Dr Tanveer Ahmed
FRANZCP , MBBS
Psychiatrist and AuthorDr Tanveer Ahmed is a psychiatrist, author and columnist. He works in the public, private and forensic sectors. He is an Adjunct lecturer at UNSW. He writes a regular column for the Australian Financial Review. His last book Fragile Nation examines the rise of mental health disorders through patient stories. He has served on local government, the government advisory body called the Australian Multicultural Council, the Advertising Standards Board and as a Governor of the Smith Family. He was previously chosen by a PMs committee as one of a hundred future leaders of Australia.
Dr Mahsheed Ansari
BA, LLB, MA, PhD
Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC) Charles Sturt UniversityDr Mahsheed Ansari is lecturer in Islamic Studies and the Higher Degrees Research Coordinator at the Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. Her research interests include the history of Islamic thought, spirituality and culture. She is also a historian interested in the formation and development of minority communities in Australia. She is currently working on the Muslim heritage research project at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University. Mahsheed has been a reader in Islamic thought for over 18 years. She is also community activist working in the areas of interfaith dialogue, social harmony and leadership-mentoring programs with Muslim youth and Muslim women for over a decade.
Barrister, Author & Company Director
Greg Barns is a barrister, author and company director. Greg worked as a senior adviser to a number of federal and state ministers and leaders and ran the 1999 Republic Referendum campaign with Malcolm Turnbull. He is former National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and is a regular commentator on human rights issues. Greg has been a leading advocate of drug law reform in Australia and has written extensively on the subject. He has also written and spoken publicly about his own experience living with depression and anxiety. Greg is the author of four books on Australian politics. He practices from Hobart and Melbourne and has acted in a number of medical cannabis cases.
Prof James Bennett-Levy
BA(Hons), MPhil (Clin Psych), Ph.D
Professor of Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing, University of SydneyJames Bennett-Levy is a clinical psychologist and Professor in Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing at the University of Sydney. He is internationally known as a trainer of psychotherapists having taught in 25 countries. He is also as one of the world’s leading researchers on therapist training. In particular, his models of therapist skill development and his pioneering self-experiential approach to therapist training, known as self-practice/self-reflection (SP/SR), have been widely adopted. He is Series Editor for Guilford Press’ Self-practice/Self-reflection Guides for Therapists and has co-written two books in the series. Previously, he has co-authored 3 Oxford University Press books for therapists.
Prof Michael Berk
Ph.D., MBBCH, MMED, FF(Psych)SA, FRANCZP
NHMRC Senior Principal Research FellowMichael Berk is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow at Deakin University, where he heads the IMPACT institute. He is listed by Thompson Reuters as amongst the world’s most influential scientific minds (2015-2019) and was awarded the Brain & Behaviour (NARSAD) Colvin Award for Mood Disorders in 2015 and the Victoria Prize for life sciences in 2019. He is past president of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders. His major interests are in the discovery and implementation of novel therapies.
Prof Ashley Bush
MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE, FAHMS, FAPA
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Director of the Melbourne Dementia Research CentreAshley Bush (MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE, FAHMS, FAPA), NHMRC SPRF is Director of the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre and Oxidation Biology Unit at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, University of Melbourne. His outstanding contributions to the neuroscience field include his discovery of the importance of metals and oxidative stress in neurological disease, providing insights into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. He is Co-Director of Biomarker Development for the AIBL Study of Ageing. He is Professor of Neuroscience, and Honorary Professorial Fellow of Psychiatry and Clinical Pathology at the University of Melbourne, with courtesy staff appointments in Psychiatry and Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. He is Founding Scientist for Prana Biotechnology, Cogstate and Collaborative Medicinal Development P/L, and Deputy Chair at the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health. Bush has 464 publications (45,000+ citations) and 28 patents, is ad hoc reviewer of 48 journals, and has presented 330+ lectures (212+ international, 26 Plenary). He is one of the most highly-cited neuroscientists in Australia, is rated in the top 1% of neuroscience researchers worldwide for high impact citations (2014-2016, 2018-2019), and one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics).
Dr David Caldicott
B.Sc. (Hons), MBBS, FRCEM, DipMedTox
Emergency Medicine Consultant
David Caldicott is an Irish Emergency Consultant, living and working in Canberra – he holds conjoint academic positions with the University of Canberra, and the Australian National University.
David is the co-recipient of an NH&MRC Partnership grant as part of the ‘Driving Change project’. He is currently the Clinical Lead at the Australian Drug Observatory of The ANU.
David has always been ‘disruptive’. He wrote and delivered Australia’s first medicinal cannabis course, conceived to teach clinicians the science behind the headlines. He also designed & negotiated Australia’s first sanctioned ‘pill testing’ trial in the ACT in 2018. David has an Irishman’s interest in influencing politics to effect evidence based policy, and is an expert on illicit drugs for the Australian Science Media Centre.
