Keynote Presenters

The OSP is very proud of the keynote speakers who are presenting at this year’s Practice Conference. They are all well-respected practitioners and researchers who have led innovative practice in the field of child protection.

Dr Shelly Bonnah PhD, RCC
Shelly Bonnah is a family therapist, clinical supervisor and organizational consultant from Kamloops, BC. As a therapist, Shelly works with children, youth and adults who have experienced violence and other forms of adversity, with a special interest in victims of institutionalized violence. Her doctoral research focused on children’s responses and resistance to violence--specifically understanding their behaviour in context, the nature of social interactions with young people, the connection between violence and mutualizing language, and the social responses that they receive.

Prior to opening the Centre for the Centre for Response-Based Practice in the Interior of BC, Shelly was the Chief Operating Officer of a multi-service, non-profit organization. In this setting, Shelly applied the principles of Reponses-Based ideas to leadership and other organizational priorities such as policies and human relations challenges.

Shelly was also a foster parent for just over 15 years and had over 30 children in her family over that time. Currently, Shelly works with other professionals who are interested in Response-Based Practice as a clinical supervisor and an organizational consultant. She also teaches in the Master of Counselling program through City University of Seattle and the Master of Education program at Thompson Rivers University.

Dr Suzanne Lohrbach PhD 

Suzanne Lohrbach, PhD, is the Executive Director for the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation. In this role, she leads a broad team working to transform the experience of childhood for all children through the advancement of health and wellness. 

Sue has over 30 years of experience working and supervising practice in public child protective services and child, adolescent, and adult mental health. She consults and presents nationally and internationally on differential response systems in child welfare, intervention in high-risk child protective service delivery, domestic violence, family involvement, youth development, research-to-practice initiatives, and group supervision in child welfare systems.

Sue is well-known to practitioners in New South Wales for the influence her work has had on practice within FACS, particularly around the development of Group Supervision using the Safe & Connected™ (Minnesota) model - Consultation and Information Sharing Framework®.

David Mandel MA, LPC

With over almost 30 years’ experience in the domestic violence field, David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems' responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Through years of work with child welfare systems, David has developed the Safe & Together™ Model to improve case practice and cross system collaboration in domestic violence cases involving children. He has also identified how a perpetrator pattern-based approach can improve our ability to help families and promote the development of domestic violence-informed child welfare systems.

David and the Safe & Together Institute’s staff and faculty have consulted to United States’ child welfare systems in a number of states including New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Oregon and Ohio. In the last five years, their work has expanded outside the United States with research, training and consultation in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other countries. The Safe & Together Institute works closely with domestic violence advocates, in the United States and abroad, to help them more effectively work with child protection systems and better advocate for child welfare-involved adult and child domestic violence survivors. David has written and published online courses and has launched a new Safe & Together Model Certified Trainer initiative that will increase the Institute’s ability to support sustainable implementation of domestic violence-informed practice in the US and abroad.

David has written or co-written journal articles on batterer’s perceptions of their children’s exposure to domestic violence, domestic violence case reading tools, and the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare practice. His chapter on “Batterers and the Lives of Their Children” was published in the Praeger Series Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships.

Kerry Neill

Kerry Neill is a Gubbi Gubbi man from the Sunshine Coast region in South East Queensland. Kerry has been working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in community services and education for the past 11 years. Kerry has facilitated anger management courses within correctional facilities and schools across NSW, and has been an Aboriginal dancer and didgeridoo player touring all over Australia and the USA.

Kerry has also been involved in the writing and delivery of cross cultural communication, dance, and behaviour management programs across NSW and Queensland. He has had a strong upbringing in his Aboriginal (Gubbi Gubbi) culture and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to cultural awareness training program participants.

Kerry loves working with students to give a cultural understanding of Gubbi Gubbi culture but in a fun and memorable fashion. He has always understood that using the lighter side of life, people participate, people communicate and people remember.

Dr Andrew Turnell  

Dr Andrew Turnell is an independent social worker and child protection consultant and the principal co-creator of the Signs of Safety. Andrew teaches regularly around the world and acts as an ongoing consultant to child protection systems in Australasia, Europe, Japan and North America. Currently, Andrew’s work is primarily focused on the Signs of Safety implementation in Ireland where he is residing four or five months each year. While the child protection field is over-organised by anxiety and failure, Andrew’s work focuses on fostering, amplifying and describing constructive on-the-ground casework and system-wide practices that build partnership with families and creates meaningful safety for children.

With Professor Eileen Munro and Terry, Andrew is a principal of Munro Turnell and Murphy Child Protection Consulting which provides whole-of-system child protection consultancy services to enable children’s services agencies to implement lasting reforms that deliver better outcomes for vulnerable children and their families. Andrew has written extensively about safety-organised child protection practice including his co-authored work with Susie Essex: Working With ‘Denied’ Child Abuse: The Resolutions Approach. For more information visit: and

Dr Allan Wade Ph.D

Dr Wade lives on Vancouver Island where he works in private practice as a family therapist and researcher. He is primarily concerned with addressing the problem of violence in all its forms and in promoting socially just legal and human services work. With Linda Coates and Nick Todd, Dr Wade has developed a Response-Based approach to working with victims and perpetrators of violence. 

Dr Wade is an internationally recognized expert on responses to interpersonal violence, broadly defined. He and his colleagues at the Centre for Response-Based Practice, in Canada, conduct original research and analysis on social responses by state institutions, such as courts, specialized panels, police, child protection authorities, and others. They also provide direct services to individuals and families where interpersonal violence is at issue. 

Dr Wade is senior faculty with the Master of Counselling Program, City University of Seattle and Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Victoria.