Professor Elizabeth More AM, BA (Hons), Grad Dip Mgt, M Com Law, PhD, MAICD
Elizabeth’s most recent role has been as the Chief Academic Officer and Director of Research at Study Group. She has been a senior academic across a range of universities, including Dean of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie and Canberra Universities. She has extensive experience on a number of NFP Boards (including NIDA) and in consulting to both private and public sector organisations. She has also published widely locally and internationally, especially in the fields of communication and change management, and on the implementation of the NDIS.
Professor More has worked in executive education, and has been called upon for expert media comment on issues related to management practice and education. Professor More has also been a Councilor on the NSW State Council of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently on its NFP Chairs’ Forum. Before becoming a university academic, she worked as a classical ballet dancer in theatre and television, and in the advertising industry.
Andrew Pryor FCA, B Comm, GAICD, Treasurer
An accomplished senior finance executive and carer for his daughter on her recovery journey, Andrew’s experience fuels his powerful advocacy for people experiencing mental health issues, their families and carers.
Andrew applies skills acquired during 30 years in corporate finance, with the Westfield Group, ASX20 and PWC, to improving mental health services. He is a Board Director and Treasurer for Mental Health Carers NSW and provides consultation, governance and guidance on the strategic direction and development of Headspace, Western Sydney.
Dr Josey Anderson
Highly regarded as a clinician, academic, teacher and administrator, Josey has many roles, including as a consultant psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute, Clinical Director at Royal Far West, a conjoint Associate Professor with UNSW, a Psychiatrist Member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, and a member of the NSW Mental Health Commission’s Community Advisory Council.
Josey has specialised in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for more than 20 years, and championed the development of young people’s services in Western Sydney, including our highly successful Young People’s Outreach Program, and three Headspace centres in Western Sydney. She currently provides psychiatry consultation via telehealth to headspace Broken Hill and Orange, and provides an onsite clinic at headspace Bankstown, on behalf of Black Dog Institute.
Jeremy is the Chief Economist and a Partner in PWC’s National Economics and Policy Team, for more than 20 years he has advised and provided expertise, to major corporations, and to all levels of government both in Australia and internationally.
Jeremy has particular experience in disability and mental health policy, having advised both the private and public sectors, on transition to the NDIS, and the economic impacts of disability and mental health activities.
Paula is the Manager, Consumer Services for North Shore Ryde, Mental Health Service, and a surveyor for the Australian Council on Health Care Standards.
She has previously worked for the NSW Mental Health Association, the community sector, and advocates with many community advisory councils and lived experience committees. Paula’s lived experience and recovery journey furthers her passionate advocacy for mental health reform, to which she brings authentic insight and compassion.
Hugh de Kretser
Hugh brings over two decades of human rights law experience advocating for positive change for people and communities whose rights are at risk. He currently works as the Chief Executive Officer of the Yoorrook Justice Commission and previously led the Human Rights Law Centre and the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres. Hugh has served as a Commissioner of the Victorian Law Reform Commission and a Director of the Sentencing Advisory Council and has performed a number of not-for-profit board and advisory roles.
Hugh started his legal career at the law firm Mallesons. He has served as a board member of the National Association of Community Legal Centres and on the Advisory Council of the University of Melbourne Law School. Hugh also helped to establish knowmore - the national service that provides free legal support to survivors of child abuse.
Theresa’s involvement in mental health began more than 10 years ago, as a carer for a family member with mental health issues. This experience has provided her with the passion and energy to advocate for people with a lived experience of a mental health issue, and their families and carers.
She understands first hand the importance of supporting people with lived experience to participate in making decisions about their lives. Theresa is a seasoned commercial Human Resources Director with over 20 years experience in the areas of ethics and governance, strategic leadership and workforce planning, and people and culture across the Asia Pacific.
Megan is the Service Planning and Innovation Manager for Sydney Local Health District’s Mental Health Services.
Originally trained as an Occupational Therapist, Megan has worked clinically across inpatient and community services, and undertaken service planning and research, all with a strong commitment to consumer led, community oriented, rights based supports for people with lived experience.
