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Erin Smith 

Associate Professor,

 Disaster and Emergency Response 

Erin Smith

Erin Smith is an Associate Professor in Disaster and Emergency Response at Edith Cowan University. She has extensive experience teaching and researching within the multidisciplinary fields of prehospital and disaster response. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine where she also holds the positions of Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group and Deputy Chair of the Oceania Chapter. Erin is a Committee Member with The Code 9 Foundation, a charity established to help first responders with mental health illness support each other through both face-to-face and online peer-to-peer support. Erin also writes a monthly column "Let's Talk Mental Health" for the Australian Emergency Services Magazine. Erin sits on the Editorial Boards of the journals Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and the Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine. She is an active peer reviewer and is widely published in the literature.

Mark Dobson 

Firefighter - Fire & Rescue NSW

Mark Dobson

Mark is a firefighter with Fire & Rescue NSW and Workplace mental health pioneer. He was awarded a Queen’s Birthday honour in 2020 for creating a world class mental health framework for Fire & Rescue NSW, CEO & Founder of Ordinary Courage. Mark has collaborated with the Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue and  is widely recognised as a leading expert in the field of workplace mental health, and has devoted the past 30 years to researching, developing and implementing workplace mental health programs. Mark founded Ordinary Courage to help businesses establish leading mental health initiatives to improve staff engagement and productivity by empowering leaders.

Rachel Davidson

Organisational Consultant and Psychologist

Rachel Davidson

Rachael is an Organisational Consultant and Psychologist responsible for the design and delivery of a range of assessment and organisational development projects to clients in both the public and private sectors. Rachael started her career as a Consultant Psychologist with ValueEdge. Since then she has run her own consulting practice and has worked as an HR and L&D professional with the federal government and with private sector organisations. She has experience in leadership, capability mapping and frameworks, team and individual development, specialist selection, psychological assessment, performance coaching and group facilitation.

Dr Sarah Hewat

Project planner and manager - Emergency Services Foundation


Sarah is an anthropologist with a BA in psychology and twenty plus years of experience in international development and academia.  Her introduction to emergency management was as evaluation and review officer at the Inspector General of Emergency Management (IGEM). Since mid-2019, Sarah has been a project planner and manager at the Emergency Service Foundation where her core area of responsibility is management of the ESF Learning Network and its various projects including the Leading for Better Mental Health pilot program.  In 2019 Sarah was involved in socially inclusive post-disaster reconstruction planning for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in two tsunami affected areas in Indonesia.  Sarah has personal experience of earthquakes and bushfires and is passionate about supporting the people who support our community through disasters.

If you would like to contact Sarah throughout the program, you can do so via:
Mobile: 0437 850 360

Kevin Smith

Leadership development consultant

Kevin Smith

Kevin has 35 years' experience working with team leaders and teams across many industries and countries including:
* off shore oil platforms for BP in Angola
* operations crews in a fuel terminal in Azerbaijan
* airline flight crews for Qantas
* operating theatre and emergency teams in private hospitals in Singapore and Melbourne
* operations teams in oil refineries and petrochemical plants in PNG, Malaysia and Indonesia
* faculties and department teams  in Australian universities
* volunteer and permanent firefighter crews in Victoria
* sales and marketing teams in Bunnings for 10 years
* carers and counsellors for the homeless…Whitelion
* maintenance crews in gas terminals for BP in China
* design and innovation teams for LEGO in Singapore and China
Kevin is passionate about helping teams and team leaders achieve sustainable, high performance.

Nicole Sadler 

Head of Policy and Practice - Phoenix Australia


Nicole Sadler is the Head of Policy and Practice, Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and an Enterprise Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She is a Clinical Psychologist with an in-depth understanding of the issues and challenges for individuals working in high-risk organisations. She has led mental health strategic reviews, and policy and training development projects for police, emergency services and other government agencies at Commonwealth and State levels. Prior to joining Phoenix Australia in 2017, she served in the full-time Army for 23 years and completed her career in the senior Army psychology position at the rank of Colonel.  She continues to serve in the Army Reserves. Nicole is currently undertaking a PhD through the University of Adelaide, investigating suicide ideation and behaviours in serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel.

Professor Russell Roberts

Organisational Consultant and Psychologist


Russell is Professor of leadership Charles Sturt University. Beginning his career as a practicing clinical psychologist, he has served as Executive Director of Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Services for Western NSW (encompassing an area of over 550,000 square kms) with approximately 1100 staff and an annual budget of $110 mil. He is now Chair of the Australian Workplace Mental Health Symposium and Chair of the Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference. He is also on the board of the ANZ Mental Health Association and Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Rural Health. He has a Masters in Public Administration, a PhD in research and a Masters of Clinical Psychology. He is director the CSU Workplace Wellbeing Research Unit, and also National Director of Equally Well. His focus is on mental health and wellbeing of the workforce. He brings a unique perspective of someone who with extensive experience as a clinician, service director, advocate and researcher to the area of leadership and mental health.

Siusan MacKenzie

CEO - Emergency Services Foundation


Siusan is the inaugural CEO of the Emergency Services Foundation, a role she has fulfilled since 2018. She came into the role with a background in emergency services having been on the executive team at CFA as head of communications. She also has a secondary and tertiary teaching background and a deep understanding of wellbeing in organisational settings which comes from 15 years of consulting experience. Siusan is Chair of the ESF Learning Network funded by WorkSafe which brings together wellbeing managers from across the sector to collaborate to improve mental health outcomes. Siusan led the development of the Leading for Better Mental Health program and is passionate about the positive difference strong leadership can make to the state of wellbeing across the sector.