21-23 August 2019 THE EVENTS CENTRE, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, QLD

Starting the conversation on PTSD

A National Conference

 

PTSD IS hard to identify and treat

Why come to our National Conversation?

With upwards of a million people in Australia suffering it, and upwards of 3 million people living with people experiencing PTSD on a daily basis, PTSD is a national problem which requires a national response. The Fearless Conference seeks to initiate a national conversation on PTSD and explore with participants how we can develop a community-owned and community-operated PTSD management protocol and what should be contained within it.   REGISTER FOR OUR NEXT WEBINAR
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Speakers
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Conversations

call for papers now open

If you are interested in presenting at the FearLess National Conversation on PTSD 2019, please click below to find out more.

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Find out more about the speakers you can hear from at the event.

More speakers are being added all the time, so make sure you sign up to our database for updates.

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Simone Campbell

Board Member, FearLess

Simon Gillard

PHN advisory board, Ambassador, PTSD & suicide prevention lived experience presenter, Bestselling Author

Sam Mostyn

Chair, ANROWS and non- executive director

Ruth McIntyre

Renee Wilson

Strategic Advisor, Veterans and Families

Prof Richard Bryant

Scientia Professor, University of NSW

Prof Maxwell Bennett

Professor of Neuroscience and University Chair, University of Sydney

Prof David Forbes

Director, Phoenix Australia

Prof Alison Jones

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health & Communities), University of Wolloongong

Petrea King

Founder & CEO, Quest for Life

Natasha Exelby

Ambassador, Fearless

Mark Carroll

President, Police Federation of Australia/Police Association of SA

Mark Black

Project Officer, Fire & Rescue NSW

Lea McCaskill

Exercise and Sports Science Australia Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Exercise Scientist, Capital Rehabilitation Professionals

Kerrie Atherton

Founder, Stories of HOPE Australia

John Schumann

singer-songwriter

James Maskey

National Engagement Manager, Police & Emergency Services Program, Beyond Blue

Esther McKay

Project Coordinator, NSW Police Legacy

Dr Megan Robertson

Board Member, FearLess

Chris Giles

CEO, Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation

Chris Barrie

Admiral, Board Member, FearLess

Belinda Neil

Former Police Inspector

Aunty Lorraine Peeters

WINANGALI MARUMALI

Anthony Minichiello

Mentor Speaker, Zenergy Group - The Change Room

Andy Fermo

Founder / Project Facilitator, Invisible Injuries Project

Amanda Devine

Professor, Edith Cowan University

Allan Behm

Board Member, FearLess

Alex Gerrick

CEO, Fearless

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d)

