After another long year of COVID-19 related lockdowns, the 22nd Collab Conference on Thursday 12 & Friday 13 August was a fantastic opportunity for the hardworking mental health nursing workforce to get together to celebrate their achievements and hear from some key figures and up-and-coming champions leading the way in the field.
The 2021 theme was 'Renewal...One day or day one' and included some amazing speakers including Anna Love (Safer Care Victoria & OCMHN) and the impressive Simon Katterl.
CMHL had an incredible impact and presence across the two day event, contributing in a multitude of ways. Highlights were Lorna Downes (Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator) delivering a thought-provoking and moving keynote titled 'The elephant in the room', to rave feedback, and the wonderful Dave Barclay (Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator), Deb Carlon (Lived Experience Supervision Project Lead) and Cat Van Remmen (Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator - job share) sharing their experiences and thoughts on the 'You Can Ask That' panel.
Our very own Jo Stubbs & Jeff Weitzel (Learning & Practice Development Coordinators) gave attendees a great insight into the important AMHS scoping work they are undertaking. Shaina Serelson (EN Educator) was busy wowing the audience alongside fellow EN Educator Karen Hewitt with a presentation on their roles and findings on workforce development needs, following on with a presentation alongside the esteemed Kylie Boucher (Senior Lead) on the development of the nursing clinical supervision database.
Kylie also spent time with grad nurses and grad nurse coordinators, hosting students and inspiring a new generation of mental health nurses.
Despite the disappointment in moving the conference online for a second year, Collab 2021 went above and beyond in providing attendees the opportunity to socialise, network and enjoy a range of wellbeing activities including yoga, meditation, drawing and visits with the Delta Therapy Dogs.
On behalf of CMHL, we congratulate the CMHN on a wonderful two days, and look forward to 2022 (hopefully in-person)!