Newcastle Branch- November 2016

Hi all,

It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Trevor Waring. Many of you knew Trevor, and his passing was a great loss to us personally and professionally.  I think he was part entertainer, as his lectures/talks/addresses were always educational and funny. Every member of our Branch has benefited from his teaching and mentorship. He was directly involved in Newcastle APS Branch for more than 30 years. We owe him a great debt for his efforts to bring the study of psychology and human behaviour from its infancy into the ethical and well regarded profession it is today. Trevor was an Honorary Fellow of the APS, had been a Director of the APS, and in 2011 was the recipient of the APS President's Award – his many achievements have been well documented elsewhere. He will be greatly missed.  We extend our sincere condolences to Trevor’s family.

Our AGM and end-of-year gathering/dinner will be held 24 November at Customs House (The Harbourmaster's Lounge), 1 Bond StreetNewcastle,and we are thrilled that Amanda Gordon has agreed to be our guest speaker. Have your say in the running of your local APS member Branch and/or consider joining the committee? Come along and enjoy a lovely three-course meal and some networking with your peers. Vegetarian, GF, and other dietary requirements can be noted during the registration process. Please note, there is no cost to attend the AGM (6.30pm - 7pm).  If you are only attending the AGM please do not register your attendance.

If you are staying for the dinner, please register.

During that same day, Amanda Gordon will be presenting a workshop Thriving in private practice. You'll need to register separately.

Amanda is a past President of the Australian Psychological Society, a member of the College of Clinical Psychologists and the College of Health Psychologists, and is a peer reviewer for the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. She is one of Australia’s best known psychologists, with over twenty years of experience in the media. Amanda was a weekly contributor to the ABC’s Late Night Psychologist national program from 1989 to 2001, and has made regular appearances on Today Tonight, Midday, GMA and other programmes. Amanda is often asked to contribute to conferences as a Keynote or Panelist.

Please remember that you can contact us by email on Thanks to Robert Killkelly our facebook page is now up and running. It is called Australian Psychological Society- Newcastle Branch. It is a closed group and will be a good way to keep up to date with what is happening at Newcastle Branch. Private messages to us will be read weekly and addressed by the committee ASAP. Please ‘like’ us if you wish to join the group and access the page. This could prove an excellent way to interact with our members.

Unfortunately, our workshop Clients with complex presentations had to be postponed due to other commitments by the presenter, so we look forward to hosting that workshop next year.

Best wishes until next time. We wish you and your families a very safe and happy festive season.

Janice McKay, MAPS
Hunter Branch Committee

Newcastle Branch Report - August 2016

Hi all,

Well, I have had no messages from any of you asking for more (or less) information in our Branch Report so I have to assume that you are either satisfied with the last two submissions, or you are not reading them at all!

Once again, please remember that you can contact us by email on Our facebook page continues to be developed by Robert Killkelly and is nearly up and running. It is a closed group and will be a good way to be able to keep up to date with what is happening at Newcastle Branch. Private messages to us will be read weekly and addressed by the committee ASAP.  Please ‘like’ us if you wish to join the group and access the page.

On Friday 22 July, James Brown from the University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba) presented about self-care. It was a wonderful presentation attended by about 35 local psychologists. It was a shame that all the final year psychology students weren’t there to learn about this valuable topic from such an experienced clinical psychologist. The workshop was a good reminder to all of us to take care of ourselves, with some good practical tips on how to do so. The little working groups also provided a great networking opportunity.

Please let us know (via the above email address) if you are NOT receiving bulk emails, as we have found a number of Branch members who are receiving the APS Head Office emails, but not those from the local Branch. Reasons you may not be receiving Branch emails could include:

  • These emails may be in your “junk” email box – please check and mark these “not junk mail”
  • Confirm that your email address is up-to-date via the APS website - Manage your membership

During our networking breakfast at the start of the year, expressions of interest were sought regarding the formation of peer consultation groups. One such group is currently underway. This group is meeting monthly for 1.5 hours on a Thursday evening at the University. The contact for others interested in joining the group is Anyone interested in starting additional groups, please email us your details and we can see if others would like to join you. Additionally, if you are already taking part in peer groups and would like to welcome others to join, please let us know.

Our AGM will be held November 24 and we are thrilled that Amanda Gordon has agreed to be our guest speaker. Please mark it on your calendar and save the date as it is always a busy time of year.

The Biological Psychiatry Australia (BPA) 2016 conference will be held in Newcastle, October 13 -14 at Noah’s On the Beach. 2016 is the first time BPA will be held outside of a state capital city and in Newcastle, so it may be of interest to some of our members. Additional information about the conference is located at:

Best wishes until next time.

Janice McKay, MAPS
Newcastle Branch Committee

June 2016

Hi all,

Well, it was much easier to write the first piece for you as I could introduce our new committee and outline our plans for the year.

With that done, I now have to imagine what you might like to hear about and I know that would vary from person to person. 

