Special Guests

Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson PhD OA


Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson PhD OA retired from formal academic work at the end of 2010. She co-researched and co-authored the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Task Force on Violence Report for the Queensland government. Her book, Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines The transgenerational effects of Trauma in Indigenous Australia, was shortlisted for an Australian Human Rights Award.

In 2006 she won the Carrick Neville Bonner Award for her curriculum development and innovative teaching practice. In 2011 she received the Fritz Redlich Award for Human Rights and Mental Health, from the Harvard University Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery program, of which she is a graduate.

She is presently Patron of the We Al-li Trust, as she continues to work across Australia and in Papua New Guinea on community based violence – trauma specific recovery programs. She works with the University of Wollongong in the development of specialized postgraduate programs such as the Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma Care and Recovery Practice designed specifically to build an Indigenous trauma skilled workforce.

She also serves on a number of International advisory bodies: The board of Independent Academic Research Studies on Restorative Justice (IARS -RJ) based in London; a member of the international advisory group for Humanity United, an US Philanthropic Foundation supported by the Omidyar family, dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom; and a member of a group of scholars involved in a 5 year project on Historical Trauma and Memory: Postcolonial Legacies and the Meaning of Being Human, based at the Centre for Historical Trauma and Transformation Studies based at Stellenbosch University South Africa.

View Judy’s TEDx Talk:

Dr. Gregory P. Smith


Dr Gregory P. Smith is a Forgotten Australian born in Tamworth, NSW in 1955. He and four of his siblings were surrendered to an orphanage in 1966. He was considered a problem child (‘uncontrollable’), diagnosed as a ‘sociopath’ with mid-range intelligence, and was in and out of institutions until 1974. Following his release from ‘care’ Gregory searched in vain for the skills to live a fruitful and rewarding life but became increasingly disillusioned with society and lived on the fringe as a recluse in a Northern NSW rainforest where he spent his time reflecting and reading important authors such as Douglas Adams. In 2000, through catharsis and serendipity, Gregory decided to give society one more chance, walked out of the forest and began to explore life from a different perspective. His life was transformed. In 2007 he completed a degree in Social Science, obtaining an honours (1st Class). Gregory completed his PhD in 2015.

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