Category: VTMH Seminar

Seminars – a platform for trailblazers

We know that seminars at VTMH are a well-known fixture. A place to hear first-hand from advocates, researchers and practitioners. Thanks to committed speakers and audiences, we’re continuing via Zoom.  

We started off in May with Associate Professor Bianca Brijnath, Director of Social Gerontology at the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI). She presented on ‘Considerations for a population-level response to age, culture and COVID-19’.

Leaders in mental health interpreter education, Dr Shani Tobias, Dr Lola Sundin, Dr Jim Hlavac from Monash University led the July session on ‘Professional Development for Interpreters and Mental Health Clinicians – Recent Developments’. The August session featured Matt Ball. Matt is a leading innovator in mental health practice and spoke on alternative approaches to psychotherapy. 

Dr Charishma Ratnam at the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre will join us on Wed 21 October, to speak about using technology to communicate and engage with diverse communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VTMH Seminar Series in 2019

We have heard about:

  • Intentional Peer Support — a snapshot of the key principles
  • The new LGBTIQ Intersect resource
  • The Post-Settlement Lives of South Sudanese Australian Women
  • Addressing loneliness in people with mental ill health
  • The Family Violence Royal Commission and the process of change
  • Consumer rated effectiveness of consultations for stress and emotional problems
  • Rights based card under the Mental Health Act 2014
  • Supporting bicultural work
  • Compassionate communities: Talking about and doing death differently

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our guest speakers, both past and future. It is because of them that we are able to provide this wonderful space for information, insights and reflections.

Thank you also to our attendees. Our seminars have become extremely popular in recent years with many booked out well in advance. It is because of your support and interest in the topics presented that we continue striving to find excellent information and speakers to present you with.   

Our next seminar is being held on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 and we will send an e-blast to our mailing list and advertise the topic and speaker on our website in due course. 

Our seminars are held on the third Wednesday of each month. If you would like to stay informed of upcoming seminar topics, along with all our other events, add yourself to our mailing list here

Seminar Series for 2018 — A Look Back

One of the highlights of our seminar series this year was Commissioner Kristen Hilton from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and her presentation; ‘Working together to fight the rise of racism’. We had over 65 attendees at this seminar and her message was very well received. She gave examples of racism in the community, explained how her organisation provides aid and provided guidance to attendees on what they can do to help combat this.

In 2019, we will again be running our seminar series from March to November and more information will be available on our website early next year. To ensure you are advised about speakers and topics, please add yourself to our mailing list by clicking here We would like to take this opportunity to, once again, thank the speakers who generously donated their time and energy into presenting at our seminars and to the many people who attended. We hope to put on another year of great seminars in 2019.

Snapshots of VTMH Seminar Sessions in 2018

Snapshot of sessions so far

We started the year with Dr Jim Hlavac of Monash University, presenting in March on ‘Mental Health Interactions and Interpreters: Guidelines for Interpreters & Interpreters’ Perspectives.’ The session highlighted the very important role of interpreters in mental health settings, recent research and reports. Approximately 20 attendees participated in a lively discussion on this subject.

In April,  Professor Suresh Sundram of Monash University spoke about the Cabrini Asylum Seeker Services to a well attended session. 

Dr Kristen Moeller-Saxone, Vic Health, Principal Program Officer, Mental Wellbeing, was our guest speaker in May. Kristen spoke about the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Nearly 30 attendees enjoyed Kristen’s relevant and important presentation. 

The June seminar featured a performance by Link Health and Community titled ‘Three Sides of the Coin and the Impacts of Gambling on our Community: Using Theatre to Create Change’. This organisation uses live theatre to explore the links between gambling and mental health and stimulate conversations about the impacts of gambling. This session was very well attended with over 30 people in attendance who were thoroughly entertained and informed.

Most recently in July, Susan McDonough, PhD candidate at La Trobe University, presented findings from a grounded theory study that explores the work of practitioners assisting people experiencing mental health issues with whom they share a similar cultural, linguistic or faith background.

To ensure you stay up to date on our upcoming seminars, register for our mailing list

Chasing Asylum: A Film Screening

The Australian documentary film by Academy Award winner, Eva Ormer aims to raise awareness of the resettlement conditions and lived experience of asylum seekers and refugees held in off-shore detention centres.

Chasing Asylum was presented at the Chamberlain Theatre at St Vincent’s Fitzroy campus, as a prelude to VTMH’s 2017 seminar series. The screening was authorised by the Director, Eva Ormer, and her associates.

Guest panellists David Manne (Director of Refugee Legal) and Samantha Ratnam (Service Program Manager, ASRC) were engaged to lead a discussion immediately after the film was screened, and provided expertise in their sharing, reflection and response to questions and comments from the floor.