Chancellor, University of the Sunshine Coast

Aileen Craig

Senior Anaesthetist, Flinders Medical Centre

PROGRAM

12:00 pm
Registration
1:00 pm
Welcome to Country
1:10 pm
MC Welcome
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
1:20 am
Chairman's Welcome Address Who are FearLess and the purpose and aims of the National Conference
Who are Fearless and the purpose and aims of the National Conversation.
This session will be presented by
Chris Barrie
Admiral, Board Member, FearLess
1:35 pm
OPENING ADDRESS - PTSD – A National Problem and why the Australian Community needs to take action
This session will be presented by
Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d)
Chancellor, University of the Sunshine Coast
2:20 pm
Keynote: PTSD - A Personal experience
Belinda will share her work experiences in some of the most dangerous and high risk areas in policing. Belinda talks about the effect of this work and how she succumbed to PTSD and severe depression along with the personal toll on her ability to function. In her presentation Belinda will explain how to recognise the signs and symptoms of PTSD, how to minimise their impact ,while outlining her road to recovery, including management tools for PTSD.
This session will be presented by
Belinda Neil
Former Police Inspector
3:00 pm
Afternoon Tea
We'll break for half an hour for refreshments.
3:30 pm
Panel: Living the Experience
PTSD can impact people from different backgrounds and occupations. Understanding the ‘lived experience’ of PTSD sufferers is critical to determining where support and services should be targeted. This panel will focus on the individual stories of PTSD sufferers to demonstrate the scale of the problem in the Australian community and how anyone who experiences a traumatic event in their lives or careers can be susceptible to PTSD.
This session will be presented by
Dr Megan Robertson
Board Member, FearLess
This session will be presented by
Natasha Exelby
Ambassador, Fearless
This session will be presented by
Mark Black
Project Officer, Fire & Rescue NSW
This session will be presented by
Simon Gillard
PHN advisory board, Ambassador, PTSD & suicide prevention lived experience presenter, Bestselling Author
4:30 pm
Mental health education through storytelling
South Australian singer-songwriter John Schumann and Mark Carroll, President of the Police Federation of Australia join forces in a unique presentation which discusses the importance of stories and cultural context in mental health education, awareness and the eradication of stigma.
This session will be presented by
Mark Carroll
President, Police Federation of Australia/Police Association of SA
5:20 pm
Closing Remarks
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
5:30 pm
Welcome Function
Join us for a drink and social networking.
9:00 am
Opening and Day one wrap-up
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
9:15 am
Couch Conversation: Living with someone who suffers from PTSD
While it is estimated that over one million people in Australia suffer from PTSD, many Australians are also either living with or caring for a sufferer. This can have significant impacts on relationships, the structure of the family unit and individual happiness and well-being. This panel will hear from people who have experienced first-hand the impact that living with a PTSD sufferer can have on their lives and those that they love. The panel will also focus on how family members can develop PTSD themselves when they are faced with the every-day challenges of family life with a partner who has experienced a traumatic event.
This session will be presented by
Alex Gerrick
CEO, Fearless
This session will be presented by
Renee Wilson
Strategic Advisor, Veterans and Families
This session will be presented by
Simone Campbell
Board Member, FearLess
This session will be presented by
Jo Stevenson
Wife of former QLD fire fighter
10:00 am
Keynote: HOPE after trauma
Kerrie Atherton a local Sunshine Coast Author, Speaker, Counsellor and Presenter, will share her own unique story of PTSD, trauma and grief along with the events which pushed her to the edge in 2016 and were the catalyst for her starting “Stories of HOPE Australia”. This organisation touches the lives of thousands of people each week via social media and each month at her live events where connection takes place and those who have overcome hard times share their stories of triumph. She will share what led to not only her own healing and recovery and how she maintains that today, but also the people involved in her Stories of HOPE Australia events and how she empowers multitudes in her community and beyond to keep living in HOPE every day.
This session will be presented by
Kerrie Atherton
Founder, Stories of HOPE Australia
10:40 am
Morning Tea
11:00 am
Keynote: PTSD and Science - Neurobiological Mechanisms in Trauma and Extinction
The grey matter changes in the human brain following stress or trauma are similar to those in rodents following such exposures. We have shown that these changes in rodents are due to the loss of synapses and consequently the retraction of neuronal dendrites. There is now great interest in how to facilitate the regrowth of synapses, either through behavioural or pharmacological interventions. Studies at the molecular level of factors controlling synapse/dendrite growth and stability so as to reconstitute normal neural structure and activity are highlighted in this presentation.
This session will be presented by
Prof Maxwell Bennett
Professor of Neuroscience and University Chair, University of Sydney
11:30 am
Understanding mechanisms of treating PTSD to improve our programs
