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Committee members provide clinical and policy guidance drawing upon their vast experience across areas including psychology, nursing, psychiatry, public health, research as well as mental health and suicide prevention policy.
The Committee meets quarterly, and during the last year provided advice and guidance to support the development and growth of the organisation. This helps to ensure that OzHelp services and programs continue to support recovery, leading to better health and wellbeing outcomes and improve the experiences of people accessing OzHelp services.
Leanne Wells is a health policy consultant and consumer advocate with over thirty years’ experience in national health and social policy, program, and service development.
She is the former longstanding CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, the nation’s preeminent peak body for healthcare consumers. She has served as CEO of national peak and state-based organisations in the primary health sector.
Leanne has extensive governance and advisory experience serving as a Non-Executive Director on boards in the for-purpose and health and human service sectors.
She is presently a Board Director and Chair of the Community Advisory Council at Coordinare (the South-eastern NSW Primary Health Network) and has been recently appointed as Chair of the OzHelp Foundation where she has been a long-serving Director. She Chairs the Expert Consumer and Community Panel at ASPIRE, the Australian Social Prescribing Institute for Research and Education, and is a member of the Orygen Institute’s External Advisory Board.
She has held several Ministerial and government advisory appointments including the Commonwealth’s Primary Health Care Advisory Group and the National Preventative Strategy Advisory Committee. Leanne has tertiary qualifications in communications and business and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Leadership and Management.
Lyn is the Deputy Secretary of the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Lyn was previously a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. Lyn is also a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Lyn has a Bachelor of Science degree from ANU and lives in Canberra.
David consults on risk management, most recently to Health Canada and the EU Project Bank. His other board roles include chair at Steinberg Law and non-executive director of the Darling Downs and West Morton Primary Health Network. He holds postgraduate qualifications in law and management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Hamish is a strategic consultant, published leadership author, speaker, and investor. He has been a successful CEO/Regional President and Global Brand head for Mars Incorporated (UK, Australia, and Chicago), a senior marketing and sales lead for Reebok International (England and the Netherlands), and an account executive in the London advertising scene. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a bachelor degree in marketing and commercial law.
Established in the building and construction industry, Jason has developed a detailed knowledge of the entire industry lifecycle from sales, operations and construction. Now as Business Development Manager with the NXT Building Group, focus is on securing land and development opportunities to supply an accelerated pipeline of building contracts to the business.
As the inaugural employee of McDonald Jones Homes (Canberra), a decade long tenure has created a strong local business that serves the Canberra Region and has transformed the lives of over 1,000 clients. As Regional General Manager, Jason built an enthusiastic and collaborative team that has been recognised by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) as the Professional Major Builder for ACT & Southern NSW in 2021 and 2022 and further acknowledged over the years with accolades to recognise its many display homes and WHS safety record.
Jason has a commitment to learning and sharing for the benefit of helping others and generating change. As President of HIA ACT & Southern NSW, Jason works closely with the Regional Executive Committee to facilitate positive outcomes for builders, trades and suppliers in an industry currently facing significant market, statutory and sustainability challenges. Industry participation also includes that with the Master Builder’s Association. Jason is a director on the board of Project Independence, a charity developing specialised accomodation solutions for those with intellectual disability. President of the ACT Rugby Union Club instigated Jason’s interest in corporate governance and the reward of advocacy.
At OzHelp Foundation, Jason seeks to leverage from his industry and charity involvement to contribute to initiatives that support the wellbeing of those in the building and construction, transportation and agriculture industries.
Michael is CEO of Master Builders ACT, Civil Contractors Federation ACT and MBA Group Training Ltd. Michael’s background combines local government and industry experience, most notably leading large-scale projects throughout Australia. Michael is also the Director of Master Builders Australia Insurance Brokers.
Nicole is the Head of Policy and Practice, Phoenix Australia and an Enterprise Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. She is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in evidence-based systems and services to support individuals working in high-risk organisations, including military, police and emergency services.
Peter is an Executive Director and Chair, Non-Executive Director, National CEO of the Year, and Committee Member with over a decade of board level experience across the public, commercial and not for profit sectors.
Peter brings experience in all major disciplines including accounting, audit, finance, governance, high technology, legal, policy, strategy and property.
Peter has spent more than 20 years in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Post his ADF service, he was a senior executive in several multi-national companies delivering complex and leading-edge high technology solutions to the Commonwealth and State Governments. Peter is a Fellow of the AICD.
Nicole Sadler AM CSC is the Head of Policy and Practice, Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, and an Enterprise Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.
