A/Professor Michael Gordon is a practicing psychiatrist and is the Unit Head of the child and adolescent stream in Early in Life Mental Health Service (formerly CAMHS) at Southern Health. He completed his clinical doctorate in the area of adolescent depression and has a strong clinical and research interest in adolescent depression, anxiety and somatoform disorders. He has published several papers and a book chapter in the area of adolescent depression. A/Professor Gordon is also an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Monash University and is currently involved in a number of collaborative research projects with Monash University, including the School Refusal Clinic.

A/Professor Michael Gordon, Psychiatrist, has extensive experience working with schools on issues of mental health relating to young people. A/Professor Gordon provides training and professional mentoring for educational leaders, teachers, school psychologists and counsellors and is ideally placed to take participants through the myriad and complex issues involved in adolescent mental illness in the school context.


Dr Karen Hallam is a Senior Research Fellow and Research Manager at YSAS in Melbourne. Karen completed her PhD in the Psychiatry Department in the area of mood disorders and followed with a Clinical Psychology Masters. Since then, Karen has worked as a Senior Lecturer in University clinical psychology programs for a decade training clinical psychologists. Most recently, Karen has moved to Youth Support and Advocacy Service to lead research in the area of youth disadvantage and substance use as a Senior Research Fellow and Research Manager. Karen's research and clinical track record focuses on youth, wellbeing and helping people figure out who they are and what they want in order to elicit change. Karen has a passion in sharing discussions of the nexus between clinicians and clients as people… namely the therapeutic alliance. This concept is often cited but rarely understood in terms of impacts on both lives. To “live in the muck” and “walk alongside” is much of what she shares with groups and in training when discussing this unique and privileged relationship.


Dr Shannon Morton is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with a special interest in treating young people who naturally exist outside the usual boxes, and prefer to colour outside the lines. She is the Clinical Director of the “The Kooky Kid Clinic”, a multidisciplinary clinic with a difference in Brisbane, where humour and holistic, expressive therapies are used to celebrate differences, reframe medical symptoms and sufferings, and challenge stigmatizing stereotypes head on. She has previously worked in a Prison Mental Health Service, and spent many years working in a low socio-economic area, with a large number of children with externalizing disorders in her practice.

She has special interests in working with young people with Tourette Syndrome and associated challenges, those suffering from self harm, or those with unconventional tendencies that push institutional boundaries. She has assisted in research data collection for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) treatment of severe Tourette Syndrome, and was one of the youngest speakers invited to present at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry in Paris, on the topic of refractory Tourette Syndrome in Adolescents. She has also acted as a medical advisor for the SBS Documentary “The Silent Epidemic” on the science of self injury, having worked with world experts on mirror neurons at the La Sapienza University in Rome during her research project on emotional mirror neurons, attachment, and self harm. She currently runs “The Healing Circle”, a self harm recovery group for teens, and “Bubble and Squeak”, a Tourette Syndrome support group.


Rachel has been a registered psychologist since 2002.  She consulted to various organisations for years, working with doctors, nurses, teachers, pilots, lawyers, managers and executives, and gained broad experience in coaching individuals and groups. She is skilled at helping people cope with stress and trauma, relationship conflict, and personal change. In 2006, Rachel was awarded her PhD which looked at psychological burnout and resilience.