TheMHS Board

Cath Chapman Biography

BA (Hons) (USYD), PhD, (UNSW)

Cath is an Professor at The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, where she is also Program Director of an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE). She has conducted research across university, community, and hospital settings. She worked for many years leading analysis of Australia’s first and second National Surveys of Mental Health and Wellbeing as well as large school-based clinical trials. She currently leads an innovative program of research on the epidemiology and prevention of mental health and substance use problems with a strong focus on translating evidence into practice for the general community.

Having been a member of TheMHS Board since 2000, Cath was a Co-convenor of the Summer Forum Program from 2008-2015, a member of the Conference Proceedings Editorial Board since 1998 and TheMHS Administrative Committee 2009-2020. She has held a number of other positions within the organisation including Scientific Program and Conference Convenor (2002), member Scientific Program Committee (2010), Chair of the Board (2011, 2012) and Deputy Treasurer (2017).

Current Position: Board Chair

Member Since: 2000

Vivienne Miller Biography

MA (Educ. & Work); BA (Italian Studies); Dip.OT (WA); AFHSM;  Mental Health Consultant in education, training, project management, evaluation and occupational therapy.   

Vivienne has worked in mental health services in Australia and England for over 50 years in many capacities: occupational therapist and manager, quality improvement manager, university lecturer, co-ordinator of site visit educational programs, project officer to develop mental health standards, member of research teams, mental health educator and conference director.

She is Member of the board of the WPA Section on Public Policy and is a member of the executive of WAPR Australia (World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation). She is a co-author of the National Standards for Mental Health Services (1996) and an advisor to the National Mental Health Workforce Standards and the 2010 revision of the National Standards for Mental Health Services.

She holds a Masters degree in Education and Work (Macquarie University) and an undergraduate degree in European Languages at Macquarie University, studying Italian so she can learn more about the Italian reforms in mental health, but also to travel to Italy for the coffee, food, art and the people. She was the founder and Chair of NECTA (Network for Exploring Creativity through the Arts) for 30 years until 2010. Currently she is involved in the development of a Mind Museum, Arts and Neuroscience Park on the ex-psychiatric hospital site at Callan Park, Sydney.

Vivienne was the Founding Executive Director of the largest, most inclusive mental health conference in Australia (TheMHS Conference). TheMHS attracts over 1000 clinicians, managers, team leaders, consumers, families, educators, policy-makers and researchers annually; provides bursaries for consumers (people with mental illness) to attend the conference; administers and organises national mental health service achievement awards.

Current Position: Board Member; Conference Program Consultant

Member Since: 1991

Fiona Orr Biography

RN, BHSc (Nursing), MLitt, PhD.

Dr Fiona Orr is the Director of Studies, Staffing Matters, in the Faculty of Health at UTS, and is a senior lecturer in mental health nursing. She is a registered nurse with clinical experience in hospital-based and community mental health services, and she has extensive experience in the tertiary education sector. Fiona teaches and researches immersive learning approaches in mental health education. For example, she co-designed a live simulation with experts by lived experience of mental disorder to develop students’ recovery-focused communication skills. She also co-developed a voice-hearing simulation workshop to develop students’ awareness of the effects of voice-hearing and empathy for people who hear voices. She received a UTS Learning and Teaching award for ‘Strengthening the UTS Model of Learning’ and an Australian Universities Award for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’.

Fiona has been involved with TheMHS Board since 2015.

Current Position: Board Member

Member Since: 2016

Sadie Robertson Biography

MA (Education and Work)(Macq); Dip OT (NSW).

Sadie’s professional work in mental health includes Prince of Wales Psychiatric Unit (1980-84) Lower North Shore Extended Hours Team (1986-1990), RANZCP, Manager Professional Development (1995-2007) and Consultant 2008-13. Currently she is appointed as an Official Visitor in Mental Health under the NSW Ministry of Health.

Sadie is an occupational therapist who has worked for many years in mental health. She started her TheMHS experience by assisting at the 1992 conference at Westmead and has been involved ever since, becoming a foundation member of the Board when TheMHS became formally incorporated. During her time with TheMHS Sadie has served as Vice Chair, Chair and Secretary of the Board. She convened the 2010 Conference in Sydney and acted as Liaison for the Canberra and other conferences.

Current Position: Board Member

Member Since: 1992

Alan Rosen Biography

Alan is Professorial Fellow, Illawarra Institute of Mental Health, University of Wollongong, Clinical Associate Professor, Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Australia; Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Far West LHD Mental Health Service, NSW; formerly Inaugural Deputy Commissioner, Mental Health Commission of New South Wales, and formerly Service Director, and Director of Clinical Services, Royal North Shore Hospital & Community Mental Health Services, Sydney, He is the Chair of TAMHSS: Transforming Australia’s Mental Health Service System Inc. Awards include Margery Johnston Award, Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill, 1989, Ian Simpson Award, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 1994; Officer of the Order of Australia, Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2014.

