Dr James Best
Chair, RACGP Specific Interests Child and Young Person’s Health
Dr James Best has been a GP for over 20 years. His practice has a focus on child development, child behaviour, parenting, and children with disabilities. He has been widely published in medical and mainstream publications on these and other child health topics. Dr Best is Chair, RACGP Specific Interests Child and Young Person’s Health.
Dr Nick Kowalenko
Child and adolescent psychiatrist and Emerging Minds NSW Director
Dr Nick Kowalenko is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and Emerging Minds NSW Director.Nick began his postgraduate training in the Family Medicine Program with the RACGP before training in child psychiatry. He is Vice-President of the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals. In his roles as deputy chair of Emerging Minds, Chair of Tresillian Council in NSW and as a consultant to a variety of state and national NGOs and government bodies, he champions the promotion of children’s mental health.
Dr Cathy Andronis
Chair, RACGP Specific Interests Psychological Medicine
Dr Cathy Andronis works as a GP and psychotherapist in inner Melbourne and is a qualified family therapist.
She is RACGP Specific Interests Psychological Medicine Chair, a member of the Victorian RACGP–RANZP liaison subcommittee, and is the RACGP representative for Mental Health Australia and the MHPN clinical education committee.
Cathy is an experienced facilitator of case consultation groups for the RACGP and the Australian Society for Psychological Medicine (ASPM) and a provider of clinical supervision. She is the GP lead at Deakin University Eastern Health Clinical School.
Vanya is a single mother to two children who have both had medical issues present from birth. A daughter born with bilateral talipes (clubfoot) which has required extensive medical intervention, operations and physio; and a son born with eosinophilic oesophagitis. Additionally, he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. These childhood experiences have impacted on their social and emotional wellbeing and empowered Vanya to advocate for the support of children’s mental health.
Vanya has contributed to a range of Emerging Minds projects as a child and family partner, including video interviews, webinars, review of resources and other individual and group consultations. Vanya is currently a third year, Bachelor of Psychology student and volunteers her time for the Women’s Information Services in South Australia, providing referrals to women and children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.