Symposium Reports 2012

MIFA  - The Physical Health of People with Mental Illness


SAW  Symposium 2012 was held 19 May

Symposium Report

View or download the report

Our Annual Symposium was held on Saturday 19th May 2012 at the new venue of AERIAL, University of Technology Sydney Function Centre, in Ultimo Sydney.

A very powerful and interesting group of speakers kindly agreed to present this year including:

  • Associate Professor Anthony Harris, President SFNSW and Director of the Clinical Disorders Unit, Brain Dynamics Centre Westmead;
  • Hon Kevin Humphries MP,  NSW Minister for Mental Health, Healthy Lifestyles and Western NSW;
  • Dr Simon McCarthy-Jones, Centre for Cognitive Disorders, Macquarie University;
  • Professor Vaughan Carr, CEO and Scientific Director, Schizophrenia Research Institute;
  • David Meldrum Executive Director, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia;
  • Associate Professor Kim Foster, Mental Health Nursing, Sydney University;
  • Bronwyn Monro, carer spokesperson;
  • Dr Nicola Hancock, School of Occupational Sciences, Sydney University;
  • Col Jennings, Co founder of the One in Five Art Movement;
  • Professor Philip Boyce, Professor of Psychiatry at Westmead Hospital and Head of the Perinatal Psychiatry Clinical Research Unit at Westmead Hospital; and
  • Robyn Kruk, CEO National Mental Health Commission and past Director General of both NSW Health and NSW Premiers and Cabinet Office.

The feedback has been excellent in regard to the quality of our speakers and the venue proved very popular.

Anthony Harris, as President of the Schizophrenia Fellowship, welcomed everyone to the symposium. He spoke of many and innovative services and programs provided by the staff and volunteers of the Fellowship and discussed our role of advocacy for those dealing with mental illness and their families.  View his speech... SAW 2012 Speech Anthony Harris

Kevin Humphries gave us updates on what to expect in NSW regarding improvements in Mental Health. He spoke about the new Commission and the commitment of the Government to community mental health services.

Dr Simon McCarthy-Jones gave us a presentation on “Gods, brains and people”SAW 2012 Presentation Dr Simon McCarthy-Jones   covering the history, causes and treatment of auditory verbal hallucinations (hearing voices). He examined the links between past and present views and how that has evolved.
Professor Vaughan Carr  “Using the Australian National Survey of Psychosis to inform mental health policy and service reform”. SAW 2012 Presentation Professor Vaughan Carr   Prof Carr was one of the authors of this new report which is an update and therefore a comparator to the original report. This will be very valuable information for the newly formed National Mental Health Commission to address the gaps in our mental health system and to assist in tracking changes for its Report Card to Government.

David Meldrum addressed the question “Are Mental Health Services actually reforming?”  SAW 2012 presentation David Meldrum  which raised many interesting issues to be addressed in mental health. The presentation held a number of challenges to current thinking and will be uploaded to our web site as soon as possible. 

Associate Professor Kim Foster was overseas but managed to give us an excellent presentation on “On Fire” – Evaluation of the On Fire Peer Support Program  on DVD. - Transcript not available.

Bronwyn Monro, the Carer of a son with a severe mental illness, gave a heart warming and very moving presentation “Letter to my Neighbour” which really addressed the impact that stigma has on families who care for someone with a mental illness.

Dr Nicola Hancock shared her presentation with Mark from Pioneer Clubhouse on the vexing topic “Improving the Measurement of Recovery”SAW 2012 presentation Dr Nicola Hancock  Data from her PhD study were presented along with recommendations regarding the measurement of “recovery”.

Col Jennings was most enthusiastic with his presentation entitled “Listen – Engage – Transform”.   SAW 2012 presentation Col Jennings  WARNING LARGE FILE 10 Mb!!  Col is an inspiration to us all with his great passion for life in general. He finished his presentation with a set of challenges for us all.

Professor Philip Boyce gave us new hope with his most interesting research findings on medications. Prof Boyce spoke about newly published research which may impact on the way we address schizophrenia  SAW 2012 presentation Professor Philip Boyce  and the strategies that may work alongside medications to achieve both symptom reduction and better prognosis.

To finish what was a very full and interesting Program, Robyn Kruk, CEO National Mental Health Commission, was full of energy and new ideas to really make a difference to Mental Health improvements in Australia. Robyn extended her session by a half an hour and all in attendance would have accepted another half an hour if that had been possible.

Special thanks to those, both staff and volunteers, who gave up their Saturday to assist with the Symposium we could not do this without you.

Awareness Week Symposium 2012

 “National Perspective on Mental Health”

Date Saturday 19 May 2012
Time 8.30am to 4.0pm
Venue Aerial UTS Function Centre, Level 7, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo (please note parking is available on Level 1, For $15 all day)

Speakers include:

  • Professor Vaughan Carr
  • Robyn Kruk - CEO National Mental Health Commission

Costs are:
Concession $ 40 ($35)
General $ 65 ($ 60)
Professional $ 90 ($ 85)
Early Bird (*)

Price includes, Morning Tea, Lunch, Drinks & Nibbles - (*) Early Bird applies until 30/04/2012 (price includes GST)
Bookings: Pam Bruce (02) 9879 2600 or email to
or Locked Bag 5014 - GLADESVILLE NSW 1675

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Symposium 2012 Agenda & Booking Flyer Pg1 


Symposium 2012 Agenda & Booking Flyer Pg2