Tumu Whakarae (Director), Ember Innovations. Appointed to Te Hiringa Mahara; The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission of NZ
Chief Executive Officer, Top End Mental Health Consumers Organisation Inc.
Helen Day has lived experience of mental health challenges and was born in Darwin but raised in Canberra returning to the Territory in 2009.
She changed careers to work in the mental health industry in 2017, and currently is the Chief Executive Officer for the only Northern Territory consumer-run drop-in centre – Top End Mental Health Consumers Organisation (TEMHCO). This drop-in centre provides a range of holistic therapeutic activities to assist with mental health recovery plus encourage social inclusion.
In her current role, Helen has been able to use both her personal and work experience to advocate for consumers living with mental health, who can sense her experience, genuine empathy and can feel safe to share any concerns.
Helen is a qualified counsellor who provides basic one-on-one counselling services for the consumers who attend the centre. More recently, she has been involved in establishing the NT Peer Workforce pilot project that helps support vocational pathway for people with lived experience of mental health challenges to enter the community services sector as well as educate and build the capability of organisations in the NT to employ these people. She has also been involved in establishing a Northern Territory Lived Experience Network (NTLEN).
Helen is a co-facilitator of the Wellways My Recovery Program and a board member of the Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition and NT Consumer Representative for the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.
Before working in the mental health industry, Helen had a successful career as an accountant working both in both the public and private sector with non-government and not-for-profit charity organisations. One of her greatest achievements as an accountant was when she was appointed as Chief Financial Officer for a large Aboriginal Corporation to assist them in coming out of Special Administration.
Helen first developed a passion for protecting consumer rights in the health industry when she worked for the Consumers Health Forum in Canberra during the early 90s. She believes that progress is achievable when the voices and expertise of people with lived experience and service providers can work together for the same purpose.
Senior Manager Inclusion, Participation and Strategic Reform, Research and Advocacy Mind Australia
Katie Larsen is the Senior Manager Inclusion, Participation and Strategic Reform at Mind Australia. Katie works to better mental health outcomes for people within marginalised populations through systemic and structural change processes focusing on cultural safety, equity, lived experience and participation. She works from a social justice and human rights perspective incorporating lived experiences of LGBTIQ+ identity and mental health supported by a Master of Social Work. She is a graduate of the National Mental Health Commission, Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship and is a PhD Candidate at Deakin University researching intersectional approaches to inclusive leadership and decision-making in mainstream mental health services.
Board Director, St John Ambulance NSW
Dr Evelyne Tadros is currently Board Director of St John Ambulance NSW, Chief Operations Officer for the Australian Orthopaedic Association and sits on the St Vincent de Paul Board Governance Risk and Nominations Committee. Evelyne has worked in the community services sector and in government for almost 30 years with experience in service delivery, strategy development, policy and advocacy in the fields of mental well-being, homelessness, alcohol and drug misuse and generally supporting individuals and communities to thrive. Evelyne is pleased to again be joining and supporting the development of the IMHC Program. For more info go to: linkedin.com/in/drevelynetadros/
Director, eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice)
Chief Executive Officer, Suicide Prevention Australia
Nieves Murray is the Chief Executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for suicide prevention. She commenced this role in 2018 and has led the organisation on a journey of transformation towards an ambition of a world without suicide.
Nieves is also Chair of Beehive Industries, a social enterprise in central Sydney whose mission is to address loneliness and social isolation in the city. Prior to 2018, Nieves was the Chief Executive of IRT Group, a large aged care and retirement living company headquartered in Wollongong with a national footprint and over 2,500 staff. She has served on numerous Boards in a range of industries including financial services, market research, primary health, retirement housing and children’s services.
Nieves was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review in 2013. She was also a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s awards. Nieves is an active member of the Illawarra community, receiving acknowledgement as the Illawarra Business Leader of the Year in 2012 and again in 2016 when she was presented with the Wollongong Citizen of the Year award. She has also been part of the University of Wollongong Council since 2013 as well as a member of its Audit Risk and People and Culture Committees. Before joining IRT Group in 1992, Nieves held positions in health, local government and the commercial sector. She is a psychology graduate and holds postgraduate qualifications in Public Health and Management. During 2008 she attended Executive Education at Harvard University.
As a long-term Lifeline and Vinnie’s Van volunteer and previous Director of Coordinare, South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network, Nieves has been at the front line of homelessness and mental health in Australia.
Mental Fitness Facilitator
Matt unintentionally became an international speaker after becoming a paraplegic when he attempted suicide at 16. Now he is best known for his humanitarian work surrounding suicide prevention, resilience and mental health. His initiatives have been featured on 7 News, ABC, SBS, Channel 9, The Daily Telegraph and many other media sources while bringing him two separate (NSW) state-wide awards.
Pip Rae is a survivor strategist for victims of domestic and sexual violence. She is a former police officer, now journalist and Domestic violence subject matter expert with extensive time spent in law enforcement, government and organisational response to trauma.
