The Awards Selection Process

How are award winners selected?

The Mental Health Service Awards is a peer reviewed process, based on information supplied in the written entry. Each entry is evaluated against the published criteria for that Award category. For a TheMHS Award to be granted, an entry must satisfy each of the stated criteria.

TheMHS Learning Network reserves the right to make changes to the number of awards in each category. There is a possibility that no award is granted for a category. The Judges’ decision is final.

Non-Award Level Recognition

In addition to the Award winners, judges may wish to award a Highly Commended recognition to acknowledge quality aspects of an entry and encourage further development.

The Judging Panels

TheMHS Awards Judging Panels are convened for each category of the Awards. Each panel is comprised of five judges, who cover a broad spectrum of mental health disciplines across Australia and New Zealand. These can include mental health consumers and carers, academics, researchers, psychiatrists, program managers, and health workers.

The Media Awards Judging Panels are comprised of a mix of communication and media professionals, and mental health experts.

The respective panels review all Award submissions and decide on the Award winners in collaboration with the Awards Manager.

Award Judges 2024

Alex Li

Alexandra Keller

Andrea Taylor

Anne White

Brendan O’Hanlon

Carol Churchill

Carrie Lumby

Catharine Campbell

Doug Holmes

Elizabeth Paton

Ellie Fossey

Emma Paino

Gayle McNaught

Gisele Rossini

Jo River

John Farhall

Julia Hennessy

Julie Millard

Justin Scanlan

Karen Wells

Kat Bhathena

Kate Priddle

Katrina Champion

Keith Sutton

Lorraine Powell

Lyndal Sherwin

Lynne Dunbar

Lynne Malcolm 

Mark Smith

Matthew Green

Mike Smith

Nicola Hancock

Nicole Buckland

Penny Feilaffe

Peter McKenzie

Rochelle Hine

Roger Gurr

Sadie Robertson

Sam Higgins

Shane Fenwick

Sharon Lawn

Simon Katterl

Steve Suttie

Sue Williams

Tim Heffernan

The Judging Process

Judges score each entry according to the criteria as stated on the website (for specific criteria please see the webpage for the relevant category). These criteria need to be addressed in the full description section (“Part B”) of each entry.

To help control for inter-rater variability, those entries receiving first and second places for each judge are taken into account. Judges meet to confer on each Award category and to decide who will receive Awards or Highly Commended recognition.

Entrants are asked to nominate 2 referees as part of the submission process.  Referees may be contacted to provide further clarification regarding content of an entry.


If a conflict of interest arises where a judge or other person concerned with the Awards Program finds that he or she has been involved in the development or implementation of  an Award program or service, the judge notifies the Awards Manager. He or she will not be involved in marking the relevant entry and will absent themselves from any discussions regarding that entry.

To learn more about the TheMHS 2024 Awards, click here.