Presenters are listed in the order in which they appear on the programme

9.25 Anna Correia

About Anna

Anna is a social worker from Melbourne, trained in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. She has worked in senior positions in child, adolescent and family mental health services, community health services and until recently as a deputy director of Spectrum - Personality Disorder Service for Victoria. She currently works in private practice providing treatment to patients and consultation and supervision to Spectrum and other mental health services on request.

About the keynote

Borderline Personality Disorder - Whose diagnosis?

The keynote address will discuss the diagnosis of BPD from the point of view of its history, current prevalence, assessment and treatment implications, attitudes and values associated. Particular challenges and opportunities for professional practice, including social work practice, will be highlighted. These challenges culminate in policies for duty of care, risk management and welfare of practitioners. The fundamental question of how to work with individuals, who have acquired a diagnosis of BPD, will be addressed more from the aspect of a particular individual and the treatment/ counselling setting, than the aspect of general recommendations for the treatment of BPD.



11.00 Carol Kaplanian

About Carol

Carol moved to Australia in 2001 from Jordan in the Middle East. She is Arabic speaking and has extensive experience across cultural family and domestic violence, specialising in honour-based violence. Through her academic studies and work with the WA Police, WA Department of Health and Middle Eastern refugee camps, she has an extensive research background, plus strong training, education and casework experience.

Carol is completing a PhD on ‘Honour-based Violence in Jordan’ this year and has a Bachelor’s Degree in social work and social policy, plus a Masters in social work. She specialises in clinical counselling and working with victims of torture and trauma, the latter of which involved spending an extensive amount of time working in Jordanian refugee camps offering counselling and education to refugees.

Today, she is the State Coordinator for Female Genital Mutilation (training and education) at the Department of Health. She is also responsible for developing training on Family and Domestic Violence (CaLD communities) for the Department of Health.

Prior to that, Carol worked within WA Police’s Aboriginal and Cultural Diversity Unit as the Senior Community Diversity Officer Her role encompassed providing high-level advice and consultation on complex matters pertaining to the CaLD community, writing training packages for WA Police on cultural diversity and honour-based violence, and managing, counselling and negotiating with families in at-risk situations. She also advised on and wrote policies on cultural violence against women and children.

About the Presentation.

Honour based violence – why is it relevant to social work practice?

Honour-based violence is a form of domestic violence which is prevalent to the CaLD community. With WA’s increasingly diverse population, it is imperative that professionals are able to distinguish this form of violence. This presentation will equip the audience with some knowledge on the complex issues which face the CalD community and practitioners

11.30 Karin Dewar

About Karin

Karin (MSW, B.App. Psych, B.Couns, Cert.Ed) has worked in the Sexual Assault Resource Centre’s emergency, therapy and education and training, for over 9 years and is a Senior Counsellor Educator. Karin has experience in working with people of all ages who present with sexual violence issues and the complexities of mental health, substance use and self injurious behaviours. Karin has worked extensively with the disability sector specialising in counselling people who have experienced sexual violence.

About the Presentation


Many of the women and men who access our services have histories of complex trauma. Such trauma frequently leads to other co-occurring problems such as mental health issues, poor physical health, substance abuse problems, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, self-esteem issues and contact with the criminal justice system.


The presentation will examine the impact of complex trauma on survivors, the relevance of complex trauma on brain development and examine the importance of attachment in childhood.


There is emerging evidence that in order for organisations to be effective in the services they provide to clients with complex trauma histories, a trauma informed approach is paramount. At the core of providing a trauma informed service, is an understanding about the impact of complex trauma on survivors. That is, an understanding about the impact of complex trauma on brain functioning, social functioning and physical health. Only then, can we start to assist survivors of complex trauma in their recovery


2.30 Lee Mickle, Debbie Easther and Diane Rundin


About Lee, Debbie and Diane

Lee is a Mental health social worker who has worked in adult community, inpatient and CAMHS in the southwest, currently working for the south west OAMH service as a senior clinician. Keen interest in how community and community funded organization respond to people with acute mental health needs.

Diane has a background in Social Work, Human Services and Nursing. she has enjoyed working in hospitals and community health, corrective services, child protection, mental health, tertiary education, pastoral care, ethnographic report writing, and most recently in my current project implementation role alongside Debbie Easther and Lee Mickle.

Debbie is a social worker and has been working in Mental Health Services for the past 16 years in Child and Adolescent , Adult and Rehabilitation. Prior to this she worked as a Youth Worker and Community counsellor. In the last 4 years she has been managing a Community Mental Health Service in the South West.

About the Presentation


This presentation will explore the process of change from needs analysis to development and implementation of new ways to work. It will identify the problems discovered along the way and how we have sought to respond to the challenges as they arise.


The journey of the last 3 years has provided an opportunity to explore new ways of working, recognising that change is constant and that ongoing monitoring of community need and political direction. Monitoring changing need is essential to provide a safe and stimulating work environment and most importantly to be able to provide services to people with a lived experience of mental illness in ways that they find most helpful.

3.30 Michael Sheenan and Kirsti Kilbane

About Michael and Kirsti



Michael is an Executive Director with Relationships Australia WA. For over 10 years, he has held a number of senior management positions within the community services sector which included setting up and managing mental health, substance use and residential care programs. Prior to his management roles, Michael worked as a child protection officer, psychologist, group facilitator and trainer.




Kirsti is a senior social worker and clinical supervisor, currently working with the triage team at the Alma St Centre (Fremantle Mental Health). Kirsti has worked in a variety of clinical mental health roles in Perth and London, and also previously managed a women’s refuge in Perth for several years. Kirsti has a long standing interest in the benefits of meditation and other contemplative practices, and previously worked for 2 years as the program coordinator in a Tibetan Buddhist meditation and retreat centre in India. Kirsti is currently enrolled as a Higher Degree by Research (Masters) student with Curtin University’s School of Occupational Therapy  and Social Work.



About the Presentation

Although it is said that compassion is at the essence of mental health care, it is often not explicitly referred to in mental health discourse and is even viewed as a weakness and incompatible with an evidence-based approach.  Yet compassion, the capacity to share another’s suffering and to recognize their humanity is valued highly by persons with a mental illness and their families for whom trusting relationships are often key to recovery.

Importantly, the seminar will introduce ways mental health clinicians and services can develop and support a compassionate approach in their cultures and practice. The presentation will include significant findings from several “compassion training” programs and studies which have been developed by Western Universities in collaboration with Tibetan Buddhist scholars, particularly an 8-week, evidence-based, “Cultivating Emotional Balance” (CEB) course. One of the presenters is a certified CEB teacher and will be researching this in a Masters in Social Work at Curtin University.