Tom is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man born in Gunnedah, NSW. He is a current Board Member of Suicide Prevention Australia, a member of the Red Chief Local Aboriginal Land Council, a member and previous board member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia, and an Executive Member and Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership in Mental Health Ltd.
Alongside Carole Koha (NZ), Tom is the Co-Chair of the Wharerata Group, an International Indigenous Mental Health Leadership Group part of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL). Over the past 30 years Tom has been active in mental health and health policy, social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB), clinical mental health care, suicide prevention, education, and mental health leadership. Most recently Tom was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia, having been actively involved in the establishment and commencement of the organisation. Since 2018 Tom has been a part-time Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW and was previously State-wide Coordinator for the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, a position he held between 2007 and 2021.
An experienced technology entrepreneur, Kareem brings over 30 years of Digital Transformation expertise, advocating for the use of innovation as an enabler and differentiator for organisations.
Having built and run his own Digital Consultancy, Kareem’s training in both computer science and psychology has enabled him to transform numerous businesses across many domains in Australia, the US, and the UK. This includes many world-first digital projects that utilise technology to help make a positive impact.
Senior Leadership Team
Mark Orr AM, Chief Executive Officer
BSc (Hons), M Hlth Serv Mgt, M e-Hlth (HI), Grad Dip Spec Ed, Grad Dip ACG, Grad Cert App Fin and Invest, GAICD, FGIA, FCG(CS), MAAPi, Registered Psychologist
Recognised for his significant service to community health, our CEO Mark Orr, has worked extensively in disability services and guardianship, as well as championing HIV prevention, care and support, and LGBTI health care and rights for decades.
He maintains a strong commitment the value of lived experience of a mental health issue and codesign. His vision is for truly inclusive communities, where everyone is welcomed and valued.
Aidan Conway, General Manager, Services
Aidan’s dedicated, 35 year career in Mental Health began in 1980 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in a mental health inpatient setting.
He is now responsible for Operational Management of mental health services in metro, regional and rural NSW and South East Queensland.
Andrew O’Brien, General Manager, Services
B Ed (Econ & Geog), Dip Comm Mgt, MAICD
Absolutely passionate about social justice, inclusion and empowering people to participate in making decisions that will impact their lives, Andrew worked for the NSW Ombudsman and managed out of care programs, before transitioning to the mental health sector.
He co-founded CREATE, the national peak organisation for young people in and out of home care and his published work includes a co-authored book for people studying youth work and articles about inclusion and participation in decision making, in state and national journals.
Fay Jackson, General Manager, Inclusion
B Crea Vis Arts, Dip Ed.
A multi-award winning national and motivational speaker, educator, advocate and voice for mental health, Fay is renowned for her unique ability to break down barriers and engage diverse audiences on matters of mental health.
Fay is regularly engaged to advise the NSW and federal governments, and NGOs, on the state and conditions of mental illness and mental health in the community, services and workplace. She was awarded the inaugural Mental Health First Aid Champion and oversees the development of our peer workforce.
James Herbertson, General Manager, Services
James has been working in the non-profit sector since 1991, including managing disability employment programs in Victoria for MIFV and Ostara Australia, and in NSW for Flourish Australia after returning from a 10 year posting in Europe in 2009.
Prior to this James held senior positions branches of C3 Church in Byron Bay, Amsterdam and London between 1991-2009. He also operated as the European Regional Director for C3 International between 2003-2009. James has led the reform of Flourish Australia's Community Business (ADE) program over the last three years following a role as head of program for the organisation's DES program.
Megan Hancock, Chief Financial Officer
B Bus, Grad Dip App Fin and Invest, CA, GAICD
Responsible for providing financial management leadership and advice in support of a culture that values financial stability, Megan is our senior finance professional.
She develops and maintains financial systems and controls to safeguard financial information and assets and maintain high standards of ethical financial governance. Megan has proven change management skills and is a powerful advocate for the people she works with and for.
Mohammed Alkhub, General Manager, Business Excellence
BSc Eng (Hons), M Eng, MBA, M Law, JP
A qualified Engineer, Mohammed manages our formal quality, environmental management and work health safety programs, including independent accreditation against Australian and International standards.
