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About  /   Staff and Volunteers

Our Staff and Volunteers

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Susana Bluwol
– Founder and Board Director

Susana Bluwol is the Founder and a Board Director of Bipolar Australia.

Born in Argentina, Susana migrated to Australia in 1983. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1996, Susana has always believed in the value of person-centred recovery models. She has been the facilitator of the Ryde Bipolar Support Group since 2004, and founded Bipolar Australia in 2014 in conjunction with other members of this group.

Susana has a degree in Early Childhood Education, and has previously worked with the National Consumers and Carers Forum, the Transcultural Mental Health CALD Reference Group, the Schizophrenia Fellowship’s Remind education program, and the National CALD Speakers Bureau, as well as appearing on SBS radio and SBS television.

Susana has presented papers at TheMHS Australia conferences on topics including the benefits of inclusive support groups, and the pioneering therapeutic community treatment model developed by Dr Jorge Garcia Badaracco in her native Argentina. She has also spoken about her personal journey of recovery from bipolar disorder at the International Mental Health Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Eileen McDonald

From the founding of Bipolar Australia Eileen has been involved as part of the Bipolar Australia Advisory Committee, contributing to the development of Bipolar Australia, its resources and as a speaker and Representive.

Eileen has over 40 years demonstrated expertise and leadership in Australia and internationally in community, educational and clinical sectors, including international humanitarian, human rights and social justice projects, disability, health and mental health in systemic policy reforms, co designing / co-producing guidelines, frameworks, research and contributing to publications. She is an experienced presenter in national and international conferences and workshops.

She is from a multicultural family, has lived in urban and regional and rural Australia and has qualifications in Counselling, Dance Movement Therapy, Supervision, Education and Training and Peer Work. Eileen has extensive governance training and experience and has served on Boards of Directors, governance groups and executive roles of not-for-profit organisations.

Eileen is dedicated to improving lives for everyone affected by Bipolar Conditions, all mental health, health and disability conditions; through working to eliminate stigma and discrimination and embedding the diversity of lived experience consumer and family, friend and kin carer leadership and involvement into all aspects of mental health, health and disability policy, services and research with authentic partnership with policy makers, workforce, services, clinicians and researchers to improve outcomes.


Prof. Greg Murray
– Researcher

Professor Greg Murray is Director of Mood Disorder Research and Practice at Swinburne University of Technology. Professor Greg Murray conducts research into mood disorders, circadian rhythms, and personality. He is ranked in the top 1% of researchers worldwide in each of these fields and is recognised as a world expert in bipolar disorder (top 0.1%, After a first career in music, he took out his PhD from University of Melbourne in 2001 and was promoted to full Professor at Swinburne in 2011.

Professor Murray's 220+ journal articles receive more than 1000 citations each year (SCOPUS), and he has been Chief Investigator on > $31 million in national competitive funding. Professor Murray has won individual awards for research, teaching, and impact, completed 27 PhD students, and provided professional development workshops for hundreds of psychologists and psychiatrists. He is a practicing clinical psychologist, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) in 2013.

Professor Murray’s work has had significant community impact. He is the sole non-US contributor to the bipolar disorders chapter of DSM-5-TR (American Psychiatric Association). He is final author on the influential Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Mood Disorder Guidelines (2020) and wrote the APS guidelines for treating bipolar disorder. His public engagement includes a regular mental health segment on ABC Radio and frequent school talks on sleep health. His articles for The Conversation have generated 1.2 million reads.

Professor Murray has played numerous leadership roles, including Director of the University of Melbourne Psychology Clinic, Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne, Chair of Hawthorn headspace, Director of Swinburne's Centre for Mental Health, and Chair of Orygen Research Review Committee. He is currently Director of the Swinburne Bipolar Research Clinic and Patron of Bipolar Life.


Dr Meg Smith OAM
– Student Supervisor

Dr Meg Smith is the acting Student Supervisor for Bipolar Australia.

Meg recently retired from her role as an Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney’s School of Social Sciences. She is a part-time member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, a part-time member of the Guardianship Tribunal, and the President of WayAhead (the Mental Health Association of NSW).

Meg has been active in the reform of mental health services and policy since the early 1980s, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and previously served as a Director of the Black Dog Institute, and a Director of the New South Wales Depression and Mood Disorders Association. She currently works in private practice as a community psychologist.

Meg’s current research interests include the management of bipolar disorder, cannabis use and mental illness, and social and community issues impacting people living with lived experience of mental illness.


Osvaldo (Michael) Bluwol
– Founding Member

Osvaldo Bluwol is a Founding Member of Bipolar Australia, its initial financial supporter, and the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer.

Born in Argentina, Osvaldo migrated to Australia in 1983 as an Architect and worked in that field for a short time. He also held qualifications from the Ibero-American Conservatorium of Music and in 1987 obtained accreditation by the Australian Music Examinations Board and started working as a Piano, Theory and Musicianship Teacher as well as a performer and arranger. His third career change was in 1998 when he graduated from Macquarie University School of Law and set up his own practice as a Licensed Property Conveyancer. He is also the Principal of Rhodes IT, an e-commerce firm. Osvaldo is experienced in law and finance and has over the past 30 years been involved in real property and stock investments. He established Bipolar Australia’s regulatory framework and since its inception in 2014, continues to provide his broad-based knowledge fulfilling the organisation’s secretarial, financial and legal requirements.


Dr Daniel Portelli
– Research and Project Management

Daniel Portelli BMus MA (hons) PhD AFHEA is a practice-based researcher, University lecturer, and music composer. Daniel was awarded a PhD in composition from the University of Huddersfield in the UK, and now works sessionally as a unit coordinator and lecturer in music at Western Sydney University (WSU). He is an Associate Fellow with the Advanced Higher Education Academy, which gives him a higher education teaching accreditation. Daniel is also a peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, working as an Industry Advisor for experimental, contemporary classical music, and the cross-disciplinary arts. His music has been performed by a range of new music ensembles and soloists around the world. Daniel has studied units in the areas of social science and psychology, mainly regarding social work and peer support, with a particular focus on counselling those experiencing mental health challenges.


Alan Bluwol
– IT

Alan Bluwol is a volunteer of Bipolar Australia, providing IT services and support. 
He is a highly motivated and passionate senior leader, customer engagement specialist and IT generalist with over 20 years of experience in ICT, across multiple industry sectors, including insurance, banking, finance, superannuation, retail and telecommunications. Alan is experienced in delivering end-to-end data and analytics solutions covering technology, data, analytics, digital and cloud.
Alan set up the Bipolar Australia website domain and deployed and configured the WordPress site, providing Bipolar Australia a digital presence and public accessibility, allowing greater reach and awareness of the organisation for all Australians needing information and support.


Veronica Bluwol
– IT

Veronica is a volunteer at Bipolar Australia, assisting with website management and keeping the organisation's online presence up-to-date. With more than a decade of experience in the field of IT, Veronica brings a wealth of expertise, specialising in Project Management and Technical Business Analysis. Her extensive IT background spans various industries, including government, retail, and project services.

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