This paper will provide an overview of the mechanisms that underpin treatment response for PTSD. After discussing the rationale for trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy, this review will outline recent studies about neural and genetic mechanisms that predict treatment response. It will also outline possible means to augment treatment response by modulating neural factors that underpin therapy. An example of augmenting treatment will be provided by moderating neural processes via acute bouts of exercise in association with psychological therapy. The major conclusion of this review will be the importance of prioritizing evidence-based mechanisms in choosing and researching treatments and treatment mechanisms.
This session will be presented by
Prof Richard Bryant
Scientia Professor, University of NSW
12:15 pm
Keynote: PTSD and Research - Connecting the strands towards a holistic approach to PTSD treatment and management
This session will initially outline the current best practice treatments for PTSD, including a brief overview the research evidence for their effectiveness and how they are conducted in practice. The presentation will subsequently identify innovations in research and practice in the prevention, the treatment of PTSD to further improve the extent and consistency of recovery and address broader approaches to the enhancement of overall wellbeing. The presentation will then conclude with considerations around the delivery of an holistic approach to mental health in wellbeing in those exposed to trauma.
This session will be presented by
Prof David Forbes
Director, Phoenix Australia
1:00 pm
Lunch
1:45 pm
Panel: Helping PTSD Sufferers - Alternative programs for those who suffer from PTSD
Research into PTSD is ongoing, while debate continues within the Australian community over how resources should be best mobilised to treat this condition. This panel will explore a number of programs that are currently available to PTSD sufferers to determine consistent trends, themes and approaches and determine where current gaps in treatment might exist.
This session will be presented by
Petrea King
Founder & CEO, Quest for Life
This session will be presented by
Esther McKay
Project Coordinator, NSW Police Legacy
This session will be presented by
Chris Giles
CEO, Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation
This session will be presented by
Amanda Devine
Professor, Edith Cowan University
1:45 pm
Food for Healing
Anthony provides a practical insight into how the right eating habits and foods can play a vital part in physical healing along with the influence nutrition has on mental and emotional states. These very clear messages are shared across four practical steps that are easy to understand and accessible to all in attendance. Anthony’s own challenges as an elite athlete suffering injury lead him on a pathway of not only learning about cutting edge science but also implementing it into his life to heal his body and mind. Anthony’s approach to eating treats the body as a system meaning that results are not just confined to wright regulation
This session will be presented by
Anthony Minichiello
Mentor Speaker, Zenergy Group - The Change Room
2:30 pm
Panel: Economic and Social Consequences of PTSD
PTSD has an understated economic and social cost to the Australian community. It can cause social dislocation, disharmony and the fracturing of established relationships. This panel will focus on two speakers who have experienced how trauma and dealing with its consequences has impacted on their individual communities. It will further demonstrate that PTSD has an extensive reach across the Australian community and should not be managed through a piecemeal approach.
This session will be presented by
Natasha Exelby
Ambassador, Fearless
This session will be presented by
Aunty Lorraine Peeters
WINANGALI MARUMALI
This session will be presented by
Andy Fermo
Founder / Project Facilitator, Invisible Injuries Project
2:30 pm
Exercise in the treatment of PTSD
We now know that multiple studies have attested to the value of physical exercise for enhancing psycho-social health and the wellbeing of PTSD diagnosed people. Utilising a collaborative practical approach, this conversation will address the issues we are confronted with offering exercise as medicine at grass roots level. In this interactive approach, we will brainstorm how we can improve, structure and implement realistic programs for maintenance and improved health and fitness. How can we encourage an increase in social participation and build a sense of purpose and belonging?
This session will be presented by
Lea McCaskill
Exercise and Sports Science Australia Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Exercise Scientist, Capital Rehabilitation Professionals
3:10 pm
Afternoon Tea
3:30 pm
Immersive Recovery-Oriented Program for People with PTSD
While participants usually arrive feeling anxious, worried, stressed and sometimes suicidal, they leave five days later, feeling educated, empowered, equipped and eager to embrace their challenges. The power of the group process is an essential part of the program's success as participants feel understood, heard and amongst others who truly understand their suffering. Topics include: attaining deep and restful sleep; appropriate exercise; neuroscience and how past trauma impacts on current circumstances; mindfulness and meditation; strategies for being in the present; communication skills and strategies in difficult circumstances; emotional regulation; moving from victim/reaction to creative/response; language of reaction and of response; nutrition and its effect on the brain; switching the brain ‘off’; recognising symptoms of burnout/what helps; understanding an empowered relationship with our bodies, brains, feelings and our stories. After the program, participants feel empowered to no longer define themselves by their addiction, their illness, their traumatised brain, their fluctuating feelings or their stories. On completion participants recognise they have a story, but they're no longer defined by their story. Kessler 10 and PTSD 6 results show a 32% increase in quantified mental well-being four weeks post program which rises to 41% after six months. These results demonstrate that participants continue to implement their learnings with increasing benefits. This presentation details the structure and content of Quest’s residential program, Moving Beyond Trauma and why it is an effective model for creating a pathway to recovery.
