Prof Sue Cotton is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow. She is a psychologist (with clinical training in neuropsychology), senior biostatistician and is Head, Health Services and Outcomes Research Unit. Her current work is focused on understanding the outcome profile of young people with mental illness; specifically investigating the illness course of people with first episode psychosis (FEP) and inventions to improve these and preventive incident morbidity. She is also currently involved in numerous therapeutic trials (psychological and psychopharmacological interventions) for psychiatric disorders such as FEP, personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and substance use. She has had significant leadership roles in the evaluation of youth mental health services and the development of new research programs in youth mental health (including clinical trials).

Regional Representatives


Dr Alison Calear
Dr Alison Calear  [PhD, BAppPsych (Hons)] is an NHMRC Research Fellow at the National Institute for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University. Dr Calear's research interests include youth mental health, e-health and the prevention and early intervention of anxiety, depression and suicide in children and adolescents.


Dr Anthony Harris
Dr Anthony Harris is an associate professor in the Discipline of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney and is the Clinical Director of the Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research.  He works in the Prevention Early Intervention and Recovery Service in Parramatta seeing young people with a range of severe mental illnesses.  Dr Harris’ research interests have centred upon the treatment, psychophysiology and neuroimaging of young people with psychosis and depression, cognitive remediation techniques and the development of innovative educational resources in mental health. He is the current President of the Schizophrenia Fellowship of New South Wales and is on the Board of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and of the Schizophrenia Research Institute.

I have an ongoing fascination with psychosis – it’s causes, the phenomenology, why it causes such devastation for the people who suffer from it and how can we treat it better.




A/Prof Tom Burne

Associate Professor Burne is currently a Group Leader and Conjoint Principal Research Fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute and a Principal Research Fellow in the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. A/Prof. Burne studies brain development and behaviour in animal models to learn more about neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia and autism. His research is focused on investigating the underlying biological basis for complex neuropsychiatric disorders, with the goal of finding public health interventions that will alleviate the burden of disease. He has a broad background in biological psychiatry, with specific training and expertise in key research areas including cognitive testing in rodents, as well as psychopharmacological studies and research on samples from clinical populations. A/Prof. Burne plays an active role in participating in and shaping the future of mental health and biological psychiatry research in Australia.


Prof Bernhard Baune

Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide

I am passionate about mental health research because our field is one of the most exciting areas of medicine. The research opportunities both clinically and in basic research enrich our understanding of mental illness and our ability to prevent, predict and treat more effectively. To engage students, clinicians and researchers from different backgrounds ideally early in their careers in mental health research is one of my main goals.


A/Prof Kristy Sanderson
Associate Professor Kristy Sanderson BSc (Psych) Hons PhD (Psychiatry) is a psychiatric epidemiologist and Principal Research Fellow at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania. She has a particular interest in public health approaches to mental health prevention and promotion, including dissemination and implementation of evidence-based approaches. Her current work includes mental health promotion in workplaces and secondary prevention in chronic disease populations.  Kristy is co-lead of the University of Tasmania Work, Health and Wellbeing Network and the current Director of the WHO CIDI Australasian Training and Research Centre. She has been in continuous receipt of NHMRC funding since 2003 and held an NHMRC ECF and ARC Future Fellowship. She has been the Tasmanian representative for ASPR since 2008.


A/Prof Cathy Mihalopoulos


Professor Johanna Badcock

Professor Badcock is an experimental and clinical psychologist. Prior to her appointment as Research Professor at UWA in 2012, she served as the Senior Research Psychologist for the Clinical Research Centre, Graylands Hospital - a statewide research facility for the Department of Health.
Professor Badcock studies the cognitive, social and biological mechanisms causing the symptoms of mental illness and has particular expertise on the mechanisms involved in hallucinations.
She is the co-founder and Research Director of the Perth Voices Clinic [] a specialist psychological treatment service for people with hallucinations, and an expert advisor for the Second Australian National Survey of Psychosis.
Professor Badcock serves as the Western Australian representative for the Society of Mental Health Research - a national peak body for psychiatric and mental health research in Australia and New Zealand - and also takes an active role in promoting gender equity in academia.

I study variations in perceptual and cognitive abilities.  My research shows how symptoms of mental illness arise and helps guide new treatments.  I am a Psychological Scientist.


Dr Christopher Gale

Department of Psychological Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin NZ

Dr Gale was born and raised in South Auckland. He attended the University of Auckland and then completed his psychiatric training in the Auckland Region. During this time be joined the NZ Mental Health Survey Research Team and gained a second training in clinical epidemiology and evidence based medicine.  He is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, and a consultant psychiatrist, Southern District Health Board, Dunedin, New Zealand. His research interests are around the interface of evidence based mental health and the lived experience of patients and their caregivers.   He lives with his two sons, and enjoys the viola, photography and reformed theology.

My research is driven by problem I see within clinical work: where there is a lack of data or guidance, [particularly when usual modalities of treatment do not work, or there is risk to the people who use mental health or the staff who care for them.

Co-optees (2013 - 2015)

Early Career Research Network

Dr Natasha Carragher
Dr Natacha Carragher joined the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, in November 2008 and  is employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the in-house NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. Dr Carragher’s program of research focuses on addressing unanswered questions in the classification of common mental health and substance use disorders. She is particularly interested in examining the underlying structure of mental disorders and developing new approaches to improve diagnosis and assessment, and outcomes for those experiencing mental illness. Her work has been influential in informing revisions of the major psychiatric classification systems.

Dr Emma Barkus

Dr. Emma Barkus is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, NSW. She completed her education in the UK and moved to Australia in 2010. Her research focuses on risk factors for psychosis including schizotypy, stress, substance use and cognitive deficits, including those expressed in the flow of daily life. Dr. Barkus also has an interest in substances which perturb or ameliorate risk for psychosis.

Knowledge Dissemination Working Group

No current representative

If you would like an agenda item discussed at an Executive Meeting, or if you would like to contact any of the Executive Committee Members, please send us a message via the Contact page.

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