First responses to mental health crisis: where to from here?

Date: Friday 6 March 2020
Time: 6.30pm for pre-dinner drinks and canapes
7.00pm for two course dinner and cheese platter, including beverage package
Venue: Rydges Southbank Hotel, 9 Glenelg Street, South Brisbane

Price: Registration for ANZAPPL members: $70
Registration for non-members: $90

Please click here to register.

Ed Heffernan is the Director of the Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service and an Associate Professor in Psychiatry at The University of Queensland. He is a clinician with over 20 years’ experience working at the interface of the mental health and criminal justice systems and he leads the Forensic Mental Health Research Group at Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. He is also the Clinical Director of the Mental Health Liaison Services to the Police Communications Centre and Queensland Ambulance.

Ed will discuss the novel initiatives, the opportunities and the challenges for mental health services in supporting the first response to mental health crisis situations. He will overview and critique the range of collaborative models, including co-responder models, unique police mental health programs and the important role of the broader mental health sector in this space. He will discuss work happening in Queensland, including findings of a globally unique research study: Partners in Prevention: Understanding and Enhancing First Responses to Suicide Crisis Situations.

Queensland contributions to 39th ANZAPPL Congress

Presentations from members of the Queensland branch of ANZAPPL have been collected and made available here.

Interviewing persons with mental illness charged with murder or attempted murder: A retrospective review of police interviews
B Clugston, B Green, J Phillips, Z Samaraweera, C Ceron, C Gardner, C Meurk, E Heffernan

View PowerPoint [PDF]
View Publication [PDF]

Pseudologia fantastica and the costs of compassion
Frank Varghese

View PowerPoint [PDF]

What do forensic order patients know about sex? A sexual knowledge assessment survey
E Brand, A Ratsch, E Heffernan

View PowerPoint [PDF]

Evaluation of simulated criminal and coronial court education
E Kelly, A Wahid, E Brand, A Ratsch

The Sydney Lindt Café Siege: the role of the consultant psychiatrist

Members may be interested in the presentation below, which Dr Russ Scott delivered to the South Australian branch of ANZAPPL on November 13, 2019.

After the Lindt café siege in Sydney in 2014, the NSW Coroner concluded that although he did not have a mental illness, the Iranian-born gunman Man Haron Monis had become ‘radicalised’ and committed a ‘terrorist act.’ In his findings, the NSW Coroner was highly critical of the psychiatrist who advised and supported the police negotiators throughout the siege.

However, most of the assumptions made by the NSW Coroner can be questioned and his criticism of the psychiatrist was misplaced and ill-informed and overstated the psychiatrist’s influence on the negotiation strategy adopted by the police.

The Coroner’s disparagement of the psychiatrist who considered all the information known about Monis and developed a sophisticated formulation may have the unintended consequence that psychiatrists may be reluctant to assist police and security agencies in hostage-sieges or other critical incidents.

Dr Russ Scott, Forensic Psychiatrist to the Prison Mental Health Service, Quensland.

Dr Scott has a degree in Medicine and Surgery (University of Queensland) and a Masters of Law (Queensland University of Technology). He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and was the first psychiatrist to obtain accreditation as a forensic psychiatrist in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Scott was the consultant to the acute female inpatient unit of Thomas Embling Hospital in Victoria before he became the consultant to the acute male inpatient unit at High Security Inpatient Services at The Park – Centre for Mental Health, Wolston Park, Brisbane.

Between 2008 – 2011, Dr Scott was the medical issues section editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine and continues to be a regular contributor to the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Australasian Psychiatry and Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. Dr Scott is currently a consultant psychiatrist to the Prison Mental Health Service, Queensland Health and honorary secretary of the Queensland Branch of ANZAPPL.

View PowerPoint [PDF]

View Paper [PDF]

Identifying Risk in Intimate Partner Violence Psychiatric, Psychological and Legal Factors

Identifying Risk in Intimate Partner Violence Psychiatric, Psychological and Legal Factors

Time: 4.30 – 6.00pm
Date: Monday 25 November
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Queensland College of Art,
Griffith University South Bank Campus, South Brisbane 4101

Click here to download a flyer.

Violence against an intimate partner is common and can have a wide range of outcomes. In this seminar leading experts will share their knowledge concerning how we might identify and respond to the highest-risk offenders.


1630-1640: Welcome, Introduction and Context
Professor Mark Kebbell, School of Applied Psychology and Griffith Institute of Criminology, Griffith University.