This session will be presented by
Petrea King
Founder & CEO, Quest for Life
3:30 pm
Assistance Dogs Australia
4:00 pm
PTSD Treatment - Advances in Pharmacology
PTSD is a syndrome characterised by autonomic hyperactivity. The pathological origin lends its focus to both cognitive and appropriative pharmacological approaches. This presentation will look at putative pharmacological approaches and its likely side-effects.
This session will be presented by
Prof Alison Jones
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health & Communities), University of Wolloongong
Couch conversation: I am it - a partner's perspective
This session is to remind us about the partners of those affected by PTSD. The partners are thrown into a position of being the care giver; they become everything to their injured partner, their children, their extended family, the medical professionals and so on. It’s easy to see how they may become angry, resentful and then feel guilty about those feelings. But what happens when everyone walks away and the partners are the only ones remaining? How do they manage? Using their lived experience, these partners will talk to us about how their world has changed and their relationship with their partners and families.
This session will be presented by
Aileen Craig
Senior Anaesthetist, Flinders Medical Centre
This session will be presented by
Ruth McIntyre
4:30 pm
Panel: De-Stigmitising PTSD –Community and Medical options
For many people, admitting that they suffer from PTSD can be just as traumatic as the event that led to their condition. Even though we now know more about PTSD than ever before, there still remains a fear that a person’s employment, relationships and standing in the community will be impacted if they admit to suffering PTSD. This panel will explore these issues in greater detail and discuss what must be done to further demystify PTSD and create a positive environment for sufferers
This session will be presented by
Dr Megan Robertson
Board Member, FearLess
This session will be presented by
Chris Barrie
Admiral, Board Member, FearLess
This session will be presented by
Prof David Forbes
Director, Phoenix Australia
This session will be presented by
James Maskey
National Engagement Manager, Police & Emergency Services Program, Beyond Blue
5:15 pm
Close
7:00 pm
Dinner
Keynote: John Schumann "I was only 19" Very few people have changed a nation - and the impact of John Schumann’s hit song ‘I was only 19’ places him among the few. 19 had an immediate and emotional impact on Australians when it was released in 1983, making us all aware of the struggle of our returning soldiers. It unified Australia’s Vietnam veterans and spoke to all of Australia of the pain and hurt of having served your country, returning with both physical and psychological injuries but not having your service honoured. Schumann’s keynote will tell the background story of this ground-breaking song which brought our Vietnam veterans home finally and put PTSD front and centre in the national conversation.
This session will be presented by
John Schumann
singer-songwriter
6:30 am - 7:45 am
Early Morning Walk - Open to all participants, speakers, friends and family
The day will commence with an optional sunrise walk along Caloundra’s stunning coastal pathway with former Australian Rugby League great, Anthony Minichiello
This session will be presented by
Anthony Minichiello
Mentor Speaker, Zenergy Group - The Change Room
7:30 am - 8:45 am
Business Community Breakfast (Invitation Only)
This session will be presented by
Chris Barrie
Admiral, Board Member, FearLess
This session will be presented by
Alex Gerrick
CEO, Fearless
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
9:00 am
Keynote: PTSD and Domestic Violence
This session will be presented by
Sam Mostyn
Chair, ANROWS and non- executive director
9:45 am
Introduction to Workshop Sessions
Day three will deliver a small number of workshop sessions led by experienced facilitators, aimed at considering the main issues identified during the conference. Workshop topics will be determined during the conference and based on the outcome of the conversation on Days One and Two. Delegates will be given the opportunity to attend the workshop of their choice, thereby contributing to key outcomes and messages that will be incorporated into a broader national strategy and PTSD Protocol.
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
10:00 am
Workshops
10:30 am
Morning Tea (Working)
The Morning Tea will happen during the workshops.
11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Feedback from groups on key outcomes
This session will be presented by
Allan Behm
Board Member, FearLess
12:00 pm
Agreed Communique
This session will be presented by
Alex Gerrick
CEO, Fearless
12:30 pm
Next Steps and Close
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Lunch

Join Our Community

Come and join us to discuss how Post Traumatic Stress has affected us.

Event tickets

 

Full Conference

$ 715

Day Registrations

$ 469

Full Conference
Student Rate

$ 439

Full Conference
Group Rate

$ 549

Full Conference
Community Rate

$ 439

*Note: Day rates only apply to 21 and 22 August. Group rate only applies to full conference when you are registering group of four (4) or more.

*All pricing is inclusive of GST.

Ask About our Add Ons

Additional welcome drinks

$ 65

Dinner tickets

$ 150

Exhibition Space Sales

$ 1,950

General sponsors

We are grateful for our event sponsors. Interested in becoming a sponsor too? Contact Us Today!

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