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Founding investigators

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CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Victoria Palmer

Inaugural Centre Director & CIA

University of Melbourne

 

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Victoria led the grant proposal for the Special Initiative in Mental Health and is the inaugural Director. She is internationally recognised for advancing primary care mental health research and her use of participatory design, experience-based co-design for health systems improvement and translational science.

Victoria leads a program of research in Primary Care Mental Health where models of lived-experience inform end to end research design to translation through a Co-Design Living Labs model. Victoria is responsible for the oversight of Centre activities, research programs and networks, and strategic development of the Centre.

She leads the implementation of the Co-Design Living Labs Network nationally to deliver co-design capabilities and foster community-led co-design.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Jane Gunn

Deputy Director
University of Melbourne

 

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Jane is one of two Deputy Directors in the National Centre. She has traversed the research-practice gap as GP and researcher, playing key leadership roles on research committees and leading research to transform mental health care in the primary care setting.

Jane is internationally known for her research in depression and multimorbidity in primary care. Jane plays a central role in strategic directions. Her research contributions include the development and implementation of digital person-centered decision support tools for prognosis matched mental health care in general practices and the community setting.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR 

PROFESSOR

Jane Pirkis

Deputy Director
University of Melbourne

 

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Jane is one of two Deputy Directors in the National Centre. She supports strategic vision and research program development. Her research in evaluation, suicide prevention, stigma and mental health research has generated debates on where the best investments might lie in mental health and suicide prevention.

She brings a long history of research in media campaigns and suicide prevention to inform the National Centre’s translational and prevention across the life course objectives. Jane will support the establishment of the ALIVE Next Gen Researcher Network mentor program. 

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR 

PROFESSOR

George Patton

Program Lead, Prevention Across the Life Course
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)

 

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George is internationally recognised for advances in understanding the developmental origins of common mental and behavioural disorders in children and adolescents, and the natural history and consequences of adolescent substance use and abuse. He leads the ALIVE National Centre’s Prevention Across the Life-Course program which has a focus on community-based prevention and life course models. His research contributions include life course models for prevention of future mental ill-health in children and young people with a focus on life transitions and community settings.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR 

PROFESSOR

Sandra Eades

Program Lead, Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

University of Melbourne

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Noongar woman Sandra Eeades is a leading Aboriginal researcher in health in children, young people and people at-risk of dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Sandra is the partnering lead for working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and Aboriginal Medical Services and related organisations.

Sandra will provide oversight for developing appropriate cultural protocols for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners. She will ensure that mental health stakeholder organisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are engaged for the co-design of our national roadmap for translation and that we build cultural security in the fabric of the Centre.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR 

PROFESSOR

Amanda Wheeler

Program Lead , Mental Health Care at Scale

Griffith University

 

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Amanda has worked as a practitioner, educator and researcher in mental health and pharmacy practice for over 25 years. She established and directed a highly successful research centre in a public health service in New Zealand.

Amanda brings practical knowledge of health services and the interplay of medication with physical health which informs research contributions in stream B priority populations work focused on meeting unmet physical health needs for people experiencing ongoing distress and mental ill-health in primary care and community settings. She will play a lead role in the co-design of the roadmap for translation.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Steve Kisely

Program Lead, Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

University of Queensland

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Steve is a psychiatrist, public health and addiction physician who is an expert in research on physical and psychiatric co-morbidity, epidemiology, chronic disease surveillance and health services research. Steve leads the program to address the gaps in the lifespan for people who experience ongoing distress and mental ill-health.

His research contributions in the analysis of administrative datasets will support how the Centre can address interpersonal, social and system stigma, structural discrimination and feelings of discomfort in service settings. 

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Harriet Hiscock

Prevention Across the Life Course
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI

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Harriet’s research focuses on improving mental healthcare, reducing low value care and developing sustainable models to keep children out of hospital. She is a practising consultant paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Harriet will provide a translation bridge to the National Health and Medical Council Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Childhood Adversity and Associated Depression and Anxiety for which she is the lead investigator.

