2019 Indigenous mental health and suicide prevention Conference speakers information

Ms Ngaree Ah Kit

Ms Ngaree Ah Kit is a suicide prevention advocate, forming a survivors' group in 2007 and the Darwin Region Indigenous Suicide Prevention Network in 2010, and working for the Northern Territory Department of Health. She was a territory finalist for the Young Australian of the Year awards in 2009 for her work organising NAIDOC Week in the Top End, and a finalist for Australia's Local Hero in 2016 for her suicide prevention work. She was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly at the 2016 Territory election.

​Sarah Ludowici

Sarah Ludowici, born on the Northern Beaches of Sydney is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist working for Sydney Local Health District in a Community Mental Health Service. Sarah previously worked for the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health, in South East Queensland running a Chronic Disease Management and Prevention program. In her current role, a part of the Living Well Living Longer Program, she holistically supports individuals to make positive lifestyle choices, connect with others in the community, and use exercise to improve their physical and mental health. By collaborating with the Aboriginal Mental Health team a culturally safe diet and exercise service is being established.

​Iggy Tan

Iggy Tan is a successful mining and chemical industry CEO, a Rotarian and author of Ban the Performance Appraisal (2016) and Stop Craving Happiness (2018). Iggy also volunteers his time as a ‘happiness coach’, mentoring others in the art of happiness. While psychology was not part of his tertiary education, through personal experience with depression, Iggy has garnered a deep understanding of social psychology, the human condition and mental health. Mr Tan holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern Cross, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Cole

Balunu’s vision is to break the cycle of indigenous disadvantage by targeting the youth of this generation and reconnecting them to their true identity, dealing with the underlying issues they face and equipping them with the necessary tools to make strong choices.

Balunu strives to increase the self-esteem, confidence and emotional and spiritual wellbeing of indigenous youth to assist them to become strong, balanced individuals who will create strong families and positive pathways for future generations.

​Heidi Sturk

Heidi Sturk is the Deputy Director of eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) at QUT. Heidi delivers national training and support on digital mental health resources to allied health practitioners and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Heidi has a Masters of Organisational Psychology and has over 20 years experience working in the mental health area.  Her areas of interest include how to integrate appropriate digital technologies into health care, rural and remote health care practice, and wellbeing of health practitioners.

Elizabeth (Anne) Russell 

Anne is the founder of the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) and is the birth mother of two children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Her youngest son, who is now an adult, has full FAS. Anne has lobbied extensively on both a state and national level to raise awareness about FASD issues since 2000. She has written three books on FASD and her family’s journey, the first books on FASD published in Australia. Anne brings a unique perspective to the education and training/professional development workshops she delivers. Parents, carers, drug and alcohol workers, disability workers, mental health workers, medical practitioners, midwives and other various community organisations throughout Australia have the advantage of listening to someone who speaks with brutal honesty from direct experience on the arduous journey a parent makes because the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy were not advised. Anne’s aim is to enlighten the community and to increase public awareness that the drink they choose might seem innocuous but is nevertheless, very real.

Chrissie Kelly

Chrissie is a highly experienced Community Services Professional specialising in the Alcohol and other Drugs and Mental Health sectors. She has an extensive career delivering Community Service qualifications in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, worked in a statutory role for the Department of Justice supporting vulnerable people and more recently has been working with families who are impacted by a family member of friends substance use. Chrissies passion is working with culturally diverse communities and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples communities. Her son Jack is a Bidjarra/ Kara Kara man from central and central western Queensland.

Dr. Sidney Stone Brown

Dr. Sidney Stone Brown, Psy.D., member Blackfeet Nation of Montana Behavioral Health Director of the Navajo Regional Behavioral Health Center (NRBHC), Shiprock New Mexico.  Dr. Brown oversees the development and implementation of a Culturally Informed Holistic Family Systems model for Alaskan Natives and American Indian operated by the Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services.  NRBHC is CARF accredited offering co-ed residential services to youth and adults and outpatient services in Shiprock NM and Red Mesa AZ   NRBHC/DBHS collaborates with the Johns Hopkins University and White Mountain Apache Tribe to enhance crisis response to reduce suicides.  The AIT provides comprehensive evaluations of high-risk youths and their families.

 Dr. Brown 2010 was chosen as an early career scientist scholarship to NIDA Blending Conference (National Institute Drug Abuse National Institute of Health) 2010 Scholarship for early career scientist (100 applications 12 chosen in the Nation) matching and mentorship with senior scientists and established scientist in chosen field.  Albuquerque New Mexico April 22-23, 2010. The Colorado Trust’s second annual John R. Moran, Jr. Grantee Leadership Award 2008 was awarded to the Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) established itself as a leader in consistently helping other Equality in Health grantees and community-based nonprofits to learn more about the Native American underserved population special recognition to Dr. Sidney Stone Brown’s  research that measures Native Self Actualization Placement Assessment of cultural worldviews. therapeutic model, Native Self Actualization. Recognition began in 1982 National Recognition Award from the work National Council on Alcoholism for innovative therapeutic model, Native Self Actualization.  The 2008 National Psychologist Trainee Register Credentialing Scholarship Oct, 16, 2008, National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Also an Alternate for the 2004 American Psychological Association APA Minority Fellowship.

