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Sexology in Practice Symposium (SIPS) 2023!

2023 Conference Program

LOCATION:  Stamford Grand hotel at Glenelg in Adelaide, South Australia.

Register Here for online and in person

International Keynote (Zoom) Justin Hancock

What is Good Sex Advice?

There is so much sex advice online and in person, but how useful is it? To what extent can advice simply repeat a 'common sense' or 'hegemonic' set of normative sexual knowledges. In whose interest is it that this hegemony remains untroubled? What's the difference between a discourse and a resource? How can we involve the person receiving the advice, so that they can reflect on their own resources, even if we don't know them? This talk will draw on cultural theory and philosophy to try and answer some of these questions, as well my many many years experience of giving advice in clinical and youth work settings and online.

Justin has been a relationships and sexuality educator since 1999. He writes resources for young people at his website BISH, which is a crowdfunded website visited by thousands of young people every day. His website BISH Training is for practitioners who want to access resources and training. Together with Meg-John Barker he wrote 'A Practical Guide to Sex' published by Icon Books in 2016, and a range of popular zine resources. Justin also hosts the podcast Culture Sex Relationships, which features interviews with academics and practitioners about their work, touching on cultural theory, which informs his in-depth and thoughtful advice episodes. To find out more about his work visit 

Australian Keynote Speaker Dr Michelle Webster


Emotion Focused Therapy: Attachment, trauma and sex

Dr Michelle Webster is the director of the Annandale Institute. She is a counselling and clinical psychologist working as an individual and couple psychotherapist in private practice.

Michelle has extensive clinical, teaching and research experience in Emotion-Focused counselling and psychotherapy. Her involvement in Emotion-Focused work began in 1994 at the Counselling Training Centre (NSW) before she founded the Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy. Between 1999–2018 the Institute was the world’s first higher-education provider of postgraduate programs in Emotion-Focused work. In 2018 Michelle founded the Annandale Institute to continue her research, writing and teaching in the Annandale approach to Emotion-Focused work.

Michelle has been developing the Emotion-Focused approach as both a short and long-term therapy for individuals and couples. Michelle has presented at many conferences and written numerous articles on various aspects of individual and couple work. Michelle has published three practitioner guides in Emotion-Focused counselling (2017), psychotherapy (2019), and couple work (2020). In 2022, she published a Pocketbook of Protocols, that presents the collection of protocols used in Emotion-Focused work. Michelle is also the author of Physical Holding in Psychotherapy (2005) based on her research on the nature of Emotion-Focused psychotherapy and the use of physical holding in regression.

International Keynote (Zoom) Silva Neves

Compulsive sexual behaviours: re-thinking “sex addiction”

Compulsive sexual behaviour is a widely misunderstood presentation and one that provokes much debate in the field of psychology and psychotherapy between the clinicians who believe it is an addiction and those who do not. Yet, many people struggle with sexual compulsivity, and they also struggle with inadequate treatments offered to them.

This presentation will explain why and how compulsive sexual behaviour is not “sex addiction”, critiquing the common narrative and misinformation around “sex addiction”. Silva Neves will offer the specific knowledge clinicians need to know about compulsive sexual behaviours, in line with the ICD-11 diagnostic criteria, so that appropriate clinical formulations can be made for each client. Most importantly, this presentation will focus on the ethical principles of working with compulsive sexual behaviours to avoid harming clients.

Australian Keynote Presenter: Seth Westhead

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexual Health: A Decolonial Public Health Perspective

In this presentation Seth will give an overview of Sexual Health and Wellbeing across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population highlighting strength-based, self-determined, community-led initiatives for public health promotion. Applying a decolonial lens to population data, program development and implementation, Seth will provide opportunities for audience members to reflect on personal bias and practice approaches.