She is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in evidence-based systems and services to support individuals working in high-risk organisations, including military, police and emergency services. Prior to joining Phoenix Australia in 2017, she served in the full-time Army for 23 years and completed her career in the senior Army psychology position at the rank of Colonel.
Nicole continues to serve in the Army Reserves. Nicole has been a member of the OzHelp Board and Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee since mid-2019.
Annie Fardell Hartley is a dedicated Registered Psychologist and Suicidologist who has been working in rural and remote areas for over 20 years.
Annie has worked across all tiers of clinical service provision, as well as being an accredited Psychological Autopsy Investigator and tertiary educator. She is currently completing a PhD investigating how rural youth who are experiencing suicidality interact with social media.
She is also a regular media contributor, committee member and advisor for a range of state, national and international suicide prevention associations, including R U OK?, Safe on Social, Suicide Prevention Australia and the American Association of Suicidology.
Catherine Hungerford is a Registered Nurse, Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (ACMHN), and Endorsed Nurse Practitioner (AHPRA), with extensive experience in the clinical, counselling, education and management sectors.
Catherine’s clinical and counselling work has included supporting people with co-associated mental health and substance use issues. In addition, Catherine is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Healthcare, Federation University, with research interests in mental health nursing, mental health recovery, and evaluation.
Donna Hodgson is a Registered Nurse who holds a Credential to practice with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. Donna is passionate about professional development activities, and ensuring a connection exists between evidence-based theory and the practice of mental health nursing.
Clinically Donna has worked in acute adult inpatient services and in the community. Donna also has a long history of educating and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate nurses in the field of mental health.
In recent years, Donna has enjoyed participating with like-minded colleagues on research and practice projects and is the co-author of a successful Australian text targeted at undergraduate health professionals.
Gary Webb, PhD is a public health expert with 20+ years’ experience specialising in workplace health in Australia and around the globe. He has developed mental health and suicide prevention programs for some of Australia’s largest organisations in manufacturing, government, mining, transportation, and energy sectors, as well as multinational corporations.
As consultant to the World Health Organisation specialising in chronic disease, Gary has co-developed national public health strategies. He has also delivered accreditation and continual education in the field of Lifestyle Medicine for Australian GPs.
Gary currently works for Mars Inc. as the Regional Health and Wellbeing Manager for Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa.
Rachael McMahon CPHR is a highly experienced senior psychologist, Certified Practicing HR practitioner (CPHR) and executive leader who holds degrees in science, psychology and a Master’s degree in suicidology.
Rachael is currently the Principal Psychologist and Director of the APS Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Unit at the Australian Public Service Commission. Rachael has worked in the field for several decades and led major transformation in the areas of workplace mental health, adult community mental health services, crisis response and suicide prevention.
Rachael has a special interest in workplace early intervention programs and has co-authored a range of workplace mental health initiatives and better practice guides including for staff working with objectionable material, vulnerable to suicide or working in emotionally demanding roles.
Born in the bush, Georgina spent much of her childhood in rural Western Australia in a small farming community.
After completing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media, Communications and Marketing from the University of Western Australia Georgina packed her bags and headed east to pursue her passion for creating innovative marketing and communications strategies. Her journey has led her to work with start ups, small businesses and non-for-profits in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
In the last couple of years, Georgina has been working as a Communications Manager in the suicide prevention sector. She started with OzHelp at the end of 2020 and more recently joined the sector’s peak body, Suicide Prevention Australia in August 2022.
Working in the suicide prevention sector has provided her with a clear purpose, as she strives to create impactful marketing and communication initiatives that will assist in turning the trend towards zero.
My name is Kate and I run Beck’s Transport Training with my husband, which we started just over two years ago. I currently run everything for our business apart from the actual training, so I do a little marketing, a lot of client servicing, accounting and general administration, and more then anything scheduling!
Prior to starting our business, I was a full time mum to our four kids and focused on supporting them over the last 12 years. My time is spent juggling the needs of the family as well as the needs of a growing small business. We spend a lot of time as a family unit hanging around Canberra; the kids love going to the live footy games and 4wd which is where we love to escape to the most, when work permits it!
I have always had an interest in mental health and the impacts of people. I am in what I think is unique position as I have been a wife of a heavy vehicle driver, so I am very aware of the impacts of the Transport industry on families, and now in a position of hearing more from the employers and employees during their training time on what is impacting on them during their working hours.
Caroline Walsh became CEO of the OzHelp Foundation in November 2023, after being on the Board for three years. She brings a lived experience of loving and caring for someone who wanted to end their own life. Caroline is committed to OzHelp’s vision of an Australia without suicide, and wants to extend OzHelp’s message of hope and help.