This CRE is completing an expert consensus review and consultation to identify interventions that mitigate the effects of family adversity on children’s mental health. Following co-design processes with clinicians and families with lived experience, the CRE will be implementing these within an integrated health hub that brings together social care clinicians and legal services to address social factors contributing to poor mental health in children. Harriet’s research will inform preventive interventions in the life course work.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Darryl Maybery

Prevention Across the Life Course
Monash University

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Darryl is Director of Research and Professor Rural Mental Health in the School of Rural Health and worked for 15 years as a mental health clinician and psychologist in the areas of drug and alcohol counselling, prison psychology and employee assistance. Darryl’s research contributions will be in rural mental health and resilience, and the needs and impact of carers and family where a parent lives with mental ill-health. Darryl is interested in the translation of models of care that address intergenerational and life course issues to encourage a recovery and stigma focus.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Nicola Lautenschlager

Prevention Across the Life Course
University of Melbourne

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Nicola is one of the leading dementia and psychiatry of aging researchers in Australia. She has extensive experience and international standing in the use of non-pharmacological and activity-based models of management. Nicola developed physical activity guidelines for improving cognitive function in older people, and adapted these for implementation within an aged psychiatry service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicola’s expertise in implementation of guidelines with professionals informs her role as a co-lead of the Implementation and Translation Network (ITN).

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Osvaldo Almeida

Prevention Across the Life Course

University of Western Australia 

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Osvaldo has spent his career conducting research on the identification and management of changeable areas of risk known to impact on people's mental health. He established one of the largest cohort studies of older men in the world – the Health In Men Study (HIMS) and has led research on prognosis based clinical support tools (intervening earlier to disrupt a poorer health trajectory). His research contributions are relevant to preventive life course models and prognostic based prediction tools.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Lena Sanci

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

University of Melbourne

 

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Lena is an academic general practitioner with a research commitment to improve primary care access and outcomes for younger people.  Lena's research develops targeted and culturally appropriate youth mental health care for a service navigation model to inform primary care.

Over the past 20 years Lena has worked to improve the health of young people through quality youth focussed system-based interventions designed to re-orient primary care toward prevention of harms from mental health disorders and risk-taking behaviour.

Lena is an expert in the co-design of interventions, implementation, and evaluation in primary care and online settings with expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of cluster randomised controlled trials. She is the co-lead of the Next Generation Researcher Network supporting the Centre to deliver the goal for capacity building of the next generation of mental health research leaders.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Sarah Larkins

Research Translator, Health Equity and Social Determinants  of Health
James Cook University

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Sarah is an academic general practitioner whose work focuses on strengthening health equity through design, implementation and evaluation of health service interventions. Her work responds to local and regional priorities and has demonstrable impact. Sarah works collaboratively with service, peak bodies, government and industry partnerships, across northern Australia, and globally. Sarah is the Director of the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening within the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. Her knowledge of health systems strengthening will inform program three, mental health care at scale.

Sarah has significant experience mentoring and capacity building within the communities where her research program is located, and works collaboratively with community and stakeholders. Sarah is internationally recognised for her work on the strengthening of primary healthcare in regional and remote communities. Sarah will be instrumental in implementation science theories and models.

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor

Michael Wright

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

Curtin University

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Yuat Nyoongar man Michael Wright is from the area known as the Victoria Plains which includes the townships of Moora and New Norcia north of Perth in Western Australia. His research career focuses on translation to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their families and communities.

Michael's contributions to research include the Looking Forward project where Michael and his collaborators developed the Minditji Kaart-Moorditj Kaart Framework (Sick head to good head) which has the Nyoongar worldview and Elders at its core and incorporates a proven approach to build trust and relationships to then begin a meaningful co-design process. Michael has extended this work in a Medical Research Future Fund study to build cultural security and measure the effect of Aboriginal Elders and young people working directly with mental health services across the state of Western Australia. This work will influence the design, development, and delivery of mainstream services that most effectively improve mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Chief Investigator

Emeritus Professor

Vera Morgan

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

University of Western Australia

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Vera is a psychiatric epidemiologist and National Project Director and Convenor of the Technical Advisory Group for the Australian Government 2nd National psychosis survey (Survey of High Impact Psychosis—SHIP). Her cross-disciplinary epidemiological approach to the study of psychotic illness melds psychiatric, genetic, physical health, sociological and criminological perspectives on aetiology and course to help unravel the complex nature of  disorders and improve physical and mental health outcomes for affected people. Vera’s research will contribute towards improving cardiovascular disease outcomes in people living with psychotic illness. Vera’s research also places a strong emphasis on consumer literacy and research translation.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Cherrie Galletly

