Supporting positive pregnancy and parenting outcomes - GP education event

St John of God Raphael Services WA is hosting an education session for general practitioners to support positive pregnancy and parenting outcomes in March 2019.

Alcohol and other drugs St John of God Social Outreach About the event

St John of God Raphael Services WA will be hosting an education session for general practitioners to highlight the impact of alcohol and other drugs during the perinatal period (conception to four years).  

The event will provide general practitioners working with families during these critical life stages, the opportunity to learn from experts including perinatal psychiatrists, researchers, specialist service providers, and each other to improve pregnancy and early parenting outcomes. 

According to the 2016 National Drug Household Strategy, one in four women continue to drink alcohol after they know they are pregnant. This education session will provide relevant information and resources to enable general practitioners to support women to make healthier choices during pregnancy and the perinatal period. 

Event information

Date: Saturday, 9 March 2019
Time: 8.00am to 1.00pm (8.00am registrations for an 8.30am start)
Location: University of WA Club - Banquet Hall South, Hackett Drive, Crawley
Parking: Please refer to the University of WA Club parking page
 This is a free event

Registrations are now open. 


The comprehensive program will explore:

  • the impact of AoD on parent infant attachment, and how to make a difference
  • prescribing antidepressants in pregnancy and the perinatal period - pros, cons and impact
  • how to talk to pregnant women about alcohol use
  • a father's role in alcohol exposure during pregnancy
  • an Australian fetal alcohol spectrum disorder hub
  • introduction to iCOPE and the Antenatal Risk Questionnaire - health and financial benefits

The full program is now available. 

CPD Points 

This program has been allocated 6 QI and CPD RACGP points

Session one

8.00 - 8.30 -  Registration and coffee

8.30 - 8.40 - Welcome 

8.40 - 9.05 - Parent child attachment by Dr. Leanne Priestly

9.05 - 9.20 - Talking to women about alcohol in pregnancy by Prof. Moira Sim 

9.20 - 9.50 - Considerations when prescribing in the ante-natal and post-natal period by Dr. Beate Harrison

9.50 - 10.05 - Panel discussion by morning speakers 

10.05 - 10.35 - Morning tea

Session two

10.35 - 10.45 - HealthPathways WA presentation by Dr Sue Jackson

10.45 - 11.00 - A father's role in alcohol consumption during pregnancy by Dr. Nyanda McBride

11.00 - 11.15 - FASD Hub by Heather Jones 

11.15 - 11.30 - iCOPE ANRQ by Dr. Nicole Highet 

11.30 - 11.45 - Panel discussion by post morning tea speakers

11.45 - 12.00 - Summary and conclusion by Prof. Moira Sim 

12.00 - 1300 - Lunch, networking and service standards

Title: Executive Dean Edith Cowan University, School of Medical and Health Services St John of God Health Care Driving Change

Biography: Professor Moira Sim is a general practitioner and an addiction medicine specialist physician with over 30 years in clinical practice in the community and has been at Edith Cowan University since 2004. Moira has worked to increase access to quality care through professional education, advocacy and the establishment of system change through many roles in the healthcare system. 

Abstract: Exploring how GPs can talk with women to explore alcohol use in pregnancy and how to start those tricky conversations and answer some of those tricky questions.

Title: Perinatal Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead, St John of God Raphael Services WA St John of God Health Care Driving Change

Biography: Dr Leanne Priestly is a specialist perinatal psychiatrist, and is the clinical lead at Raphael Services Western Australia. Additionally she has a private practise at the Elizabeth Clinic.
Dr Priestly has been a fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists since 2012. She has a special interest in the area of attachment-based practice. This interest developed from her work in London, notably in the mentalisation based therapeutic model. It has been extended through her training in the Adult Attachment Interview, Circle of Security and because she is a mum of two young children.

Abstract: Considering the potential impact substance use may have on the parent-child relationship and what can be done to promote positive outcomes. There are a number of factors that can disrupt early relationships between the primary caregiver/parent and infant/child; trauma and loss, social and cultural connectedness and substance use.

