Our Board

MHCC’s constitution allows for  7 – 11 Directors, comprising of 7-9 Elected Directors and up to 2 Appointed Directors. Elected Directors on the Board are representatives of member organisations who are elected by the membership for a term of three years. Directors are able to renominate at the end of their term to a maximum of three successive terms. The Board meets a minimum of six times a year.

Our Board members are passionate supporters of MHCC and bring a strong diversity of skills to the organisation.

Judi Higgin

MHCC provides a strong and united voice for the community managed mental health sector. It influences policy and practice whilst advocating and raising awareness for people with a lived experience. In a choice-based environment MHCC is primed to play a primary role in building sector capacity and workforce development, including the lived experience workforce.  Similarly, governance and quality are key areas, both of which rely on targeted data collection.

Cam Pham – B.Com, MBA, FCPA, JP

MHCC helps bring conversations about mental health to the forefront. There are cultural stigmas associated with mental illness – asking for help can sometimes be seen as a weakness. I am motivated to help MHCC shift this mindset so that people who struggle with their mental health feel safe to ask for support.

Understanding our mental health helps us be better citizens, employees and leaders.  And yet, talking about mental health at work can be difficult. In many workplaces, there is a tendency to conceal our emotional state in fear of being perceived negatively. I would like to see MHCC continue supporting the sector and extending programs for employers so people can bring their ‘whole self’ to the workplace.

Jonathan Harms
Chief Executive Officer
Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW

Jonathan has worked as a plaintiff lawyer, public servant, policy advisor and stakeholder manager for a variety of State and Federal Ministers, departments, private corporations and non-government organisations. As CEO of Arafmi he created the Carer Peak Advisory Committees to enhance stakeholder participation in Arafmi policy development and the Carer Support Worker Forum, to enhance networks for carer support workers and carers across NSW. Arafmi is now also a key partner in the Collective Purpose collaboration with Being and Way Ahead.

Mariam Faraj
General Manager of Clinical Services
Central and Eastern Sydney PHN

The work of the MHCC is important at this crucial time of change in the mental health sector with evolving government policy and multiple reforms. It is important that CMO’s are supported as they adapt to a rapidly changing policy and funding environment, and that they continue to promote the value and success of mental health support delivered in the community. Work in mental health requires multiple sectors with complex systems to work together to bring about change. The MHCC, with a clear vision, strategic leadership and real-time support of its members, is leading this work. I support the MHCC to be a leading peak organisation that shapes policy and drives reform.

Claire Vernon
Chief Executive Officer

The role of the not-for-profit community mental health sector needs to be highlighted and promoted.  MHCC is well placed to be across government and industry reforms and to ensure the sector is included in debates and reforms. Like many small not-for-profits, JewishCare really relies on peak organisations to continually scan our environment and respond strategically.

The MHCC provides a great way for workers across the sector to network and I would love to see more staff from NSW Health attending the high quality courses.  While the NDIS is providing wonderful supports for some clients living with mental health issues, there are many who will never be part of the NDIS.  MHCC will have to continue to work hard to ensure that the government keeps services in place for them.

Margaret Bowen
Chief Executive Officer
The Disability Trust

Both wider society and the social sector are changing rapidly, and we need to strenuously support people with mental health conditions to have a voice in how these changes play out. Affording choice and control for people with a lived experience is an ongoing challenge we need to meet.  A truly transformative service system is built on recognition of lived experience. The MHCC has a role in equipping our sector to respond to new and emerging challenges through advocating for adequate funding, encouraging research into best practice and delivering a well-articulated plan for the future.

The MHCC has always consulted with stakeholders including consumers, carers and service providers and is very well equipped to represent the sector.  It is a real privilege to contribute to a peak body that has so much compassion and strength.

Irene Gallagher
Chief Executive Officer
Being – Mental Health & Wellbeing Consumer Advisory Group

Irene Gallagher is passionate about using her voice as a consumer and supporting others on their recovery journey to find hope and lead purposeful and meaningful lives. She has worked as a program manager and counsellor in both government and non-government mental health services and private practice. As Peer Workforce Manager, Irene led substantial growth in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District’s peer workforce. She also used her experience in education to set up the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College. Irene is the founder of Peer Work Matters, a consumer-led organisation focusing on developing and expanding the peer workforce in NSW.

Mark Orr
Chief Executive Officer
Flourish Australia

MHCC is an important part of ensuring the community managed sector is well informed, has the capacity to respond and can contribute actively to policy debates. In a rapidly changing environment, MHCC provides an important, focused voice for the community managed mental health sector in NSW. It demonstrates to Government and other funders the depth and breadth of the experience of community managed organisations, and the positive impact they have on the lives of people with lived experience, their families and carers.

I hope MHCC continues to develop its capacity to pose to Government priority areas for mental health sector development and funding, drawing on the experience of Members, people with lived experience, and their families and carers.

Mark has a specific interest in service redesign, innovation and evaluation, and, in particular, the use of technology to deliver information and supports to people with lived experience, their families and carers. He is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Public Health in that area at the University of New South Wales.