Meet the Board of Directors
Board Directors are elected for three year terms at the WAAMH Annual General Meeting in December each year.
President / Chairperson
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 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.
Deputy Chairperson & CEO of Hope Community Services
As chief services officer, Pam is responsible for the provision of mental health, drug and alcohol, family and domestic violence and youth justice services statewide for Hope Community Services. Pam understands the challenges and complexities of navigating systems and is a strong advocate for the provision of quality, sustainable services in metropolitan, remote and regional WA.
Pam has extensive experience in adult and youth mental health, having worked in both the public and non-government sector. She has specialist knowledge in the areas of First Episode Psychosis, residential and community-based mental health services, and has been instrumental in the implementation of peer supports throughout her career.
As chair of the Clinical Governance Committee at Hope, Pam has an excellent understanding of governance and risk at an operational and corporate level. She is adept at driving forward strategic objectives and is a pragmatic leader. Pam holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in psychology and youth mental health and is on the Youth Mental Health Sub-Network Committee at the Department of Health. Pam holds a board position for a large national volunteer organisation at a local level and is an active community member. She is also committed to reconciliation with First Nations people.
Deputy Chairperson & Lived Experience Representative
Claire is a manager in the Strategy and Transactions division at professional services firm, EY. Claire predominately works with government clients across the health and human services sectors, with a special interest in mental health. Within health and human services Claire specialises in service design, service redesign, gaps analysis and service evaluation. Claire is passionate about supporting her clients to use data and information to make evidence-based decisions. To further her skills and knowledge in this area, Claire is completing a Masters degree in Predictive Analytics at Curtin University.
Claire also has living experience of mental illness since adolescence and her recovery journey continues today. Claire is passionate about advocating for change in the mental health sector and draws on her living experience expertise where necessary and appropriate to complement her business skills and knowledge. Most recently, Claire was appointed the lived experience consumer representative on the WA Joint Services Planning and Governance Committee to oversee the implementation of the mental health and suicide prevention initiatives under the Bilateral Schedule.
Claire has previously worked in the mental health sector, through service provider HelpingMinds and with WAAMH. Through this work, Claire gained extensive experience in project-based work, psychosocial disability within the NDIS and systemic advocacy. Claire was also a guest speaker for the 2020 Community Webinar Series, keynote speaker at the Regional Closing Ceremony for WA Mental Health Week in 2020, lived experience judge for the WA Mental Health Awards in 2021 and 2022, and reviewed the abstracts for the WA Mental Health Conference 2022 from a lived experience perspective. Claire continues to seek out opportunities to support the work of WAAMH, most recently presenting the voice of lived experience at the Closing Ceremony for Mental Health Week 2022.
Board Director & CEO of HelpingMinds
Debbie Childs is a seasoned Senior Executive with a strong track record in leadership, strategy, and a commitment to excellence. As a GAICD-certified Board Director, CPP Masters graduate, and NZLE-qualified Legal Executive, she brings a wealth of qualifications to the table.
Debbie’s leadership experience spans corporate and nonprofit sectors, having managed operations, administration, resources, facilities, and finances, consistently achieving tangible results. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer at HelpingMinds, She leads a team of 85 staff with a yearly turnover exceeding $10million, focusing on strategic planning, advocacy, and sustainable growth.
Debbie is a passionate advocate, known for fostering high engagement, productivity, and positive change. Debbie’s professional background aligns with the values and mission of WAAMH and bring experience of being a Board Member for the previous term. Debbie is eager to continue to contribute to further WAAMH’s goals and make a positive impact.
Board Director & Director - Integrated Support at Neami National
Nicole is committed to the delivery and demonstration of robust quality, safety and governance principles, and provision of evidence-based practice. Nicole has a commitment to social justice principles and has worked for 30 years across specialist mental health and trauma services, high risk youth and early psychosis, the government and not-for-profit sectors. Nicole is a qualified social worker, has a Masters in Business Administration from Curtin Graduate School of Business, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nicole holds voluntary directorship roles as Chairperson of Hepatitis WA and is on the WAFC Integrity Steering Committee.
Board Director & General Manager at Rise
Shaun has been a Member of the WAAMH Board since 2020 and currently is the Chair of the WAAMH Governance, Risk, Remuneration and Nominations Committee. He brings to the WAAMH Board 25 years’ experience in the Human Services sector and has held senior management positions for the last 15 years at both National and State based organisations. He has extensive experience managing across child protection; youth; mental health; disability; aged care; drug and alcohol; and health sectors.