Member Presenter: Anita Major-Brown

Creating an Anatomically Correct Model of the Clitoris and Pelvis

Anita is an Occupational Therapist with 25 years of experience in neurological rehabilitation. In 2016 Anita founded Thrive Rehab and recently created Cliterate, a 3D pull-apart model to support education for healthcare professionals, educators, clients, and students. Cliterate accurately shows the interaction of the vulva, clitoris and pelvis and helps people of all abilities to understand AFAB anatomy. Many health professionals have limited knowledge about vulva and clitoral anatomy and existing anatomical models were inaccurate and did not consider multiple learning needs. This sparked a 5-year passion project to create "Cliterate", a spherical model explaining AFAB genital anatomy. It was created using existing medical knowledge, and extensive consultation with experts including Occupational Therapists, Sexologists, Nurses, Teachers, Physiotherapists, Body Workers and Doctors. Importantly, its creation is guided by accessible design principles through the key involvement of RMIT's Industrial Design program. Cliterate will enable sexuality and intimacy education for people of all bodies and abilities.

Attendees who purchase a Cliterate Model in person at SIPS will receive a $50 discount!

Member Presenter: Cam Fraser

Men, Masculinities and the Internet 

3 Keys to Effective Men’s Work in the 21st Century

Discover hidden truths, challenge societal norms, explore gender identity's impact, and unravel male sexuality complexities. Cam will cover three key considerations for effective men's work in today's world that a surprising number of practitioners miss through presentation, interactive elements, and embodied experiences.

Member Presenter: Kai Schweizer

Autism in Trans and Gender Diverse People: Weaponisation Versus Affirmation

A growing body of research has indicated that trans and gender diverse (TGD) people are up to six times more likely to be Autistic than the general population. This presentation will discuss current theories for this high co-occurrence, the weaponisation of Autism to restrict gender-affirming care, and recommendations for supporting Autistic TGD people.

Member Presenter: Anisa Varasteh

The Therapeutic Potential of Kink and Erotic Play

Shedding light on the multifaceted nature of kink, providing a clear definition and dispelling common myths associated with it. By incorporating principles from internal family systems, attachment theory, neuroplasticity, and play therapy, this presentation aims to equip practitioners with a deeper understanding of why individuals are drawn to these practices and how they can be utilised for healing and personal growth. We also delve into the specific benefits of kink and erotic play, particularly in the context of overcoming traumatic experiences, offering invaluable insights and knowledge to support practitioners in helping their clients on their journey towards emotional well-being.

Member Presenter: Aud Mason-Hyde

Genderful -Expansive practice for radical acceptance of queer trans identities

Exploring the origins and limitations of, and deconstructing the rigid social structures of gender, in order to broaden viewpoints of practitioners. Aud is a young trans non-binary activist artist living on unceded Kaurna land, with experience as an actor, poet, activist and speaker. They have consulted for several projects, delivered keynote speeches at a number of conferences, and facilitated workshops to train teachers and medical students in gender-expansive practice.

Member Presenter: Deanna McCall

How do young people respond to an online resource on how to navigate rough sexual interactions?

Deanna McCall's presentation will include some preliminary findings of her PhD study such as;

  • What young people consider to be helpful to help them navigate rough sexual interactions.
  • Review the challenge of defining what constitutes rough sexual behaviour or when rough sex become sexual violence.
  • How pornography when used as a sex education tool can be problematic.
  • Explore different approaches to sex education such as: Pornography Literacy, Ethical Sexual Literacy and consent in sex education.
  • Discuss the potential to learn more about consent from the Kink, Bondage, Discipline (or Domination), Sadism, and Masochism (BDSM) and Consensual Non-Monogamy (CNM) communities.

Expansive Practice Panel

Featuring: Seth Westhead, Jordy Quain, Aud Mason-Hyde and Monique Mulholland

Much research has been undertaken to identify best practice when it comes to the content and delivery of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE). However, does the research really represent best practice for ALL young people? Does it take into account different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities? Please join this panel to explore some ideas about "best practice RSE" that are missing from the literature, and how a more expansive approach can better cater to the rich diversity in any classroom.

