National Register - WA 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.

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.

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 passionate about advocating for people experiencing mental health issues and their carers. When one of my loved ones became ill, I realised I needed help, and this led me to becoming a Carer Representative. 

I was appointed to the Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (MHiMA) National CaLD Consumer and Carer Working Group as WA’s Carer representative in 2013. My work has a strong emphasis on empowering other carers and increasing their knowledge around mental illness and recovery. Being a carer advocate for MHiMA also played a part in my being selected to participate in work to implement WA’s Mental Health Act 2014.

I participated in various working groups established by the Western Australia Mental Health Commission (WAMHC) to assist with the effective implementation of the Mental Health Act 2014.  In particular, the WAMHC established the Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). As a LEAG member, I represented carer issues beyond my personal experience. 

Recently I was invited to be part of a Reference Group for a Co-Design Workshop to engage and increase awareness of mental health issues is the CaLD community.

As a member of the CaLD community, I know that it is very important to raise our voices regarding mental health issues. Many communities in Australia have a lack of understanding of mental health issues and might look down on people who are suffering from mental ill-health. By increasing awareness, we can grow compassion towards people who are suffering and create a reduction of stigma and discrimination.

Carli Sheers, Consumer Representative

Carli Sheers began studying at Edith Cowan University in the 90s and secured a Bachelor of Business and coordinated international conferences. After this time, she personally experienced mental health issues which prompted her to become very active in the Australian mental health sector. Reaching out to the community mental health organisation Grow changed her life. It was also the catalyst for facing her own self stigma and ultimately set her on a course of self-determination.

Carli’s leadership and openness to her recovery resulted in her appointment as a WA Consumer Representative on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and National Register. She is passionate about using her lived experience expertise and enjoys an extensive network of peers and colleagues that she may draw on with their consent to assist government, organisations, researchers, individuals, and health professionals. She understands and overcame mental health challenges such as social isolation, mental health stigma and discrimination, economic marginalisation, and impairments/reduced ability to function. Carli values diplomacy, professionalism, and treating people with kindness and compassion as this is important for recovery, wellbeing and social inclusion; and feels privileged to have reached self-agency, full citizenship and socioeconomic participation in the Australian community.

Building on her tertiary education, Carli qualified in community services, mental health, training and assessment, micro-business operations, and is accredited in Mental Health First Aid. She founded her own mental health education and training consultancy business in 2019; provides consultancy on a local, state and national level with many current representations; and is sought out for speaking at state and national mental health conferences, e.g., co-facilitated an Empathy Workshop at the University of Technology Sydney Empathy Symposium in December 2019. Carli has facilitated University of Western Australia (UWA) School of Allied Health’s Depth of Field Workshops to UWA podiatry, social work and pharmacy students as part of their curriculum in 2020 and 2021. Feedback from training participants was very positive. Carli feels proud to be elected as a Lived Experience Board Director of the WA Association for Mental Health at their AGM in 2020. This demonstrates her ability to integrate her own experiences of mental distress into her life, retain value from this lived experience and share wisdom with others.

Hayley Solich, Carer Representative

Hayley’s life mottos are: “Share the wisdom that all may prosper” and “Don’t just bang the table, knock on doors”.  

As an editor she achieved this through writing articles and interviewing interesting people; as a TAFE lecturer, it was educating her students; as a business mentor, it was helping others find their business vision and implement it successfully; and as a not-for-profit founder and Chairperson for three years, it was helping women find and take the next step in their life journey.  As a carer advocate, that is coming to the meeting table full of curiosity and care, with a willingness to cast ideas into the mix and create space for others so that a better picture can be painted together.

Recipient of the Community Citizen of the Year Award 2019 - City of Stirling, and engaged on too many committees to name at the local, state and national levels, Hayley walks her talk. A strategic and compassionate leader, Hayley seeks to influence change by being part of the solution and works as a Peer Work Coordinator at North Metropolitan Health Service in Western Australia. 

There are a total of 4 consumer and 4 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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