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Presentations, Interviews, Public Speaking & Recovery-Based Advocacy

These are some of the many public speeches interviews and presentations I have done in Australia and overseas to date.



'Collected Thoughts 3', DVD Film by the Dax Collection, aimed at year eleven and twelve students,

Radio National 'Life Matters' program. Julie McCrossin-ABC National,

'Good Morning Australia' with Steve Leidman for 'Compulsive Executions' exhibition and book launch,

The Today show,

Video interview with Frankie Fathers, Reuters TV (International),

McGill University, (Multiple Presentations at the College of Philosophical and Religious Studies), Montreal, Canada.

Triple J-Youth Network, Rachel Kerr,

Stateline program on ABC TV,

Tricia Duffield on Radio 2SM, Sydney,

Martin Powley for ABC Gold & Sunshine Coasts, QLD,

The Drug Debate, SBS television with Jenny Brocky,

Fiona Sewell for ABC Radio Adelaide,

Statewide afternoons, ABC,

James Valentine for ABC Radio 702,

Phillip Brady & Bruce Mansfield on Radio 3AW 'Nightline',

John Weeks from Spectrum FM Radio,

Pieta O'Shaughnessy on Curtin Radio (Perth),

Tony Wilson & Richard Watts Smart Arts for Triple R (Melb),

Felicity Biggins on Radio 2NUR in Newcastle,

ABC National, AM Program,

Channel 31 News, Chanel Seven News, 

SANE DVD, 'Psychosis, Speaking from Experience',

JOY FM, National Gay and Lesbian Broadcaster,

Radio National-Life Matters-Art and Psychosis,

Local Radio, and ABC Regional, Dubbo,



'Mental Health hits the Political Frontline'- article 'The Australian' after I spoke in the Australian parliament,

'Rider of the storm', The Age, Michael Winkler,

The Sydney Morning Herald-Reviewer Anne Deveson,

'My Descent Into Madness'-(That was an un-kind heading for the story from them don't you think?), Herald Sun,

MCV (Melbourne Community Voice), Gay and lesbian Street press. about visionary art,

Featured in Alex Grey's COSM, (Chapel Of Sacred Mirrors), in 2017,18 and 19,

Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Herald Sun, The Australian.

Article for about psychosis and art,

 Review in hard copy Mail-out.

Bright Lights and Dark Corners: Images and Words,

Interview with Arts Access Australia,

'Follow Your Passions to Make Life Bearable and Find Your True Authentic Self' - The Good Men project

Makers of Melbourne, Interview.

Happiness Advice From an Artist Living With Schizophrenia - HUFFINGTON POST article I wrote.

Interviewed by Naomi Fryers  for 'The Good Men Project', republished on Huffington Post




Parliament House, Canberra, for 'SANE's Guide To Electoral Offices',

Recovered, Not Cured Book  Presentation for Australian Centre for Youth Literature, (ACYL) - To librarians and school teachers,

Royal Melbourne Hospital-with MHRI (Mental health research Institute), - 'Psychosis and Cannabis' forum,

The guest keynote speaker for the exhibition: (Sydney).

The guest keynote speaker for the 34th Annual Mental Health Nurses Conference, Melbourne, Cebel Townhouse,

McGill University-Montreal, Paragraphe Bookstore-Montreal,

A local psychiatric care unit - Douglas Hospital in Montreal,

Launch-Artholes Gallery, Fitzroy, art exhibition,

Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI), - To researchers and biochemists, and social workers/psychologists inpatients,

Weekly lectures at the MHRI to give a lived experience perspective on art and mental health to year 11 and 12 students,

Forensicare Psychiatric Hospital, Fairfield - To consumer groups & 'Judging' an art competition. (More like feedback - art like beauty should never be judged),

EPPIC* Early Prevention Psychosis, for young people who are having first signs of psychosis,

Working with 'People Like You', a non-for profit organisation many times throughout Victoria, (Aulbury/Wodonga/)

Presentation for Australian Centre for Youth Literature (ACYL)-To 500 high school students,

Baw Baw youth Network - To social workers and youth planners,

The Richmond Fellowship - Warnambool; To consumers and their families,

St Andrew's Market - Mental Health Week,

Forensicare, Thomas Embling Hospital, Mental Health Week, 

North West Area Mental Health, Coburg, to Consumer Advocacy group, families, consumers & their carers,

Presentation at The Dax Centre Melbourne for the state leaders and providers of Victorian Education System, (VCAT).

