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Committee Members

Early and Mid-Career (EMCR) Network

About us
The Growing Minds Australia Early and Mid-Career (EMCR) Network is a network for Australian EMCRs interested in child and youth mental health research. Our purpose is to ensure child and youth mental health research thrives and excels in Australia, by fostering an inclusive and diverse community that supports, empowers, and promotes EMCRs in Australia, within and beyond academia. The Network is chaired by Dr Frances Doyle from Macquarie University, and has a leadership team that spans various universities and organisations.

Mission & Objectives

Our mission is to amplify the visibility and success of EMCRs, empowering them with opportunities, networks, and resources to shape the future of child and youth mental health research in Australia. Supported by the Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network, we aim to:

Connect a diverse community of early-to-mid-career researchers interested in child and youth mental health.

Cultivate an ethos of collaboration, connection, support, and well-being during a pivotal stage of researchers’ careers.

Facilitate continuous learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities tailored for EMCRs in the field of child and youth mental health.

Foster a thriving child and youth mental health research workforce in Australia.

Activities & Communication

We endeavour to support EMCRs through a range of activities and communication channels.

Activities We Offer:

Workshops and Events: Engaging presentations featuring established researchers.

Social Gatherings: Opportunities to network, connect, and share experiences with fellow EMCRs.

Knowledge Sharing: Updates on funding opportunities, grants, prizes, and awards which are relevant to child and youth mental health.

Advocacy: Representing and voicing EMCR interests within the Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network, ensuring that feedback is incorporated.

Our Communication Channels:

Growing Minds Australia website

Growing Minds Australia newsletter

Growing Minds Australia Twitter (X) and LinkedIn

Upcoming events

The EMCR Network hosts and supports a diverse range of exciting events each year. Stay ahead with our curated events on child and youth mental health research, career development, and EMCR social support. Become a member for exclusive invites.


The GMA EMCR Leaders Committee is open to feedback and strives to continuously improve the Network. Contact Us at growing-minds-australia@sydney.edu.au to improve your community!

Meet the Leaders

Get to know the EMCR Leaders Committee here.


What does GMA EMCR Network mean?

The Growing Minds Australia (GMA) Early and Mid-Career (EMCR) Network is a network for Australian EMCRs studying or working in child and youth mental health research.

Who qualifies as an EMCR?

We define an EMCR as any person in Australia who self-identifies as an early- or mid-career researcher (typically up to 15 years post-PhD, excluding career interruptions). EMCRs can be studying in higher degree research or may be working in research. Our Network welcomes EMCRs who may be working within or outside of academia. EMCRs who conduct research to understand mental health of children, youth, and their families are welcomed. As mental health research is often conducted by those in several disciplines, across universities, community organisations, and industry, the EMCR Network encourages participation from all these areas.

Academic affiliation required?

Not at all! We celebrate diversity and encourage participation across disciplines and sectors including universities, community organisations, and/or industry.

Are there any membership costs?

Nope. It’s free! Sign up to become a member today and stay updated with our regular newsletter and announcements.

How do I join the GMA EMCR network?

Step 1: Sign up to become a Growing Minds Australia member by completing our membership application form found on our GMA Membership page

Step 2: Email growing-minds-australia@sydney.edu.au to ask to be added to the GMA EMCR Network (noting that you have already completed step 1 above) 

All EMCRs with an interest in child or youth mental health are encouraged to join.

Meet the Leaders

Emma Harkness

Emma has a bachelor’s in psychology and is currently studying a Master of Child and Adolescent Mental Health field. She is passionate about shaping a future generation where children and young people are agents in their own mental health, which is backed by leading research. Emma has supported education in the following areas: understanding childhood bullying and mental health, keeping the infant and toddler in mind, supporting the mental health of children with higher weight, supporting children who have experienced trauma, foundations of the neuroscience and how this can help support children’s development. She is also contributing to content which will foster supportive relationships between teachers and families.

Tsz Ying (Sylvia) Wong

Tsz Ying (Sylvia) Wong is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Discipline of Psychiatry & Mental Health, UNSW Medicine & Health. She is currently working on the Growing Minds Feeling Good study (health and well-being intervention study), as well as the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Scale study. She undertook her PhD with the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University, and holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree from the Australian National University.

Melissa Savaglio

Melissa is a clinical psychologist supporting children and young people at Monash Health in Melbourne. She is also a PhD Candidate at the Health and Social Care Unit within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Her PhD project aims to co-design a psychosocial service for young people aged 10-25 years experiencing mental illness in Tasmania. Engagement and collaboration with young people is at the centre of this project, whilst working in partnership with various youth mental health stakeholders across the state.

Patrick Hawker

Patrick is a PhD Candidate within Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the Discipline of Psychiatry & Mental Health at UNSW. His research focuses on developing an integrated care model to address the adverse effects of psychotropic medications taken by children and young people. Patrick’s unique approach combines his experiences as a mental health services consumer, researcher, and academic. Beyond his research, Patrick is a passionate science communicator dedicated to bridging the gap between intricate scientific findings and the broader community.

Carys Chainey

Dr Carys Chainey is a postdoctoral research fellow and coordinator of the Parenting and Family Research Alliance. Her research investigates the links between adverse childhood experiences, parenting, and wellbeing, across the life course and across generations. Carys has expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. She is an accredited facilitator of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program and has contributed to a wide range of empirical studies and evaluations.

Fran Doyle

Dr Frances Doyle is a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. She is a researcher, educator, and clinical psychologist focused on improving child and family wellbeing. Her research examines the early detection, prevention, and treatment of mental health problems in young people with the aim to promote wellbeing across the lifespan.

Jaimie Northam

Dr Jaimie Northam is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She works clinically at the Child Behaviour Research Clinic and is leading the first flagship trial for Growing Minds Australia, the Growing Minds Check-Up. Dr Northam has over 15 years of experience working with children, young people and their families. She specialises in externalising disorders, with a special interest in conduct problems and youth substance use.

Talia Carl

Dr Talia Carl is an early career researcher and Executive Officer of Growing Minds Australia at the University of Sydney . She has a plethora of experience in providing operational leadership and project management on a range of research projects in child and youth mental health (including anxiety and externalising problems), as a post-doctoral research fellow and lecturer. She has also been responsible for development, implementation and co-ordination of longitudinal experimental research projects and large-scale clinical trials, evaluating the efficacy of various digital and face-to-face interventions for anxiety and related disorders. Most recently, co-managing the Growing Minds Check-In project, a flagship trial of Growing Minds Australia (GMA). She is passionate about conducting research that helps improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people and increasing access to evidence-based interventions. She is committed to driving innovation in research involving collaboration across organizations and with external stakeholders and has exhibited excellence in her ability to deliver world leading research.
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