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris (UK)
Robin Carhart-Harris moved to Imperial College London in 2008 after obtaining a PhD in Psychopharmacology from the University of Bristol and an MA in Psychoanalysis from Brunel University. At Imperial, he has run and overseen brain imaging studies involving LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT, plus a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, and a current study comparing psilocybin with escitalopram for major depressive disorder. In 2019, he set-up the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial and he also an honorary position with the University of Oxford. Two of his most influential works include the ‘Entropic Brain Hypothesis’ and ‘REBUS and the anarchic brain’.
Dr Ted Cassidy
Psychiatrist and Co-Founder of TMS Australia
Dr Ted Cassidy is a Founder of TMS Australia – Australia’s largest provider of outpatient Depression & PTSD treatment using innovative Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) technology. He is Chief Medical Officer and a Director of TMS Australia. He is responsible for the clinical operations and patient care in TMS Australia’s outpatient treatment centres.
Dr Cassidy previously founded The Hills Clinic group. The Hills Clinic Hospital was the first purpose built private mental health hospital in Australia when it opened in 2011. Dr Cassidy is a Psychiatrist, Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and medical graduate of the University of Sydney.
Dr Mark Cross
MBChB, MRCPsych(UK), FRANZCP
Psychiatrist and SANE Board DirectorDoctor Mark Cross is a psychiatrist with clinical experience over 3 decades. He graduated as a doctor in Cape Town, specialised in the UK, and has worked as a specialist in Sydney since 2005. He holds senior conjoint lecturer positions at the Universities of NSW and Western Sydney. Mark has special interests in sexuality issues, Mental Health in the workplace and improving the care and quality of life of people with lived experience, and carers. In 2015, he received the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists NSW Branch Meritorious Award for his “significant contribution” to psychiatry. Mark is the author of ‘Anxiety’ and co-author of ‘Changing Minds,’ both published by ABC Books/Harper Collins, and was the Lead Psychiatrist in the ABC TV series ‘Changing Minds.’ He is a well-respected speaker on Mental Health issues, a SANE Australia board member, and a passionate advocate on the importance of preventative mental health.
Dr Wade Davis CM (CANADA)
Wade Davis is a writer and photographer whose work has taken him from the Amazon to Tibet, Africa to Australia, Polynesia to the Arctic. Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013, he is currently Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.
Wade has authored 22 books, including One River, The Wayfinders and Into the Silence, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.
Dr James Fadiman (USA)
Psychologist and AuthorJames Fadiman B.A. (Harvard) M.A., Ph.D. (Stanford) began his personal psychedelic research a few weeks before starting his graduate work at Stanford where he did his dissertation on the effectiveness of LSD-assisted therapy. During the research lull of 40 years, he has held a variety of teaching (San Francisco State, Brandeis, and Stanford) consulting, training, counseling and editorial positions. He has taught in psychology departments, design engineering, and for three decades, at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) that he co-founded. He has published textbooks, professional books, a self-help book, a novel, and a series of videos, Drugs: the children are choosing for National Public Television. His books have been published in 8 languages. He has been the subject of a one-hour documentary released by Page3 Films, featured in a National Geographic documentary and had three solo shows of his nature photography. He had his own consulting firm and sat on two non-profit boards as well as having been the president of several small natural resource companies. He has been involved in researching psychedelic for spiritual, therapeutic and creative uses and is known for his pioneering work on microdosing . He has published The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, and most recently, Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who You Are
Amanda Feilding (UK)
Founder and Executive Director of the Beckley Foundation
Amanda Feilding is the Founder and Executive Director of the Beckley Foundation, and is widely recognised as one of the driving forces behind the current psychedelic research renaissance. By establishing key research collaborations with some of the world’s most prestigious universities, she has propelled the field forward over the last 20 years, conducting several landmark studies, such as the world’s first LSD brain imaging study. Since its inception, the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of the development of evidence-based drug policy. Through a series of pivotal international seminars at the House of Lords, over 50 much-cited reports and numerous meetings with thought-leaders, academics, policy-makers and the public, Amanda has ensured that the Beckley Foundation is a leader in the movement for drug policy reform. Through her work with the Beckley Foundation, Amanda is bridging the gap between science and policy, allowing them to complement and inform one another, ultimately harnessing our knowledge of the benefits of many prohibited substances to maximise human wellbeing.
