Department of Health

Mental Health Workforce Reference Group

The Mental Health Workforce Reference Group was established in 2016 to guide and drive the initiatives of the Mental health workforce strategy, bringing together mental health workforce expertise from across a number of organisations, disciplines, and areas of mental health practice. 

Mental Health Workforce Reference Group members have adopted a fresh approach to  committee participation, using a combination of collaborative and individual leadership to shape initiatives that support the mental health workforce.

This leadership is reflected through the creation of  ‘Ambassador’ roles where members lead initiatives aligned with their interest and expertise, and the collaboratively created mission and values that the group holds itself accountable to. Tools and resources have been developed to support embedding the values in all of the work the group is involved with.


Acknowledging what is good and embracing innovation to make a positive difference


  • Courage to take risks
  • Connected and reflective
  • Proactive, productive and enriching
  • Inclusive, transparent and responsible
  • Use of diversity and enablers


Membership of the Mental Health Workforce Reference group as at 01 December 2017 is as follows:

Name  Role and organisation
Dr Rosemary Charleston (Chair) Manager, Western Victorian Mental Health Learning and Development Cluster
Lisa Brophy Director of Research, Mind Australia
Debra Carlon Consumer workforce nominated representative 
Donna Hansen-Vella Mental Health Nursing Officer, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victoria)
Paul Healy  Assistant State Secretary, Health and Community Services Union
Craig Holloway  Director for Workforce and Wellbeing, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
Dr Rosemary Kelly  Secretary, Victorian Psychologist Association Inc.
Dr Raju Lakshmi Consultant Psychiatrist, Goulburn Valley Health
Peter McKenzie  Carer Academic, The Bouverie Centre
David McGuire  Manager, Education and Training, VICSERV
A/Prof Richard Newton  Chair, Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists (Victoria)
A/Prof Morton Rawlins Vice-President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 
Catherine Roper 
Consumer Academic, Centre for Psychiatric Nursing
Michelle Swann Family/carer workforce nominated representative 
Dr Jeff Young   Director, The Bouverie Centre
Secretariat functions for the group are provided by the Community Services Workforce Reform team, Health and Human Services Workforce branch. Contact:

Reviewed 23 January 2018


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