September 12, 2017

Melbourne – Speakers

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists. Working in private practice in Melbourne, he sits on the Board of the Australian Psychological Society, the Family Peace Foundation, Project ROCKIT and Smiling Mind, as well as being a Community Ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Postvention Australia, and Playgroup Victoria. He founded the charity CanTeen, 31 years ago and was the first psychologist featured on This is Your Life. He has been resident psychologist on Channel 7’s Sunrise for 11 years as well as Psychologist for the top rating Morning Show with Neil Mitchell on Fairfax Radio 3AW. He is a special patron of the Hawthorn Football Club. He is married to Therese and has 2 sons.

Melinda Tankard Reist

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is author/editor of five books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009), now in its 9th printing, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (Spinifex Press, 2011, co-edited with Dr Abigail Bray) and her new release (Spinifex Press, co-edited with Dr Caroline Norma) Prostitution Narratives: Stories of survival in the sex trade.

A newspaper columnist, Melinda is a regular guest on Channel 7’s Sunrise and Morning Show, and has also appeared on ABC Q&A and The Gruen Sessions as well as many other TV and radio programs. Melinda is co-founder of the grassroots campaigning movement, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, exposing corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services. An ambassador for World Vision Australia, Compassion Australia and the Raise Foundation, Melinda is named in the Who’s Who of Australian Women and the World Who’s Who of Women.

Sharon Witt

Sharon Witt has been a secondary teacher for over 23 years, as well as a media commentator on issues impacting young people, parenting and educational topics. She appears in print and television media as well as having two weekly parenting segments on radio in Melbourne and the Gold Coast. She is regularly called upon by journalists in relation to parenting and education topics. Sharon also writes for a range of publications including the ‘Parenting Ideas’ magazine.

Sharon is the author of 13 books written for young people to help guide them through many of the issues they face in early years and help them build resilience. Her books include the best selling Teen Talk, Girlwise and Wiseguys series.

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson is the Founder and Director of Spectrum Journeys Inc, a not for profit Autism service that equips and empowers families, educators and future professionals as they support children on the Autism Spectrum to flourish.  Spectrum Journeys Inc is a volunteer based positive and practical service that provides low cost workshops across Melbourne with leading professionals, Blessing Bags to mums/carers of children on the Spectrum, an App to help support families through diagnosis, therapy and funding applications, a newly released book on Sensory Defensiveness by team member Hannah Gamble and innovative projects to encourage the community to embrace difference. Kate is married to Joel and together they have 4 amazing children, with their eldest on the Autism Spectrum.  Kate is passionate about seeing families supported, educators equipped and for children on the Autism Spectrum to see themselves as valuable and wonderful!

Michelle Mitchell

Michelle Mitchell is a registered teacher and the founder of Youth Excel, a charity dedicated to helping young people make positive life choices during difficult times. Her passion for people in need, combined with her lifelong interest in life skills education has led her to pioneer this work, which is now recognised throughout Australia. Michelle’s parenting book “What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents” has been highly acclaimed by The Today Show, Channel Ten Morning News, Women’s Weekly, Courier Mail and ABC radio. Michelle speaks on a broad range of topics to both educational, church and community groups each year.  Youth Excel’s work is constantly expanding with the intention of impacting more people and investing into more lives. Michelle is married to husband Doc Mitchell and has teenage children, Benjamin and Matthew.  She lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Hugh Van Cuylenburg

Hugh has been working in education for over 13 years. Starting out as a primary school teacher, he then moved into a position working in a secondary setting with disengaged adolescents. 

The highlight of his teaching career was the year he spent in the far north of India volunteering and living at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. It was here that he discovered resilience in its purest form.
Inspired by this experience Hugh returned to Melbourne and commenced working on his own programs for schools. ‘The Resilience Project’ was born. 

Since completing his post-graduate studies in mental health and resilience, Hugh has developed and facilitated programs for over 300 schools Australia wide. 

In 2015, the National Rugby League asked Hugh to design and implement a program for every club in the competition. Off the back of the success of the NRL program, Cricket Australia were quick to follow for all their professional sides. Hugh has also worked closely with the Australian Netball team and 11 of the AFL sides.