John Feneley
31 March 2017

My five year term as Commissioner will expire on 31 July 2017 and I have decided not to seek an additional term.

I am exceptionally proud of what the Commission has achieved since its establishment in 2012 under the Mental Health Commission Act.

Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024, which the Commission delivered to the Government after the most extensive consultation about mental health ever undertaken in this state, now underpins reform directions not just in the mental health system but across the entire spectrum of Government and non-government responses. It is a complete reorientation of how we promote wellbeing and support mental health, which has the community at its centre and is informed at every stage by the lived experience of people who have a mental illness and their families and carers.

The Commission has a unique status as an independent statutory agency focused on reform and innovation. I have endeavoured to harness all the freedom this offers to translate promising new ideas into practice and amplify their impact. The Commission has brokered highly creative relationships across the research, non-profit, government and lived experience communities, influencing people to think in ways that challenge old orthodoxies and make a real, positive difference in people’s lives.

In the end it is all about the community. I am glad the Commission has been able to start a different public conversation, in which the capacity of people who experience mental illness is acknowledged and celebrated, and wellbeing for everyone is recognised as a legitimate goal. I will continue that conversation in the weeks ahead but wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many extraordinary people from all parts of NSW and all sorts of backgrounds who have welcomed, informed and advised me in my role.

John Feneley.

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Last updated: 24 June 2017