Prof Paul Fitzgerald
MBBS, MPM, Ph.D, FRANZCP
Professor of Psychiatry at Monash University and Director of the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental HealthPaul Fitzgerald is Professor of Psychiatry at Monash University and Director of the Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health based at Epworth Camberwell. He is a qualified psychiatrist, has a Masters of Psychological Medicine and research PhD. His main clinical and academic interest is in the development, evaluation and clinical translation of new therapies for mental health conditions. His research program has been mainly focussed on various forms of brain stimulation including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial alternating current stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy and deep brain stimulation. He has conducted over twenty clinical trials in depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, autism and Alzheimer’s disease along with numerous experimental studies. He has established multiple clinical TMS services, is a founder and board member of TMS Clinics Australia, and established Australia’s first TMS clinical training program. He has had continual NHMRC grant support for almost 20 years.
Prof David Forbes
BA(Hons), MA (Clin Psych), Ph.D
PsychologistDavid Forbes is the Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. He has over twenty five years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in trauma survivors, with a speciality in military, veteran and emergency services mental health. He led the development of the Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and is Vice Chair of the International (ISTSS) PTSD Guidelines. He has published over 160 scientific papers in the international literature and sits on many Commonwealth government policy and scientific advisory panels and academic journal editorial boards.
Prof Paul Frijters (UK)
PhD, MS, BS
Research Fellow London School of Economics
Paul Frijters is a Professor of Wellbeing Economics at the London School of Economics: from 2016-nov 2019 at the Center for Economic Performance, thereafter at the Department of Social Policy.
He completed his Masters in Econometrics at the University of Groningen, including a seven-month stay in Durban, South Africa before completing a PhD through the University of Amsterdam. He has also engaged in teaching and research at the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, QUT, UQ, and now the LSE.
Professor Fritjers specializes in applied micro-econometrics, including labor, happiness, and health economics, though he has also worked on pure theoretical topics in macro and micro fields. His main area of interest is in analyzing how socio-economic variables affect the human life experience and the “unanswerable” economic mysteries in life.
Professor Frijters is a prominent research economist and has published over 150 papers in fields including unemployment policy, discrimination and economic development.
He was the Research Director of the Rumici Project, a project sponsored by the Australian Ministry of Foreign Aid (AusAid), and is also a co-editor of the journal, Economic Record. In 2009 he was voted Australia’s best young economist under 40 by the Australian Economic Society. He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in April 2010.
Prof Gregg Henriques (USA)
PhD, MS, BS
Clinical PsychologistDr. Gregg Henriques is Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University in the Combined-Integrated Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology. Dr. Henriques received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and did his post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Henriques’ primary area of scholarly interest is in developing a “unified framework” for both the science and practice of psychology. He has authored the book, A New Unified Theory of Psychology and developed a popular blog on Psychology Today, Theory of Knowledge, where he has authored over 350 essays on psychology, philosophy, politics, and mental health. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, has won numerous awards for teaching, scholarship, and service, and launched and leads the Theory of Knowledge academic society. He has expertise in theoretical psychology, unified approaches to psychotherapy, psychological well-being, personality functioning, depression, and suicidal behavior.
Dr Karen Hitchcock
B.A.(Hons), B.Med, FRACP, PhD
General PhysicianDr Hitchcock is a specialist physician (acute and general medicine) and author. Outside of the acute hospital wards her clinical work has focused on pain, fatigue, medically unexplained and functional symptoms, anxiety and obesity. She was one of the first authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis in Australia and currently runs a cannabis clinic in South Yarra. She holds a PhD in English and writes for the Monthly magazine. Her Quarterly Essay Dear Life: On caring for the elderly was published in 2015 and republished as an expanded edition book in 2016. Her collection of short fiction Little White Slips won the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd award. Her new book The Medicine: A Doctor’s Notes was published in February 2020
Prof Malcolm Hopwood
MBBS, MPM, MD, FRANZCP
Ramsay Health Care Professor of Psychiatry, University of MelbourneProfessor Malcolm Hopwood is the Ramsay Health Care Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne; based at the Albert Road Clinic in Melbourne Australia. His specialises in clinical aspects of mood and anxiety disorders, psychopharmacology and psychiatric aspects of acquired brain injury and epilepsy. He leads a research team within the professorial Psychiatry Unit at the Albert Road Clinic examining g the application of novel treatments in mood disorders. In the past, he led the Psychological Trauma Recovery Service, incorporating the Veterans Psychiatry Unit and the Victorian Brain Disorders Program, Austin Health. He has held senior positions within the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists including past Chairmanships of the Victorian Branch and the Board of Research, and was President of the College from 2015-2017. In 2017 Professor Hopwood was installed as President-Elect of the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations (AFPA).
B Ec (Monash)
Founder and CEO of Cannatrek LimitedTommy Huppert, Founder and CEO of Cannatrek Limited, is a start-up entrepreneur and medicinal cannabis health economist. Cannatrek is one of the first enterprises in Australia to secure all federal and state government licenses to import cannabis seeds, research, grow, process, manufacture, and distribute medicinal cannabis products. His mission is to not only place the cannabis plant front and centre in production excellence but to funnel resources for patient care solutions and deliver affordable medicine to those in need. He has established the “Seed to Patient” business model combining cutting edge cultivation expertise and world-class manufacturing practices to deliver high quality products, with a clinical research focus on mental health. This strategy has been instrumental in Cannatrek’s Major Project Status, a Commonwealth Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. He is a frequent speaker in various medicinal cannabis conferences in and outside Australia.
