YHF Summit 2021






Roxxanne MacDonald
Consumers Health Forum of Australia Young Leader
Youth Health Forum


Roxxanne MacDonald is a writer, speaker and youth health advocate. She is one of the Young Leaders and spokesperson for the Youth Health Forum, and was appointed to the Consumer Health Forum Board in 2019.

Knowing that good healthcare experiences lead to better health outcomes, Roxxanne is passionate about combining lived experience expertise, good design, and person-centred care to build a compassionate, easy-to-navigate healthcare system that meets consumers where they’re at. With expertise in youth and consumer engagement, Roxxanne focuses on complex mental illness, addressing social determinants of health, and alternative models of care.

Roxxanne was a member of Orygen’s Youth Advisory Council Member and has worked with other organisation including the Department of Health, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Batyr, Children’s Health Queensland, Health Consumers Queensland, and more. She’s worked on projects ranging from federal health strategies and service planning frameworks, to youth mental health resources and design of new services.

Currently, Roxxanne is part of a research team at Orygen looking at peer work in youth mental health, while studying international development and public policy at the University of Queensland.





Katie Acheson
Co-Founder/Youth Development Specialist
Numbers and People Synergy


Children and young people engage with and experience issues differently to adults, and as such require targeted solutions. Katie Acheson, Co-founder of Numbers and People Synergy, has an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the issues facing children and young people and the benefits that flow from engaging young Australians. This has been developed through her extensive experience in the community sector, various levels of government and globally with international development organisations.

In addition, and complimentary to her role at Numbers and People Synergy, Katie is also:
·Lead youth consultant for United Nations World Youth Report 2021
·Financial Review’s Woman of Influence 2019
·Economic Forum Summit Leader 2015
·Impact 25’s second most influential person in the Social Sector 2015 (alongside the likes of Rosie Batty, Julia Gillard, Professor Gillian Triggs and Elizabeth Broderick)
·Australian Youth Expert for the Commonwealth Youth Development Index 2016 & 2020
·Newly appointed CEO of Youth Advocacy Centre

Katie and the NAPS team partnered with the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) and jurisdictional peak bodies to develop the 2nd Australian Youth Development Index (AYDI). This project included multiple youth consultations in each jurisdiction to ensure youth voice is present throughout the design and construction of the AYDI.

Tracking youth development data is crucial for the creation of evidence-based policies to address challenges young people face and promote positive development. Identifying the most vulnerable youth in society is particularly important to appropriately target policies and programs, ensuring every young Australian has the opportunity to thrive. The AYDI analyses the state of youth development across the country, using internationally tested methodology for the Global Youth Development Index.





Gemma Wood
Co-Founder/Principal Statistician
Numbers and People Synergy


Gemma Wood is a statistician and community development researcher with over 20 years of experience in research and consulting roles in the private, public and NGO sectors. She has maintained a focus on increased equity and opportunity for all social groups and particularly marginalised and vulnerable people.

One of Gemma’s career highlights was in February 2017, when she was invited to be part of a six-person panel at the UN Headquarters in New York to speak on “Promoting Integrated Policies for Poverty Eradication: Youth Development in the 2030 Agenda”.

She has led stakeholder engagement with disadvantaged groups, youth, youth organisations, government and NGOs. These consultations have been to develop a better understanding of specific local issues and to find out what development measurement data is available now and what might be available in the future. Her report writing style is accessible to lay people but is still useful for technical experts who design and implement policies based on her work.

Gemma has provided technical support to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Hub for Arab States, as part of their work of supporting governments in developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks of national action plans for preventing violent extremism (PVE).

Her work in Australia has included developing two Australian Youth Development Indexes (AYDI), the second due to be released early 2021 and database creation. This project included multiple youth consultations in each jurisdiction to ensure youth voice is present throughout the design and construction of the YDI.