Caroline’s career has been framed around her passion for supporting people to thrive at work.
Caroline’s most recent role was as CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. Prior to this, Caroline had 20-year career spanning the Commonwealth and state public sectors. She has held senior roles covering policy, reform, regulation and service delivery. She brings subject matter expertise in leadership, capability development, inclusion, workers compensation, and workplace relations.
Caroline has qualifications in law and government and a background in industrial relations, having started her career as an industrial advocate. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is part-way through a Master of Business Administration.
Bruce came to Ozhelp following over 4 years as Chief Executive Officer of Northside Community Service which provided a range of education, aged care, and support services to the community. Prior to that he was a partner of WalterTurnbull in Canberra before becoming a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has over 30 years of experience in providing and leading professional assurance, financial management, consulting, governance, and risk management services.
Bruce is on a number of Boards and Committees and he holds a Bachelor of Business, is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Robert Paragalli has been a local builder in the Canberra region for the past 18 years. He has a background in mechanical engineering and construction management.
Over the years Robert has mentored and guided young men and women in the construction industry through their career paths. Robert loves helping people if they want to accept help and advice. Robert also enjoys coaching sporting teams in his spare time.
He is a father of four and loves being a family man.
Leesa Mountford is a Project Officer with over 15 years experience having worked predominately in the public service but now working the not for profit sector.
Leesa is a qualified Scrum Master, applying her skills to the agile frameworks and also holds qualifications in traditional project management frameworks. Recently Leesa completed her Certificate IV in Ageing Support, Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistant (PT) and Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistant (OT).
Leesa also runs an online apparel business, “I Got You”, focusing on raising awareness of suicide prevention. Leesa’s passion in breaking the stigma of suicide, especially male suicide, comes from loosing her son to suicide last year.
Nicole Leishman has had a diverse working career though always with a strong customer service delivery focus. Nicole commenced work in the public service where she was involved in private health insurance reform, delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs, initiatives under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy including raising awareness through the coordination of national celebrations of International Day of People with a Disability.
Nicole’s passion for the public awareness space continued as the National Coordinator of Carers Australia and effective nation-wide launch of Carers Week, including producing promotional material and implementing a media campaign. Nicole’s working experience and diploma studies in business and management have since been put to good use by establishing her family’s successful commercial metal roofing business.
As Office Manager, Nicole is responsible for overseeing administration and compliance issues, human resources, injury management and championing positive mental health and wellbeing of staff. Nicole is also a proud wife and mum to two handsome young adult sons.
I’m James Macpherson. Founder, Director, and Principal Consultant at Gold Leaf Tree Services.
I started the company in 2011 because I saw a gap in the market for a high-end, professional provider of arboriculture services. We have grown to a team of fourteen and we still struggle to meet demand.
Nowadays I am off the tools and spend my time focusing on the growth and direction of the company and on the development of the individuals who work here. When I am not at work, I like to spend time with my family, sleep, read and work on my health and fitness.
Currently I am the founder and owner of INOV8YOU®. In this role, I work as an Executive Coach, Business Facilitator, and Project Manager for the Canberra Business Advisory Support Services, and Business Connect Advisor for NSW Government contracted through Enterprise Plus.
As a Sessional Lecturer at the Australian National University with the Research School of Management for the past four years, teaching Innovation to Postgrads and MBAs, as well as being involved in student mentoring for the past six years. I have also been trained in mental health first aid and also dealing with and recognising domestic violence through Lifeline.
Recently I have become an Evolve Accredited Ally after completing Cultural Awareness and Reconciliation Training with Evolve Communities.
All these things in life have enabled me to be in a position of giving back to the community.
For more than 18 years, Caz has been a driving force for advancements within the workplace health, safety and wellbeing sector. With a diverse career spanning various industries including mining, building and construction as well as transport she has amassed a wealth of experience.
Significantly, Caz has dedicated ten years specifically to roles across Australia where her specialisation lies in mitigating psychological safety risks for workers and crafting customised health and wellbeing programs for employers.
Caz’s impressive journey has established her as a trailblazer in industries often characterised by high-risk environments, remote accessibility, and predominantly male demographics. Her contributions have significantly bolstered the importance and emphasis on psychological safety.
Her qualifications in Science, Workplace Health & Safety, Mental Health Intervention, and Incident Investigation, coupled with her passion for supporting those who may be doing it tough, showcase her dedication to her field.
Rebecca is a Registered Nurse, with postgraduate qualifications in mental health nursing. She has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health field.
