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Australia builds future leaders in mental health

Australia builds future leaders in mental health

The first Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship, launched today, aims to improve our nation’s mental health.

The initiative, developed and led by the National Mental Health Commission, is funded by the Australian Government and was launched by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health.

Minister Hunt said the government was committed to building a strong mental health workforce and providing Australians with the best care.

“The Fellowship program will equip our emerging mental health leaders with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to work in today’s mental health care environment,” Minister Hunt said.

The Commission’s Interim CEO, Maureen Lewis said 40 Australians from within and outside the mental health sector will begin Australia’s first national program for emerging leaders in 2018.

“The chosen participants have backgrounds in clinical and community services, allied health, emergency services, academia and public policy,” Ms Lewis said.

They all work in crucial areas of need including suicide prevention, child and adolescent mental health, and indigenous, multicultural, rural and remote communities.”

The Commission’s Chair, Lucy Brogden said the prestigious Fellowship was developed in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, the Commission, people with lived experience and mental health professionals.

“We opened the Fellowship calling for applications. We received over 200 from people nationwide, of an extremely high calibre – this is just the beginning,” Mrs Brogden said.

“These emerging mental health leaders – 20 start today and 20 in October – have immense potential to make a difference.

“This group of future Fellows from around Australia will develop skills to better influence positive outcomes for mental health, whichever setting they work in.”

Mrs Brogden explained the Fellowship builds on feedback from stakeholders concerning the need to build greater leadership capacity across the community, government and non-government sectors.

Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

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.