Meet the Panel Members:

Monique Mulholland's research works with feminist, queer and critical race theory to explore young people's negotiations and experiences of gender, sex and sexuality norms. This research has focussed on topics such as pornography, sex and relationships education, media representations of race and sexuality, intergenerational conflicts around sex and sexuality in migrant families, and cultural diversity and sex education. My recent articles include Parents, Whiteness and Sex Education: A critical race critique of sex education guides (Sexualities 2021), Parent–child communication, sexuality and intergenerational conflict in multicultural and multifaith communities (Sex Education), Cultural Diversity and Sexuality Education (Palgrave McMillan 2023) and 'Too Many Assumptions': Cultural Diversity and the Politics of Inclusion in Sexuality Education (forthcoming 2023). In particular, my research is undertaken with community partners with a focus on strategies, interventions and resource production to tackle issues of gender, sex and race inequality. My current projects include 'Sex Education and Cultural Diversity' How can sex education better account for multiple lives and experiences?' and 'The needs of girls with early menarche in South Australian primary schools'.

Porn, Parties and Parents Panel- details coming soon;

Featuring: Kerrin Bradfield, Tess Opie and Vanessa Hamilton

Meet the panel members below:

Kerrin Bradfield (she/they) is a Clinical Sexologist and Accredited Sexuality Educator who has delivered sexuality education to tens of thousands of people from Kindergarten students to United Nations staff. They are a passionate advocate for lifelong sexual rights and are committed to supporting people to talk openly and frankly about sexuality to combat the shame and secrecy in society.

Kerrin is the Education Coordinator at the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence, an educator and consultant for the Red Rose Foundation’s Strangulation Trauma Centre, owner of Open Book Project, and co-director of Respect Collective Pty Ltd with Dr Tessa Opie.

Kerrin is deeply committed to improving access to relationships and sexuality education for all individuals, working with policymakers, researchers, and advocacy groups to promote comprehensive RSE. They are an advisor on research improving legal, policy and practice responses to the intersection of domestic violence perpetration and child sexual abuse offending being conducted by Dr Michael Salter, have advised the Queensland Department of Education on the consent education rollout, and have contributed to the development of a national framework for Respectful Relationships Education under the National Plan. Kerrin is also a regular lecturer at the QLD Police Academy, Griffith University, and QUT and a past National Chairperson of the Society of Australian Sexologists. Kerrin actively works to create meaningful social change around sexuality and gender, through trauma informed approaches to psychological wellbeing, justice, and community building.

Tess Opie

Dr Tessa Opie is the founder and director of inyourskin® Pty Ltd and the co-founder of Respect Collective Pty Ltd with her colleague, Kerrin Bradfield. Tessa provides relationships and sexuality education to schools, professional athletes and allied health professionals across Australia and New Zealand, and is passionate about the role sex positive education can play in the prevention of sexual violence.

Tessa has worked as an expert consultant for several Education Departments, and was also involved in the National Health and Physical Education Curriculum Leaders Forum. Tessa is currently collaborating with Flinders University and Monash University to explore how RSE can better cater to a multicultural classroom. She is also collaborating with Mancel College and the University of Queensland on a project examining RSE for young people with Language Disorder.

Vanessa Hamilton

A sexuality educator and founder of the education business ‘Talking The Talk Healthy Sexuality Education’, with over 25 years of experience as a registered sexual health nurse. She is a parent of 3 teens and is an award-winning author, highly respected speaker, podcaster, blog writer and educator on the topics of human sexuality, consent and respectful relationships. Vanessa has immersed herself in helping parents, teachers and health professionals understand human sexuality and, specifically, how it relates to children.

Her professional career experience includes:

HIV/AIDS Nursing in London in the early 1990’s

16 years at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre - 5 of those years as the Nursing Services Manager

Fellow of the University of Melbourne, Teaching Post Graduate Sexual Health Subjects

Clinical Nurse Consultant at Austin Health

Educator at Talking The Talk Healthy Sexuality Education, teaching thousands of: Children aged 5-18yo, Teachers, Parents and Health Professionals


Optional extras:

For those attending in person, the symposium will also include an optional exclusive cocktail event at Junipers on the Marina.
$35 per person, canapés included.


Further details of the conference hotel and accommodation details can be accessed via the link below.


The Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd (SAS) represents health and allied health professionals working in the area of sex therapy, sexuality education, sexual health and sexology. We are proud to be a member organisation of:


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