Department of Health

A new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission for Victoria

The Victorian Government is establishing a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

The new Commission will hold government to account for the performance, quality and safety of Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is an independent statutory authority. It will have substantial powers to obtain and share data, begin inquiries and investigate complaints.

The new Commission will drive cultural change across the system and support people with lived experience to lead and partner in reform. It will also have a key role in leading actions to reduce stigma related to mental health.

The Commission will be established with full powers and responsibilities when the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 commences on 1 September 2023. It will be an independent entity that will monitor and publicly report on the performance, quality and safety of the mental health and wellbeing system and elevate leadership of people with lived experience.

The functions of the Mental Health Complaints CommissionerExternal Link will fold into the new Commission on 1 September 2023.

The new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission will have more extensive powers than the current Mental Health Complaints Commissioner. It will be able to investigate a matter without a complaint being made and conduct broad inquiries into any matter relating to its objectives or functions.

Appointment of Commissioners

The Victorian Government has appointed four Commissioners to lead the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Chair Commissioner Treasure Jennings is supported by three Commissioners – Annabel Brebner, Jacqueline Gibson and Kathleen Maggie Toko.

The Commission includes designated roles for Commissioners with lived or living experience of mental illness or psychological distress and with experience as a family member, carer or supporter.

Commissioners will start stakeholder engagement activities when the Commission is established in September 2023.

  • Treasure Jennings
    Chair Commissioner

    Treasure Jennings is the Chair Commissioner of the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Treasure brings extensive experience in senior leadership roles where she has worked to elevate consumer rights. She has spent the past two and a half years as the joint Mental Health Complaints Commissioner and Disability Services Commissioner. She is also a former Public Transport Ombudsman and has more than twenty years of general management and senior leadership experience in several other statutory entities.

    Treasure is passionate about the rights of people experiencing mental health issues. She is drawn to work that involves system reform and process improvements, especially where those improvements support the structural and cultural changes needed to promote a kinder, more compassionate service and community approach to diversity, trauma and individual needs. Treasure brings a personal experience to her role, both as someone with an experience of mental health issues and as someone with a long history of engagement with the mental health system as a carer, family member and supporter.

    Annabel Brebner

    Annabel Brebner has been appointed as a Commissioner of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. An experienced executive, economist and public policy consultant, she has more than 17 years’ experience advising Commonwealth and State governments across a range of social policy matters including health, mental health, and areas of intersection.

    Annabel has experience of the Victorian Government context drawn during her time as Director, Performance Audit with the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office. She has a strong background in mental health through her work in ACIL Allen’s Health and Mental Health policy and evaluation practice, where she worked on projects including the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce, and the evaluation of various initiatives addressing the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommendations.

    Passionate about sport, community and creating a sense of belonging, Annabel has experienced mental ill health as a consumer and a carer of family members experiencing suicidality and mental ill health. She understands the life-changing impacts when treatment, care and support are unavailable or fall short of what is needed.

    Annabel is deeply passionate about system reform, and understands the importance of meaningful monitoring, reporting and oversight arrangements.

    Jacqueline Gibson

    Jacqueline Gibson has been appointed as a Commissioner who will bring her lived experience as a family member, carer or supporter of someone experiencing mental illness or psychological distress to her role. With experience in governance, regulation, advocacy, community development, and human rights, she has been a board member on a variety of national and state bodies, including organisations in the community and not-for-profit sectors.

    Jacqueline has extensive advisory and consumer representation experience in the mental health sector through work with Tandem, Black Dog Institute, Independent Mental Health Advocacy, and the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council. An advocate of justice and service quality in the mental health, housing, and disability sectors, Jacqueline has lived experience of mental health challenges in association with homelessness.

    Jacqueline has an in-depth understanding of systems, processes, and policy, and is passionate about creating the best outcomes for people living with mental illness and those close to them. She is also passionate about the role of reconciliation in the Aboriginal experience of mental health, and wants to practically address inadequate service, injustice, trauma and discrimination experienced by First Nations people.

    Maggie Toko

    Maggie Toko has been appointed as a Commissioner who will bring her lived experience of mental illness to her role. She brings experience from a variety of positions ranging from work as a consumer consultant to roles in not-for-profit leadership. She is the former CEO of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) and most recently, the Assistant Commissioner of the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner.

    Maggie's experience as CEO of VMIAC gave her great insight into the consumer movement and the challenges that consumers face on a daily basis. This coupled with her work in homelessness, sexual assault and youth work makes her determined to fight for change and to raise the voice of the unheard.

    Maggie identifies as indigenous to Aotearoa and is of Ngapuhi - Ngati whatua descent. She also identifies as same sex attracted and as someone with a lived experience of mental illness. Maggie is a fierce believer in human rights and has a strong commitment to ensuring that the voices of all consumers are not only heard but listened to.

Reviewed 13 March 2023

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