National Register - NSW Representative Profiles

If your organisation is seeking consumer and carer representation, please click here to find out more about the selection process. Please note that all requests for representation will be referred to the consumer and carer driven selection process - it is not possible for an organisation to request an individual representative.

Bè Aadam, Consumer Representative

In addition to holding a consumer academic position at NSW Health’s HETI Mental Health Portfolio, where I am assisting in mental health higher education course development and designing and implementing a consumer and carer engagement plan, I work as an independent researcher and consultant across national, state and regional levels. I am also currently working towards a PhD in ethics, values and citizenship and have been involved in a number of advocacy and representative roles over the last few years which has given me insight and understanding into how our mental health systems work. I am looking forward to contributing further on a national level.

Lynette Anderson, Carer Representative

Lyn was trained as a teacher teaching English, history, communications and law. She also dedicated her life over the past 27 years to caring for a family member with a disability so she is an intelligent and caring person with an enormous amount of experience to share.

Lyn has been on local hospital committees, a Board member of NGOs, sat on state-wide committees representing carers as part of her employment with Mental Health Carers NSW (peak body representing carers in NSW) and Mental Health Australia.

She previously worked with Uniting Care as a Carer Support Worker and PIR as a Carer Consultant. Lyn never does things in halves so she has also added the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work with MHCC in 2015 to her resume.

So she has seen the mental health system through her personal lens of carer, a NGO worker and a carer advocate. She has a passion for human rights and continuous improvement in mental health care.

Keiran Booth, Carer Representative

Currently employed as Program Manager for a NSW Regional Partners in Recovery Program with over 25 years’ experience within the community service sector.  Previously held a number of senior roles with a State and National Mental Health Carer organisation. Former member, deputy co-chair and co-chair of the National Mental Health Consumer & Carer Forum.

I have sat on numerous boards and committees at local, state and national level for both government and not for profit. Through my national carer representation roles I have had the opportunity to learn and contribute to change to assist families and carers of people living with a mental health condition to be recognised and included in terms of their expertise and experience. I am committed to supporting consumers and carers to be recognised for their lived expertise and their specific needs and aspirations.

Tess Dellagiacoma, Carer Representative

Tess Dellagiacoma has experience as a carer and a child of a parent with a mental illness. She worked as a general nurse before completing a master’s degree in nursing. Her thesis focussed on the implementation of new clinical services. Tess has been on the board of Mental Health Carers NSW (formerly ARAFMI) since 2012. She has worked for the NSW MH Commission, the Ministry of Health in policy and served a term as an Official Visitor. She has lived in Lismore since 2015 and currently works as a lawyer. Tess is committed to improving the experiences of those with a mental illness and the people who care for them using innovative approaches that focus on wellness and recovery in community based services.

Jessica English, Consumer Representative

My name is Jessica English and I am a passionate consumer representative based in NSW. I have experience in numerous roles as a peer worker, an educator, a public speaker and by representing consumers on local, state and national level committees. In these roles, I have utilised my own personal lived experience of mental illness and recovery, and brought to these roles the views of the wider consumer community with whom I network. I am a strong advocate for youth mental health, and have developed skills in advocacy, representation and leadership in my roles within child and youth services for the last 5 years. I am currently working for Being, the peak consumer advocacy group in NSW working on the development of a statewide peer workforce framework. I am interested in contributing to the wider mental health sector by bringing the skills, networks and experiences I have to support services to build a mental health system that puts the individual and their needs at the heart of everything they do.

Irene Gallagher, Consumer Representative

I have passionately worked in the mental health sector for over twenty years, first as a volunteer, then in clinical practice, until I had an opportunity (under clinical supervision) to identify to a client that I had a lived experience. This opportunity changed the way I worked and saw a redirection of career and I have worked as a peer worker since that time, which have included roles in senior management in the NGO sector and the public sector.

I have worked in the capacity of developing and managing a District wide peer workforce with a local health district and was instrumental in setting up the South Eastern Sydney Recovery Collage. I am currently a Director of a number of Boards and committees in NSW.

I have recently been recruited into the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with Being | Mental Health and Wellbeing Consumer Advisory Group, the NSW peak organisation for people with a lived experience of mental health issues and we work to achieve and support systemic change in the mental health sector. I also am the founder of a peer led organisation, Peer Work Matters, which focuses on developing the mental health peer workforce in NSW.

