World Hearing Voices Congress 2013

South Wharf
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

 Prahran MissionHVNAVoices Vic    

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Parking at the venue
More Information & Frequently Asked Questions

This page is updated every week or two with new information about congress - so keep checking back for the latest. 

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If you have a question you'd like to add to this page, please email us.

About the World Hearing Voices Congress
About the 'hearing voices approach'
Who should attend?
About Melbourne
Dates and days
Featured speakers
Which speakers will be presenting on which days?
Registration - how to register, common questions
Payment methods
CPD points - certificate of attendance
Evening entertainment
Can I share my ideas?
Travel Tips
Public transport to the venue
Parking at the venue
Cancellations & substitutions
I've never been to a conference before...
Voice hearers... contribute to the grand finale film "What's your vision for the future?"
Other questions

About the World Hearing Voices Congress

The congress is the annual conference for Intervoice, the international hearing voices network.  Each year Intervoice invites an organisation in a different country to host the conference, and this year it is Voices Vic in Victoria, Australia.

The congress is an international forum for exploring the experience of hearing voices. It brings together experts by lived experience, experts by profession, and experts by relationship in a collaborative, innovative and inspiring collection of talks, symposia, debates and workshops.

To find out more, read this report for the 2012 World Hearing Congress held in Wales, UK.

About the 'hearing voices approach'

The congress is not just about the hearing voices approach - we are interested in all ideas and experiences related to hearing voices.  However the congress is the annual event of Intervoice, the international hearing voices network, and the organisation which began this innovative approach.

For those who are unfamiliar with the thinking behind this approach, we have included some videos below.  You might also like to read some more about the approach on the Intervoice website.

Within Australia we have a number of hearing voices networks which now have members in the thousands.  These networks are establishing support groups for voice hearers, offering individual support, conducting research, running talks and training, and connecting people with new understanding and hope.
Other networks are now emerging in Queensland and Tasmania.

Videos and Radio Interviews

"The Voices Within"
Listen to a radio interview with Dr Rufus May, Dr Dirk Corstens and Dr Sandra Escher about hearing voices.  Interviewed by Natasha Mitchell on the ABC Radio National programme "All in the Mind" (2008).  Listen here.

The Open Paradigm Project: "Voices Matter"
Watch this video filmed during the 2012 World Hearing Voices Congress in Cardiff, Wales.  Watch here.


"Learning from the voices in my head"
Watch Eleanor Longden's story about hearing voices on TED talks.  Unfortunately Eleanor can't join us at congress this year, but her perspectives will be shared by many at congress. Watch here.


Who should attend?

If you hear voices, or you used to, then this is the perfect forum to connect with others, learn more about voices and ways to live with them, and to share your own experiences.  At least half of all presentations will be led by voice hearers.  There are also lots of opportunities to share your story and practice new coping skills.

If you work with people who hear voices, in either community or clinical mental health settings, then the congress is the ideal place to expand your practice in exciting new directions. Connect with other professionals, hear the latest innovative research and be inspired by an environment of hope and possibility.  This year we are introducing the first clinical research stream to the congress - a new space for innovative research into voices which stretches beyond the medical model.

If you are the friend, family member or carer of a voice hearer, then the congress will build your understanding of voices, connect you with others, and explore many ideas for making sense of and living with voices.

Registration Fees

Registration fees vary depending on:

1. When you register:

  • Early bird discounts:  1 June until 31 July 2013   CLOSED
  • Regular fees: 1 August until 31 October 2013  CLOSED
  • Late fees: 1 - 19 November 2013 NOW OPEN - LAST DAYS
2. If you are entitled to a concession or reduced rate

3. How many days you attend:
  • You can choose to register for 1, 2 or all 3 days of the congress

  Registration Type  
  Early Bird Fees 
1 Jun - 31 Jul
  Regular Fees  
1 Aug - 31 Oct
   Late Fees   
1 - 19 Nov
 Full Fee
This rate applies to the general public, mental health professionals and anyone else not covered by the categories below.
   3 days (full congress)  $ 550  $ 627  $ 781
   2 days  $ 418  $ 484  $ 605
   1 day  $ 231  $ 275  $ 341
 Reduced Fee
This rate applies if you are either a voice hearer (or consumer / service user) or carer who is on a low income (not working full-time) but doesn't have a concession card. This rate also applies to full-time students with ID.

