Catherine Lourey has been appointed NSW Mental Health Commissioner and will take up the role on August 18. Ms Lourey, who is presently a Deputy Commissioner, replaces the inaugural Mental Health Commissioner, John Feneley, whose five year term is ending.
Ms Lourey said, “I am honoured to accept this important role, where I will continue to build upon the strengths and achievements of the Commission. The lived experience of mental health consumers, and their families and carers, will remain at the heart of all the Commission’s work as we engage with the community and the mental health sector as partners and collaborators, and build the evidence to guide reform and drive accountability.
“I thank John Feneley for his path-finding stewardship as the first Commissioner, building the Commission into the effective and energised organisation that it is. I also want to thank the staff for their dedication to their work, and I look forward to working with them and the excellent Deputy Commissioners as partners in this new phase.”
Prior to joining the Commission Ms Lourey held the position of Acting Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission, where she directed the development of the 2014 national review of mental health services and programmes. She brings a wide-ranging understanding of contemporary mental health issues, and an in-depth understanding of the NSW and national context for mental health reform and priorities, developed through 30 years of experience in the health sector at the local, state and national levels.
Mr Feneley said, “I congratulate Catherine Lourey on her appointment, which creates an opportunity for the Commission to renew its relationships and restate its ambitions in an environment that has changed immeasurably in the last five years. I am proud of all the Commission has achieved so far and I wish Catherine every success in leading it into the future.”