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To view TheMHS Conference 2023 handbook online click here.

Dainius Puras
Dainius Pūras is  professor of child psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Since 2018 he is  director of the Human rights monitoring institute – NGO based in Lithuania. Among positions he was holding, Dainius Pūras was  President of Lithuanian Psychiatric Association, Dean of Medical Faculty of Vilnius University, President of Baltic Association for Rehabilitation. During the years 2007-2011 Dainius Pūras was a member of the UN Committee on the rights of the child.  During the years 2014 – 2020 he was serving as a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health.  
Prof. Pūras has been and remains actively involved in national and international activities in the field of developing and implementing evidence-based and human rights based health-related policies and services, with special focus on children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health conditions and other groups in vulnerable situations, as well as in issues related to promotion of mental health and prevention of all forms of violence.  His main interest is management of change in the field of health-related services regionally and globally, with main focus on operationalization of human rights based approach through effective policies and services.

Mary O’Hagan was a key initiator of the psychiatric survivor movement in New Zealand in the late 1980s and was the first chairperson of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry between 1991 and 1995. She has been an advisor to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Mary was a full-time Mental Health Commissioner in New Zealand between 2000 and 2007. Mary established the international social enterprise PeerZone which provides peer support and resources for people with mental distress. She has written an award-winning memoir called ‘Madness Made Me’ and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015. Mary is currently Executive Director Lived Experience in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division at the Department of Health in Victoria. All Mary’s work has been driven by her quest for social justice for one of the most marginalised groups in our communities.



Professor Tom Calma AO is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan (Koong ara kan) tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja (Ee wad ja) tribal group whose traditional lands are south west of Darwin and on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for over 45 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, mental health, suicide prevention, all levels of education, culture and language, justice reinvestment, research, reconciliation and economic development. He is an Aboriginal Australian human rights and social justice campaigner. He is the sixth chancellor of the University of Canberra, a post held since January 2014, after two years as deputy chancellor.

In his work with the Australian Human Rights Commission, he has served as both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, and the Race Discrimination Commissioner. His work on the 2005 Social Justice Report, which focused on Indigenous health inequality, was the catalyst for the Close the Gap campaign. He leads the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program and has been the co-chair of Reconciliation Australia for over a decade.

In 2021, Tom was co-chair of the Senior Advisory Group responsible for developing the Final Report on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, and he continues to play an important leadership role with this initiative. As a member of the Council of Elders, he helps ensure older Australians’ views about ageing and aged care are heard by the Australian Government.

The annual Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference is held in a different city around Australia and New Zealand each year and attracts over 1,000 attendees annually. TheMHS Conference is strongly interdisciplinary and multisectoral – making TheMHS Conference the place to be for networking in the mental health sector. Our delegates come from a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds including clinicians, managers, consumers, carers, researchers, educators and policy makers.
We know that it is important to hear not just from researchers and clinicians, but also from consumers, carers and service managers. Our program reflects the diversity of the mental health sector and our keynotes are selected to bring the very best and latest insights into issues of mental health and wellbeing.




c. 2023 TheMHS Learning Network Inc. Authorised by L. Dunbar, TheMHS Learning Inc., Balmain, NSW