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2016-17 Thinker in Residence - Professor Jane Burns

The 2016-17 Thinker in Residence was e-mental health researcher and advocate Professor Jane Burns.

Professor Burns is Professor of Innovation and Industry at The University of Sydney in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She is the founder of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and co-creator of the Synergy project

Professor Burns is a strong advocate promoting the importance of wellbeing and the mental health of children and young people. Her work focuses on driving practical and positive change in the community and the mental health sector, with a priority on uniting young people with researchers, practitioners and innovators to explore the role of technology in improving mental health programs and services.

Read more about Professor Burns

About the Residency

The theme of the 2016-17 Thinker in Residence was

Strengthening children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing through technology and social media

This theme continued the long-term focus the Commissioner’s office has placed on mental health.

The Commissioner’s 2015 report tabled in the WA Parliament, Our Children Can’t Wait, found that while some progress has been made in recent years significant gaps in mental health services still exist for children and young people, particularly for those living in regional and remote areas.

A key recommendation of this report was for ‘more innovative and flexible models of service delivery and support to be adopted in regional areas, including wider and better use of technology’, and the 2016-17 Thinker in Residence is aimed at promoting progress in this area.



Phase Two 13 to 16 March 2017

Presentation to service providers in Geraldton

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Presentation to teachers and parents in Geraldton

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Presentation to the Department for Child Protection and Family Services

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Presentation to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

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Presentation to the Department of Education

pdf 7MB Download pdf

Other speakers' presentations are available at the below links:

Presentation to the Department of Education

Phase One 24 to 28 October 2016


Parent's Seminar - Building online resilience for children and young people

pdf 8MB Download pdf

Other speakers' presentations are available on YouTube at the below links:

Parent's Seminar

Professional's Seminar



A number of government and non-government agencies are formal partners for the 2016-17 Thinker in Residence and are working with Professor Burns to explore opportunities for her research to be applied here in WA.


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