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Scientific committee structure and responsibilities

There is a main scientific committee, three scientific subcommittees and one expert lived experience subcommittee.  The main scientific committee is made up of members from different areas of the conference, the chair of each of the subcommittees plus other senior researchers in the field.    The primary responsibility of the main committee is to supervise and finalise the scientific content of the conference. 

The four subcommittees will ensure that all aspects of the conference are represented when building the conference program.  Each subcommittee will have a chair.  The subcommittees have the following foci:

  • Families experiencing mental health problems
  • Families experiencing substance use problems
  • Families experiencing physical health problems
  • Expert lived experience

Each of the subcommittee members will be responsible for collectively discussing proposals for plenary topics, presentations, symposia, workshops and round table discussions, and also for suggesting appropriate speakers, moderators, and round table leaders for the different sessions, as required.   The subcommittee chair will be the focal point for coordinating the submissions from their group and informing the main committee of the group’s decisions.  Depending on each chair and the subcommittee members, a deputy may be identified from the existing group members.   The main scientific committee then makes the final decisions about the content and foci of the overall program. 

The main committee will, in coordination with the Organising Committee, prepare a final timetable for the conference.

All subcommittee members may be invited, on the basis of their particular area of expertise, to review abstracts and to select those appropriate for presentation in the conference.  They may also be asked to nominate other potential reviewers.   As part of the review process, reviewers will be asked to select abstracts that might be eligible for different prizes (e.g. best poster; early career researcher award – to be determined by the main committee).

The fourth subcommittee is composed of those with lived experience, either as a family member or as someone who has experienced health issues (mental, physical and/or substance use).  This committee will be responsible for soliciting and reviewing papers from others with lived experience, discussing proposals for plenary topics, presentations, symposia, workshops and round table discussions and also for suggesting appropriate speakers, moderators and round table leaders for the different sessions as required.   The chair of this committee, like the other subcommittee chairs, will be responsible for coordinating submissions from the group and informing the main committee of the group’s decisions.

Committee composition

Main committee
Chair: 
A/Prof Andrea Reupert
Monash University, Australia

Deputy: A/Prof Bente Weimand
Akershus universitetssykehus HF and OsloMet – Storbyuniversitetet, Norway

Prof Bruce Compas
Vanderbilt University, USA

Prof Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner
New York University Silver School of Social Work,  USA

A/Prof Ulrika Järkestig-Berggren
Linnaeus University, Sweden

Marius Sjømæling
General Secretary, BAR, Norway 

Dr Marianne Trondsen
Centre for E-health Research, Norway 

Dr Karin van Doesum
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Prof Clemens Hosman
Radboud University and Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Mental illness
Chair: Prof Bruce Compas
Vanderbilt University, USA

Dr Lili GUAN
Peking University Institute of Mental Health, China

Prof  Hanna Christiansen
Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany


Substance Abuse
Chair: Professor Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner
New York University Silver School of Social Work,  USA

Dr Miriam Schiff
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt Scopus, Israel

Prof Richard Velleman
University of Bath, UK

Dr Susan M. Snyder
Georgia State University, School of Social Work, Atlanta, USA

Dr Karen Milligan
Ryerson University Toronto, Canada

Dr Christine Fewell
New York University Silver School of Social Work, USA


Physical Illness
Chair: A/Prof Ulrika Järkestig-Berggren
Linnaeus University, Sweden

Dr May Aasebø Hauken
University of Bergen, Norway

Dr Pandora Patterson
University of Sydney, Australia

Prof Bruce Compas
Vanderbilt University, USA

Lived experience
Chair: Marius Sjømæling
General Secretary, BAR, Norway 


Special advisor to the scientific committee
:  Professor Emeritus Torleif Ruud

Abstract coordinatorsPamela Patrick (Monash University) and Sophie Isobel (Australian Catholic University)

Marketing coordinators: Andrea Sadusky and Leesa Tinney (Monash University)