Celebrating success

Flinders University contributes a new Mental Health Commissioner and the inaugural Carclew Writer in Residence, grant wins, an international psychology award, and IDS innovation.

New Mental Health Commissioner

Professor Sharon Lawn

Professor Sharon Lawn has been appointed a Mental Health Commissioner, joining two other South Australian commissioners tasked with implementing the SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017–2022, and the Mental Health Services Plan.

Professor Lawn has been involved in the mental health sector for 34 years in diverse roles ranging from clinician to researcher and educator. Together with her expert knowledge, she has lived experience of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and of being a carer herself.


Major grant for lizard king

Associate Professor Mike Gardner

Associate Professor Mike Gardner has been awarded more than $400,000 to support his team’s efforts to save native pygmy blue-tongues from extinction, after landing an Australian Research Council Linkage Projects grant.

Associate Professor Gardner and team will use the funds for a five-year trial that will see around 100 lizards relocated to a project site in Tarlee. His research has found the species are unlikely to survive in their northern South Australian habitat as the climate warms in coming decades.


Margaret Tobin Award recipient

Professor Tarun Bastiampillai

Congratulations to Professor Tarun Bastiampillai, recipient of the Margaret Tobin Award for 2020. The honour is awarded by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in recognition of significant achievements in, and contributions to, administrative psychiatry. The selection panel was particularly impressed with Professor Bastiampillai’s achievements and the influence of his work.  He has academic status in the College of Medicine and Public Health.


PhD scholarship supports borderline personality disorder sufferers

Pauline Klein has been awarded a PhD Scholarship from Suicide Prevention Australia. One of three projects chosen nationally, Mrs Klein will investigate the impacts of borderline personality disorder from family, carer and individual perspectives.

Her research aims to understand how to better support people and prevent suicide, together with engaging families and carers looking after those with borderline personality disorder. Mrs Klein says “the research will gain a better understanding of suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and coping mechanisms among people with borderline personality disorder, and trial an innovative suicide prevention model of care to better support this population.”

Flinders grad is Carclew’s first Writer in Residence

Keinan McKay, image courtesy Carclew

Congratulations to creative writing graduate Keinan McKay, who has been named the inaugural Writer in Residence at Carclew.

Carclew’s Residency Program gives talented young arts practitioners the opportunity to reside in a space for a year as they develop their craft supported by the industry and a great opportunity to expand their professional networks. Mr McKay is aiming to produce his first novelette this year. He recently completed his degree and was also editor of Flinders’ student magazine, Empire Times, while completing writing commissions across a variety of publications and outlets.

IDS innovation

The idea of ‘one interface to bind them all’ has seen an IDS team take out the inaugural IDS Innovation Award.

Last year Flinders’ Business Improvement team introduced the initiative aimed to give staff a platform to present their ideas, with the leading innovation to be supported through to its implementation.

Ideas were presented to a panel where judges evaluated them against the parameters of innovation, impact and sustainability. Shortlisted teams then made a video presentation of their idea for all IDS staff to vote on.

Congratulations to the winning team members, listed below. Find out more about the initiative.

  • Simon Skrodal
  • Hakan Ibis
  • Felix Hudson
  • Geraint Draheim
  • Nikita Sharma
  • Anitha Thomas
  • Mahalakshmi Muthusamy
  • Melissa Madsen
  • Brendan White
  • James Duncan
  • Saurav Gupta
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