Mental Health Australia announces Leanne Beagley as new Chief Executive Officer

Anna Siddall

Mental Health Australia has today announced highly experienced mental health and policy professional Leanne Beagley as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Currently the CEO of the Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Dr Beagley’s background includes clinical qualifications in Occupational Therapy and Family Therapy, as well as a Masters in Business Leadership and a PhD in Psychology in organisational culture and performance.
A former Director of Mental Health and Drugs at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services for five years, Dr Beagley is also a non-executive Director on four Boards including the Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre, Active Geelong, Tweddle Child and Family Health Centre, and she is Board Chair of Eating Disorders Victoria.

Mental Health Australia Chair Ms Robyn Kruk said Dr Beagley was the clear standout in an extremely strong field of applicants for the CEO position.

“Last year we talked about it being a once a generation opportunity for mental health and we are thrilled to be able to announce Dr Leanne Beagley as the new CEO who will guide Mental Health Australia through this time of opportunity and reform,” said Ms Kruk.

“Leanne’s passion for mental health reform is clear and well established, and through a variety of roles she has made significant contributions to improving mental health outcomes in the community sector, and at a state and national level.”

“Her depth of policy experience and practical knowledge will benefit our organisation greatly and also be extremely valuable to our Members. Her professionalism stood out from the start during our recruitment process and then again when she presented her strategic direction to the Board late last month.”

“As a member organisation we rely on consultation, collaboration and connections, and Leanne is well known for a collaborative style while also having the ability to make clear and quick decisions when required.”

“She will be a huge asset to our team and to our Members and stakeholders alike when she officially joins the organisation at the end of April.”

“During this busy and transitional time for our organisation, I would also like to thank our Acting CEO Melanie Cantwell and all the staff for their professionalism and hard work continuing to advocate for mental health reform and change.”

Relocating to Canberra to take up the position, Dr Beagley said she is looking forward to building on the strong advocacy and reform foundations already well established at Mental Health Australia.

“As Robyn mentioned, it’s an exciting time to be joining Mental Health Australia, especially when the wider sector is looking for the generational change and reform that is possible though the implementation of the Productivity Commission Report and Vision 2030,” said Dr Beagley.

“Having spent my career working in and around mental health, from service delivery to program and policy management, I’m extremely humbled and honored to be asked to take on the role of CEO of Mental Health Australia. It’s an opportunity that brings together decades of experience and is the role of a lifetime for me,” she said.

“Mental Health Australia is an organisation which is well regarded by its members and the wider sector, and has a clear vision for mentally healthy people and mentally healthy communities.”

“And to me that’s the key: building on our existing vision, foundations and knowledge and then testing our thinking with education, social services, housing, justice, the private sector, the philanthropic sector and more, to find a more inclusive and empowering way to integrate lasting mental health reform in our communities.”

Dr Beagley will commence as the CEO of Mental Health Australia on Tuesday 28 April 2020, and will be present to meet Members at the Mental Health Australia Members Policy Forum in Canberra on Thursday 12 March.

Media Contact: Lach Searle 0488 076 088

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