Giant Steps Australia Kerrie Nelson awarded Principal of the Year

Giant Steps Australia Principal Kerrie Nelson was recently awarded Principal of the Year by the Australian Education Awards in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contribution to the education and support of young people with autism. Giant Steps Australia also received an Excellence Award as a Special Education School.

Over the past 16 years, Kerrie’s leadership, strong community engagement and passion for innovation and evidence based programs has led the way in increasing student engagement and improving learning outcomes. One of the initiatives centred on shifting the dialogue around challenging behaviours, and involved moving beyond the focus of managing students’ behaviour to trying to understand the intention of the behaviour. The data gathered from these initiatives has helped improve learning outcomes for a cohort of young people with highly complex needs.


Black Dog Institute looking towards another year of innovation

Black Dog Institute is set to embark on another year of innovation for better mental health. Some initiatives on the agenda include free professional development training for health workers around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the development of a digital mental health treatment program and an online program for adults aimed to manage depression and anxiety. Read more about Black Dog Institute’s plans for 2021 here.


Victorian emergency departments to acquire self-harm monitoring system developed by Orygen

Victoria will be the first state in Australia to benefit from a new self-harm monitoring system developed by Orygen.

The self-harm monitoring system uses an automated method to collect up-to-date data which is then sent to participating emergency departments. The rate of suicide is still increasing among Australia’s young people and Orygen hopes the system will lead to better outcomes for young people who self-harm.


SMHR Team Award for Brain and Mind Centre

The Brain and Mind Centre was granted the 2020 Society for Mental Health Research’s (SMHR) 2020 SMHR Team Award for Impact for Mental Health Research – Health Services Research. The award recognises Brain and Mind Centre’s work in clinical research, education and training. Brain and Mind Centre’s education and training program, known as the Brain and Mind Centre Youth Model, focuses on upskilling the mental health workforce, grounded in clinical research spanning 10 years on the largest and most comprehensive youth cohort database. The program is endorsed as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.


Act for Kids appoints new Executive Directors

In a recent update, Act for Kids announced two new Executive Directors to join its leadership team. Dr. Kaye Pickering was appointed as Executive Director of Services and Tom McIntyre was appointed as Executive Director of Services Strategy and Growth. Dr. Kaye and Tom, who are long-term team members at Act for Kids, will bring a combined tenure of over 20 years and more than 40 years’ industry experience to the leadership team.


Ian Thorpe challenges Future Generation shareholders to swim to save lives

ReachOut Patron and Board Member Ian Thorpe has called out to all Future Generation shareholders to swim to save lives this March in the Laps for Life challenge. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people in Australia, while one in four young people in Australia is currently experiencing a mental health difficulty and 70% of those who need help are not able to get it. You can register now and set your own swimming and fundraising goal. For those who are not sure where to start with training, tips and advice are available here.


Variety Just Like You

Variety’s Just Like You program is gearing up for a big year, with hopes that its now online program can return to classrooms. A free disability awareness program for primary school students, Just Like You is presented by facilitators who themselves are living with a disability. It aims to educate children and nurture their understanding that people living with a disability are just like them. Variety believes the program is an important step in ensuring a truly inclusive society for people living with a disability. With its Term 1 session fast reaching its capacity, the goal is to reach 16,000 primary school aged children participate in the program.

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