These brief profiles form part of the promotional strategy for the FCGR and provide a framework for our capability statement; a brief summary of what we do, where we work the track records of our key collaborators and our vision for future research programs.


Professor Malcolm Battersby

Professor Battersby established the FCGR in 2010 as part of the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit.

With an extensive background in chronic illness management research and psychiatry, Professor Battersby has established national and international research links with the aim of building an independent gambling research programme to explore the key questions relating to problematic gambling in our community...i.e.

  • how can the phenomenon of problem gambling be described and explained
  • what treatments work best for whom
  • what rate of relapse to problem gambling after treatment is to be expected
  • how can we intervene at a social and policy level to mitigate the effects of problem gambling

To begin addressing some of these key questions, Professor Battersby is currently completing a Randomised Controlled Trial exploring the efficacy of different treatment regimens for problematic gambling.

As the Director of the Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Professor Battersby also leads the Master of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program at Flinders University where health professionals are trained in the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of people with gambling disorders. Therapists trained in this unit then work with the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service to treat clients seeking help for their gambling problems.

More information


Professor Peter Harvey

Peter's research background is in population health and chronic illness management. Prior to this research activity, he taught Mathematics and English in secondary schools in SA, WA and Tonga.

During 1996 to 2004 he led a number of major health research projects, including the rural component of the South Australian Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Coordinated Care Trial and the Sharing Health Care SA chronic disease self-management demonstration project. From 2005-2007, as a chief investigator, Peter led the Centre of Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health established by the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia in collaboration with Flinders University with the support of NH&MRC funding.

Peter is also involved in a number of ongoing chronic condition management and self-management research programmes. He has published over 50 peer reviewed papers, books and book chapters in the past 10 years and his work in gambling research builds on his experience as a teacher, health systems researcher and manager of a therapy service providing CBT based treatment for people experiencing gambling problems.

Fran Baum  

Professor Fran Baum

As the Director of the Southgate Institute within Flinders University, Professor Baum is a key partner working with the Flinders Centre for Gambling Research and brings a public health policy research capacity to the wider team.

In addition to our research involving problem identification, assessment and treatment, Professor Baum is keen to explore aspects of the modern problem gambling phenomenon from the perspective of the social determinants of human behaviour, health and quality of life.

David Smith

David is a PhD candidate whose thesis is based on a current FCGR randomised controlled study into the treatment effects of cognitive vs behavioural approaches to therapy for people with gambling disorders.

He is a mental health clinician, and has a background in mental health nursing, mathematics and statistics and provides valuable analytical and research support to the Centre.


Dr Rene Pols

Dr Pols is a psychiatrist interested in a range of human behaviours around health, wellbeing and addictions. He has a background in chronic condition management and self-management research and works with the FCGR to explore treatment processes and outcomes for clients with gambling problems.


Associate Professor Michael Baigent

Michael is a psychiatrist with the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University Human behaviour and Health Research Unit and leads, with Professor Battersby, the Centre for Anxiety and Related Disorders in the Adelaide Health Service.

Due to the extent of co-morbidities associated with clients with gambling disorders, Michael's work with anxiety disorders complements the work of the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service and the FCGR.

Amii Larsen  

Amii Larsen

Amii recently graduated with distinction in the master of mental health science program at Flinders University.

In addition to working as a psycho-therapist for the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service, Amii is completing a qualitative study on the gambling behaviour or young people with a particular focus on online gambling.

Ben Riley

Ben Riley

Ben has a social work background and a master of mental health sciences degree. He runs the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service office in Salisbury in the northern suburbs of Adelaide and provides CBT for clients with gambling disorders.

Jane Oakes

Jane Oakes

Jane is a clinical team leader with the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service. She has a mental health nursing background and a master of mental health sciences degree from Flinders University.

Her current PhD work explores the relapse process in Electronic Gaming Machine Gambling (EGM) in respect to why people relapse the first time, why people keep relapsing over time and how they stop relapsing to problematic gambling behaviours.

Currently Jane provides behavioural therapy for clients in the behavioural arm of the RCT exploring differences in treatment processes and outcomes of purely cognitive vs purely behavioural therapy.


Sue Bertossa

Sue works with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Aboriginal communities to improve client access to and uptake of gambling help services in South Australia. She is currently working on a project to modify and validate the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) for use in Aboriginal communities and to adapt and translate therapy approaches for clients in the Vietnamese community in Adelaide.


External researchers

Professor Alun Jackson

Professor Robert Ladouceur

Professor Max Abbott