Professor Frank Oberklaid AM, Group Leader, Policy, Equity and Translation, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital

Professor Frank Oberklaid, AM, is an internationally recognised researcher, author, lecturer and consultant, and has written two books and over 200 scientific publications on various aspects of children’s health and development. He is Co-Group Leader of Child Health Policy, Equity and Translation at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Frank has longstanding clinical, research and policy interests in children’s health. He is Chair of the Victorian Children’s Council, which provides expert advice to the Victorian government on children’s health, and co-chair of the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Honorary Fellow, Deakin University

Academic, author, activist and ally in the issues of cultural diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity and family diversity, Maria’s current research is with First Peoples with Southern European heritage, exploring the contestations and connections between colonialism, racism and multiculturalism. Her publications include over 15 books, several having achieved international awards. Her latest book was Living and Loving in Diversity: an Anthology of Australian Multicultural Queer Adventures (2018) funded by VMC/MASC. It was the first Australian book to have a Welcome to Book written by a Wurundjeri elder to respect the First Nation on whose land the book was prepared.

Kept grounded by her supportive working class Southern Italian migrant background, Maria was actually lost for words when she won the Globe Straight Ally Award. Nominated by AGMC, (Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council) of which she is a founding member, Maria accepted the honour in the hope that one day there will be no need for such an award.

Dr Alexandra De Young, Research Fellow, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland Australia & Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, Children’s Health Queensland

De Young is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health and University of Queensland. Her research expertise is in the area of assessment and treatment of infant and early childhood mental health. Major work to date has included leading a global collaboration to understand the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young children and families as well as the evaluation and implementation of routine screening and intervention programs to support the mental health and wellbeing of young children (1-5 years) and their parents to following exposure to traumatic events.

Ms Liana Buchanan, Principal Commissioner, Commission for Children and Young People


Liana Buchanan has been Victoria’s Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People since 2016 and is also a part-time Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission. Liana has a background in oversight and system reform for people experiencing disadvantage and those affected by family and sexual violence. Her previous roles include Director, Office of Correctional Services Review and CEO of the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

Ms Pheobe Ho, Headspace National Youth Advisor, Headspace, Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellow, National Mental Health Commission


Pheobe is currently undertaking her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Largely driven by her lived experiences of anorexia and bulimia, she continues to be a passionate mental health advocate, lived experience speaker, and researcher in the area of eating disorders and youth mental health. Pheobe has spoken at conferences and workshops at local and national levels about how lived experience can facilitate mental health recovery, and works as a National Youth Advisor for headspace. She was recently also the youngest to graduate from the National Mental Health Commission’s Australian Mental Health Leaders’ Fellowship in 2020. Currently, she also works for the WA Health Department in a lived experience consultancy, as well as research role for eating disorders. Pheobe’s contributions to mental health advocacy and research saw her as a Finalist for the 2019 WA Young Achiever Awards, as well as the 2019 Australian Psychological Society Prize winner. Being a previous consumer and in her transition towards being a clinical psychologist, she hopes to one day fuse spheres of lived experience and clinical practice where they can co-exist.

Ms Anne Hollonds, National Children’s Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission


Anne Hollonds commenced as National Children’s Commissioner in November 2020.

Before her appointment to the role, Anne was the Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, an independent statutory authority of the Australian Government responsible for conducting research and providing advice on child and family wellbeing. In over five years in this role she was also Director of the Australian Gambling Research Centre.

For more than 23 years Anne has been a Chief Executive Officer of government and non-government organisations focussed on policy, service delivery and research in health, education and social services, including the Benevolent Society and Relationships Australia NSW.