Gabrielle Kelly, Director
Gabrielle Kelly is the founding Director of SAHMRI’s Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and Director of its Health and Wellbeing program.
Gabrielle has been working on human behaviour and systems change for several decades, as an international film-maker, digital media executive, social entrepreneur and strategist. She is a member of the Dubai World Government Summit’s committee investigating the implementation of Wellbeing as an enabler of Sustainable Development Goals. She also sits on the board of the Australian National Development Index (ANDI).
She was Senior Vice President of the New York-based digital start up Health Accord, where she developed health and wellbeing products for self-directed health consumers, before being appointed as Director of the ground-breaking Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program. The Thinkers program is an internationally respected innovation incubator, which resulted in significant systematic advances in city design, advanced manufacturing, early childhood education, ageing and positive psychology in South Australia.
It was Gabrielle’s work on this program that laid the groundwork for the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre. She commissioned and led the residency of Professor Martin Seligman in South Australia, attracting a range of high-profile partners to explore the importance of positive psychology in building psychological wellbeing and resilience and reducing mental illness at a societal level.
She was an inaugural Board Member of the Australian Film Finance Corporation and founded the on-going Australian International Documentary Conference.
Joep van Agteren, Research Lead
Joep has completed a Master of Science in Psychology at Maastricht University (The Netherlands). He performed project management and research roles for universities and the public health sector, and has been active in the health start-up scene, before joining the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre.
He is currently the centre's Research Lead, where he oversees all measurement and evaluation projects and studies, and holds an affiliate research position at Flinders University. In this capacity he has been influential in shaping the centre's new technology platform, its measurement methods and the centre's future intervention offerings.
Joep is a strong advocate of the use of evidence-based frameworks and behavioural change taxonomies to guide intervention design. This, combined with his expertise in evidence synthesis, forms the cornerstone of his work on designing new, and improving existing, interventions to increase mental health and wellbeing.
Kim Seow, Projects Lead
Kim Seow, the Projects Lead for the centre, has over 25 years of experience in the corporate world. With original qualifications as a Chartered Accountant, her global career has enabled her to work in multi-national corporations such as EDS (Australia), as a Manager in the United Kingdom, and most recently with KPMG back in Australia.
Soon after deciding to change her career path, Kim joined the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre in February 2016, gaining accreditation as a Master Trainer in the Resilience Skills Training Program, in October of 2017. An advocate of continuous learning, Kim is also currently undertaking the training required to gain her qualification as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Trainer.
In her role, Kim combines her accomplished project coordination and management skillset, gained as part of her previous career in the corporate world, with her extensive training expertise, to efficiently manage and implement the wellbeing translation projects that the centre runs.
Rebekah 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.
Marissa Carey, Project Co-ordinator
Marissa joined the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre in February 2017 following her relocation from New South Wales, where she worked as a Project Officer and Research Assistant at the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine and Public Health and the School of Psychology.
Marissa is responsible for the daily co-ordination of several wellbeing projects in organisations across the public and private sector. Before joining the centre, Marissa was involved in the design, implementation and management of several research projects centred on stress, mental health, addiction and smoking cessation.
Matthew Iasiello, Researcher & PhD Student
Matthew Iasiello is a researcher who has worked on large-scale, complex, translational positive mental health projects for the past 3 years at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), before starting his part time PhD.
Most recently, Matthew was instrumental in completing a 3-year $1.3 million project at SAHMRI designed to deliver resilience skills to 1,400+ at-risk young people from the most disadvantaged areas of South Australia. This project enabled reorientation of crucial services for these young people towards building wellbeing. It has attracted national and international attention (winning a Good Design Australia Award for Social Innovation), and has been presented at local and international academic conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.
Matthew's research focuses on understanding the relationship between mental illness and mental health, and investigating how this understanding could transform the way that interventions are designed to promote mental health and prevent and treat mental illness. He has a strong focus on conducting translational research that converts scientific knowledge into real world applications.
