CEO Update: Some very exciting news my friends...

Some very exciting news my friends…

After more than 8 years as CEO I will be leaving Mental Health Australia to take on a new challenge as the Federation Executive Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

I have loved my time with Mental Health Australia, and leaving is not without considerable sadness. The wisdom, advice, support, encouragement and friendship of so many of you have all been part of that journey. We have fought the good fight for mental health together, and while there is still more to be done, I feel the time has come to allow another take up the challenge.

I am also genuinely excited about the opportunity that my new role with the Royal Flying Doctors will bring. Supporting the health and welfare of Australians living in rural and remote Australia, and advocating for better health outcomes will not take me far away from mental health, but will also take me to some new and exciting places where I hope I can make a worthwhile contribution.

My last day with Mental Health Australia will be World Mental Health Day on October 10th, and I will take up the new gig on November 15th.

I am pleased to be leaving Mental Health Australia in the hands of a great team, which will be led ably by Deputy CEO Melanie Cantwell while the Board’s search for a new CEO commences.

I look forward to reflecting further on my time in a sector so deeply committed to improving the lives of all Australians, in a role that brought me into regular contact with such wonderful people. But for the moment I am pleased to be passing on this important news.

Thanks to all who have been part of my journey so far, I look forward to the next chapter in life’s truly excellent adventure!

Warm regards,

Frank Quinlan
Chief Executive Officer 

UPDATE on Charter 2020: Time To Fix Mental Health

Firstly, thank you again to the now 96 organisations who have signed our Charter 2020: Time To Fix Mental Health. 

Ahead of World Mental Health Day and then the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health releasing their Draft Report in late October or early November, this Charter will become an important platform from which to advocate for implementation of the Inquiry and lasting mental health reform.

As I mentioned last week, we had intended to present our Joint Letter and Charter 2020 to the Prime Minister during Parliament this week, but between the announcement of my departure, and the Prime Minister’s travel schedule to the US to visit President Trump meant we needed to change our plans.

The revised plan now is to maximise impact by launching the Charter 2020 during mental health month and the next sitting of Parliament in mid-October, when there will be an increased focus on mental health reform and the release of the upcoming Productivity Commission Inquiry Draft Report.

In the meantime, all signatories to the Charter will receive hard copies in the post, as well as further talking points and briefing notes in the coming weeks. Thank you again for your contribution to this important document.

For those organisations who still wish to sign onto the Charter 2020: Time To Fix Mental Health, we can now look to include you in the second phase of this advocacy activity, and at 96 signatories to date, what a great message it would send to see more than 100 organisations support this sector wide initiative.

To sign on to Charter 2020: Time To Fix Mental Health please contact 

To see the full Charter 2020: Time To Fix Mental Health please click here.


Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of Newstart

Late last week, Mental Health Australia made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the Adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia. Mental Health Australia’s submission outlines the importance of income support in reducing the impacts of mental illness, given the strong association between experiences of mental ill-health and low income and unemployment. A fair and equitable income support system is fundamental in keeping people out of poverty and supporting the economic participation and social inclusion of all Australians. 

Mental Health Australia’s submission urges the Committee to recommend that a mechanism be established to provide advice to government on what constitutes adequate payments to meet the costs of living and to ensure the rate of Newstart and related payments remain proportionate over time. In the meantime, Mental Health Australia also recommends that immediate relief is provided for Newstart recipients with a stop-gap increase to the payment while the review is conducted. 

Read the full submission.


World Mental Health Day News

The 2019 World Mental Health Day campaign is officially underway! 

The more organisations who commit to promoting awareness, the more we reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and play our part in creating a mentally healthy community. 

Looking to attend or host an event on Thursday 10 October? You can do this HERE

You can also make a #MentalHealthPromise. Choose from a pre-written promise or get creative and write your own! Then share the promise amongst your social networks.




Embrace Multicultural Mental Health News


Get involved - The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia

Are you looking for ways to build the cultural responsiveness of your practice or service? Would you like to learn more about what tools and resources are available to support you?


The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (the Framework) is a free, nationally available online resource which allows organisations and individual practitioners to evaluate and enhance their cultural responsiveness. It has been mapped against national standards to help you meet your existing requirements, with access to a wide range of support and resources.


Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (the Embrace Project) will be holding free webinars and workshops around Australia across 2019-2020 to support implementation of the Framework by mental health services, Primary Health Networks, individual practitioners and others. The webinars and workshops will provide an overview of the Framework and explore how it can be tailored to best meet your needs and the needs of your local community. See upcoming dates and register to attend below.


Webinar: Tuesday 1 October 2019 at 12-1pm AEST. Please click here to register for this webinar.

Workshops: Tentative dates are listed below (to be confirmed with all states and territories). Please click here to register for a workshop.


Hobart, TAS: 14 October 2019
Melbourne, VIC: 23 October 2019
Sydney, NSW: 6 November 2019
Adelaide, SA: 19 November 2019
Brisbane, QLD: Early December 2019
Perth, WA: TBC February/March 2020
Darwin, NT: TBC February/March 2020
Canberra, ACT: TBC



Mental Health News

Prime Minister must put the safety of children first in review of the family law system

The national early childhood peak body Early Childhood Australia (ECA) this week urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of children is at the heart of the Australian Parliament’s inquiry into the family law system.

