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. 

  • Helen Rowell - Board Appointed Director

    Helen is an accomplished executive director/senior executive with significant industry and regulatory expertise in financial services, particularly superannuation, wealth management and insurance. She has extensive experience in governance and risk management, with deep technical and analytical skills. Helen is on the Board of Australian Retirement Trust and is the Chair of the independent panel undertaking a review of the General Insurance Code of Practice. Helen was the Deputy Chair of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) until 30 June 2023, having spent the prior 21 years lifting standards of practice and leading major reforms across the superannuation and insurance industries.

  • Dr Cathy Andronis - Elected Director

    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.

  • Ms Nicola Ballenden - Elected Director

    Nicola is the Executive Director Research, Advocacy & Policy Development at Mind Australia. She has worked in senior leadership roles across policy, research, strategic communications and stakeholder engagement in the not-for-profit sector across health, mental health, welfare and homelessness. She has high level skills in strategy development and implementation and can engage stakeholders around a change agenda.

    Nicola has experience working with Boards, most recently leading strategy with the Mind Board and has extensive experience in managing and chairing committees.  She also has experience as a Board member of the Consumer Action Law Centre and a member of the Osteopath’s Registration Board (NSW).  In most of her roles she has led the development and implementation of advocacy and strategic communications to influence new funding and policy change.  Nicola has a Master of Arts (MA) from the University of Melbourne and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of New South Wales.

  • Professor Sharon Lawn (Nanai) - Elected Director

    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 - Elected Director

    Mark is the CEO of Flourish Australia, a large specialist mental health community-managed organisation. He has over 30 years’ of 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 - Elected Director

    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 - Elected Director

    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.

  • Associate Prof Melanie Turner - Elected Director

    Melanie is a Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and works clinically as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Melanie holds a range of positions including Deputy Chief Psychiatrist of the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist of South Australia; Board Member of the Medical board of South Australia; Elected Board Director of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Presiding Member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board in South Australia. Melanie runs her own multidisciplinary mental health practice seeing children and families and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2023 to try to find an alternative to the emergency department approach to supporting people in suicidal crisis. Melanie is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; In the RANZCP she holds the portfolio of corporate governance and risk and manages this alongside her Director role.

  • Dr Evelyne Tadros - Elected Director

    Dr Evelyne Tadros is the current CEO of the Mental Health Coordinating Council (NSW) a peak member-based organisation for the Mental Health CMO sector which is also a Registered Training Organisation. Evelyne is also a Board Director with St John Ambulance NSW and on the Board Risk Governance and Nominations Committee for St Vincent de Paul (NSW). Evelyne has a Doctorate degree in Health Science (Behavioural and community health) and is committed to supporting individuals and communities to thrive through systemic change and collaborative influence and action. Evelyne is driven to advocate for mental health reform for and with people of lived experience of mental health conditions, along with their carers and in championing the work of community managed organisations.

  • Board Charter

    The Board Charter sits under the Constitution and our Governance Manual and sets out the roles, responsibilities, structure and processes of the Board of Mental Health Australia Ltd. It describes expectations of the Board as a whole while the Board Position Description outlines individual competencies expected of Board Directors.

PDF icon Board Director Position DescriptionPDF221.09 KB
PDF icon Board CharterPDF314.48 KB

© 2024 Mental Health Australia All rights reserved.