We were extremely fortunate to receive nearly 140 high calibre submissions which meant a very difficult task for the selection panel. The panel looked at a number of ways to include as much content as possible and everyone has now been notified of the outcome of their submission.

We want to acknowledge that all submissions were of value and had potential as part of conference, but limitations of space and timings meant that not everyone could be included. We want to encourage anyone who was unsuccessful this year to consider putting themselves forward for our next conference in 2018.

Conference key concepts

In 2016 we are taking a more fluid approach to the recruitment of conference content. We invite submissions that focus on better outcomes for consumers, carers, staff and organisations, under the following key concepts:

  • Hope and recovery - the ways and benefits of how a hopeful future, and working in a hopeful way, contributes to recovery can be incorporated into development of our services and demonstrated in our work place interactions.
  • Innovation - including the fostering of creativity and positivity in the face of change, challenges conventional thinking, or processes, and champions beneficial, adaptive solutions.
  • Co-design - the possibilities of taking a collective approach to designing, developing and delivering solutions to achieve inclusion, effectiveness and innovative outcomes.
  • Peer-led– examples and opportunities to work with and learn from our peers to achieve powerful and sustainable outcomes.
  • Transformation. – how we can, and do, work to achieve a better future for people with mental illness, in systems and communities, including our thinking, practice, outcomes and options.
  • Empowerment/rights - human rights as the basis of the work we do, and outcomes we work towards, including how we can influence and determine the direction of individual, system and organisational development

Submissions can consider the key concepts in any number of settings including, but not limited to:

  • working with individual consumers or carers
  • being a carer or person with lived experience
  • program development and delivery
  • staff and organisational development
  • system and policy development
  • advocacy at any level
  • research and applied research.

Key issues

Submissions that consider the following key sector issues, in addition to at least one of the key concepts, will be highly regarded:

  • the impact and opportunities in the NDIS
  • the Victorian Government's Vision and implications of its 10 year mental health plan
  • the national mental health reform agenda
  • service integration and coordination, including primary and clinical services
  • consumer choice and control
  • the carer experience
  • the application of technology.

Session format

Innovative and creative session formats are encouraged and we invite submission across a variety of formats including, but not limited to:

  • standard presentations
  • panel discussions
  • symposia, specifically where a number of different organisations come together to design their own session around a particular concept/issue
  • interactive sessions, please note that concurrent sessions at the VICSERV conference can be large and any interactive sessions will need to take that into account.
  • debates
  • multimedia presentations
  • visual displays
  • posters.

Delegate interaction written into the delivery of any of the session formats will be well received.

Length of sessions

Sessions must be 30 or 60 minutes long.

These timings include a 10 minute question and answer allowance for the 30 minute session and a 20 minute allowance for the 60 minute session.

These session timings will be adhered to in all concurrent sessions and when the allotted formal presentation time has elapsed speakers will be asked by the session chairs/facilitators to move onto to question time.

Selection criteria

Successful abstracts will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • relevance to the key conference concepts
  • the level at which it addresses key sector issues
  • innovation thinking and/or practice
  • highlighting evidence based practice and research
  • highlighting collaboration and integrated service models
  • building evidence and knowledge across the sector
  • innovation in the structure of the conference session.

Finally collaborative projects with a collaborative approach to the submission and presentation are actively encouraged.

Submitting an abstract

Abstracts must include a completed Concurrent session submission form or Poster submission form. Right click on these links and select 'Save As' to save the form to your computer and complete digitally, or print them to complete by hand. You can also request these through an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If in reviewing abstracts the Conference Committee sees the opportunity, individuals may be approached to work together to develop a single collaborative session across a particular issue or service area.

We receive a large number of abstracts and unfortunately not all can be accepted. Once the Conference Committee has come to its decision, it is final.


Friday 26 February 2016 - Call for abstracts close – EXTENDED TO FRIDAY 4 MARCH
Monday 28 March 2016 - Acceptance of abstracts advised
Wednesday 13 April 2016 - Early bird registration closes
Wednesday 11 May 2016 - Registration closes

NB: All presenters must register for at least one day of the conference

This information is available as a PDF.