The MHCA is governed by a Board of up to ten members. The Board consists of up to eight delegates from the MHCA membership, including a consumer and a carer representative, and an additional two independent members are drawn from outside the MHCA membership consistent with Clause 21 of the MHCA Constitution.
Chair - Independent Member - Ms Jennifer Westacott
Jennifer Westacott took up the role of Chief Executive at The Business Council of Australia (BCA) in April 2011. Previously, she was a Director and National Lead Partner at KPMG, heading up the firm’s Sustainability, Climate Change and Water practice and its NSW State Government practice. Jennifer has extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales where she is an Adjunct Professor at the City Research Futures Centre. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics. In October 2012 Jennifer was appointed as a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
Deputy Chair – Professor Lyn Littlefield
Lyn is the Executive Director of the Australian Psychological Society, which represents the largest mental health workforce in Australia. She is a Registered Psychologist and Member of the Australian Psychological Society Colleges of Clinical, Counselling and Community Psychologists with over 20 years of experience in mental health in hospital and community settings. Lyn has devoted much of this time to attempting to improve mental health services in these contexts.
Member, Consumer Representative – Ms Clare Guilfoyle
Clare Guilfoyle is CEO of GROW (Australia). GROW has operated for over 50 years and was established and developed by people living with a mental illness. Clare is committed to promoting consumer leadership and advocates for greater participation by people with experience of mental illness in planning, policy and service delivery. Clare has worked in the health and community sector for over 25 years. Clare has a degree in Science (Nursing) and has experience that extends from the clinical setting, policy development, governance and strategic business development, education and research. Clare’s research background is in online health and she has published articles in refereed journals. Clare held an appointment as Honorary Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology where she was involved in post graduate education and curriculum development.
Member, Carer Representative – Mr Tony Fowke AM
Tony is the President of Mental Health Carers Arafmi Australia which is the only body that solely represents mental health carers. Tony has been a mental health carer for more than 25 years. Whilst he has retired from active practice as a lawyer he sits on the Mental Health Review Board in Perth and provides pro bono advice on mental health issues. On Australia Day 2003 Tony was appointed to be a Member of the Order of Australia for his role as an advocate for the advancement of mental health services in Australia and to the community. Tony is also the President Elect for the World Federation for Mental Health a role that has never previously been held by a carer.
Member - Mr Arthur Papakotsias
Arthur has just recently celebrated 20 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Neami Limited. Neami is an accredited, national, community based provider of mental health rehabilitation, housing and support services. With a background in Psychiatric Nursing as well as completion of post graduate studies in management at RMIT Melbourne, Arthur is very experienced with all aspects of management and service delivery of mental health services. Arthur currently sits as a Board member of the Crisis Support Services in Victoria and is completing a chapter for the Oxford University Press Third Edition of Mental Health in Australia, to be published in 2012. Arthur is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as all state based mental health peak bodies.
Member - Dr Caroline Johnson
Dr Caroline Johnson is a General Practitioner in Surrey Hills, Melbourne. Her interest in primary mental health care grew out of her experience providing professional development activities for GPs as a medical educator at the RACGP Victorian Faculty from 1996 until 2002. This led to a lecturer position at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, where Caroline has had the opportunity to teach GPs at undergraduate, vocational and postgraduate levels. She is a member of the RACGP National Standing Committee – Quality Care and has represented the RACGP on a variety of committees related to mental health, including current roles on the Mental Health Council of Australia and the Mental Health Professionals Association. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne, researching the monitoring of depression in the GP setting.
Member – Mr Geoff Harris
Geoff is currently the Executive Director of the Mental Health Coalition of SA Inc which is the peak body for mental health in South Australia. With over 15 years of experience working in health and mental health, Geoff has also served on a range of Boards including a previous stint on the Mental Health Council of Australia and current roles on the Health Performance Council (SA) and on SACOSS Policy Council. Through previous work in central Australia, Geoff gained an understanding of many of the rural and remote mental health, social and emotional well-being issues.
Member – Mr Jack Heath
Jack Heath is the CEO of SANE Australia, a national charity working for people directly affected by mental illness. Prior to SANE, and following on from the suicide of his 20 year old cousin, Jack founded the Inspire Foundation in 1997 with the idea of using the Internet to prevent youth suicide. Jack was Inspire Australia’s Executive Director from 1997 to 2007, Inspire’s Global CEO from 2008-09 and Inspire USA’s CEO from 2010-11. While working with Inspire USA, Jack was appointed to the Executive Committee of the US National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a position he still holds today.
Jack graduated from the University of Melbourne with an Honours Arts/Law degree in 1984 and was President of the Newman College Students’ Club. He has also taken executive non-profit courses at Harvard and Stanford Universities. A former diplomat, Jack also served as a Senior adviser to both Prime Minister Paul Keating and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd as well as speechwriter to Government ministers. He has received a number of awards including a Centenary Medal and Ernst & Young’s Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. He is married to Catherine Milne, a publisher with Harper Collins, and they have two high school children, Lucy and Jamie.
Member – The Hon Rob Knowles AO
The Hon Rob Knowles is a farmer and company director. Rob was recently appointed as a Mental Health Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission. Among his community involvements he is Chair of the Mental Health Council of Australia, President of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and Chair of Psychosis Australia Trust.
Independent Member – The Hon Craig Knowles
The Hon Craig Knowles is the former Minister for Health, Planning and Infrastructure, Housing and Natural Resources in the NSW Government. He holds a range of Board and advisory positions as well as serving on a number of not for profit and charitable boards. He is a fellow of the Australian Property Institute.