Committee Members

For general inquiries regarding the conference contact Dr Margaret Carter by email at or phone on +61 7 4781 6323.

Kimberley Anderson

Kimberley Anderson is a Student Equity and Wellbeing Project Officer who works in the Student Equity and Wellbeing Unit at James Cook University. Kimberley works on various projects that aim to support students and enhance their university experience.

Kimberley previously worked as a Manager at the ATO (Superannuation) and prior to that as a Site Manager at the Child Support Agency. She has always had a keen interest in Human Services and has enjoyed applying her knowledge and experience within the higher education sector.

Kimberley Anderson 

Dr Beryl Buckby

Dr Beryl Buckby is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer in the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Master of Psychology (Clinical) Programs in the College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University. Her teaching and research encompass clinical supervision and psychopathology, young-age onset dementia, mental health (particularly interventions), stress-related conditions such as PTSD, as well as suicide and suicide prevention in North Queensland communities.

Her current focus is interprofessional education and communication and the role psychologists play in enhancing person-centred care. Over her 25 years as a psychologist Dr Buckby has worked in Forensic Mental Health with adolescents and adults, older persons’ mental health in residential-care settings, and in a small private practice for adults with complex mental health issues.

In collaboration with Professor Ed Helmes, Dr Buckby established a memory and carer support clinic in 2008 within the JCU Psychology Clinic. Dr Buckby and Dr Ros Carr also established and conducted a group PTSD program of 12 weeks delivered eight times in the years 2010 to 2015 at the JCU Psychology Clinic. The program was designed especially for non-military members of the community.
Dr Beryl Buckby 

Dr Margaret Carter

Since beginning work at James Cook University in 2010 – initially in Singapore and currently, Australia – Margaret’s motivation and challenge has been leading and sustaining meaningful environments that enhance learning and engagement within higher education. Margaret has intentionally intertwined research, teaching and community engagement in all aspects of her work. This process has led to Margaret being awarded a 2017 national citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for leading a transformative and ethical community of inquiry approach in the guidance and counselling program.

Margaret’s scholarship and research in cyber safety and mental health is grounded in her understanding and advocacy that mental health is everyone’s business. Currently, Margaret is leading an internal Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement project rethinking how the curriculum can better support guidance, counselling and career development students’ mental health and how promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies can be integrated into the culture of higher education institutions.

Margaret is the co-leader of the JCU Australasian Mental Health and Higher Education Conference in Townsville 6-7 July 2018. Her main areas of research and educational consultancy include mental health and wellness, preventing cyberbullying and young children’s social behaviour.

Dr Margaret Carter 

Dr Abraham Francis

Dr Abraham Francis is an Associate Professor in Social Work and Human Services at James Cook University in Australia. He is also a research associate in the Department of Social Work, Stellenbosch University South Africa, and an Adjunct Faculty at Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal University, Manipal, India.

Dr Francis is passionate about working and researching in strengths-based practice in mental health. He has extensively contributed to the literature on Social Work practice in mental health through his publications, convening conferences, establishing research networks and by developing consortiums. His excellence in teaching has been recognised on a number of occasions.

For example, in 2010, he was a recipient of James Cook University’s Inclusive Practice Award for his ‘exceptional support for students with a disability’. More recently, in 2016, he received the university’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for his ‘leadership and expertise in social work education in mental health that inspires and nurtures students to be competent, confident and compassionate practitioners’.

Dr Abraham Francis 

Associate Professor David Lindsay

Associate Professor David Lindsay is a Registered Nurse and an experienced nurse academic and researcher within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at James Cook University, Townsville. He has a long-standing interest and involvement in rural nursing and rural nurse education in Australia, and nursing education and practice in low-resource settings across the Western Pacific, particularly Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice roles. His research interests currently include long-term condition self-management by health professionals, bullying within nursing, and tuberculosis management in low-resource settings in the Western Pacific.

Dr Lindsay is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and a Friend of the National Rural Health Alliance.

Associate Professor David Lindsay 

Claire Ovaska

Claire Ovaska is the Senior Liaison Librarian for the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies at James Cook University. Claire is dedicated to improving learning and teaching outcomes for students and supporting academic staff research.

Claire completed Mental Health First Aid training in 2016 and was (naively) surprised at how often she has since drawn on this training. Claire has assimilated that ‘mental health is everyone’s business’ and wants to see improved mental health outcomes for staff and students in higher education.

Claire Ovaska 

Ms Simone Ross

Simone is a Lecturer in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery (MBBS) and Master of Health Professional Education in the College of Medicine and Dentistry. Simone’s research and teaching encompass socially accountable health professional education, supporting the student transition to University and beyond, and the development of leadership skills training for medical students. Since becoming an academic in 2012, Simone has won two team-based James cook University Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. The first in 2015 for the MBBS Home Group Program – a unique program to foster student connectedness, academic engagement and success in a regional medicine undergraduate course (a program Simone has led since 2013). The second in 2017 for empowering first-year medical students to be person-centred and value ‘social medicine’ as highly as biomedicine topics, through blended learning in a competency-based curriculum.

In 2015, Simone created with MBBS students a mentor program for the first year international students. In collaboration with Dr Kim Owens, Simone established an eight-week mindfulness program for first year medical students in the MBBS, Bachelor of Pharmacy, and Bachelor of Dentistry that has also been delivered since 2015. Simone has several years of experience in international research and program management, and has a BPsych and MDR from James Cook University and is enrolled in a PhD investigating medical student leadership needs for the Australian health system.

Ms Simon Ross 

Larissa Siliézar

Larissa Siliézar is the Manager of Student Equity and Wellbeing at James Cook University. The Unit provides free Accessibility, Counselling, Chaplaincy, Equity and Wellbeing services to JCU students.

Larissa’s research interests focus on access and equity in higher education including improving access and participation for people on humanitarian visas as well as cross-cultural conflict resolution.

Larissa Siliezar

Dr Liz Tynan

Dr Liz Tynan is senior lecturer and co-ordinator of the professional development program at the JCU Graduate Research School. She teaches academic writing and critical thinking skills to postgraduate students and has particular responsibility for convening the Skills for International Postgraduates (SKIP) program and the Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) program. She also has an adjunct senior lecturer appointment at the College of Arts, Society and Education.

Dr Tynan is a former journalism academic with a background in both print and electronic media, specialising in science writing and editing. She has worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as a reporter and sub editor and was later Sydney correspondent for New Scientist. She is co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook Media and Journalism: New Approaches to Theory and Practice, now in its third edition. She is also co-author and coordinating editor of the OUP text, Communication for Business. Her 2016 book titled Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story is published by NewSouth Publishing.

Liz Tynan