By compiling the available youth-related datasets into one comprehensive and harmonised measure, the AYDI will enable users to gain a better understanding of youth development in a single snapshot. Additionally, the research that informs the index also enables users to identify the areas in which collection of data on young people needs to be strengthened or expanded. The AYDI will make it possible to compare the status and well-being of young people living in each State and Territory.





Caitlin Figueiredo
Co-Chair, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition


Caitlin Figueiredo ("Fig-ar-aye-do) is a proud Goan-Australian and Founder- CEO of Jasiri Australia, a social enterprise working to unleash the next generation of diverse political leaders and democratic shapers. Jasiri works with over 35% of Australia’s federal parliament and 130 politicians across the Pacific annually. In 2020, Caitlin was selected by the Prime Minister and Minister for Youth as an Expert Panellist to co-develop the Australian Youth Development Index. She is the Co-Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, the national peak body representing Australia’s 4.5 million young people.

Caitlin has eight years’ experience advising and developing mobilisation and policy strategies for international civil society organisations in Australia and abroad. She has worked with two DFAT Assistant Secretaries as a Senior Consultant for the Australian Aid Program and served on three United Nations Task Forces in New York, where she was a founding committee member on the UN Commission of the Status of Women Youth Forum. She has represented Australia numerous times on the international stage.

For her work in civic mobilisation and gender equality, Caitlin was named a Queens Young Leader by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 list maker. She remains the youngest woman to win an Australian 100 Women of Influence category. Caitlin has a bachelor’s degree in Development Studies with a Pacific Regional Specialisation and is currently completing her Masters in National Security Policy from the ANU.





Franklin Hooper
UNICEF Australia’s Young Ambassador


Franklin (Frank) is a 21-year-old youth worker, mental health and LGBTQIA+ advocate living in Melbourne. Frank has been advocating for mental health and the LGBTQIA+ community since he was 17 when he started his first not-for-profit organisation in the Northern Territory called Keep Talking which ran Katherine’s first two pride festivals in 2017 and 2018.

Since June of 2019 Frank has been a UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador, working on a report with his fellow young ambassadors which gives an overview of how young people in Australia feel about their lives and the state of the world.

Now Frank is working on the child-friendly version of their UNICEF report, “Children’s Voices in a Changing World”. He is passionate about providing funding and support to community services and pre-clinical mental health support services in rural and remote parts of Australia as he believes this is a way to ensure that less young people reach the point where they need to access clinical mental health services, thus reducing demands on these services.

Frank is also very passionate about advocating for inclusive and accessible education practices for schools, community groups and organisations which ensures that our teaching reflects the progress minority groups are making to have their rights protected.





Georgia Gardner
Young Leader
Youth Health Forum


Georgia Gardner has been part of the Youth Health Forum since the first forum event in 2018, and has been one of the Young Leader team since 2020. In that role, they’ve contributed to YHF’s submission to the senate inquiry into Government Response to COVID-19, a statement on the Religious Discrimination Bill, submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health and facilitated a 6-month working group of YHF members on delivering digital healthcare.

Georgia is also part of CHF’s rural and remote special interest group, Beyond COVID-19 Consumer Commission, and YHF representative to the Steering Committee for the Australian Youth Advocates for Mental Health (AYAMH) Initiative run by headspace.

Georgia grew up with an autoimmune disease in rural NSW and began volunteering in the health sector in their teens. They have now 10 years’ experience in peer support, patient-lead support groups, and youth health advocacy. They have particular interest in rare disease, chronic health, LGBTQIA+ health, rural and remote health, and health communications. Their professional background is in communications and community engagement, and they are currently undertaking graduate studies in psychology.





Samuel J Hockey
Youth Lived Experience Researcher
The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre


Samuel Hockey is a former National Mental Health Commissioner and a National Youth Mental Health Ambassador. Samuel works as a Youth Lived Experience Researcher at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre.

On the side, Samuel hosts the Facing It Podcast; a lived experience informed mental health podcast cutting the crap in research and resources to understand what it means for those facing mental ill-health.

