Symposium – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Prevalence, features and assessment

Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL) (Queensland branch) and Queensland chapter, APS College of Forensic Psychologists in association with Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities Services present a symposium on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Prevalence, features and assessment.

When: Friday October 13th, 12.00PM – 6.00PM

Where: Rydges South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland. Map.

Full program guide [PDF]
View Powerpoint of Heather Douglas [PDF]
View Powerpoint of Janet Hammill [PDF]
View Powerpoint of Vinesh Gupta [PDF]
View Powerpoint of Paul White [PDF]
View Powerpoint of Alan White [PDF]

In 1973, the term Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first used to describe the characteristic facial anomalies and poor prenatal and/or postnatal growth and subsequent developmental and learning problems exhibited by children of mothers who had used alcohol during their pregnancy.

After it was recognised that alcohol exposure in utero may result in a constellation of neuro-developmental problems in the absence of facial and other physical features, the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was introduced in 2003. Subsequently, a number of different diagnostic algorithms have been postulated to facilitate the diagnosis.

There is a disproportionate prevalence of FASD within youth justice systems. Youths with FASD in Canada have been found to be 19 times more likely to be incarcerated than youths without FASD. In 2015, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network of Canada published diagnostic guidelines. In 2016, the Australian Guide to the Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was promulgated.

Emphasising that alcohol is teratogenic and that no level of maternal consumption is ‘safe’ for the developing foetus, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia currently advises that the safest option for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy is to avoid alcohol.

The diagnosis of FASD is crucial to improving outcomes for those affected and to inform pre-pregnancy counselling. Across various jurisdictions in the world, there is considerable impetus towards identifying individuals with FASD.

Symposium Committee: Russ Scott, Tamara Smith, Vinesh Gupta, Scott Harden.


Workshop: Fitness for Trial in the Magistrates Court

July 18, 2017  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Legal Aid Queensland
44 Herschel St
Brisbane, Queensland

The Mental Health Act 2016 (Queensland) commenced in March 2017. The Act allows Magistrates to resolve a significant proportion of matters previously referred to the Mental Health Court. The Act thus places greater responsibility on lawyers appearing before Magistrates. In this workshop, registrants may participate in:

  • Panel discussion about Magistrates’ powers to determine fitness for trial
  • Panel discussion about Court Liaison Officers and their reports
  • Panel discussion about the clinical and legal issues relevant to fitness for trial
  • Moot in which a barrister cross-examines a psychiatrist acting in the role of a Court Liaison Officer who has prepared a court report on fitness for trial

Joseph Briggs, Counsel, LAQ
Dr Jane Phillips, psychiatrist, Court Liaison Service, Queensland Health
Dr Velimir Kovacevic, psychiatrist, Court Liaison Service, Queensland Health
Dr Russ Scott, psychiatrist, Prison Mental Health Service, Queensland Health

Symposium: Mental health, extremism and lone-actor grievance-fuelled violence

April 8-9, 2017
Rydges Southbank Hotel
9 Glenelg Street
South Brisbane

As radicalisation and recruitment of Australians appears to be increasing and violent extremists are reaching out to mentally vulnerable individuals, there is a clear role for mental health services in the evaluation and management of susceptible individuals. In the context of the changing milieu of mental health care and the importance of understanding the emergent risks to our patients, their families and the wider community, the symposium Mental Health, Extremism and Lone-Actor Grievance-Fuelled Violence brings together expert speakers from policing, forensic mental health and legal backgrounds.

The symposium will inform delegates about the rise of extremism and terrorism and will also consider the phenomenon of lone-actor grievance-fuelled violence, including fixated attacks, hate killings, school shootings and workplace killings, and its relevance to mental health services. The symposium will also consider inter-agency approaches to countering violent extremism and present models for working with counter-terrorism agencies to improve the management of the mentally ill and enhance community safety. The symposium will also examine the Sydney Lindt Café siege, a compelling example of lone-actor, grievance-fuelled violence. As a jurisdiction recognised for its excellence and innovation in mental health policing interventions, Queensland is well placed to host this important symposium.


Current national security environment
Insp Roger Lowe
Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism & Major Events Command
Queensland Police Service

Man Haron Monis – Radicalised domestic terrorist?
Dr Russ Scott
Forensic Psychiatrist
Queensland Health

Pathways to radicalisation and domestic terrorism in Australia
Prof Mark Kebbell
School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University
Australian Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security

The fixated loner
Adjunct Prof Michele Pathé
Forensic Psychiatrist
Queensland Police Service

Lone-actor grievance-fuelled violence
Adjunct Prof Michele Pathé

Inter-agency information-sharing in the current climate
Dr Andrew Aboud
Forensic Psychiatrist
Director, Prison Mental Health Service
Queensland Health

Preventive collaborative models for managing lone actors
Adjunct Prof Michele Pathé

Countering violent extremism
Insp Peter Aitken
Living Safe Together Intervention Program
Queensland Police Service

Domestic terrorism – Sovereign citizens
Adjunct Prof Michele Pathé

Narcissistic personality disorder, homicidality and risk identification
Dr Ian Freckelton QC, Victoria
Counsel for NSW Police, Lindt Café Inquest

Dinner: Charismatic authority, coercive persuasion and the cult of personality: New religious movements and their dangers.
Dr Ian Freckelton QC, Victoria

View programme [PDF]

Indecent Images

Earlier this year, Professor Mark Kebbell gave a talk for the Queensland Branch of ANZAPPL, co-hosted by the Griffith Criminology Institute, on the risk posed by people who access indecent images. You can view a recording of the talk at the following link:


YouTube video link:

Predicting Risk

Dr Jon Mason spoke with Associate Barbara Masser about predicting the risk of re-offending. This interview is part of the University of Queensland course PSYC2361: The Psychology of Criminal Justice.

Jon Mason


Trial Preparation

I recently had the chance to spend a day with Jeffery Frederick, PhD, a trial consultant from the USA. We recorded a short conversation about selecting jurors and trial preparation for my class:




Improving the quality of evidence from adult complainants of sexual assault

Nina Westera

In this presentation to the Queensland branch of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL), Dr Nina Westera covers how evidence-based practice in the interviewing of adult complainants of sexual assault can be used to improve the investigation and prosecution in these types of cases.

Dr Westera, a former detective with the New Zealand police force, is a lecturer in criminology and criminal justice. She specialises in the application of psychology to law and her interests include investigative interviewing, criminal investigation and detective work, eyewitness testimony, the investigation and prosecution of sexual and violent offenders, and jury decision making.

Recorded: Tuesday August 25, 2015.