Read more 

Legal assistance and advocacy services

National Legal Aid (NLA) together with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) will provide a free, national legal advisory service for people engaging with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The legal advisory service will be an independent, trauma informed and culturally safe service that will be delivered nationally. 

Read more 

More support to former partners of veterans

All recipients of the Partner Service Pension through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will now maintain access for at least 12 months after separating from their veteran partner, regardless of their marital status, under legislative changes passed through Parliament this week.

Read more

Lord Mayors in Canberra to flag homelessness as their capital concern

Lord Mayors of Australia’s capital cities are calling for action on homelessness, urging the Federal Government to make social and affordable housing in inner cities a key infrastructure priority. CCCLM Chair, Lord Mayor of Hobart Anna Reynolds said “Australia is in the midst of a housing affordability and homelessness crisis. It is completely unacceptable that in a country as prosperous as ours, over 100,000 people are homeless every night. “As city leaders we know many people are experiencing extreme housing stress and our staff work with people experiencing homelessness every day.”

Read more

Historic inquiry opens in Brisbane

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability officially opened in Brisbane this week. The Chair of the Royal Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO QC, said the Royal Commission is the result of the tireless campaign by people with disability and their supporters. 

Read more



On Wednesday, Harry Lovelock, Director Policy & Projects, and Ingrid Hatfield, Policy Officer will be attending the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body project workshop at the Department of Health. Harry will also be participating in the MHWA CEO Steering Committee Meeting teleconference.

On Thursday, I am looking forward to attending a data roundtable for the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project in Canberra. The Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project is a national initiative providing a focus on mental health and suicide prevention for people from culturally and linguistically (CALD) backgrounds. At the roundtable we will  discuss what we are currently doing well and what steps we can focus on in improving data collection for people from CALD backgrounds in mental health. 



Member Profiles

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s carers, advocating on behalf of Australia’s carers to influence policies and services at a national level. It works collaboratively with partners and its member organisations, the Network of state and territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services. Vision - An Australia that values and supports the contribution that carers make both to the people they care for and to the community as a whole. Purpose - Carers Australia work to improve the health, wellbeing, resilience and financial security of carers and to ensure that caring is a shared responsibility of family, community and government.
Website Facebook Twitter

Founded in 1991 Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), formerly known as the Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science (AAESS), is a professional organisation which is committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.
Vision - To enhance performance, health and well-being through the science of exercise and sport.
Mission - Lead and promote the excellence in exercise and sports science for the benefits of society and the professions.
Website - Facebook - Twitter - 



Community of Peers Project Update

Under an MoU, the Department of Health tasked the National Mental Health Commission with investigating the feasibility of establishing a member based organisation for the peer workforce in Australia. The Commission funded the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia) to undertake this work.

Their final report explores potential governance structures and models of a national organisation. The report also explored gaps and opportunities for training of the peer workforce and data on the peer workforce. The summary report outlines the key messages and topics from the final report.

Read more

Invitation to contribute to NDIS Review

Minister Stuart Robert, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, announced on 12 August 2019 that Mr David Tune AO PSM would undertake a review of the NDIS Act in order to develop the Government’s promised NDIS Participant Service Guarantee.

The Review has been open for submissions since 26 August 2019 in response to the Discussion Paper, and for any other issues organisations wish to raise.

The Review is seeking input from people with disabilities, families and carers about their experiences with the NDIS through a survey. The survey can be completed in both online and PDF forms to download, print out, complete and provide back to us. Versions of the survey for AUSLAN-speakers and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will be available soon.

Community workshops have also been organised, with the workshops being co-facilitated by people with disabilities. The first workshops take place in South Australia next week, on the 17th and 19 of September. People are encouraged to check if there is a workshop in their location and to register via Eventbrite.

Read more

Employment opportunity with Mental Health Community Coalition ACT: Policy and Systemic Advocacy Officer

MHCC ACT is seeking a person with the experience, qualifications and character for a challenging work program in a sector which has undergone massive transformation in the past few years. 

As part of a small team, and under the leadership of the Policy and Sector Development Manager, this position is responsible for the policy and systemic advocacy area of MHCC ACT’s work program. You will engage in a range of activities aimed at sustaining and strengthening non-government organisation (NGO) community managed mental health services in the ACT. The MHCC ACT’s aim is to foster the capacity of these organisations to support people with mental illness to live a meaningful and dignified life.

Please note only applications that satisfy the application process requirements will be evaluated for this position.

Applications close midnight Monday 23 September 2019.

Read more

QAMH Conference - Early bird tickets extended to Wednesday 25th September 2019

Save $110 on your ticket this week. There is still time to secure your discounted early bird ticket to the QAMH Conference. Don’t miss out on this opportunity before early bird ticketing closes on Wednesday 25th September 2019. 


Butterfly’s Body Esteem Survey closing soon

Butterfly Foundation’s Body Esteem survey is still open until September 30. We are half way to our goal of 10,000 respondents and need your help. 

More voices mean more impact to change unhealthy conversations about our bodies. With your further support of our Body Esteem survey, Butterfly can reach their goal and ultimately make body image concerns a national priority.   


The National Mental Health Commission releases Consumer and Carer Report

The Commission has released a report titled Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, 2019: The consumer and carer perspective (the 2019 Consumer and Carer Report) outlining consumer and carer experiences of mental health care as part of the Commission’s role in independently monitoring and reporting on progress of the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (the Fifth Plan).




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