Prof Matthew W. Johnson (USA)
Associate Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research
Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor at Johns Hopkins, is an expert on psychedelics, other drugs, and addiction. Working with psychedelics for more than 15 years, he has published more than100 papers with 43 on psychedelics. Matt published psychedelic safety guidelines in 2008, helping to resurrect psychedelic research. He published the first research on psychedelic treatment of tobacco addiction in 2014, and the largest study of psilocybin in treating cancer distress in 2016. His recent psilocybin review recommended placement in Schedule-IV upon medical approval. He has personally guided more than 100 psychedelic sessions. Matt also conducts behavioral economic research on both addiction and sexual risk. He has published studies on nearly all psychoactive drugs classes, and is President of the Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse Division of the American Psychological Association. Matt has been interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, Fox Business News, NPR, CBS News, and NBC News.
Dr Linda Kader
MBBS, MD, FRANZCP, Cert Psychodyn Psychotherapy, Cert Glob Mntl Hlth (Harvard)
Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry, University of MelbourneLinda Kader is a psychiatrist & psychotherapist based in Melbourne, Australia. She currently works at The Royal Melbourne and The Royal Children’s Hospitals. Her areas of expertise include Early Intervention in Youth and Adult Psychiatry. Linda is committed to bring psychotherapeutic theories to understand the struggles of human minds in a deeper humanistic manner alongside evidence-based biological models of illnesses. Linda is trained both in Psychodynamic and Contemplative (Buddhism-based) Psychotherapy to assist her patients, when appropriate, with their difficulties. She worked at Orygen Youth Health for over a decade and conducted clinical research in psychosis and remains passionate about research & innovation in Psychiatry. Linda is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne and has maintained long-standing interest in teaching. She served as the Deputy Dean at Northern Clinical School in the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry & Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. Linda has an interest & intellectual curiosity to understand the mechanisms, & usefulness of psychedelics in Psychiatry.
Rabbi Zac Kamenetz
Educator, Rabbi and aspiring HealerRabbi Zac Kamenetz is the founder and CEO of Shefa, an education and advocacy organization dedicated to supporting individual and collective healing, self-discovery, and transformation by unlocking the practical wisdom of Jewish mystical traditions, sharing them as a guiding force. Shefa provides seekers with a Jewish framework for direct spiritual experience, prepares communities for the integration of psychedelics into mainstream therapeutic and religious culture, and empowers them to bring the wisdom, wellbeing, and joy that arise from direct perception of the divine into their daily lives. Zac received rabbinic ordination in 2012 an MA from the Graduate Theological Union/UC Berkeley. A sought-after speaker and educator, Zac lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife and their daughter.
Pharmaceutical and Clinical Trial Research SpecialistMichael Kornhauser’s research has focussed on psychiatric and neurodenegerative diseases for close to a decade. His aim is to help develop and make available new therapies for people suffering from conditions which are currently poorly managed. As the National Head of Clinical Trial Research at HammondCare, Michael has been at the forefront of ground-breaking Alzheimer’s Disease research and has had the opportunity to be part of unique pre-clinical and clinical trial projects. His prior role as the Director of Clinical Trial Research at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre saw him negotiate every aspect of the clinical development process and facilitated collaboration with both big pharma and small biotech in order to bring game changing new therapies to the public. His research knowledge and experience has seen him repeatedly invited to present guest lectures at universities, the most recent being Monash University and Australian Christian University.
Dr Eli Kotler
MBBS MPM FRANZCP Cert. Old Age Psych. AFRACMA
Psychiatrist and Director of Medicine at Malvern Private HospitalEli is a consultant psychiatrist, holds an academic position at Monash University through the Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, and is the medical director of Malvern Private Hospital, the first addiction hospital in Australia. He is a member of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD). Clinically, Eli is interested in the deep connections between trauma and addiction and works within a neuro-psychoanalytic framework. Eli has overseen the development of a clinical program for addictions focused on trauma, particularly developmental trauma. This has led to an interest in medication-assisted trauma therapy. Eli worked for many years researching neurodegenerative diseases and was the principle investigator on numerous trials for novel therapeutics. He is now involved in addiction research involving the retraining of neural pathways underlying incentive salience in methamphetamine addiction. Through involvement with Monash University, Eli overseas the addiction rotation for medical students.