She has knowledge of systemic and gender issues, jurisdictional processes and systems and embed an evidence based approach to educate others in mental health, wellbeing and safety. She has created a womens change behaviour and well being program that supports women at risk of domestic violence, contributed her expertise to podcast interviews, books and events about the impact of abuse and violence on mental health. Pip chairs the National Child Protections Alliance and has provided evidence to State and Federal Government agencies in her advocacy work. Pip has previously shared her own journey from PTSD to Post Traumatic Growth where she invested heavily in her recovery from the debilitating impacts of severe anxiety, depression a dm adrenal fatigue to the life she only thought was possible. She now travels Australia educating front line workers and shaping the wholistic response provided to Domestic and Family Violence victims survivors.
Wellness Coordinator, Head to Health, Gateway Health
Aden Hemmerling resides in North East Victoria on the lands of the Dhudhuroa people.
Aden has 17 years of experience in the delivery of mental health and wellbeing services with a focus on supporting people’s emotional wellbeing and recovery. Aden is passionate about working with diverse people in the local community and dedicates a significant amount of his time and expertise to supporting the LGBTIQA+ community.
His personal lived experience enhances his delivery of services and inspires his ongoing advocacy for clients and community.
Aden believes the key to working in wellbeing is holding space for the stories of those he supports. This ensures people have the opportunity to share their story in a safe space and have their voice heard without judgement or stigma.
Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention Griffith University
General Manager, MacKillop Seasons
Fiona holds a Bachelor of Science with Distinction, Nursing (University of Sydney), Masters of Management (MGSM) and executive leadership programs (Harvard, Stanford and Mount Eliza Schools of Management). Fiona has led human resource, clinical and operational teams, working extensively across health, biotech and education sectors. Career highlights include the design and implementation of initiatives focusing on leadership development, staff wellbeing, change management, communication strategies, business rebranding and launches.
More recently, Fiona has led the Seasons for Growth team to continue the national and international delivery of the Seasons for Growth suite of programs, including Stormbirds and Seasons for Healing.
Chief Executive/Tumu Whakarae – Te Aka Whai Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority
Riana is a skilled, strategic and visionary leader within the Māori and health sectors and has extensive experience leading Kaupapa Māori organisations. Before joining Te Aka Whai Ora as its founding Chief Executive, Riana was Chief Executive Officerof Hauraki Primary Health Organisation and Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.
Hailing from Manaia in Pare Hauraki, Riana is a registered nurse by trade and has enjoyed a career that has seen her work across many different parts of the sector developing strong relationships as she goes.
Riana is deeply committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our people and believes in doing so, will impact positively on the health and wellbeing of Aotearoa.
Vice President, External Affairs and Development, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Karla Thorpe is Vice President, External Affairs and Development at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. In this role, Karla is responsible for strategic and operational leadership of marketing and communications, stakeholder relations, strategic partnerships, and development. She comes with a wealth of health care leadership experience in research, marketing, and stakeholder relationship development in the private, non-profit and government sectors. Karla has earned a Master of Science in Statistics from Queen’s University as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University. Karla has also been awarded a Certified Health Executive designation by the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
Lived Experience Project Lead, Mental Illness Fellowship Australia.
Zoey is the Lived Experience Project Lead at Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and Mental Health Ambassador at ANZMH. She also volunteers with Asian Australian Alliance which empowers and advocates for all Asian Australians with a specific focus on mental health. She is the first Chinese Australian to be selected and complete the Yale University Lived Experience Transformational Leadership Academy and named in the Asian Australian list of 2022 for the mental health category. Zoey strives to create safe enough spaces for everyone to talk about mental health in everyday life, ignite hope and inspire people who struggle with intersectional identity in Australia to live a mentally healthier life.
Pro Vice Chancellor - Indigenous Engagement, Office of Academic and Student Engagement
Professor Steven Larkin is a Kungarakan man from Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia. He is currently the Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Engagement at the University of Adelaide.
Prof Larkin was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary education. Prior to that, he held the roles of Pro Vice Chancellor for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Newcastle and as both the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Leadership and Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education (ACIKE) at Charles Darwin University.
Professor Larkin’s appointment as Pro Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University in 2009 was historic as he became the first ever Aboriginal person to be appointed to a senior executive position at any Australian university.
Professor Larkin holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Queensland University of Technology, a Master's degree in Social Science from Charles Sturt University and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Queensland.
Professor Larkin has served on numerous national advisory committees in Indigenous Affairs across a number of portfolios. He has chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council for three years (2009-2012); where he lobbied successfully to instigate the Behrendt Review on Indigenous higher education in Australia, and in doing so, was subsequently appointed as a member of the review panel.
Professor Larkin continues to provide invaluable input as a member of several national advisory committees and well-respected professional affiliations which include:
Professor Larkin continues to hold honorary appointments as Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle, as a Charles Darwin Distinguished Fellow at Charles Darwin University, and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland.
Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW
Robert Skeen has traditional ties to the Gubbi Gubbi of the Qld Sunshine Coast, Mununjarli of Southeast Qld, and Waanyi of Northwest Qld.
He has worked in the Government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Sector (ACCHO) for 25 years. in Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales.
Robert took on the role of co-chair of the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (CAPO) and the NSW representative for the National Joint Council. Robert’s most recent appointment has been as the co-deputy chair to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council for family, domestic and sexual violence.
His focus as CEO of AH&MRC, is to use his talents to develop and strengthen the ACCHO Sector, ensuring they have influence and are viewed by all stakeholders as a viable business, by having the highest standards at operational and governance levels to be healthy and smart.