Research Team


Renata Kokanović is a Professor of Sociology (Mental Health) and an RMIT University Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow. She is the Lead Investigator of the Borderline Personality as Social Phenomena project. Renata is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of critical social theory, critical mental health studies, and medical humanities. In addition to leading the overall qualitative analysis of the project’s datasets, Renata will contribute to the project's creative outputs, and in collaboration with the project’s CIs, PIs and members of the Advisory Group, she will lead the knowledge translation activities to facilitate wider community engagement.


Stuart Thomas is Professor of Forensic Mental Health at RMIT University. His specific interests with this project lie in the interactions that people living with BPD have with health and criminal justice systems, and in prioritising the lived experience voice in service and systems reform.

Cameron Duff

Cameron Duff is an Associate Professor at the Centre for People, Organisation and Work in the School of Management at RMIT University. His research explores the role of social innovation in driving social change in the community and not-for-profit sectors, focusing on housing policy and mental health care. He is interested in organisational strategies including the role of workforce development, leadership and program evaluations in the design of innovative health and social supports for people living with mental health diagnoses. Cameron will contribute to the design of all research methods, participate in the collection of research data including the completion of interviews with people living with a diagnosis of BPD, and contribute to all data analysis and reporting tasks.


Professor Dan Harris (pronouns they/them) is an ARC Future Fellow and the Associate Dean, Research & Innovation, in the School of Education, RMIT University. Dan is editor of the book series Creativity, Education and the Arts (Palgrave), and has authored over 100 articles/book chapters, 17 books, and countless plays, films and spoken word performances. Dan is committed to the power of collaborative creative practice and social justice research to inform social change. Dan will be contributing to the project through all qualitative methods, co-leading the production of collaborative, creative outputs. For more on Dan's work, see the Creative Agency research lab:


Prof Stacy Holman Jones is a transdisciplinary researcher with international expertise in innovative arts-based methods and critical theory. She has extensive experience co-producing creative outputs with vulnerable populations. Together with A/Prof Harris, she will lead the creative workshops and development, curation and presentation of the projects' range of creative outputs.


Jacinthe Flore is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at RMIT University working in the areas of digital mental health, sociology, and critical theory. In addition to overseeing the development of the digital resources based on participants’ interviews, she is particularly interested in exploring the uses of technology and digital media in experiences of BPD.


Prof Andrew Chanen is Director of Clinical Programs and Services and Head of Personality Disorder Research at Orygen. He will contribute clinical and scientific leadership and expertise, as well as assistance with the recruitment of participants for the project.


Adj A/Prof Sathya Rao is Executive Clinical Director at Spectrum, Personality Disorder Service, Victoria. He will contribute clinical and scientific leadership and expertise to the project, as well as assist with recruitment and clinical oversight.


A/Prof Louise McCutcheon is Orygen Clinical Training Coordinator and a cofounder of HYPE, an early intervention program for young people with BPD and their families. She works with services to reduce stigma and improve access to treatments. As BPD is relatively common in people under 25, she will be assisting young people with BPD to participate in this project and contribute their views.

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Dr Laura Hayes is the Manager of Service Design and Research at Mind Australia. Dr Hayes has directed the design and implementation of outcome measures at Mind using a digital approach to ensure that all users, from clients to managers, can track real-time progress using data dashboards. She has designed and lead original research at Mind such as the Young Carer initiative.

Dr Hayes has extensive experience in research and evaluation and subject matter expertise in the NDIS, mental health and well-being and evaluation methodologies, program logic and outcome mapping.

Previously she has managed knowledge synthesis, research, evaluation and knowledge translation activities in the areas of family and child well-being, vulnerable families, the impacts of mental illness on families and effective supports for psychosocial disability on projects such as Emerging Minds and ParentingNow webinars.

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Rachel Green is the CEO of SANE Australia, which makes a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues through support, research and advocacy. Rachel is driven by her passion for pursuing big impact, community-focused interventions designed with the lived experiences of individuals and families at the forefront.

Rachel brings a wealth of experience and expertise across the mental health, not for profit and government sectors, and within the fields of implementation science and public policy, and she is passionate about championing the diverse voices of lived experience.


Felicity Callard is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow. She has written extensive critical work on psychiatric diagnosis and experiences of mental illness/mental distress. Felicity also contributes her unique expertise in processes of interdisciplinary work as she has published on collaborative research between the social sciences and neurosciences.

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Lisa Blackman is Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is the author of Hearing Voices: Embodiment and Experience (Free Association Books, 2001). Known for conducting research in collaboration with people with lived experiences of emotional and mental distress, Lisa brings critical perspectives from affect and body studies to the study of experiences characterised as BPD.

Emma Seal

Dr Emma-Louise Seal, Research Fellow, has a vast depth of experience with designing and undertaking qualitative social research and has engaged with a broad range of experiential approaches including narrative, life history, photovoice, and participatory action research. Emma’s research has focused on areas including women’s lived experience of disability, the sociology of health and wellbeing, violence against women, and inclusion and diversity. Emma will be involved in all aspects of the project including data collection, assisting with the creation of the narrative and arts-based outputs, and the broader knowledge translation activities.


Dr Tamara Borovica, Research Assistant, has an excellent track record in qualitative social research with disadvantaged populations and an emerging track record examining experiences of mental health. Tamara’s PhD was awarded Doctoral Research Award for best doctorate in the field of Philosophy of Education by Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne and she has also taught Qualitative Research Methods to undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne. Tamara’s expertise is in qualitative research methods with a particular interest in embodied and arts-based research. Tamara’s work has been assessed as innovative, ethical and sensitive to various needs of researched populations.