Keynote & Invited Speakers 2020

Conference speakers

The National Conference Committee for the 41st AACBT National Conference is pleased to announce the following keynote and invited speakers, and they look forward to seeing you.

Book your tickets here!


Dr Christine Padesky – keynote speaker

Center for Cognitive Therapy, California

Dr Padesky will be presenting twice via video link during the scientific program: 

  • Virtual Keynote address “Is CBT many therapies or one therapy?”
  • Virtual Masterclass “Action-packed CBT: more walk, less talk”

Christine Padesky is a leading cognitive therapy innovator, and provides workshops and consultation to therapists worldwide and develops audio CD & DVD therapist training materials. Along with Kathleen Mooney, PhD, Dr. Padesky is co-founder of the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Huntington Beach, California and co-creator of Strengths-Based CBT.

Christine is considered one of the leading CBT presenters in the world, appreciated for her depth of knowledge, compassion, and good-humoured warmth. She has presented over 450 workshops to more than 50,000 professionals throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia as well as 25 workshops with cognitive therapy’s founder, Aaron T. Beck, M.D. Her clear, organised and compelling presentations integrate theory, empiricism, creativity, practical skills, and audience interaction.

Listen to this YouTube presentation with Christine hosted by Dr. Foojan Zeine (link starts at introduction).


Professor Willem Kuyken – keynote speaker

University of Oxford Mindfulness Research Centre

Keynote address “Mindfulness unpacked”

(Watch this space for news about separate full-day workshop!) 

Willem Kuyken is a research clinical psychologist. He learned cognitive-behavioural therapy over two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania / Beck Institute, working with Aaron T. Beck. Since the mid-1990s, his training in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has included: participation in MBCT/MBSR workshops and retreats; supervision with John Teasdale, Trish Bartley and others; and support of my mindfulness practice in the insight/vipassana tradition from Christina Feldman and Catherine McGee. 

From 1999 to 2014, he worked at the University of Exeter, where he held a number of roles including heading up the doctoral clinical psychology training programme (2001-2004) and leading the clinical research group (2001-2010). During his time in Exeter, he co-founded the Mood Disorders Centre, directing it through its formative years (2004-2012) and co-founded (with Alison Evans) the Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies (2008). Since 2014 he has directed the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Willem was awarded the May Davidson award for clinical psychologists who “have made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinical psychology within the first ten years of their work as a qualified clinical psychologist.” He was “grand-fathereded” as a Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

You can read a profile here


Associate Professor Brett Deacon – invited speaker

Illawarra Anxiety Clinic; University of New South Wales

Concurrent address “Transition from research to real world practice: insights, challenges, and ways forward”

Brett Deacon is a clinical psychologist, practitioner, scientist, educator, and anxiety specialist. Originally from the United States, he relocated to Australia in 2014 and live in the Wollongong area. He works as a therapist in private practice, trains and supervises psychologists, and conducts research.

Brett specialises in working with clients seeking help for anxiety-related issues including stress, panic attacks, agoraphobia, obsessions and compulsions (OCD), social anxiety, generalised anxiety and worry, phobias, health anxiety, and post-traumatic stress (PTSD). He has devoted his career to becoming an expert in exposure therapy; he has over 20 years of experience and is recognised internationally as an authority on the nature and treatment of anxiety.

Read some thoughts from Brett about mental health literacy here


Professor Jennie Hudson – invited speaker

Macquarie University

Professor Hudson will present a concurrent Master Clinician Session and a plenary address.

Jennie Hudson is a Professor within the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University. Her research focuses on understanding the factors that contribute to children’s emotional health and working to improve the services available to children experiencing anxiety and other emotional disorders. Jennie’s work at the Centre for Emotional Health impacts the lives of Australian families through the development of new ways of understanding and treating anxiety disorders. Her methodological expertise includes experimental studies, large-scale randomised clinical trials, prevention trials, school-based trials, gene-environment interaction studies, and systematic reviews.

Jennie has authored over 130 peer reviewed publications. She has co-authored the book “Treating anxious children: An evidence-based approach” (2000) and edited “Psychopathology and the Family” (2006).  Jennie is a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and serves on the editorial board for a number of international journals such as Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and Behaviour Research and Therapy.

Watch a TEDx Talk on YouTube about childhood anxiety.


Professor Penelope Hasking – invited speaker

Curtin University

Plenary address “A person-centred and strengths-based approach to non-suicidal self-injury

The focus of Professor Hasking‘s research is on high risk behaviours, particularly alcohol abuse and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), exhibited by young people. The aim of her research program is to inform and develop essential education, prevention and early intervention initiatives, in order to reduce the negative psychological and physical impact of these behaviours.

She is Co-Founder of the International Consortium on Self-Injury in Educational Settings (ICSES), and President of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS).

Read this article in The Conversation from Professor Hasking about NSSI.


Dr Bronwyn Raykos – invited speaker

Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI), North Metropolitan Health Service, WA

Plenary address “Evidence-based treatments for eating disorders: how should 40 Medicare sessions be used?”

Dr Raykos is currently co-ordinator of the Eating Disorders Programme at Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI). She is passionate about providing evidence-based treatment for individuals with eating disorders, including family based treatment (FBT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Bronwyn is also passionate about evaluating and improving treatments for patients with eating disorders. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. She is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders as well as the editorial board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

This is a 2019 article from Dr Raykos about Eating Disorders.


Dr Georgie Paulik-White – invited speaker

Perth Voices Clinic; School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia; Discipline of Psychology, Murdoch University

Plenary address “Imagery-rescripting for trauma affected voice hearers”

Dr Paulik-White is the Clinical Director of Perth Voices, and a Clinical, and Research Psychologist.  She regards herself as a research-practitioner, and loves working with voice hearers. She believes that research must guide clinical decisions in therapy, and likewise the experiences of clients informs the direction of her research.

Georgie has produced many peer reviewed publications (and a text book in press) in the field of voice hearing and psychosis. She helped lead the development of a novel intervention for voice hearers named Cognitive Behaviour Relating Therapy along side colleagues in the UK (including Dr Mark Hayward, Sussex University). She is also interested in the role of trauma in voice hearing and the impact of psychological interventions for trauma on voice hearing, and has been conducting a trial of a trauma intervention called Imagery Rescripting together with Prof Arnoud Arntz (Netherlands) and Dr Craig Steel (UK). Georgie also helped set up the Hearing Voices Networks in WA and NSW.

Read more in this article in The West Australian.


Book your tickets here!


Image Credits: Padesky.com, University of Oxford, Illawarra Anxiety Clinic, Macquarie University, Curtin University, Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI), Perth Voices Clinic.