Many more monthly presentations at the then 'Cunningham Dax centre', to students studying psychology in year 11 and 12.

The short film that was made about me on my life and art by The Dax Collection, where I donated many works, is available to watch for free on this website:


Praise Comments & Accolades for my Public Speaking
(With Gratitude!):

Ross Johnstone-Development Manager
Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI):


Richard McLean first became known to the Mental Health Research Institute following the publication of his book "Recovered not Cured".

We contacted him and asked if he would give a talk to our research staff as part of our regular lunch time seminar series. He readily agreed and spoke about his experiences as a person with mental illness and who had used cannabis. His talk, presented in a natural style and demonstrating a high level of insight into his illness was very well received.

We received very positive feed back from both laboratory and clinical researchers. The Manager of our Collaborative Therapy Unit, which has a research project focussed on mental illness and substance use, described Richards' presentation as the best personal account she had ever heard.

Richard also spoke at our request to the National Cannabis & Mental Illness Conference held in Melbourne in August 2004 and attended by researchers and clinicians from around Australia. Again, his presentation was interesting, informative and entertaining. Richard has a lot to offer people who have an interest in the field of mental illness and substance use, his practical, down to earth style and personal experiences provides a unique perspective to this challenging topic.

Agnes NieuwenhuizenManager, Australian Centre for Youth Literature-State Library of Victoria

The Australian Centre for Youth Literature presents a large annual calendar of events to promote authors, books and a love of reading. The sessions are mostly thematic and in 2003 we presented a series titled: THE WHOLE STORY. We invited four authors each of whom wrote non-fiction of various types.

Over two days the authors spoke to about 500 hundred teenagers in three sessions and then to about 100 professionals in a regular evening event.


Cindy Neilsen Carer Advocate - Dubbo, NSW

On behalf of Carer Assist Dubbo, the carers, families and friends of people living with mental illness in Dubbo and the Macquarie region of New South Wales, I wish to express our sincere thanks to Richard McLean of Melbourne, Victoria, for accepting an invitation to be guest speaker at our Mental Health Awareness Evening held in Dubbo during National Mental Health Week in October 2005.

Michelle Davies,

Victoria Curriculum Authority


Richard McLean gave a powerful and moving presentation to Curriculum Managers and educational writers of The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority at the Cunningham Dax Collection in Parkville.

Richard generously offered his personal anecdotes and good humor to support the sharing of his experiences; in education, as a contemporary artist and writer and with regards to the personal impact of mental health issues and marginalized stereotyping.

Richard's presentation was both engaging and highly informative, offering a deep and personal insight into the possible difficulties that may confront young people with mental health issues in educational environments.

Richard thoroughly impressed his audience with a slide show of his intriguing artworks and art based projects which formed the basis of an open question and answer session. The knowledge Richard imparted was illuminating and offered a greater awareness for the VCAA.

Richard's authenticity and openness contributed considerably towards creating a comfortable environment that supported valuable dialogue for all that were present.

On behalf of the VCAA, I would like to thank and acknowledge Richard for the courage and commitment he demonstrated in presenting such highly personal content in support and advocacy for those suffering with mental health issues.

Brad Green, Baw Baw youth Network. Baw Baw youth Network.


Richard McLean was a guest speaker at the Baw Baw Youth Network this year. He gave a fascinating and informative presentation to over 40 local agencies and education representatives.

