SMHR Executive Committee

Prof Stephen Wood 
Professor Stephen Wood is Associate Director, Research and also leads Clinical Translational Neuroscience Research Program at Orygen. He holds honorary positions at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne and the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham (UK).Stephen’s research is focused on identifying neurobiological markers of mental illness, from predictors of poor outcome to markers of treatment response. He is also interested at understanding the way in which normal brain development can affect and be affected by the development of mental illnesses.

President - Elect
Position Vacant

Past President
Prof Frances Kay-Lambkin 
Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin is the current President 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.

Dr Sally Hunt 
Dr Sally Hunt is a Clinical Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Convenor of the Master of Professional Psychology program at the University of Newcastle, Australia where she trains the next generation of Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists. Sally has worked both clinically and in a research capacity in the field of mental health for over 20 years, and completed her PhD in 2015. Sally’s primary research examines the relationship between substance use and mental health disorders, with a focus on developing and disseminating eHealth interventions for these problems. Currently Sally is leading research developing, testing and implementing an online intervention to support women’s health and well-being. 

Prof Alison Calear 
Professor Alison Calear is Co-Head of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. She is currently an NHMRC Emerging Leadership II Fellow and leads an innovative program of research in youth mental health, eHealth and the prevention and early intervention of anxiety, depression and suicide. She also leads an extensive program of research into the barriers and facilitators of help-seeking, with a focus on mental health literacy and stigma. Professor Calear recently completed two school-based suicide prevention trials designed to promote help-seeking in young people and is currently developing an online intervention to better assist parents to recognise and respond to psychological distress and suicide risk in their children and seek help when it is needed.

ACT Representative
Dr Lou Farrer 
Dr Lou Farrer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research in the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. Dr Farrer’s research focuses on the development, evaluation, and implementation of digital mental health interventions. Dr Farrer is interested in the intersection of technology, clinical service delivery, and research, namely, examining factors that predict response and adherence to digital programs, exploring the use of digital tools in clinical practice, and investigating models of disseminating and implementing online interventions in different settings.

NSW Representative
Dr Louise Thornton 

NT Representative
Prof James Smith 
Professor James Smith is the Deputy Dean of Rural and Remote Health - NT, and Matthew Flinders Professor (Health and Social Equity) at Flinders University based in Darwin, Northern Territory. He is an applied social health researcher with 20+ years’ experience working in rural and remote health policy, practice, and research contexts in SA and the NT, with a particular focus on improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education outcomes, including those relating to mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Prior to commencing at Flinders he held Professorial roles at both Menzies School of Health Research and Charles Darwin University in areas relating to alcohol and other drugs, men's health and Indigenous higher education. Professor Smith is recognised nationally and globally for his expertise in both health promotion, and men's health research and evaluation efforts. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia and is a Fellow of both the Australian Health Promotion Association, and the Australasian College of Health Service Management. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Association for Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies NT. 

QLD Representative
A/Prof Dan Fassnacht
Dr Dan Fassnacht is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of the Sunshine Coast and an Associate Research Fellow at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He co-leads the Be Well Lab, a collaborative team of researchers and clinicians from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Flinders University and SAHMRI. Dan’s research focuses on how technology can be used to promote behavioural change and improve mental health and wellbeing. He has developed and investigated digital interventions (e.g., Internet, mobile phones or podcasts) to facilitate help-seeking, enhance psychological wellbeing, and prevent and treat mental illness.

SA Representative
A/Prof Scott Clark
Associate Professor Scott Clark is Head of the University of Adelaide Discipline of Psychiatry. He coordinates the Adelaide Medical School’s Psychiatry program and works as a consultant Psychiatrist in the Central Adelaide Mental Health Service. Scott’s research focuses on novel clinical trials and the use of biomarkers and biotypes in the prediction of outcomes in serious mental illness. The University of Adelaide Discipline of Psychiatry provides a comprehensive teaching program and undertakes internationally recognised translational research in biological and clinical psychiatry. Our expertise spans population, digital, imaging, electrophysiology and -omics data across multidisciplinary preclinical and clinical studies of novel mechanisms, biomarkers and treatments. Our goal is to build translational systems to integrate and push the boundaries of current knowledge to improve outcomes and reduce the personal and public burden of mental illness. 

