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location
Doltone House, Hyde Park, Sydney
group
In-Person Delegate
$300
student
In-Person Delegate (Student Price)
$250
virtual
Virtual Delegate
$200
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19 August
Proudly supported by
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Gidget Foundation Australia is delighted to announce the second biennial Perinatal Mental Health Conference, which will be held at Doltone House Hyde Park in Sydney on Monday 19th August 2024. We are so grateful to have an inspirational line up of leaders in the perinatal field who will be discussing the latest research, approaches, and clinical interventions we are so passionate about.

The theme of the conference highlights the vast combination of care that is involved during the perinatal period and is aptly named Holding it All Together: Collaborative Perinatal Care. There will be opportunities to listen to ground-breaking new research, as well as enhancing your skills in infant mental health, birth related trauma, inclusive practice, foetal anomalies, men’s mental health, grief, and loss, and well as cultural awareness. There will also be an emphasis on lived experience.

This one-day hybrid event will provide you with time to connect with other health professionals in the perinatal space, learn new ideas, and be inspired.

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Holding It
All Together:
Collaborative
Perinatal
Care
Early bird offer!
Get in quick to secure early bird tickets to the Gidget Foundation Australia Perinatal Mental Health Conference 2024. Offer ends Sunday 30th June.
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Speaker profiles

Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson is passionate mental health advocate, Gidget Angel and father of three. Craig spent the early months of fatherhood caring for his wife Rebecca, who experienced significant post-natal depression. Little did he know in the coming months it would be him that would require assistance dealing with a post-natal anxiety disorder. Since his diagnosis and the many ups and downs he has experienced, he has become an advocate for men’s mental health specifically in their battle to adapt to parenthood. Craig has appeared on various television and radio programmes including You Can’t Ask That, Studio Ten, Today, Sunrise and Ben Fordham Live in an attempt to breakdown the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

Craig Anderson

Mens/Partner Mental Health Panel Discussion

Jace Cannon-Brookes

Jace is a leading clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, mental health innovator and co-founder of Birchtree Group. 

She has worked as a clinician across private and public health settings. Her work has included treatment of eating disorders, acute and general psychiatry and bereavement services.

Jace initially trained as a Registered Nurse and worked primarily in mental health and treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction. Prior to opening Birchtree, Jace worked for 14 years as a psychologist within drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres, where she designed and co-ordinated a six-week residential rehabilitation program, with a focus on the treatment of complex trauma for women with histories of substance dependence.

She has completed intensive Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) training and subsequently co-ordinated the implementation of a 12 month out-patient DBT program. Jace has developed and delivered education programs to health services, NGO’s, professional colleagues, and lectured at the University of Sydney, UNSW and UTS within the postgraduate Clinical Psychology programs.

In 2018, Jace co-founded Birchtree Foundation as a charity in response to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to address the inequity in the availability of treatment services in rural and regional Australia.

Jace doesn’t accept the status quo and is loudly determined to (courageously) improve Australia’s mental health for the benefit of all. Innately a collaborator and connector, Jace invites others to join forces with the Birchtree team in reshaping Australia’s mental health system.

Jace Cannon-Brookes

Vicarious Trauma: Managing the Impact of Caring

Professor Hannah Dahlen AM

Hannah Dahlen is the Professor of Midwifery, Discipline Leader of Midwifery and Associate Dean (Research and Higher Degree Research) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University. She has been a midwife for more than 33 years. She is one of the first midwives in Australia to gain Eligibility and access to a Medicare provider number and prescribing rights following government reforms in 2010. Hannah has over 250 papers and book chapters and has strong national and international research partnerships. 

In 2019 Hannah was awarded a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her significant services to midwifery, nursing and medical education and research. In November 2012 Hannah was named in the Sydney Morning Herald’s list of 100 “people who change our city for the better” and named as one of the leading “science and knowledge thinkers” for 2012.

