Interview with Grace da Camara and Madalena Bennett by Cathy O'Leary (Medical Forum Dec 2023)

ADHD Cathy O'Leary Dr Madalena Bennett Grace da Camara Medical Forum What Lies Beneath Matters

Grace and Madalena UWA Publishing

The Perth Medical Forum December 2023 edition features an interview with Grace da Camara and her daughter Dr Madalena Bennett, the authors of the What Lies Beneath Matters ADHD workbooks and program series published by UWA Publishing.


Cathy O'Leary (from Medical Forum December 2023 magazine):
Perth-based Grace da Camara and her daughter Dr Madalena Bennett can relate to the frustration of families trying to get professional help for children with ADHD.
Grace’s son – the youngest of her four children – grew up with ADHD in South Africa in the 1990s, and although he is now aged in his 30s, she still remembers the ripple effect it had on her young family at the time, including Madalena, her eldest child.
Their personal experience went on to spark professional interests in the health sector but down different paths – Grace in her capacity as a psychologist and Madalena as a GP.
They decided to think outside the box when it came to supporting families affected by ADHD, and the result is an Australian-first resource – a series of three workbooks designed to provide accessible and practical help to families with children who have the condition.
Grace has long specialised in working with children, adolescents, adults and families affected by ADHD. She developed OnTrac, a cognitive behaviour therapy-based group program for tweens and teens, delivered through ADHD WA in collaboration with thirdyear medical students from the University of WA who chose OnTrac as their services learning project.
Madalena works in general practice, with a strong interest in mental health and a focus on a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. She regularly advocates for more education on ADHD for mental health professionals, including GPs.
She graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2006, and moved to Australia in 2010, initially working at Sydney Children's Hospital, before moving to Perth where she has worked in general medicine, aged care and mental health care before training as a GP.
Madalena works with the RACGP’s specific interests ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and neurodiversity group, and has been involved in upskilling GP colleagues.
While the workbooks do not replace specialist care, they are an option for helping children aged seven to 17 and their families while faced with long waiting lists to access an ADHD specialist paediatrician or psychiatrist in the metropolitan area, with even longer queues in rural and regional areas. The workbooks – written under the banner What Lies Beneath Matters – were initially Grace’s idea, as she had already worked extensively in the field of ADHD.

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  • Euan on

    Over several years working on the OnTrac program, I saw first-hand the countless hours and effort put into the program by Grace and Madalena. A terrific program that makes such a difference for kids and families managing ADHD!

  • Jesse Rebelo on

    Who better to roll out this program than someone who has had first hand experience with this condition! Wishing Grace and Dr Bennett much success in their continued pursuit in helping kids and parents cope with a developmental disorder that can sometimes cause quite a lot of stress in families.

  • Anne-Marie on

    A light in a sometimes dark tunnel is who Grace is to kids and parents who enroll in the OnTrac program. I have had the privilege of sitting in on a Q&A session offered at the end of these programs where a panel of medical professionals, including Dr Bennett sits and answers all questions with honesty, care and passion. Well done Grace and Dr Bennett.. a power duo.

  • Edwina on

    Absolutely amazing program! You’ve touched multiple lives. And I cannot wait to see how far this program can go :)

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