Stephen was born in Bayview, Napier, Hawkes Bay, and shares both New Zealand (Father) and Australian (Mother) heritage. Stephen’s family system also includes both Pakeha and Māori family members. Educated at Dilworth School in Auckland, Stephen previously worked as a Marketing & Management Consultant, winning a total of nine National Marketing Awards between 1992 – 1996 and holding a CEO position of a National Trade Organisation at 27 years of age. Stephen then re-trained in the Social Sciences field, securing two applied Bachelor’s degrees (Counselling & Addiction) and a Post Graduate qualification in Applied Social Practice, his post-graduate work focusing on Mental Health Client Outcome Research (i.e., What works, what doesn’t, and how we know). Stephen is married with two children.
Stephen’s interests and passions include political discourse, philosophy, media commentary, advocacy, and an absolute and fundamental rejection of tokenist political correctness and of sans-evidence mental health practices. Stephen lives in West Auckland, and vows never to admit to living anywhere else, Auckland Supercity or no Auckland Supercity! Stephen has appeared in several media genres, including TVNZ “Breakfast”, Radio NZ, Mana Magazine, TV3, BFM, New Idea Magazine, Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald, Radio Waatea, Challenge Weekly, Radio Live, & Radio Rhema.
As a mental health public speaker, lecturer, and trainer with over 25 years of experience, Stephen has developed and delivered a number of custom made, practical training workshops and lectures both in New Zealand and overseas for a wide range of groups and organisations including Te Pou (Australasian Mental Health Outcomes Information Conference), Cutting Edge, Parents Inc, the New Zealand Families Commission, the New Zealand Association of Counsellors, the Parachute Music Festival, the Anglican Pastoral Retreat Centre, the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC), the New Zealand Family Safety Teams, Community Alcohol & Drug Services (CADS), the Manukau Institute of Technology, the Problem Gambling Foundation, the Salvation Army Bridge Programme (Tasmania), the National Tertiary Education Consortium, and Skills Update Training Institute.
Stephen is firmly of the view that in the mental health field “what gets measured, gets managed”, and sees that a significant part of his role as a Spokesperson is to explode the many and varied mental health ideological and practice myths pertaining to “what works, and what doesn’t work” for vulnerable people in the mental health sector.
Stephen is a member of the International Centre for Clinical Excellence, which is a world-wide non-for-profit community of practitioners, healthcare managers, educators, and researchers dedicated to promoting excellence in behavioral healthcare services through Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT) and Deliberate Practice (DP).