Dr Adele Lafrance (Canada/USA)
Clinical Psychologist, Research Scientist and AuthorAdele Lafrance is a clinical psychologist, research scientist, and best-selling author. A frequent speaker at professional conferences worldwide, Dr. Lafrance has published extensively in the field of emotion and health, including a clinical manual to support intergenerational family healing published by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lafrance is a leader in the research and practice of psychedelic medicine, with a focus on ayahuasca, psilocybin and MDMA. She studies mechanisms of change, including spirituality and emotion processing, as well as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to support the treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Lafrance also has a keen interest in the application of psychedelic medicine in the context of family therapy.
Prof. Andrew Lawrence
NHMRC Principal Research Fellow & Division Head at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental HealthProfessor Andrew J Lawrence is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health where he is a Division Head, leader of the Mental Health Research Theme and runs the Addiction Neuroscience laboratory. Andrew has published over 250 original articles & reviews, and been cited >10,000 times. Andrew was Treasurer of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (2002-2008) and is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. He was Senior Editor of The British Journal of Pharmacology (2007-2014), is currently Editor in Chief of Pharmacology Research & Perspectives and sits on numerous other editorial boards, including Addiction Biology. Andrew was recently President of the Asian-Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (2014-16) & is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. In 2017 Andrew delivered the Lawrie Austin Plenary lecture at the Australasian Neuroscience Society.
Human Rights LawyerScott A. Leckie is an international Human Rights lawyer, Law Professor and Director and Founder of Displacement Solutions (www.displacementsolutions.org), an NGO dedicated to resolving cases of forced displacement throughout the world, in particular displacement caused by climate change. He also founded and directs Oneness World Foundation (www.onenessworld.org), a think tank exploring questions of world-centric political evolution and new forms of global governance. He hosts Jointly Venturing, a podcast dedicated to the question of world citizenship, and manages the One House, One Family initiative, an ongoing project in Bangladesh building homes for climate displaced families. He regularly advises a number of United Nations agencies and conceived of and was the driving force behind more than 100 international human rights legal and other normative standards, including UN resolutions – most recently the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States. He has written 22 books and over 250 major articles and reports.
Graham Long AM
The Wayside Chapel
At the time that Wayside called him into Ministry, Graham was a postie. He’d almost perfected riding a little motor bike when Wayside called him to be their next Minister. In his first life, Graham was a social worker in South Australia, specialising in the field of child protection. Graham trained for ministry from 1979 to 1982. After a few years in church ministry, Graham became a chaplain to Parramatta Prison and he ran a church welfare agency. Academically, after ordination, Graham pursued studies in philosophy achieving degrees from Catholic Theological Union and from the Catholic Institute of Sydney. A Masters honours in philosophy was halted when a near fatal motorcycle accident changed all of life’s priorities in 2001. Graham has been married to Robyn for 49 years and together they have two children and five grandchildren. Graham is the author of three books. Graham was named NSW Local Hero in the Australia Day awards of 2014 made a Member of the Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday 2015.
Dr Paul MacLeman
MBA, BVSc, Grad Dip Eng (Tech Mgt), Grad Cert eng (Process Design), GAIDC
Paul has over 25 years’ experience across all phases of the life sciences sector. With a career-spanning veterinary practice, pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, biotechnology, diagnostics and finance, Paul has expertise in capital raising, business development, technology commercialisation, and sales and marketing globally. He has founded life sciences start-ups in the biologics area and worked in investment banking focusing on the analysis and financing of technology companies. Paul has previously served as Chairman and/or CEO of several VC funded, ASX, NASDAQ, CSE and TSX listed companies. Paul is also current Executive Chairman of Isla Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is a Chairman of AdAlta Limited and Non-Executive Director of Sypharma Pty Limited. Paul serves on a number of NFP and government advisory roles.
Dennis McKenna (USA)
Ethnopharmacologist, Author, Founding Board Member at the Heffter Research Institute
Dennis McKenna’s research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon.
His doctoral research (University of British Columbia,1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with colleagues, he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C.
Rob Moodie AM
Professor of Public Health, University of Melbourne and Adviser to WHO
Rob Moodie is Professor of Public Health at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Malawi. He worked in refugee health care in the Sudan for Save the Children and MSF and for the Aboriginal health service in Alice Springs. He worked for many years on HIV prevention for the Burnet Institute, WHO and UNAIDS. He was CEO of VicHealth from 1998-2007 and from 2008-2011 he chaired the National Preventative Health Taskforce, which recommended the introduction of plain packaging. He was Victorian Father of the Year in 2005, was unceremoniously dumped as Chair of the Melbourne Storm in 2010 and received an AM in 2014. He has been teaching leadership skills for the last twelve years and is now establishing a program in health leadership in Malawi. Until very recently he chaired the Global Vaccine Alliance’s Evaluation Committee and now advises WHO on health promotion and non-communicable diseases.
