Connections Winter 2022

Winter 2022

Mental Health Focus

This edition of Connections is focused on the theme of 'Mental Health in Focus', referencing the fast growing area of practice of mental health. Included in this edition of Connections, is:

  • CEO and Presidents Update
  • AOTJ and WFOT Updates
  • Update on the Thinking Ahead: Mental Health project
  • Contributions from members around Australia

As a member benefit, you can access the publication below.

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Our Featured Contributors

Thank you to our featured contributors, including the below.

Elisa Yule

Elisa Yule is Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy and NSW Course Coordinator for Occupational Therapy at Australian Catholic University.

Lorrae Mynard

Lorrae Mynard is passionate about keeping occupation at the heart of occupational therapy. Having worked in varied adult mental health settings in Australia, Canada and the UK, she is presently a lead occupational therapist at Forensicare in Melbourne, chairperson of the Australasian Forensic Occupational Therapy Network, and a doctoral candidate with Monash University. Her doctoral research is focused on occupational formulation; her other research focuses on occupational therapists’ experiences of working in solitary confinement, and experiences of forensic mental health consumers related to disclosure, time use, digital literacy and transitioning to community living.

Muriel Cummins and Malitha Perera 

Muriel Cummins is an occupational therapist and holds a Master of Public Health. She graduated in Dublin 2001 and has worked in mental health and disability in Australia since 2005. She is passionate about working in close partnership with those with lived experience, and promoting co-design in service development. Muriel’s previous roles span the clinical, not-for-profit, peak body and private practice sectors.

Malitha Perera is an occupational therapist who has worked in various operational, clinical and strategic leadership roles in mental health. He is passionate about addressing inequities that impact on our collective health and wellbeing. He holds a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Bachelor of Psychological Science and Master of Public Health.

Nicole Keller

Occupational therapist Nicole Keller has extensive experience in health and human services policy, planning and service delivery across NSW, Victoria and SA in government, non-government and private sectors. She is a highly regarded leader, known for influencing system and service change and innovation, including mental health and wellbeing and suicide prevention. She is a passionate advocate for the power of participatory processes, partnering and ensuring people with lived experience remain central.

Nicole is Executive Director Mental Health and Wellbeing at Wellbeing SA, and is responsible for leading the collaboration of work to build resilient and connected communities, and to support the mental health and well-being of South Australians, and the SA Mental Health Commissioners to implement the SA Mental Health Strategic Plan.

OTA was honoured to have Nicole facilitate a recent event in SA and provide a summary for this issue of Connections.

Melissa Aguey-Zinsou

Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at School of Allied Health, North Sydney Australian Catholic University.

Michelle Quick, Jacqui Wheatcroft, Danielle Sansonetti, Natasha Lannin and Laura Jolliffe 

Michelle Quick is the senior occupational therapist for the Neuro Trauma stream at The Alfred hospital. 

Jacqui Wheatcroft and Danielle Sansonetti are PhD candidates and grade four occupational therapists at Alfred Health.

Professor Natasha Lannin is Professor, Allied Health (Occupational Therapy), Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia, and Professor, Department of Neurosciences, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Dr Laura Joliffe is a lecturer and academic in occupational therapy at Monash University.

I am exceptionally proud of a number of new projects that will come to life in coming months

Samantha Hunter

OTA CEO

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