TAS Representative
A/Prof Amanda Neil
A/Prof Amanda Neil is a Principal Research Fellow at Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania. She also has experience in government and as a consultant for industry. At the Menzies, Amanda is pursuing an interrelated health economics and health services research program and established the Menzies Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Group in 2019. This group is supporting university and sector wide mental health research in Tasmania and beyond. Amanda’s research encompasses local initiatives, such as the Conception to Community Study with the Perinatal, Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, involvement with the NSW-Child Development Study and national studies such as the Study of High Impact Psychosis. Amanda is currently the health economics lead for the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation.

VIC Representative
Dr Ellie Brown
Dr Ellie Brown is an senior research fellow at Orygen and the Centre of Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, working in the areas of early psychosis and physical health. She is also a registered counselling psychologist, she has worked with people with mental ill-health across the age span in a clinical and research capacity for over 12 years, in the UK, Qatar, and Australia.

In her researcher roles at Orygen, Ellie is engaged in a program of work aiming at identifying the physical and sexual health needs of young people affected by mental ill health and is leading a project aimed at developing a sexual health intervention. As part of the Australian Early Psychosis Program team at Orygen she is involved in supporting the headspace Early Psychosis services across Australia to deliver evidence-based care and has redesigned a fidelity tool to support this. 

WA Representative
Dr Yael Perry
Yael is a Senior Research Fellow and Co-Head, Youth Mental Health at Telethon Kids Institute in Perth. Her research is focused on the prevention of mental health difficulties in young people, with particular emphasis on LGBTQA+ young people and their families. She is also interested in the use of digital technology to improve engagement, access to, and uptake of mental health interventions.

NZ Representative - North Island
Dr Sarah Hetrick
Dr Sarah Hetrick is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor of Youth Mental Health in the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, and an honorary Principal Fellow in the Centre of Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne with strong collaborative working partnerships with Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia. She has an international reputation in evidence synthesis, including as a senior editor for the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group.

Building on her primary research and her reviews in the area of youth depression and suicide risk, she held an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Training Fellowship focused on knowledge transfer and led a range of practice improvement initiatives for young people being treated for depression. She now holds an Auckland Medical Research Foundation Douglas Goodfellow Repatrition Fellowship, which supports work about reducing self-harm in young people.

She is also the co-theme lead of the Resilient Teens theme of ‘A Better Start, E Tipu E Rea’ National Science Challenge funded by the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ( This programme of work is utilising digital technology to facilitate greater access to intervention and for young people with a range of issues that are important to them. Within this, Sarah is leading work on digital interventions to assist young people to manage intense emotions, including suicidal ideation and to prevent self-harm.

NZ Representative - South Island
Dr Kate Eggleston
Dr Kate Eggleston is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch. She works clinically as a Consultation Liaison Psychiatrist. Kate's research interests include experiences of cognitive and functional recovery in mood disorders, women's mental health and consultation liaison psychiatry. 

Lived/Living Experience Representative
Dr Caitlin Fox-Harding
Dr Caitlin Fox-Harding (she/her) is a Lecturer within the School of Medical and Health Sciences and a researcher within the Exercise Medicine Research Institute (EMRI) at Edith Cowan University in Perth, WA. Caitlin’s research focus is within the applications of exercise to clinical and apparently healthy populations to improve their perceived mental health and wellbeing. With a personal lived experience navigating PTSD and postnatal anxiety, Caitlin is passionate about designing and securing accessible and bespoke models of care that target meaningful and sustainable improvements in total health outcomes for those living with a mental illness.

RANZCP Representative
Prof Dan Siskind 
Prof Siskind trained as a psychiatrist in Australia and the United States. He works clinically as a psychiatrist in Brisbane, Australia with people with treatment refractory schizophrenia. His research interests include treatment refractory schizophrenia, clozapine and the physical health comorbidities associated with schizophrenia.  He has over 200 publications and over $41million in competitive research grants, with over $6million as CI. 

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