The response was amazing with all workers remarking that the insight and personal account made them rethink their work and approach with young people.

I recommend Richard to any organisation.


He was able to link personal experience, art and music in an entertaining but insightful presentation.


Many members of the network have asked Richard to speak at other networks and individual organisations.





Richard Mc Lean’s presentation was inspiring and provided us with insight into how he managed and still manages his symptoms of Schizophrenia.


We were taken on a journey through Richard’s perception of his thoughts, feelings and behaviours that were so real to him while unknowingly battling Schizophrenia.


Richard shared his art works with us and provided us with a detailed description of the representation of each picture and how they reflected his experiences of psychosis.The illustrations alone gave us a glimpse of how confused and chaotic Richard’s thoughts may have been. Richard’s art works are brilliant and inspired group members to use art as a way of expressing themselves.


Richard facilitated a discussion with the group to explore their available resources to assist them in maintaining good mental health, suggestions included: good support networks (family, friends, GP, case manager, psychiatrist and key worker), stress management, relaxation techniques, art, coping skills, medication, music and walking.


Richard has provided the group with a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak, in that the presentation was ‘Recovery focused’ and motivational and highlighted the importance that goals can be achieved.


We thank Richard for sharing his story with us and wish him luck in his future endeavours.

Rebecca Daly, Thomas Embling Hospital, (Forensicare), Fairfield, Melbourne.


Richard McLean was a breath of fresh air and inspiration to the patients at Thomas Embling, connecting with his audience in a way that very few others are able.

Richard's innate creativity combined with first-hand experience of the nightmare of mental illness, grant him the capacity to speak with an inspired but personable voice that is expert but human, sharing his experiences and insights in an honest, sometimes raw, sometimes comical and always engaging fashion.

His story inspires consumers and carers alike to reinvest in a hope for recovery, challenging the uninformed, the intolerant and the prevalent stigmas to take a fresh look at the modern day epidemic of mental illness.

Marni Luxmoore Tracey Turner Occupational Therapist Clinical Psychologist EPPIC

Richard McLean kindly volunteered to do two presentations for the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC).

These presentations involved Richard speaking for an hour to a group of young people who were in the recovery phase of psychosis.


Richard was an incredibly engaging speaker who openly and appropriately shared his experience and knowledge of mental illness.


Feedback from the young people was overwhelmingly positive. It was clear that they could connect with his experience and valued his insights into the issues surrounding drugs and alcohol, stigma and relapse.


Clients valued his words because they stemmed from lived experience and participants described feeling a strong sense of hope after listening to Richard's journey through mental illness.


From our contact with Richard, it is clear he has the personality and skill that would be required to work in the area of consumer consultancy/advocacy and we would have no hesitation in recommending Richard for such a position.

Kaylee MacKenzie (Bright Secondary College).


The kids haven't stopped nagging me about buying his two books! (unheard of in all my years of teaching) One student even traipsed around every bookshop in Albury looking for one. In a low key way (without the standard spiel they often hear from so called motivational speakers) he was inspiring and did more to crash down many of their beliefs about people with a mental illness in 30 minutes, than I could have in weeks of 'teaching'.



I have known Richard for many years through his involvement with SANE Australia, the national charity. SANE works for a better life for all people affected by mental illness through education and support, applied research and campaigning for improved services and attitudes.


Richard is a talented and successful artist, writer and speaker. The book Recovered, not cured: A journey through schizophrenia, written and illustrated by Richard, was awarded SANE Book of the Year in 2004. From that time until recently, he has contributed to art exhibitions such as the For Matthew and Others exhibition, held in NSW and Victoria, and has been an active and valued member of the SANE Speakers program.