She has had a varied career working in various settings including acute inpatient care, community care, and forensic settings – within the public, private and not for profit sectors. Rebecca is passionate about improving the mental health and wellbeing of communities along with reducing the barriers for access to services.
Rebecca’s vision for the future is a world where stigma towards mental health does not exist and everyone can reach their full potential and live a meaningful life.
Adrienne joined OzHelp four years ago as the Executive Assistant and Office Manager. With over 30 years’ experience working in finance and office administration across a range of industries such as property, banking, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Adrienne enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with managing the daily operations of an office. She is adept at wearing many hats and is a vital source of information for all employees and has been a volunteer Rotarian for over a decade.
In the sport of rowing, Kathryn has won numerous National and State championships, holds four World Championship titles, as well as being a four-time Paralympian and silver medalist. Over the course of her 16 years in the sport, Kathryn has set multiple world records on water and on the land (using a rowing machine). She has received numerous honours throughout the years, some of which include the World Rowing Para Crew of the Year (the first for Australia), Canberra Sports Star of the Year, and Rowing Australia’s Athlete of the Year.
She has participated in leadership initiatives including the Wild Collective, the Athlete Commission and leadership teams for Rowing Australia, as well as the Athlete Welfare Subcommittee of the Paralympics Australia Athletes Commission.
As a strategic project manager and registered nurse for the OzHelp Foundation, Kathryn currently promotes and provides health and wellbeing programs for employees in high-risk, difficult-to-reach industries. She carries out early intervention biometric health evaluations that help people understand the dangers and mitigating circumstances surrounding mental illness and suicide.
If all that wasn’t enough, in addition to being a full-time elite athlete and working for OzHelp she also throws her hand in as a trauma Nurse in the Canberra Emergency Department.
Kathryn loves to coach, nurture and mentor people from all walks of life to be the best version of themselves, while advocating for health and wellbeing.
Skye is a passionate and results-driven business development professional with four years’ experience working in various industries in roles across the private and not-for-profit sectors. She has a Bachelor of Public Health from University of Wollongong. Skye believes in moderation with the exception of cheese consumption and creating mentally healthy workplace environments, in that order.
Her expertise include building engaged and strategic partnerships with a broad range of local and national networks, effectively planning and delivering maximum value for partners and their workforces, improve external awareness of the value of partnering with the OzHelp and the impact and outcomes of collaboration.
Lesa is a dynamic member of OzHelp’s Service Delivery Team as the Service Delivery Team Leader and Nurse. She has been with OzHelp for five years and believes in leading by example. Lesa has experience in the not-for-profit sector, as well as many roles throughout different industries and sectors, including as a contractor to the Department of Defence.
She has expertise in delivering OzHelp’s health and wellbeing programs and engaging with clients in a relaxed and comfortable manner that aligns with the organisation’s vision and objectives.
Lesa has a Certificate 4 in Nursing from Wodonga Tafe, Certificate 4 in Mental Health from Open Colleges, and is currently undertaking a Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment from Tafe NSW.
For the past few months Lesa has been an Education and Memberships committee member of the ACT Branch of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).
Emilija Robeska holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources, a Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations and a Master of Counselling from the University of Canberra and is registered with the Australian Counselling Association. Emilija has an array of experience working in the mental health field, including hard to engage population groups, drug and alcohol, children and adolescents. She has experience running groups and working within the Catholic School system as a school counsellor.
Born in Macedonia, Emilija has a strong passion for working with people of cultural minorities and working towards breaking the stigma associated with counselling.
Vivek Lall is an Army Veteran turned counsellor. He has completed his Graduate Diploma in Counselling from the University of Canberra, and currently enrolled in their Master of Counselling program and is a member of the Australian Counselling Association.
As a counsellor, he follows an integrated approach using different client-centred interventions from varied counselling theories and therapies depending on the needs of the person being supported. Vivek has worked with victims of crime, migrants and refugees, and now in the blue-collar industry with OzHelp.
His counselling is scaffolded by the diverse work and life experience he brings from his past professions and from having lived in different countries. These experiences have led him to being passionate about supporting people who have witnessed traumatic events and those struggling to cope with changes in their lives
Jeanette has worked for a range of not-for-profit organisations across varied sectors including alcohol and other drugs and suicide prevention. She has worked with First Nations people and communities on diverse community led projects and as a Case Manager for a local women’s refuge in Canberra.
She holds a Bachelor of Community Education and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. Jeanette is registered with the Australian Counselling Association and passionate about supporting people’s mental well-being to help individuals cope with life stresses and realise their abilities.