Mohammed has worked in mental health for 23 years including a supervisory role in the Australian Disability Enterprises and as GM, Community Businesses at PRA. He previously served 8 years as an Engineer with the the Royal Jordanian Air Force and has managed a paper converting factory.
Peter Neilson, Chief Development Officer
B Comm, CPA
An innovative executive whose experience is comprehensive across leadership, strategy, branding, marketing, finance, not-for-profit, mergers and strategy, Peter spearheads our growth strategy, in partnership with our CEO.
He is responsible for identifying strategic opportunities at a State and National level for current and new services, social enterprise and new business ventures. Peter drives the establishment of new major partnerships, the continued growth and extension of our services and our branding, marketing and fundraising. He also served as CEO of the Kids Cancer Project - an independent National charity supporting childhood cancer research.
Tim Fong, General Manager, People and Culture
MAppPsych, BSc(Psych), Registered Psychologist
In line with our core values, Tim recognises the contribution that people with lived experience can make to an organisation’s mission and is passionate about building an inclusive workforce.
A project management specialist and registered psychologist who has worked in front-line Mental Health services, his broad-based experience and training makes him uniquely qualified for his important role in recruitment, performance management, injury management, our wellness program and all-important employee relations. Tim has spoken on the subject of service collaboration and inclusive practice, on the international stage.
Susan McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer
BSc (Nutrition and Physiology), MPH, GAICD
Passionate about health, human rights and social justice, Susan brings broad leadership experience, honed over 20 years, to overseeing our frontline services and operational divisions.
Susan’s strategic leadership prowess is proven across dementia & ageing, international development and corporate sectors. She has global operations experience and believes in the value of consultation to sustain a culture of continuous quality improvement and service excellence and uphold Flourish Australia’s code of conduct.
Flourish Foundation Australia
Our Ambassadors share our vision of an organisation that leads the conversation about complex mental health issues in Australia, creating important networks and opportunities for Flourish Australia to grow sustainably and to deliver on our purpose.
Herb Elliot AC MBE
An Olympic gold medallist, Herb is one of Australia's all-time sporting champions and much-loved Australian heroes. In his five-year running career in a competitive field, Herb was never beaten over 1500 metres or a mile. Herb was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2002 for services to sport and the community and made a Member of the British Empire in 1964 for his contribution to sport. He was CEO of Puma Australia from 1985 to 1995 and President of Puma North America from 1995 to 1997. He has been a Director of Pacific Dunlop and Ansell Ltd and was Chairman of Fortescue Metals Ltd for many years.
Drawing on his significant corporate and community experience in his role as Chairman of the Telstra Foundation, Herb led the Foundation to make a real and lasting di erence to children and young people, and in particular our indigenous youth especially through his subsequent role of Director of the Stronger Smarter Institute.
John Brogden AM
In January 2012, John was appointed the Chairman of the NSW Government State Owned Corporation Landcom and was its CEO from May 2018 to April 2022. From 2015 to 2017, John was the Managing Director & CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Prior to this, he was CEO of the Financial Services Council from 2009 to 2015 and CEO of Manchester Unity from 2006 to 2008. John is the President of LifeLine International and Patron of Lifeline Australia, serving as its Chairman from 2012 to 2021. He is a leading international advocate for suicide prevention.
From 1996 to 2005, John was the Member for Pittwater in the NSW Parliament. In 2002, he was elected Leader of the Opposition – the youngest person ever to lead a major political party in Australia. John holds a Masters of Public A airs from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Janet Meagher AM
Janet has used her lived experience of mental illness to promote the consumer voice and has advocated for people with lived experience of mental illness to be leaders across all levels of the mental health system.
Janet has provided a lived experience voice in many roles, including government decision-making and planning, as a National Mental Health Commissioner, Independent Advisory Committee of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, Community Expert Member of the Disability Strategic Engagement Group of the Royal Commission into Violence Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, and Board member and Secretary of the World Federation of Mental Health. With her work continuing over many decades, Janet was recognised in 2017 with the Australian Mental Health Prize. In 1996, Janet was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for service as an advocate for people with mental illness and psychiatric disability’.