Title: Perinatal, infant and child psychiatrist, MBBS (Hons) MMed (Psych) FRANZCP Cert.Child Psych

Biography: Dr Beate Harrison is a perinatal, infant and child psychiatrist who has experience working in community and inpatient settings with mothers and families in the perinatal period. She is a Dr Beate Harrison headshot consultant psychiatrist at KEMH Mother Baby Unit and is in private practice. She has a special interest in early parenting interventions and enjoys working with mothers to give them good choices for perinatal depression and anxiety management.

Abstract: Weighing the benefits and risks of prescribing psychopharmacological treatment to women during this period particularly in high prevalence psychiatric disorders. Through case studies it will illustrate the options and outcomes of management that includes medication. This session will also outline general principles and a framework for prescribing to a mother-infant dyad.

Title: Senior Research Fellow, National Drug Research Institute St John of God Health Care Driving Change

Biography: Dr Nyanda McBride is a Senior Research Fellow and Team Leader at the National Drug Research Institute. Nyanda’s research encompasses the combined areas of social research and substance use with specific focus on reducing risky use and alcohol related harm and social acceptance of risky alcohol use and harm.

Abstract: Alcohol consumption during preconception and pregnancy is generally considered to be the prospective mother’s responsibility, with many current international alcohol policy guidelines recommending the reduction or non-use of alcohol by pregnant women’s. However, research suggests that decisions about alcohol use can often be influenced by others, in particular the prospective father.

Title: Lead GP Clinical Editor, WA Primary health NetworksDr Sue Jackson

Biography: Sue Jackson is a GP working at the Kath French Secure unit with children at risk, the homeless and disadvantaged populations. She has worked with the Street Doctor and WA Ear Bus, which gave her the opportunity to travel across the state to provide health care. Part of her multiple roles involves her training individuals and organisations in peer support, which she feels passionate about. Sue plays a major role in the HealthPathways WA team as Lead Clinical Editor of HealthPathways WA. In her position with HealthPathways WA she is involved in the process of researching, localising and writing pathways in Western Australia.

Abstract: How to navigate HealthPathways. A free to access website, run by WAPHA. It covers all three Primary Health Networks in WA; Perth North, Perth South and Country WA. The site contains condition specific pathways to assist in assessing, managing and referring patients.

Title: Program Manager Alcohol Pregnancy & FASD Research, Telethon Kids Institute St John of God Health Care Driving Change

Biography: Heather had a background in education and event management before moving into the health sector. She has worked in different roles in the non-government health sector and commenced as the Program Manager with the Alcohol Pregnancy & FASD Research Team at Telethon Kids Institute in 2010. Recently completed projects included the development of a screening and diagnostic instrument for FASD; FASD resources and information for foster carers; FASD knowledge, attitudes and practice in the WA justice system and the development of FASD educational resources for justice professionals. She is currently involved in the development of a national FASD Hub.

Abstract: A great resource for GP’s - a ‘one-stop shop’ that provides health professionals current and evidence based Australian information, resources, tools, research and publications. The content includes FASD information, clinical services directory, training & support and all Australian research projects, resources and publications pertaining to alcohol and pregnancy & FASD).


Title: Founder and Executive Director, COPE: Centre of Perinatal ExcellenceNicole Highet headshot

Biography: Dr Nicole Highet is the Founder and Executive Director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence. Nicole has a background in clinical psychology, marketing, campaign development and advocacy. Following over thirteen years at Beyondblue Nicole founded COPE - the Centre of Perinatal Excellence in 2013 to provide a dedicated focus on effective and sustainable approaches to best practice in perinatal mental health.

COPE’s work involves maintaining national momentum, ensuring support for best practice through National Guidelines and investment into innovative, measurable and sustainable approaches to best practice implementation, including but not limited to electronic approaches to psycho-education, e-screening platforms, online training, e-referral and e-health promotion initiatives.

Abstract: The iCOPE digital screening platform uses the latest digital technology to enable health professionals to undertake perinatal mental health screening in line with best practice (Australian Perinatal Mental Health Guideline, COPE 2017).  iCOPE provides practitioners with an efficient screening and reporting solution to seamlessly facilitate claiming MBS item numbers 16590, 16522 and 16407.


Registration for the conference is free. To register, please complete the form below:

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact us:

Tel: (08) 9429 3220

This activity is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the PHN Program.