My passions lay in the areas of trauma informed practice, seclusion and restraint and in developing the peer workforce, ensuring the peer workforce are valued and heard, not harmed In their workplaces (as many are), and have the proper supports they deserve and need.

I am very much looking forward to working with other Consumer and Carer representatives as part of the National Register.

Debbie Hamilton, Consumer Representative

I have worked across a broad interest field for the past 20 years to improve the treatment of people with a lived experience. I currently advise ‘Partners in Recovery’ in the Hunter and am on the Board of CDAH.

I have extensive knowledge of the NDIS. Over the last three years have been active in various Mental Health NDIS committee’s both nationally and locally. I have participated in developing the ‘Reimagine’ website, supported decision making tools and a better understanding of a ‘psychosocial disability’.

I have worked as a registered nurse and a doctor in the context of both general practice and emergency medicine. I understand the complexities of issues such seclusion and restraint and have an interest in Bioethics. I am well organised and enjoy a challenge.

As a mental health advocate I have acted both systemically and individually over many years in NSW.

I am proudly part of the LGBTIQ community. Over the years my recovery journey has been about finding meaning in my life. The work I do in the consumer space provides endless challenges and purpose for me. The journey is just as important as the destination.

Kristine Havron, Carer Representative

Kristine became a Mental Health Carer 17 years ago and has held the positions, President of  Mental Health Carers  NSW the Peak Body for Mental Health Carers  and  Mental Health Carers  Australia (Formerly ARAFMI). She currently represents MHCA on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.

Kristine’s involvement with Mental Health Carers NSW includes Co-Chair of the Peak Advisory Committee Co-Chair AOD Peak Advisory Committee and Chair Older Persons Peak Advisory Committee.

Kristine believes that Lived Experience should be seen as a valuable and necessary qualification if we are to make the changes needed in the mental health system.

Peter Heggie, Carer Representative

I am Peter Heggie and I am a Carer Representative to NATREG.  I have lived experience as a carer, for the last ten years, for my wife who travels in her life with borderline personality disorder, PTSD, depression, anxiety and alexithymia.

My formal skills include social and community work. I have strong skills in networking and seeing connections made that can strengthen to work of mental health in the community.

The primary roles I am engaged in are national as a carer representative, regional through my local health district (LHD) as a carer peer and locally working in support of carer support groups though Central Coast ARAFMI.  The range of roles keeps my experience relevant and current.

Main achievements as carer peer / representative include authoring an NDIS Carer Statement (which has been endorsed by NDIA), promoting stronger connections between the Primary and Local Health District and encouraging stronger partnership connections between the LHD and community organisations.

I believe that maintaining a strong recovery orientation, along with the recovery oriented language, at all levels and places of mental health care in both public and private facilities.  This is best supported with full recognition of carer and consumer peers (as equals) and use of co-design.

Daya Henkel, Consumer Representative

I have worked as a consumer advocate and mental health peer worker within the public, private and community managed health sectors for the last 10 years. My work has consisted of consumer representation from local, state to a national level and I currently work primarily with Hunter New England Local Health District as a peer worker. I am honoured to walk alongside peers on their journey and provide individual and group peer support and advocacy.

I currently sit on the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s and HNECC Primary Health Network’s Advisory Councils, and I advocate for the public sector consumer workforce as Chair of the NSW Consumer Workers’ Committee. I also enjoy studying and have completed qualifications in psychology, social welfare and peer work.

I am passionate about growing the peer workforce and recovery-oriented, trauma-informed care. I bring my experiences as a person with lived experience of mental distress and recovery, a survivor of trauma, as well as a young LGBTIQ+ person living in a rural community, to the National Register. I am strongly committed to advocating for positive change in the mental health system, and I am hopeful of a time where choice and empowerment are key principles across the sector.

Fay Jackson, Consumer Representative

I currently hold two positions. They are as Deputy Commissioner with the NSW Mental Health Commission and General Manager of Inclusion at Flourish Australia. I have worked extensively in the public mental health system including at the front lines as a Peer Worker, as a manager and in executive positions.

I have broad knowledge of the public and NFP, CMO mental health services within Australia and increasingly in International services. I also founded Vision In Mind which delivers consultancy and training to workplaces, services and the community about mental health and wellbeing.