Professor Hannah Dahlen AM

Preventing Birth Trauma is Everyone’s Business

Amy Dawes OAM

Amy Dawes is the co-founder and CEO of the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA).

In 2016, she established a not-for-profit organisation focused on the recognition and understanding of birth-related trauma and continues to work towards their vision for safer births and better healing. 

A firm believer in collaboration, Amy has worked with parents and the wide range of health professionals involved in the care of birthing families to increase community understanding of birth-related trauma, provide support and education, conduct research, and advocate for change.

Amy Dawes OAM

An Australian Perspective Gained Through Listening to the Voice of Lived Experience

Derek Ebbs

Derek is a Clinical Relationship Psychotherapist specialising in the Attachment bond between parent and child and the implications for adult relationships - the attachment bond between couples. His Masters research 'Intimate Passionate Marriage' was in the area of Intimacy in Relationships.


His special interest and research paper on attachment relationships consolidated his view that a Systemic approach to the individual, couple and family interlinked with Attachment theory can empower the person to empathically accept their situation and enable lasting change to emerge. Derek believes that a healthier, balanced couple and family can bring so much more to an individual and the couple and the nurturing can be reciprocal and growth enabling. An available and responsive partner creates a holding environment for intimacy to grow securely.


Derek has further studied with Dr. Kent Hoffman (one of the originators of Circle of Security) the advanced subtleties and core sensitivities of the anxiety present in a marriage where circular dissatisfaction has become the pattern. This may be felt as resentment, anger, distrust, sexual frustration, fear and loneliness. The impact on the children is that they have less available and responsive parents.


Derek has helped many couples and parents (and hence children) move from a disorganised unsatisfying relationship to a more stable secure thriving and safe environment where kids thrive.


Derek also facilitates groups with dads and men who struggle to express feelings in their intimate relationships. He facilitated the Men’s Behaviour Change Program at Relationships Australia, set up and runs the Men’s Behaviour Change Program for Anglicare. He ran New Dads groups at Westmead hospital and he developed and facilitates the dad’s group, Parenting in Partnership for the Gidget Foundation Australia.


A native of Ireland, Derek is the seventh son of the seventh and enjoys the struggles and joys of being dad to his four thriving big kids who are continually growing to be fully human and fully alive.

Derek Ebbs

Mens/Partner Mental Health Panel Discussion

Dr. Rakime Elmir

Dr Rakime Elmir is a Senior Lecturer, Director of Academic Career Development and Academic Program Advisor for the Bachelor of Midwifery course in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University. Rakime is a registered midwife with 20 years’ experience as a clinician, academic and researcher. Rakime has successfully led a number of research projects as Chief Investigator on birth trauma and the psychosocial impact on mothers, fathers and midwives using qualitative and mixed methods research designs. She has a particular interest in father inclusive and responsive maternity care and culturally sensitive practices. Rakime was the creator of the first national university branded Hijab to form part of clinical uniform for Muslim students. Her work has been broadcasted in printed media, radio and journals at international, national and local levels. Rakime research work has been recognised by the university’s Vice Chancellor and in 2021 Rakime was the recipient of the Australian Muslim Health Professional of the year.

Dr. Rakime Elmir

Dads Matter: Father Inclusive Practice in Maternity Care

Lance Picioane

Founder and CEO of Never Alone foundation (mental health & suicide prevention) and former AFL player at 3 clubs. 

I have lived a life with mental health challenges and substance misuse and have come out the other side, I am a father of 3 boys and have also walked the path with my wife of having 3 miscarriages.

Recently being diagnosed with ADHD and Chronic Major Depression I continue to fight and bring others along on my journey....

From the darkest of places we find the brightest of lights and I am on a mission to foster a positive change in the mental health outcomes of our community.

Lance Picioane

Mens/Partner Mental Health Panel Discussion

Dr. Sophie Reid

Sophie is a leading clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, mental health innovator and co-founder of Birchtree Group.

