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The ACMHN Conference Scientific Committee is established to oversee the design, planning, development and execution of the International Conference Program. 
The committee is chaired by Dr Cathy Daniel, a College Member appointed by the Board of Directors. Cathy along with the Scientific Committee members bring passion and commitment to their role in delivering a high quality conference program.


Scientific Chair, Dr Cathy Daniel


Dr Cathy Daniel is a Senior Lecturer and the Coordinator of Post Graduate Mental Health Nursing at The University of Melbourne. Cathy has continued to work in a clinical role at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and has over 30 years' experience in mental health nursing.   Cathy has completed a Masters Research Degree in minimising mechanical restraint in acute health in 2010. In 2015 she completed a PhD at The University of Melbourne that explored how the how the risk of violence can be accurately identified at ED triage. Cathy is also a credentialed mental health nurse and is committed to supporting nurses to develop specialist mental health nursing practice and is passionate about reducing restrictive interventions and stigma  for all people who access health care.



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ACMHN President, Professor Mike Hazelton


Mike Hazelton RN CMHN BA MA PhD FACMHN holds the positions of Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle and Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University.


Mike retired as Professor Of Mental Health Nursing at the University Of Newcastle in February 2020, a position he held since 2001.


Mike has had extensive experience leading schools of nursing and midwifery at the University Of Newcastle, Curtin University, the University Of Tasmania.

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ACMHN Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Armitage


Adrian Armitage is the CEO of ACMHN having started early 2023. He comes from the AMA where he spent four years as CEO of 18,000 future doctors. He has considerable commercial experience spending years as a Regional Director for Asia Pacific managing the P&L of a $600 million organisation. He spent a further five years as a Global Manager with Cambridge University and British Council managing operations across 120 countries. Adrian managed the government engagement program for the Australian Computer Society (ACS) for seven years and sat on various Boards and was a judge in the national iAwards. He is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, has studied law at The University of Sydney, completed post graduate studies at Macquarie University, and held guest lecturer roles at The Australian National University. Adrian devotes volunteer time to the Emergency Services Authority in Canberra as a member of the Incident Management Team (IMT – CFU19) volunteering in COVID-19 tracking and also inoculation logistics for ACT Health. 

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Scientific Committee member, Michael Blair


Mick Blair has maintained an ongoing interest in the future of specialist mental health nursing. His first presentation was in 1982 on “Burnout in Psychiatric Nursing” since that time he has attended many conferences and been an active member and convener of conference for the College.

As a past Board member, Treasurer and ex Chair of the Council of Branches, he wants to help realise the potential of mental health nursing to ensure a future for our College. He is always interested in the feedback given by members and is always looking to make conference changes to respond to the needs of members. 


Scientific Committee member, Dr Brent Hayward


Dr Brent Hayward RN CMHN MEd PhD has spent most of his career working in clinical, regulatory, and policy roles which support people with intellectual and developmental disability, particularly those persons with behaviours of concern. His PhD explored the social network influences on the development of behaviour support policy in the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Brent has worked in the Victorian Department of Education for the last six years and is presently Principal Behaviour Support Adviser, leading the policy and practice for behaviour support and restraint and seclusion in government schools. He continues to work clinically in a specialist school for students with high support needs. Brent has wide experience in the design and delivery of state and national conferences and is involved in several research collaborations in the disability, behaviour support, school, and mental health nursing fields.

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Scientific Committee member, Jo Suggett


Jo is a Senior Quality Improvement Co-ordinator at North Western Mental Health, Quality, Planning and Innovation Unit.  Jo is a credentialled mental health nurse with over 30 years nursing experience in community mental health settings in Queensland and Victoria. More recent clinical roles have included physical health nurse and management of clinical aggression co-ordinator. Jo continues to progress work on improving consumer physical health outcomes and reduction of restrictive interventions within the quality co-ordinator role. Additionally is the vice chair of the Victorian Branch of the ACMHN where she has been an active member for several years.  Jo has completed a Masters in Mental Health (Psychotherapies), Post Graduate Cert in Health Management, Bachelor of Health Science and holds hospital certificates in General Nursing and Psychiatric Nursing.

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ACMHN Event Manager, Ellen Fraser


Ellen Fraser has been with the ACMHN since May 2016. Ellen has extensive experience in event management and has held senior event management positions in a variety of settings in the hospitality, not-for-profit, and corporate sector spanning her 19-year career.


Ellen completed her Masters of Business Administration in 2018 and has been a member of the Professional Conference Organisers Association since 2016. She has been the Chair of the ACMHN Organising Committee for the ACMHN Conference since 2016. Ellen has been the Event Manager and Chair of the Organising Committee for the 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th and 46th ACMHN International Mental Health Nursing Conference and brings a wealth of experience and organisational knowledge to her role on the Scientific Committee. 

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