National Register - WA Representative Profiles

Kaitlin Saunders

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.

Kerry Hawkins, Carer Representative

I am currently the President of the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), as well as the Western Australian Board Director for Emerging Minds, a Board Director of Helping Minds, Vice-Chair of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) and a Board Director for the Recovery College of WA.

Previously, I worked as a Director for the NDIA in the psychosocial disability/mental health team, a program manager within the WA Mental Health Commission, as well as various other carer-related roles in the mental health workforce, both in the community-managed sector, tertiary education and public mental health services.

My interest in trauma-informed, family-inclusive, socially-derived understandings of mental health drives a passion for implementing system and social reform through genuine co-production between lived experience expertise and service delivery expertise. I am a family member of someone who experienced 20 years of extreme and enduring psychosis, and recovery. I am a Graduate of Boston University’s Global Leadership Institute’s Recovery Class of 2013.

Juanita Koeijers, Consumer Representative

With a background in community and drug and alcohol services, I am currently completing university studies in nutrition and natural therapies with the hope to progress holistic services within mental health. I have been an active consumer representative, primarily from an AOD space, for the past three years where, among other things, I advocate for development, recognition and broader implementation of the peer workforce. I currently hold positions on a variety of committees one of which is working toward an AOD consumer peak in WA. I am passionate about the engagement of community consumer populations in relation to new and emerging research and hold a position on the data monitoring board for the National Drug Research Institute’s current national clinical trial for N-acetyl cysteine as a potential pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence. My personal belief and focus is on creating opportunities for relationships and connection within the community through food, health, art, education and the sharing of stories as a primary, preventative strategy.

Andrew Markovs, Consumer Representative

Based in Albany on the beautiful south coast of WA, I am well known throughout consumer and carer networks for my work in the mental health literacy, suicide prevention and workplace wellness fields as a trainer, speaker and advocate.  Since my diagnosis with bipolar type 2 disorder in 2001, I have found my own recovery pathway through the darkness of the biomedical system, alcohol and substance abuse and suicide ideation.  My personal lived experience has encouraged me to focus on prevention and education as crucial steps in enhancing the quality of life of our communities. Coming from a career in the professional performing arts and hospitality sectors, I thrive on communication and face-to-face connecting with people leading to my presentation of papers at several mental health conferences.  Highlights for me have been being part of the multi-disciplinary team that developed the Mental Health Act 2014, being a founding board member of the Recovery College WA and winning the Consumer Engagement + Involvement category of the WA Mental Health Good Outcomes Award.  I enjoy lived experience advisory positions at the University of WA and at Curtin University working with students, staff and researchers. As a Principal Master Trainer for Mental Health First Aid, a Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention trainer, an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training facilitator, I have delivered many mental health and suicide prevention training workshops across metropolitan and regional WA to departments, organisations, consumers, carers, clinicians, NGO’s, community members and workplaces over the past 2 decades.  I continue to represent mental health consumers on numerous committees and advisory boards with passion, knowledge and commitment.

Lorraine Powell, Consumer Representative

It is not because of, but in spite of, living with mental health issues personally, having a caring role, and the loss of a son to suicide, I have chosen to be an independent consumer consultant to encourage, influence and be a disruptive innovator in mental health reform for 15 years. Over that time, I have taken great delight in belonging to, and involved in, actual change in our services and systems which continues to motivate me.

I am very proud I was one of the first people in Australia to achieve the Mental Health Peer Work Cert IV, graduated and served as a company director for numerous organisations, and have been a member of the NMHCCF since 2012.

I am an accomplished speaker, facilitator, educator, a very keen learner, and take great delight in policy. My passion lies in being a people person, seeing strengths, prevention and promotion and fundamentally believe everyone has the right and ability to participate actively in their community of their choosing.

Angela Rao, Carer Representative

I am Angela Rao. I am a carer for one of my love one who has a mental illness.

In 2013 I become a carer representative for WA with MHiMA (Mental Health in Multicultural Australia).

Since then I become very much involved in Mental Health group. I attend conferences, workshops, and many many meetings. The reason? So that I can learn how to support my love one to recovery and exchange experiences with carers like me.

I am excited to be selected to National Register.

I enjoy meeting people and to talk about the experience I have gone through.

Carli Sheers, Consumer Representative

Carli Sheers works collaboratively with her national colleagues, health professionals and peak bodies to represent and achieve a shared national vision leading to improved quality of life, social justice and inclusion for people living with psychosocial disability.

Carli uses the National Register as a platform for highlighting pertinent issues to actively influence mental health reform consistent with Standard 3 of the National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010, and shares information with her network to enhance her advocacy and knowledge of the Australian mental health sector.

Carli takes a bipartisan approach to systemic advocacy and believes in strategic consumer participation on all levels to address imbalance of power within the Australian mental health system. Her advocacy achievements include service delivery improvements and enhanced consumers’ quality of life at her local community mental health service.

As the former WA Association for Mental Health’s Engagement and Administration Support Officer (2014 – 2017), Carli values education and has worked on the Inaugural WA Mental Health Conference 2016 and WA Mental Health Conference and Awards 2017.  Carli’s lived experience advocacy helped shape the conference program and influenced wider stakeholder networks whilst encouraging attendance at the event. As a former Branch Secretary of Grow (2007 – 2016), Carli built her knowledge of other community mental health organisations when providing referrals as the first-point-of-contact.

Hayley Solich, Carer Representative

I currently work for the WA North Metropolitan Health Service, Mental Health, Adult Program as a 0.4 A/Peer Work Coordinator and also wear the hats of Consumer Consultant (Joondalup) and Carer Consultant (Stirling) on a casual basis.  In the role of A/Peer Work Coordinator I am focused on coordinating the Consumer and Carer Consultants and Representatives’ participation in the service. As a Consultant, I attend business meetings to represent the consumer and carer voice.

I recently presented at the WA Association of Mental Health on the subject of Making the Peer Workforce Meaningful in Mental Health – The Peer Workforce.  My key skills lie in the areas of communications, publishing, training and administration.  I am also a current member of Consumers of Mental Health WA and Carer’s WA, plus the founder and Chairperson of Women Can International inc.

Through my caring responsibilities, I have gained experience with Adult and Youth mental health services and the challenges associated with hospital visits and finding support for family members.  I have a special interest in Alcohol and Drug, Domestic Violence and Gynaecological Health impacts on mental health.

There are a total of 5 consumer and 3 carer representatives from WA currently on the National Register.

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

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