Prior to his work in the mental health field, Samuel had a career in communication design; working for some of the nation’s leading design studios. This previous career has informed the way Samuel sees the need for proper dissemination of new developments and resources in mental health.





Kelly Ann (KA) McKercher
Innovation Lead
NSW Health Pathology


Kelly Ann (KA) McKercher (them/they) is a designer, writer and public sector innovation leader. They are the author of ‘Beyond Sticky Notes: Doing Co-design for Real.’

KA has led co-design and design-led projects for more than a decade across all levels of government, within communities and with not-for-profits. In addition to leading innovation within NSW Government, KA teaches design at the University of Sydney.

KA’s work on ‘designing with’ is taught in universities, is supporting health and social care systems reform internationally and used as a reference guide by thousands of practitioners (young and older).

Learn more about Kelly Ann’s work:





Neil Pharaoh
Co-Founder + Director


Neil is a government engagement and campaigning guru with a depth of experience in social purpose, government, public policy, and advocacy. Having led corporate affairs, business development and marketing teams, he has been the driving force behind leading social policy and advocacy campaigns, as well as national and international philanthropic and development work - in child welfare, education, refugee and LGBTIQ+ issues.

After many years working across the not-for-profit, private and government sectors, both in Australia and internationally, Neil, co-founded Tanck, a government engagement consulting firm who believe there is strength in strategy and structural and systemic government engagement.

Neil & Tanck has already delivered a range of highly successful government engagement, advocacy, business development and funding outcomes for a variety of clients spanning different sectors. United by shared purpose, Neil and Tanck are committed to building highly motivated, engaged, and effective teams within social-purpose organisations.

Neil has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Accounting) and a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University; and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). Neil has qualifications in Media Training, Project Management, and has completed a Harvard University Short Course on Executive Leadership.

Neil was a founding director of LGBTIQ+ philanthropic group, GiveOUT Australia, and was national co-convenor of Rainbow Labor, where he led the internal campaign that achieved over 200 legislative and regulatory reforms, including changing the Labor Party’s position on marriage equality. Neil was featured in the Deloitte ‘2018 Outstanding 50 LGBTI Leaders’ list and ran for Victorian Parliament in 2014 and 2018 as the Labor candidate for Prahran.

Neil is proud of his culturally and linguistically diverse background, and of being a member of the LGBTIQ+ community. He brings these connections, strengths, and diversity to every engagement.

Neil sits on a number of private, government and community boards across healthcare, energy, environment, education and philanthropy.

A note from the Organising Committee: "Thank you Neil for donating your time towards the YHF Summit for the public good."





Andrew Hollo
Workwell Consulting


Andrew Hollo is one of Australia’s leading experts in realising the potential of organisations and groups to develop ‘big ideas’ and gain collective results, especially in demanding, complex sectors and where work across organisational and sector boundaries is required. He has high level of skill in getting diverse views to the highest value, and clear conceptual agreement in the shortest possible time. In 20 years, Andrew has led over 500 projects for clients who deliver substantial public value: government and nongovernment, privately held and non-profit.

Andrew’s clients routinely endorse him for his ability to help them:
- Envision = Discover what’s possible (when they’re stuck)
- Ideate = Find what’s got potential (when they’re doing things the same old way)
- Decide = Determine what’s worth doing (when they’ve been indecisive)
- Disseminate = Get attention and widespread adoption
- Act = Take concrete steps to allocate effort

His recent projects involving complex multi-stakeholder strategy development include government departments and agencies, regulatory authorities, consumer and professional membership organisations & peak bodies, and a wide array of non-profit and for-purpose service providers in healthcare, aged care, disability support, social services and more.





Jahin Tanvir
Youth Advocate
WH&Y Centre
Research Excellence in Adolescent Health


Jahin Tanvir is a 20-year-old policy adviser, keynote speaker, author, and multicultural youth advocate. With a penchant of being multifaceted, Jahin possesses a strong background in youth leadership and advocacy in leading youth-led organisations such as Oaktree, World Vision, Multicultural Youth Affairs Network Australia, Red Cross, and the United Nations to name a few.

