Resources Developed Through the Project

A range of draft governance and operational resources for a future organisation were developed through the Project.

Draft Guide to the Organisation and its Constitution

The draft Guide provides an overview of the future organisation and its (draft) constitution. Once the organisation is incorporated, the Guide should be revised to reflect the new Board’s decisions about governance and the final constitution, and then made available to members and the general public.

The purpose of the Guide is to:

  • describe the role and purpose of the constitution
  • provide descriptions and explanations of complex legal terms and phrases
  • describe how the constitution is operationalised
  • provide explanations relating to membership and the Board (in particular roles and responsibilities)
  • describe the role of people with lived experience of mental illness and mental health consumer organisations in the organisation.


A constitution sets out the rights, powers and duties of an incorporated entity, the board, each director, the company secretary, and members.

The draft constitution for the future national mental health consumer organisation has been developed by a legal governance consultant, based on advice from the Consumer Reference Group (CRG), Mental Health Australia, and broad mental health consumer community feedback.

It is provided for the future organisation’s consideration, revision (if necessary), and member endorsement.

Corporate Governance Manual

The draft Corporate Governance Manual has been developed to support the Board of the future organisation, providing guidance, policy and procedures in accordance with good governance practice. It is sufficiently flexible to adapt to the future organisation’s changing circumstances.

The core content was drafted by a governance consultant, with advice from the Consumer Reference Group (CRG) and Mental Health Australia. Additional content is based on best practice examples and was drafted by Mental Health Australia and the CRG.

Board Recruitment

The future national mental health consumer organisation must have an inaugural Board to become an incorporated entity.

Draft documents and templates to support inaugural Board recruitment have been developed by governance and recruitment consultants, with input from some of the Consumer Reference Group (CRG) and Mental Health Australia.

The materials could support an open, transparent and merit based selection process. They are provided as templates and should be reviewed, updated and adapted as part of the inaugural Board recruitment process.

Operational Policy and Procedures

The draft Operational Policy and Procedures documents and templates have been developed to support the initial start-up of the future organisation.

Policies and templates are based on best practice examples and apply to administration and daily management of the organisation.

The future organisation will have their own individual requirements and the documents should be reviewed, updated and added to accordingly.

Naming and Branding

The establishment of a strong name and brand will be pivotal to securing the identity of the future national mental health consumer organisation. Importantly, registering a company name with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is a legal requirement under the Corporations Act 2001.

Naming and branding options have been developed to provide the future Board with the opportunity to select a name and to incorporate the future organisation in a timely manner.

National Stakeholder Workshop Report: 7 March 2014

On 7 March 2014, the CRG and the MHCA hosted a National Stakeholder Workshop in Melbourne. The workshop brought together 12 representatives from mental health consumer focussed groups, organisations and peaks from across the country, these were:

  • NSW Consumer Advisory Group
  • Flourish (Tasmania)
  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
  • Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia
  • ACT Mental Health Consumer Network
  • Queensland Voice for Mental Health
  • Mental Illness Fellowship Australia (National)
  • GROW National
  • National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF)
  • Mental Health in Multicultural Australia
  • Consumers of Mental Health Western Australia
  • Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia

These stakeholders brought to the workshop an impressive wealth of knowledge and experience of the mental health consumer sector. Through facilitated workshop activities participants engaged in robust and thoughtful discussion about many key issues.

The outcomes of the Workshop are now available. The Report, including recommendations, will be given to the Board of the new Organisation to provide some informed guidance as it makes decisions about strategic directions for the future.

We would like to thank all the Workshop participants for their time and invaluable contributions to the establishment of the new national mental health consumer organisation.

Environmental Scan: Craze Lateral Solutions

This Environmental Scan, commissioned by the Mental Health Council of Australia in August 2012, built on the findings of the Scoping Study (2010), providing an update and insight into the current landscape and recommendations with this in mind. Along with the documents of the National Scoping Project, this Report guides and informs the establishment of the new National Mental Health Consumer Organisation.