Dr Jonathon Welch AM
Multi award winning singer, conductor, teacher, composer, director and recording artist, Jonathon Welch is one of Australia’s most unique and diverse artists with a career spanning four decades.
Jonathon has performed around the World alongside many of the finest singers, directors and conductors including Baz Lurhmann, John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, KD Lang, Grace Bumbry, Frederica Von Stade and Dame Joan Sutherland in some of the world’s great Concert Halls and Opera Houses including Carnegie Hall, New York, Royal Albert Hall, London and Sydney Opera House.
In 2007, Jonathon’s work creating choirs for the homeless and disadvantaged in Australia was the subject of the internationally acclaimed ARIA, Logie and Helpmann award winning TV documentary ‘Choir of Hard Knocks’, also creating the ‘Jailbirds’ documentary in the Victorian Women’s Prisons in 2009, and was a Judge on the highly successful ‘Battle of the Choirs’ TV series for Channel 7.
Jonathon has been recognised for his outstanding commitment to the music industry, youth music education and his work with marginalised and homeless communities with the Victorian and Australian of the Year Local Hero 2008, ANZAC of the Year 2009, an Honorary Doctorate, an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009 and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.
In 2009 Jonathon created and launched ‘Social Inclusion Week’ making Australia the only country in the world to celebrate Social Inclusion nationally, and in September 2012 launched his vision for the future of arts, cultural and well-being programs for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage with the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ and 'Play It Forward' - inclusive arts programs for all Australians.
A 54-year career as a full-time motoring journalist included 16-years as Editor of Wheels magazine, plus 16-years spent living in Italy working as European editor of the UK’s weekly Autocar and Wheels, while also writing for America’s Car & Driver magazine and Japan’s Car Graphic. Peter returned to Australia in 2005, in part to write a book on the development of the all-new VE Holden Commodore. He continued to work as a freelance journalist for Wheels until retirement in 2014. Today, he still writes two to three major features a year.
Peter has a son who is supported by Flourish Australia.
Empowering women to own the skin they are in, by boldly loving their unique strengths, is at the core of the Ella Baché brand philosophy. Pippa's great aunt, Madame Ella Baché graduated as a pharmacist in Prague, and despite being denied education as a woman in the 1920’s her ethos remained true, with a prerogative to educate young women. Today, Pippa carries on her legacy, as the education and future of women remains at the forefront of her mind.
With knowledge creating maximum results at the core of the brand, they went on to initiate the revolutionary Ella Baché Skincare College, designed to support and educate women about caring for their skin, whilst honing in on their treatment techniques and knowledge. Today, many of their college students emerge as businesswomen in their own right, with more than 1,000 accomplished women working as therapists and Ella Baché business owners across 120 Ella Bache salons and 30 David Jones stores plus a growing e-commerce business. Advocating for equal rights, celebrating diversity and commitment to inclusive work cultures, matter to them.
As third-generation CEO, Pippa steered the company through some of the greatest challenges the industry has ever faced. What business leadership in uncertain times has taught her is that, even when the tide appears to be staunchly against you, holding fast to your values and vision, with persistence, positivity, passion and purpose, will ultimately see you through to where you want to be.
By standing together, we can continually adapt to an ever-changing world with the confidence that we are not alone, we are accepted, we are supported, we have a voice, and we can make a difference. It’s the sure path to flourishing.
Sam Lane is a pioneering broadcast journalist and author. Her award-winning work spans print, television, podcast and radio.
Sam’s first book, ROAR was launched by Australian luminary Natasha Stott-Despoja, and formally endorsed by Australia’s only woman Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
ROAR is the definitive account of the 2017 birth of the Australian Football League’s elite competition for women. The AFLW is catalysing profound change on and off-field, in a global movement for gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
Sam has delivered keynote presentations on the topic in Australia and abroad, including at the Australian Embassy in Paris.
Commissioned by Hardie-Grant, she is now writing the story of Australian sporting luminary, Erin Phillips – with that book set for release in 2023.