In 2021, Jahin received the 2021 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year in Individual Community Service as well as recognition in the 7NEWs Young Achiever awards for NSW/ ACT in the category of community service. Jahin also received the Zest Awards Outstanding Youth Leader of the year for 2021 for his work in assisting multicultural communities in Western Sydney in parallel with the ACT Government Scholarship for Social Entrepreneurship – his efforts revolving in both NSW and the ACT. As well as that, Jahin received a brand endorsement in 2021 by KIND Snacks as a youth leader and scholarships to various conferences speaking on youth issues.

He has had guest speaker roles in Parliament House, National Roundtable on COVID-19 Vaccines for Youth by the Department of Health, ABC National Radio, and various panel discussions revolving around bringing the issues of young people colour, particularly migrant, refugee and indigenous youth, at the forefront of mainstream discussions. He has represented Australia on the global stage with highlights including being invited to speak as a guest speaker at the Australasian Aid conference at the Australian National University and as speaker at the National Youth Commission Summit alongside PM Scott Morrison.

Jahin is also a young media spokesperson trained by the Economic Media Centre as part of the Centre for Australian Progress, providing expert media comment on multicultural people's experiences in Australian communities.





Associate Professor Michelle Telfer
Director, Department of Adolescent Medicine
The Royal Children’s Hospital


Associate Professor Michelle Telfer is a Paediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Physician. She is currently the Director of the Department of Adolescent Medicine at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Melbourne. She is also the Director of the RCH Gender Service, being instrumental in the development and expansion of the clinical and research programs with rising demand for trans-medicine in children and adolescents. As an advocate for improved access to medical treatment, Michelle was central to the achievement of federal legal reform, with trans and gender diverse young people now being able access hormone and surgical treatment without the need for approval by the Family Court of Australia. She is also the lead author of the Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents which was endorsed through an editorial in The Lancet, and she was personally profiled in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health in 2019.

Michelle was awarded the 2017 GLOBE Community Award for LGBTI Ally of the Year. In 2015 and 2018, the RCH Gender Service was awarded the Minister for Mental Health’s Award for excellence in consumer leadership and advocacy at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Adolescent Health by the Australian Association for Adolescent Health in 2019.

Prior to studying medicine at the University of Western Australia Michelle was a gymnast with the Western Australian Institute of Sport. As a 16 year old she won silver and bronze medals at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland and was a member of the 1992 Olympic Gymnastics Team in Barcelona.





Zinab Al Hilaly
Youth Health Forum Young Leader
Headspace Visible


Zinab is a leader, storyteller, and mental health advocate. Over the last few years Zinab lead the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network of WA, where she used her role to empower multicultural young people through advocacy, policy, and leadership. Many programs that she ran included Shout Out, a youth leadership program that empowered Indigenous, migrant and refugee young people to become leaders through storytelling. She also facilitated and planned the Christmas Island Changemakers Youth Summit in 2020, a summit that trained young people to become active leaders in their community.

Zinab is connected to a diverse range of programs including Headspace where she is the Mental Health Youth Advocate in the Visible, a program that aims to utilise the arts and advocacy to promote community mental health. She is also young leader in the Youth Health Forum (Consumers of Health) as well as a community educator for the One Program at Anglicare WA.

As a dedicated and passionate advocate on a multitude of issues including youth leadership, women’s rights, mental health, and community health she utilises her voice and platforms to create inclusive spaces for all.





Professor Pat McGorry
Executive Director, Orygen
Ex-Australian of the Year


Professor Patrick McGorry is an Irish-born, Australian psychiatrist known world-wide for his development and scaling up of early intervention and youth mental health services, and for mental health innovation, advocacy and reform. He is executive director of Orygen, Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and founding editor of the journal “Early Intervention in Psychiatry”. He led the advocacy which resulted in the establishment by the Australian government in 2005 of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, which in 2006 became Headspace, and he remains a founding board member of that organisation.