Shaun is passionate about client centred service delivery, empowering clients to meaningfully take part in service design and working alongside peer workers and other workers with lived experience. He holds both a Degree in Business and a BA (Hons) in Social Work and has been a member of the Australian Association of Social Work since 2002. Shaun is currently the Executive General Manager – Service Delivery at Rise as well as holding the Deputy Chair Position at SECCA (Sexuality Education Counselling and Consultancy Agency).
Shaun's father and grandmother all lived with acute mental health challenges and Shaun has experienced anxiety for most of his life. This has led him to gain a firsthand understanding about the challenges faced by everyone trying to access support for their mental health and has informed the way he approaches his work in delivering mental health services and working directly with consumers.
Board Director & General Manager of Community Services, Centrecare Inc
Leanne is the general manager of Community Services of Centrecare Inc, which delivers a diverse range of social services to the WA community. Her involvement in the sector, both paid and voluntary positions span across 30 years. She oversees 10 Centrecare branches across diverse geographical locations in WA. Leanne has a long history of service delivery in mental health; individual, family and children counselling services; family dispute resolution; child contact centres, family relationship centre’s; gambling prevention; homelessness; justice services; settlement services; family support networks; intensive family support; youth services; and family and domestic violence prevention.
Leanne has extensive knowledge and a comprehensive understanding of the local needs of the community and effective responses pertaining to metropolitan, rural and remote areas. She has more than 25 years of governance experience working within numerous community services governance frameworks at state and national levels. Leanne is a director of Family and Relationship Services Australia, agency representative for WA to End Homelessness WA, Child and Family Alliance of WA and the Family Court of WA Reference group, and is a participant in the Signature Leadership WA Program.
Board Director & Lived Experience Representative
Tanya has worked in communications, project and management roles for more than 20 years in the private, not-for-profit and government sectors, largely in the property and development industry. Tanya is the chief executive officer of the Urban Development Institute of Australia in WA. She was previously executive director of Regional Services Reform and Transformation to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in regional and remote WA at the Department of Communities. Prior to that, Tanya led the successful implementation of the $560 million Social Housing Investment Package (SHIP) which ensured the priority wait list for seniors and families with children more than halved and added another 1000 social homes.
Tanya has extensive leadership and management experience working in industry associations. She has a high media profile with an extensive network within state and local government and was recently included in the WA Business News Power 500 list of Perth’s most influential leaders.
Having been recently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the age of 43 after years of treatment for major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder, Tanya recognised the similarities in her challenges with those of her 14-year-old daughter who has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and anorexia nervosa. Her daughter’s journey in both the public and private system treating her symptoms resulted in hospitalisation at Perth Children’s Hospital for suicidal ideation, self-harm and anorexia and further fuelled her passion for change in the mental sector. Tanya has also cared for her husband through his journey with complex post-traumatic stress disorder due to his long career with the WA Police Force.
Board Director & Executive Manager Growth and Innovation at Holyoake
Ben Smith is the Executive Manager Growth and Innovation at AOD and Mental Health support service, Holyoake.
An empathetic and experienced C-suite executive with a proven track record of achievement within the government, not-for-profit, sport business, private equity and consumer goods industries, Ben presents with a diverse skillset that includes both interstate and international experience.
He has held a variety of key roles including Chief Operating Officer at international high end fashion label, Poppy Lissiman, Managing Director at hyper growth consumer goods brand, frank green, Global General Manager at privately held luxury goods brand 2XU, and Head of Commercial at not-for-profit, Basketball Australia. After over a decade living abroad, Ben re-entered the NFP sector in 2023 to follow a calling to deliver real community impact that supports and positively changes lives.
He is a proud husband and father of two boys, volunteers within his local community and mentors emerging business leaders. He takes the greatest pleasure in supporting others. He holds multiple Degrees and Awards.
Ben has experienced firsthand the impact of mental health concerns on the family unit and is a passionate advocate for mental health supports. He would be honoured to join the Board of WAAMH to support the business across the functions of strategy, leadership, growth, innovation, government relations, marketing, brand and events.
Board Director & CEO of the Mental Illness Fellowship Western Australia (MIFWA)
Monique Williamson is CEO of Mental Illness Fellowship Western Australia (MIFWA), and through MIFWA, is a member of the national organisation Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA). Monique has a Masters in Social Change and Development and recently completed her MBA.
She has worked in community services since 1990, in both the NGO and public sectors in WA. Monique was the inaugural Chairperson of the Mental Health Commissions Individualised Community Living Strategy Panel. It was exploring this new innovative funding model for people who had been living long term in hospital that sparked her interest in contributing to improvements in the mental health sector.
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 challenges. Monique has a long-standing interest in services designed through deeper understanding of community need and particularly working with individuals and families to co-design effective individualised support and services. Monique is passionate about mental health reform, and building a service system that is humane, responsive and expedites personal recovery.