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ACMHN's 40th International Mental Health Nursing Conference


Honouring the past, shaping the future


6 - 9 October 2014

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne


The 40th International Mental Health Nursing Conference will be held in Melbourne Australia at the Sofitel Melbourne, from the 7th – 9th October 2014, with a workshop on the 6th.


2014 was the year to celebrate the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing’s 40th International Mental Health Nursing Conference!  During our 40th year celebrations, the College believed it was important to take time to reflect on how the past has shaped the profession into the 21st Century. Since the first Conference in 1974, the profession of mental health nursing has participated in ongoing mental health reform, resulting in significant policy and practice change. This has included changes to the educational preparation of nurses; new models of care and practice domains for nurses; recovery focused care and increased advocacy for consumers and carers; and, the need to step outside of the “health silo” and work collaboratively with new stakeholder groups to drive further mental health reform.



Keynote Speakers


Scott Stephens

Community, Autonomy, Immunity: can mental health care survive the 'empire of the body'?

Scott Stephens is the Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics website and specialist commentator for ABC television, radio and online.


Len Bowers

Safewards - the active ingredients

Professor Len Bowers is a qualified psychiatric nurse with clinical and managerial experience in acute inpatient and community care.


Professor Diana Clarke

Mental health emergencies: matching the system to the needs

Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Research Director, Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research, University of Manitoba Faculty of Nursing, Winnipeg, Canada.


Dr Richard Lakeman

Reconciling the past, celebrating achievements, creating a positive future

Richard is a mental health nurse, presently working in the Acute Care Team based in the emergency department in Cairns. He is a senior lecturer at Southern Cross University and the University of Tasmania, and a fellow of the ACMHN.


Dr Phillipa Martyr

Examining the past with courage and objectivity

Dr Philippa Martyr is an historian of health and medicine. She taught at the Tasmanian School of Nursing, University of Tasmania, for six years before moving to the UK to become a Visiting Scholar at Oxford Brookes University, and then a Visiting Research Fellow at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Norwich.


David Castle

The role of mental health nurses in helping people manage their own wellness

David is Chair of Psychiatry at St Vincent’s Health and The University of Melbourne. He has broad clinical and research interests, encompassing schizophrenia and related disorders, bipolar disorder, cannabis abuse, OCD spectrum disorders and disorders of body image.


Margaret Doherty

Relationships, recovery and power dynamics in working well with families

Margaret Doherty is the convenor of Mental Health Matters 2, a community action and advocacy group aimed at mental health reform.






Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Presented by Dr Russ Harris



Presented by Len Bowers





Click here to download a copy of the program





Click here to view the abstracts





Worthy Mental Health Nurse of the Year and Mental Health Nurse Achievement Award recipients:


Mental Health Nurse of the Year

Mental Health Nurse of the Year

Lisa Fawcett took out the Mental Health Nurse of the Year Award for 2014. Lisa is the Nursing Director of Tertiary Mental Health Services and part of the senior management team at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland. In the course of her work, Lisa has worked tirelessly to build an engaged mental health nursing workforce with a focus on highlighting the professional skills and motivations for working with consumers towards recovery.

Mental Health Nurse Achievemt Award

Mental Health Nurse Achievemt Award

Toby Raeburn took out the Mental Health Nurse Achievement Award for 2014. Toby is the founder of ROAM Communities Mental Health Nursing, he is a part time lecturer at the University of Sydney, and is midway through PhD research with the University of Western Sydney.

A number of new Fellows for the College:

Francis Acquah

Francis Acquah

Matthew James

Matthew James

Sue Liersch

Sue Liersch

Alan Moore

Alan Moore

Ellen Cross

Ellen Cross

Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton

Fiona Whitecross

Fiona Whitecross

Another amazing ACMHN-Janssen Cilag Scholarship program:

This year's recipients were:

Louise Bellizzi, Darren Mitchell, Asiah Diloi, Natalie Allen, Sylvia Ryan, Kylie Boucher, Diyana Buric, Samantha Hughes, Anne Loring, Meg Bransgrove, Tanya Cottrell, Maxime Voorhoeve, Jessica Coleman, Louisa Tsadik, Paige Wallwork, Julia Hunt and Tanya Nelson.


A big thanks once again to Janssen-Cilag for their support of this important scholarship program.



Other Award Winners


Research Award: best research presentation

Is the post anaesthetic care of patients receiving ECT and patients undergoing minor general anaesthesia comparable?

Maggie McIntosh


Research Runner Up

"Working towards shaping the future, little known"; An exploration of the experiences of being an overseas trained nurse from Kerala, India; and working in mental health in Australia

Bindu Joseph


Research Runner Up

Shaping recovery-focused mental health nursing for the future: report of a grounded theory study

Peter Santangelo

Stan Alchin Award for Best Clinical Presentation by a Clinician

SSHOPS - A suicide prevention pilot project for a nurse practitioner model of care

Judith Foord


Stan Alchin Runner Up

Reigniting the passion of the human to human relationship: the courage to suffer

Matthew Ball


Stan Alchin Runner Up

From the locked wards of mental institutions to nurse entrepreneur - the journey

Ah-Nya On


Best Presentation in a General Category Award

Project-based learning in a Bachelor of Nursing unit: a pilot study

Sandra Hyde


Best First Time Presenter Award

Mental Health Nursing and the Partners in Recovery Program: improving coordination of services

Alex Fenlon


Best Poster Award

The Wik Warriors Story

John Riley




NSW Department of Health Scholarships

Thanks to the NSW Department of Health, 123 NSW nurses were supported to attend the Conference:

A bunch of Life Members got together: 

A good time was had by all! 

Thanks to all our Sponsors and Exhibitors:
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