Professor McGorry has published over 980 publications, with 47,266 citations and a “h” index of 112 (Scopus). He has played a key advocacy and advisory role to government and health system reform in Australia and in many parts of the world.

He is President of the International Association for Youth Mental Health, Past-President of the Schizophrenia International Research Society, Past-president of the Society for Mental Health Research, and was Founding President and is now Treasurer of the IEPA: Early Intervention in Mental Health. He is also a Founding Board Member of Australians for Mental Health.

In 2010 Professor McGorry was selected as Australian of the Year and became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). In 2013 he received the Annual Research Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Washington DC, and in 2015 was awarded the Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research by the US-based Brain and Behaviour Foundation. In 2016 he became the first psychiatrist to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2018 he received the Schizophrenia International Research Society Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2019 the Humanitarian Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry and the NHMRC Research Excellence Award.

Other roles include Treasurer and Member of the Committee of Management of the Celtic Club, a National Patron of the Justice Reform Initiative, Member of the National Committee of the Australian Republican Movement and Board Member of Ausflag.





Jasmine Elliott
CHF Youth Health Forum Young Leader
Headspace National Youth Reference Group


Jasmine Elliott (she/her) is a current Young Leader with the CHF Youth Health Forum and member of the headspace National Youth Reference Group in a consumer advisory capacity.

Jasmine was drawn to health advocacy having seen and experienced the health inequities that came with growing up in rural Queensland and the Northern Territory. Motivated to try and address these, Jasmine moved to Victoria in 2018 and is now a 4th Year Medical Student with Monash University.

Her lived experience with a mental illness in rural and regional Australia has given Jasmine insight into the impact of fragmented care on recovery. Her own and others’ stories have developed an appreciation for the importance of strong transitions between acute and community, and youth and adult services, having fallen through the cracks herself.

Jasmine is a keen advocate for the health of all Australians, regardless of age or postcode, currently translating this passion into her additional roles as an eheadspace Peer Support Moderator and Chair of the Australian Medical Students’ Association Rural Health Committee. Career-wise she’s hoping to juggle her passions for clinical medicine and health-policy, hopefully returning to small-town Australia in the not-so distant future.

When she is not writing articles, attending meetings or (tragically) spending her time studying, you can find Jasmine playing the trumpet, sketching and exploring Melbourne.





Dr Sandro Demaio


Dr Sandro Demaio is a medical doctor and globally-renowned public health expert and advocate. Having held the role of Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization, Dr Demaio was previously the CEO of the EAT Foundation, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation.

He has published 30 scientific papers and more than 90 articles and the author of the Doctor’s Diet, a cookbook based on science and inspired by a love of good food.

Dr. Demaio also co-hosts the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting across Australia and around the world.

Dr Demaio originally trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He holds a Masters degree in public health, a PhD in non-communicable diseases and has held fellowships at both Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.





Devon Bunce
Digital Storyteller


Devon is Digital Storytellers amazing scribe in residence. Full of curiosity about the world, she is a professional scribe artist who works at the intersection of illustration and graphic facilitation, where visuals are used as a way of sharing experiences and learnings – and making magic with metaphors.

Her special sauce is what we think of as “Colouring in Complexity”, transforming group conversations into tangible, meaningful and beautiful storytelling artefacts. Apart from being a visual artist, Devon also has a poetic way with words and an unreal head for thinking.

Graduating from renowned Kaos Pilots, a hybrid business and design school offering multi-sided education in leadership and entrepreneurship, she is trained to work with systemic and design thinking as a means for organizational, business, and social innovation.

She is also a Leadership Development Fellow at Global Leadership Foundation, who works to develop emotional health in community through the guiding principles of self-realization, collaboration, and stewardship.

Devon will be synthesising the key takeaways of the one day event, tracking her live scribing (drawing) and see the final beautiful illustration at the end of the day. A graphic recording of the event creates a colourful and impactful illustration, distilling the complex to the simple in a creative and captivating way.

more speaker information coming soon!