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Mental Health Symposium on Post Pandemic Recovery Challenges, Resilience and Religion



Mental Health Symposium


Post Pandemic Recovery: Challenges, Resilience and Religion

In line with the National Mental Health Month's theme this year on 'Mental Health: Post Pandemic Recovery Challenges and Resilience', the Mental Health Foundation Australia has planned this symposium with the aim to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst people in the mental health space, general public and different faith leaders highlighting what services are available, how services can respond to the needs of CALD communities, how COVID has affected mental health, how mental health will change after COVID. The symposium will also discuss about the relationship between religion and mental health.



Hon Stephen Wade MLC   Minister for Health and Wellbeing

As Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade’s portfolio covers health, wellbeing, mental health, ageing well, substance abuse and suicide prevention. After graduating in Law and Economics from the University of Adelaide, he worked as a parliamentary adviser at State and Federal level, including for former Liberal Health Minister, Dr Michael Armitage. 

The Minister has also worked in corporate governance and on a range of Boards.

He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 2006, and served as a Shadow Minister in a range of portfolios from April 2007. He was appointed Minister in March 2018.  




Chris Picton MP   Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing

Chris is the Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Member for Kaurna, covering the outer southern suburbs of Adelaide. 

In the former State Labor Government, Chris served as Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services after a period as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.  

He previously has served as Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to previous Federal and South Australian Health Ministers, as well as an Associate Director at Deloitte Access Economics. 



John Mannion   Mental Health Comissioner, SA

John Mannion is the inaugural Executive Director of Breakthrough – Australia’s only foundation dedicated solely to mental health research. John’s career in mental health has spanned more than 30 years including as a practitioner as well as leading mental health services across the state.

John led the establishment of Breakthrough in 2018 which this year alone funded more than 20 leading research projects across all the state’s universities. These included projects in the areas of youth mental health, depression, indigenous mental health and eating disorders.

He has also been appointed the state’s newest Mental Health Commissioner. The role will be in addition to his commitment as Executive Director for Breakthrough where he looks forward to creating a life free of mental illness by focusing upon research to inform clinical improvements, enhanced outcomes and community connectivity.



Helena Kyriazopoulos      CEO of the Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA)

Ms Kyriazopoulos is the CEO of the Multicultural Communities Council of SA (MCCSA), an affiliate of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia. She previously worked for Alzheimer’s Australia for over 22 years. Ms Kyriazopoulos has over 30 years’ experience in the multicultural sector and currently sits on multiple Boards, including Council of the Ageing, Aged Rights Advocacy Service, and the Australia Multicultural Council.

She has contributed towards journal articles and published works related to aged care, disability and multiculturalism. 




Dr Barry Manuel, Baptist Pastor

Barry was ordained to the ministry as a Baptist pastor. Currently Barry and his wife Janet lead Healinglife Church, Wayville. This Church has an emphasis on bringing the healing life of Jesus to the whole person. He is a graduate of Adelaide University , the Melbourne College of Divinity and holds a doctorate from the Adelaide College of Divinity. He is a passionate supporter of the Adelaide Crows






Mr. Dilip Chirmuley AM JP, Hindu Priest

Dilip has worked for people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and have served on the boards concerned with their welfare. 

Dilip served as member of SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission from 1984-1987 and has served as Board Member of Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (2001-2012) and Multicultural Communities Council of SA (1999-2013), and Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (1999-2011). Dilip has also served on many State and National committees. Dilip is the Patron of the Adelaide Marathi Mandal which he set in 2007. Dilip is a Hindu priest and a marriage celebrant. In 2001 Dilip was awarded the Centenary Medal for “service to Australian Society” by the Australian Government and in 2006 he was made a Member in the Order of Australia for “leadership roles in a range of multicultural, religious and Hindu Organizations”.  



Sheikh Helmi Bakhour   CDESSA Inc

He is the Imam of Adelaide City Mosque, the oldest surviving Mosque in Australia and a significant historic and heritage point for the national and Muslim community and the wider Australian community.

He is a religious advisor, Islamic leader and community development worker with over 20 years’ experience, working hands on in the Muslim community. Throughout his career he has had several high profile positions including regional Sheikh and religious advisor in Victoria and Adelaide, Islamic School Supervisor in Victoria Australia, Islamic University Coordinator- Lebanon, Islamic Advisor and Liaison Officer for Victoria Police, Project facilitator and developer of community development programs, religious advisor, Sheikh and leading Imam. He has formally taught Islamic and Arabic studies in Primary and Secondary schooling, as well as in community programs and lessons for all age groupsSheikh Helmi Bakhour has a passion for facilitating community wellbeing especially in the areas of supporting genuine moderate Islamic teaching and knowledge, preventing, identifying and refuting extremist ideologies. He stresses the importance of healthy multicultural relations in the modern Muslim communities and as a proud father and husband he is an advocate for supporting healthy families and child rearing.



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