Chair – Mr Matt Berriman
Board Appointed Director
Matt was appointed as the Chair of Mental Health Australia on 8 December 2021.
He began his career as a professional Australian Cricket representative and spent five years at the Victorian Institute of Sport as a coach and player, until injury forced his retirement – turning his attention to business and applying those attributes to the commercial landscape.
Matt has over 15 years’ experience in start-up businesses as a founder, executive and investor and has advised some of Australia’s largest corporate organisations, including NewsCorp and Commonwealth Bank.
Matt also has sector and lived experience, including advising Beyond Blue through its 2020 transformation and strategic reset, after announcing a bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2018. Matt looks forward to leading Mental Health Australia into a new era, working with a united sector committed to creating the best mental health system in the world.
You can watch Matt’s brave and personal story here.
Dr Cathy Andronis
Dr Cathy Andronis works as a GP at Access Health and Community and in private practice as a psychotherapist in inner Melbourne.
Her qualifications include MBBS (University of Melbourne, 1987); Dip Obs.; FRACGP; Dip Family Therapy; Master of Couple and Relationships Counselling, and she is a clinical member of the Australian association of Family Therapists.
Cathy is the current chair of the RACGP Specific interest group in psychological medicine, a member of the Victorian RACGP-RANZP liaison sub-committee, a FPS trainer with the Australian Society of Psychological Medicine and RACGP, and is the RACGP representative for the MHPN QACEC.
She is a tutor at Monash and Deakin Universities medical schools and the GP lead for Deakin University Eastern Health clinical school.
Mr Ashley de Silva
Ashley is the CEO of ReachOut Australia. He has worked in the community, public and private sectors in strategy, operations and marketing roles. He is an advocate for online services and is passionate about using technology to help young people be well and stay well. Ashley is a strong supporter of collaboration and working to an organisation’s strengths to avoid duplication of effort and resources. He is Co-Chair of the Technology and Wellbeing Roundtable – an alliance of 40+ organisations from across the corporate, not-for-profit, government and academic sectors that share knowledge, build relationships and find opportunities for collaboration.
Ms Georgie Harman
Georgie was appointed as the CEO of beyondblue in May 2014 following three years as Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission. Before that she worked at the Commonwealth Department of Health where she had responsibility for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse, tobacco, cancer and chronic disease policy and programs. Before Canberra, she was a member of the executive team at the NT Department of Health and Community Services and before that the CEO of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, a NSW-based HIV/AIDS organisation.
Professor Sharon Lawn (Nanai)
Sharon is Chair and Executive Director of Lived Experience Australia Ltd (LEA) and was previously Lead Mental Health Commissioner for South Australia. Sharon’s lived experience as a consumer over several decades and her 20 years as a family carer have given her ‘a good batting arm, and a strong appreciation of life and the small time we all have to make a contribution to it.’ PTSD has taught her that there is no time to waste. Sharon is particularly passionate about addressing stigma and coercion in care (having lost close kin whilst they were receiving inpatient treatment) and improving the person’s and their family’s experiences of seeking and receiving support from services.
Sharon is also a Professor at Flinders University and has undertaken a broad range of mental health research for the past 20 years. Prior to this role, Sharon worked in mental health, aged care and disability services. Sharon brings diverse skills and experience to the MHA Board, underpinned by significant lived experience.
Mr Mark Orr AM
Mark is the CEO of Flourish Australia, a large specialist mental health community managed organisation. He has over 30 years’ experience working in the areas of disability, mental health and LGBTQ health services. Mark has a commitment to working in partnership with people with a lived experience of a mental health issue, and their families and carers, to develop accessible organisations and to co-design programs that deliver outcomes. Mark is a registered psychologist and a qualified and experienced Board Director in human services and health organisations. He is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Public Health at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney focused on digital peer work. Mark was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for significant services to community health through a range of initiatives.
Ms Tamara Cavenett
Tamara Cavenett is an endorsed clinical psychologist and past hospital manager with substantial expertise in organisational leadership and policy in the field of mental health. Tamara is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), past President and Board Chair of the Australian Psychological Society (2020-2022), Board Director at Adelaide Primary Health Network (PHN), Clinical Governance Committee member at Gidget Foundation, an Advisory Board Member for the Master of Clinical Psychology Program (Uni SA) and has held positions on several Federal Department of Health advisory committees. Tamara has a proven track record of advancing mental-health reform to ensure that evidence based, innovative and person-centred care are at the heart of mental health policy.
Ms Marie Piu
Marie is a registered psychologist with a career spanning over three decades. She is passionate about seeing the mental health system transformed into a safe, inclusive, fair and well-funded system. One transformed from the current crisis driven structure, to one with compassion at its core. A system where recovery is recognised as occurring within a relational context and family and friends are recognised as key partners, meaningfully engaged in the governance, development and evaluation of services and entitled to respect, kindness, information and support in their own right. Her professional experience includes senior roles in management consulting, the union movement, police, transcultural, clinical and community health.
Marie has been the CEO of Tandem, the Victorian Peak body and trusted voice of family, carers, and supporters in mental health and also the auspice for the Carer Lived Experience Workforce network (CLEW) since 2016. This role is informed by her lived experience of supporting her now elderly migrant mother with a psychiatric diagnosis since childhood, and more recently other young family members in the public and private mental health systems.
Marie was proud to accept a general TheMHS Mental Health Service Award of Australia and New Zealand in 2022, in recognition of the achievement of excellence, innovation and best practice in mental health services for Tandem on behalf of the team, board, patrons and members. Marie joins the Mental Health Australia Board as a representative member of Mental Health Carers Australia, the only national advocacy group solely concerned with the well-being and promotion of the needs of families and carers in mental health.