As a commitment to supporting mental health awareness in Australia, The Banksia Project hosts free quarterly Garden Room events. Each focuses on a different mental health topic and includes a panel of speakers who share lived experiences and learnings to an open forum audience.

Previous Garden Rooms have included Hospitality Post COVID-19, Music and Mental Health, Surviving Financial Stress, Sexuality, Gender and Society and Mental Health in the Workplace.


Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2020, The Banksia Project hosted a candid discussion about the current and future state of the hospitality industry, as well as the personal experiences and challenges faced by our industry experts and business owners.

MC’ed by Ivan Brewer, Hospitality Advocate & Profitability Expert, the panel included:

Wes Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant & Catering Industry Association. Wes shares the changing face of the industry, the overall hospitality landscape and how the peak body is supporting hospitality business owners.

Grant Jones, Senior Journalist, Media & Content Consultant, F&B & Hospitality. Grant provides advice on how hospitality businesses can stay ahead now and into the future from an operations and marketing perspective.

Maureen Thornett, Owner, The Royal Oak Balmain and AHA Life Member. Having owned one of Balmain’s most prominent pubs for 32 years, Maureen provides an honest recount of 2020, the challenges she has faced and how the pub evolved to stay open during and post COVID-19 restrictions.

Clinician, Jensen Young, provides tips on how hospitality owners and teams can manage their mental health on a daily basis during this challenging time and provide referral pathways if required.

The Banksia Project is here to support the hospitality industry. To express interest in attending a Hospitality-specific Growth Room or to attend an existing Room, register here.


On Thursday 5 December, The Banksia Project hosted its Mental Health and Music Garden Room to shine a spotlight on managing mental health in the music industry. The Garden Room included a panel of key profiles in the music industry, who shared insights and learnings from their lived experiences.


Thanks to our MC and panellists: Sam Mac, Shannon Noll, Timomatic, Mel Greig, Bill Cullen, Francis Coady and Nick Broadhurst for the highly engaging conversation.


The event was supported by ARIA, Support Act, Ovolo Hotels and Medibank.


To view the event in full, click here.


Surviving Financial Stress

Jamie Pride, Brad Kane, Karen Oldaker, Kerryn Divall and Simon Wilcock

The Unconquerable Mind – Discussing Veterans’ Mental Health

Jonathon Moran – MC, Ben Webb, Dr Roy Sugarman, Leesa Kwok and Dr Stephanie Hobson

Harvesting Health – Rural Men’s Mental Health

Mark Pickford, Mick Peachy, Pat McCutcheon, Dr Lisa Gomes and Jenny Marsland

Sexuality, Gender and Mental Health

Matthew Mitcham, Imam Nur Warsame, Jordan Raskopoulos, Prof. Kerryn Phelps AM, Monique Schafter (MC) and Tony Briffa.

Overcoming Adversity

Margaret Cunneen SC, Mitchell Pearce, Dr Rachael Murrihy and Professor Gordon Parker AO.

Mental Health and Sport

Matt Shirvington, Wayne Schwass, James Holbeck, Ed Cowan, Professor Niels Buus and Dr Rachael Murrihy.

Mental Health in the Workplace

David Bowie, Jess Willson, Eugene McGarrell, Luke Istomin and Dr Rachael Murrihy

Missed our last room, Mental Health in the Workplace? That’s ok, we have it online. Take a peek and let us know your thoughts in the comments below


GET IN touch

If you would like to speak to the team at The Banksia Project
directly, please click on the link below.