PTS17 Speakers


Dr Walter Busuttil MBChB MPhil MRCGP FRCPsych

Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Combat Stress

Walter qualified in Medicine in Manchester in 1983, joining the RAF as a medical student cadet. Serving for 16 years he qualified as a general practitioner and consultant psychiatrist. He was in the team that rehabilitated the British Beirut Hostages and was instrumental in setting up rehabilitation services for Gulf War I combatants suffering from PTSD. Leaving the RAF in 1997, he set up tertiary general adult and forensic psychiatric services for adult survivors of sexual abuse suffering from Complex PTSD. Since 2007, as Director of Medical Services to Combat Stress, he has led the development of clinical services including residential, outreach and community programmes, nationally expanding clinical capability; attaining National Specialist Commissioning for an Intensive Treatment Programme in 2011. He is active in the media campaigning and encouraging statutory NHS services to be set up for Veterans’ mental health. He has published and lectured internationally in the PTSD field.


Mr Stewart Cameron, CSC

State President of the Returned & Services League (Queensland Branch)

Mr Stewart Cameron, CSC, is the State President of the Returned & Services League (Queensland Branch). Mr Cameron is also the Deputy National President of the Returned & Services League (RSL). Mr Cameron’s career was spent in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) where he held command appointments at the Squadron, Wing and Force Element Group level. Mr Cameron holds the rank of Air Commodore.
Mr Cameron joined the RSL in 2006 and has served as a Sub-Branch President and Board Secretary for the Queensland State RSL Board. He was elected as the Queensland State President in June 2015. Mr Cameron holds a number of Degrees across a number of disciplines at the Bachelor and Master levels. He is a member of a number of professional associations. Mr Cameron was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.


Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d)

Stand Tall 4 PTS Patron

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) was awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia in
January 2015 for extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in service to Australia, through
distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, continued commitment to serve the nation in
leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters, and in a variety
of roles in the community.
In March 2017 Sir Angus was announced as the Chancellor for the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Sir Angus is Chair of Airservices Australia; the Defence South Australia Advisory Board; the Order of
Australia Council; the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute; the Victorian Police
Corporate Advisory Group; the University of NSW Canberra Advisory Board; the Canberra Symphony
Orchestra and the Supashock Advanced Suspension Advisory Committee.


Professor Sandy McFarlane

Director of the University of Adelaide Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Prof McFarlane is the Director of the University of Adelaide Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies. He is an international expert in the field of the impact of disasters and PTSD. He is a recipient of a number of awards, including Lifetime Achievement Award of the ISTSS for outstanding and fundamental contributions to the field of traumatic stress studies. He has published over 350 articles and chapters and has co-edited three books. In 2011 he received the Officer of the Order of Australia award for an “outstanding contribution to medical research in the field of psychiatry, particularly posttraumatic stress disorders, to veterans’ mental health management, and as an author”.


Ms Janet McPherson

Team Leader for Work Rehab in Brisbane

Ms Janet McPherson has over 13 years’ professional experience working in both the public and private sector. She holds dual qualifications in Psychology and Occupational Therapy and has worked in a number of areas including Occupational Rehab, Drug and Alcohol, and Community Rehabilitation. Currently she is the Team Leader for Work Rehab in Brisbane, a national rehabilitation provider.
With her dual qualifications, she has assisted clients presenting with diverse and complex psychological issues and holds a special interest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Janet has presented on this subject at both State and National conferences including Comcare. Working within DVA, Income Protection and various private companies, in addition to complex case management she provides OH&S services including risk assessments. Janet was a finalist in the ARPA Qld Rehabilitation Awards (2016) in the category for Outstanding Consultant of the Year.


The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

The Hon Dan Tehan MP is the Member for Wannon in Victoria. He was sworn in as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac on 27 July, 2016. He previously served as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Materiel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac from 18 February, 2016.

Mr Tehan was elected to Federal Parliament in 2010 and has held positions as the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; Chair of the Victorian Consultative Panel for the Black Spot Programme; Chair of the Coalition Policy Committee on Economics and Finance; Co-Chair of the Parliamentarians Supporting Cancer Causes; Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health, and; Chair of the Coalition Friends of Tourism.


Professor David Forbes

Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

David Forbes is the Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

He has over twenty years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in trauma survivors, with a speciality in military and veteran mental health. He led the development of the inaugural 2007 Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the revision published in 2013 approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and endorsed by colleges of psychiatrists, psychologists and general practitioners. Professor Forbes is also Vice Chair of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Committee for the development of their new PTSD Guidelines.

He has a strong track record in the conduct of research in the assessment and treatment of PTSD and the provision of policy and service development advice to government and agencies responsible for the care of veteran and military personnel, police and first responders and trauma survivors across the community.

Professor Forbes has also a strong track record in the provision of training in evidence based treatments for PTSD and related disorders. This has also included the development of mobile app and online resources for practitioners and trauma survivors. He has published over 130 scientific papers in the international literature and sits on many Commonwealth government policy and scientific advisory panels and academic journal editorial boards.


Professor Duncan Shields, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Duncan Shields, PhD is a clinician who, over the past 23 years, has specialized in providing front-line mental health services to military, police and first responders. His current role as Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, builds on this foundation, focusing on research, evaluation and program development of culturally relevant initiatives to assist first responder and military personnel maintain or regain resiliency and well-being while coping with operational and traumatic stress. Major projects include development of a resiliency program with the BC Professional Firefighters Association, which represents 3000 firefighters in British Columbia, Canada, and a study of military personnel in transition to civilian life after medical release from the Canadian Armed Forces. Before his academic studies, Dr. Shields served with the Governor Generals Foot Guards, a Canadian Infantry Regiment, where he developed a lifelong appreciation for the work and sacrifice of those who serve.