SANE Speakers are people affected by mental illness who present the human face of the illness and reduce the associated stigma - which many say is as bad as the symptoms of the illness itself. Richard’s involvement with SANE’s media stories, education and advocacy work has helped raise awareness of mental illness and its impact, while at the same time demonstrating and celebrating the contributions people with mental illness make to their communities. In particular, Richard has contributed to a SANE Speaking from experience DVD and has been involved with educating federal parliamentarians at Parliament House in Canberra. He is always thoughtful and insightful about his contributions.


Richard’s passion and commitment, combined with his impressive communication skills and great good humour, mean he has been a valued member of SANE’s team.



I was interviewed for by Rebecca Chamaa for an article on my life and work 'Bright Lights and Dark Corners'


I spoke in Australian parliament with SANE Australia to advocate for change when people call up their local council in distress with a loved one suffering from an episode. An article was published in 'The Australian', under the headline, 'Mental Health hits the Political Frontline', but they reneged to report that I also advocated for refugees literally trying to bury themselves alive.

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I exhibited at Gasworks in 2012 with a solo show 'Return from pessimism' and also in 2013 with a multimedia installation from my Masters of Education.


I have spoken at The Royal Melbourne Hospital on various topics, including the risks of cannabis and psychosis, and also through my fundraising work with my book, 'Grogan the Monster in... What Do You Love?', with 25% of proceeds benefiting the banksia Unit, Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


I did a Master of Education at Victoria University, then was awarded a scholarship to go on and do my Dr of Philosophy. I was extremely grateful and I have just found out I passed the PhD subject to changes.


I was interviewed on JJJ many times, on 'hack' with Robbie Buck, and Rachel Kerr on a special on recovery in mental health.


I was invited by SBS to fly up to Sydney and speak about Drugs and mental health with Jenny brocky. The show was live - and unfortunately I was set up. I wanted to talk to them about the risks of marijuana and psychosis and then right at the top of the show they cut from a poor man whose child had died from a drug overdose to me - essentially putting me on the spot and shaming me, making me look bad.


I was interviewed for 'The Good Men project' by Naomi Fryers, with her article, 'Follow Your Passions to Make Life Bearable and Find Your True Authentic Self' I also wrote an article for my PhD titled 'Giving Up the Fags: A Self-Reflexive Speech on Critical Auto-ethnography About the Shame of Growing up Gay/Sexual Abuse' and it was published also on TGMP


I spoke with over 500 young people about mental health recovery when my autobiography was published, and also taught a session for the more interested students on articulating ideas inn writing.


I worked for Royal Melbourne Hospital for some time and often went to Forensicare to comment on clients art practices and advocate for recovery.


I spoke on RRR about 'Art & Mental Illness, (Skillness!), with Richard Watts for Smart Arts.

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I have done many speeches and group activities for The Richmond Fellowship, both in Melbourne, to Warnambool.


I donated many works to the then Cunningham Dax Collection, which is now The Dax Centre. The documentary on my life and art was made possible by The Dax Centre.


I was a 'SANE speaker', and did many talks for them. I was also awarded SANE Australia's 'Book of the Year', 2003. I worked for them as an advocate and consultant.


When i worked at The dax Centre, I did a presentation to the head people at VCAA who were the people that decided what curriculum was appropriate when selecting texts and media for high school students.


I have spoken many times on the ABC, across triple J and rural radio, and my autobiography was converted to an abridged version for the 'Life Matters' program with Julie McCrossin. It was played a few times on the network because of how people were engaged with it. The Audiobook is available for free on this website.


I was featured in an edition of the international 'Clinical Psychiatry News' for my 'Visionary Art', and about non ordinary reality and creativity.


I worked for 'The Age' as a News Graphics Artist & Illustrator for nearly five years & also featured in articles and stories in my advocacy role - essentially being the news too!


I was interviewed on JOY a couple of times about my art shows and adviocacy work.


I spoke at the School of Religious and Philosophical Studies numerous times at McGill University in canada. On the panel were world renowned experts on so called 'schizophrenia', and I was so warmly received they invited me back to speak about art and psychosis to a group of people who had to read my autobiography for their course.


