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Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Forum 2023

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Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Forum 2023 | Strong Communities

This year's program will include speakers, a panel, and practical workshops with a focus on building stronger communities across Tasmania. The forum is open to anyone with an interest in suicide prevention and is a great opportunity to network with others with a shared interest including community members, those with lived experience, government employees and service providers. 


Dean Yates
Dean Yates (he/him) is a no-nonsense old journalist. Pan Macmillan Australia will publish his memoir in mid-2023. It’s a raw, gritty account of his seven-year odyssey to find the best ways to treat his PTSD and moral injury and reconnect with his family. Dean takes the reader inside the Ward 17 psych unit in Melbourne, where he spent 77 days and nights over a two-year period with scores of veterans and first responders. He shows how moral injury fits into the broader narrative of PTSD.

Dean was a journalist, bureau chief and senior editor at Reuters for 23 years, covering the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia’s Aceh province. He was bureau chief in Iraq when a U.S. Apache gunship killed two Reuters journalists in Baghdad on July 12, 2007. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange published footage of that attack in 2010, shocking millions around the world. From 2017-2020, Dean was head of mental health at Reuters, a unique position in any global media organisation.

He lives in Evandale in Tasmania with his life partner Mary and their three adult children Patrick, Belle and Harry and a motley bunch of pets: three dogs, three cats, seven sheep and 10 chooks.

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM (she/her) is the Director of Everymind, a national Institute working from their regional base in Newcastle and dedicated to the prevention of mental ill-health and the prevention of suicide.  She is a registered psychologist, has a PhD focussed on suicide prevention and holds a conjoint appointment with the College of Health Medicine and Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle.

Between 2019 and 2020, Jaelea took leave from her substantive position at Everymind to lead the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce, supporting the work of the National Suicide Prevention Adviser. In 2022 Jealea supported the development of the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2023-2027. Jaelea is passionate about finding better connections between research and practice and ensuring knowledge translation in suicide prevention policy and practice.

Dr Polly McGee
Dr Polly McGee (they/them) is an author, speaker, leadership consultant, somatic psychotherapist and all-purpose human being. With over a decade working in leadership programs for public, university and private sector roles, Polly now splits their time facilitating groups large and small on their leadership journeys, and working therapeutically with people to help them release trauma and flourish. Polly has a strong background in combining facilitating, education and culture design with the search for meaning and purpose.

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania and Phoenix Centre   
Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) supports and empowers migrants and refugees to settle and live fulfilling lives in Tasmania through effective, targeted, and meaningful services. MRC Tas have multiple programs to support Tasmanian migrants to thrive in Tasmania, while also supporting local organisations and individuals with training to ensure our services are meeting the needs of diverse Tasmanians.

Programs include support with job seeking, social connection and skills acquisition, and targeted metal health support through the Phoenix Centre. The Phoenix Centre provides therapeutic and individual mental health and wellbeing support, mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention, and capacity building activities to people from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background. It also provides specialist support for survivors of torture and other traumatic experiences and their communities. Services are delivered in both Hobart and Launceston and include counselling, psycho educational group work, social connections programs, and community development activities.

Ali Faraj 

Ali is one of Australia’s most respected young Muslim leaders. As Head of Community with AFL club the Greater Western Sydney Giants, Ali plays a central role in uniting one of the most diverse regions in the world, Western Sydney. Ali recently featured as an adolescent expert on the hit ABC’s Old People's Home For Teenagers, a show that brings generations together to combat loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Ali has devoted his life towards improving the opportunities afforded to both Muslim and non-Muslim youths alike. He has spent the past decade engaging schools and teenagers in Western Sydney through a range of community outreach programs focused on social cohesion, education, employment, and leadership development. He is a qualified teacher and has been engaged by various Government and community working groups to help with social cohesion among young people right across NSW. Ali was an academic tutor at Western Sydney University guiding and mentoring future teachers and was named ‘Case Worker of the Year’ by the Migration Council Australia in 2015. Ali was born and raised in a Lebanese family in Western Sydney, and is a devoted husband and father of four.

Roses in the Ocean

Dom Pezzutto (She/he/they)
Dom works to foster spaces that recognise all people’s experiences as valid. She believes that by hearing and learning from all stories we can find a better way forward in prevention, intervention and postvention. Dom’s identity as Queer and Genderfluid (she/he/they) has made them particularly sensitive to the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Dom centres his work in an ongoing practice of self-reflection with regards to his place in the world. Always growing!

Dom can be found on a Sunday afternoon in their garden with a guitar in their hand and two chihuahuas at their feet. In winter her habitat is the ski field and in summer she’s likely to be spotted at a music festival.

Nichola Parry (she/her)
An impassioned advocate for Suicide Prevention, Nichola is dedicated to amplifying and integrating the voices of lived experience of suicide nationally, through effective collaboration and sustainable community engagement.

Nichola brings a diverse skillset gained whilst working in the corporate sector to her role as Head of LE Engagement and Integration, including over 25 years of people, project and event management experience.

In her spare time, Nichola enjoys various fitness activities, spending time with her loved ones and chilling with her pet pug.

The attendees will have the opportunity to choose their preferred workshop in March.


  • Full Registration $90
  • Concession $45
  • Limited scholarship positions are available to students and/community members for whom cost would be a barrier to attendance. Get in touch for further details.


  • Friday 31 March 2023
  • The Tramsheds Function Centre, 4 Invermay Rd, Launceston
  • 8.30am registration, 9am-5pm
  • Lunch included in ticket price 

Trade Tables

We are passionate about supporting Tasmanians to connect and share information about resources and support available in the suicide prevention space. This year’s forum will provide the option to network and share information about your organisation or services through trade tables. During scheduled breaks, you will have the opportunity man your trade table and connect with other attendees.

If you would like to make use of this space at the Forum, please contact the Suicide Prevention Project Officers at Relationships Australia Tasmania on 1300 364 277 or at to reserve your spot by 28 February 2023.

More Information

If you require further information about the forum, please feel free to contact the Suicide Prevention Project Officers, on 1300 364 277 or at

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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 7 days prior to the event