Building Hope Together – Australian Postvention Conference

The 2019 Conference focuses on building hope together through the three main conference themes – encouraging resilience, incorporating lived experience and facilitating collaboration between stakeholders. The conference encourages the sharing and discussion of ideas, stories and research to bring positive outcomes for the postvention sector.

This conference is primarily for those bereaved by suicide and for those supporting the bereaved. The conference will bring together family and friends who have been bereaved by suicide, Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, teachers, youth workers, social workers, mental health professionals, general practitioners and medical personnel, clergy, emergency services personnel, researchers, defence force personnel, service providers and funeral service personnel. The Hope and Healing Conference provides a wonderful opportunity for delegates throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific to network and share together their experience and knowledge.

The conference will showcase examples of best practice both nationally and from overseas experts. Exhibition booths provides literature on services and available national and local support agencies. At various points in their healing journey, delegates will utilise different aspects of the conference to minimise the incidence of further suicide. These delegates, who come from a variety of rural, remote and metropolitan areas in Australia, will bring back knowledge and coping skills to prevent suicide in their local communities. The conference also raised awareness of the possibility of recovery thereby minimising hopelessness and building resilience against future suicide attempts.

Healing and Remembrance Service

A Healing and Remembrance Service will be held during the final day of the conference, Saturday 15 June. The ceremony is a unique event that is the heart of the conference, providing an opportunity for individuals, families, friends and conference delegates to come together in strength and community to share and be supported in their grief as we honour and remember their loved ones and connect through hope and healing.

My Story – A Lived Experience

A bereaved person will share their story at the beginning of each plenary to link their lived experience with the theoretical aspect of the conference. While it is often challenging to find the words to give expression to the experience of loss to suicide, telling one’s story can be healing and strengthening. It can also be an effective way to break down the silence and stigma often associated with suicide. (All presentations conform to the Mindframe Guidelines).

Plenary Speakers

  • Dr Julie Cerel (President, American Association for Suicidology), “You’re not alone: Suicide impacts us all”
  • Sharon McDonnell (Director, Suicide Bereavement UK), “Suicide Bereavement: Looking Forward and Instilling Hope”
  • Ken Norton (Executive Director, NAMI NH, Connect Program), “The Connect Program: Engaging Communities in A Proactive and Coordinated Response to Reduce Risk and Promote Healing In The Aftermath of A Suicide”
  • Prof. Pat Dudgeon (Deputy Chair, Australian Indigenous Psychologist’s Association, Chair, National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Leaders Mental Health)
  • Prof. Myfanwy Maple (Professor of Social Work, University of New England), “Learning from the experience of others – can lived experience influence suicide prevention?”
  • Adele Cox (Chief Executive, Thirrili Ltd, Project Director of National Indigenous Critical Response Project)
  • Nikki Jamieson (Principal Project Officer, Suicide Prevention in Health Services, Queensland Health), “Moral injury and the military: Paradigms, perspectives and possibilities”
  • Karl Andriessen, PhD (NHMRC ECF, Centre For Mental Health, University Of Melbourne, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School Of Psychiatry, University Of New South Wales), “How to help adolescents bereaved by suicide? The grief, mental health and help-seeking experiences of adolescents”
  • Assoc. Prof. Judith Murray (Associate Professor in Counselling and Counselling Psychology, University of Queensland)
  • Dr Diana Sands (Director, Bereaved by Suicide Centre for Intense Grief Therapy), “Interactive Plenary – Suicide bereavement service provision in Australia: What’s happening today?”
  • Guest Conference Dinner Speaker: Anna Wardley (Endurance swimmer and charity fundraiser for suicide prevention organisations), “Turning the Tide – Swimming beyond the pain of suicide loss”

Conference Registration Fees

There are special rates of registration for those bereaved by suicide and facilitators working with the bereaved in support groups.


Special bursaries will be available upon request for the bereaved by suicide and support group facilitators who would otherwise be unable to attend. For further information please contact Alan Staines, National Secretary, via email at or by phone on 0412 164 575.



Venue: Sydney Masonic Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney

Date/Time: Multi day | Thu 13 Jun - Sat 15 Jun 2019, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Cost : Ticket pricing varies

Event Organiser: Postvention Australia

Contact: Alan Staines

Phone: 0412 164 575

Email: Click here

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