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National Mental Health Commissioner with lived experience appointed

26 September 2014

The National Mental Health Commission today welcomed the appointment of Nicole Gibson – a young Australian with a lived experience – as a new Commissioner to the organisation.

Ms Gibson has been appointed by the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Peter Dutton, until 31 December 2015.

Ms Gibson, who lives on the Gold Coast, founded The Rogue & Rouge Foundation in 2011, after a personal experience with anorexia nervosa.

“I continue to be incredibly passionate about engaging the community in actively breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health challenges, and embracing differences. I believe first hand experience with these challenges is incredibly important in genuinely raising these topics with community members,” Ms Gibson said today.

“I've recently finished my latest challenge, conducting a national youth motivation tour, Sunsuper’s ‘Champions for Change’, which has seen me facilitate workshops at 250 schools across Australia to encourage young people to champion change in their communities. I strive to inspire, educate and connect youth with their passion in life, while remaining a dedicated ambassador for mental health.”

Ms Gibson was a finalist for Young Australian of the Year 2014, named as one of Australia’s 2012 Young Social Pioneers and is a current finalist for The Pride of Australia Medal.

Chair of the Commission, Professor Allan Fels, today welcomed Ms Gibson’s appointment as adding further knowledge and experience to the Commission.

“Nicole Gibson’s skills and experience will provide important additional guidance and leadership for the Commission, particularly for our current task of undertaking a wide-ranging national review of mental health,” Professor Fels said.

Ms Gibson joins existing Commissioners Professor Fels, Ms Jackie Crowe, Professor Pat Dudgeon, Mr Rob Knowles, Mrs Lucy Brogden, the Hon Dr Kay Patterson, Professor Ian Hickie, and Mr David Butt (CEO and ex-officio Commissioner).

The Commission was set up in January 2012 to work across all states and territories and all sectors, and to report, advise and collaborate on ways to improve the Australian mental health system. It has been tasked by the Government to undertake an independent review of mental health to ensure programmes and services are supporting individuals experiencing mental ill health and their families and other support people, so that they can lead a contributing life and engage productively in the community.

The full Terms of Reference for the review can be found at www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au

"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."

Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission

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