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The 2021 Grease and Oil Change Conference is on-line and open to all who have an interest in mental health in the bush. Brought to you by The Back Room Forbes, the online conference offers an opportunity to hear from experts in the field of mental health punctuated by personal stories.

About the presenters and topics:

Presenter: Mary O’Brien

Topic: Are you bogged mate?

Webinar Style: Panel Q & A

Mary was raised on the land and is a passionate advocate for agriculture with a deep understanding of the diverse challenges faced by rural communities. Her career in the rural sector has given her a deep respect for country blokes, and more importantly, the ability to effectively communicate with them. The Are You Bogged Mate? program aims to bridge the gap and breakdown the stigma associated with seeking help while linking rural men to the professional services available. Mary’s program extends a hand to farmers, shearers, truck drivers, and all rural men who might be feeling overwhelmed.

Presenter: Robyn Lynch

Topic: Bringing the Power of Your Health Into Your Hands

Webinar style: Lecture style with Q & A

Robyn Lynch, a rural girl who grew up in Dunedoo, has a dream that all people are empowered with happiness, fulfilment and great health. As the founder of The Perfect Health Centre, she’s facilitated life-changing programs, mentored and taught hundreds of clients from all over the world. Robyn has a B. Ed and studied extensively in Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga, Meditation and breakthrough healing practices. She is an Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner, holds a Masters’ from the Chopra Centre University and is a lecturer with the International Yoga Teachers Association.

Presenter: Di Healey

Topic: The importance of child's play for overall health and wellbeing, both in the family and learning environments bringing the current research and neuroscience together. 

Webinar style: Lecture style talk with Q&A

Di Healey has a Master of Social Work and a Bachelor of Social Science degree along with an Associate Degree in Residential Care. Di is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with and also an accredited Synergetic Play Therapist and member of Australian Play Therapy Association. Di works with children and young people in a range of settings across Central and Western NSW. Di has developed her skills working with children and young people using a variety of programs and interventions, undergoing further training and refining her skills in Solutions Focussed Brief Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Trauma Focussed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Life Coaching, Synergetic Play Therapy, and more.

Presenter: Dixie Crawford

Topic: Let’s Talk about Race

Webinar style: lecture with Q & A

Dixie is a Barkindji woman from Brewarrina and Broken Hill, currently calling Darug country home. She has 14-year career with NSW Public Service as a frontline worker, manager and strategic advisor in healthcare, and child safety. Dixie is the founder of Source Nation, an Aboriginal business playing a crucial role in shaping and asking questions about an equality approach to achieve equitable outcomes. She is influenced by the necessity of courageous and disruptive conversations about equity, conscious leadership, and change.

Presenter: Joe Williams

Topic: Defying The Enemy Within

Webinar style: lecture with Q & A

Joe is a proud Wiradjuri/Wolgalu, First Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga NSW, Australia. Joe played in the National Rugby League and is also a 2x WBF World Jnr Welterweight champion and recently won the WBC Asia Continental Title. While forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe has battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bipolar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness. Joe’s autobiography ‘Defying the Enemy Within’ shares not only his life’s story but offer’s practical tools anyone can implement into their lives to improve and maintain their emotional wellbeing.

Presenter: Dr Mark Gray

Topic: Seeking Help

Webinar Style: Panel Q & A

Mark is presently working as the Trundle GP and farming with his family in the Trundle area. Mark graduated from Sydney University in 1984 and has worked in a number of states and settings in both hospitals and general practice. Mark also trained and worked as a GP Obstetrician for a number of years. He has many interests in farming related topics and metal engineering and has been involved in the Grease and Oil Change since its inception, providing the link for families when someone needs help and resources for how to access mental health services in rural Australia.


Presenter: Dr Clare Britt

Topic: The Artist's Way to Wellbeing

Webinar Style: Lecture style with Q & A

Dr Clare Britt specialises in visual arts, with a focus on art in early childhood, and creative approaches to pedagogy. She is an author, teacher, researcher and consultant, and an Honorary Lecturer at Macquarie University. She is the author of Unearthing Why: Stories of Thinking and Learning with Children, co-authored with Jill MacLachlan, and Art & Wonder: Young Children and Contemporary Art, co-authored with Amanda Palmer, and her work is also published in scholarly journals and book chapters.  Her current research is in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, (MCA) exploring how very young children encounter contemporary art in a gallery space, and how rich pedagogy might emerge from these encounters. Clare’s teaching is embedded in rich and meaningful theory/practice connections, with workshops guided by praxis-based learning, where participants actively engage in practical experiences in visual arts.