Community Advisory Council June 2018

The Mental Health Community Advisory Council has 16 members including the Commissioner and Chair.

The Council has been established to advise the Commission on any mental health issue it considers appropriate or that is referred to it by the Commission.

Members are appointed by the Minister for Mental Health to reflect the diversity of the NSW community. The Commission relies on their expertise to help it understand issues that affect the mental health and wellbeing of people in NSW.

The Commissioner, Catherine Lourey, said the Community Advisory Council’s work ensured the Commission was deeply connected to the experiences of people and communities across the state. “It is extremely important that the Council’s composition echoes the geographic and cultural diversity of NSW so all communities have a voice within the Commission,” Ms Lourey said. “The Council’s engagement ensures that the Commission’s own program of work, and its advice to Government, are relevant to the real concerns and experiences of the people of NSW.”

Council members as at June 2018

Josie Anderson

Dr Josey Anderson

Josey Anderson is the Clinical Director of the Black Dog Institute and leads the Institute’s Depression Clinic. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist she has a special interest in early intervention, treatment and recovery in child and youth mental health. She also has a keen interest in innovative service development in collaboration with public, private and non-government partners-in-care.

Lyn Anderson

Ms Lyn Anderson

Lyn Anderson has 30 years’ experience caring for a loved one with mental illness. Lyn is a member of Mental Mental Health Australia’s National Register.  A founding member of the North Shore Carers Network and sits on several Northern Sydney LHD committees.  Lyn is a consultant to many carer organisations such as Mental Health Carers NSW, One Door, Carers NSW, CCNB and NSW Police mental health training. 

Mr Tom Brideson

Tom Brideson is an Aboriginal man who has provided leadership in the field of Aboriginal mental health for many years. Mr Brideson is employed as the NSW State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program.

Jenni Campbell

Ms Jenni Campbell (chair)

Jenni Campbell has a strong background in mental health leadership, planning and policy having worked across non-government recovery oriented services, primary mental healthcare and more recently as part of the executive leadership team of a large rural Primary Health Network.  Jenni was the inaugural chair of the  NSW/ACT Mental Health PHN Network, has served as a member of the Agency for Clinical Innovation Mental Health Executive Network and as a member of the Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee. Ms Campbell holds qualifications in social work and human services management and has worked in rural mental health settings for 13 years.

Maria Casaniti

Ms Maria Cassaniti 

Maria Cassaniti’s key area of interest is in the development of mental health services that respond to the needs of diverse populations. With a background in social work, Ms Cassaniti has worked for the Transcultural Mental Health Centre since 1994 and has been employed as its Manager since 2006.

Irene Gallagher

Ms Irene Gallagher

Irene Gallagher is CEO of Being, and a passionate peer support worker, advocate, educator and academic who has served in the mental health sector for 25 years. Irene is the child of refugee parents and has a particular interest in peer work, trauma informed practice, homelessness, suicidality, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. She identifies as a carer and a person with lived experience. 

Peter Gianfrancesco

Mr Peter Gianfrancesco

Peter Gianfrancesco has worked in the mental health field in Australia and the United Kingdom for 35 years. He is currently the NSW State Manager for Neami National and holds extensive clinical experience with a focus on crisis intervention and home treatment. He is passionate about recovery oriented practice.  

Tim Heffernan

Mr Tim Heffernan 

Tim Heffernan is the Mental Health Peer Coordinator at COORDINARE, South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network. Previously he worked as a consumer peer worker for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. He is a past chair of Being (NSW Consumer Advisory Group) and the NSW Public Mental Health Consumer Workers Committee. He was a foundation member of the Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Mental Health Network Executive Committee. Tim is an executive member of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative.

Cathy Kezelman

Dr Cathy Kezelman 

Cathy Kezelman is a consumer advocate, medical practitioner and President of Blue Knot Foundation, National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma. Cathy is prominent advocate for accessible informed services which empower recovery for complex trauma consumers as well as a trauma-informed approach to care. Dr Kezelman is co-author of nationally and internationally acclaimed Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery, and multiple other Blue Knot publications, which are spearheading recognition of the public health issue of unresolved trauma and pathways to recovery and resilience.

Rod McKay

Dr Rod McKay

Rod McKay is a psychiatrist and Director, Psychiatry and Mental Health Programs at the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) Mental Health Portfolio . He is also Clinical Advisor, Older People's Mental Health, Mental Health Branch, NSW Ministry of Health and current Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Community Collaboration Committee. 

 Eugene McGarrell

Mr Eugene McGarrell

Eugene McGarrell is General Manager, Community and Health Engagement at iCare NSW. Since starting his career as a mental health nurse, Mr McGarrell has amassed extensive experience working in government health and social services in the UK and Australia, including as District Director North Sydney with the Department of Family and Community Services. In this capacity, He started The Collective NSW to better connect community, government, non-government and business to work together on collective issues. 

Brian Pezzutti

Hon. Dr Brian Pezzutti 

Brian Pezzutti is a registered medical practitioner and is employed as a Director, Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care within the Northern NSW Local Health District. Dr Pezzutti was a member of the NSW Legislative Council from 1988-2003 and is Chair of the Northern NSW Local Health District Board.

Jenna Roberts

Ms Jenna Roberts (deputy chair)

Jenna Roberts is working at Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network. Ms Roberts has lived experience of mental illness and is actively involved in suicide prevention and awareness initiatives.

Jaelea Skehan

Ms Jaelea Skehan

Jaelea Skehan is the Director of Everymind and an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide. Jaelea is a registered psychologist with over 15 years of experience working in mental health and suicide prevention and holds a conjoint appointment with the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle.

Alan Woodward

Mr Alan Woodward

Alan Woodward has extensive experience in the design and conduct of research to explore consumer use and experiences of services, program evaluations, policy analysis, and services development, especially in the areas of mental health promotion and support services, suicide prevention, housing, children and young people, ageing and rural/regional service delivery. He has specialist knowledge of telephone and online services such as helplines and chat from 14 years experience as a senior executive with Lifeline Australia and an international contributor to helplines.

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Last updated: 15 October 2018