Minister's Award

Presented by the Minister for Mental Health the Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson
This award is to celebrate an 'all star' and their overall outstanding contribution to mental health in WA. The Minister’s Award recognises someone who has displayed best practice at every level, a true dedication to service in the mental health sector in the 2022 calendar year and has proven to hold an all-round skills set to benefit the outcomes for people living with mental health challenges in our community, including their families and carers. 
To nominate now for the 2023 Ministers Awards click here

2022 Winner:

Lorraine Powell, Lived Experience Australia

Lorraine Powell has had an exceptional journey of recovery, having experienced serious mental health challenges to then go on to have a 20-year career utilising her lived experience to become a well-respected leader in the lived experience field as a consultant, representative and advocate. As one of the first in Australia to gain a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, Lorraine has been a trailblazer for the lived experience profession. She has held several high-level roles including board positions, participating on governance reviews and contributing to policy. She is currently a Board director of Lived Experience Australia and the WA coordinator. Lorraine has a strong connection to the WA land and culture and has experienced the traumatic effects of the stolen generations from her Torres Strait Islander heritage. Cultural diversity is a huge part of Lorraine’s life, as she has Aboriginal grandchildren and is an eight-generation white Australian, along with her Torres Strait Islander heritage. She takes pride in being inclusive, knowledgeable and respectful of all cultures and peoples.  

2022 Finalists:

Adam Przytula, Armed For Life

Adam Przytula is the founder and director of Armed For Life, a social enterprise through which he has presented in WA schools and workplaces for more than 10 years. Having experienced mental health challenges since childhood and into adulthood, including being suicidal at age 17, he channelled his experience in a way that he could help others. Adam previously worked as a teacher and chaplain which led to him recognising the mental health challenges children often experience and the extent of those challenges. Armed For Life first started with Adam holding five sessions centred on the topics of self-esteem, healthy relationships and resilience; but Armed For Life has since grown to offering sessions on more than 30 topics. Adam has presented on more than 500 occasions to WA schools and his work has even taken him to the eastern states and internationally to Cape Town, South Africa. Adam’s ability to be vulnerable and share his ongoing story of struggle and recovery has earnt him an authentic reputation as a mental health lived experience speaker and educator.

Anne Mackay, Radiance Network South West

Anne Mackay is the manager at the Radiance Network South West, a mother of three and a grandmother. She has dedicated her life to nurturing and caring through nursing and is known for her vibrant and kind nature. Throughout her career, Anne has facilitated programs in women’s health and wellbeing. Anne has her own experience of mental health challenges and recovery, which lend to her non-judgemental and caring approach to supporting others. During 2021 Anne’s leadership led to securing 12 months of funding for Radiance to run support groups throughout the South West. This was a pivotal milestone for Radiance, as it changed from an incorporated entity to a professional organisation with paid staff, trained volunteers and increased community support. Under Anne’s direction, Radiance has garnered more support from the WA Government and the corporate sector, yet she has always maintained an ear the ground to respond to community needs as required.

Steve Batson, South Metropolitan Health Service

Steve Batson is the program manager for community mental health and emergency department liaison for the Rockingham Peel Group (South Metro Health Service). However, his involvement in mental health has gone far beyond his duties as a sector employee and has a long history of going above and beyond to provide leadership and show courage required to implement practices that align with new evidence. Steve is well respected among his colleagues for his leadership, with a primary example being leading the development of key suicide prevention and postvention initiatives in the Peel and Rockingham/Kwinana (PaRK) region. He led the formation of and is the chair of the PaRK Community Response Group (PaRK CRG), which is a collective of organisations including various WA Government agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organisations that delivery mental health services and community members. The group was created due to the devastating cluster of youth suicides in the region and has since become a key interagency group and provided a successful platform for collective actions to address the complex challenges related to suicide.