1640-1700: Intimate partner violence fundamentals – how the law is structured, and how it is applied.
Joseph Briggs, Queensland Legal Aid
View PowerPoint [PDF]

1700-1720 :Learning from Tragedy: Findings from The Queensland Domestic and Family Death Review Board.
Associate Professor Kathleen Baird, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University
Deputy Chair, Queensland Domestic and Family Death Review and Homicide Review Board.
View PowerPoint [PDF]

1720-1750: Assessing intimate partner violence risk: challenges and possible solutions.
Associate Professor Troy McEwan, Swinbourne University and Forensicare.
View PowerPoint [PDF]

1750-1800: Closing remarks



Professor Mark Kebbell is Queensland President of ANZAPPL and Professor of Forensic Psychology at the School of Applied Psychology Griffith University and Griffith Criminology Institute. His expertise and research are in the area of investigative psychology particularly with regards the investigation and prosecution of serious crime. Mark’s previous work has included writing the guidelines for police officers in England and Wales (with Wagstaff) for assessing witness evidence and developing risk assessment methods for policing.

Joseph Briggs was admitted as a barrister in 1992 and, since 1998, has been a member of the Public Defenders’ Chambers of Legal Aid Queensland in Brisbane. Joe has considerable experience in trial courts in diverse locations including the aboriginal communities in the Gulf and Mt Isa regions on circuit. He has conducted a number of appeals in the Court of Appeal, and has appeared in a number of Commissions of Inquiry including the Indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia in 2016. For the many years, Joe has also practised in the Queensland Mental Health Court and has conducted over 1800 matters including numerous murders and attempted murders, and has also represented several persons who have appealed from decisions of the Mental Health Court. Joe has experience in the Mental Health Review Tribunal and is a member of the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Health and Disability Committee and helped established the QLS Ethics Sub-Committee.

Associate Professor Kathleen Baird holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor with the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University and Director of Midwifery and Nursing Education, Women Newborn and Children’s Services at Gold Coast University Hospital. Dr Baird has been a midwife since 1996 and has clinical experience in a variety of positions. In her academic career, which stretches over two continents, Dr Baird work has a strong focus on maternity care, the health response to domestic and family violence and women’s health. Her current appointments include a member of Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council and Deputy Chair of the Queensland Domestic and Family Death and Homicide Review Board. Dr Baird is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow with the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Associate Professor Troy McEwan is National President of ANZAPPL and a senior clinical and forensic psychologist at Forensicare in Melbourne, and a researcher with a particular interest in the effective assessment, treatment and management of complex criminal behaviours such as stalking, family and intimate partner violence, sexual offending, and firesetting. In addition to more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, she has co-authored and validated five risk assessment instruments for stalking and family violence, which are used by police, mental health and related agencies in Australia and around the world.

Pill testing at music events

Pill testing at music events
An evidence-based harm minimisation intervention which should be adopted in Australia

Date: Friday 11 October 2019
Time: 6.30 pm for pre-dinner drinks and canapes
7.00 pm three course dinner, including beverage package
Venue: Pacific Hotel, 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, Brisbane


During his evidence to the current Coroner’s Inquest into deaths at music festivals in New South Wales, Canberra A & E consultant Dr David Caldicott asserted that the “evidence” shows that on-site pill-testing “reduces the amount of drugs consumed by individuals” and “reduces the variety of drugs consumed.”

However, a recent review of pill testing in 20 countries was not able to cite any studies from anywhere in the world that demonstrated a decrease in substance use or the variety of substances used at music festivals or any effect on hospital attendances or any positive outcome attributable to any form of pill testing.

In April 2018, the first pilot study of ‘front of house’ pill testing (also known as “safety testing”) was conducted in Australia during the Groovin’ The Moo music festival which attracted over 24,000 attendees. Of the 75 attendees who had their pills tested and received the brief motivational interview to discourage them from taking their pills, more than half (58%) said they intended to use the drugs as originally planned, 12% said they would use less drug, 5% said they would not use the tested drug but would use another drug and 7% were undecided. Less than a fifth (18%) said they would not use any illicit drugs and only five (7%) were observed to discard their pills in the amnesty bin provided. There is a concern that formalised pill testing may create the illusion of “safety” and contribute further to the normalisation of substance use at music festivals in Australia.


