Anne Deveson AO

Writer, broadcaster & film maker on the edge of social change

Anne Deveson is a writer, broadcaster and filmmaker who has been on the leading edge of social change throughout her varied career. Through her television and radio documentaries, books and articles, and her membership of numerous boards and organisations, she has illuminated social issues and influenced policy in areas from poverty and aging to child abuse and disability. She is perhaps best known for her work on mental illness - an area she became involved in after her son developed schizophrenia.

She is a natural communicator. A renowned keynote presenter, she uses her warmth and humour to convey a strong message of hope and inspiration.

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Ann Deveson's documentaries in Africa and South East Asia won three United Nations peace awards. Six programs on disability broadcast by the ABC, won a Logie for best documentary series. 'Lines in the Sand,' her novel set in Rwanda during the genocide, became an immediate best-seller, as did her last book, Resilience, which won wide acclaim and was broadcast on the ABC.

At the same time Anne has influenced policy at the deepest level through her chairing and membership of bodies such as the Royal Commission on Human Relationships; the New South Wales Anti Discrimination Board, the South Australian Film Commission, the Better Health Commission, the Commonwealth's Advisory Committee on Homelessness and CEO of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School

Perhaps Anne Deveson is best known for her work on mental illness. When her elder son, Jonathan, developed schizophrenia at the age of 17, she helped establish the NSW Schizophrenia Fellowship and the national organisation, Sane Australia. She chaired two ministerial committees on mental health legislation and speaks widely in Australia and overseas on overcoming the stigma of mental illness. 'Tell Me I'm Here,' a poignant award winning account of her son's illness and death is testimony to her courage and passion. It has become a national and international best seller, and helped change understanding and treatment of mental illness around the world.

In 2001, Anne won a special award at the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Services Conference in recognition of her exceptional contribution to mental health. Anne has three honorary doctorates, and is an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Anne Deveson talks about:

  • Resilience - An Ordinary Magic
  • In rapid times of change, resilience is one of the most valuable strengths we can acquire. Discussing how to strengthen resilience in ourselves, develop it in our children and bring it into organisations and communities, Anne draws on personal experience and her own extensive research

  • It's All in the Mind
  • One in five Australian's will experience mental illness at some time in their lives. Drawing from her wealth of experience, Anne discusses how to manage mental illness and how best to encourage mental health; what works, what doesn't; the nature of stigma; myths surrounding mental illness and management in the work place.

  • Making Media Work for You
  • With her long and successful background as an award winning journalist, broadcaster and film-maker, Anna discusses how to work with the media, rather than against it, approaching it from a policy and long term planning level.