Associate Professor Sam Harvey, Black Dog Institute

Sam Harvey is the Chief Psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute and an Associate Professor at UNSW.  As well as running the Black Dog Institute’s clinical services, Sam also runs a program of research focused on the links between work and mental health.  Sam has advised many organisations, governments and the World Health Organisation in how the best available research can be used to create more mentally healthy workplaces. Sam’s current line of research is investigating the role that new technology can play in preventing mental health problems amongst workers and the issues faced by high risk workforces, such as emergency service workers and medical staff. Further information about his program of research can be found at https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/research-areas/workplace/

Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW

Shane Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1 May 2020. This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service of over 35 years. In 1998 he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner with the RFS and has held portfolio responsibilities for Operations, Strategic Development and Regional Management. In 2004, he was appointed the inaugural Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) Visiting Fellow to the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) for a period of 12 months.

From September 2007 – April 2020 he was Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, and was also the Chair of the NSW RFS Bushfire Coordinating Committee and the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. Shane was also a member of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee and the NSW State Rescue Board (SRB) and was Chair of SRB from 2008 to November 2015.

In July 2012, Shane was appointed a Board Member of the NSW Government Telecommunications Authority. He was appointed a Director of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in March 2008 and was the Chair of the NAFC Board from 2009 to 2013. He was a Director on the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre from 2009 to 2014. He was a member of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council from 2007 and was a member of its Board from
November 2016 to November 2019 and held the position of Deputy President upon retirement from the Board.

In January 2016 Shane was appointed as a Councillor of the Royal Humane Society of NSW Inc. Commissioner Fitzsimmons was awarded the National Medal in 1999 and the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) in 2001.

Professor David Forbes, Director, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

David Forbes PhD is Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. He is a clinical psychologist specialising in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in trauma survivors, with a particular focus on military, veteran and frontline worker populations.  He led the development of the inaugural Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Vice Chair of the International PTSD Guidelines and lead editor on the seminal Effective Treatments for PTSD 3rd edition (2020).

He has a strong track record in the conduct of research in the areas of anger and trauma-related mental health across the lifespan, the provision of policy and service development advice to government and agencies responsible for the care of those occupationally exposed to trauma, community members exposed to trauma and disaster and the provision of training in evidence based treatments for trauma-related disorders.

He has published over 180 scientific papers and invited book chapters in the international literature and sits on many Commonwealth government policy and scientific advisory panels and academic journal editorial boards