I did numerous talks at EPPIC with young people about drugs and mental health who were at risk of psychosis.

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I was interviewed by Arts Access Australia, although I question the term 'disability. It may actually be 'ability', and my 'mental illness', is perhaps my 'mental skillness.'

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I have linked in with Midsumma Gay and lesbian festival on a number of occasions.

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I was linked to the childrens book council through my work with The State Library of Victoria.


I was a News graphics Artist and Illustrator for 'The Age' newspaper for nearly five years. During and after my time there I was often the topic of the news instead of creating the visuals for it.


I was interviewed by 'The Makers of melbourne', who wrote: 'Richard McLean is a total surprise package. An artist cloaked in the outer shell of a man of otherwise ordinary appearance. Yet the very word – ordinary – is at stark odds with the voice expressed in Richard’s visual and written work.'


I was awarded a 'Highly Commended non-fiction' for my autobiography 'Recovered, Not Cured, a journey through schizophrenia.'

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I worked closely with city of Kingston with my 2010 exhibition 'Back to basics', at Morabbin Town hall. The catalogue from that show can be found on this site.


I did a Bachelor of Fine Art at Victorian College for the Arts


I was interviewed on 2SM by Tricia Duffield


I was interviewed on 'Nightline' by Phillip Brady & Bruce Mansfield


I performed a talk at baw Baw youth Network.


Carers NSW asked me to fly to Dubbo in outback NSW where I gave a speech in the town hall.


My books can be researched at The State Library of Victoria.


I wrote for the Huffington Post in: 'Happiness Advice From an Artist Living With Schizophrenia', although having researc hed it throuroughly in my PhD I do not believe the term is factual and the label actually harms people. I see 'non-ordinary-reality', through a holistic shamanistic lens.


My book: 'Grogan the Monster in... What Do You Love?', gives 25% of profits and royalties directly to The banksia Unit for Child and Adolescent mental health at The Royal Children's Hospital. At my book launch in Footscray I raised over $1000 for them - the first fundraiser the centre had had.


I was interviewed by James Valentine

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Video interview with Frankie Fathers for reuters.


I did many presentations and group chats to people at Orygen in Parkville who were at risk of psychosis. It was attached to the Mental health research Centre where I also regurlarly spoke with groups of year 11 and 12 students.


I worked as a news graphics Artist and Illustrator for 'The Herald Sun', and later they were utterly slanderous towards me-by publishing my self reflexive account of my experience with schizophrenia - which was a triumphant story of recovery - with the derogatory and slanderous headline of 'MY DESCENT INTO MADNESS.' I was at The Age by then - and shortly after they fired me for no reason.


When I toured Montreal speaking at McGill University in Canada, I also did other talks around town. La Paragraphe Bookshop was one of these speaking opportunities.


EPPIC is a centre which supports young people at risk of psychosis and I did many talks to young people here.


I was interviewed by John Weeks


I have appeared on channel 31 a few times spreading a recovery focussed perspective


I was on Good Morning Australia twice, once with Steve leidman for the launch of my book, and the other for an exhibition i was having.


I spoke to the clients of Douglas Hospital in Montreal at the inpatients clinic.


An abridged version of my autobiography was on this program in a 5-part series. I read it in the first person, and it is free on this website.


I talked about my upcoming talk in Dubbo town hall.


Phillip Brady & Bruce Mansfield


Interviewed by Tricia Duffield


I did many talks at the MHRI to year 11 and 12 people on art and mental illness and shared my experience via art.

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Interviewed by James Valentine

Get In touch for a free confidential casual chat! Alternatively, call
+61 0400639248

Thanks for emailing me; I will be in touch ASAP usually sooner than two business days. Kindly, Rich McLean


While you are here take a look at my went five-plus years of traditional and digital has been a passion and saviour of mine.

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