Committed to Research

Sydney Anxiety and OCD Conference 2020 banner
"Working together for better outcomes."


Organising bodies: Western Sydney Local Health District, Western Sydney University.
Date and Time: 19th to 20th November, 2020. 9am to 430pm.
Location: Lecture Theatre, Blacktown Clinical School, Blacktown Hospital.


The conference aims to discuss cutting edge research in the field of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. It will have both a biological and psychological focus with the presenters and attendees coming from psychiatry, psychology, medical and social science backgrounds. The conference will have the following specific aims:

  1. To stimulate research endeavours for anxiety and OCD in Australia
  2. To enhance collaborative efforts to better treat anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (a meeting of the Australian OCD Consortium will be held at the conference)
  3. To bring attention to a geographical area where there are large numbers of people who suffer from these high prevalence disorders
  4. To be informative to clinicians who treat patients with anxiety disorders
  5. To improve standards of clinical practice for the treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders


Convenors: Prof Vlasios Brakoulias and A/Prof Vladan Starcevic

Scientific Committee: Prof Vlasios Brakoulias, Prof David Castle, Prof Leonardo Fontenelle, Dr Paul O’Halloran. Prof Lisa Lampe, Karen Moses, Dr Iain Perkes, A/Prof Vladan Starcevic,


A series of presentations have been planned and the final scientific program will be published on the website by May 2020. This is the second Sydney Conference on Anxiety and Related Disorders with the first held at Nepean Hospital in 2010.

Deadlines for abstracts for poster presentations: 28 August 2020
Delegate registration fee: Early bird fee - $250 (payment due before the 18 September, 2020).
Standard registration fee - $310. The fee includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.


Keynote Speakers

Professor David Nutt

David Nutt
Professor David Nutt
DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FMedSci, DLaws
A psychopharmacologist with an interest in anxiety disorders from the University of Bristol in the UK.

Anxiety disorders: from brain mechanisms to new treatments” My talk will explore recent developments in the molecular and imaging science of anxiety disorders and how they can help us understand how current treatments work and hopefully inform new approaches to treatments”

David Nutt is a psychiatrist and the Edmund J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology in the Division of Brain Science, Dept of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London. He has published over 500 original research papers, a similar number of reviews and books chapters, eight government reports on drugs and 35 books, including one for the general public, Drugs: without the hot air, that won the Transmission Prize in 2014. He was previously President of the European Brain Council, the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the British Neuroscience Association and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is currently Founding Chair of and holds visiting Professorships at the Open University and University of Maastricht.

David broadcasts widely to the general public both on radio and television. In 2010 The Times Eureka science magazine voted him one of the 100 most important figures in British Science, and the only psychiatrist in the list. In 2013 he was awarded the John Maddox Prize from Nature/Sense about Science for standing up for science and in 2017 a Doctor of Laws hon causa from the University of Bath


Professor David Castle

David Castle
Professor David Castle
An internationally recognised psychiatrist from St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne in Melbourne who is known for his work in body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.



Professor of Psychiatry, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and The University of Melbourne
Consultant Psychiatrist, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne

Adjunct appointments:
Honorary Professor, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Cape Town
Clinical Professor, School of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University

David is Professor of Psychiatry at St Vincent’s Health and The University of Melbourne. His clinical and research interests include schizophrenia and related disorders and bipolar disorder. He has a longstanding interest the impact of licit and illicit substances on the brain and is actively engaged in programmes addressing the physical health of the mentally ill and the mental health of the physically ill. He is also pursuing his work on OCD spectrum disorders, notably body dysmorphic disorder, in which he is a recognised international expert. David has published widely in prestigious journals, including around 800 papers and chapters; and has co-authored or co-edited 25 books, a number of which have won prestigious awards. His work is consistently highly cited. He has been successful in attracting substantial grant funding from a variety of different sources, and has strong local, national, and international research links. He has received a number of commendations for his work, including the Senior Research Award from the Royal ANZ College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and a University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor’s Staff Engagement Award. In 2015 he was presented with the Ian Simpson Award by the RANZCP in recognition of outstanding contributions to clinical psychiatry as assessed through service to patients and the community.

David is on a number of advisory boards and editorial boards, and is a reviewer for numerous national and international scientific journals. He speaks regularly at local, national and international scientific meetings about his research; and also teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His strong commitment to teaching is reflected in his completion of the Graduate Certificate in University Teaching from the University of Melbourne in 2011, his election as a Fellow of the Melbourne Medical School Academy of Clinical Teachers in 2013 and his being awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Teaching from the University of Melbourne in 2015. David served two years as Chair of the Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and was an elected member of the Binational RANZCP Board 2016-2018. In 2016 he became a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David’s broader interests include music, literature, theatre and art.



Sydney Anxiety OCD Conf widget2
Eventbrite Sydney Anxiety & OCD Conference 2020
The conference aims to discuss cutting edge research in the field of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

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