Dr David E. Nichols (USA)
David E. Nichols, PhD is an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously he held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, and the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 1973, following which he did postdoctoral work in pharmacology at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine. In 2004 he was named the Irwin H. Page Lecturer by the International Society for Serotonin Research and in 2006 he received the first Provost’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor award from Purdue University. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, most of which deal with the relationship between molecular structure and biological action.
BA (Hons), AdvDip GradCert AdvCert (counselling), MA
Psychotherapist, LecturerSean O’Carroll is a psychotherapist in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. He has a background in philosophy, transpersonal psychology, and a number of psychotherapeutic modalities including relational gestalt therapy and creative arts therapy. He has been teaching and training psychotherapists since 2011, and is the director of Wild Mind. His MA research thesis (2014 – 2017) involved a phenomenological exploration into the experience of being alone with nature, and in 2018 he developed and delivered Australia’s first tertiary level course in eco-psychotherapy to training therapists. Sean’s work under the banner of Wild Mind employs non-ordinary states of consciousness to support health and wholeness. This work is grounded in various state-change technologies including dance/movement, nature-based practices and a variety of other psychotherapeutic processes. Sean does not facilitate psychedelic journeys for legal reasons, but works closely with members of the Melbourne medicine community in a psychotherapeutic capacity, supporting the exploration and integration of psychedelic experiences.
Dr Nikola Ognyenovits
M.D., FRACGP, FACRRM, FAChAM (RACP)
Addiction Medicine Specialist Physician
Dr Nikola Ognyenovits is a Hungarian born Australian Addiction Medicine Specialist Physician living in Brisbane, Australia. He works in public alcohol and drug services and in private practice. After graduating as M.D. in 1987, he trained and worked in psychiatry, rural general practice, emergency medicine and aero-medical retrievals.
He was introduced to non-ordinary states of consciousness through Holotropic Breathwork and had the privilege of learning from Stanislav Grof and Tav Sparks. Dr Nikola has co-facilitated numerous breathwork sessions, trained with the Foundation of Shamanic Studies and participated in shamanic healing traditions globally.
After training in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy with The Ketamine Training Center, he has incorporated ketamine treatment into his private practice. He sees great potential in the application of ibogaine for addictions and has supported clients pre and post treatment. Dr Nikola is an advocate of the ethical and controlled use of psychedelic assisted psychotherapies in the treatment of addictions and associated mental health conditions.
Dr Thomas Pogge (USA)
Having received his PhD in philosophy from Harvard, Thomas Pogge is Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs and founding Director of the Global Justice Program at Yale. Pogge is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science as well as co-founder of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), an international network aiming to enhance the impact of scholars, teachers and students on global poverty, and of Incentives for Global Health, a team effort toward developing a complement to the pharmaceutical patent regime that would improve access to advanced medicines for the poor worldwide.
His publications include Designing in Ethics, co-edited, Cambridge 2017; Global Tax Fairness, co-edited, Oxford 2016; Politics as Usual, Polity 2010; World Poverty and Human Rights, 2nd edition, Polity 2008; Global Justice and Global Ethics, co-edited, Paragon House 2008; John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice, Oxford 2007; and Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right, edited, Oxford & UNESCO 2007.
BSc (hons), DipM, GAICD, FIML, MIoD
Medicine Business Specialist
Nigel Pollard has a health industry background with 14 years in “big pharma” and 18 years in natural medicines. In the 90’s he worked in the HQ of a German pharmaceutical company and gave marketing guidance to the development of Humira®, now the no.1 selling medicine globally (US$20bn annually).
In 2001 Pollard established Flordis Natural Medicines to market natural health products with specific clinical evidence. Now called Soho Flordis International it is the only global Australian natural health company, with sales in 55+ countries and an unrivalled record of investing in 12 clinical trials.
Having stepped aside as global CEO in 2019, Pollard is a passionate advocate of informed choice based on the best scientific evidence. He Chairs a New York NFP, the Natural Health Science Foundation, and has a strong conviction that the best evidence options should be available to help address the mental health crisis.
Dr Prash Puspanathan
Masters in Psychological Medicine
Dr. Prash Puspanathan (also known as Dr. Prash P) has been a medical doctor at the Alfred Hospital where he most recently held the position of Neuropsychiatry Fellow.
Prash entered the field of Psychiatry so as to further his interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. He has been an advocate on the importance of these medicine-assisted psychotherapies to the medical community, both in Australia and at conferences globally. He started and ran Psychonauts Onymous, Australia’s first monthly gathering of multidisciplinary professionals discussing current research into the psychedelic space. Outside of medicine, Prash is also the CEO of Caleb & Brown, Australia’s first dedicated Cryptocurrency brokerage. He was voted Young Executive of the Year by the Australia-wide Indian Executive Council in 2018.