I always feel disappointed when I read reports about functions that have already been held, rather than getting plenty of notice about what is to come. So, with that in mind, I have tried to save you some time and have found the following workshops that will be held in Newcastle

One of our aims is to continue to try to provide you with affordable, local professional development opportunities within the limitations of the committee all being volunteers. Many thanks to local members who volunteered to present at our forum on Workers Compensation and Occupational Rehabilitation in East Maitland May 6th.  Please consider offering to share your expertise at future workshops and feel free to contact us on 

Our upcoming event Complex cases will be held in Newcastle in the afternoon 25 August. You should receive an email in the lead-up to the workshop, and may enrol via the APS website.  If you are not receiving our emails, please let us know.

I have looked at the APS calendar and found the following courses in Newcastle

  • 1 July: Engaging and managing angry young men with mental health issues: A six session intervention
  • 19 August:Working with older adults: Practical and clinical Issues

You can register for them via the APS website on their CPD and Events Finder


Of course, new workshops could well have been added since time of writing, so it would be worth checking for others.

Suicide Risk Assessment Australia run their courses country-wide and are bringing most to Newcastle and some to the Hunter Valley. Their courses can be found at

There is also a group called Zhuchi who run training courses in Newcastle – you may like to check their web-site to see if those courses are of interest to you:

The Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) also has groups that meet in our area and host free 2-hourly meetings every couple of months with either a guest presenter or case presentations/discussions. You may like to look at their website and see if there is a group that you would like to join:

Greater Newcastle has a large geographical area including Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, Maitland and Port Stephens and is said to be the seventh largest city in Australia and the second most populated area in NSW. We also have 480 APS members, yet I always feel that we have had a shortfall of professional development opportunities in our region. If the Newcastle workshops are well supported, perhaps more will be held here. We can only hope.

At our networking breakfast held in February, we collected names from those interested in setting up or attending local supervision groups. Nineteen people from various locations expressed interest and we are now in the process of getting those groups up and running. I will report on this great new initiative next time and let you know how you can link into a group. I also hope to give you information about our new facebook page.

In other matters, Janene Budd has represented us and presented an APS award to a student at Newcastle University for the best honours thesis.

Our Chair, Malcolm Smith, is sitting on the committee advising the degree at Newcastle University so it is pleasing to have some input with the training of new psychologists. Malcolm has also attended the Super Forum where lively discussion took place regarding the direction of the APS, training and education of psychologists, and embracing the diversity within the profession. The Super Forum was an opportunity for representatives from across the country to come together and plan the future of the APS and celebrate our 50th anniversary. It is with great pride that our very own Newcastle Branch has been in existence continuously for the entirety of the 50 years of the APS.

Finally, our committee member, Allison Gosling has been offered a provisional psychologist position with a private practice in Campbelltown. Thank you Allison for your help this year and we wish you every success in your new job.

Keep warm as we head into winter.

Janice McKay, MAPS
Newcastle Branch Committee

March 2016

At our AGM at the end of 2015, our new Committee was elected and we hope to be able to offer our members a good selection of professional development and networking opportunities over the year ahead.

Departing from our Committee were Kate Sweeney, Robyn Cody, Trevor Powell and Timothy Passfield and we thank them for their hard work and valuable contribution to our Branch.

This year, Malcolm Smith continues as our Chair with the balance of the Committee comprising Janene Budd (Deputy Chair), Virginia Ross (Secretary), Elaine Bennett (Treasurer), Jessy Hao (Student), Alison Gosling, Rob Killkelly, Donna Manning, Melissa Jackson and Janice McKay.  We welcome feedback and suggestions from our members who can best communicate with us on               

At time of writing, the current Committee has met on three occasions. Following our networking breakfast on 25 February, we plan to host two major events (6 May at Maitland, August); two more minor events (June, October); as well as our AGM in November, which is a fairly ambitious agenda. Our meetings will be based on themes to help maximise the interest for all our members. The four themes (for each quarter of the year) are Networking/Peer consultation, Occupational Health and Rehabilitation, Working with Complex Cases and Mind/Body. Because our members reside over a large geographical area we hope to have meetings at Newcastle, Upper Hunter as well as Lake Macquarie.

Also for Psychology Week one activity we have planned is to have an information booth at Charlestown Square Wednesday 9 November. We will need volunteers to help us people the stand so please contact us if you can spare an hour or two.

While we can have great ideas, there are always logistical problems around the availability of speakers and venues at our chosen times and the affordability of both. We will try to give members as much notice as possible for our events so that you can plan accordingly. If any of our members feel you would like to share your expertise as a guest speaker, please let us know – we would love to hear from you.

Of considerable excitement is Rob Killkelly offering to set up our social media and so we look forward to improved local communication and discussion via our facebook page. We will keep you posted as this unfolds.

Our Breakfast Networking Meeting with guest speaker, Henry Luiker, was a great success with 42 people attending. Henry, who is the facilitator of the APS Peer Consultation Groups spoke about the requirement for peer consultation as per the Psychology Board of Australia, the APS initiatives on it and some thoughts on the peer consultation versus the supervisor-supervisee model. There was then some discussion of the experiences of peer consultation by those who were present, plus a yummy breakfast and some networking activities.

We look forward to seeing you and/or hearing from you during 2016.

Janice McKay MAPS
Newcastle Branch Committee