The Community Advisory Council (Council) is established under Section 10 of the Mental Health Commission Act 2012. The Council is appointed by the Minister for Mental Health on the recommendations of the Commission.
The Council reflects the diversity of NSW and supports the Commission to understand the issues that affect the mental health and wellbeing of people in NSW.
Council Meeting Communiques
Council members as at 20 May 2020:
Ms Carmel Tebbutt (Chair)
Ms Tebbutt is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Coordinating Council, the peak body for community managed organisations working for mental health in NSW. Ms Tebbutt also currently holds Director roles at several organisations including Media Super, the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Mental Health Australia. Prior to working in the non-Government sector Ms Tebbutt served a distinguished parliamentary career that spanned 17 years holding a number of Ministerial portfolios, including Health and Education and Training and was the first female Deputy Premier. Ms Tebbutt is a member of a range of NSW Ministry of Health and Primary Health Network advisory groups. Ms Tebbutt is an advocate for supporting people to live well within the community through maintaining access to a range of health and social services.
Miss Heidi Keevers (Deputy Chair)
Miss Keevers is a Consumer Peer Worker and has held the role of Mental Health Consumer Partnership Coordinator for Northern NSW Local Health District since 2012 and previous role as a Peer Support Worker within a community-managed organisation. Miss Keevers is actively involved in systemic advocacy, holding roles as the Lived Experience Co-Chair of the Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Mental Health Network Executive and as a Consumer Subcommittee member to the Mental Health Program Council. Miss Keevers also holds numerous other roles as a representative of people with a lived experience of mental health issues and the Peer Workforce within the NSW Ministry of Health including as previous Chairperson of the NSW Health Consumer Peer Workforce Committee.
Miss Ann Baker
Miss Baker is the District Coordinator, Aboriginal Mental Health South West Sydney Local Health District, formerly State Coordinator of Aboriginal Mental Health with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW. Over her career Miss Baker has gained extensive experience in the mental health/social and emotional wellbeing roles of a Registered Nurse in both community and acute mental health settings and has had executive roles in several Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Miss Baker has worked with rural, remote and urban communities and her experience has given her a solid grounding in clinical practice, programs and policy.
Ms Kathi Boorman
Ms Boorman has been involved in the mental health sector for over 25 years in NSW both serving in Government and the community managed sector. Currently, Ms Boorman is the Chief Executive Officer for One Door Mental Health, a board member of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) and previously served as the Director of Community and Clinical Services at Parramatta Mission. Ms Boorman has a passion for early intervention and an extensive understanding of the need for integrated, person-centred and recovery mental health services to all ages. She has held senior roles with Northern Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Local Health District and has frontline experience as a social worker for community adult mental health teams.
Dr Paul Fung
Dr Fung has worked extensively in a broad range of mental health services, primarily in the community sector. Dr Fung is the Clinical Director of Enhanced Services at Parramatta Mission, overseeing five teams across four primary health networks that deliver care for those with severe and complex mental health needs within the primary mental health care sector. He is the Psychiatry Academic Lead at Health Education Training Institute Higher Education and a member of the Academic Board. Dr Fung also serves on the Sydney North Health Network Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Committee and the World Psychiatric Association Section of Early Career Psychiatrists Board (Australia and New Zealand representative). Dr Fung is also an accredited GP training supervisor and has established opportunities for GPs and GP registrars to develop mental health skills through an apprenticeship model within community mental health services.
Dr Jonathan Ho
Dr Jonathan Ho is a practicing GP in Wagga Wagga with a special interest in mental health. He has extensive experience working in mental health; Jonathan previously held roles in youth mental health, at Headspace and adult mental health, at LikeMind. Jonathan also worked at Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Cooperation specialising in Aboriginal health. Dr Ho specialises in mental health, drug and alcohol and forensic mental health care. He is the Forensic Medical Lead for the Violence, Abuse and Neglect Service at the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, as well as a Visiting Medical Officer at the Far West Local Health District for Violence, Abuse and Neglect. In 2017 he was awarded GP registrar of the year (Murrumbidgee/ACT). Dr Ho was also awarded the 2019 NSW Mental Health Commissioner’s Community Champion Award. Dr Ho’s practice is inclusive, and he adopts a person-centred, trauma-informed approach in his work, ensuring that he provides a safe space for his patients particularly those in the LGBTIQ+ community. Dr Ho also has very strong connections to the Aboriginal community and has formed strong bonds in his capacity as a doctor - in service to adults and young people.