Dr Reid Robison (USA)
Psychedelic Psychiatrist & ResearcherReid Robison, MD MBA, is a psychedelic psychiatrist & researcher who has led over 100 clinical trials in neuropsychiatry. Reid is co-founder at Cedar Psychiatry, and serves as Medical Director of Center for Change, a top Eating Disorder program. He is currently the coordinating investigator for the MAPS MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy study of Eating Disorders. As an early adopter and researcher of Ketamine in psychiatry, Reid obtained his first grant to study ketamine in 2011. He also led the Utah site for the pivotal ketamine study for TRMDD by Janssen, leading up to the company’s recent FDA-approval of Spravato. To date, Reid has guided thousands of ketamine therapy journeys and hundreds of Spravato dosing sessions. As a social entrepreneur, Reid has built a number of purpose-driven companies including Tute Genomics, a venture-backed personalized medicine startup that was acquired in 2016. Reid is adjunct faculty at the University of Utah, founder of the Polizzi Free Clinic, and provides medical support and psychedelic therapy at plant medicine retreats abroad.
Dr Arne Rubinstein
Founder & CEO, The Rites of Passage Institute.
Dr. Arne Rubinstein is an internationally recognised expert on Rites of Passage. His trainings and programs have been attended by over 200,000 people in more than 20 countries around the world and are now a part of over 50 schools around Australia.
Dr Arne is a medical doctor and specialised first in Family Medicine and then spent 15 years in Emergency Medicine until he moved full time creating Rites of Passage globally.
He is the author of the best-seller The Making of Men and has won multiple awards for his work including being nominated in 2008 for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work.
He has worked in Europe, The USA, Bhutan, Israel, Indonesia and supported the re-introduction of Rites of Passage for the Butchulla Aboriginal mob in Queensland. He is passionate about Rites of Passage becoming mainstream once again.
Dr Arne is the proud father of two wonderful young men and a mentor to many others.
Dr James Rucker (UK)
BSc, MBBS(MD), MRCPsych, PhD
Consultant Psychiatrist & Senior Clinical Lecturer
James Rucker is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a Senior Clinical Lecturer in mood disorders and psychopharmacology at the Centre for Affective Disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London (UK). James completed his medical degree at University College London (UK) in 2003 before training in psychiatry at the Maudsley, Bethlem and Springfield Hospitals in South London. He completed his PhD in the molecular biology of mood disorders at King’s College London in 2012. He currently holds a 5 year Clinician Scientist Fellowship awarded by the National Institute for Health Research to investigate psilocybin as a treatment for major depressive disorder resistant to standard treatments. He leads the Psychedelic Trials Group, which is currently delivering three gold standard clinical trials using psilocybin in healthy volunteers and patients with resistant depression.
Prof Avni Sali AM
MBBS, Ph.D, FRACS, FACS, FACNEM
Founding Director of NIIM, and Member of the Scientific Board of The European Congress for Integrative Medicine.He is former Head of Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Swinburne University and the University of Melbourne Dept of Surgery, Heidelberg Hospital. Often referred to as the ‘Founding Father’ of Integrative Medicine, Prof Sali has pioneered leading research and education in the field of Integrative Medicine, as well as being a specialist in the clinical treatment of cancer and chronic disease. His integrative medicine books include: Co-authored, 2011 – ‘A guide to Evidence-Based Integrative and Complementary Medicine’ – Elsevier Australia, and 2017 ‘A Clinician’s Guide to Integrative Oncology’, Springer USA. In 2016 a book about his life was published entitled ‘Visionary Man, Visionary Medicine’. In 2016 he received an Order of Australia for “significant service to integrative medicine as an educator, clinician and researcher, and to professional education.”
Dr Patrycja Slawuta (USA)
Patrycja Slawuta is a New York City based behavioral scientist. She completed her Masters Degree at the University of Warsaw where here research centered around moral emotions of guilt and shame. Her academic work has been presented at various scientific conferences and published in articles and books on social psychology. After a successful academic career, Patrycja founded SelfHackathon, a boutique consultancy that uses cutting edge scientific research for business innovation. With a network of 50+ scientists and domain experts, SelfHackathon helps high performing individuals, teams and companies hack, rewire and upgrade themselves. Her latest initiative is called PsychTech, the seamless fusion of psychology and technology to enhance and accelerate performance and results. As an expert on the complexity, nonlinearity and the messiness of the human nature, Patrycja lectures globally and works with some of the most exciting and disruptive businesses in the world.
Islamic scholar, educator, best-selling author and global speakerImam Mohammad Tawhidi is an Islamic scholar, educator, best-selling author, speaker, and one of the leading voices in the global movement of social Islamic reform. He has dedicated his life to ideologically tackling the spread of Islamic extremism and has delivered speeches at conferences, parliaments, mosques, Islamic centers, churches, synagogues, temples and universities across the Middle East, Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. He is licensed by Islamic leaders of the highest order to lead and represent the Muslim community. Tawhidi enjoys healthy international diplomatic relationships with numerous governments and provides regular advice on counter-terrorism. Imam Tawhidi was publicly ordained as an Islamic authority in the Holy City of Qum, Iran, by the Senior Grand Ayatollah Shirazi in 2010. He was recognized by the Senate of Canada on Wednesday June 13th of 2018, and is fluent in Arabic, English and Farsi.
