Public Talks

I regularly give public talks about madness, trauma, human rights and recovery.

This page includes a selection of videos and slides from some of my talks. If you’d like me to speak at an event or conference, send a private message on Twitter. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for new videos.

Testimony to the Royal Commission into Mental Health, 2020

In 2020 I made a witness statement to Victoria’s Royal Commission into Mental Health. You can read my witness statement here. I was asked to speak about trauma and recovery, as well as the consumer workforce. I also spoke about human rights breaches which are still common in the mental health system.

This video is a recording of my interview with the Chair of the Royal Commission, Penny Armytage (because of the coronavirus pandemic, public hearings were replaced with video conference interviews).

Schizo-unfriendlia-itis-all-ova-now! AD4E Online Festival, 2020

I was thrilled to be invited to speak at the international online festival run by the incredible folks at A Disorder 4 Everyone.

Schizo-unfriendlia-itis-all-ova-now is from a poem I wrote about madness, and frankly, it’s a more accurate description of what the system means when they give us a ‘schizophrenia’ label. This talk is about why my psychiatric diagnosis was rubbish and made everything worse.

Reawaken Conference: Connection, Compassion, Meaningful Action, Adelaide, 2019

The Reawaken Australia Conference was a powerful, grassroots event filled with inspiring people and special moments. Organised by the Humane Clinic, I was honoured to be invited to deliver a keynote address to close the conference.

This talk explores my thoughts on rage and pain, connection, compassion and meaningful action – from my position as a survivor and mental health advocate. I reflect on:

  • What keeps me angry and motivated, and whether love is a more powerful energiser of change
  • Experiences of compassion and connection that were important in my healing journey
  • What’s needed for meaningful change in mental health systems, including power and how we use it

Check out some of the other talks from this conference, including some truly brilliant, compassionate people: Matt Ball, Stephanie Mitchell, Oryx Cohen and PJ Moynihan.

TheMHS Conference, Adelaide, 2018

World Hearing Voices Congress, The Netherlands 2018

VMIAC Conference, Melbourne, 2017

I gave this talk to the Victorian consumer community at the 2017 VMIAC conference. I was nearing the end of my time working for government, and I used this talk to share some of my key learnings about the issues, barriers and opportunities for our movement.

BPD Conference, Melbourne, 2014

This was a one hour keynote talk I gave at the Australian BPD Foundation in 2014. It gives a comprehensive overview of the role of trauma in what is often labelled ‘borderline personality disorder’ (but could be more helpfully called ‘responses to complex trauma’). I also share some of my personal journey.

A section from the end of the talk has been edited out, probably for good reason because it may offend lots of people. But I wanted to include it here. I played the video below and got the audience to sing along. It was a powerful way to express our collective frustration and reconnect with each other and ourselves.

The song is by the luminously talented Katie Goodman: ‘I didn’t f*ck it up’.

I must also acknowledge that I shamelessly stole the idea to have this sing-along after talking about trauma, from Mike Lew, a US counsellor and advocate for male survivors of sexual abuse. Thanks Mike, great idea!

TheMHS Summer Forum, Sydney, 2017

These are the slides from a keynote talk I gave at the TheMHS Summer Forum in 2018. I had long been an advocate for trauma-informed practice, but in this talk I took a challenging stance. I suggested that trauma-informed practice is not yet possible in clinical mental health services.

I’ve come to this view after my work with the Chief Psychiatrist and working closely with 12 different hospital services. Increasingly these services are saying they are trauma-informed, when in fact they are trauma-creating instead.

Too many services seem to think that writing a policy and sending some staff on a short training course is enough. It isn’t. It’s tokenistic and harmful.

It’s now my firm belief that the mental health sector is co-opting trauma-informed practice, in a similar way to how recovery has been co-opted. And frankly, I’d rather have no trauma-informed practice than a system that hypocritically says it cares about your past trauma while simultaneously generating new trauma.

Read the slides to get a sense of my key arguments on this topic.

Conference presentations (last 2 years)

Daya, I. (2019). A Clarion call: Stop hurting us, start helping us. Keynote speaker, Reawaken Conference, Adelaide.

Maylea, C., and Daya, I. (2019). Physical health: A human rights issue. Keynote speaker, Equally Well National Forum, Melbourne.

Daya, I. (2019). Human rights and citizenship in community mental health. Keynote speaker, TheMHS Summer Forum, Sydney.

Daya, I. (2018). The Mad Agent Emerges: Reflections on human rights after two years on the inside of government. Keynote speaker, World Hearing Voices Congress, The Netherlands.

Rosen, T., Gleaves, D., McKay, R., Procter, N., and Daya, I.  Teaching trauma (Symposium). TheMHS conference, Adelaide.

Edan, V., Downes, L., and Daya, I. (2018). The Complexity of Lived Experience. TheMHS conference, Adelaide.

Daya, I. (2018). I know why the caged bird sings: Untangling Human Rights in Mental Health. TheMHS conference, Adelaide.

Anderson, J., and Daya, I. (2018). Promoting consumer rights. TheMHS conference, Adelaide.

Daya, I. (2018). Is trauma informed practice really possible? Keynote speaker, TheMHS Summer Forum, Sydney.

Daya, I. (2017). Reflections on the consumer-survivor-ex-patient movement. Keynote speaker, VMIAC Conference, Melbourne.

Daya, I. (2017). How we create the perfect storm: The intersection between power, trauma and models of practice. European Violence in Clinical Psychiatry Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

Daya, I. (2017). Getting Real About Recovery: Consumer / survivor perspectives. Bendigo Regional Mental Health Forum.

Daya, I. (2017).   The word is mightier than locked doors: Using consumer perspectives to change cultures of violence through the Safewards nursing model. European Violence in Clinical Psychiatry Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

Daya, I. (2017). The word is mightier than locked doors: Using consumer perspectives to change cultures of violence through the Safewards nursing model. TheMHS Conference, Sydney.

Daya, I. (2017). Sorry, but that’s a minority view: Overcoming tokenistic consumer roles. TheMHS Conference, Sydney.

Daya, I. (2017). The uncomfortable intersection between trauma-informed practice and family inclusive practice: Family blaming, truth-telling, or…?   TheMHS Conference, Sydney.

Daya, I. (2017). Trauma-informed advocacy. Panel speaker at TheMHS Conference, Sydney.

Gwyther, R., Spong, L., and Daya, I. (2017).  State-wide Implementation of Safewards: How we’re doing it in Victoria. TheMHS, Sydney.

Daya, I., Gwyther, R. and, Spong, L. (2017). Consumers and nurses walking the talk together. Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Collaborative Conference, Melbourne.

Daya, I. (2017). Consumers and nurses walking the talk together. Towards Eliminating Restrictive Interventions Conference, Perth.

Daya, I. (2017). How to hang on when you’re drowning. Keynote speaker at Grampians Mental Health Conference, Ballarat.

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