Department of Health

Members appointed to Interim Regional Bodies for Mental Health


The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recommended a shift to a new approach to mental health and wellbeing across the state, placing communities across Victoria closer to decisions in their region. As this is a significant shift for services and the sector, the Royal Commission recommended a phased approach over several years for this transition.

As the first step, in 2022, Chairs were appointed to eight Interim Regional Bodies across the state, five in regional areas (Loddon Mallee, Barwon South West, Grampians, Hume and Gippsland) and three in metropolitan Melbourne (South East Metro, North East Metro and Western Metro). The Interim Regional Bodies will assist and advise the Victorian Government about local mental health and wellbeing needs as it plans for and delivers mental health and wellbeing services.

The Interim Regional Bodies are now fully established, with members now appointed in each region. Members were selected following a competitive expression of interest process, and bring a range of skills and experience, including community engagement and regional knowledge. Each Interim Regional Body includes members who identify with a personal lived and living experiences of mental illness or psychological distress and/or a lived and living experience as a family member or carer.

The Interim Regional Bodies will first focus on building trusted relationships with community and stakeholders within their regions and establishing strong community participation processes, including elevating lived and living experience perspectives. They will also assist and advise the Department of Health on the pathway to the longer-term pathway to establishing the Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards regional governance.

The Interim Regional Bodies will be in place until the legislated Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards are established through the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act.

Barwon South West

  • Kathy Wilson (Chair)
  • Clare Amies
  • Theresa Best
  • Eila Lyon
  • Gerard Reed
  • Bianca Forrester


  • Melissa Field (Chair)
  • Louise Mountford
  • Faith Hardman
  • David Harris
  • Mary Hollick
  • Mark Lacey

Loddon Mallee

  • Paul O’Neill (Chair)
  • Jack Smith
  • Abhishek Awasthi
  • Jasmine Elliott
  • Jo Rasmussen
  • Melissa Petrakis


  • Emma Reid (Chair)
  • Kevin Mack
  • Rowena Jonas
  • Phillip Hoare
  • Janet Chapman
  • Roslyn Stewart


  • Kellie O’Callaghan (Chair)
  • Suzanne Miller
  • Tanisha Smitherson
  • Sam Hodgson
  • Kevin Walsh

Recruitment will continue for a fifth member in Gippsland.

Western Metro

  • Jim Williamson (Chair)
  • Nicole Bartholomeusz
  • Mary McGorry
  • Christopher Carter
  • Leah McKenner
  • Andrea Polari

North East Metro

  • Malcolm Hopwood (Chair)
  • Jeswynn Yogaratnam
  • Tara Laursen
  • Nicole Rees
  • Sarah Jane Haywood
  • Peter Ruzyla

South East Metro

  • Tass Mousaferiadis (Chair)
  • Angus Clelland
  • Silvia Alberti
  • Janice Munt
  • Josh Fergeus
  • Juliette Alush

Reviewed 21 February 2023

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