2017 Presenters


Dr Tom Nehmy is a clinical psychologist with over 10 years’ experience. His passion is preventing psychological problems in people of all ages while also enhancing resilience and well-being. His doctoral research in developing the Healthy Minds Program produced the world’s first prevention program to prevent the onset of symptoms of depression and anxiety while also reducing risk for eating disorders. He was subsequently awarded the 2015 Flinders University Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.

Tom currently works with companies, schools and professional organisations to help them build psychological skills for mental health, well-being and resilience. He is a prolific public speaker and corporate trainer – more than 7,500 people have attended his workshops, training programs, invited keynote addresses, and conference presentations across Australia and overseas.

Tom maintains an active interest in psychological research – especially preventing the onset of psychological problems – and has co-authored ten scholarly articles in peer reviewed scientific publications. He is the author of the upcoming book Apples for the Mind: Creating emotional balance and lifelong well-being. Tom is also an accredited training supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. His work has been featured on Triple J, ABC Radio, 7 News, Power FM, Radio Adelaide, in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Advertiser, and beyond.


Megan Warren is mother of two, with over 14 years teaching experience in Australia and the United Kingdom.  In this time, she has taught children ranging from Prep to Year 7 and has come to have a particular interest in behaviour management.  She has been recognised for her communication skills through leadership in school behaviour management committees.

In 2011 Megan participated in a parenting course entitled ‘How to talk so kids listen & Listen so kids talk’ which immediately resonated with her teaching philosophy and quest to be an effective parent to her two young children.

Megan’s enthusiasm for the values behind ‘How to talk so kids listen & Listen so kids talk’ subsequently led her to organising the course at different venues before commencing her own facilitation of ‘How to talk so kids listen & Listen so kids talk’ in 2014.

Megan resigned from her permanent teaching role in 2015 to focus on the development and marketing of this program to a wide group of parents and educators in childcare, kindergartens, schools and community groups.  In 2016 she has built a substantial client list including Rural Health Tasmania, MOPs, Redlands Libraries, C & K Kindies, Uniting Care Foster & Kinship and Wesley Mission.


Margaret Sims is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England. She finds it rather amusing that her position is in the School of Education given that her major degrees are in anthropology (including archaeology) and psychology. However, despite this somewhat unusual background she worked for many years in a range of community-based roles supporting children and families.

In her last position before moving into academia she developed and ran a family support programme in a very disadvantaged area of Auckland where parents were mainly third-generation unemployed, and girls as young as 13 got pregnant because they then brought money into their family through a benefit.

When she moved to Australia she worked at Edith Cowan University in a programme that prepared graduates for community work with children and families. Her research interests now focus around the professionalisation of early childhood, and integrated early childhood service delivery. You may have read some of her material in her weekly column in the Armidale Express Extra. She had 3 children, has 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.


Dave Widders is a very proud Anaiwan man from Armidale NSW.  David has worked over the last 20 years in Federal, State, local Government and community organizations in Urban, Regional and Remote areas of NSW, QLD, WA, NT, ACT, SA & VIC.

Dave is driven by a passion to make a difference for Aboriginal people and make a push towards a positive reconciliation across the wider community. This can only happen with a two-way education process.

Dave has worked in Aboriginal communities across Australia from Urban, Regional and Remote areas and has been accepted by the local Aboriginal people respectively.


Teegan Hughes Is a local girl and did all of her schooling in Inverell (Ross Hill and Inverell High School). She has completed 5 years of university study:
– Bachelor of Psychological Science – at the University of New England (UNE), Armidale.
– Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours – at Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour.
– Master of Functional Behaviour Assessment (Autism Spectrum Disorders) – at Bond University, Gold Coast.

Teegan has worked in a special school with children who have a range of disabilities, but worked closely with children on the Autism Spectrum.

Teegan has been working at Brighter Access since April 2016 supporting participants & staff to identify behaviours of concern & implement strategies to support positive behaviour