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Committee Members

Scientific Advisory

The Growing Minds Australia Scientific Advisory Committee is responsible for expert input with respect to reviewing the prioritisation and development of clinical trials in child and youth mental health; approval of draft protocols for clinical trials and endorsing proposed clinical trials; monitoring progress of clinical trials and other research and fellowships, and reviewing applications for clinical trials from members of the Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network.

Mark Dadds

Professor Mark Dadds is a Principal Research Fellow of the NHMRC of Australia, Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Child Behaviour Research Clinic at the University of Sydney. His works is on developing state-of-the-art treatments for children and adolescents with behavioural and emotional problems. He has authored 4 books and over 250 papers on child and family psychology. His treatment methods were the subject of the 2014 ABC TV documentary Kids on Speed? for which he was awarded the Inaugural APS Award for Media Engagement with Science.

David Hawes

Professor David Hawes is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Co-Director of the Child Behaviour Research Clinic at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on the family-based treatment of child conduct problems (e.g., defiance and aggression), including innovations in parenting interventions. He has published over 150 journal articles and chapters/books on parenting and child mental health, including treatment manuals and international handbooks, and is a Director of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy.”

Caroline Hunt

Professor Caroline Hunt is a Professor of Psychology and leads the Clinical Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney. She has been Chair of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, President of the NSW Psychology Council, and is currently a Board member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association. She has developed and implemented several school-based intervention programs targeting emotional problems, and more recently bullying and victimisation. Her expertise and interests are in the assessment and prevention of peer victimisation in schools, and emotional problems in youth.

Elizabeth Elliott

Professor Elizabeth Elliott is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Professor of Paediatrics (University of Sydney), Consultant Paediatrician (Children’s Hospital Westmead) and was Co-Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (2016-2021). Her focus is dissemination/translation of knowledge into policy and practice. She developed the Australian Guide to FASD Diagnosis; led development of the FASD Australia Hub and FASD Register, developed NHMRC and WHO guidelines on alcohol use in pregnancy and has contributed to the National FASD Action Plan.

Lucy Tully

Dr Lucy Tully is a researcher, psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the Child Behaviour Research Clinic, School of Psychology, University of Sydney. She has over 20 years of research experience focussed on enhancing the reach and access of interventions to improve the mental health and well-being of children and families. She has managed several large and complex studies in government and university settings in UK and Australia and has a unique mix of experience in industry and academia.

Ngiare Brown

Professor Ngiare Brown (BMed, MPH (TM), FRACGP (hon.)) is a Yuin nation woman from the south coast of NSW. She is a senior Aboriginal medical practitioner with qualifications in medicine, public health, and primary care and an experienced Aboriginal health researcher with skills around child and adolescent health, mental health, and primary health care. She is currently member of the Indigenous Advisory Council to the Prime Minister; National Mental Health Commissioner; board member of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth; and founding director of Ngaoara. Her understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal perspectives and her commitment to cultural responsibilities strongly influences her priorities and practices as a clinician, researcher and academic. She will provide overall leadership around this project and ensure its translation both locally and nationally.

Vicki Anderson

Professor Vicki Anderson BA (Hons), MA (Clin Neuropsych), PhD, FAPS, FASSA, FAAHMS, FASSBI. Dr Anderson is Director, Clinical Sciences Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Head, Psychology, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Her research and clinical interests are in developmental and acquired disorders, impacting the child’s brain. Her recent work has focussed on translating her early career findings into clinical practice to optimise child outcomes from brain injury. Her achievements include publication of the Test of Everyday Attention for Children which is now adopted worldwide and development of parent-focused psychosocial treatments, including novels and digital health tools to support screening and diagnosis of childhood conditions.

Stephen Hearps

Stephen Hearps is a Data Scientist/Biostatistician at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. His research focuses on analysis and translation of epidemiology and social and mental health outcomes of children and adolescents, primarily following paediatric injury. Stephen’s expertise is in working with various complex datasets, including nuanced clinical data, large-scale longitudinal cohort studies, and global data repositories.