Mark Daglish
Current Chairperson, Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (Queensland Branch)

View PowerPoint [PDF]

Russ Scott
Forensic Psychiatrist, Prison Mental Health Service
Honorary Secretary ANZAPPL (Queensland Branch)

View PowerPoint [PDF]

Jeff Buckley
Alcohol and other Drugs Expert and Educator

Dinner: A mentally ill judge

College of Forensic Psychologists (Queensland Branch)
Australian Psychological Society
ANZAPPL (Queensland Branch)

A mentally ill judge
Professor Ian Freckelton
Queens Counsel, Melbourne

Date: Saturday 25 May
Time: 6.00pm for pre-dinner drinks, 6.30pm for dinner.
Venue: Pacific Hotel, 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

View PowerPoint [PDF]

View Paper [PDF]

Daniel Paul Schreber was the son of a pre-eminent nineteenth century German medical authority on child-rearing. Before his collapse, he served as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Saxony. He was placed under tutelage but challenged the decision after writing Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, one of the most remarkable pieces of writing  by a mentally ill patient. The talk will refer to the Memoirs and trace the extraordinary story of Schreber’s challenge to his status before the Royal Superior Court of Dresden in 1902. In doing so it will seek to draw lessons of contemporary relevance.


Seminar: Previously unreported traumatic memories

College of Forensic Psychologists (Queensland Branch)
Australian Psychological Society
ANZAPPL (Queensland Branch)

Previously unreported traumatic memories

Date: Saturday 25 May 2019
Time: lunch served at noon, 1.10pm formal program commences
Venue: Pacific Hotel, 345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, Brisbane

Current research into the complex processes of encoding, storage and retrieval of memories has shown that memory errors can be easily induced in normal populations and a person’s confidence in inaccurate memories can be artificially enhanced.The epistemology and utility of the terms “recovered memories” or “suppressed memories” have been discredited. The new term “previously unreported traumatic memories” emphasises the underlying concept and is neutral regarding the operant memory mechanism. The seminar will consider a number of aspects of this controversial area which has significant clinical and forensic implications.

Welcome, introduction
Tim Lowry, President, College of Forensic Psychologists (Queensland branch) APS

Considerations for experts in assessing the credibility of recovered memories of child sexual abuse
Mark Kebbell, President, ANZAPPL (Queensland); Professor of Forensic Psychology, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University
View PowerPoint [PDF]

Recovered memory: “What does it all mean?”
Warwick Middleton, Psychiatrist, Belmont Private Hospital
View PowerPoint [PDF]

The forensic implications of “false memories”
Jill Reddan, Forensic Psychiatrist, Queensland

Afternoon tea

Traumatic memories and the law
Ian Freckelton QC, Victoria
View PowerPoint [PDF]

Questions, closing remarks
Russ Scott, Secretary, ANZAPPL (Queensland); Forensic Psychiatrist

ANZAPPL Queensland contributions to 38th ANZAPPL Congress

Presentations from members of the Queensland branch of ANZAPPL have been collected and made available here.


Forensic psychological assessment of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people

Bob Montgomery

Psychologist, Private Practice, Southport View PowerPoint [PDF]


Therapy with stalkers
Anything is possible – increasing the odds in forensic therapy

Melanie Mitchell,  Jennifer Wells

Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service  View PowerPoint [PDF]


“Is this to be their fate for the indefinite future?” Judicial interest in systemic issues in Queensland

Niamh Fields

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, South Brisbane View PowerPoint [PDF]


Lost and found in translation: Cross-disciplinary conversations between lawyers and clinicians

Jo Sampford, Niamh Fields

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated, South Brisbane  View PowerPoint [PDF]


How accurate are police officers at predicting domestic violence with a structured professional judgement tool? An experimental, scenario-based study

Mark Kebbell

Griffith University, Brisbane  View PowerPoint [PDF]


Features of Australian Islamic State-inspired terrorists

Russ Scott

Queensland Prison Mental Health Service  View PowerPoint [PDF]


Understanding insight: An exploratory study of insight in a forensic psychiatric inpatient setting

Fiona Black, Kym Walford, Laura J. Ferris, Carla Meurk, Dominic Beer

Forensic and Secure Services, West Moreton Health


Treatment Pathways among persons found not criminally responsible

Bob Green

Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service


Juvenile fire-setters as multiple problem youth with particular interests in fire
Results from a meta-analysis across 39 independent samples

Danielle Perks, Bruce Watt

Bond University, Robina


Removing stubborn stains from the crime scene: Should the state play a role in lessening disgust?

