Skip links and keyboard navigation

Health alert: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Program and Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker


Ms Debra Rickwood

Chief Scientific Advisor and Executive Director of Research and Evaluation - Headspace

Debra is the Chief Scientific Advisor and Executive Director of Research and Evaluation and has been with headspace National since 2011.

She is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Canberra, Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and member of the APS College of Community Psychologists. Debra was a youth worker before completing her PhD, which was one of the first studies of young people’s help-seeking behaviour for mental health problems. She has been researching the factors that affect young people’s mental health and help-seeking for over 30 years. Debra has a broad base of experience in research, practice, policy and service development, and set up the headspace centre in Canberra.

Her work spans the spectrum of interventions for mental health – from mental health promotion for all young people, prevention and early intervention, to recovery and continuity of care for young people seriously affected by mental illness. She has a strong interest in the use of technology, the role of families, and the need for health system service reform to better support young people’s mental health. Debra has produced over 200 publications and been a chief investigator on several National Health and Medication Research Council, as well as other, grants researching in the field of youth mental health.


Last updated 19 November 2019
Last reviewed 20 August 2019