Mr Khaled Kamalmaz
Mr Kamalmaz is a Provisional Bilingual Psychologist as part of a culturally and religiously-sensitive community-based mental health team known as AMAN Health, which was formed as a collaboration between Sydney Local Health District and the Lebanese Muslim Association. In this role Mr Kamalmaz targets tobacco addiction and frequently facilitates mental health workshops, attends conferences and forums. He is the Arabic speaking media candidate for AMAN Health; conducting live interviews with radio stations such as SBS Arabic radio on topics such as mental health first aid courses and topics related to addiction and tobacco use, attracting as many as 20,000 listeners in each interview. Mr Kamalmaz’s previous roles include Work Care and Rehabilitation Consultant at Advanced Personnel Management, and Youth Mentor and Mentoring Team Leader within the field of child protection. In 2019 Mr Kamalmaz presented at Sydney Local Health District’s Innovation and Research Symposium. Mr Kamalmaz is also the Mental Health Community Advisory Council’s young person representative.
Mr Nicholas Kosseris
Mr Kosseris holds the Consumer Partnership Coordinator position with the Mid North Coast Local Health District, following a 14-year career with the NSW Police. Mr Kosseris was medically discharged in 2011 after having attained the rank of Detective Senior Sergeant. Mr Kosseris is the Deputy Chairperson of the NSW Consumer Peer Workforce Committee and was involved in the creation of a co-located Mental Health Peer Worker role to work across Lifeline Mid Coast, FACS (now Department of Communities and Justice) and the Mid North Coast Local Health District Mental Health Service. He is the facilitator of the Mental Health Consumer Advisory Group, LEOS “Lived Experience Of Suicide” Advisory Group and a member of the Mid North Coast Local Health District Mental Health Service Leadership Team bringing lived experience leadership to the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Mr Kosseris also developed a Mid North Coast Peer Workforce Network to connect peer workers from both government and non-government agencies.
Mr Craig Mack
Mr Mack is a social medial and content strategist, lecturer, speak, LGBTIQ+ blogger and copywriter. Mr Mack has been a senior manager leading and influencing teams in campaign planning and development. He has held senior roles within organisations including RedBalloon, Weight Watchers and the National Heart Foundation of Australia. Mr Mack is lecturer at Sydney University and Macleay College and is a mentor to students and young marketers. Mr Mack is well respected leader in the LGBTIQ+ community having worked with ACON in a variety of capacities for almost 20 years. He is a steering committee member for the development of an LGBTI Suicide Prevention Training Program and an Ambassador for suicide prevention organisation R U OK?.
Associate Professor Faye McMillan
Associate Professor Faye McMillan was awarded 2019 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. She was a founding member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and is a member of a number of boards of directors. A/Prof McMillan is the Director of the Djirruwang Program – Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) at Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga. In 2014 A/Prof McMillan was recognised in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence. Her research interests are in Nation Building, Indigenous women in leadership roles, and her Doctorate focused these two areas of research into her thesis as well as mental health. A/Prof McMillan seeks to use her own lived experiences to share with others with the hope that it could make a difference and to appreciate the transformative opportunities that education can provide.
Ms Sandra Morgan
Ms Morgan is a strong mental health advocate and has worked in mental health services for over a decade, based at Queanbeyan, and lives within the community where she works. Ms Morgan is passionate about issues of social justice and one major project she has worked on, as part of a team, was the transitioning of 19 people who were long-stay mental health patients from the David Morgan Centre, Kenmore in Goulburn into community-based accommodation. Currently, Ms Morgan holds a role of one of the Mental Health Consumer Advocate’s for Southern NSW Local Health District Mental Health Services and she is also the Consumer Lead for the NSW Ministry of Health program, My Choice: Pathways to Community Living and is a member of the Agency for Clinical Innovation, Mental Health Executive Network Committee and the Assistant Leader to the Queanbeyan Recovery Group. Sandra has completed a Bachelor of Medical Science and was the 2015 NSW Mental Health Commissioner’s Community Champion Award.
