CEO Update - Acknowledging there is still much more to do

 CEO Update, Mental Health Australia


Speaking frankly...                                             

Acknowledging there is still much more to do...

Earlier this week we acknowledged those mental health advocates who received Queen’s Birthday honours.

Mental health consumers, professionals, peer workers, administrators and advocates who were all recognised for their contribution to their local community, with a particular focus on mental health. 

Along with long time consumer advocate, and friend of Mental Health Australia Doug Holmes, I was especially pleased to see the acknowledgment of our Chair Ms Jennifer Westacott and Deputy Chair Ms Robyn Kruk for their contribution to public administration and reform. Leaders who have made an equally important contribution to Mental Health Australia and the wider mental health sector over the last five years or more.

Having congratulated Jennifer, Robyn and Doug in person, I imagine the response I received would have been similar to that from the other recipients – Ms Paula Nathan, Mrs Lesley Kealton, Ms Nicole Sadler, Ms Ann Morgan, and Mrs Edna Nowland.

Both Jennifer and Robyn were quick to acknowledge that there is still much more to do, all were humbled by the recognition. And I’m sure that would have the message from the other worthy recipients, because that’s what it means to make a contribution to your community.

Looking ahead to see where you can best be of service. Looking ahead to see where your skills and expertise will help for the greater good, not for individual accolade. An accolade they all deserve none the less.

For me, the acknowledgement of mental health workers from Claremont in Western Australia to Richmond in Melbourne, reminds us that there are thousands of people all over Australia contributing to the mental health and wealth of our nation, each and every day. 

The acknowledgment of a few is extremely welcome, because it also acknowledges the sector at large and the importance of the work we all do.

Work as diverse as this list below outlines, but work than when combined and driven through passion and professionalism will help us achieve our vision of mentally healthy people, and mentally health communities.

Congratulations again to the all the recipients of this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours, and I’m sure that when you read their citations below, you’ll see examples of the diversity of skills and expertise needed to make an impact on the mental health of our nation.  

Warm regards.

Frank Quinlan

Chief Executive Officer


Queens Birthday honourees in the field of mental health

Officer in the General Division (AO)

Ms Robyn Caroline KRUK AM, Coogee NSW. For distinguished service to public administration, particularly through mental health reform, to environmental protection and natural resource management, and to food standards.

Ms Paula Ruth NATHAN Claremont WA. For distinguished service to community health as a psychologist, particularly to understanding mental health disorders, and to establishing specialised treatment and support services.

Ms Jennifer Anne WESTACOTT Woolloomooloo NSW. For distinguished service to private and public sector administration through executive roles, to policy development and reform, to cross sector collaboration, to equity, and to business.

Member in the General Division (AM)

Mrs Lesley Janet KEALTON Gold Coast Qld. For significant service to community health as an advocate for support for people with a mental illness, and their carers and families.

Member in the Military Division (AM) - Royal Australian Navy

Colonel Nicole Louise SADLER CSC ACT For exceptional performance of duty in the field of mental health leadership, strategy and reform for the Australian Defence Force.

Medal in the General Division (OAM)

Mr Douglas John HOLMES Boolaroo NSW. For service to community health.

Dr Ann Eluned MORGAN Richmond Vic. For service to medicine, particularly to infant mental health.

Mrs Edna Fortunata NOWLAND Quakers Hill NSW. For service to people with mental health issues through support roles.

Next Week 

On Monday, I will be chairing the Department of Social Services Carer Reform Working Group teleconference and will attend a Mental Health Australia board meeting.

On Wednesday, I will be attending the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance meeting at the Beyondblue office in Melbourne. Mental Health Australia staff will also be participating in a Lifeline Accidental Counsellor training refresher course.

On Thursday, our Director of Policy and Projects, Josh Fear and I will be participating in a teleconference with Gerry Naughtin and Scott McNaughton of the NDIA.

Josh will meet with Dr Sarah Pollock, Executive Director Research & Advocacy at MIND Australia on Friday.


