"The Advisory Council is 'live' and the experiences of council members are actively sought to drive and strengthen the depth of the work done by the MHCC."
- Dr Anthony Stratford, Chair
The MHCC's Advisory Council began operating in 2016 after an extensive consultation process. The Advisory Council is a key way we ensure our work is informed and driven by people with lived experience as consumers, families, support people and carers, or who work in mental health services. Members draw on their personal and professional expertise and experiences to give us strategic advice and insights, collaborating on our projects and informing changes to our practice. Secretariat support for the Advisory Council is provided by the MHCC's Senior Adviser, Lived Experience and Education.
"It is a privilege to be part of the MHCC's Advisory Council, which advocates strongly and is driven by the person's lived experience."
- Debbie Prout, Member
Our Advisory Council members are people of different ages, cultural and linguistic backgrounds and gender and sexual identities. Each has their own motivation for wanting to effect change through the MHCC.
Dr Anthony Stratford played an integral role in establishing the Advisory Council and brings deep insights from his lived experience along with broad national and international experience in recovery-oriented practice, research, training and peer-led initiatives. Dr Stratford is driven to see recovery-oriented practice embedded into all aspects of mental health treatment and care.
"Developing humane systems, processes and wise treatment practices which support healing for people experiencing mental distress is beneficial for everyone and lays a solid foundation for future developments."
-Robyn Callaghan, Member
Robyn Callaghan has seen and experienced some disturbing environments and behaviour in mental health services. She utilises her lived experience as a consumer and in peer-led recovery to work with others committed to upholding human rights and dignity and contributing to recommendations which will help reform mental health services and systems to be more humane, less discriminatory and wiser in practice.
Katrina Clarke has worked as a Senior Family/Carer Consultant since 2007 and is passionate about lived experience engagement and progression of the mental health workforce. She remains abreast of current advocacy issues through her membership of many national, state local and regional groups. Katrina is a Community Member for the Mental Health Tribunal, on the Executive of the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the Board of Tandem, and supports the Carer Lived Experience Workforce in Victoria.
Dean Duncan is the Executive Director of Education for VACCHO and a proud Kamilaroi man who was awarded NAIDOC's National Person of the Year in 2019. He has dedicated his life to creating positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and will help ensure the MHCC is culturally responsive and accessible.
Hanna Jewell brings extensive experience in clinical mental health services, workforce training and family inclusive practice to the Advisory Council. She aims to help clinicians, consumers, families and service staff improve service responses for people experiencing mental ill-health and their families.
Elvis Martin, our Youth Member, is an Ambassador for RUOK? Day and the National Youth Commission Australia as well as Chair of the National Youth Advisory Committee of the Red Cross. The focus of his leadership and advocacy work is on young people and mental health, homelessness, family violence, suicide prevention and LGBTIQ issues. He uses his platform, including a large social media following, to promote inclusion, diversity and equality for all.
Annette Mercuri, a Carer Consultant, has seen the negative impact that excluding family and carers from treatment and support can have on families and recovery through two generations of mental ill-health in her family. She is a strong advocate for consumers, clinicians and family and carers working together to create better outcomes for all.
Gloria Sleaby has worked in complaints resolution and has a family member with lived experience of mental ill-health. Currently a finance professional in the healthcare industry, she is motivated to contribute advice that influences positive change for consumers and carers.
Tom Wood draws upon his lived experience of mental health issues and as a consumer to advocate for high quality, accessible, respectful and innovative mental health services. He is a project peer worker at Peninsula Health Mental Health and on the Committee of Management of VMIAC. Tom believes lived experience voices are integral to effective reform in mental health.
Debbie Prout is a Senior Mental Health Nurse who has worked in adult, child and adolescent clinical and leadership positions in public mental health services since 1997. Debbie is keen to ensure consumer voices are heard and that people pay attention to their insights on how public mental health services can be improved.