National Register - SA 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.

Anne Barbara, Carer Representative

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. 

Nevena Simic, Consumer Representative

I have a strong commitment to helping others and building stronger families and communities. I give my knowledge, experience and time to provide a strong lived experience voice in the mental health sector at the national level. 

My primary areas of focus are issues facing Mental Health, Wellbeing and Diversity. As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) I find real value and inspiration from working with people. The quality of peoples’ life must be the priority.  
In 2007 I completed a bachelor degree in Social Work followed by a Master’s Degree in Grief and Palliative Care Counselling. I have worked in a variety of paid and volunteer positions at Government as well as at Not for Profit Organisations.
With a deep interest in issues of mental health and cultures I take proactive role. I became part of a number of groups inside the AASW and within the wide communities.

As a member of Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) Consumer and Carer Working Group, which operated as the project funded by the Federal government I have had advised the project and the Framework development from the South Australia experience and perspective.

Pat Sutton, Carer Representative

I have been an advocate for people with severe mental illness with associated psychosocial disabilities and their families for over 20 years, since my two sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Driven by my strong belief in social justice, I have worked as an educator of the whole community, including service providers and professionals, within agencies and as a guest lecturer in universities, to overcome the stigma and discrimination still prevalent in our community.

I have worked for over 20 years in both a voluntary and paid capacity in both government and non-government organisations, including in a high dependency unit in Glenside Hospital, as the first Carer Consultant in the Mental Health Unit in SA Health and 12 years as Guardianship Board SA member.

I have been on numerous boards, committees and advisory groups at local, state and national level, including six years as Carers Australia’s representative on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum.

I have presented at many conferences, including TheMHS conferences and more recently those associated with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I was a keynote speaker at the Carers Forum at the TheMHS conference held in Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2016.  

My family’s story appears extensively on internet sites and was featured in SBS Insight’s A Family Concern in September 2016.

Sarah Sutton, Carer Representative

I love my family, including my two brothers whom both have diagnoses of Schizophrenia. I am passionate about mental health advocacy because my brothers cannot advocate for themselves due to their psychosocial disabilities and lack of support by mental health services. As a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, I also advocate for carers and consumers who cannot speak out due to disability or fear of discrimination and mistreatment.

I have worked for 20 years in government and private services including lived experience and expert advisory roles at a local, state and national level. I am a Board member of the Lived Experience Leadership Advocacy Network (LELAN) in SA and a Peer Ambassador for SANE Australia. I am driven by the belief that everyone deserves a contributing life, including safe and stable accommodation, support and something meaningful to do with their time.

I am given hope by consumer stories of braveness and resilience, and my dream is that one day carers and consumers will be involved in co-design at all levels of mental health services, including research, evaluation, service delivery and policy.

There are a total of 3 consumer and 3 carer representatives from SA currently on the National Register.

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


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