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The Anne Deveson Research Centre team

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Dr Michelle Blanchard

Deputy CEO, Director, Anne Deveson Research Centre

Dr Michelle Blanchard is the Deputy CEO at SANE Australia. Michelle is also the founding Director of SANE’s Anne Deveson Research Centre which partners with people with mental illness and their family, friends and colleagues to drive policy and social change. The Anne Deveson Research Centre honours the SANE co-founder’s tireless work in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.

Prior to joining SANE, Michelle held senior roles at the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Michelle is also an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Anna Flego

Head of Research and Evaluation

Anna has worked across health services, research and programs for 20 years  and is very interested in how monitoring, research and evaluation activity can best support organisations to achieve impact.

Anna has experience and academic qualifications in public health, health economics, program evaluation and physiotherapy and prior to SANE, has held roles at the Movember Foundation; as the Global evaluation lead for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and at Deakin University; as a Research Fellow for Deakin Health Economics.

Elise Carrotte

Research Officer

Elise Carrotte is a Research Officer at SANE Australia, including the Anne Deveson Research Centre.

Elise is a registered psychologist. Her research and professional interests include young people’s health, LGBTI health, eating disorders and body image, and personality disorders.

Benjamin Lee-Bates

Data Analyst

Ben is experienced in the development and implementation of innovative research solutions through understanding people's needs and implementing best practice data analysis methodologies.

Ben has a background in research and data analysis within academic, public health and digital settings. He is interested in the intelligent and responsible use of data to improve our understanding of human behaviour and using this data to create and communicate stories with compelling insights.

Natalie Rutstein

Lived Experience Lead

Natalie Rutstein is the Lived Experience Lead at SANE Australia. Natalie manages the SANE Peer Ambassador Program, training and supporting people across Australia with lived experience of complex mental illness, and their loved ones. SANE Peer Ambassadors work alongside SANE Australia and the community, sharing their journeys of recovery to raise awareness, reduce stigma and advocate for policy and social change.

Prior to joining SANE in 2017, Natalie provided therapeutic support in school communities, volunteered for Childline (a British counselling service for children and young adults), and led wellbeing programs for adolescent communities affected by HIV and trauma in the UK.

Lisa Sweeney

Head of Policy and Advocacy

Prior to commencing with SANE, Lisa has held various policy and research roles with the Victorian Government across health reform, prisoner health, and alcohol and gambling regulation portfolios. Throughout her career, Lisa has maintained a keen interest in mental health advocacy and has held a number of volunteer positions including serving on the boards of Tandem and grassroots advocacy organisation Australians for Mental Health.

Lisa has academic qualifications in Arts (Political Science, Social Theory), Health Sciences, and is currently undertaking a Masters of Public Health.

Rebecca Hyland

Government Relations and Sector Engagement Coordinator

Rebecca Hyland is the Research and Programs Coordinator at SANE Australia. Prior to joining SANE Australia, Rebecca worked at the University of Melbourne in the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre, and in the Berlin office of a transatlantic think-tank, The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

National Stigma Report Card

Dr Christopher Groot

National Stigma Report Card Research Lead

Dr Christopher Groot is a Lecturer in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. He is the Director of the School’s Mental Illness Stigma Lab and conducts research in areas of complex mental illness, stigma, and mental health service delivery.

Chris is joining the ADRC team on secondment for the National Stigma Report Card project which he believes promises to be an incredibly significant project. Its grand scale, national reach, breadth of inquiry, and capacity for translation to effect meaningful and positive change for people with lived experience of complex mental illness are unparalleled in Australian stigma research.

He has a background in large scale mental health service delivery, and has governed the clinical and research aspects of national services including the Suicide Call Back Service, SuicideLine Victoria, ATAPS All Hours Suicide Support Service, Beyond Blue Infoline, MensLine Australia, the Australian Defence Force AllHours Triage Service, Vietnam Veterans AfterHours Counselling Service, and more.

Chris will also be working on The Hearing Voices Project in collaboration with The Dax Centre.

Dr Imogen Rehm

Research Fellow

Dr Imogen Rehm is part of the team implementing the National Stigma Report Card, which aims to understand the multifaceted effects of stigma on the lives of 7000 Australians living with complex mental health issues.

Prior to joining SANE in 2019, Imogen was a psychology lecturer at RMIT University. She has also worked in clinical research and project management positions at the National eTherapy Centre at Swinburne University and at headspace. In 2017, Imogen was awarded a SANE Australia Hocking Fellowship to develop resources for Australians with body-focused repetitive behaviour disorders (BFRBs).

Imogen is also a Clinical Psychologist in private practice where she provides treatment especially for obsessive-compulsive related disorders, including BFRBs and hoarding. Imogen serves on the Anxiety Recovery Centre of Victoria committee of management.

Better off with you (BOWY)

Bonnie Vincent

Implementation Lead

Bonnie Vincent has over 12 years of leadership experience implementing mental health program and policy initiatives both in Australia and overseas.

Bonnie has worked in a range of strategic and stakeholder engagement roles across the mental health sector including for the Australian Government Department of Health, beyondblue, the Movember Foundation and the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar.

Dr Marianne Webb

Research Lead

Marianne has over 20 years working in the mental health sector and has expertise in collaborating with stakeholders to develop and deliver innovative, evidence-based services and products to enable and inspire communities to transform their lives.

Prior to joining SANE, Marianne completed her PhD which investigated the co-design and implementation of a health and wellbeing screening app to facilitate patient-centred care for young people attending general practice. During this time she was also working with Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network implementing the Doctors in Secondary Schools Program.

Last updated: 25 September, 2019