Professor Brett McDermott

Director, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Tasmania

2023 TAS Australian of the Year Nominee

Professor Brett McDermott is a researcher and psychiatrist specialising in young people with mental health challenges.

As head of Tasmania’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, he completed a review of the state’s support for young people. He also successfully lobbied the State Government for funding and now has $41 million to drive reforms.

Brett pioneered in 1994 one of the first public health programs in the world to screen adolescents and children for anxiety, PTSD and depression following natural disasters.

He’s now led eight major post-disaster programs in NSW, Queensland and Tasmania to better support young people experiencing the trauma of floods, cyclones, bushfires and storms. His approach has influenced post-disaster interventions globally.

Brett has long been committed to improving child and adolescent mental health service delivery. He established Australia's first child and adolescent eating disorders team and is currently creating services for children in out-of-home care and youth.