TheMHS Association

Roger Gurr Biography

Associate Professor; MB; BS; DPM; MRC Psych.; FRANZCP

Trained in Psychiatry in Sydney, London and Oxford Universities. Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Fellow of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Appointed in 2008 as Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney. In 1980 commenced building Australia’s first community based integrated mental health service in the Blacktown area, receiving recognition as one of the benchmark services in the National Mental Health Strategy process. In 2000 became Medical Director for mental health services at Liverpool Hospital and Community Services.

In 2005 he was appointed Area Director of Mental Health for Sydney West Area Health Service (covering 1.15 million population, budget $158 million). In 2012 he returned to clinical work in the City of Blacktown with interests in youth mental health, a short stay unit and teaching. Academic interests include health system design and economics, models of care and their delivery, and the funding methodologies required to achieve best practice, team work and equity of access. Previously President and National Secretary of Amnesty International Australia and currently Chair, the NSW Service for the Treatment And Rehabilitation for Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).

He took the position of Clinical Director of the headspace Early Psychosis program in Western Sydney in January 2015.

Founding member of TheMHS Learning Network.

Current Position: Association Member

Board Member: 1991 – 2018

Association Member since 2019

Peter McGeorge Bio

Peter McGeorge Biography

Associate Professor: Universities of NSW and Notre Dame QSO, BSc, MB ChB, FRANZCP, DPM

Peter is an Adolescent and General Psychiatrist who has extensive experience in the development and delivery of services as the Director of three major mental health services in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney. He is a past Chair of the NZ Mental Health Foundation and the NZ Mental Health Commission and was the Oceania Vice-President for the World Federation for Mental Health (2003-2007). Currently he is engaged in researching Urban Mental Health Services with the Centre for Mental Services Research at Australian National University and is involved in service design and development projects through his consultancy “Mental Health Horizons”. He is also Chair of the Wayside Chapel’s Clinical Governance Committee and is a Senior Associate of the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC).

Current Position: Association Member

Board Member: 2005-2018

Association member since 2019

Marilyn McMurchie Bio

Marilyn McMurchie Biography

Assoc. Professor (Discipline of General Practice) USYD; MD; OAM

Marilyn started general practice work in Darlinghurst just when Kinsela’s changed from being a funeral parlour to an entertainment venue. The HIV pandemic came to notice at about the same time. Providing care for those affected by HIV became a major part of her work and from 1991 to 1993, she was President of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine. As a member of the NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections, that commitment continued until 2013; currently she represents the NSW Faculty of the RACGP on the committee overseeing the implementation of the NSW Ministry of Health’s strategy to eliminate HIV infection. In the 1990s she received a World AIDS Day award then in 2006 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services in HIV care and education.

As a Public Health Physician, she was a member of the Joint Public Health Advisory Committee of the General Practice Partnership Advisory Council and was the RACGP National Adviser to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Breast Cancer Centre. She is an examiner for the Australian Medical Council.

A past worker at Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre, she is a feminist, and from 1998-2001 was President of the Australian Federation of Medical Women. The Australian Medical Association awarded her their Women’s Health Award in 2003.

After five years as a Senior Research Fellow, she became an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Discipline of General Practice at the University of Sydney.

For years now she has spent time every year doing locum work in rural and remote Australia.

From 2007 – 2018,  she served as a Board Member of TheMHS, an educational organisation committed to improving the quality of mental health services in Australia and New Zealand.

Current Position: Association Member

Board Member: 2007 – 2018

Association Member since 2019

Tim Heffernan Biography

Tim Heffernan has recently been appointed as a Deputy Commissioner for the Mental Health Commission of NSW, previously he had been a member of the Commission’s Community Advisory Council since its establishment in 2014. Tim works as the Mental Health Peer Coordinator at COORDINARE, South Eastern NSW PHN. He is a past chair of Being (NSW Consumer Advisory Group) and the NSW Public Mental Health Consumer WorkersCommittee. He is a foundation member of the Consumer Led Research Network and an executive member of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative. He was a volunteer Rural and Regional Ambassador and Community Presenter for the Black Dog Institute. In 2013 he was awarded a scholarship to attend Boston University’s Global Leadership Institute to develop a co-designed project, Safety for All, which involved peer workers training mental health nurses working on acute mental health wards.

Tim grew up in rural and regional NSW and now lives with his family in Wollongong. He enjoyed a twenty-year career as a high school teacher before moving to disability support work in 2006 and peer work in 2009. Tim identifies as a person with lived experience of mental illness and recovery and he is passionate about the development and support of the peer workforce.

Tim contributed a chapter titled ‘Peer Work and Climate Change’, to the book ‘Peer Work in Australia’ and was co-editor of the textbook, ‘Contemporary Psychiatric – Mental Health Nursing – Partnerships in Care’. He is co-editor of Verity La’s ‘Clozapine Clinic – the Frater project’, an online journal for mad poetry and prose. Tim believes that we need to keep people connected to their families, friends, jobs and communities, while also eliminating the stigma and discrimination that prevents them from regaining citizenship.

Current Position: Association Member

Association Member since 2019