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

University of Adelaide

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Cherrie led the section on Innovations in Integrating Physical and Mental Health Care in the (2019) Lancet Commission Blueprint to address physical and mental health, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry Clinical Practise Guidelines for Schizophrenia and Related Disorders.  She is the Regional Director of Postgraduate Psychiatry Training and will provide expertise in translating research findings to medical student and postgraduate psychiatry training programs.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Lisa Brophy

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations

La Trobe University

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Lisa has had a long career in mental health and social work, and has extensive experience working collaboratively with people with lived experience of ongoing distress and mental ill-health. Lisa is currently a member of the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal. She was the Principal Research Fellow for MIND Australia one of the largest non-government providers of mental health services.

Lisa’s research contributions on the safety and care of people under treatment orders, and smoking cessation, cancer screening and the evaluation of prevention and recovery care services in Victoria will support her role to lead the development of policy/implementation briefs to disseminate models of promise, innovations and research findings to government, partner agencies and the community sector.

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR

PROFESSOR

Kelsey Hegarty

Mental Health Care at Scale & Research Translator Family Violence

University of Melbourne

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Kelsey is ranked the number one researcher in Australia for family violence. She has advanced research in this international domestic violence policy/practice and the intersections of violence and mental health. Kelsey’s role as CIA of the National Health and Medical Research Council funded SAFER Families Centre for Research Excellence supports cross-translation efforts.

Kelsey’s research contributions from leading the first trial in general practice to improve the detection of domestic violence (Women’s Evaluation of Abuse and Violence Care in general practice (WEAVE) demonstrated that general practitioners can improve women’s mental health. She is a research translator (violence) and co-lead of the co-design of the national mental health research translation roadmap.

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor

Meredith Harris

Research Translator, Mental Health Care at Scale
University of Queensland

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Meredith has over 25 years’ experience in mental health service research and evaluation. Her research contributions have led to the development of a Phase of Care measure which has been implemented in major national mental health outcome and case-mix collections (the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection and Australian Mental Health Care Classification). Meredith has conducted empirical mental health planning studies that developed service planning targets for public sector mental health services and community support services that were taken up directly in the subsequent Queensland Mental Health Plan 2007-17 and informed the Queensland Department of Communities’ Supporting Recovery: Mental Health Community Services Plan 2011-2017. Her work will contribute to policy and service development implementation studies to inform Mental Health Care at Scale.

Chief Investigator

Professor 

Jim Lagopoulos

Mental Health Care at Scale

University of The Sunshine Coast

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Jim is the Executive Director of the Thompson Institute and researches neuroscience and mental health. His work combines neuroimaging, neurobiology and functional and clinical outcomes to explore and better understand the onset and course of mental illness and how both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions impact on outcomes. He and the Thompson Institute will be involved in the Implementation and Translation Network of the Centre. Through this collaboration, the Thompson Institute’s role will be to implement innovations, promising interventions and models in test bed sites with the potential to improve the mental health and physical well-being of many members of our community.

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor 

Amanda Neil

Theme Lead, Health System Economics

University of Tasmania

 

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Amanda is one of several Australian health economists with a track record specifically in mental health research. She has long-standing expertise in cost-effectiveness analysis, including costs-of-illness studies and an assessment of the costs of hospitalisations for mental and physical health by child protection status, work that has collectively informed guideline and policy development. Amanda will develop a node within the Centre that grows the capacity of health systems researchers and health economists. Amanda’s interests are in the identification of targets and patterns of resilience and vulnerability used to inform our life course modelling approaches and evaluate the preventive interventions we deliver.

 

Chief Investigator

Wendy Chapman

Theme Lead, Digital Health Intersections

University of Melbourne

 

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Wendy is the Associate Dean of Digital Health and Informatics at the University of Melbourne, as well as the Director of the new Centre for Digital Transformation of Health. Her interests include biomedical informatics, natural language processing, knowledge representation, and application of informatics to clinical care and research. Wendy brings knowledge of Fast Interoperability Health Resources (FIHR) which aim to standardize the exchange of healthcare information, enable healthcare providers and administrators to easily share patient information even when different software systems are being used.

