Join Swinburne’s Professor Susan Rossell, Professor James Ogloff AM, Dr Michelle Lim and Associate Professor Neil Thomas, to explore what is wrong with our system, the endemic problem of loneliness and the role Swinburne is playing in response.

This year, Swinburne will honour 10 years of partnership and investment from the Dicker family to the Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation and reflect on the important outcomes achieved for mental health.

Across the globe, COVID-19 and its extended lockdowns are having a profound impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Many of us are experiencing heightened symptoms of mental ill-health, and the marginalised within our community are becoming increasingly vulnerable. We now begin to wonder, what are the long-term effects of isolation periods, home-schooling, and separation from our loved ones?

Record numbers of Australians are attempting to access support. However, as recently reported in the March 2021 Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, our support system is broken and unable to meet our growing needs.

Against this backdrop, it is timely to explore what role a university like Swinburne can play. As a university of technology, we can push the boundaries, innovating new strategies to help diagnose, treat, and prevent neurological and physiological disorders. We must create new technologies to support our country’s vast mental health needs and train a workforce with the skills and compassion to respond.

Keynote speakers

Professor Susan Rossell


Cognitive neuropsychologist and Professorial Research Fellow at Swinburne’s Centre for Mental Health. Professor Susan Rossell holds additional adjunct positions at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre and St Vincent's Health.

Susan will give an overview of the world-class mental health research at Swinburne, focusing on some of the novel studies and work during COVID-19 by our leading mental health researchers.

Dr Michelle Lim

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and leading the Social Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) Laboratory. Dr Michelle Lim is a registered clinical psychologist and a board-approved supervisor for the Psychology Board of Australia.

Michelle will speak about her study into loneliness, and the critical need to address this following from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associate Professor Neil Thomas

Associate Professor Neil Thomas is Deputy Director of the Centre for Mental Health and its lead for treatment research. Neil is also Director of the National eTherapy Centre, Director of the Voices Clinic, and an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Alfred Health.

Neil will speak on the importance of flexible delivery of psychological interventions using telehealth and other digital technologies.

Professor James Ogloff AM

Professor James R. P. Ogloff AM is the University Distinguished Professor of Forensic Behavioural Science and Director of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne.

Professor Ogloff will discuss the Royal Commission’s recommendations into Victoria’s mental health system, including work force shortages.

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