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Prof Allan Fels joint winner @OZMHPrize

Prof Allan Fels joint winner @OZMHPrize

The National Mental Health Commission’s Chair Professor Allan Fels AO along with Ms Janet Meagher have been announced as joint recipients of the 2017 Australian Mental Health Prize .

Professor Fels and Ms Meagher were two of six finalists nominated for their exceptional contributions in the field of mental health. The nominees were:

  • Professor Adam Scott, QLD, founder and chairman of the White Cloud Foundation
  • Professor Gavin Andrews, NSW, innovator, clinician and researcher in the field of mental health in Australia & overseas
  • Pam Brown, NSW, has spent the past decade working for the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation
  • Patrick Hardwick, WA, the driving force behind The Practical Guide for Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness

Professor Fels is humbled to be in such esteemed company with his fellow nominees and is inspired by their ongoing commitment and energy to improving the lives of Australians living with mental illness and their carers.  

In 2006, Professor Fels established The Haven Foundation which aims to raise funds and provide affordable and safe housing for those living with mental illness. His daughter Isabella has schizophrenia, a driving force behind his fight to reduce the stigma associated with having a mental illness and help people with a mental illness and carers to lead contributing lives in thriving communities. 

The Commission is honoured to have such a dedicated leader steering its work, having held the role of Chair since our inception in 2012. The 2017 Australian Mental Health Prize not only acknowledges Professor Fels’ valuable contributions within the Commission but also his impact on the broader Australian community.

The Australian Mental Health Prize was established in 2016 by UNSW’s School of Psychiatry. The winner was announced by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, at a ceremony on 20 November 2017.

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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.