Meet the Board

Board Directors are elected for three year terms at the WAAMH Annual General Meeting in October or November of each year. Read our constitution here.  

Directors


Kerry Hawkins

Kerry Hawkins

President

Kerry has been a carer representative on the WAAMH board for four years and was appointed president of WAAMH in November 2016. Kerry has acquired a solid understanding of the issues facing the mental health sector, particularly those faced by community mental health services in an uncertain, rapidly changing funding and practice environment.

This experience is complemented by her professional career in the private, education and public sectors, including working as a project management consultant at KPMG, a high school teacher, and a strategic advisor for the National Native Title Tribunal.

Kerry has previously worked as a senior program manager for the the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Mental Health Commission, and as a Carer Consultant for North Metro Adult Health Service. Her other board appointments include vice president of Helping Minds and WA director for Emerging Minds.

A graduate of Boston University's Global Leadership Institute's Recovery Class of 2013, Kerry is also able to draw on her lived experience as a family member.

Pamela Gardner

Pamela Gardner

Vice President

Pam is passionate about mental health, particularly for rural and remote communities.  Having lived from the Kimberleys to Esperance, and caring for two family members experiencing mental health distress, Pam understands the difficulties in gaining information and services.

After a career teaching teenagers with intellectual disabilities, Pam thinks it is vital to learn from every sector and build upon that knowledge to create a unique way forward partnering with consumers, carers, and the wider community so that centralism and ‘one size fits all’ are no longer the dominant themes of decision makers or overwhelm the little voices.  Pam is experienced in project management, strategic planning, and workforce development and has degrees in Education and Psychology.


Neil Guard

Neil Guard

Board Director and CEO, Richmond Wellbeing

Neil Guard joined Richmond Wellbeing in May 2016, following a career spanning 15 years in the corporate sector and 17 years in both the government and and more recently, not-for-profit sectors in WA.

From 2008 - 2015, Neil was the executive director of the WA Drug and Alcohol Office, with state-wide responsibilities for the development and implementation of the alcohol and drug policy, state-wide provision and purchasing of services, and delivery or workforce development and prevention programs across WA. During this period, Neil was seconded by the Minister of Mental Health to the newly created position of Acting Mental Health Commissioner.

He also played a leadership role in the development of two state policies: Mental Health 2020 and the Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs Plan 2015 - 2015. Neil has a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the NDIS and its implications, and has developed string relationships with all sides of politics, and the mental health and community services sectors.

Mick Geaney

Mick Geaney

Board Director & CEO, Hope Community Services

With 33 years experience in senior and middle management roles in both the public service and not-for-profit community services sector, Mick has been involved with leading organisational change, service design and implementation, and numerous community development initiatives. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, a Master of Business Administration and is a 2011 graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Justine Colyer

Justine Colyer

Board Director & CEO, Rise

Justine has 25 years experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors in Australia, the UK and Europe.  During  that time she has worked to support and promote the needs and rights of some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our community.  Her skills and qualifications focus on strategic planning, project management, risk management, stakeholder engagement and governance.

She has held senior positions in the  fields of project management, strategic asset management, policy and legislation, housing, prison management, community development and suicide prevention.  She has undertaken pro-bono work in the areas above as well as drug counselling, adult literacy and board positions on NFPs for housing, social services, domestic violence and intellectual disability.

Monique Williamson

Monique Williamson

Board Director & CEO, MIFWA

Monique Williamson is CEO of Mental Illness Fellowship West Australia (MIFWA), a member organisation of the national organisation Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA). Monique has a Masters in Social Change and Development and has worked in community services since 1990, in both the NGO and public sectors in WA. She spent the past decade in senior sector development roles including with the peak body National Disability Services and as an executive director of the Disability Service Commission. As MIFWA’s CEO Monique works alongside people and their families, staff, volunteers and the Board of Management to develop and implement support and services for people experiencing mental health issues. Monique has a long standing interest in working alongside individuals and families to co-design effective support and services.

Tara Reale

Tara Reale

Board Director & Consumer Representative

Tara has a Bachelor of Psychology with First Class Honours and is currently undertaking Masters in Clinical Psychology. Having also completed a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, Tara brings a unique perspective that combines both academic expertise and the lived experience of recovery.

Tara has worked and volunteered in WA mental health for the past decade, with experience in both the public and NGO sectors. During this time she has held positions on a number of systemic level boards/committees including the Mental Health Bill Implementation Reference Group, the Eating Disorders Mental Health Sub-Network Steering Group, and Bridges Eating Disorders Association of WA. In such roles Tara has used her lived experience of recovery to promote person-centered care and to advocate for the consumer voice to be instrumental in the development and evaluation of mental health services and policy. Tara aims to challenge existing social discourses in order to dispel stigma and promote understanding across a broad range of social issues including mental illness.