Prof John Tiller
MD, MBChB, BSc, DPM, FRACP, FRANZCP, GAICD
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
Dr Tiller qualified in medicine and science in New Zealand, holds a Doctorate of Medicine with his thesis on anxiety disorders from The University of Melbourne, is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a Fellow and Past President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and is trained in child and adolescent psychiatry. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
His primary research interests have been in the assessment and treatment of depressive and bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders including PTSD and psychoses. He is a recognized expert in ECT and psychopharmacology and has more than 300 scientific publications. He has an interest in governance, especially of not for profits – helping them being more effective in post graduate education and clinical services.
Dr Jeremy Weate
CEO of Universal IbogaineJeremy Weate has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick. He has over 17 years strategic advisory experience, focused on minister-level guidance on the mining sector across over 50 projects in over 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the South Pacific. Jeremy also has a decade-long interest in the medicalization of ibogaine. In 2018, he helped set up Tabula Rasa Retreat in Portugal, now of the leading ibogaine treatment facilities globally. He has organised ibogaine conferences in Vienna, Porto and London. He is CEO of the Vancouver-based Universal Ibogaine, which will IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange later this year. Universal Ibogaine will take ibogaine through clinical trials in Canada, with a view to multi-country phase 3 trials in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. The company will launch holistically minded psychedelic-assisted therapy clinics in North America and subsequently globally this decade under the ClearSky Recovery brand.
Dr John Webber
MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP
PsychiatristRaised and educated in Melbourne, Australia, Dr John Webber, MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP completed his medical degree at Melbourne University and his intern years at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Initially drawn to a surgical path, he was eventually drawn by his heart and life circumstances to a career in psychiatry. His first years of psychiatric training were at the Royal Melbourne Hospital psychiatry department, and his training later included a year at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. Dr Webber completed his specialist qualification through the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has since worked in a successful private practice for over 30 years. His areas of interest include bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, hypnosis,and anxiety disorders, as well as mentoring young psychiatrists.
Rabbi Dr. Laibl Wolf
Renowned mystic, author and speaker
Rabbi Dr. Laibl Wolf is Dean and Founder of the Spiritgrow Wellness Centre, Melbourne, Australia. A graduate of Law and Psychology, he is a best-selling author and international acclaimed lecturer drawing on positive psychology side by side with ancient spiritual wisdoms.
An unusual blend of Hassidic Rabbi, therapist and teacher, he has presented at forums such as the Fortune 500 Convention, the International Psychology Conference, and the Gawler International Wellness Conventions. He was senior lecturer in Jewish spirituality at University of Melbourne and was personally consulted by the Dalai Lama. He lists Lord Rabbi Dr. Sir Jonathan Sacks as a good friend and colleague. His mentor was the revered Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (the Lubavitcher Rebbe obm).
Author of the best-selling, Practical Kabbalah (Random House), he has lectured in over 500 cities across the globe over 30 years on meditation, mindfulness and personal growth. The son of Polish holocaust survivors, he received his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Dr Alex Wodak AM
PhysicianAlex Wodak, a physician, is a Director of Australia 21 and is the President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. He was Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, from 1982 until he retired in 2012. Dr Wodak was the Foundation President of the International Harm Reduction Association (1996-2004) and helped to establish the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (1987), the NSW Users AIDS Association (1989), and the Australian Society of HIV Medicine (1989).
Dr Rachel Yehuda
Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for the Study of Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma, Vice Chair for Veterans Affairs for the Psychiatry Department and a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as well as the Director of Mental Health at the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division.
Throughout her career her research has focused on the study of the enduring effects of trauma exposure, particularly PTSD, as well as associations between biological and psychological measures. She has investigated novel treatment approaches for PTSD and the biological factors that may contribute to differing treatment outcomes for the purpose of developing personalized medicine strategies for treatment matching in PTSD.
This work has resulted in an approved US patent for a PTSD blood test. Recently, Dr Yehuda’s laboratory has used advances in stem cell technology to examine PTSD gene expression networks in induced neurons. The Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma integrates sophisticated brain imaging and molecular neuroscience in PTSD with clinical trials using MDMA assisted psychotherapy and other related medicines. She has authored more than 450 published papers, chapters, and books in the field of trauma and resilience, focusing on topics such as PTSD prevention and treatment, molecular biomarkers of stress vulnerability and resilience, and intergenerational effects of trauma and PTSD.