A trailblazing television broadcaster, Sam covered men’s AFL on Channels Seven and Ten over 15 years. She joined Channel Seven’s prime time Saturday Night Footy team in 2013 and was also part of Seven’s record-breaking broadcast of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Sam is a co-host and boundary rider for Channel Seven broadcasts of AFL women’s matches, covering every season since the AFLW launched in 2017.
She hosts a weekly Australian Broadcasting Corporation podcast -‘The W – with Sharni and Sam’ - with former Australian netball captain turned AFLW star Sharni Norder.
Sam’s journalism awards include two Melbourne Press Club Quills, a Walkley, two VicHealth awards, the AFL Players’ Association media prize, the AFL Coaches’ Association’s media prize, three VicSport awards and an Australian Sports Commission Sport Australia Media award.
Sam has covered road and track cycling on Channel Seven and became a regular on the network’s flagship program, Weekend Sunrise, in 2018.
Sam wrote for Melbourne’s The Age and Sunday Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers for 13 years. She reported from Beijing, London, Rio and Delhi covering Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Sam has reported from the Tour de France three times, and Italy’s Giro d’Italia. In July 2023 she reported on the landmark first women’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
Sam’s online following exceeds 100,000.
Top corporates, educational institutes and sporting clubs engage Sam as a keynote speaker, event host, conference moderator and consultant. Clients include QBE, Virgin Australia, Mercedes Benz Australia, National Australia Bank, Sport Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Sydney Swans and Richmond AFL football clubs.
Sam sits on the Australian Institute of Sport’s Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement Advisory Committee, chaired by legendary Olympian Ian Thorpe. Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry is a fellow committee member.
She joined the Board of Directors of The Chappell Foundation - which fundraises for homeless youth and has Dame Quentin Bryce among its patrons - in September 2021. Sam also sits on the steering committee for the Sydney Swans AFL women’s team; an advisory group created in 2021.
She is undertaking an Australian Institute of Company Directors course after winning a scholarship from Sport New South Wales in August 2022.
Sam was selected for the inaugural Sport Australia-Australian Institute of Sport Executive Talent program in 2019; one of 16 inaugural alumnae.
She has been an ambassador for the Basil Sellers Art Prize, Move in May, Run Melbourne, Beyond Blue and Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Political Science and English literature from the University of Melbourne. She completed a Diploma of Modern Languages in French at Bordeaux’s Université Michel de Montaigne.
Sam presented, wrote and produced two series of The Originals podcast for top AFL club, Richmond in 2020-21. The Originals hit number one Australian sports podcast on Apple iTunes charts upon its launch.
Now freelance, Sam’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, ESCAPE, Virgin Australia’s in-flight magazine Voyeur and Spectrum.
Sam moved to Sydney from Melbourne in 2018. She lives by the sea and swims in it as often as possible.
Luc Longley AM
Luc's inherent curiosity and courage led him to blaze the trail for elite Australian basketballers becoming the first Australian to play in the NBA. He also represented Australia in three Olympic Teams including at the 1988 Seoul Olympics which delivered Australia's best result for the Men's Team.
Luc joined the Chicago Bulls in 1994 and was their starting centre from 1995 to 1998. He was a critical component in their famous three-peat, winning back to back championships from 1996-1998 and setting an NBA record with 72 wins and only 10 losses. Luc was coached and mentored by the legendary Phil Jackson and played alongside some of basketball's most iconic players including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr. The Team, and this incredible accomplishment, were the subjects of the 2020 Netflix & ESPN Documentary, The Last Dance.
Following the Bull's 1998 victory Luc was traded to the Phoenix Suns and then the New York Knicks. In 2001, Luc retired from professional basketball due to a degenerative condition in his ankle which plagued him throughout his career.
After a 12-year break, Luc re-entered the world of basketball and signed on as an Assistant Coach for the Australian National Men's Team, the Boomers, ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, a role he held until recently. In 2019 Luc was named a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to basketball as a player, coach and administrator. Luc currently works with the Sydney Kings as a special advisor and joined the ownership group of the Kings in 2022.
