Hosted by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, this conference is designed for all professionals working on the frontline of disaster and emergency management – from paramedics, police and firefighters, through to defence force workers and volunteers.

By providing a platform for all opinions, experiences and insights to be heard, we aim to break the stigma of mental health treatment, support and advocacy for our frontline workers.


Join us in uniting to break the stigma and show support for professionals placing their physical and mental health at risk on the frontline.


Co-Chair Mr Cameron Anderson, Duty Manager, Ambulance Tasmania

Cameron Anderson is an Advanced Life Support paramedic and firefighter with extensive experience in disaster response and major incident management across Victoria and Queensland. Cameron’s professional interests include emergency response to remote and austere environments, and the management of mass-casualty incidents. His career has spanned fire and rescue, USAR and ambulance specialist operations, including responses to many of Australia’s most significant disasters including the 2009 Victorian bushfires and cyclones Debbie, Oswald and Yasi. Cameron holds a Master’s degree in Disaster and Emergency Response and is a doctoral candidate with Edith Cowan University exploring the role and responsibility of paramedics in a public health crisis.

Co-Chair Kate Martin, Director, College for Law, Education and Training

Dr Kate Martin is the Director of CLET Training and the Founder of Career Force and has over 15 years experience working with former and current police, military and emergency services workers. With a background in law and raised in a police family, Kate completed her doctoral studies with Charles Sturt University in 2020 having researched the transition processes for first responders and how this impacts their post service employment satisfaction. Kate holds several higher education qualifications including a Master of Disaster and Emergency Response from Edith Cowan University, a Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Psychological Science from Swinburne University.

Mr Kevin Humphreys, Training and Checking Pilot, Queensland Government Air

Kevin was a military combat pilot and commander, who now as a civilian rescue helicopter pilot, flight instructor and examiner shares powerful messages about mental illness. He inspires courageous and compassionate conversations for businesses and individuals. Towards the peak of his military career he contemplated suicide and suffered a breakdown due to PTSD, depression, anxiety and bullying.

As the Mental Health Ambassador for AIRBUS Australia Pacific, Community Ambassador for Mates4Mates and Patron of PTSD Dogs Australia, Kevin shows that mental illness and PTSD is normal, manageable and recoverable for the vast majority of people and can be the catalyst for growth.

Ms Erin Smith, Associate Professor, Course Coordinator, Disaster and Emergency Response, Edith Cowan University

Erin is a member of the Board of Directors for the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine where she also holds the positions of Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group and Deputy Chair of the Oceania Chapter.

Erin is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and the Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine. An active volunteer in her community, Erin is the Well-Being Team Lead for the Australian Red Cross – Emergency Services Victoria, where she is also an emergency services responder. She is also a Committee Member of The Code 9 Foundation, a charity providing support to first responders and 000 operators who live with mental health conditions resulting from their service to the community.

Erin writes a regular column “Let’s Talk Mental Health” for the Australian Emergency Services Magazine and has also been published in The Conversation and Croakey.org. An active researcher in prehospital and disaster response, she is a member of the Research Committee of the Australasian College of Paramedicine where she is also a mentor of early-career researchers.

Dr Bernie Scully, Executive Manager Psychological and Support Services, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Bernie holds a PhD in clinical psychology with a specialisation in Posttraumatic Stress within Emergency Services organisations. Bernie’s experience spans private and public sector roles and his current engagement with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services involves leading state-wide Clinical Psychology and Organisational Development services. The focus of this role includes the proactive, preventative and reactive support of mental health within QFES’ 47,000 Corporate, Fire and Rescue, Rural Fire and SES members. Bernie is a regular conference speaker on topics including Mentally Healthy Workplaces; Developing and delivering mental health strategy; and Mental health leadership.

Ms Pip Weiland, Regional Director South Queensland, Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling


Presentation Submissions Close
Friday 13 November 2020

Conference Program Available
Part 1: Tuesday 8 December 2020
Part 2: Tuesday 15 December 2020

Early-Bird Registration Closes
Friday 5 February 2021


We are committed to improving mental health care for Australia and New Zealand’s frontline workers.

We’ve sourced some of Australia’s most influential experts in mental health, experienced in providing specialised service and support to workers regularly exposed to disaster, emergency, stress and trauma.

The speaker line-up also gives you the chance to hear from fellow workers in the front line. By sharing experiences, you will gain insight into treatment, techniques and support used by fellow industry professionals, and be part of breaking mental health stigma on the frontline.

To further our commitment, we will provide you with all presenter podcasts and presentation slides for 30 days post-conference. This will ensure you are equipped with everything you need to continue harnessing the mental health of frontline workers.