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, NSW

I work as an independent researcher and consultant. Currently I am working with NSW Health, as well as undertaking a PhD in ethics, values and mental health. I have been involved in a number of advocacy and representative roles over the last few years which has provided me insight and further understanding into how our mental health system/s work. I am looking forward to contributing further on a national level. 

Lynette Anderson, Carer Representative, NSW

I have 30 years of ‘lived experience’ caring for a loved one with mental illness and 15 years working with the Mental Health Industry in various capacities. As a Carer Support Worker for several years I facilitated a carer support group.

Since 2012 I was a Project Manager for Mental Health Carers NSW, and after leaving this position I became their Board Member. After completing Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, I now work as a Carer Peer Worker for Northern Sydney Local Health Districts.

I as a founding member of the Carers Network Northern Sydney have sat on hospital committees in the Northern Sydney area since 2009. I am also a carer consultant on committees in the Northern Beaches area including the Community Health Centre, One Door, Your side and CCNB.  I have been a Board Member of CCNB. I am a Carer Representative for Carers NSW

Previously I taught high school Literature. History, Communications and Law and later Certificate IV in Real Estate in TAFE. I am part of the MHIT Mental Health Intervention team informing NSW police on mental health. I also work with the Mental Health Commission NSW on projects such as the recently published “Lived Experience” Framework for NSW.  I am a member of the Commission’s Community Consultative Committee.  

As a member of Mental Health Australia’s National Register I have a passion for human rights, education, justice and equality for the mentally ill.

Anne Barbara , Carer Representative, SA 

I am a passionate advocate for the lived experience voice being heard and most importantly acted upon and have been very active in the mental health arena for over fifteen years. My employment as a Carer Consultant within SA Health, in both an acute and subacute clinic, for the past thirteen years has ensured my understanding of current carer issues remains relevant. 

I continue to attend numerous mental health consultations and presentations to keep my skills and knowledge up to date and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to deliver the lived experience perspective within the service I work on an increasing basis, owing to a passionate lecturer who values the lived experience voice and perspective.

I eagerly awaited the introduction of the NDIS and read extensively about it prior to its implementation, enabling me to be well informed and knowledgeable of its benefits and the application process. Utilising my knowledge I have been proactive in supporting Carers by assisting them and their loved ones to understand the NDIS benefits and process as I am concerned the NDIS is not currently reaching as many consumers with psychosocial disabilities who would benefit from its support.  

I am eager for my involvement within the mental health arena to continue to contribute to stigma reduction and bring improvement to people impacted by mental illness.  

Jessica English, Consumer Representative

I am a passionate consumer representative and advocate with a background in lived experience leadership across the public, community managed and non-for-profit sectors for the last 9 years. I have represented consumers at all levels from local, state, national and international committees, including representation on key steering committees with national programs and executive committees. 

I have a background in youth peer support working in public health inpatient settings, peer education, online mental health services and consumer representation. I have held policy, project and systemic advocacy roles with mental health peaks across Australia, with a keen interest in youth mental health, online mental health support, peer work, suicide prevention and service improvement.  

I am an advocate for lived experience driven change and improvement within mental health services, including the growth of peer support in mental health services, promotion of recovery oriented practice and stronger engagement of consumers in service delivery.

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 am the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 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, and have the supports they deserve and need.

Debbie Hamilton, Consumer Representative

I have worked over the past 20+ years to improve the treatment of people with a lived experience of mental distress. Over that time I have worked as a mental health advocate both systemically and individually.

I have extensive knowledge of the NDIS and I myself have a package. Over the last 5 years I have been active in various Mental Health NDIS committee’s nationally and locally, to improve the NDIS psychosocial pathway. I am currently doing a masters by research on the NDIS through Sydney university.

I participated in developing the ‘Reimagine’ website to assist people with a psychosocial disability navigate the NDIS 
In the past I worked as a registered nurse and a medical doctor and did a post- graduate diploma in bioethics.

I am also 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 peer space provides endless challenges and purpose for me.  For me, the journey is just as important as the destination which is one of the reasons why I am very proud to be a member of the national register.

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). 

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 the National Register. I have lived experience as a carer 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 sectors for almost 15 years. My work has consisted of consumer representation from a local to a national level and I am currently the NSW Consumer Representative on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). I am honoured to walk alongside peers on their journey and raise consumer perspectives at a national level. 

I currently work for the National Mental Health Commission in the Mental Health Reform Team, leading work around peer workforce development and reducing restrictive practices. 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, and an LGBTIQ+ person from 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.

My previous appointments include representative positions on the Mental Health Commission of NSW’s and HNECC PHNs Advisory Councils, and I am a prior Chair of the NSW Public Mental Health Consumer Workers’ Committee. My qualifications in psychology, social welfare and peer work complement my work in the mental health 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 been a carer for a family member with a psychosocial disability for over 2 decades. My lived experience has made me aware of the benefits of being proactive with regard to seeking better services and treatment for mental illness. I actively participate in advocating and lobbing for better outcomes for our relatives and friends through involvement in local, state and national government and community committees, advisories and technical working groups. 

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. Currently I am a Carer Representative on the Agency for Clinical Innovation Mental Health Executive NSW (ACI) and a Support Group leader, One door for carers in Regional Coffs Harbour. 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, restrictive practices in mental health units 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 have been a Peer Support Worker for 17 years, currently working full-time at South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD). I provide Peer Support and peer-led and run group activities on the Acute Mental Health Units at Liverpool Hospital. Using my lived experience, I share information, skills and strategies that support consumer recovery and promote hope among consumers, staff and the wider community.

I achieved a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management and a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.

I promote and advocate for the rights of people with mental health issues on numerous committees and provide a strong consumer voice from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse perspective to policy and governance at local, state and national levels. I featured on the cover and as the centre article in the 2019 Mental Health edition of Thrive, SWSLHD’s quarterly magazine showcasing the work and achievements of our hardworking staff. In 2018, I spoke at Liverpool’s Living Library event for Mental Health Month. The success of this event led to the production of an educational DVD bringing together the voices of consumers, carers and health professionals. 

My experience of living with Bipolar Disorder has taught me that I can have my ups and downs and still be able to do the things that are important to me. Recovery is about being able to live with mental illness and still be able to have a meaningful, productive and contributing life. I am motivated by a passion for consumer rights and a belief that recovery is possible for everyone.

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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