Our Board

Mental Health Australia is governed by a Board of up to 10 Directors. The Board must consist of at least three and up to eight Elected Directors; and up to two Board Appointed Directors.

(Mental Health Australia Board. Left to right: Patrick Hardwick, Geoff Harris, Sam Refshauge, Jennifer Westacott AO, Arthur Papakotsias, Georgie Harman, Jono Nicholas, and Christine Morgan. Absent: Robyn Kruk and Janne McMahon)

Chair - Ms Jennifer Westacott AO
Board Appointed Director
Jennifer Westacott took up the role of Chair in March 2013. Jennifer is also currently the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia and has been a Non-Executive Director of Wesfarmers Limited since 2013. Previously, she was a Director and National Lead Partner at KPMG, heading up the firm’s Sustainability, Climate Change and Water practice and its NSW State Government practice. Jennifer has extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors. For over 20 years, Jennifer held critical leadership positions in the NSW and Victorian Governments. She was the Director of Housing and the Secretary of Education in Victoria, and was the Director-General of the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales where she is an Adjunct Professor at the City Research Futures Centre. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics. In October 2012 Jennifer was appointed as a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Deputy Chair – Ms Robyn Kruk AO
Board Appointed Director
Robyn’s experience incorporates positions as director-general of state agencies including the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet, New South Wales Health, and NSW Parks and Wildlife. She was the Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and established and worked as the inaugural CEO of the National Mental Health Commission.  She is currently a member of a number of state government boards and statutory bodies including the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission, Agency for Clinical Innovation, and NSW Ambulance.  She chairs the Western Australian Partnership Forum.  In 2005, Robyn was appointed to the Order of Australia as a Member for service to public administration. 

Carer Director - Mr Patrick Hardwick
Elected Director
Patrick became a carer for his wife in 1996.  He is a long time President of Helping Minds (formerly Mental Health Carers Arafmi WA) and has extensive experience in advocating for improvements in both the Public and Private sectors.
Patrick is Deputy Chair of the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network - Australia (PMHCCN) He was an inaugural member of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and Vice President of Mental Health Carers Australia and currently represents the PMHCCN on the Forum.  He is also a member of the National Register of Mental Health Consumers and Carers. Patrick has represented mental health carers at numerous committees and seminars at both a state and national level over many years .  He has given presentations throughout Australia and in New Zealand and gives regular talks to groups of GPs and other MH professionals. Patrick is passionate about enhancing the promotion of services available for carers and advocating their rights and needs.  He seeks a cultural change where mental health services and consumer programs treat carers as ‘equal partners in care’.

Ms Georgie Harman
Elected Director

Georgie Harman 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.

Mr Geoff Harris
Elected Director
Geoff Harris is currently the Executive Director of the Mental Health Coalition of SA Inc which is the peak body for mental health in South Australia. With over 15 years of experience working in health and mental health, Geoff has also served on a range of Boards with a current role on the SACOSS Policy Council. Through previous work in central Australia, Geoff gained an understanding of many of the rural and remote mental health, social and emotional well-being issues.

Ms Janne McMahon
Elected Director

Janne has a lived experience of mental illness and has been representing the views, needs and perspectives of mental health consumers at the national level, state level and local level since 1997. She started her advocacy when the Bupa and Ramsay Health SA undertook discussions about how to better support consumers in their homes. This was known as ‘Hospital in the Home’ and became the community support in the private hospital sector. She established the Ramsay Health SA Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee, a model which has been used in the private sector. Janne founded the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia) in 2002. The Network became a Company in June 2016 and has established itself since inception as the representative voice for those with a lived experience of mental illness and families.

Ms Christine Morgan
Elected Director
Christine is the CEO of The Butterfly Foundation, a national charity that supports and advocates for everyone affected by eating disorders, including sufferers, carers and their families. Butterfly provides direct relief, a national support line with telephone and email counselling and referral services, support groups, school programs on building positive self esteem in young people, health promotion and early intervention work, and training for teachers and health professionals. Christine is also the National Director of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration. In the not for profit sector, Christine was General Manager in Wesley Mission, over the areas of Corporate Services; and Community & Family Development. Prior to joining Wesley Mission, Christine was Executive General Manager responsible for managing the strategic direction and business unit effectiveness of the Wholesale, Broadband & Media Business Unit at Telstra.  This included incorporating the strategies of each of the lines of business, leveraging opportunities across the different businesses and driving cross business initiatives. Christine held the position of Company Secretary / General Counsel for a number of listed companies for the 10 years prior to joining Telstra in 2000 and before that was an in-house Corporate Counsel.  Those companies included Australand Holdings Ltd, Century Drilling Ltd, State Superannuation & Investment Management Corporation, Australian Consolidated Investments Limited (formerly Bell Resources Ltd) and Tooth & Co Ltd.

Mr Jonathan Nicholas
Elected Director
Jonathan has been CEO of ReachOut Australia since 2010 having worked for the organisation since it was founded in 1997. He has an Honours degree in psychology and a Masters of Public Health and much of his career has focussed on understanding how technology can be used to improve the well-being of children and young people. Prior to becoming CEO of ReachOut, Jonathan was the Founding CEO of Inspire Ireland Foundation and part of the development team that launched Inspire in the US. He has also consulted on projects for AusAid and UNICEF to improve the human rights of children in Indonesia and Cambodia. In 2012 Jonathan was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

Mr Arthur Papakotsias
Elected Director
Arthur Papakotsias has been Chief Executive Officer of Neami National for over 22 years. Neami National is an accredited, national, community based provider of mental health rehabilitation, housing, sub-acute residential and general support services. With a background in Psychiatric Nursing as well as completion of post graduate studies in management at RMIT Melbourne and Harvard School of Business, Arthur is very experienced with all aspects of management and service delivery of mental health services. Arthur is currently Chair of Housing Choices Australia. He completed a chapter for the Oxford University Press Third Edition of Mental Health in Australia in 2012. Arthur is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as all state based mental health peak bodies.

Mr Sam Refshauge
Elected Director
Sam Refshauge is an Executive Director and CEO of batyr. After graduating from UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce and a brief stint in the corporate events world with Adrenalin, Sam worked in Jakarta for 12 months managing the Indonesian Rugby Union as a part of the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program. Returning to Australia in 2011 Sam took up a programs role with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) and over the next 4 years moved through the organisation spending the last 18 months as the General Manager. During this time, Sam became connected with batyr through attending their speaker training program, before joining the board of directors in 2013. In March 2013 he joined batyr as the CEO, taking over from founder Sebastian Roberston.