 

Dr. Brown authored Transformation Beyond Greed: Native Self Actualization publishes by thebookpatch.com (2014) and has trained 1000 participants using the teachings of her Blackfoot elders, describing the origins of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, taught by the elders.  The Blackfoot (Siksika Reserve) influenced Maslow when he arrived as a 1938 six week visiting member of an archeology team.  Dr. Brown has presented at annual conferences APA Diversity division President’s invitation and Society Indian Psychologists keynote speaker debuting her 18 minute video and post doc research outcomes. George Fox University Grand Rounds honored alum debuted 1 hour training NSA DVD presenting integration faith based and traditional service methodology. Navajo Nation DBHS is preparing a concurrent program measure of spiritual services in a Native American setting.  Dr. Brown is assisting with Dr. Mark McGovern, Stanford University author A Leader’s Guide to Implementing Integrated Services for People with Co-occurring Disorders (Hazelton) to finalize the Tribal Core used concurrently with the DDCAT measures.  Dr. Brown’s Native Self Actualization – Placement Assessment (2016) psychometric test Cronbach Alpha estimated reliability at .87 and SPPS 24 validity  test 11 of 18 screener questions were indigenous. (2019).  The NSA-PA is now available for clinical and educational settings for adults and children.  An evidence based practice study will be completed in 3 years in collaboration with the (Kainai) Blood Reserve First Nation of Alberta Canada and other universities.  Dr. Brown’s work is international and at the cutting edge offering a strength based Indigeniety methodology honoring the United Nations Rights of Indigenous People (2007).

 

Dr. Joseph B. Stone

Dr. Joseph B. Stone, PhD, an Anasaki-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his partner, Amber Logan, owner of Indigenous Development Specialists of Havelock North, New Zealand.  Dr. Stone works at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga – a Kaupapa Maori Health Provider; Awhina Whanu Family Services, and the Napier Family Centre all located in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Center on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Dr. Stone’s publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural and behavioural issues.

 

Dr. Amber R. Logan 

Dr. Amber R. Logan is a traditional Kahungunu Maori wahine, a New Zealand Health Psychologist and Doctoral Fellow in Public Health at Otago University.  She teaches health psychology course work at the University of Auckland & Otago University and is well-known in New Zealand for her work in Methamphetamine education and community activism.  Amber Logan is a consummate grant writer, health services evaluator and health services program designer.  She has presented extensively in Australia, Canada, and the USA at Harvard University, the University of Washington, and to the US Federal Government.

Joe Coyte

Joe has a background in finance and counselling. He has worked in and around Aboriginal Residential Rehabilitation centres for over 12 years. Joe is currently employed as the CEO at The Glen Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre. In his time as Assistant Coordinator at The Glen Centre Joe has been responsible for coordinating the review and restructure of the services and programs provided to clients and community by The Glen. Using a continuous quality improvement approach Joe has not only improved the efficiency of operational systems within the Glen but has led The Glen to achieve accreditation (for the first time) against the Quality Improvement Council of Australia’s Health and Community Services Standards in November 2012. The Glen was then re-accredited in 2015 and set a national record for exceeded standards. Joe is a strong advocate of good governance. He enjoys a close and collegiate relationship with the board of Ngaimpe Aboriginal Corporation (The Glen). He has held positions on the Boards of other non-government organisation e.g. Gosford / Narara Community Centre (36 months) and also The Hunter Valley Financial Counselling Project (12 months as a short term board member). Joe is currently a board member of NADA (Peak body of NSW Non-Government Drug and Alcohol in NSW) and also sits on the board of Regional Development Australia (Central Coast). Joe has also been the President of Doyalson Touch Footy club in the 2017/18 season which saw them became the first Country team to win the Vawden Cup in Sydney while also being the Regional Champion. Personally Joe is a loving husband and devoted father of three children 16, 14 and 10.  He considers fatherhood is most important role. Joe’s strong family values are reflected in his future plans for The Glen, where he would like to see a greater role for family members, where clients consent, in the rehabilitation of their loved ones.

 

Alan Bennett

My name is Alan Bennett and I am the CEO of the Orana Haven Drug and Alcohol Residential Rehabilitation Centre near Brewarrina NSW. I was born and raised in Brewarrina NSW and left school at the age of 14 years old with very little education, however I changed that when I decided to return to TAFE to learn to read and write in my spare time after work at the age of 32. Since then I have gained two diploma’s and managed to address my 32 year drug and alcohol addiction. I first stated at Orana Haven in 2011 as a casual Residential Care Worker and fill in cook. Drugs and/or Alcohol addiction has been a very big part of my life and I am very passionate and dedicated to helping others who’s lives have been affected.   

Norm Henderson 

 

Jeanneen McLennaan

Angkuna Connelly

 

 

 

Joel Tessman