Support Promote Advocate

for Borderline Personality Disorder



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The theme for the 2019 conference is BPD: Best Practice Deserved and aims to highlight that BPD is no longer regarded as untreatable and that people with BPD (and their families) deserve equitable access to the treatment and support they need. Recovery is a reality for many.

The presentations will feature many contributions of those with lived experience of BPD, their families and carers and clinicians. It provides a unique opportunity for clinicians, practitioners, consumers, carers and family members from across Australia to meet, collaborate, share experiences and learn.

Friday 15 November (9am-5pm)

.........the main conference day.  It is a day for consumers, carers and clinicians to meet and share experiences and learn from one another. 

To register for both days: prior to payment during the registration process there is the option to click on the "Find Other Events" button on the booking details page.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Jayashri Kulkarni (sponsored by Epworth Hospital )

‘Borderline Personality Disorder - Controversies, Challenges and Collaborations’

BPD is described as a highly prevalent condition that is unfortunately associated with considerable stigma. Controversie abound about the role of trauma in the development of the condition and parallels can be drawn with 'shell shock' or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A new category of 'complex PTSD has appeared in the International Classification of Disorders 11 by the World Health Organisation, with a number of symptoms that overlap with the symptoms of BPD. So - is it BPD or cPTSD?

Regardless of the name of the condition - people with the condition often struggle to receive appropriate care and misunderstanding about the cause and treatment of this illness are common. Overall, from both clinical and research perspectives, it is obvious that a holistic, personalised approach for each individual is required to optimise outcomes.

In this talk, the latest hypotheses about the role of trauma creating and perpetuating the condition as well as important new discoveries from neurobiology will be discussed. Most importantly, potential new treatment approaches will also be discussed."

Jayashri was appointed Professor of Psychiatry at The Alfred and Monash University in 2002. She founded and directs a large psychiatric research group, the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc). Her presentation will explore new approaches to the aetiology, possible preventative strategies and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

Lived Experience Plenary Sessions:

  • Carissa Wright (WA): "Embracing BPD" - Carissa is a full time peer support worker and facilitator of her own peer support group 'Embracing Borderline Personality Disorder'. In this presentation she will articulate the obstacles and the navigation to get to the destination of facilitating her own support group, as well as break down how peer support and sharing of lived experience was instrumental in her own road to recovery.
  • Mahlie Jewell and Kyla Cassells: "Consumer and Carer Perspective on Living with BPD: Storms and Sunshine - 20 years of friendship with BPD"
  • Aaron Fornarino: "Using Yourself: A Discussion on Self-Soothing and Making Long-Lasting Changes to Habitual Thinking Patterns" BPD can be a struggle, debilitating and sometimes destructive to oneself, their family and friends. Aaron will discuss hope and channel inner strength through employing a variety of methods and techniques that a person with BPD can assist with their own well-being.
  • Tania Lacey – famous Australian comedian and now an international children’s author will present via video from Berlin about her life with and recovery from BPD

Breakout Sessions and Workshops Including:

  • Panel of people with lived experience of BPD
  • Carer Panel of family or other carers of people with lived experience of BPD
  • Exploring the peer workforce
  • NDIS panel - Supporting eligible people to get into the NDIS (and making it work once they’re in)
  • Snapshot of current research
       *Fiona Donald (Spectrum) – consumer perspectives on personal recovery
      *Julian Nolan - Is there any relationship between BPD and Sexual Diversity Status?
      *Elise Carrotte (Sane Aust) - Exploring the Experiences of Healthcare Professionals Regarding Borderline Personality Disorder
      *Emily Molyneux - Romantic Relationships and BPD
  • National Training Strategy
  • Mindful Self Compassion workshop with Kathleen Cator

PLUS much more…………..

Thursday 14 November: 9.30am-4.30pm

Preconference workshop - “Working with Complexity" 

This one day workshop, presented by A/Prof Sathya Rao, will focus on working with complex clinical situations associated with treating people with BPD. Following are some of the examples:
• Managing suicide risk
• Managing BPD in the presence of coexisting depression, bipolar disorders, psychosis etc.
• Working with anger and aggression associated with BPD
• Working with people with BPD who have complex and challenging relationships
• Working with people with BPD who don’t engage with therapy
There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss the complex clinical situations that you come across in your clinical practice.

