About our Presenters 2021
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is an adolescent psychologist, a well-respected speaker and one of Australia’s leading authorities on teenage behaviour. In 1985 he founded CanTeen, the acclaimed cancer patients’ support group for teenagers in New Zealand and Australia.
Carr-Gregg has been a regular on Melbourne radio 3AW, the resident parenting expert on Channel 7’s Sunrise and a regular on its Morning Show. He has written several bestselling books on parenting, including Surviving Adolescents, The Princess Bitchface Syndrome 2.0, Beyond Cyberbullying and When to Really Worry. He has also worked with organisations including Reach Out and beyondblue and has been the ‘Agony Uncle’ for Girlfriend magazine. He has won many awards for his work.
Susan is Australia’s leading expert in the area of cyber safety and was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years. She was the first Victoria Police officer appointed to a position involving cybersafety and young people where she established and managed the Victoria Police Cybersafety Project. She has completed advanced training in the USA in 2007, 2012 & 2015 including the Protecting Children Online Certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and has successfully completed the ‘University Certificate in Child Safety on the Internet’ from the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom as well as other international qualifications.
Susan is the commentator of choice for all Australian media and is sought after for her in depth knowledge and balanced commentary. She collaborates with a variety of international bodies and is a member of the Federal Government’s. Online Safety Consultative Working Group. Susan provides regular pro bono advice and assistance to Australian families and schools in relation to online issues and she is often a conduit between a victim of online abuse (and their families) and Law Enforcement to ensure criminal activity is reported and investigated.
Susan works with elite sports such as the AFL, Cricket Australia, Netball Vic as well as Government agencies, corporations and both medical and mental health clinicians. She also works closely with the main social media sites and is listed on the newly launched Facebook safety resource centre as a trusted expert in the field. Susan is a published author, her book, “Sexts Texts and Selfies” (Penguin) is a definitive online safety resource for all those who work with young people.
Michelle Mitchell is an award-winning speaker, and bestselling parenting author. She has been termed ‘the teenage expert’ by the media and is sought after for her compassionate and grounded advice for parenting tweens and teens. Michelle started her career as a teacher, but soon discovered a special interest in wellbeing. She left teaching in 2000 and founded Youth Excel, a ‘boutique’ health promotion charity which delivered tailor made life skills programs and psychological services to thousands of young people and their families each year. Today she uses her experience to write and speak in schools, community events and through media.
Paul Dillon has been working in the area of drug education for more than 25 years. Through his own business, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) he has been contracted by many agencies and organisations across the country to give regular updates on current drug trends within the community. He continues to work with many school communities across the country to ensure that they have access to good quality information and best practice drug education.
He has worked extensively with a range of sporting organisations including the Australian Cricketers Association, the Rugby Union Players Association and the Football Federation of Australia to provide training workshops to elite athletes on a range of alcohol and other drug issues. In 2009 his best-selling book for parents was published titled ‘Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs‘ and has since been released internationally, being translated into a number of languages. With a broad knowledge of a range of content areas, Paul regularly provides media comment and is regarded as a key social commentator in Australia, appearing on a wide range of television programs including Sunrise, TODAY and The Project discussing topical issues. Paul also had a regular spot on a national radio program on Triple J for seven years where he dealt with current youth drug issues. Paul also has a blog where he discusses topical issues of the day, as well as addressing some of the questions and queries he is regularly asked by those attending his presentations.
Sharon Witt has been immersed in teen world for three decades in her role as a secondary teacher, author and presenter to adolescents and their parents around the country.
She is a regular media commentator on issues impacting young people, parenting and educational issues and regularly appears on Channel Nine’s Today Extra. She also writes for a number of publications. Sharon is the author of over 18 books written for young people to help guide them through many of the issues they face in early years, including the best-selling Teen Talk and Girlwise and Wiseguys series.
She is also the founder and host of the Resilient Kids Conference, a one-day conference aimed at equipping parents, educators and carers in building resilience in their children and teenagers.
Ebony Birch-Hanger is a well-known speaker in the education and advocacy fields in addition to consulting at the school, local council and government levels. She is a qualified Special Education Teacher and Teacher of the Deaf who has worked primarily as a Neurodevelopmental Therapist, Educational Consultant and Music Specialist, supporting individuals with a variety of additional needs and medical conditions, in both school and home settings.
With more than a decade of professional experience in education and neurological systems, Ebony provides deep and compassionate knowledge of this growing area. Ebony is a notable speaker at the International level and has also presented at several National and State conferences in Australia. She regularly presents teacher Professional Development and parent workshops on topics related to neurological diversity.
Ebony is committed to ensuring that all children and adults with diverse neurological needs grow up and live in a safe environment with the support and skills they need to succeed in life.