Chief Investigator

Professor

David Preen

Theme Lead, Data Linkage and Data Analysis

University of Western Australia

 

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David is a leading linked data researcher working at the evidence/policy/practice interface to improve health and social policy. His research contributions include population health and health services including: social determinants of health, health of marginalised populations; cancer services delivery; pharmaco- epidemiology; health service utilisation; chronic disease management; and methodological advances using data linkage. David’s knowledge of individual participant data meta-analysis (using raw individual level data for synthesis) will also be applied to relevant randomised controlled trial data within the Centre.

Chief Investigator

Emeritus Professor

Carol Harvey

Longer, Healthier Longer Lives in Priority Populations

University of Melbourne

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Carol brings expertise in epidemiological and mental health services research with a psychosocial focus, and translational research; she is a practising psychiatrist. Carol developed a family inclusive practice model for young people and their families attending four headspace centres which led to widespread model implementation in other centres (since 2015).

Carol has had a long-standing interest and expertise in the role of carers in supporting people with mental health conditions. Carol will oversee the implementation of the carer part of the co-design living labs networks and support the carer co-leads to share their knowledge and expertise with new carer members. Carol’s contributions as a CI within the priority populations program will draw on her expertise and knowledge of the SHIP study, physical health in severe mental illness and psychosocial recovery.

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor

Michelle Banfield

Lead, Lived-Experience Research Program & the ALIVE Lived-Experience Research Collective

The Australian National University

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Michelle is a prominent international lived-experience leader in mental health services research. She is Head of Lived Experience Research at the ANU Centre for Mental Health Research and has over 16 years of experience conducting collaborative research focused on lived-experience knowledge for system reform. Michelle has an outstanding reputation as a lived-experience leader within the mental health sector, and her expertise  informs the establishment of the research collective and ensuring lived-experience is embedded within the fabric of the National Centre. Michelle is the co-chair with Director Victoria Palmer, of the Executive Research Leadership Committee. 

Chief Investigator

Professor 

Jenny Bowman

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations & Researcher-In-Residence 

University of Newcastle

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Jenny has experience within academia and health service management and links her research with real world service delivery and care provision. Her work primarily focuses on health care practice change to increase preventive care to overlooked populations. Through her implementation case studies, she has shown that meaningful system improvement can be effected and has identified important interventions to support smoking cessation. Since 2010

Jenny has led the Physical Health in Mental Health research team that addresses chronic disease preventive care for smoking, nutrition, alcohol use, and physical activity chronic disease risk factors for people living with mental ill-health. Jenny will coordinate the researcher community exchange program for cross collaboration between PhDs early and mid-career researchers with community mental health services, organisations and agencies.

Chief Investigator 

Doctor

Michelle Lim

Prevention Across the Life Course & Research Translator – Loneliness

Swinburne University

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Michelle is the leading Australian scientific expert in loneliness and is a clinical psychologist and leads the Social Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) Laboratory. Her work focuses on the development and evaluation of evidence-based solutions that can address loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis, social anxiety disorder, as well as nonclinical populations across the lifespan.

This intersecting work is important across all program areas and a primary role for Michelle will be to draw on her role as the Chair of the Australian Coalition to End Loneliness scientific advisory committee to facilitate transfer of knowledge and link researchers with host organisations for exchange programs. Michelle will be a member of the Intersectoral Policy and Practice Committee. 

Chief Investigator

Professor 

Emma Baker

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations & Research Translator – Housing

University of Adelaide

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Emma is the Professor of Housing Research at the University of Adelaide where she leads the Housing and Healthy Cities Research Group and is Director of the Stretton Institute’s ‘Building a City for the Future’ research program. Her work takes an innovative and expansive approach to understanding the way that housing, social support and housing instability interact with health and mental health and incorporates innovation and large-scale data capture. Her experience working in a community, policy and government context supports the priority population stream of work to ensure the social determinant of housing is considered within research activities as appropriate. She will co-coordinate the Next Gen Research Network with Lena Sanci.