This workshop is ideally suited to clinicians from a range of mental health and allied health sectors who want to broaden their understanding of BPD in particular addressing the comorbid and co-existing mental health and medical problems that frequently complicate assessment and treatment of BPD.

Associate Prof Sathya Rao is the Executive Clinical Director of Spectrum, Personality Disorder Service for Victoria, Australia. He is also the Deputy President of Australian Borderline Personality Disorder Foundation. He was a member of BPD Guidelines Development Committee of the NHMRC.

He is a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist who is a passionate advocate for BPD and has a keen interest in developing models of care for BPD. He provides secondary consultations and second opinions for patients with complex presentations of personality disorders in Victoria and interstate. He has been extensively involved in teaching and training activities.

The day will be held on Thursday 14th November at Spectrum Personality Disorder Service, Level 1/110 Church St, Richmond 3121. 


When & Where

The Preconference workshop for mental health professionals will be held in the training rooms at Spectrum Personality Disorder Service, Level 1 /110 Church St, Richmond 3121.

The conference will be held on Friday 15th November 2019 at the Bayview Eden Melbourne (6 Queens Road, Albert Park).  The venue is easily accessible by tram from Flinders Street Station

Bayview Eden have offered conference delegates a discounted rate* of $160/night.  Please use Promo Code BPD2019 when booking. (*subject to availability).


Silver Sponsor:

Spectrum Personality Disorder Service is the Statewide Centre of Clinical Excellence for Personality Disorders in Victoria. Spectrum supports and works with local Area Mental Health Services (AMHS) and health professionals to provide treatment for people aged 16-64 who are assessed as having, or who have a personality disorder with a particularly focus on those who are at risk from serious self-harm or suicide and who have complex needs.



Bronze Sponsor

St John of God Health Care is one of the largest Catholic providers of healthcare services in Australia. Established in Western Australia in 1895, St John of God Health Care is a not-for-profit private healthcare group and a ministry of the Catholic Church. We employ more than 13,900 staff across Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific region, and operate 24 facilities comprising more than 3,400 hospital beds in Australia and New Zealand, as well as home nursing, disability services and social outreach programs.

Keynote Sponsor

Epworth Clinic is a private mental health service providing psychiatric consulting, inpatient therapy and outpatient programs to support a range of mental health needs.
We deliver multidisciplinary programs where psychiatrists, nurses and allied health professionals work together, applying a recovery-oriented approach to care.
A referral from a GP or treating physician is required to access our mental health programs or to see an Epworth-accredited psychiatrist.

Wellbeing Room

Melbourne Centre for Women's Mental Health is focused on empowering women and girls by providing evidence based therapies for the promotion of sustained recovery and well-being. Our multidisciplinary team work together to provide a comprehensive and carefully individualised treatment plan and ongoing support. Group programs are available and we also offer community education, participate in health promotion and work collaboratively with relevant charities. We are located at Suite 608 (level 6) 370 St Kilda Rd. Tram Stop 20 ‘Park Street’ is on our doorstep.


Trade Tables

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit

Carers Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation that helps families and friends in our community who are caring for someone who needs support due to ageing, disability, mental illness, or other significant health issues.

As the state-wide peak body, we represent and support people by working directly with them and collaborating with government, businesses and other community organisations to improve services, systems, and supports. Our work connects carers to a wide range of services, including counselling, funding support, respite, education, and training.

Delmont Private Hospital is an independently owned mental health facility in Glen Iris, Melbourne. It provides excellent mental health care and treatment in addiction with a broad range of therapeutic programs suited to individual needs.
The Hospital is a voluntary facility that admits from age 18 years and onward. The fully accredited 88-bed specialist facility retains sensitivity, warmth and comfort programs, including substance use and addiction, aged and general psychiatry.
Delmont’s services may be delivered through our: Consulting Suites Specialists, Inpatient Program or Outpatient Day Program.

We make a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues through support, research and advocacy. 



For more information

Please email for more information.