Professor Steel holds the St John of God Professorial Chair of Trauma and Mental Health, a partnership between Richmond Hospital, the School of Psychiatry UNSW and the Black Dog Institute.
Professor Steel has worked in the field of traumatic stress for over 20 years as a researcher and clinician. His program of research has examined the prevalence, social determinants, and intervention models for mental health problems across diverse communities and settings with a particular focus on traumatic stress, forced displacement, conflict and complex emergencies. He has led a program of research that has examined the mental health of refugees and asylum seekers which has established a scientific evidence base to evaluate government policies in this domain recognised by a commendation from the Australian Human Rights Commission. Within the Asia-Pacific region he is currently involved in Australian Government NHMRC and ARC-funded research programs in Vietnam, Aceh Indonesia, Timor-Leste and amongst disadvantaged communities in Australia.
In addition to research, Professor Steel has a long history of clinical work with populations affected by trauma that has included working with the veterans and emergency services communities. He is a member of the DVA National Veteran Mental Health Clinical Reference Group and is currently the secretary of the Australian Association of Traumatic Stress Studies.
Simon’s research investigates the impact of physical activity on symptoms of mental disorders and the implementation of exercise as a component of standard care within mental health settings. Simon has worked with a variety of groups including veterans, emergency service workers and refugees, and has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications, including a recent text-book. Simon is an elected national director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia.