Our Clinical Advisory Group is a diverse team of clinicians who advise us on best practices in mental health service delivery.
Together, we design and refine features of the ReachOut service in response to trends and changes in mental health practice and policy, and identify opportunities to engage health professionals in our programs.
Coming from professions including psychology, psychiatry, general practice and social work, their diverse expertise helps us to improve ReachOut’s positive impact on the mental health of millions of young people.
Sera Harris, BSW (Hons), BFA
Social Work Educator
Sera Harris is a social work educator and practice supervisor with 15 years’ experience of working in the mental health and youth sectors. In partnership with the Young and Well CRC, she is undertaking a PhD at the University of Western Sydney on the extent and role of digital technology used by social workers in direct practice settings. She has direct practice experience in the areas of residential care, community development and mental health. From 2003 to 2013, she was part of Mission Australia’s Creative Youth Initiative, an alternative education program for young people experiencing challenges such as homelessness and mental health issues.
Melissa Kang, MBBS, MCH, PhD
Academic and General Practitioner
Melissa Kang is a medical practitioner and academic. She has worked as a clinician in the public sector in Western Sydney for 25 years, with a focus on homeless and marginalised young people, and has academic positions at the University of Technology Sydney (Associate Professor in Public Health) and the University of Sydney (Clinical Associate Professor in General Practice). Her research areas of interest include adolescent sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, and young people’s access to and navigation around the health system in the digital age. She was the medical writer for the popular teen girls’ magazine Dolly for 23 years until the magazine closed, and continues to publish health information for teenage audiences.
Dr Joe Tighe, PhD, BSc (Hons) Psychology, Bsc (Hons) Computing, Dip. Coaching, Dip. Computing
Joe Tighe is a psychologist and founder of the Irish community development NGO Cultúr – Celebrating Diversity. Joe, who says he is ‘almost Australian now’, spent seven years working in social and emotional wellbeing in Rubibi/Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and youth to help tackle the plague of youth suicides in the region, Joe co-founded the award-winning Alive & Kicking Goals! suicide prevention project in 2008 – a peer-education initiative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Joe now works at the Australian Human Rights Commission on the Close the Gap Campaign and completed his PhD on the Ibobbly app, a world-first for evidence-based suicide prevention via apps. His areas of interest include community-owned suicide prevention, stigma reduction, peer education and technology for health.
Dr Felicity Waters, MBBS, FRANZCP, Cert. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Dr Felicity Waters co-founded the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and is a senior staff specialist at Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Services, where she provides both inpatient and outpatient treatment. She is a team leader on the Lawson Programme, a state-wide assessment and treatment service for young people with mood and anxiety disorders who have experienced difficulty attending school. Felicity is a clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Dr Akhil Bansal, BSc, MD, PhD Applicant
Doctor and Academic
Akhil Bansal has a long-term relationship with ReachOut Australia as he joined the organisation as a youth ambassador in 2013 and went on to work as a research intern. Akhil strongly believes in the equity of access to health information and services, and enjoys using data-driven approaches to help reach that goal. He is passionate about the not-for-profit sector, having founded his own mental health service for university students and worked at several other not-for-profit organisations dedicated to health improvement.