Date: 22 February 2018

Theme: Reducing youth suicide

Facilitator: Ms Zoe Rathus AM from the Griffith University School of Law


Panel Members:

Ms Zoe Rathus AM

Ms Zoe Rathus AM is a senior lecturer in law and Director of the Clinical Education Program at Griffith University Law School.  She teaches family law and ethics and professional responsibility as well as clinical courses.  Her research focuses on the family law system with an emphasis on family violence, women and children. She has published in a range of high quality journals and spoken at national and international conferences.  Zoe worked in private practice from 1981 until becoming coordinator of the Women’s Legal Service in 1989.  She worked there until 2004, engaging in extensive law reform activities for women.  She worked in South Africa on gender issues between 1995 and 1998 and has served on a number of Boards and committees.  She is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Queensland Families and Children’s Commission. Zoe was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011 for her services to women, the law, Indigenous peoples and education.


Associate Professor James Scott

Associate Professor James Scott is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University Of Queensland Faulty of Medicine and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Metro North Mental Health Service. James has worked extensively as a psychiatrist in child and youth mental health community and inpatient services. He is an NHMRC Practitioner fellow and is the director of a programme of research aiming to prevent mental illness in children and youth.

Associate Professor James Scott's presentation is titled Child and adolescent suicides in Queensland between 2004-2015.

Associate Professor James Scott's presentation (PPTX, 1.72MB)

Associate Professor James Scott's presentation (PDF, 1.45MB)

Research summary titled Suicide in children and adolescents in Queensland 2004-2015 (PDF, 194KB)

Research summary titled Suicide in children and adolescents in Queensland 2004-2015  (DOCX, 307KB)

Dr Samantha Batchelor

Dr Samantha Batchelor is a Senior Researcher at yourtown where she leads research, evaluation and advocacy projects that contribute to the development and enhancement of yourtown services, and give voice to young people. Sam has fifteen years’ experience in applied research and program evaluation and is passionate about using her work to enhance service delivery and support social justice outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families.

Dr Samantha Batchelor's presentation is titled Listen, don’t judge, care more: What children and young people want when feeling suicidal.

Dr Samantha Batchelor's presentation (PPSX, 2.11MB) 

Dr Samantha Batchelor's presentation (PDF, 2.69MB)

Research summary titled Preventing youth suicide: The voice of children and young people (PDF, 356KB)

Research summary titled Preventing youth suicide: The voice of children and young people (DOCX, 310KB)

Ms Leda Barnett

Ms Leda Barnett has researched and published articles on Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous women with disabilities, chronic disease management in Australian Aboriginal communities and suicide.  Leda's many years of experience in Indigenous research, and working as a Psychologist in a clinical capacity, have allowed her to explore the meaning of holistic health in Australian Aboriginal culture and its relationship with the Western medical system.

As a member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists' Association (AIPA) Leda co-authored AIPA's submission to the Senate Affairs Committee Inquiry Into Suicide in Australia and appeared before the Senate in 2010.

Currently Leda is a Research Higher Degree Candidate at Griffith University - researching First Australian holistic health with a suicide prevention agenda.

Ms Leda Barnett's presentation is titled The Life Promotion Project: A Study of First Australian Youth Suicides.

Ms Leda Barnett's presentation (PPTX, 3.23MB)

Ms Leda Barnett's presentation (PDF, 1.72MB)

Research summary titled The life promotion project: An Indigenous community response to suicides in Mackay (PDF, 432KB)

Research summary titled The life promotion project: An Indigenous community response to suicides in Mackay (DOCX, 308KB)

Panel Members

Acting Assistant Deputy Director-General Hayley Stevenson 

Acting Assistant Deputy Director-General Hayley Stevenson of the Department of Education, previously, Executive Director for Student Protection and Wellbeing. Hayley leads the development and implementation of statewide policy in relation to Child Safety, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, and Student Learning and Wellbeing.

Hayley started her career working in a clinical setting supporting adolescents with mental health concerns before joining a national Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy focusing on early intervention and building the resilience of young people. This lead Hayley to the Education sector where she has worked since 2002. Hayley has experience working across a range of health and wellbeing policy areas impacting children, young people and their families and is deeply committed to improving the life outcomes of every child.

Mr Mark Davis

Mr Mark Davis is the Operations Manager with Roses in the Ocean, a leading lived experience organisation that aims to change the way suicide is spoken about, understood and prevented, by empowering the voice of lived experience to inform, enhance and influence all aspects of suicide prevention.  He is responsible for leading their National Mentoring Program, is a member of the Roses in the Ocean ‘Voices of In-Sight’ Speakers Hub, and a co-facilitator.

Mark also sits on the Program Committee for SuperFriend as the Lived Experience representative. SuperFriend partners with superannuation funds and group life insurers (all profit to member) as a national mental health foundation focused on creating positive, healthy and safe working environments where every employee can be well and thrive. 

Mark has a lived experience of suicide through the death of his partner 12 years ago as well as his own suicidality. This experience has shaped Mark’s desire to prevent as many people as he can from experiencing what he went through.

Mark presented his story at the National conference on Suicide Prevention Conference in Hobart this 2015.

Mark has formal qualifications in Risk and Business Management and is a qualified Internal Quality Systems Auditor.  He has held senior management roles in a range of organisations spanning across different industries from Defence, Casinos, Federal/State and Local Government, Health and Hospitality. Mark now runs a consultancy on Risk Governance and Assurance.

Ms Gwenn Murray 

Ms Gwenn Murray has worked in child protection and youth justice for over 25 years.  She has been involved in advocacy, policy, practice and law reform relating to children and vulnerable families. 

She was the Director of the Youth Advocacy Centre in Brisbane and the Chair of the National Children's and Youth Law Centre in Sydney. She has tutored at the University of Queensland. 

Gwenn has worked as a consultant to government, community organisations and universities undertaking complex case reviews, large systems reviews and evaluations.  She has developed models of service delivery and programs in early intervention in child protection and also in youth justice. Her work has contributed to improvements in information sharing about vulnerable children by government agencies and in the Family and Children’s Courts.  Her recent work has included the development of an early intervention model of legal service delivery for Legal Aid Qld where legal assistance is provided to vulnerable and marginalised parents.

Gwenn oversaw the Audit of foster carers in Qld, and with her team, received a child protection award for this work …in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the prevention of child harm.  She also undertook a similar Audit in the Australian Capital Territory.

She has conducted many child death reviews in Queensland and interstate. She is a member of the Qld Child Death Review Panels. 

Gwenn has been a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and she was recently appointed as a Member of the Qld Civil and Administrative Review Tribunal. Gwenn recently undertook a research project for the QFCC that reviewed the capacity of the Qld Child Death Register to collect and provide information on youth suicide to identify how existing data and information exchanges can better contribute to youth suicide prevention and research.  

The overall objective of the project was to ensure research and prevention experts are receiving the data and information they require, in a timely way, to provide the best possible support for their youth suicide prevention initiatives.

Photos from Research in the Round





If you or someone you know is in need of crisis or suicide prevention support, please call the numbers below or visit

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636

Headspace – 1800 650 890