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OT Mental
Health Forum

Keynote Speakers

Friday 25 november 2022

Who is Presenting at the Mental Health Forum?

Find out more on keynote speakers for the Mental Health Forum 2022.

Priscilla Ennals

Priscilla is the Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation at Neami National – a community managed service delivery organisation working in mental health, housing and homelessness, and suicide prevention across Australia. Priscilla is an occupational therapist who has worked in and around mental health for 30+ years, in clinical mental health services, academia and now in research in the for-purpose sector. Priscilla's passion is qualitative, participatory or coproduced research; based on a belief that if we listened better to people who experience mental ill-health/ distress/ use mental health services, we would design and deliver a more effective and joined up system of care.

Mary O'Hagan

Mary O’Hagan was a key initiator of the psychiatric survivor movement in New Zealand in the late 1980s and was the first chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry between 1991 and 1995. She has been an advisor to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Mary was a full-time Mental Health Commissioner in New Zealand between 2000 and 2007. Mary established the international social enterprise PeerZone which provides peer support and resources for people with mental distress. She has written an award-winning memoir called ‘Madness Made Me’ and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015. Mary is currently Executive Director Lived Experience in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division at the Department of Health in Victoria. All Mary’s work has been driven by her quest for social justice for one of the most marginalised groups in our communities.

Gail Whiteford

Emeritus Professor Gail Whiteford has been an active contributor to occupational therapy and occupational science for three decades. She has served in clinical, managerial, academic and consulting roles including for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia. Her contribution to the profession has been recognised through awards from international bodies including the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Australia. She was made an inaugural Fellow of the Occupational Therapy Research Academy in 2017 and has 3 books and more than 100 referred publications. Professionally, Gail has held a number of senior academic, executive and conjoint appointments in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and served as Australia’s first Pro Vice Chancellor of Social Inclusion. More recently she served in the position of Strategic Professor and Conjoint Chair of Allied Health and Community Wellbeing with NSW Health and Charles Sturt University. In October Professor Whiteford will give the Zemke lecture as part of the Society for the Study of Occupation Conference in San Diego, the first Australian to do so in its history.Gail is the current Project Lead for the WFOT International Occupational Narratives Data Base project and also facilitated the team which developed the new OTA publication “Doing Our Best”