I have received a number of state and national awards over the years for my work in advocacy and education in mental health including the Meritorious Service to Community Medal. I have also appeared on ABC’s Q&A, the ABC’s One Plus One, and many radio and press interviews.

I have personal lived experience of mental health issues, recovery and reclaiming my citizenship. I love being a tax payer! I have also lost loved ones to suicide.

We need to see mental health and wellbeing as a whole of life, whole of health, intergenerational, whole of community and whole of government concern. I believe that recovery is about human rights as much as it is about personal wellbeing.

Eileen McDonald, Carer Representative

From my childhood to the present, I’ve cared for various family members experiencing health, disability and mental health issues and have my own personal recovery including trauma and homelessness. My qualifications and experience include Counselling, Drama, Communications, Dance Movement Therapy, Peer Work and Training & Assessment.

For over 40 years my lived experience, skills and training inform my work in community, educational and clinical settings, urban and rural.

I’m a member of local, state and national government and community committees, advisories and technical working groups. My roles include chairing, board of directors, mentoring, research, writing, public speaking and training. Key interests include safety and quality issues in health, suicide prevention, stigma and discrimination, carer and consumer led research, participation, engagement, leadership in systemic change and peer work development.

As an international speaker and trainer in wellness, self-care and resilience, I’m coordinating an international co-design project with an African Foundation in a Nairobi slum developing sustainable peer led programs with women and children survivors of gender and sexual abuse.

Yvonne Quadros, Carer Representative

I have 25 years experience caring for a relative with a psychosocial disability. This is my second term with the National Register of Consumers and Carers. I am a member of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Mental Health Executive and ACI task force Executive, One door group leader (Coffs Harbour) and carer representative for Carers Australia (NSW).

I was a member of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Community Advisory Council and the NSW Carers Advisory Council.  I have also held roles as a NSW Official Visitor, and Carers NSW family support worker.

As a support group leader I advocate on behalf of carers and consumers. I share my knowledge, expertise and experience with my peers to help them navigate the intricacies of the mental health system.

My main passion is in the elimination of stigma that surrounds mental illness and the recognition of carers’ as partners in care in all aspects of treatment and service delivery for our loved ones.

Apart from my interest in advocacy and mental health, in my spare time I enjoy making art. I hold a BA in Fine Arts and Visual culture and a Diploma in Visual Arts.

David Russell, Carer Representative

I am a caring dad who has supported my young daughter through persistent and severe psychotic experiences since her adolescent years. My daughter has endured some 55 weeks as an inpatient in various psychiatric units during three periods over two and half years.  I have been a vigorous advocate for my daughter and myself with mental health services. I have also been an active participant with the Hunter New England Local health District mental health service since 2014, sitting on a number of committees, delivering over 20 lived experience presentations to clinical staff to date as a member of the service Consumer Participation Unit, and have lead a family support group at Maitland NSW. I am a science graduate with a 20 year career as an ecologist in the NSW public service and consultancy, have a certificate four in mental health and am undertaking the peer worker qualification. I am currently volunteering with Lake Macquarie community mental health service, and participating with the NSW Mental Health Commission. I have an interest in family inclusive practice, participation and peer work, trauma informed care, community treatment, and recovery orientated practice.

Lily Wu, Consumer Representative

I am currently working as a Peer Support Worker in South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and as a Physical Health Peer Support Worker in Sydney Local Health District (SLHD). I earned a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work and have worked as a Peer Support Worker in both government and non-government organisations for the past 15 years.

I am a member of numerous committees where I promote and advocate for the rights of people with mental health issues and provide a strong consumer voice, especially from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) perspective, to policy and governance at local, state and national levels.

I have been involved in a diverse range of advocacy efforts across numbers of public forums. Some experiences that stand out for me include: delivering a speech on Recovery and Reducing Stigma in Mental Health in the NSW Health Chief Executive Forum in 2016; and being part of a team that promoted the importance of Peer Support Workers in NSW in the Mental Health Commission’s ‘Living Well’ explainer film. I am also proud to be part of the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s latest resource, the Peer Work Hub.

Recovery has taught me that I can have my ups and downs and still be able to do the things that are important to me. I believe recovery is possible for everyone, and that recovery is about being able to live with mental illness and still be able to have a meaningful, productive and contributing life in our multicultural society.

There are a total of 7 consumer and 8 carer representatives from NSW currently on the National Register.

Please note that representative profiles are not currently available for all National Register members.

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