Sharon Goldfeld

Professor Sharon Goldfeld holds a unique position within Australian child health research, with 10 years government experience she is an expert in policy, a pediatrician, and a public health clinician scientist. he is the Director of the Centre for Community and Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Co-Group Leader of the Policy and Equity Research Group, and Theme Director, Population Health, within the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. She has successfully translated her research into service delivery and policy including the national implementation of Early Development Instrument. Her research interests are made up of complementary, synergistic and cross-disciplinary streams of work focused on investigating, testing and translating sustainable policy relevant solutions that eliminate inequities for Australia’s children.

Jacqueline Emery

Jacqueline Emery is the Chief Executive Officer at Royal Far West, Australia. She is an experienced leader and executive with a demonstrated history of success across media, education and not for profit sectors. Prior to joining Royal Far West she held leadership roles in some of Australia’s most well-known organisations including The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD); Australian Financial Review Group and Reader’s Digest. Jacqui also sits on the Board of the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA).

Warren Cann

Warren Cann is a clinically trained psychologist and has been CEO of the Parenting Research Centre, for over 18 years. He is founding director of the raisingchildren.net.au, previous honorary professor at the School of Psychology, Faculty of Health at Deakin University and currently sits on the Victorian Children’s Council and National Mental Health’s Commission’s Advisory Committee. Warren’s career focus has been on engaging and supporting parents in raising their children through design and development of multiple parenting programs and practice frameworks. Warren is frequently called upon by government and non-government organisations for advice on evidence-based practice in parenting support, and is an experienced trainer, speaker and media spokesperson.

Valsamma Eapen

Professor Valsamma Eapen is Professor and Chair of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UNSW; Head, Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry and the Director of BestSTART Child Health Academic Unit at South Western Sydney Local Health District. She is a Program Director of Autism Cooperative Research Centre and Stream Director of Early Life Determinants of Health Clinical Academic Group within SPHERE, a NHMRC accredited Advanced Health Research Translational Centre and she is working to establish a national children and young people hub for Consumer and Community Involvement. As a clinician researcher, she has consistently demonstrated the ability to translate research findings into direct practice or policy applications, including developing service delivery frameworks for early identification and intervention of developmental disorders. Her work has been shared with global bodies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Vision, UNICEF child’s rights taskforce and Centre for Disease Control.

Philip Ward

Professor Philip Ward is a Professor in the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UNSW Sydney and Director of the Schizophrenia Research Unit at Liverpool Hospital, in south-western Sydney. He has been listed as a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher is Psychiatry and Psychology since 2019. Over the past decade he has overseen evaluation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions to address poor physical health among youth with first-episode psychosis, adolescent inpatients, and adults with severe and enduring psychotic disorders.

Melissa Green

Professor Melissa Green is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales (UNSW, Sydney) and Group Leader at Neuroscience Research Australia. She holds an honorary appointment at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her research is focused on determining modifiable social and biological risk factors for the development of severe mental illness, and she brings expertise in epidemiology, genetics and clinical neuropsychiatry, with particular interest in psychotic disorders.

Angela Nickerson

Angela Nickerson is a Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, and Director of the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program. Her research focuses on understanding psychological mechanisms underlying refugee mental health, with the ultimate aim of informing the development of effective psychological therapies for refugees and refugee policy.

Ronald Rapee

Ronald M. Rapee, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia and Director of the University's Centre for Emotional Health. He is best known for his theoretical models of the development of anxiety disorders and his creation of empirically validated intervention programs (such as Cool Kids) that are widely used internationally.

Anthony Jorm

Professor Anthony Jorm is Professor Emeritus at the Uni of Melbourne and NHMRC Leadership Fellow. His expertise is in building the capacity of the community to take action for prevention and early intervention with mental disorders. He is Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health & Prevention, and Assoc Editor of the Aust NZ J Psychiatry. His major area of practical impact has been with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, which he co-founded. This form of training has been received by over 900,000 Australians and over 4 million globally. He has received numerous awards, including Outstanding Academic Mentor Award (2017) and NHMRC Australia Fellow (2009).

Matthew Sanders

Professor Matthew Sanders is considered a world leader in the field of evidence-based parenting and family interventions and is founding chair of the Parenting and Research Alliance (PAFRA). As founder of Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, his work has had a major international impact on child and parenting research, policy and practice. He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Academy of Social Sciences, a Queensland of the Year and in 2020 Order of Australia (AO). He is a strong advocate for policies that increase access of parents to evidence-based parenting support, and actively promotes positive parenting strategies throughout his local community through regular appearances in local, national and international media including radio, television, print media and podcasts “Parenting in a Pandemic” and “Families under Pressure”.

