MHCC Board

MHCC's constitution allows for up to 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.

The current Board members (and the name of their organisation) are:


Pam Rutledge - Chief Executive Officer
Flourish Australia


Pamela Rutledge is the CEO of Flourish Australia, a leading Community Managed Organsiation providing community based support and employment for people living with a mental health issue in NSW and South-East Queensland. Pam was formerly the CEO of the Richmond Fellowship of NSW.

In her early career, she worked as a Social Worker in front-line mental health service delivery, and was the Executive Officer of the Richmond Inquiry into mental health services, which started the long journey of deinstitutionalisation and community support in NSW. Before joining the community managed sector in 2009, she had over 35 years experience in senior roles in the NSW government, including experience in health, housing, and ageing and disability.

Her particular interests are the growth of social enterprises, providing training and employment for people with a psychosocial disability, the inclusion of people with a lived experience in the NDIS and the growth and development of the consumer and peer workforce.

Cam Pham B.Com, MBA, FCPA, JP


Cam has been the Finance Manager of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney since 2003 and has over 30 years' finance experience in the government and higher education sectors. She is skillful in financial strategies and has always been at the forefront of driving the ongoing change and reform to strengthen the effectiveness of financial management and to improve efficiency.

She has held various senior management roles in leading highly complex financial management portfolios with increasing service demands and policy arrangements including acting Associate Director Finance of Faculty of Arts and Head of Finance and Administration - International Students at the University of Sydney.

Cam has genuine interest in mental health, homelessness and women's well-being and was previously the Treasurer of B Miles Women Foundation. She enjoys jogging, listening to music, cooking and reading in her spare time.


Sue Sacker - General Manager Strategy and Innovation
One Door Mental Health

Vice Chair

Sue Sacker is the Deputy CEO of One Door Mental Health. She has worked at the organisation for the past 9 years in a variety of roles including organisational development and quality implementation.

Sue brought to One Door her experience in local government, on which she served for 12 years, with 4 years as Manly's first popularly elected mayor. Her experience as a community activist saw her take a lead role in establishing the Pioneer Clubhouse. Sue has a 20 year background in health and has studied community management at UTS, so far reaching Diploma level.


Judi Higgin - Chief Executive Officer
New Horizons

Judi has been actively employed in the community services sector for over 30 years. Judi commenced with New Horizons Enterprises in 1999 and in 2010 was appointed as CEO. Judi's enthusiasm and passion for the Not for Profit sector has seen her play a key role in the ongoing growth and development of New Horizons, helping the organisation forge its place as a trusted and respected community service provider.

Judi is committed to the principles of recovery, empowering individuals to achieve their potential by exercising their rights to choice and control over their own lives. She sees the biggest challenge facing the sector is achieving a balance between the changing nature of government funding and the importance of strategic partnerships and sustainability – for both the sector and individual organisations.

Judi has an Executive Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Social Science (Habilitation). Judi also has Post Graduate studies in Leadership and Management.
She has strong skills, capabilities and experience in governance, strategy, finance and risk management as well as comprehensive board experience given her tenure as a Director of MHCC and Ostara Australia.
As lead agency for Inner West Partners-in-Recovery and Headspace Ashfield New Horizons has sound governance practices and systems in place.

Luke-Butcher Luke Butcher - Area Manager, Western NSW and Special Projects
Mission Australia

Luke has spent the past 8 years working with Mission Australia in Western NSW as an Area Manager, managing a range of mental health recovery programs in rural and remote communities. Luke has lived in Orange, Broken Hill & Dubbo during this time and has an acute understanding of rural health and wellbeing. He has undergraduate qualifications in psychology and a Masters' degree in Forensic Mental Health.

Luke's passion is understanding how evidence based practice is utilised to inform service design in the community managed sector. Recently, he has been working with the University of Newcastle on a long term research project to evaluate the best ways in which to engage people with a lived experience into service delivery with specialist and mainstream services.

Luke is an innovative and strategic thinker and has a strong demonstrated track record in business development and opportunity assessment, clinical and corporate governance. The next 3 to 5 years is a critical period for the sector with the roll out of the NDIS, the implementation of the Living Well report, as well as a range of state government reforms that will impact and reshape the way in which the sector delivers its services. MHCC can take on a key role in advising government and services of the best way forward in this new landscape to ensure excellence in service delivery and seamless and integrated responses for the people and families who access services.


Jonathan Harms - Chief Executive Officer
Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW

Jonathon has a Bachelors of Arts and Laws from the University of Western Australia, and subsequently worked as a plaintiff lawyer, as well as a public servant, policy advisor and stakeholder manager for a variety of State and Federal Ministers, (Attorney General, WA and Human Services, Commonwealth), government departments (Ministry of Health), private corporations (Insurance Australia Group) and non-government organisations, including Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW.

In the course of his career he has gained significant experience in the development of policy, including regulatory schemes, such as the creation of the Life Time Care and Support Scheme for the NSW CTP and workers compensation schemes; and the Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority created to set up nationally applicable medical practitioner registrations.

After becoming CEO of Arafmi, which is the peak body for carers of people with lived experience of mental illness in NSW, he  initiated a number of changes, including the creation of Carer Peak Advisory Committee(s) to enhance stakeholder participation in Arafmi policy development; and the Carer Support Worker Forum, meeting annually and with a weekly e-newsletter, to enhance networks for carer support workers and carers across NSW for consultation and advocacy purposes.

Arafmi is now also a key partner in the Collective Purpose collaboration with Being and Way Ahead, Jonathon has a wide range of relevant experience in community organisation management to offer the MHCC Board.


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

Mariam has a background in Social Science and Policy, Education and Management with over 20 years' experience in community, primary and mental health care. Her work has included the planning, co-design, implementation and management of numerous primary and mental health services and programs. Mariam has also been on the Boards of the St George Youth Services and Al Zahra Muslim Women's Association.

Mariam's strategic leadership, ability to engage a broad range of stakeholders, comprehensive understanding of health and deep caring nature has seen her champion innovative models of care that improve the patient journey and health outcomes of our community.


Claire Vernon - Chief Executive Officer

Claire began as Chief Executive Officer at JewishCare at the end of January 2007. Claire came to the non government sector after many years in senior executive roles in NSW Government Departments.

Claire started her career as a social worker in the 1970s and worked for ten years as a caseworker. She then moved into NSW Health to run statewide programs and quality reviews and develop policy in diverse areas such as womens health, funding reform, violence against women and helping victims of crime. Claire moved to the Attorney General's Department to head up a crime prevention program and was then Director of Victims Services for five years. During her time the Approved Counselling Scheme which provided counselling to victims of crime increased significantly and granted approvals within 48 hours.

Claire is passionate about Mental Health and wellbeing and the program at JewishCare has grown significantly during her time as CEO. The program is funded by the Jewish community and supports hundreds of people living with a mental illness and their families and carers.

Irene Gallagher

Irene Gallagher - Consumer Representative

Irene Gallagher has played an active role in the mental health sector for more than 20 years. She 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. Irene is a qualified psychotherapist and certified mindfulness practitioner.

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. She holds a number of advocacy positions at a local, state and national level in both board and committee capacities.