Rod Astbury

Rod Astbury

Chief Executive Officer

Rod has been the Chief Executive Officer of WAAMH since May 2012. He is a director of the WA Primary Health Alliance and Convenor of the Executive Leadership Group of Community Mental Health Australia, the national community mental health ‘peak of peaks’.

Rod is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013), has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (2006) and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (1993). He has worked as an independent consultant and was the WA/NT Manager of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service from 2003 to 2011. He has substantial public sector management experience with both state and commonwealth governments.  

Rod also has extensive professional experience as a social worker in Child and Family Services, Mental Health and Rehabilitation services and was the Principal Social Worker with the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service and the Department of Immigration in WA.

Richard Oades

Richard Oades

Board Director and CEO Pathways SouthWest

Richard Oades has 40 years’ experience in human services, including 37 years’ management in government and not-for-profit organisations. He has been on the WAAMH board since 2016, is a director of South West Refuge (Domestic Violence) and Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation plus an advisory member of Walkabunning Kiaka, Healing Centre Task Force.

Richard has a PhD of Philosophy in Social Sustainability, Master of Arts in Community and Social Work Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Social Work and a Bachelor of Science (Joint Hons) in Sociology and Economic & Social History.

His passion is community development. He worked in community corrections in Sydney and Perth before managing the Kimberley Office. Across 13 years in the Kimberley he worked with many remote Aboriginal communities and their social issues before becoming Kimberley Manager, Department for Community Development.

In Perth he was principal policy officer (Responsible Parenting) and managed district offices, and the Community Skills Training Centre whilst being the state’s national representative on ‘Youth Protocols’, Emergency Relief and work competencies for the Human Services and Health Sectors.

Richard was director of statewide Crisis Care services operating 24 hours a day, 7 days each week, where he worked closely with the Psychiatric Emergency Team whilst managing many services, including the Men’s and Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline, Bali Helpline, Disability Services, Child Protection and the Family Court (as its after hours service). He moved to the South West of the state, project managing development of Supertowns for South West Development Commission before moving to Pathways in 2012.

Lorna MacGregor

Lorna MacGregor

Board Director and CEO, Lifeline WA

Lorna is an experienced executive with over 30 years of experience in management and senior management roles in both the corporate and community sectors, including HBF, Activ, healthdirect Australia and Perth North Metro Medicare Local. She has been CEO of Lifeline WA since January, 2016 and is committed to a community that fosters emotional and mental wellbeing for all, while advocating for systemic change for vulnerable populations.

Lorna has significant experience as a Board Director, having been a Director, and Chaired, many not for profit boards in the arts, aged care and education sectors. Lorna was also Co-Chair of the Disability Health Network Workforce Development Working Group which sought to improve health outcomes for people with disability.

Lorna has an MBA, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management

Debbie Childs

Debbie Childs GAICD

Board Director and CEO, HelpingMinds

Debbie brings a wealth of experience in leadership, including extensive experience as a Board Director with both not-for-profit and commercial businesses. Debbie also sits on several committees, working groups and an IPS Board, as well as being a committee member of Mental Health Carers Australia. In addition to this, Debbie has been an active member of the steering committee implementing the new national guide: “A Practical Guide for Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness”.

As a highly motivated, passionate and methodical senior leader, Debbie has significant leadership and management experience in the not-for-profit, corporate and small to medium enterprise sectors. With a reputation for reliability, integrity, and having a great sense of humour, Debbie loves the challenge of developing outstanding teams, achieving targets and fostering a culture of high engagement and productivity working in a collaborative and dynamic organisation. Debbie continues to lead change at HelpingMinds to ensure the services offered are effective and meeting community needs. Through a wide network and collaborations with other organisations, Debbie is committed to improving the services offered to communities throughout WA for those impacted by a mental health issue.

With lived experience as a mental health carer, Debbie is a passionate advocate within the sector and is a regular speaker at conferences and forums.

Emma Jarvis

Emma Jarvis

Board Director and Ruah Community Services

Emma is Vice Chair of the WA AIDS Council and Executive Manager of Operations at Ruah Community Services who has over 18 years experience in the non-government, Government and corporate sectors as an executive, consultant, coach and senior clinician.

Emma is a respected, values-based business and clinical leader with sound judgment, commercial acumen, and a stakeholder focus. She is a strategic thinker who has lead change resulting in improved board and operational governance and performance. Emma is experienced with clinical and organisational development, culture change, leadership development, dispute solution, risk management and mentoring.

Emma has worked in Executive roles in both the mental health and Alcohol and Other Drug Sector.

She promotes innovative solutions to complex issues. She has a deep understanding of the tensions between relationships and results within leadership and how these impact the bottom line.

Emma is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a Masters in Applied Social Studies, a Post-Graduate Diploma and a Post Qualifying Award in Social Work, a Bachelors with Hons in Theology, and a Certificate IV in Coaching - with specialist streams in Executive and Workplace coaching. Emma is a registered as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with the AASW. She is an accredited provider of Hogan Assessment Systems.