ISPS Australia Board
The ISPS Board is composed of five members who are elected by ballot, by the ISPS membership, every year. The ISPS Board is made up of people with a wide range of interests and experience, all of whom donate their time voluntarily, and all of whom are highly committed to the common aim of advancing education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the treatment and prevention of psychotic mental disorders for the public benefit.
Melissa is a clinical psychologist who works across public health settings, research and private practice. She is particularly interested in psychosis, trauma, and substance use and how these intersect. She is passionate about working together with others who are wanting to improve the lives of people who may be struggling with distress.
David Ward is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who trained in the United Kingdom where he commenced work as a Consultant in 1999. He moved to the Fraser Coast in 2011 and obtained FRANZCP in 2013. Dr Ward has been involved in teaching and training for a variety of disciplines for many years, lecturing both at Newcastle and Northumberland Universities in the North East of England. He also worked as the Training Programme Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Whilst in the UK Dr Ward was involved in the development of Early Intervention in Psychosis Services on a Local and National basis.
Julia is a senior clinical psychologist who works in the public mental health sector in Victoria and is a strong advocate for increasing access to psychological therapy for people experiencing psychosis. She spends most of her time delivering group and individual therapy to people experiencing psychosis. Furthermore, through training and supervision, she builds skills within the mental health workforce to deliver psychological interventions for psychosis. Julia has a particular interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for psychosis and is a researcher in this area.
Amanda is a lived experience practitioner, who has worked in the Mental Health sector for over ten years. She has her own business Mental Health Recovery Training and Consultancy and is passionate about change and improvements in services, from her own previous experiences of psychosis. She is a published author and has been recognised for her work in Mental Health Peer Work as a National Peer Champion. Winner of the WA Mental Health Commission 2013 Good Outcomes award for Consumer Engagement and Participation she is also the founder of Recovery Rocks Community Inc; a Peer led and Run recovery community in Perth, WA. She is also an ambassador for the Australian Hearing Voices Network. Her areas of interest are Mental Health Recovery, the Peer Workforce, Lived Experience Education and Training and supporting alternative approaches to supporting people who experience trauma, extreme states, voice hearing, dissociation, and psychosis.
Life-changing experiences of altered states, being compliantly but unwillingly detained in a mental health unit, and supporting a family member (who straddles multiple realities) informs my work as a Lived Experience systems change advocate. I’ve been a Lived Experience practitioner since 2010, working in a variety of roles in regional public mental health, Primary Health Network and academic settings in regional Queensland. I have delivered training in Intentional Peer Support and Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Support. Currently I am working from home part-time and undertaking a PhD.