Some words from the SAHMRI Leadership
Mr Raymond Spencer
As South Australia adjusts to the loss of the auto-industry, we are determined to build resilience in our population. The resilience skills not only protect against mental illness, but also build individuals' capacity to innovate, enter new employment and to succeed in a dynamic economic environment.
Professor Steve Wesselingh
Having the Centre for Wellbeing and Resilience inside the Mind and Brain theme at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute made sense to me. The mission of SAHMRI is to transform research into health. The Wellbeing and Resilience Centre is implementing a strategy to take the latest research in positive psychology to the broad community in a bold public health approach to building positive mental health. The opportunities to generate new research are very exciting.
Gabrielle Kelly, Director
Gabrielle Kelly is the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre's inaugural Director. Film-maker, digital media executive, social entrepreneur and strategist, she has been working on human behaviour and systems change in a range of settings.
She was Senior Vice President of the New York-based digital start up Health Accord, where she developed health and wellbeing products to self-directed health consumers, before being appointed as Director of the ground-breaking Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program. The Adelaide Thinkers Program was an internationally respected innovation incubator, which resulted in significant advances in city design, advanced manufacturing, early childhood education, and positive psychology within South Australia.
Gabrielle's work at 'Thinkers' laid the groundwork for what was to become the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, when she commissioned and led the Professor Martin Seligman residency in South Australia, attracting a range of high-profile partners to explore the value of positive psychology in building mental wellbeing and resilience and reducing mental illness at a societal level.
Linda Black, General Manager
Ms Black's expertise as a Psychologist, Executive Manager and Strategy Consultant has been built through her work in the national public sector, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector. As the National Chief Psychologist in one of the largest national public service departments in Australia, she was the lead developer of a national road-map for the delivery of Australia-wide psychological services. This blueprint was adopted as the national psycho-social support service framework within the federated social care system.
As founding CEO of a federated medical specialist training organisation for General Practitioners, she created a state-wide, geographically dispersed education, training and professional development network in primary health care. Ms Black returned to clinical work in 2012, where as a co-principal with medical colleagues, she started up an integrated mental and physical health care practice focused on best practice care for older citizens in the community. While residing in London from 2014-2016, she had the opportunity to combine her psychology, management and research interests in an international context for King’s Health Partners; an Academic Health Science Centre in London.
Ms Black’s current role is General Manager, which combines areas of expertise, in psychology, translation research and enabling systemic change, this time in the prevention space focusing on psychological health and wellbeing.
David Kelly, Project Lead
David Kelly is an experienced strategist and program planner with a 30-year commitment to working with disempowered communities. In the non-government sector, in local and state government and in his own business, he has achieved national recognition for creativity and innovation in community development and aged care.
His success is based on the deeply held belief that communities change for the better when citizens of all ages are active and creative participants in community development processes rather than passive consumers of services.
David is the principal of David Kelly and Associates – a company he established in 2002 with specialisations in program planning, strategy and organisational development in the ageing and community sectors. He completed a two-year term term as deputy CEO of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation before joining the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre to lead the development of Ageing, Youth and Community projects.
Shannon Fewings-Hall, Senior Project Coordinator
Shannon Fewings-Hall is a registered psychologist, with a Master of Organisational Psychology from Monash University. Shannon has worked with organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit sector over the past 15 years, helping them design and implement organisational development initiatives designed to build employee capability and organisational performance.
An experienced project management professional, Shannon is committed to translating evidence-based research into practical approaches that can be applied at both the individual and organisation level. She is also a qualified executive coach and enjoys working with others to realise their personal and professional wellbeing goals.
Amanda Schubert, Senior Project Coordinator
After completing a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Corporate Finance) at the University of Adelaide, Amanda started her career in Corporate Tax at a Big 4 Professional Services firm here in Adelaide in 2012. After two years she relocated to London where she worked as an International Tax Manager, primarily in the Tech and Media space. During this time, the importance of one’s own wellbeing and resilience became evident to Amanda, as did the benefits of physical fitness, which led her to leave the Big 4 environment and qualify as a Personal Trainer in 2017.
With an understanding of the relationship between physical and mental health, as well as an eagerness to put her corporate experience to good use, Amanda joined the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre in 2018 as a Senior Project Coordinator.
Deepu (Dev) Vasumathy, Project Coordinator
Dev brings over 10 years of experience in areas of allied health and wellbeing, working as a consultant and counsellor for organisations within Australia and overseas. In his previous roles, Dev had established a wellness centre, worked with not-for-profit sectors providing management oversight for programs such as Building Family Opportunities, Family Mental Health Support, Refugee services and Complex case support for marginalised clients including refugees and asylum seekers.
Dev has completed his Masters in Psychology from Madras University (India), Post Graduate specialisation in Yoga and Rehabilitation and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social work (Flinders University). While not coordinating projects at Wellbeing and Resilience centre, Dev conducts yoga, meditation classes and is passionate about combining the eastern approaches of meditation, yoga with western positive psychology principles in creating a holistic mental health and wellbeing approach.
Jorja Bentley, Project Coordinator (Business)
Jorja Bentley graduated a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from the University of South Australia in 2017, with her first class thesis entitled ‘Positive Psychology: Resilience Training and the Measurement of Wellbeing’. Throughout her degree, Jorja spent six months studying at Lancaster University in Northern England focusing on the theories of emotion and attachment, volunteered at an alcohol and other drug unit, where she contributed to the clean needle program, and also worked with vulnerable children at a youth support agency.