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 and wellbeing in general.
Laura works as a Research Assistant at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, where she contributes to measurement and evaluation of our wellbeing projects.In her free time she has extensive interests in travelling and food blogging.
Jonathan Bartholomaeus, Research Assistant & PhD Student
Jonathan is currently working as a Research Assistant with the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and undertaking his doctoral studies with the University of Adelaide. His current research focuses on the links between beliefs, behaviours, and wellbeing, the validation of wellbeing measures, and the efficacy of wellbeing interventions.
Jonathan is skilled in a variety of data handling and statistical analysis techniques and is proficient in the use of R and SPSS statistical software. His broader research interests centre on the influence of beliefs on behaviour and how this interaction might promote adaptive human qualities like resilience and optimism.
Jonathan has been published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, the International Journal of Wellbeing, and the Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, and has provided peer-review for the International Journal of Wellbeing.
Emma Steains, Research Assistant
Emma completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Sociology at The University of Melbourne, where she became interested in positive psychology and a holistic approach to wellbeing. After a year of travel in Central and South America, Emma returned to Australia to begin Honours at the University of Adelaide in 2019. Her Honours thesis topic is on Self-Presentation on Instagram and seeks to explore the reasons people invest time and effort into presenting well online. Emma is a Research Assistant with the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre and assists with research projects and writes articles about various aspects of wellbeing for the “Complete Mental Health” platform.
Mike Musker, Senior Research Fellow
Mike is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Mental Health and Wellbeing program at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute and has over 30 years clinical practice experience in mental health. He was the Advanced Clinical Services Coordinator for the South Australian Forensic Mental Health Service for 14 years, following a number of leadership positions in the UK for 16 years. Mike was the winner of the South Australian Statewide Nurse Excellence Awards 2013.
He completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide in 2013, awarded the Bellberry Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Mind & Brain Theme. His PhD research training focused on Perpetrator Induced Traumatic Stress (PITS). Mike has a master’s degree in health Promotion Research and Policy Change and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. He is researching mental health and wellbeing, bullying, trauma, depression, weight gain, cognitive behavioural therapy, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic myeloid leukaemia. Mike facilitates the regular meetings of the Consumer (Lived Experience) and Carer Research Consultation Group.
Alexandra James, EA/Operations
Alexandra James brings industry experience and professional qualifications to the team. Working with not-for-profits, registered training organisations and diverse sectors, the key focus for Alexandra is people.
Alexandra’s background in finance and administration, training, marketing, sales and event management are all focused on integrating systems and people. Along with her own small businesses, Alexandra also has qualifications in Business, Leadership, HR, Project Management and Training.
Being active in community fundraising, she’s leading a project to provide health education for every Year 6 student in the City of Campbelltown.
With a growth mindset and a willingness to support great leadership, Alexandra is excited to be working with all areas of the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre within SAHMRI to create synergy and support the end goal – wellbeing and resilience at scale.
Karen Reilly, Administration Officer/Training Co-ordinator
Karen Reilly is an administration professional having worked in the corporate world for the past 10 years within Tertiary Education & Corporate Advisory industries. Along with her Diploma of Advertising & Graphic Design and passion for mental health and wellbeing, she is combining her talents to contribute to the great work accomplished by the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre.
Karen is responsible for co-ordinating training events, marketing and communication and providing administration support to the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre team.
Helen Smith, OD Advisor/Consultant
Dr Helen Smith is an Organisational Psychologist of some 30 years who has assisted both organisations and individuals to manage significant change.
Helen has worked across a number of industries during her career including Oil and Gas, FMCG, Professional Consulting and Mining and Resources prior to joining SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre in March 2019.
Helen has an EMBA through Mt Eliza and a PhD through the University of South Australia specialising in Business and Organisational Change Management.
Her approach to her work is people centric and evidence based.
Matt Cesaro, Trainer
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.
The Technology 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.