   3 Days (full congress)
 $ 352  $ 407  $ 506
   2 days
 $ 275  $ 308  $ 385
   1 day
 $ 154  $ 176  $ 220
This price category is for voice hearers and carers who are receive a government unemployment or pension payment.  If you live in Australia please provide your Centrelink pension or Health Care Card number.  If you live overseas please provide your social security number or equivalent. If you are a voice hearer or carer and don't get such a benefit, please register at the "reduced" rate.
   3 days (full congress)
 $ 198  $ 231  $ 286
   2 days
 $ 154  $ 176  $ 220
   1 day
 $ 88  $ 99  $ 121

Download congress registration fees flyer here.

We hope to offer some subsidies for people experiencing financial disadvantage.  To keep with news about subsidies, join our mailing list.


Subsidies are now closed.  Applicants will be notified in due course.

A limited number of subsidies are now available to assist voice hearers, and family or carers of voice hearers, to attend the congress. 

Subsidies may cover one or more of:

  • Registration fees
  • Travel costs (regional trains or interstate flights)
  • Shared accommodation close to the congress venue

To be eligible to apply for a subsidy you must:

  • Be living in Australia
  • Be a voice hearer, carer/family of a voice hearer, or both
  • Be receiving a disability pension, carer payment, or be able to demonstrate significant financial disadvantage
  • Be unable to attend the congress without a subsidy

Because of the limited number of subsidies, it is likely that a lot of people who apply may not receive a subsidy, but we will do our best to share the subsidies fairly amongst those with the most need.

Subsidy Assessments
Applications will be assessed based on the information you tell us in your application form.  We apologise that some of the questions are a little personal.  We hope you understand that they are designed to help us work out who is in most in need of assistance.  Please be assured that your applications will be treated confidentially and anonymously (names will be removed from applications before they are assessed by at least 2 of our team, at least one of whom will be a voice hearer, carer or consumer).

Important subsidy dates

SUBSIDIES ARE NOW CLOSED.  Applicants will be contacted in due course.

Subsidy Sponsors
These subsidies have been made possible with the generous support of:

  • UnitingCare
  • State Government Victoria - Department of Health
  • Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing


The congress is located at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC). This is Melbourne's premier conference venue, located right on the south bank of our famous Yarra River and central business district.

MCEC is easily accessible by public transport, taxi, or a short walk from the centre of the city.


About Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, Australia... and i
n 2012 we were was ranked as the world's most liveable city

Miles of beaches and early summer sunshine.  A vibrant nightlife, the fashion and food capital of Australia, and loads of places to visit and explore.

See the penguin parade down on Phillip Island, or get up close with Australia’s unique wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary.

Explore our marine life at the stunning Melbourne Aquarium… or take a lazy wine tour through one of our
many wine regions.

For all you folks from the Northern hemisphere…Melbourne’s average temperature at this time of
year is a balmy 22 degrees Celsius.

To find out more about all the exciting shopping, beaches, wine regions, cafes, art, music and culture that Melbourne has to offer, check out


Dates and Days

The congress is being held over 3 days from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd November 2013.

Wednesday and Thursday will follow a common conference format of plenary sessions (everyone in together) and concurrent sessions (8 sessions running at the same for you to choose between).

Friday will be a different format.  The afternoon will be run as an 'Open Space', also called an 'unconference' format.  Delegates will decide on the day what conversations we want to have, then we will break up into working parties to explore ideas of common interest.  Working groups will produce papers to share with others after the conference... it's a unique to chance to meet new people with the same interests and passions as you, and to contribute to making a real difference.

Who will the main speakers be?

The World Hearing Voices Congress we have a huge selection of 43 featured speakers and panelists, and another 45 abstract speakers.  Our speakers and panellists include people with lived experience, clinical and community mental health workers, innovative researchers and academics, and family, friends and carers.  We have already invited a rage of people from indigenous and different cultural backgrounds to share their experiences of voices.

For a full list of speakers visit the speakers and program section of the website.

Which speakers will be presenting on which days?

See the congress program section of the website for full details.


Registrations are online

Click here to register online
On average it takes less than 5 minutes to register.  You will be asked to enter:
  • Your email address
  • Your registration category:  fee type & number of days you want to attend
  • Your name and contact details
  • Create a password
  • Payment method
  • Agree to terms and conditions

What do I need before I register?
You need access to a computer, the internet and an email address.  If you don’t have email we recommend you set one up for free via a webmail service like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo.

If you need help with email we recommend asking a friend, family member or support worker for assistance. You can usually get free internet access and some basic support at your local library or neighbourhood /community house. You can also ask someone with email to register on your behalf.