Foundation Members are fundamental to the success of the Foundation, bringing their valuable time, passion, insights and networks to promote Flourish Australia’s work, guiding fundraising projects, and inviting participation in important social capital projects.
Professor Elizabeth More AM, MAICD, Chair
Elizabeth is widely published in the areas of organisational change, communication, knowledge management, sustainable leadership, and management. Elizabeth’s dedication and service to education was recognised with her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.
Dr Marianne Broadbent
As Managing Partner of NGS Global, and in her earlier career with Gartner and Melbourne Business School, working with industry and government leaders helped Marianne to understand the many different paths they follow. Like managing the uncertainty of sailing open seas on a small yacht, we have some idea of where we want to end up, but won’t achieve this by attempting to head in a straight line. We must deal with the vagaries of weather, wind and waves by tacking; an approach to navigating change that she addresses, in a personal way, in her book: The Agile Executive: Embracing Career Risks and Rewards.
Earlier career roles, including Visiting Researcher at Boston University’s School of Management, led to two Harvard Business School best sellers about leadership in technology management.
Marrianne counts co-founding Social Venture Partners Australia, and being a Non-Executive Director of the Conversation Media Group, among her passions. Along the way, she became a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors and The Australian Library and Information Association, and was a finalist in The Telstra Business Women’s Award.
Hugh De Kretser
Hugh has dedicated his career to advancing human rights and he is passionate about working with others to achieve a fairer, more compassionate society. He joined the Flourish Australia Foundation because he believes in the work of Flourish Australia and has been deeply impressed by its innovative and empowering approach to supporting people with lived experience of complex mental health issues.
There is so much more that needs to be done. Many who reach out for help face significant barriers in finding it and many government laws, policies and systems need to improve.Hugh wants to help Flourish Australia to extend its positive impact, helping more people and developing and promoting new, ground-breaking ways of delivering assistance.
Hugh has over two decades of human rights legal experience advocating for positive change and has served in range of executive, board and statutory appointments. In his work leading human rights and social justice not-for-profit organisations, he has enjoyed connecting with people who want to support effective work that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Working together, we can bring about change and realise a shared vision of a better future where people with lived experience of complex mental health issues can reach their potential and flourish. We can end stigma and discrimination and we can secure dignity, equality, respect, understanding and hope.
Widely experienced in institutional advancement, fundraising and development, in the education and not-for-profit sectors, Peter wants to see Flourish Australia well-resourced to become truly national in reach and impact. He has the practical experience in setting up foundations, including for The University of Western Australia and Macquarie University.
Peter will leverage his experience in a sensitive and complex negotiation with Australian and international trusts and foundations, to position the Flourish Foundation Australia to bring about world-recognised solutions to a fragmented system, making it easier for people to navigate their way to wellbeing, and removing roadblocks to recovery.
Powerful intervention in his own lifetime of lived experience of Complex PTSD as a survivor of child sexual abuse, has given him heartfelt appreciation for Flourish Australia’s commitment to being a judgement-free place where anyone can come as they are, feel safe, find the best advice, and gain access to whatever support they need to thrive.
As an independent consultant, and Executive Director of Donorcentricity P/L, Peter have advised and counselled organisations including Flourish Australia, The Sutherland Hospital and Garrawarra Centre, St John of God Healthcare, Mosman Environmental Foundation, The Powerhouse Museum and The National Art School. Current appointments include Non-Executive Director Stronger Smarter Institute, Catalyst for Renewal – Spirituality in the Pub, Spirituality on the Sofa. Peter holds a Bachelor of Science (Pathology) and Bachelor of Arts (Music).
Mark Orr AM
Too often, the opportunities available for people to live the life they want are limited by stigma and discrimination. By developing partnerships, amplifying the voice of lived experience in mental health services and the system more broadly, and raising funds to develop new services and continue research, the foundation will facilitate far greater possibilities for those who need a little more support to make and live a good life.
The foundation brings the values of Flourish Australia to life in tangible ways, echoing the work of the family and community members who founded the organisation decades ago.
Mark places great importance on research and building an evidence base, and believes that ensuring services are co-designed and co-led by people with lived experience of complex mental health issues is the foundation of mental health reform.