Frank Oberklaid

Professor Frank Oberklaid is a developmental/behavioural paediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne and Co-Research Group Leader at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). He was the Founding Director of the Centre for Community Child Health, and he is currently Chair of the Victorian Children’s Council and co-chair of the national Child Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. He is a consultant for the WHO and UNICEF and his work has been characterised by leadership in setting up strong collaborations and the conceptualisation, development and implementation of successful and enduring national initiatives. He has worked with state and federal governments around policy and service reform, especially in the areas of early childhood, mental health, and prevention/early intervention.

Bruce Tonge

Prior to retirement in 2012, Bruce was Foundation Head, School of Psychology and Psychiatry and Head of Discipline of Psychological Medicine at Monash University and Senior Clinical Advisor of the Mental Health Program of Monash Health at Monash Medical Centre. He established the Monash University Centre for Development Psychiatry and Psychology. Bruce continues to have clinical research, and teaching interests in developmental psychiatry with focus in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and behavioural and emotional disturbance in children and adolescents with intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as parent education and skills training public mental health interventions, and treatment outcome studies in childhood anxiety and depressive disorders.

Elleni Bereded-Samuel

Elleni Bereded-Samuel AM is an experienced senior executive, board member, and community Engagement Practitioner whose work with migrants and refugees including Africans has been recognized with many awards including an AM for services to the community in 2019. She is currently the Executive Manager Diversity and Capability Development within the Independent and Assisted Living platform at Australian Unity. Her dynamic leadership has resulted in new solutions for the community to access and participate in society. She has held various board appointments over the years and is currently a board member of the Royal Children Hospital and Wellways.

Mary Lou Chatterton

Dr Mary Lou Chatterton (Senior Research Fellow, Deputy leader, Mental Health Economics Stream, Health Economics Division, Monash University) - assists in leading a team of eight health economists dedicated to evaluating interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. Her main interest and expertise concentrates on economic evaluations alongside clinical trials and she has over 25 years of experience in pharmacoeconomic /health economics research collaborating with both pharmaceutical industry and academic partners. She has been a named investigator on grants totalling $13.2 million and an author on 50 peer reviewed publications, four book chapters and five reports.

Cathy Mihaopoulos

Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos is the inaugural Head of the Division of Health Economics in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Her major field of research interest is the economics of mental health and psychosocial care, with a special focus on economic evaluation and associated methodologies. She has over 180 publications in this area and has been a named investigator on grants, tenders and consultancies totalling over $70 million dollars. She has been invited to sit on committees of national and international significance, including the Economics Sub-Committee of Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

Marie Yap

Dr Marie Yap is an Associate Professor at Monash University and founder of the award-winning Parenting Strategies Program, which translates research evidence into actionable parenting guidelines that underpin individually tailored online parenting interventions to prevent and reduce the impact of MH problems in children and adolescents. As a World Expert in parent-child relations, she has extensive experience developing and implementing scalable parenting programs that have improved parenting and child outcomes. One of her online interventions, Partners in Parenting, has been rolled out nationally, and adopted in the UK and Malaysia. The impact of her work has been recognised by a Young Tall Poppy Award and Australian Rotary Health Mental Health Impact Award.

Mark Bellgrove

Professor Mark Bellgrove is a Senior Research Fellow (Level B) of the NHMRC, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of Research for the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University. He is Founder and President of the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA). Mark is an international authority on the neurobiology of attention and attention deficit and Federation Secretary General of the World ADHD. His work spans studies of genetics, pharmacology, brain imaging and neuropsychology.

Frances Doyle

Dr Frances Doyle is a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Western Sydney 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.

Louise Newman

Professor Louise Newman (AM) - is Professorial Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Newcastle University and Monash University. She is a practising Consultant in infant and perinatal psychiatry at Albert Rpad Clinic Melbourne. With expertise in the area of disorders of early parenting and attachment difficulties in infants. She is recognised as Australia’s lead researcher in the areas of infant and early child development, disturbances of early parenting and parent-infant interventions and she has research collaborations with several international infant research groups.
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