Keynote Speakers


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Dr Prabha S Chandra

Professor of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, India

Dr Chandra is a champion of perinatal mental health in India and worldwide. She is Professor of Psychiatry and the secretary of the International Association of Women's Mental Health. Dr Chandra founded South Asia's first mother-baby psychiatric unit and one of the region's first perinatal inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services for mothers with mental illness.

Dr Chandra 's research explores the impact of perinatal mental health on fetal and infant behaviour outcomes, second-hand smoke exposure in pregnancy, partner violence, suicidality, bipolar disorder in pregnancy, mother-infant interventions, and service development for perinatal mental health.

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Dr Pierre N. Azzam, MD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Dr Pierre Azzam is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is Co-founder and Program Director of Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and an Attending Physician in the WPIC Psychiatry Consultation Service.

Dr Azzam's areas of academic interest include palliative care, clinical neuroscience, and graduate medical education.

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Professor Marie-Paule Austin

St John of God Health Care and University of NSW

Professor Marie-Paule Austin is the St John of God Health Care Chair in Perinatal Mental Health at the University of NSW and the Director of Perinatal Mental Health Services Royal Hospital for Women and the St John of God Mother Baby Unit, Sydney.

Professor Austin was a key architect of the 2008 National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) and led the 2011 National Clinical Practice Guidelines for Perinatal Depression and Related Disorders, whose 2017 update she now chairs. She has been involved in a number of national and international research collaborations and published over 130 papers on perinatal mental health screening, psychosocial interventions and medication use, and the impact of maternal stress in pregnancy on infant outcomes. In 2015, Professor Austin was awarded the Australasian Marcé Medal for Research into Perinatal Mental Health.

Currently, Professor Austin is the lead investigator on the only national level evaluation of the Australian NPDI. Along with her team, she has developed an electronic model of integrated psychosocial assessment and pathways to care for perinatal clinicians and consumers. It is anticipated that this model will be upscaled to a whole of population level in the Canadian setting.

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Professor David Ellwood

Deputy Head of School (Research) and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Griffith University, Australia

David Ellwood is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the School of Medicine, Griffith University where he is also Deputy Head of School (Research). He is a sub-specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and is the Director of the newly-established unit at Gold Coast University Hospital: a major tertiary centre serving South-East Queensland and Northern NSW.

Professor Ellwood has a longstanding clinical and research interest in postnatal emotional and physical recovery and he has been involved in several national studies on perinatal mental health. He is currently a Chief Investigator on a number of NHMRC0-funded projects on serious adverse pregnancy outcome.

As a clinician, Professor Ellwood works primarily in the field of high-risk pregnancy and frequently deals with women who have experienced serious adverse pregnancy outcomes including perinatal death. Through his work with the recently-established Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth he is involved in studies on care in subsequent pregnancy for women who have experienced stillbirth. His clinical and research interests enable him to give a unique insight into the challenges of caring for women in high-risk pregnancies, as well as those who have experienced previous perinatal trauma.

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Professor Jane Fisher

President of the International Marcé Society, Director of the Jean Hailes Research Unit at Monash University, Australia

Professor Jane Fisher, Director of the Jean Hailes Research Unit, is an academic Clinical and Health Psychologist with longstanding interests in the social determinants of health. Her research focuses on gender-based risks to women's mental health and psychological functioning from adolescence to mid-life, particularly related to fertility, conception, pregnancy, the perinatal period and chronic non-communicable diseases, as well as parenting capabilities and early childhood development in low- and high-income settings. Professor Fisher has completed nationally funded intervention trials and major epidemiological studies in clinical and community settings in Australia and Vietnam, and has supervised more than 30 research higher degree and postgraduate coursework projects to completion. She is an expert technical advisor to international agencies including the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund.


Dr Richard Fletcher

Associate Professor, University of Newcastle's Family Action Centre

Dr Fletcher has designed and conducted research into fathers' role in families across diverse settings such as separated parents, new fathers, antenatal support, rough and tumble play with children, and fathers using the web. He also conducts research into practitioners' role in promoting father-infant and father-child contact for the benefit of the whole family.

In 2014 Dr Fletcher was awarded a Faculty of Health and Medicine Researcher award from the University of Newcastle for his outstanding contributions to research in the mental health of fathers and their families through establishing the national Perinatal Paternal Depression Initiative.
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Professor Megan Galbally

Consultant Psychiatrist, Foundation Chair in Perinatal Psychiatry with Murdoch University, University of Notre Dame and Fiona Stanley Hospital, Australia

Professor Megan Galbally is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Foundation Chair in Perinatal Psychiatry, an appointment across Murdoch University, University of Notre Dame and Fiona Stanley Hospital. She is a board member of the International Marcé Society and previously on the Executive of the Australasian Marcé Society where she has held roles on the Executive for over 10 years, including President.

Professor Galbally is the current Chair of the Section of Perinatal and Infant Psychiatry within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. She is the chief investigator of two longitudinal, prospective studies examining the effects of maternal depression and antidepressant treatment on child developmental outcomes and has also developed specific services in perinatal mental health including an antenatal clinic for women with schizophrenia and bipolar at Mercy Hospital for Women. Professor Galbally is editor of "Psychopharmacology and Pregnancy - Treatment Efficacy, Risks, and Guidelines" published by Springer in 2014.