He has reviewed mental health services for governments and administrations in 5 Australian states, the ACT and internationally. He has been visiting professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a visiting senior fellow at Harvard University, Boston, USA. He has been invited speaker and/or performed consultancies on service development in several Australian states and territories, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and New Zealand. He was a presidential invited speaker for the American Psychiatric Association in 2019, and for the World Psychiatric Association in 2017 and 2019.

Alan is the author or co-author of 150+ published journal articles or chapters on studies of 24 hour community based alternatives to acute and long term inpatient care, crisis management, early intervention in psychosis, rehabilitation and recovery, assertive case management and integrated mental health service systems; more inclusive interdisciplinary mental health teams, including peer workers, co-occuring disorder specialists and community pharmacists; psychiatric stigma and discrimination; co-occuring disorders, deinstitutionalization, consumer issues, family interventions; indigenous mental health, anthropology of global mental health, rural and remote mental health, cultural influences on mental health service systems, qualitative and quantitative outcome measures, recovery measurement, impaired practitioners, research and evaluation in mental health, mental health service standards, the National Mental Health Strategy, the future of community psychiatry and of community mental health services, human rights of individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses, international comparisons between Mental Health Commissions, the history of Australian Psychiatry, and has co-edited a book on the “early intervention of nearly everything”.

Alan has been involved with TheMHS since 1991 as a founding Board member. He has presented at TheMHS Conferences and Summer Forums on a wide variety of topics since its inception.

Current Position: Board Member

Member Since: 1991

Tully Rosen Biography

Bachelor of Arts-Psychology, Diploma of Business (Governance), Graduate Diploma of Media, Master of Management (2020), Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (FICDA)
Tully is a policy advisor, experienced executive and consultant in the government and non-profit sectors. His background stretches across health, disability and community service systems. In his current role as Principal Advisor for the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, he provides strategic coordination and leadership across various parts of the NDIS regulatory framework.
Over the past 15 years he has worked at the highest levels of human service development and mental health reform. Tully has held leadership positions with organisations including the NSW Mental Health Commission, SIRA, Homelessness NSW, Suicide Prevention Australia, the Mental Health Coordinating Council, St John of God Health Care and Blue Knot Foundation.
Tully has supported TheMHS events since he was a teenager and has enjoyed watching it grow to become the largest gathering of mental health professionals in the country.

Current Position: Treasurer

Member Since: 2010

Megan Still Biography

Megan uses her background in occupational therapy to help create consumer led mental health services that support well-being. Currently the Service Planning and Innovation Manager in Sydney Local Health District, she has a keen interest in systems that enable people to live in the community and exercise real choice in services.  Megan loves transparency in services and reporting, consumer and carer experiences of service processes, outcome measures, the peer support revolution and hopefulness.

Megan has been involved with TheMHS as a delegate since 2004, was on the Local Organising Committee for the Sydney Conference in 2017 and became a board member in 2019.

Current Position: Board Member

Member Since: 2019

Stephen Suttie Biography

Masters of Social Work (University of Sydney), Graduate Diploma of Social Health in Alcohol and other drug Counselling (Maquarie University).

Stephen has over 15 years’ experience working in the community services sector, specifically working in community based mental health and homelessness services with a focus on dual diagnosis and physical health. Stephen is a Regional Manager at Neami National specialising in community based mental health outreach programs which aim to support people with complex mental health issues to live meaningful lives in the community and participate fully in society. Stephen is passionate about recovery-oriented practice and health literacy and keeps these frameworks at the fore front of his work with consumers and in the services he overseas.

Stephen has been involved with TheMHS since 2017 and became a board member in 2019.

Current Position: Deputy Chair

Member Since: 2019

Maree Teesson Biography

Maree Teesson is Professor and Director of The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE) and NHMRC Leadership Research Fellow at The University of Sydney. Maree is Chair of Australia’s Mental Health Think Tank and Chair of the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission Expert Advisory Panel. Maree is a Former National Mental Health Commissioner (2018-2021), an Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. Maree was announced as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List, awarded a Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence (Innovation), and awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers. Maree has made a major contribution to Australia’s health and medical research effort in the field of mental health and substance use. In particular, she is known nationally and internationally for her research on the comorbidity between mental health and substance use disorders. She is also a long term member of TheMHS Board, since 1991.

Current Position: Board Member

Member Since: 1991