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Samuel Johnson OAM


Samuel Johnson OAM has been working in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. He is known as an actor, radio presenter, voiceover artist and philanthropist.


Stand out roles include his role in the cult hit The Secret Life Of Us, for which he won the AFI Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama Series, as well as his portrayal of Ian Molly Meldrum in Seven’s ratings smash Molly. Sam won the 2017 Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Television, Silver Logie Award for Best Actor and the 2016 AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor for his portrayal of this iconic role. In 2019 Samuel competed and won the 16th season of Dancing with the Stars and raised $50,000 in prize money for his charity Love Your Sister.


Other notable television credits include The Secret River, Paper Giants 2 Magazine Wars, Small Time Gangster, Underbelly II, Rush, the HBO mini-series The Pacific, Wilfred and After the Deluge which earned him his second AFI nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Samuel has also appeared in several popular Australian films, including the lead role of Dave in Crackerjack. More recently, Samuel starred in the eight-part Stan Original series Eden.


In 2001 Samuel was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal, Queen's New Year’s Honours List, for his services to Australian society and Australian film production. He has held the title for GQ Magazine’s Social Force of the Year, received the 2015 Research Australia Advocacy Award which he shares with his sister Connie and in 2016 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to cancer research.


In 2013, Samuel decided to ride the unicycle again. This time he would ride around the whole of Australia, raising money for cancer research, setting a new Guinness World Record for most distance travelled on a unicycle and more importantly, keeping his promise to his sister Connie that he would complete the ride and spread her message of breast cancer awareness.


In October 2014, Samuel, along with his sister Connie, became a published author releasing their first book titled Love Your Sister with the book going on to be nominated for Best Biography at the ABIA Awards. In 2018, Samuel gathered together a collection of letters to Santa from some of Australia's most notorious and best-loved grown-ups for the bestseller Dear Santa, with every copy sold contributing to cancer research. He followed it up in 2019 with Dear Dad, a book of letters from some of Australia’s most notable notables to their fathers.


In late 2020, Samuel and his sister Hilde Hinton released Heroes Next Door – a moving, funny, irreverent, inspiring and big-hearted book that shows us all that resilience and kindness are what make the difference, and that you don't have to travel far to find good people ... often they are right next door. In 2021, he released his fifth book Dear Mum, his newest book of letters celebrating mothers and mother figures.

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Dr Ruth Vine

Australian Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Mental Health) / Interim CEO, National Mental Health Commission

Dr Ruth Vine is the interim CEO of the National Mental Health Commission and was Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health. As the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health - Ruth provided policy advice on critical mental health issues impacting the Australian community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and championed Commonwealth policy development and implementation activities to better integrate the Australian mental health system.

Ruth is a consultant psychiatrist and has more than 25 years’ experience. Ruth has worked for the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and has held positions of Deputy Chief Psychiatrist, Chief Psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health. She has chaired the AHMAC National Mental Health Standing Committee, the National Mental Health Workforce Committee, and National Safety and Quality Committee.

Previously, Ruth was the Executive Director of NorthWestern Mental Health, a division of Melbourne Health from 2013 to 2019. NorthWestern Mental Health is the largest mental health service in Victoria, covering a population of approximately 1.4 million people across a number of growth corridors.

Ruth is a member of the Board of Forensicare, the Board of Mind, and the Medical Practitioners Board (Victoria).

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Laws from La Trobe University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.


The Hon. Gabrielle Williams MP


Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Victoria

Before entering Parliament, Gabrielle was a project manager for the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Melbourne. Before that, she was a lawyer and advisor in both state and federal governments.

Gabrielle was prompted to run for Parliament because she has always had a strong sense of justice and wanted to be part of driving a socially progressive agenda, which makes our state inclusive and fair.

The priorities Gabrielle has for her community are to support jobs and education. She wants to ensure her community has access to first class educational facilities and education pathways that are connected to secure employment opportunities. She believes that strong and accessible employment is key to addressing many of the other challenges that arise in communities.

Gabrielle's vision for Victoria’s future is that it is a safe, vibrant and inclusive state that continues to lead the nation in gender equality, prevention of family violence, First Peoples – State relations, innovation and economic prosperity.

The areas of public policy that she is most passionate about are prevention of family violence, gender equality, Aboriginal affairs, education, and industry and employment.


Dr Rachel Tindall

Rachel is the Director of Nursing at Barwon Health Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services. She has significantly contributed to mental health service development and reform of national and international significance.

Since 2019, Rachel has led the design, implementation and management of major reform projects including Barwon Health’s 9-bed Mental Health Hospital in the Home (MH HiTH) service, one of only two established in the state of Victoria; a 16-bed older-adult acute mental health unit, the McKellar mental health and wellbeing unit, whose co-design approach was Highly Commended in the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards; and the PROMPT pilot project, an initiative between Barwon Health and Ambulance Victoria to provide joint assessments in response to triple zero (emergency) calls for mental health concerns, which won a Victorian Public Health Award in 2019.


Rachel holds a Bachelor of Nursing, a Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Mental Health), a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), with her thesis titled “Factors influencing levels of engagement with early intervention services: a longitudinal, qualitative study" and an Executive Master of Public Administration.


Rachel has published a number of academic journal articles on service engagement of young people with psychosis, physical assistance in psychosis recovery and innovative mental health delivery (Hospital-In-The-Home). Rachel has also published on co-design in mental health care delivery, and she is both a strong advocate and contributor to advancing co-design as a field of knowledge.


Matthew Ball

Matt is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Psychotherapist.  He is the Founder and Director of the Humane Clinic, a private practice specialising in psychotherapy with individuals experiencing ‘psychosis’, hearing voices, suicidal narratives and emotional distress. In addition, he is Founder and Co-Director of Just Listening Community. 

Matt is the first author and innovator behind the concepts of Dissociachotic, Suicide Narratives and Just Listening Communities – alternatives to current systems responses in understanding and responding to extreme states and human distress.

Matt has received recognition for his work in South Australia, Australia wide and internationally. 


Professor Nicholas Procter

Professor Nicholas Procter RN BA Grad Dip Adult Ed MBA PhD MACMHN MCNA MAICD is Chair: Mental Health Nursing and Director of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research and Education Group, UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences. For more than twenty years he has been working closely with state and national governments in the areas of mental health nursing research, teaching, practice and policy development, incorporating lived experience co-design, trauma informed practice and suicide prevention. 


Professor Procter was a member of the Minister’s Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention between 2009-2018, and during that time chaired the independent Physical and Mental Health Sub-committee of the Joint Advisory Committee for the Governments of Australia and Nauru on the regional processing of asylum seekers. Professor Procter is currently Australia’s national representative to the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Established in 1960 and with members in more than 70 countries, IASP is the largest international organisation dedicated to suicide prevention and to the reduction of suicide-related distress and loss.

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Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane

Emeritus Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane (BSc Hons, RN, Grad Dip Adult End, MNS, PhD, PhD, Credentialled MHN, FACMHN) is the past Chair of Nursing (Mental Health) at Flinders University in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, past President and Board member of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Eimear has been researching in the area of mental health and mental illness, in acute psychiatric inpatients, Emergency Departments and community settings specifically around conflict and containment: seclusion, absconding, aggression and violence and physical restraint for over twenty-five years. Her work aimed to improve the experiences of care in Emergency Departments and acute inpatient units of consumers and to improve clinical practice to offer least restrictive care practices.

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