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.
Chair - Ms Jennifer Westacott
Board Appointed Director
Jennifer Westacott took up the role of Chair in January 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
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.
Consumer Director - Ms Clare Guilfoyle
Clare Guilfoyle is CEO of Grow (Australia). Grow has operated for over 55 years and was established, and continues to be led by people living with a mental illness. Clare is committed to promoting consumer leadership and advocates for greater participation by people with experience of mental illness in planning, policy and service delivery. Clare has worked in the health and community sector for over 25 years. Clare has a degree in Science (Nursing) and has experience that extends from the clinical setting, policy development, governance and strategic business development, education and research. Clare’s research background is in online health and she has published articles in refereed journals. Clare held an appointment as Honorary Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology where she was involved in post graduate education and curriculum development.
Carer Director - Mr Patrick Hardwick
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’.
Mr David Butt
David has been CEO of the National Rural Health Alliance since October 2016. Previously he was CEO of the National Mental Health Commission where he has led significant reforms on behalf of the sector. David was a Deputy Secretary with the Department of Health since 2011. As the Deputy Secretary responsible for primary health care, he chaired the Board of Rural and Regional Health Australia and was Australia’s first Chief Allied Health Officer. Before joining the Department of Health and Ageing, David was for three years CEO of the Australian General Practice Network, the peak national body for Australia’s Divisions of General Practice and State Based Organisations. Previously, he was national CEO of Little Company of Mary Health Care (the Calvary group), where he oversaw the operation of major public and private hospitals, as well as residential aged care and home care services, spanning urban, rural and remote communities in six jurisdictions. He has also been CEO of ACT Health, and chaired the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council for two years. In Queensland, he oversaw development of the state’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy.
Mr Geoff Harris
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.
Dr Caroline Johnson
Caroline Johnson is a General Practitioner in Melbourne. Her interest in primary mental health care grew out of her experience providing professional development activities for GPs at the RACGP Victorian Faculty from 1996 until 2002. This led to a lecturer position at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, and her role as a Medical Educator at the Victorian Metropolitan Alliance. In these roles, Caroline enjoys working with GPs to improve their mental health skills at undergraduate, vocational and postgraduate levels. She is a member of the RACGP National Standing Committee – Quality Care and has represented the RACGP on a variety of committees related to mental health, including the Mental Health Professionals Association. Caroline has completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, researching the monitoring of depression in a GP setting.
Ms Christine Morgan
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
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
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.