Sophie has over 20 years of clinical experience. She holds a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Understanding families, relationships and the day-to-day challenges of both growing up and raising children underpin her clinical work. A passion for child advocacy has led Sophie to focus her clinical work on helping people heal from the trauma of childhood difficulties and trauma and to assist people to become a more peaceful integrated self and return to the person they were born to be.

In her work with parents and couples, Sophie seeks to support adults to interrupt the intergenerational impact of childhood trauma. Sophie has extensive experience working with adults, children and adolescents, parents and families at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, with Sydney’s homeless community, school communities, and in private practice. Sophie specialises in helping both individuals and families to recover from trauma, anxiety and depression, eating disorders, grief and loss, addictions, relationship issues, workplace and childhood bullying, and childhood illnesses.

Together with Jace Cannon-Brookes, Sophie co-founded Birchtree Centre in 2015 to address the pressing need to provide a place for adult survivors of childhood trauma to be welcome, held and heal. Sophie is a passionate educator and runs regular workshops and training for clinicians and allied health professionals on complex trauma. She co-founded Birchtree Foundation in 2018 to provide trauma support and care to regional communities and to conduct cutting edge research to impact and interrupt the outcomes of childhood trauma.

Dr. Sophie Reid

Vicarious Trauma: Managing the Impact of Caring

Pieta Shakes

Pieta Shakes is a Teaching and Research Academic within the Master of Nursing at James Cook University and a credentialed mental health nurse who founded and volunteers for the health promotion charity, Through the Unexpected. Pieta is overly enthusiastic about patient experience and person-centred care within our fast-paced systems and society. She has postgraduate qualifications in mental health nursing, child and adolescent mental health, diagnostic genomics and higher education innovative teaching and learning. Pieta’s emerging program of research explores the psychosocial aspects of prenatal diagnosis and workforce development, inspired by her own experience of receiving a third-trimester prenatal diagnosis.

Pieta Shakes

Holding it Together and Falling Apart: Opportunities to Improve Psychosocial Outcomes for Expectant Parents Who Receive a Fetal Diagnosis

Hilary Waller

Hilary Waller, LPC is a psychotherapist specializing in reproductive and parental mental health and treatment of related disorders. After earning dual Bachelor’s degrees at Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary, Hilary worked with adolescents in both formal and informal educational settings. This experience piqued her interest in parent-child relationships and led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in marriage and family therapy. Hilary trained with Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW at The Postpartum Stress Center for over ten years where she provided individual and group therapy services and developed trainings in Karen Kleiman's Art of Holding Perinatal Women in Distress. Currently she is member of the teaching faculty for The Karen Kleiman Training Center, The Postpartum Stress Center, and PESI Training, and is also the Director of Education and Training for FamilyWell Health. Hilary is the author of The Perinatal Patient: A Compassionate Approach to treating Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Related Disorders (PESI Publishing, 2023) and a co-author of the revised edition of Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts (Routledge, 2020).

Hilary Waller

Karen Kleiman’s Art of Holding Perinatal Women in Distress: A Healing Tool for all Perinatal Healthcare Providers

Genevieve Whitlam

Gen Whitlam (She/Her) is a proud mother of 2 boys. She had very little understanding of perinatal mental illness until she experienced postnatal psychosis in 2020. Following her recovery, Gen made a decision to share her lived experience to raise awareness and break down stigma around perinatal mental illness through Consumer Advocacy and as a Gidget Angel. Her professional career spans 20 years in the mental health, social service and public health sectors, in a variety of roles across the government and non-government organisations.

Genevieve Whitlam

LGBTQI+ Inclusive Care - Tales from a Gidget Angel

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Gidget Foundation Australia acknowledges the continuing connection to culture, lands, waterways, and communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and we pay our respects to past and present Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia.

We pay our respects to the ancestors, elders and storytellers who have maintained spiritual customs of Women's Business and Men's Business passing ancestral knowledge through generations of kin. From kinship care, from aunty to mother, to daughter, to sister. From uncle to father, to son, to brother.

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