TWO DAY ONLINE CONFERENCE
Implementing evidence based approaches for a healthier & more productive public service
Conference Date
26th & 27th May 2021 (8:45am-2:10pm AEST)
Location
Online
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Agenda

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Day 1 - Wednesday 26th May, 2021

8:45 (AEST)
Registration opens & technology tips

Log into the conference platform, check your system video and sound, and ensure that you’re ready for the first day. This is also a great time to get in touch with our customer care team to troubleshoot if you’re having any issues.

9:00
Welcome & opening remarks from the Chair
Jo Farmer
Director
Jo Farmer Consulting
Implement best practice workplace mental health strategies
9:10
OPENING KEYNOTE: Mentally Healthy Workplaces – Protect, Respond, Promote
  • Mentally healthy workplaces; key to the mental health reform agenda
  • National overview of activity
  • Public sector snapshot
  • Update on the National Workplace Initiative
Lucinda Brogden AM
Chair & Commissioner
National Mental Health Commission
9:50
Short break
9:55
Evolving & adapting service offerings to best support workplace wellbeing

• Building on learnings from the Productivity Commission’s report to improve service offerings
• Ensuring services are based not just on good intentions but on evidence & best practice
• Embedding proactive approaches to protect employee wellbeing

Stephen Hayward
First Assistant Secretary
Department of Home Affairs
10:35
Short break
10:40
FIRESIDE CHAT: Lived experience and the employer response

• Understanding and valuing the experiences of employees struggling with mental illness
• When an employee is experiencing mental illness, how can employers respond in a way that supports rather than hinders their wellbeing?
• How important is continuity of care and how can employers provide necessary ongoing support?
• What more can be done to address ongoing stigma and other barriers to seeking help?
• How can insights and feedback from lived experience co-design broader mental wellbeing initiatives?

Stephen Hayward
First Assistant Secretary
Department of Home Affairs
11:20
Morning tea break
11:35
Towards 2022: Key priorities for mentally healthy workplaces
  • Evidence-based prevention and early intervention
  • NewAccess workplaces in the Australian Public Service
  • Better-Practice Employee Assistance Program initiative
Dayna Fawkes
Assistant Director Research & Engagement
Comcare
Ngaire Anderson
Director Mental Health & Research
Comcare
12:05
Short break
Understand & manage emerging psychosocial risks
12:10
Assessing psychosocial risk in the public sector
  • Exploring systemic causes of psychosocial risk in the public sector
  • Translating the theory of psychosocial risk into practical steps to protect employee mental health
  • Where are we at and where are we heading? Learnings from the Australian Workplace Barometer Project
Tessa Bailey
Consultant Psychologist, PSCiP & Research Fellow, PSC Observatory
University of South Australia
12:50
Short break
Evaluate & improve the impact of mental health & wellbeing initiatives
12:55
Strengthening health and work outcomes through a commitment to evaluation

• Unpacking the importance of evaluation as an essential part of mental health strategies
• Developing practical, accessible ways to ensure evaluation is not forgotten
• Leveraging data to build credibility and investment in workplace mental health

Jo Farmer
Director
Jo Farmer Consulting
1:35
Lunch break
2:05
CASE STUDY: Evaluation and service evolution in practice

• Developing, implementing, and evaluating a cohesive workplace wellbeing strategy
• Embracing learnings from previous mental health strategies including health outcomes and ROI
• The next phase: Evidence-informed approaches to tackle current challenges

Catherine Carvolth
Director Employee Relations, Safety and Wellbeing
Department of Communities and Justice (NSW)
2:45
KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Shane Fitzsimmons
Commissioner
Resilience NSW
3:25
Closing remarks from the Chair and Close of Day One

Day 2 - Thursday 27th May, 2021

8:45 (AEST)
Registration opens & technology tips

Log into the conference platform, check your system video and sound, and ensure that you’re ready for the first day. This is also a great time to get in touch with our customer care team to troubleshoot if you’re having any issues.

9:00
Welcome & opening remarks from the Chair
Ingrid Ozols
Director
mh@work
Engage leaders & managers to create a culture that supports wellbeing & performance
9:10
Critical success factors for supporting employee mental health

• Exploring practical examples of what works and what doesn’t
• Embedding mental wellbeing as a priority from the top down
• Building awareness and capability of leaders and managers
• Working within the limitations of budget and resources

Lisa Devine
Principal Consultant Wellbeing Programs
Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (SA
9:50
Short break
9:55
KEYNOTE: Mental health is in the spotlight. Now what?

• Taking this once in a generation opportunity to realise our nation’s mental wealth
• Going beyond tokenistic approaches to workplace mental health in the public sector
• Building respectful co-design into our workplace mental health initiatives

Leanne Beagley
Chief Executive Officer
Mental Health Australia
10:35
Interactive Session: Roundtable Discussions

Facilitated in Zoom, this interactive session is an opportunity to meet and collaborate with like minded-peers:

  • Introduce yourselves, with each person sharing highlights and key learnings from the event so far
  • Discuss what your ‘next steps’ might look like following the conference to implement learnings and improve mental health in
  • Take the opportunity to unpack any specific challenges in your organisation, sharing insights and ideas with your peers
11:15
Morning tea break
11:30
Addressing workplace culture to create safer workplaces

• Understanding the links between culture, wellbeing, and performance
• The elephants in the room: challenging stigma and toxic workplace cultures
• Engaging leaders and managers to better support mental health

Carrie Leeson
Chief Executive Officer
Lifeline Canberra
12:10
Short break
12:15
CASE STUDY: Managing performance while supporting mental health

• Developing strategies for performance management that values both health and work outcomes
• Practical steps to support employees with recovery and return to work in the event of mental ill health
• Investing in proactive approaches to enhance holistic wellbeing

Peter Gould
Formerly Health Safety & Wellbeing Specialist, Redland City Council
Manager - WHS: Local Government Work Care, JLT Public Sector
12:55
Lunch break
Unpack the challenges & silverlinings of COVID-19
1:25
Re-creating culture through system psychodynamics

• How the disruption of COVID-19 is bringing consciousness to maladaptive behaviours and carving out a new path
• Building protective practices into workplace culture
• Fostering an authentic working environment that considers the spectrum of mental health

Karen Olver
Principal Advisor Employee Wellbeing
Department of Health (VIC)
2:05
Short break
2:10
PANEL DISCUSSION: Acknowledging the weight of COVID-19 while harnessing the opportunities it’s uncovered

• How have periods of lockdown, increased stress and uncertainty, and the rapid shift to remote working affected the health of public sector workers?
• Why are some workplaces reporting positive increases in culture & wellbeing?
• What are the challenges as workers return to the office?
• What next? If COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work, what does that mean for workplace mental health?

Ingrid Ozols
Director
mh@work
Mary Kary
Work Health & Safety Advisor
Questacon
Karen Olver
Principal Advisor Employee Wellbeing
Department of Health (VIC)
Helen Galindo
Principal Consultant
Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (SA)
2:50
Closing remarks from the Chair and Close of Conference
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Key Speakers

Lucinda Brogden AM
Chair & Commissioner
National Mental Health Commission
Catherine Carvolth
Director Employee Relations, Safety and Wellbeing
Department of Communities and Justice (NSW)
Stephen Hayward
First Assistant Secretary
Department of Home Affairs
Shane Fitzsimmons
Commissioner
Resilience NSW