15 January 2019

People living with mental illness and their carers will benefit from a range of expertise and experience as six new Deputy Commissioners prepare to join the Mental Health Commission of NSW this month.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies today announced the appointees, who will bring a variety of expertise in clinical practice, business leadership, suicide prevention and Aboriginal Health.

“The Commission gives a voice to issues that matter for people living with a mental illness, and their families and carers, and the new appointees will play a vital role in continuing the reform of mental health care in NSW,” Mrs Davies said.

“I would also like to thank the outgoing Deputy Commissioners for their integral contribution to mental health reform across the state.”

Appointments include:

  • Mr Daniel Angus (new appointment) – psychologist and Manager of headspace, Mt Druitt;
  • Mr Thomas Brideson (new appointment) – leader in the field of Aboriginal mental health;
  • Ms Toni Garretty (new appointment) – mental health practitioner and family care coordinator;
  • Mr Tim Heffernan (new appointment) – mental health Peer Worker and lived experience leader;
  • Ms Jenna Roberts (new appointment) – suicide prevention program manager;
  • Ms Pamela Rutledge (new appointment) – board director, company secretary and community service organisation leader;
  • Mr Allan Sparkes CV, OAM, VA (reappointment) – author, distinguished civilian award winner and Beyond Blue ambassador; and
  • A/Professor Martin Cohen (reappointment) – clinician, researcher and medical educator.

NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey said the Deputy Commissioners have been drawn from metropolitan, regional and rural areas of the State.

“They represent perspectives from across the community, including lived experience of mental health issues, and caring, suicidality, Aboriginal people, young people and LGBTIQ+ people,” Ms Lourey said.

“We look forward to working with such a talented team of committed mental health advocates and professionals.”

For more information visit Mental Health Commission of NSW.