Mental Health Australia Member Profiles

Grow is a community-based organisation that has helped tens of thousands of Australians recover from mental illness through a unique program of mutual support and personal development. Grow was established in Sydney in 1957. The founders were drawn together by their first-hand experience of mental illness. Grow has international offices in Ireland, America, Trinidad and New Zealand Website -


Centacare Catholic Family Services strive to support people in the community who are marginalised or who are experiencing hardships and challenges in their lives. For the past 74 years, Centacare has worked to help people reach their full potential so they can participate in the community, regardless of their circumstances. Today this commitment underpins the 80 community services they deliver in 35 sites across the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, in metropolitan and regional South Australia.



Office for Mental Health & Wellbeing established in ACT

The ACT Government has formally established the Territory's first Office for Mental Health & Wellbeing following extensive consultation with the mental health community. The Office will develop a renewed vision for mental health in the ACT with a focus on suicide prevention, and coordinate the provision of services throughout the continuum from early intervention through to acute crisis care. 

Read more

Health Minister announces Australian-first eating disorders trail in Queensland

Families across the Sunshine Coast welcomed this week's announcement of $3.2 million to fund an innovative trial to improve access and affordability of eating disorders treatment. The trial will be coordinated by Butterfly Foundation and Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN. Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan says this represents a 'key step' towards delivering 'affordable and integrated multidisciplinary eating disorders treatment within Australia'.

Read more

Check-in for a checkup with your rural doctor

"Check-in for a checkup with your rural doctor!" That's the message from the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) during Men's Health Week, as it calls on rural and remote men to book in with their local GP for a preventative health check.

RDAA is also calling on the Federal Government to increase access to telehealth consultations for rural and remote patients with their local GPs, saying the tyranny of distance is discouraging many rural patients — particularly those who live out of town or a long way from their nearest GP — from seeing their doctor.

Read more



My Health Record opt-out

Every Australian is set to have a My Health Record - an online summary of an individual's key health information - created on their behalf unless they opt out of the scheme during the period 16 July to 15 October 2018. The My Health Record scheme and opt out process has the full support of state and territory governments and health industry peak bodies. Australians are assured that strong safeguards are in place to protect their health data. 

Read more

ReachOut and Mission Australia report launch

ReachOut and Mission Australia have worked together to jointly produce a report titled Lifting the weight: Understanding young people's mental health and services needs in regional and remote Australia. The report is based on research conducted by ReachOut and Mission Australia and aims to improve mental health outcomes and reduce rates of youth suicide in regional and remote areas. The report will be launched at Parliament House on Thursday 28 June at 10:30am.

Read more

VICSERV now Mental Health Victoria

A reminder to the sector that the peak body for mental health service providers in Victoria, formerly VICSERV, has undergone a name change and is now Mental Health Victoria. Along with the name change is a new logo, brand and a new-look website accessible via the URL: Mental Health Victoria can be reached by phone on (03) 9519 7000.

Read more

Mission Australia's 17th Annual Youth Survey

Mission Australia has just launched the 2018 Youth Survey: the 17th annual online survey giving a voice to the concerns, values and thoughts of young people aged 15-19 across Australia. Survey results are a valuable resource for informing youth services, community development and youth engagement across sectors and regions. If you would like to get involved and receive an individual report of survey results for your organisation, email to find out more.

Read more

National LGBTI Health Alliance seeking an Executive Director

The peak body representing over 170 organisations and individuals working to improve the health and wellbeing of the LGBTI community are looking for an Executive Director. The successful candidate will be responsible for the implementation of a brand new organisational strategy designed to have a significant impact on the Alliance’s future, culture and organisational goals. For more info and to apply, click the link below.

Read more

Nominate now for the 2018 Mental Health Awards

The Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Mental Health Awards. The Awards will recognise an Advocate of the Year and a Mental Health Organisation of the Year. These inaugural awards will be presented by the Governor of Victoria at Government House of Friday 26 October 2018 from 7:00 - 9:00am.

Read more


Mental Health Begins with Me!

© 2017 Mental Health Australia Ltd.

Rate this article: 

© 2024 Mental Health Australia All rights reserved.