You will also need to decide on your payment method and the number of days you want to attend.

Do I have to register online?
Yes, all registrations must be made online via this website.  As a small not-for-profit organisation this is the most efficient, cost-effective way for us to manage such a large event. 

Why are the prices such odd amounts when I register?
Congress fees have to include the Australian government’s Goods & Services Tax (GST).  The GST is 10% of the purchase price.  The online booking system adds this 10% at the end of your registration which will take your fee up to the advertised price.

The system is asking for a password and I don’t remember it
If you have previously registered for Voices Vic training or events then our system will remember you.  During this previous registration you will have created a password that is associated with your email address.

If you can’t remember your password you have 2 options:
  1. Click on “reset” password – the system will send you an email with the new password. You need to click on the link in the email to activate the new password.   Please note that the password reset email will only be valid for 12 hours.
  2. Or click on “start a new registration” and then continue to enter all of your details from scratch.

Registering for someone else
You can register on behalf of someone else.  Just start by entering your own email address, and on the second screen you can enter the details of the person you are registering for.

Registering a group

To register a group of people:
  • Start by entering your own email address
  • On the second screen you can enter the details of the first person you are registering
  • At the end of this screen click on “enter another person” instead of “next” 

Please note that group registrations will include all of the people registered on the one invoice.

Can I book accommodation at the same time as booking my registration?

No, you will need to book directly with your preferred accommodation provider.  However we have secured some great rates at local hotels.  Read more about accommodation options

Payment methods

The easiest way to pay for your registration is by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). 

If you are in Australia you can also choose to pay by:
  • cheque
  • money order
  • direct bank deposit (online or in person at any NAB bank)
If you choose these options, just follow the instructions on screen when you complete your online registration.  Please ensure you make your payment within 14 days. 

Invoices and receipts

You can print or save a copy of your invoice when you register online.  A link to your invoice will be shown on the confirmation screen when you finish your registration (see image below).

You can also log in to your registration at any time later to download your invoice:
  • Log in using your email address and password
  • Select: "View or Change Your Existing Registration” (just above the box where you enter your email address)
  • Click on the link that says: "Print, view or email registration record or receipt”
You are then able to print out an invoice. You can also email the invoice to others if needed.

There will also be a link to your invoice in the email you receive following registration. 

CPD points - certificate of attendance

If you are a mental health professional you may be able to gain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for attending the congress.  We have specific endorsement from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), the Australian College of Mental Health Nurse (ACMHN) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

To request a certificate of attendance, please click here.  If requested by Friday 15th Nov it will be available for you at the registration desk from afternoon tea on your last day at the congress.  Otherwise it will be emailed to you after the congress.

What accommodation is available?

There is a huge range of accommodation in Melbourne for every budget.  We have pre-booked discounted hotel rooms at the two closest hotels to the venue.  The attached flyer contains our recommended hotels, a great local youth hostel / backpackers and links to search for other accommodation options.

Download congress accommodation information sheet.

Evening entertainment

The "Mad Hatters party" will be held on the Wednesday evening - and it's going to be an AMAZING night!

The venue for this event is the Melbourne Central Lion Hotel on the corner of LaTrobe st & Swanston St and will include laughter, music, dancing and an open mic for performers (musos, poets, comedians etc...) to share their talents, along with our DJ for the night, "Lady Erica"! 

There will also be a prize for the most creative hat... so we expect to see a big effort! 

Tickets are $25 (or $20 concession) if purchased as part of the registration process.  Tickets will be available at the congress for $30 per person unless sold out in advance.

Can I share my ideas for congress?

 Yes, please!  We want this to be the best congress to date - and that means we need to hear from as many people as possible about what would excite you at the congress.  To share your ideas and talk with others, please visit us at our Facebook page.

Travel Tips

If you're starting to think about organising your travel to Australia for congress, we've compiled some useful info for you, including:  public transport in Melbourne, getting a visa, practical information like weather and banking, health and travel, and a whole host of travel tips.

