Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium

Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium

What it is

The Australian Early Psychosis Collaborative Consortium (AEPCC) is being established to improve the care of young people experiencing psychosis. It is convened by Orygen and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

AEPCC will partner with clinicians, researchers, people with lived experience of psychosis and their family and friends, mental health advocacy groups, policy makers and governments across Australia.

The aim of AEPCC is to strengthen clinical services for the benefit of young people with early psychosis by providing a framework for streamlining the translation of research into real-world practice.

There are three components that AEPCC will establish by December 2023:

  • a Clinical Trials and Translation Network;
  • a Clinical Quality Registry; and
  • a Lived Experience Network.


How it works

Clinical Trials and Translation Network

The AEPCC Clinical Trials and Translation Network (CTTN) will be an enabling platform to facilitate early psychosis research across Australia.

The CTTN will endorse and support large, high-quality, multicentre early psychosis clinical trials and research studies. It will also enable more efficient and timely translation of results back into clinical practice.

Clinical Quality Registry

The AEPCC Clinical Quality Registry (CQR) will collect and analyse key data about outcomes from early psychosis services across Australia.

The CQR will help improve future clinical care for young people experiencing early psychosis by identifying the most appropriate treatments and areas of improvement, and researching new treatments through linkages with clinical trials and research studies.

Lived Experience Network

The AEPCC Lived Experience Network (LEN) will be created and guided by the early psychosis lived experience community.

It will work with the CTTN to develop meaningful ways in which young people with lived experience of psychosis can participate in the early psychosis research agenda.

This will include helping to set the research priorities and engaging young people to participate in research studies. The LEN will also design and implement two community engagement projects.

Why it’s needed

Psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are a major cause of premature death and disability in Australia and globally.

Psychosis generally arises in adolescence and young adulthood and often affects normal development, which can have long-term impacts on educational outcomes, physical health, employment and relationships.

It is vital to identify young people at risk or experiencing psychosis as early as possible in order to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to treat symptoms and reduce the risk of progression to a lifelong disorder.

Although clinical guidelines have been developed, variations in treatment remain. AEPCC’s work will provide crucial insights to allow more standardisation and continual improvement in care, and significantly improve the lives of young people experiencing psychosis.

Partners and collaborators

AEPCC will be built on partnerships and collaboration across the early psychosis sector in Australia.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of the AEPCC investigators, AEPCC Advisory Council members and the recently established CTTN Establishment Committee.

AEPCC Investigators

Principal Investigator

  • Professor Andrew Thompson | Orygen and the University of Melbourne

Additional Investigators

  • Professor Patrick McGorry | Orygen and the University of Melbourne
  • Professor Michael Berk | Deakin University
  • Professor Debra Rickwood | headspace
  • Professor John McNeil | Monash University
  • Professor Susannah Ahern | Monash University
  • Professor Stephen Wood | Orygen and the University of Melbourne
  • Professor Sue Cotton | Orygen
  • Professor Eóin Killackey | Orygen
  • Professor Barnaby Nelson | Orygen
  • Professor Alison Yung | Deakin University 
  • Professor Paul Amminger | Orygen
  • Dr Aswin Ratheesh | Orygen
  • Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez | Orygen

AEPCC Advisory Council

  • Professor Andrew Thompson | Orygen and University of Melbourne | AEPCC Principal Investigator 
  • John Moran | Orygen | AEPCC Advisory Council Chair
  • Professor Michael Berk | Deakin University 
  • Jo Fitzsimons | Orygen | AEPCC Executive Officer
  • Professor Eóin Killackey | Orygen
  • Professor Patrick McGorry | Orygen and University of Melbourne
  • Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos | Deakin University  
  • Professor John Macneil | Monash University 
  • Professor Vera Morgan | University of Western Australia 
  • Dr Daniel Pellen | RANZCP (Section of Youth Mental Health) and University of New South Wales
  • Professor Christopher Reid | Curtin University
  • Professor Debra Rickwood | headspace and Australian National University
  • Professor James Scott | University of Queensland
  • Dr Gordon Shymko | headspace Early Psychosis, Perth
  • Dr Jacqui Waterkeyn | Orygen
  • Angus Weller
  • Professor Stephen Wood | Orygen and University of Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Michael Wright | Curtin University
  • Professor Alison Yung | Deakin University  

CTTN Establishment Committee

  • Professor Stephen Wood (Chair)
  • Professor Dan Siskind (Deputy Chair) | Queensland 
  • Professor Andrew Thompson | AEPCC Principal Investigator 
  • Jo Fitzsimons | AEPCC Executive Officer
  • Karine Fernandez | AEPCC Network Officer 
  • Dr Angela Scheppokat | Orygen 
  • Dr Isabel Zbukvic | Orygen
  • Emily Painter | Lived Experience representative
  • Professor Alison Calear | Australian Capital Territory
  • Professor Anthony Harris | New South Wales
  • Dr Tamoor Mirza | Northern Territory
  • Associate Professor Scott Clark | South Australia 
  • Associate Professor Amanda Neil | Tasmania
  • Associate Professor Kelly Allott | Victoria
  • Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin | Western Australia  

Get involved

We want to hear from you

We’d like to understand a little more about people engaged in the early psychosis sector – whether employed in a research or clinical capacity, or as a lived experience community member.

We’d really appreciate you taking the time to complete this short survey (it should take no longer than 10 minutes) to help us capture some of this information.

Complete survey

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Contact us

If you have any questions about AEPCC, please email or call 03 9966 9100.