13 December 2023
On 28 and 29 November, PACFA’s CEO Johanna de Wever attended Mental Health Australia’s Annual General Meeting, Grace Groom Memorial Oration, and Policy Forum in Canberra.
Mental Health Australia (MHA) members and guests were treated to an inspirational appearance by special guest speaker and 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt at the Grace Groom Memorial Oration, held at the National Portrait Gallery on the evening of Tuesday 28 November.
At the Memorial Oration, Taryn shared her story and work surrounding of body image advocacy and the effects of body image on mental health.
The next day, at the Mental Health Australia Member Policy Forum, over 60 Mental Health Australia delegate members gathered from 8:30 am to participate in discussions that brought the mental health sector together, and identified priorities for change, with the common goal of creating a better mental health system for all Australians.
Mental Health Australia CEO, Carolyn Nikoloski, provided an overview of MHA’s accomplishments along the organisation’s journey, which included the release of the 2023 Report to the Nation.
During the Forum, National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF) Co-Chairs Roz Harvard and Jordan Frith held an informative presentation regarding embedding a human rights approach to mental health, and addressed how the sector can work together.
Other key individuals from the sector also spoke at the Forum: the acting Assistant Secretary from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Caitlin O’Brien, shared the Department’s delivery plan for the National Mental Health Workforce strategy. Corri McKenzie, Deputy CEO of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), discussed improving the experience of those with psychosocial disability in the NDIS. Additionally, ReachOut Australia CEO and Board Director of Mental Health Australia, Ash de Silva, spoke about opportunities for the mental health sector to drive digital innovation.
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