Presenters & Abstracts, 2020 MHIS

We are still finalising the program for the 2020 MHIS Conference, however we are pleased to announce the following confirmed speakers:


Dr Brock Bastian

Dr Brock Bastian is a Professor and the Dame Kate Campbell Research Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is trained as a social psychologist and his research broadly focuses on the topics of wellbeing and morality. In his research on well-being, he has addressed questions such as why promoting happiness may have a downside, the cultural factors leading to depression, and why valuing our negative and painful experiences in life is a critical pathway to achieving happiness. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Economist, The New Yorker, TIME, New Scientist, Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, and The Huffington Post, among many others.

His innovative approach to research has been acknowledged with the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize, and his contribution to psychology has been recognized by the Australian Psychological Society and Society of Australasian Social Psychologists early career researcher awards. Brock is not only passionate about building scientific knowledge, but also about communicating that knowledge. He has written for popular press outlets, such as The Conversation; delivered popular talks, such as at TEDx StKilda, The Ethics Centre Sydney, and Effective Altruism Australia; and appeared on radio shows such as The Minefield. His first book The Other Side of Happiness was published in January 2018.

Building more resilient adolescents: Why our best intentions are leading us astray

We all know that resilience is important. We have been told that focusing on strengths is critical for building happy and healthy children. But where does resilience and personal strength come from? The current zeitgeist of focusing on the importance of positive emotion, positive thinking, and positive self-regard may be inadvertently leading to less happiness and less resilience. In this talk I will explore how to build resilience and personal strength, how to avoid toxic positivity, and why teaching children to lean into discomfort is critical in promoting their wellbeing.


Dr Michael Nagel

Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast where he teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, human development, behaviour and learning. He is the author of thirteen books on child development and learning used by teachers and parents in over twenty countries and has delivered over 300 workshops and seminars for parents and teachers nationally and internationally. Nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010, Dr Nagel has been an invited guest on ‘TV New Zealand Breakfast’, ‘Canada AM’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘The Project’. Dr Nagel is also a member of the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society, and a feature writer for ‘Jigsaw’ and the ‘Child’ series of magazines which collectively offers parenting advice to more than one million Australian readers.

Abstract  still to come

Stephanie Dunn

Engaging the primary caregiver

Abstract and bio still to come

Professor Phillip Slee

Bullying and Wellbeing

Abstract and bio still to come

Nick Busietta

Abstract and bio still to come