Skip to content

A new group future leaders in mental health recognised

A new group future leaders in mental health recognised

The National Mental Health Commission celebrated the graduation of the 2020 Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellowship cohorts three and four, together with the announcement of the 2020 winners of the Jackie Crowe Memorial Prize at the online event on 3 December.

The Commission’s CEO Christine Morgan recognised the hard work of the participants in this year’s fellowship and congratulates this year’s recipients of the Jackie Crowe Memorial Prize.

“It is encouraging to see such resilience, innovation and tenacity of mental health leaders across so many sectors. Congratulations to all the graduates of the 2020 fellowship program, this has been a challenging year for all of us, and what you have achieved throughout this period is to be commended.”

The Commission Chair Mrs Lucy Brogden AM, was delighted to see the Former Commissioner and inspiration to the mental health sector, Jackie Crowe’s legacy is championed through the Fellowship.

“The Jackie Crowe Memorial Prize honours the extraordinary contributions Jackie made as a Commissioner and as a champion of person-centred care. She encouraged greater understanding, compassion and respect for people affected by mental illness and suicide, and the families, friends and carers who journey with them.”

This year the Jackie Crowe memorial prize was awarded to members of a group in each cohort that demonstrated a person-centred approach, meaningful communication and high-level written content. Congratulations to Carla Canning, Sandy Jusuf, Louise Reymond, and Dean Jackson from cohort three who were awarded for their project ‘Raising the Bar’.

This project focused on integrating support and recovery of both physical and mental health issues, and the role of a Wellbeing and Recovery Support Coordinator within hospitals. Hitesh Joshi, Angela Gosden, Michelle Lawrence, and Marita O’Connell of cohort four were also awarded for their project ‘Mental Health and the Law’, which considered a business case for developing a video that would explain the Witness Intermediaries, noting their role in supporting victims of sexual assault to give evidence and helping to reduce rates of trauma from the criminal justice system. A full list of graduates is available here.

The Fellowship is the first program of its kind, designed by the Commission in 2018 to recognise, shape and grow emerging leaders in mental health. There have been 77 graduates from the first two years of the program from many fields including emergency service workers, students and early career researchers, professionals in industry and finance, the justice system as well as clinicians, consumers and carers. Recognising that mental health innovation does not occur solely in health settings.

Incorporating a mix of experiential learning, reflective practice and group activity supported by expert facilitators, coaches and mentors, the fellowship program has been constructed to equip participants with the required knowledge and skills to improve their ability to influence, innovate and deliver change in their organisations and the wider community.

The development and delivery of the fellowship was made possible by The University of Melbourne and our partners which include the state mental health commissioners, Mental Health Australia, beyondblue, SANE, and the fellows of the Australian College of Health Services Management. The Commission is grateful for the support of the program and the inspiring commitment the participants make to mental health in Australia.

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.