Ms Helen Pokorny
Ms Helen Pokorny has an extensive background in community and mental health work. Her community experience includes suicide prevention, homelessness, family violence, advocacy and community development. As a lived experience carer, she advocates for inclusion, cross-system service integration, and family-oriented practice. She is a member of the Western NSW Local Health District Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Consultancy Committee and the Willcannia-Forbes Family and Carer Mental Health Program Support Group. She is an active member of various online mental health forums and participates in the Western NSW Local Health District Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Consumer Engagement Program. Helen’s mental health experience includes clinical nursing roles in a number of inpatient mental health settings, as well as non-clinical service delivery and management roles in a range of community-based mental health support settings. Helen has an ongoing interest in stigma, the perception and experience of stigma by people with lived experience of mental illness, their families and carers, and the effects these have on their ability to participate fully in the community and benefit from helping systems.
Ms Robin Scott
Ms Scott currently works as a Consultant Mental Health Nurse with the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service. Ms Scott’s career as a nurse, spans thirty years and commenced in the Royal Australian Air Force where she worked as a medic for five years. Ms Scott has worked in acute and community-based public mental health services in NSW and has also worked in adult and juvenile forensic settings in Australia and Canada. Over recent years Ms Scott has practiced as a private consultant in education and training and consulted to NSW Police (Mental Health Intervention Team), The NSW Institute of Psychiatry, and The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health. Robin also presented regular workshops on the NSW Mental Health Act and Mental Health Emergency Care for rural and remote areas in the Hunter New England Local Health District. Ms Scott held the Senior Clinical Nurse Consultant for Rural Critical Care Emergency and Outreach Mental Health in the north western region of Hunter New England Local Health District. Ms Scott lectured and tutored into the CSU Emergency Mental Health Paramedic Program and worked as a Research Nurse for the University of Newcastle within the School of Medicine and Public Health. As a defence force veteran and serving cadet forces officer, Ms Scott works voluntarily with the Australian Defence Force Cadet Services as a squadron Commanding Officer and is an accredited Mental Health First Aid (youth) instructor for the Australian Air Force Cadets.
Mr Steven Stanton
Mr Stanton is a Gomeroi Man from north west NSW and is currently Head of Strategy and Market Development at Plan Partners, part of ASX listed McMillan Shakespeare Group. Specialising in providing financial services and management to people with a disability and provide intermediary services across the broader human services sector. Mr Stanton worked previously as General Manager at LiveBetter Community Services, responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Health and Community Services divisions including; Aged Care and Home Care, Disability, Primary, Allied Health and Mental Health Services, Child, Youth and Family Services, Early Learning, Building and Transport Services nationally. He has held senior roles with Housing Plus, Mission Australia and Western NSW Local Health District and previously was appointed as Chairperson of the National Indigenous Engagement Council and Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Mr Stanton is also part of the University of Sydney’s Global Executive MBA program.
Mrs Katie Tonacia CF OAM
Mrs Tonacia is a Mental Health Educator, with a speciality in preventative mental health education and disaster management, lived experience carer of a loved one with chronic PTSD and has spent the last 11 years working in the Australian Federal Police. Mrs Tonacia is the Co-Founder of Picking Up the Peaces, an organisation established to support, educate and reduce stigma for the many frontline uniformed service personnel and their families. She has delivered mental health education and awareness programs to many frontline organisations such as The Australian Federal Police International Deployment Group, ACT Fire and Rescue, Melbourne Fire Brigade, ACT Health Justice and Community Safety. She has completed a Churchill Fellowship in Addressing Mental Health Stigma and was 2019 Lifeline Woman of Spirit Award Finalist, she received the 2018 Australian Federal Police Service Medal and was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2014. Mrs Tonacia was nominated as ACT (and surrounding regions) 2020 woman of the year and inducted onto the ACT Honour roll for her years of dedication to mental health and the community.