ParentingNow webinar presenters are parenting support researchers and practitioners, delivering our webinars in a parent-friendly way.
Dr Suzanne Brown
Suzanne Brown is a neuropsychologist with 20 years of experience supporting people with disabilities and their families in community settings. She has worked in both public and private sectors, managing statewide specialist behaviour support services.
Suzanne has extensive experience in providing education, training and workshops. She is skilled in engaging audiences, providing useful information in a way that’s easy to follow, and offering practical strategies that help people make positive changes in their lives.
Suzanne is currently the Director of Concept Psychology Services.
Warren Cann is a psychologist, parenting specialist and CEO with the Parenting Research Centre.
Warren’s career has focused on parenting intervention and support, particularly where parents are raising children with complex needs or are experiencing significant adversity themselves. Before joining the PRC, Warren oversaw the dissemination of the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) in Victoria. And before that, he worked as a psychologist in early childhood intervention and protective services.
Professor Susan Edwards
Susan Edwards is Director of the Early Childhood Futures research program in the Learning Sciences Institute of Australia at Australian Catholic University.
Susan’s research interests are the roles of play-based learning in early childhood education and in wellbeing and sustainability education. She has over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and she contributes editorially to several education journals. She has published several books including Young Children’s Play and Learning in the Digital Age (co-authored with Christine Stephen, University of Stirling, published in 2017 by Routledge).
Susan currently co-chairs the Early Childhood Australia Digital Policy Group (with Professor Leon Straker), where she is leading the development of a Statement on Young Children and Digital Technology. Susan has won several awards for teaching excellence in the tertiary education sector, including a prestigious Australian Learning and Teaching Council award in 2009.
Tony Gates is a registered psychologist with expertise in child development and education. He has worked in many settings, including primary and secondary schools, preschools and private clinics. Tony currently designs and implements supports for parents at the Parenting Research Centre.
Tony has supported parents facing a wide range of challenges, including difficult behaviour, childhood anxiety and depression, childhood anger management, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) issues, intellectual disability, sibling dynamics and family relationships.
Tony’s qualifications include a Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Melbourne and Bachelor of Psychology with First Class Honours from the Australian National University.
Tony has a young son and is an expert in important pursuits like board games, Minecraft and Pokemon.
Dr Melinda Goodyear
Melinda Goodyear is a Senior Implementation Specialist at the Parenting Research Centre. Her main area of expertise and professional interest is mental illness in families.
Melinda is currently leading a randomised controlled trial of ‘Let’s Talk About Children’, a program for vulnerable families in mental health and family services across Victoria, in conjunction with Monash University. She also has over 15 years of experience working with policymakers and practitioners to improve the way that government and non-government services address the intergenerational impacts of mental illness in families.
Melinda has led several research projects investigating the needs of children, young people and parents from vulnerable families. She has particular expertise in sensitively facilitating the engagement of families, children and service providers in research and evaluation.
Di Halloran is passionate about supporting parents and making sure they have access to sound evidence-based information.
Di is a Registered Nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, who has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (University of Melbourne). She’s also an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, where she coordinates the postgraduate Child Public Health subject. And she works casually in the Policy and Service Development Group of the Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Di’s role at MCRI involves training professionals in several areas, including young children’s sleep.
Prior to joining MCRI, Di was employed by the Northern Territory Government, Department of Health and Community Services, Office of Children and Families. During this time Di worked in urban, regional and remote communities developing and implementing parenting support and child and family health models. Di has also worked with children, teenagers and families in rural Victoria in various roles, including nursing management, paediatric nursing, nursing education and sexual assault counselling. During her time working in rural Victoria, Di was involved in the DHS Shepparton Innovations Project, Shepparton Best Start and the DHS ‘Safe from Harm’ Working Group. She was also a member of the Nurses Board of Victoria.
Melanie McGrice is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with a special interest in fertility and pregnancy who runs online programs for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. She is the author of The Pregnancy Weight Plan (Pan Macmillan, Tuggerah) and runs the YouTube channel ‘Nourish with Melanie’.
Dr Meredith Rayner
Meredith Rayner has many years of experience working with parents, young children and adolescents in public mental health, private clinical practice and in schools. Meredith uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and positive behaviour management principles to help people face challenges in their lives and to thrive and flourish.
Meredith started her career as an organisational psychologist. For the past 15 years she has worked in health settings, most recently coordinating the clinical team for several large research projects in the areas of trauma, chronic illness and severe disability at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. She is currently Director of Care in a large school setting, building strengths and addressing mental health difficulties for children from Prep to Year 12.
Kate Strohm is the founder and director of Siblings Australia, which promotes the support of siblings of children and adults with disability. During the last 18 years Kate has developed a national and international reputation for her work with families and professionals.
Kate is the author of Siblings: Brothers and sisters of children with disability (revised edition, 2014, Wakefield Press).
Nicole has a background in psychology and has worked in various roles in the disability area for 25 years. She has a particular interest in supporting families to access high-quality information and find opportunities to celebrate their unique differences.
Nicole currently works at the Parenting Research Centre as the national manager of MyTime, a program of facilitated peer support for parents of children with disability and developmental delay.
Nicole is a parent of two young children, one of whom has a developmental delay, and she has navigated developmental delay from both sides of the fence.