Chief Investigator

Professor 

Cameron Parsell

Mental Health Care at Scale

University of Queensland

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Cameron’s research spans poverty, homelessness and the intersection of these issues with mental health. This expertise makes him an excellent choice as the co-chair the Centre’s intersectoral policy and practice advisory committee with Mr Harry Lovelock (Mental Health Australia) and the Centre’s lived-experience co-chairs. Cameron’s participation as a chief investigator in the Centre will include taking part in research activities, such as delivering seminars or workshops and, consideration of research findings and support of the briefs for intersectoral dissemination. He facilitates knowledge exchange between the ALIVE National Centre and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course.

Chief Investigator

Professor 

David Coghill

Prevention Across the Life Course

University of Melbourne

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David is an academic psychiatrist and world leader in neurodevelopmental disorders and their treatment. His work is an interdisciplinary blend of basic science, and clinical and translational research that focuses on the pathophysiology of ADHD, conduct disorder and depression. David holds the Chair of Developmental Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and is also Deputy Head of the Department of Paediatrics, and a part of the neurodevelopmental disorders team at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

David’s research group has investigated the application of computational and statistical methods to predict diagnosis, response to treatment and clinical outcomes using combinations of data from neuroimaging, neurocognitive and clinical outputs. This combination of detailed understanding of the impact of treatment modalities for mental illness and use of cutting-edge methods to predict diagnosis (including machine learning), treatment response and outcomes.

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor 

Bridget Hamilton

Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations & Lead – Peer Exchange Program

University of Melbourne

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Bridget is a registered mental health nurse with a 30-year career working as a clinician, manager, educator and researcher in public sector services. She is the Director of the Centre for Mental Health Nursing at the University of Melbourne and leads a team of clinical nurse academics and consumer academics to build the skills and contribution of mental health nurses in Victoria, for the benefit of people receiving mental health care.

Working with consumer academics, Bridget will develop and implement meaningful system changes to improve the safety of people with lived-experience in their own care as well as creating a respectful care environment. Bridget will bring her expertise of working with people with lived-experience to the lived-experience research network and support the peers exchange program to provide a tailored mentorship model for researchers with lived-experience of mental ill-health and carers/family/kinship group focused researchers.

Chief Investigator

Scientia Professor 

Jill Bennett

Lead, Public Engagement Program

University of NSW

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Jill is a Scientia Professor, ARC Laureate Fellow and a lead investigator in the Ageing Futures Institute. She is an internationally regarded authority on transdisciplinary art-science research. In 2017, Jill founded The Big Anxiety – festival of people + art + science, a research-driven, mental health festival. In 2019 she co-curated (with Bec Dean) The Empathy Clinic as part of The Big Anxiety. Jill’s Australian Research Councile Laureate fellowship supports the transdisciplinary Felt Experience & Empathy Lab [fEEL] at UNSW. fEEL brings together psychologists and creative practitioners, specialising in mental health engagement, and in the use of experiential media such as virtual reality to communicate embodied experience. 

Chief Investigator

Associate Professor 

Luke Burchill

Research Translator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health & Data Sovereignty

University of Melbourne

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Luke is a member of the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung Victorian Aboriginal communities with familial links to Mooroopnaa. He is a clinically active academic cardiologist based at the Mayo Clinic in the US with expert knowledge of the impact of cardiovascular health on mental health. Luke developed a mobile app to support frontline staff treating patients with COVID-19 and improve the mental health and wellbeing support options available (RMHive App). 

Chief Investigator

Professor 

Meaghan O’Donnell

Research Translator, Trauma-Informed Care and Workforce

University of Melbourne

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Meaghan is a clinical psychologist and world leader in post-traumatic mental health. Her research contributions include interventions after trauma exposure, phenomenology of traumatic stress responses, and barriers to recovery. Meaghan’s role as a research translator within the Center will facilitate intersections with trauma research and translational opportunities.

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

PRofessor

Amanda Baker

University of Newcastle

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

DOCTOR

Patty Chondros

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

ASSOCIATE PROfessor

Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

ASSOCIATe professor

Douglas Boyle

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

Professor

Alison Yung

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

doctor

Caroline Johnson

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

doctor

Christopher Groot

University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

professoR

Dan Siskind

University of Queensland

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

professor

Harvey Whiteford

University of Queensland

ASSOCIATE INVESTIGATOR

professor

Alison Venn

University of Tasmania

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