12-13th November 2020 - VIRTUAL EVENT

The National School Counsellors & Psychologists (SCAP) Conference is an annual conference held over 2 days each November. Due to the COVID 19 crisis, the 2020 SCAP Conference is going virtual. The ongoing crowd and travel restrictions across large parts of the country leave us with no certainty that we will be able to run a face to face event this year. Therefore, in the interests of some certainty we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SCAP Conference Virtually. We will certainly miss seeing everyone in person but are excited to be proceeding with our highly regarded SCAP Conference. We are hopeful that a virtual event might provide an opportunity for more people in regional/remote areas to attend.


Early Bird Extended until 8th October - What a year!

Early Bird Registration: $330 inc GST (by 30th September 2020)

Standard Registration: $385 inc GST (before 5th November 2020)
Payments after 5th November 2020 may incur a late fee.



Registration now open

Melbourne: 12-13th November 2020

The SCAP Conference this year is a VIRTUAL EVENT. Held over two days, it will combine keynote sessions with short, active segments to provide variation and encourage maximum engagement. To provide additional flexibility, a recording of all sessions will be available to delegates for a period of time post conference.

Conference Opening

Conference Opening: The fabulous and fun conference opening will again form part of this year's SCAP conference. Join us for virtual cocktails and canapes. Bring along your favourite drink and a small list of ingredients to make your own with directions from Michele Chevalley Hedge, or just come along and join the fun. A list of ingredients will be sent to you prior. The conference opening is optional.

Conference Program

Thursday Program: 9am-4.15pm
Session 1: 9 - 10.10am - Professor Ian Hickie

Welcome and Introduction

"COVID 19- Educational Challenges"

Professor Ian Hickie

Co-Director, The Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney’s, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow

Session 2: 10.40 - 11.45am - Professor Felice Jacka & Michele Chevalley Hedge

10.40 am - 11.10 am:

The Food and Mood connection: an update on Nutritional Psychiatry

Professor Felice Jacka
Director, Food & Mood Centre, IMPACT, Deakin University, Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Black Dog Institute and James Cook University

5 min break

11.15 am - 11.45 am:

Does Junk Food Really Hurt Your Brain and Mental Health?

Michele Chevalley Hedge
Nutritionist and Wellbeing Expert

Session 3: 12 pm - 1pm - Nicole Hill

“A critical window of opportunity for suicide prevention in young people exposed to suicide and self-harm”

Nicole Hill
Research Fellow in Youth Suicide Prevention

Session 4: 2 pm - 2.45pm - Associate Professor Jo Robinson

The #chatsafe project: young people, social media, and suicide prevention

Associate Professor Jo Robinson
Head of Suicide Prevention Research, Orygen

Session 5: 3.05pm - 4.15pm: Panel - Current and Best Practice in Suicide Prevention

Panel - Current and Best Practice in Suicide Prevention:

Associate Professor Jo Robinson, Nic Newling, Alex Dalton & Nicole Hill

4.15 pm - Day Close


Friday Program 9am - 3.45pm
Session 1: 9 - 10.30am - Nic Newling & Professor Michael Berk

9 am - 9.30 am:

From the Inside out - stories from an adolescent psychiatric ward

Nic Newling

Advocate for mental health & suicide prevention

9.30 am - 10.30 am:

Why might depression be increasing in our community, and what could we do about this? With a focus on the emergence of mental illness during adolescence

Professor Michael Berk

NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University and Barwon Health, Head of IMPACT, the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation

Session 2: 11 am - 12.20 pm - Dr John Burns & Nicholas Van Dam

11 am - 11.45 am:

Towards best practice in the school management of students with depressive disorders

Dr John Burns

Psychologist & Head of Counselling Services at a large multi-campus school in Sydney’s north, Associate Member at the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University

5 min Break

11.50 am - 12.20 pm:

Mindfulness in Practice

Nicholas Van Dam

Clinical psychologist and neuroscientist and a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Deputy Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Translation Group

Session 3: 1.15 pm - 2.15 pm - Scott Griffiths

The Male Experience of Eating & Body Image Disorders

Scott Griffiths

NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Session 4: 2.30 pm- 3.45 pm - Dr Brock Bastian

Building Personal and Community Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 – What are the lessons from COVID-19 and how can we use them to build a better future?

Dr Brock Bastian

Professor at the Dame Kate Campbell Research Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne

3.45 pm - Conference Close


About the SCAP Conference

The SCAP Conference is specifically designed to provide continuing professional development to psychologists and counsellors working within a school context. It aims to provide the most up to date research on adolescent mental health as well as opportunities to acquire new therapeutic skills. 

One of the aims of The SCAP conference is to provide opportunities for school psychologists and counsellors to meet others in the field, in order to broaden networks and working relationships. A feature of the SCAP conference is the social program, usually consisting of the CONFERENCE OPENING on the eve of the conference; an opportunity for delegates to enjoy the social and professional interaction of meeting other colleagues, and a little indulgence, and the CONFERENCE DINNER on the Thursday evening.

An important part of the collegial feature of the conference, there will be a social segment in 2020. It may look and feel a bit different but as always, we endeavour to deliver!

The SCAP conference is a unique experience and attracts delegates from across Australasia and the 2020 virtual event will be no exception. We warmly invite all to take part and look forward to seeing you virtually.

Who should attend?

  • School Psychologists & Counsellors
  • Wellbeing Staff
  • Chaplains
  • School Leadership Personnel in Wellbeing
  • Student Support Staff
  • Other Professionals Working with Young People