Download Travel brochure # 1 - General travel information for congress.  Includes:
  • Melbourne Airport
  • Visas
  • Transfers
  • Public transport
  • Practical info (weather, currency, banks, tipping, etc)
  • Health
  • Phones, power,
  • Local attractions
  • Accommodation

Download travel brochure #2 - Essential info for first time travellers.
  Includes a step-by-step travel plan:
  • Passports
  • Adding a holiday
  • Travel insurance
  • Booking flights
  • Visas
  • Planning your medication
  • Booking accommodation
  • Travel backups and precautions
  • Packing & luggage allowances
  • Preparing for a long flight
  • Shopping and duty free
  • Looking after your mental health

Download travel brochure #3 - Information about Australia.  Includes:
  • Australian 'lingo'
  • Currency, banking and credit cards
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Electricity
  • Immigration and customs
  • Melbourne airport
  • Visitor information services

If you are coming from overseas, the most important things to remember are:

1. Be sure to get a visa
2. Prepare yourself for the the most beautiful country in the world!

Public Transport to the Congress Venue

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is close to trams and train stations.  Read the Convention Centre's guide to public transport and parking.

Download this one page transport map for the closest train stations and tram routes.
The convention centre is close to both Southern Cross Train Station and Flinders Street Train Station (Southern Cross is slightly closer).

Don't live in Melbourne?  MYKI is Melbourne's smart card ticketing system for all public transport (trains, trams and buses).  You will need to purchase a MYKI card and then you can top it up with value.  You need to 'touch on' and 'touch off' every time you board public transport, and the MYKI system will calculate the cheapest fare for you.  Download the MYKI Visitor Pack here.

Read more about public transport in Melbourne.

Parking at the venue

Where possible, we recommend that you catch public transport to the congress.  However if you are driving, details of parking locations can be found on the Convention Centre's guide to public transport and parking.


Cancellations and substitutions

I have registered but now I am unable to come.  How can I substitute another delegate?
There is no charge to transfer your registration to another person if you are no longer able to attend.  Simply log back in to our registration system and click on “View or Change Your Existing Registration”.

Substitutes made after 1st Nov 2013 cannot be guaranteed any special dietary requirements but we will do our best to meet your needs.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations received in writing by 18th October 2013 will receive a full refund, less a $30 administration charge.  

Cancellations received in writing between 19th Oct 2013 to 8th Nov 2013 will receive a 50% refund.
Cancellations received after 8th Nov 2013 will not be entitled to a refund.  Prahran Mission, in its sole discretion, may provide a full or partial refund in exceptional circumstances (eg., a medical certificate may be required).

Email us here to advise of a cancellation.


Your congress registration includes morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch, served buffet style.  A range of selections will be available during each meal break. 

During the online registration process you can let us know if you have any special dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, religious requirements or allergies.  Special dietary requirements will be served on a separate table at the event.


I have never been to a conference before and I'm little apprehensive…

If you have never been to a conference before then this is the perfect first one!  We understand that large events such as this can be a little intimidating and will be doing all we can to help put people at ease.  We will have plenty of volunteers around to give people directions, designated “chill-out” spaces to go to if things do get a bit overwhelming, support available from counsellors, support workers and peer workers who are experienced at working with voice hearers, self-care workshops (such as tai-chi and meditation), printed information including self-help strategies and lots more!  

We will also have a large number of delegates and speakers who have lived experience – so you might find support simply by chatting to others!

If you have any further ideas for what might be helpful to first-time delegates, let us know on our Facebook page.

Voice hearers... What's YOUR vision for the future?

Get your vision for the future of voice hearers in the congress grand finale film!

We're compiling a short film to show at the close of the World Hearing Voices Congress, and it will end with a montage of what voice hearers want for the future.  A film by us, about us, but for everyone.  

Do you have a vision about our future?  Then send us a PowerPoint slide (1 slide) that captures your vision for the future for voice hearers, and we'll include it in the film. 

The film will be made available on Youtube after the congress.

Here's a sample slide to get you thinking...

Slide guidelines:  

  • Your slide should answer the question:  What is my vision for the future of voice hearers?
  • Please include the source/reference of any image/s you use
  • Please no offensive language (use your own judgement here)
  • Please tell us how to spell your name for the credits
  • If possible please send in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 or later format (2010 preferred if possible)*
  • Email slides or enquiries to us here by 31 October.

*If you don’t have PowerPoint you are also welcome to send us a scanned copy of your contribution to include in the film.  This can be created on a computer or drawn or written by hand.  Be as creative as you want!  Please scan with at least 300dpi resolution so your slide reproduces at a good quality.

Other Questions?

If you have other questions that we haven't answered here please send us an email and we'll do our best to answer it.


Contact Information

  • 03 9692 9400
    +61 3 9692 9400

    Voices Vic
    Congress Team
    PO Box 68
    Prahran Vic 3181

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    We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors and supporters.

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