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Shining a light on youth

Shining a light on youth

Chair Prof Allan Fels this week delivered the fourth Winston Rickards Memorial Oration (2.9MB) at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

The annual oration raises awareness of current and critical concerns in child and adolescent mental health. Prof Fels spoke of the importance of early investment, accessibility to services and the cost to the economy. 

He also announced the release of our latest ‘spotlight’ report. Last year we commissioned non-government organisation Batyr, with the support of the Young and Well-Cooperative Research Centre, to look at how we can better engage and involve young Australians in our work.

"Young people need to be provided with an opportunity to have a voice. Engaging young people is fundamental to building a new system of mental health in Australia. I'm delighted we were able to partner with Sebastian Robertson and his team at Batyr on this important work," said Associate Professor Jane Burns, CEO of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

The report, How did we score? Engaging young people in the development of a National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention gives us a picture of what respondents are looking for in the Commission. It is an early step and sets the scene for future engagement.

The Sydney Declaration

Members from leading mental health organisations and Commissions from around the world met in Sydney in March for a two day meeting hosted by the Commission. Participants agreed to issue a declaration setting out their commitment and dedication to pursuing actions in the following five areas:

  • Indigenous mental health
  • Seclusion and restraint
  • Work and mental health
  • Knowledge exchange
  • International benchmarking.

The Commission has already demonstrated its commitment to these priorities by calling for mental health to be included as an additional target in the Closing the Gap program, working with representatives of the business sector to develop initiatives aimed at improving mental wellbeing in the workplace and has committed to a call for evidence of best practice in reducing and eliminating seclusion and restraint to help identify good practice treatment approaches.

National Contributing Life Project

Work on the design and development of what will be a regular qualitative survey of people with lived experience of mental health problems, their familes and supporters is progressing well.

The project team led by Leanne Craze are seeking your feedback and comment to inform the development of the national survey. You can do this online or download a copy of the consultation survey from our website.

National Contributing Life Project

Jobs at the Commission

We're currently looking for a Senior Policy and Project Officer to join our Sydney team. To be a strong contender for the role you will enjoy working in a complex and challenging environment, be a team player who is flexible and delivers results, have the highest standards of personal integrity, and be committed to social justice. Applicants who have a lived experience of mental health difficulties, a disability and/or are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, or come from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply and to indicate this in their application. Applications for the position close on 23 May 2013.

View jobs.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.