Gregory Dale

University of Queensland, St Lucia







Australia’s flawed approach to dealing with social dysfunction and crime

Keith Hamburger AM
Managing Director, Knowledge Consulting Pty Ltd. Former Director General

Queensland Corrective Services Commission

Saturday 15 December 2018
Novotel Hotel South Bank, Brisbane

Social dysfunction and crime are largely driven by poverty, family dysfunction and domestic violence, substance abuse, child neglect and abuse and mental illness. First Nation and lower socio-economic communities are more frequently impacted by the above.

Sadly, our responses to these challenges are not holistic and do not empower individuals and communities to identify and implement solutions. Our responses are often not restorative and disproportionate funding is devoted to policing and incarceration, ignoring best international practice in reducing crime and incarceration.

As a result, First Nation and lower socio-economic communities endure increased crime and increasing prisoner numbers as they are trapped in a cycle of dysfunction.

There are better ways to reduce crime, make communities safer and generate employment in First Nation and lower socio-economic communities.

View PowerPoint [PDF]

Seminar: Queensland Parole Board

Seminar: The Queensland Parole Board

Friday 7 December 2018
Queensland Corrective Services Academy

Welcome, Introduction
Michael Byrne QC. President, Queensland Parole Board

Parole – then, now, soon
Peter Shields. Deputy President, Queensland Parole Board

On 3 July 2017, the Queensland Government established the Parole Board Queensland (the Board) in response to recommendations made by the Queensland Parole System Review conducted by Mr Walter Sofronoff QC. The Board operates as an independent statutory authority to ensure that transparent evidence-based parole decisions are made which are objective and not dependent upon the authorities responsible for the case management and supervision of prisoners. As an independent statutory authority, the Board has the power to grant parole orders and amend, suspend or cancel a court ordered parole order or a board ordered parole order. Parole is not a privilege or entitlement, it is a method developed to prevent re-offending. When making parole decisions, the Board’s highest priority will always be the safety of the community.

View PowerPoint [PDF]

Taking account of mental illness in Parole Board decisions
Beverley Russell. Professional Board Member (Health), Queensland Parole Board

As recommended by the Sofronoff Review, a number of full-time professional board members with legal or clinical qualifications were appointed to the Parole Board Queensland. The purpose of the fulltime members is to improve the quality of decision-making, bring greater consistency to decisions and increase the ability of the Board to decide matters in a timely manner. In particular, the “health” member is required to provide expertise in relation to health and mental health-related matters. The role includes establishing and maintaining relationships between the Parole Board Queensland and the health system to improve communication and collaboration with the goal of ensuring the best possible outcome for the person applying for parole whilst prioritising public safety.

Probation and Parole – moving forward
Sarah Hyde. General Manager, Probation and Parole Services, Queensland Corrective Services

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) is responsible for the management of over 20,500 prisoners subject to either imprisonment (parole) or community based orders including probation, community service and intensive corrections order. Probation and Parole supervises offenders across seven regions, 34 district offices, 11 permanently staffed reporting centres and more than 100 reporting centres. Over the last six years, there has been a 40% increase in offenders under supervision in the community. Whilst this growth has presented enormous challenges to the service delivery model of Probation and Parole, it has also presented an opportunity to explore improved ways of reducing recidivism to ensure a safer community. This session will highlight some of these opportunities and initiatives.

The Queensland Prison Mental Health Service
Tamara Smith. Senior Clinical Co-ordinator, Prison Mental Health Service, Queensland Health

With over 750 open patients, the Prison Mental Health Service (PMHS) provides in-reach service of psychological intervention, duel diagnosis, indigenous mental health and transitional support with co-ordination of specialised treatment for mental illness to nine prisons in S-E Queensland. The state-wide computerised records (CIMHA) are accessible online to all mental health personnel including PMHS clinicians in correctional centres. By the “classified patient” provisions of the Mental Health Act (2016) Qld, remandees and sentenced prisoners who develop serious mental illness which cannot be optimally managed in custody, can be transferred to area mental health services for treatment. The PMHS also co-ordinates the care and treatment of mentally ill persons transitioning from custody to the community. With the patient’s authorisation, PMHS clinicians can provide a report to the Parole Board which outlines the proposed follow-up plan.

View PowerPoint [PDF]