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Dr Jody B. Glance, MD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Dr Jody B. Glance, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. She is an Associate Director of Medical Student Education for the Department of Psychiatry and has served as the Medical Director of the Perinatal Addiction Clinic and Co-Medical Director of the Center for Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Services at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Glance's areas of academic and clinical interest include co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders, addictive disorders in pregnancy, and women's mental health.

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Dr Priya R. Gopalan, MD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, USA

Dr. Priya Gopalan is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA. She currently serves as the Medical Director of the Consultation-Liaison Services, Chief of Psychiatry at Magee-Womens Hospital, and is one of the faculty advisors to the psychiatry residency's Academic Administrator/Clinician Educator track. She co-directs an elective curriculum in women's mental health for psychiatry residents. Her interests include psychosomatic medicine, women's mental health, and resident education.

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Dr Nicole Highet

Founder and Executive Director, COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence

Doctor Nicole Highet is the Founder and Executive Director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence. Dr Highet has a background in clinical psychology, specialising in community treatments for postnatal depression, together with a career spanning marketing and advertising research and campaign development, and advocacy. Following over 13 years at Beyondblue, Dr Highet identified the need for a specialist not-for-profit organisation with a dedicated focus on effective and sustainable approaches to best practice in perinatal mental health.

COPE was established in July 2013 and since this time invested efforts into maintaining national momentum, ensuring support for best practice through the development of new National Guidelines together with investment into the development of innovative, measurable, and sustainable approaches to best practice implementation including but not limited to e-screening platforms, online education, e-referral and e-health promotion initiatives.

By working with governments, health professionals, corporates and the community, COPE directly addresses the existing low awareness and high stigma and support the implementation of best practice through innovation.

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Dr Camille Hoffman, MD

Associate Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA

Dr Camille Hoffman, MD, MSCS, is an Associate Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry. She is a clinician-scientist who studies maternal-child mental health relationships and is currently investigating pregnancy interventions to improve multigenerational mental health and child neurodevelopment.

Dr Hoffman has clinical expertise in the management of high-risk pregnancy, obstetric ultrasound, and perinatal mental health (PMH). She is a founding board member of the North American PMH Society and also serves as the social media director for the International Marcé society for PMH.  

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Dr Jennifer Hyer, MD

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA

Dr Jennifer Hyer, MD is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA. Her clinical activities include full scope practice of obstetrics and gynecology as an attending physician at Denver Health Medical Center. She currently serves on the Denver Maternal and Infant Mental Health Advisory Board and the Pregnancy Related Depression State Advisory Committee for the State of Colorado. She is the Obstetrics and Gynecology Site Director for senior medical students and supervises and teaches residents from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Dr Hyer is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the 2017 class of the Association of Professors in Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) Academic Scholars and Leaders Program.


Dr Vijay Roach

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Chairman Gidget Foundation Australia

Dr Roach is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, practising in Sydney Australia. He is the Vice-President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. As Chairman of Gidget Foundation Australia, Vijay is a passionate advocate for those affected by mental health disorders in pregnancy and early parenting. He works tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of emotional wellbeing, speaking to students, doctors, community groups and policy makers in Australia and overseas.


Dr Matthew Roberts

Perinatal psychiatrist, Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre

Dr Roberts is trained as a perinatal psychiatrist, a medical specialist in mental health of pregnancy and early family life. He is also a Fatherhood Clinician, a role he has developed to promote healthy fatherhood in all its stages. Matthew works in private practice and at Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre.

Beyond his clinical work, Matthew is busy developing a role as a Clinical Science Communicator, writing and speaking on perinatal, family and general mental health matters.

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Terri Smith

CEO of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)

Terri Smith was appointed CEO of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) in December 2014, where she is committed to developing PANDA's role as a voice for families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression.

Terri has a wealth of experience as an experienced not-for-profit executive. She has previously served as CEO of a professional health association, Deputy CEO/National Program and Policy Manager for Breast Cancer Network Australia and Director of Client Services for Moreland Community Health Services.

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Professor Julie Quinlivan

Senior Clinician in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Director of the Professional Services Review

Professor Julie Quinlivan is a senior clinician in obstetrics and gynaecology and Director of the Professional Services Review. She is Chair of the WA Clinical Senate, Non-Executive Director of South Metropolitan TAFE and a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (General and SSCS Divisions).

Professor Quinlivan is a former Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of Medicine and Governing Councillor and Non-Executive Director of North and South Metropolitan Health Services in Western Australia respectively. She has published 250 books, book chapters, research papers and conference abstracts covering women's health and clinical governance. Professor Quinlivan is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology and on the Editorial Board of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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Trish Wilson

Registered nurse, registered midwife, counsellor

Trish Wilson is a registered nurse, midwife and counsellor who has specialised in the area of perinatal loss. She coordinated the Bereavement Support Program at the Mater Mother's Hospital in Brisbane for nine years and held academic positions with the University of Queensland in the Graduate Health Studies and Masters of Counselling programs.

In her private practice, Trish provides counselling support for women and partners dealing with fertility concerns, miscarriage and pregnancy loss, difficult decisions in pregnancy, pregnancy-related anxiety, depression and relationship concerns.



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