"Honoured to be recognised for my service to community health, I have worked extensively in disability and mental health services in operational and governance roles." For decades, he has also championed HIV prevention, care and support, along with LGBTIQ, health care and human rights.
"The Flourish Australia Foundation provides a great opportunity for me to continue a focus on social justice, human rights and good governance in mental health services; helping people with a complex mental health issue create the future they hope for, and ensuring no one is left behind." Mark said.
Bringing her media skills and connections to the life changing work of the Flourish Foundation Australia has deeply personal meaning for Alison.
Throughout her hard-won, global media career, Alison fought long and hard to break free from the debilitating effects of intergenerational mental illness in her family. She survived emotional, physical,and sexual abuse in childhood, and overcame financial disadvantage, only to endure sexual harassment, bullying and censorship as an intelligent young woman in the media industry where toxic male behaviour was considered normal.
There was no such thing as informed support in the 1970’s, 80 and 90’s, so her way of coping was to block the abuse from memory and forge ahead. Alison's father, who she believes knowingly exposed her to paedophiles, had developed severe mental illness after the deaths of some of his own siblings in horrific family violence and during WWII. This toxic family home life left her vulnerable to further abuse.
She's always said," I’m astonished to still be alive. I didn’t come through it alone, there were pivotal moments in my life when sought professional support. On my own. "
As a teenager, Alison used her smarts to pursue an education which she knew was the key to breaking free of her situation. She persisted with applying for scholarships until she succeeded and attained a BA in Communications from UTS and a Master of Science from The University of Illinois.
When she embarked on her international media career in the 1970’s, in addition to the trauma of attending violent crime scenes, plane crashes and riots, she learned that being raped, sexually harassed, bullied and censored, was considered normal. Women who stood up for themselves were labelled ‘crazy”. She compartmentalised her pain and pushed on with her career.
Without clear understanding of what mental health looks like, how can we discern the difference between someone ‘being justifiably upset’ and ‘serious mental distress’.
Once She was senior journalist and hit the point where she said, ‘enough, this will not happen on my shift’, and took responsibility for building newsrooms where people could feel safe and respected.
In 2003, Alison was the recipient of a highly coveted, Reuters Journalism Fellowship to Oxford University and now as a fully qualified University Lecturer, she teaches her students the value and necessity of respect. Young people now, especially young women, have a great attitude. They take no prisoners and do not tolerate disrespect.
Alison wants to be part of the Foundation’s mission to make sure that people understand what constitutes complex mental health issues, and that no-one needs to try to navigate their way out of the whirlpool on their own, because they will have people walking with them who intimately understand what they are going through, because they’ve lived to share their own story of recovery.
Scientia Associate Professor Simon Rosenbaum
Simon has a passion for supporting healthcare professionals to become champions for the importance of physical activity in improving a person’s mental health. For more than 14 years he has advocated for the allied healthcare workforce to be viewed as an integral part of mental health services. He has worked extensively with people whose lives have been interrupted by mental health issues, including youth experiencing psychosis, veterans and emergency service workers living with PTSD, and people from a refugee background, living in Bangladesh. This, along with five years at the in-patient mental health facility of St John of God Hospital and extensive community mental health work, gives him frontline understanding of the great need the Flourish Foundation Australia has set out to respond to.
The pandemic has brought much needed momentum to global recognition of the need for strategies to create soft pathways into mental health care and he's excited by the potential for what can be achieved to progress this through the work of the foundation
Simon has a background in exercise physiology and completed my PhD in the role of physical activity for people living with mental illness. He work more broadly examines the role of non-pharmacological approaches to promoting mental health, such as exercise and nutrition. Simon is Scientia Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine UNSW, Sydney. Since 2019, he has been recognised by the Clarivate Highly Cited list for mental health.
Simon has published 220 peer-reviewed publications including a textbook and a Lancet Commission.
He was an elected national director of Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2015-2021). He is the current President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ASTSS) and Co-Chair of the Olympic Refuge Foundation’s Think Tank on sport and humanitarian settings.