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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.

Sarah Coker

Head of Programs, SANE Australia

Sarah Coker has worked at SANE Australia since 2008. Sarah's background is in social science and psychology, and she has worked in the mental health sector for over 20 years. Her passions include qualitative research, suicide prevention and empowering people to share their lived experience of mental illness to help reduce stigma and increase help-seeking.

Sarah is an experienced mental health project manager, workforce trainer and qualitative social researcher.

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.

Michael Hartup

Research Officer

Michael Hartup is a Research and Policy Officer at SANE Australia, including the Anne Deveson Research Centre.

Michael has recently submitted a doctoral thesis addressing the music-making practices of young musicians with experiences of vulnerability. His research interests include vulnerability and resilience studies, youth studies, and popular music studies.

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.

Rebecca Hyland

Research and Programs 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.

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.

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.

Pauline Kenny

Better Off With You (BOWY) Research Lead

A social scientist by background, Pauline possesses a Master of Assessment and Evaluation and has nearly 20 years combined practice and research experience. She has a particular interest in examining service system issues and policies impacting on quality service provision to vulnerable populations, particularly those with mental health issues.

Evidence-based practice and the development of accessible translational research that is relevant at policy, practice and consumer levels, has been a significant focus throughout her career.

Bonnie Vincent

Head of Policy and Engagement

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.

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.

Sophie Barrett

Clinical Director, Program and Services

Sophie also oversees the Clinical Governance framework for SANE Australia which sees her having involvement across the organisation.

Prior to joining SANE in 2018, Sophie held a senior role at Beyond Blue overseeing their priority projects within the workplace mental health team.

Sophie has academic qualifications in Occupational Therapy and Behavioural Science (psychology), and for 18 years worked in the public and private mental health system in both direct clinical care and senior leadership positions.

Last updated: 6 March, 2019