Jorja has a strong interest in and passion for communicating the science of positive psychology and wellbeing, and believes that engaging with such practices is the key to truly living your best life. Jorja is grateful to have joined the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI in early 2018, working as a Project Coordinator (Business).
Joep van Agteren, Research Lead
Mr van Agteren has completed a Master of Science in Psychology at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He has extensive experience in project management, with some of his early work focusing on the implementation of European human resources research standards within his home university's research policy.
After moving to Adelaide, Mr van Agteren worked as a medical researcher for SA Health and now holds a senior research and project management role for the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI, and is a Flinders University Affiliate. He is a strong advocate of the use of evidence-based frameworks and behavioural change taxonomies to guide intervention design, which forms the cornerstone of his work on designing new, and improving existing, interventions to increase wellbeing and resilience.
He has expertise and a keen interest in e-health and the scalable role of technology in the future of healthcare, mental health and wellbeing.
Matthew Iasiello, Project Coordinator and PhD Candidate
Matthew Iasiello completed a Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Adelaide in 2011. After a few years establishing a small business, Matthew completed his Honours in Health Science in 2014, working at the Basil Hetzel Institute with the Breast Cancer Research Unit.
Matthew then joined the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Mind and Brain theme as a research assistant, before joining the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre as a project co-ordinator. Matthew’s work at SAHMRI is primarily focused on the Resilient Futures project, a $1.3 million philanthropically funded initiative to measure and build the wellbeing of 850 disengaged young people from the most disadvantaged areas of South Australia.
Laura Lo, Research Assistant
Laura has completed a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Adelaide with First Class Honours, and based her thesis around the impact of makeup on human face matching performance. Whilst undertaking her degree, Laura also completed an intensive summer course on Positive Psychology at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). This further intrigued her interests in positive psychology.
Currently, Laura is working as a Research Assistant at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and in her free time has extensive interests in travelling and food blogging.
Belinda Hall, Training Coordinator
Belinda has extensive experience in administration and project management within both the public and private sectors. After an early career in the public service, Belinda spent 10 years in arts administration, working on large scale festivals and events in Australia, Canada, UK and the Philippines.
In 2016 Belinda joined the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre as EA to the Director and has since moved into the training team. In the position of Training Coordinator Belinda provides project and logistics support to the Resilience Skills trainers and participants. Belinda has recently started graduate studies in International Development and is looking forward to exploring her interest in the linkages between wellbeing, development and multidimensional poverty.
Bek Smith, Lead Trainer
Bek’s life and career have centred around optimising wellbeing – for herself, other individuals and the community as a whole.
Originally a research scientist, Bek’s first line of work was based in psychology, studying ways of improving cross-cultural communication for the Australian armed forces. She then went on to focus on the field of physiology, before moving on to clinical practice via a Graduate Entry Master of Physiotherapy.
Alongside her physiotherapy work, Bek also qualified as a Pilates and fitness instructor, and is sponsored by Reebok in her role as national fitness presenter for Les Mills Asia Pacific. She is a certified Wellness Coach with Wellness Coaching Australia, and a certified Personal Resilience Coach with the HeartMath Institute.
Most recently Bek completed a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing which led her towards her current role as Lead Trainer for SAHMRI’s Wellbeing and Resilience Centre. She is committed to the vision of developing South Australia as the State of Wellbeing, and she welcomes you into that vision through her belief that every individual can and does make a difference.
Matt Cesaro, Strategic Training Lead
Matt works with individuals and organisations as a coach and facilitator with The Change Department. Prior to starting his own business, Matt worked in a number of positions in State Government with SA Health for over 21 years in many corporate leadership and change roles focused on organisational and systems reforms. Matt is passionate about developing existing and aspiring leaders, helping them to build confidence, find their passions and increase their impact through leadership development, coaching and mentoring conversations.
Matt is a qualified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coach and a practitioner of the Myer Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI). As a trainer with the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, he brings his corporate experience and his coaching and facilitation to support individuals to create their own powerful connections with the resilience skills that they can apply immediately into their lives.
Kim Seow, Trainer and Project Coordinator
Kim is on a mission to make yoga and resilience skills accessible to teenagers. When she isn’t teaching Resilience Skills with the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, Kim teaches yoga at schools through her business, WaterbearYoga – Yoga for Resilience.
Along with daily yoga practice, Resilience Skills have helped her cope with family bereavement, the daily stresses of the corporate world and balancing her work and family life. She is passionate about sharing these skills to help build a flourishing community.
Kim joined the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre Training Team in May 2016. She is a yoga teacher (Barkan Method Hot Yoga Level 1, 2 and 3) and an Australian Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of corporate experience. Kim is also a Mental Health First Aider.
Our Tech Team: Dan Harris, Mike Burgess and Luca Gnezda (L - R)
The WRC Tech Platform is a globally scalable, secure, web portal which will engage deeply with the members of the public, organisations, wellbeing providers and societal groups. It will offer a range of online wellbeing solutions, products and services suitable to different cohorts across the life course. Services will include wellbeing content, training, measurement, analytics and insight, all underpinned by high quality academic research and ethics approved data collection.
Row 1 (front): Supriya Ghorpade, Bek Smith, David Kelly. Row 2: Kim Seow, Joep van Agteren, Linda Black, Laura Lo, Dev Vasumathy, Sonia Harvey. Row 3: Jon Bartholomaeus, Monique Newberry, Mathew Iasiello, Dan Harris, Amanda Shubert, Luca Gnezda. Row 4 (back): Shannon Fewings-Hall, Jorja Bentley, Matt Cesaro, Belinda Hall, Mike Burgess.