The SA Mental Health Commission Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) provide advice to the Commission on its work.
CAC and YAG members have a range of experiences, including lived experience and expertise, education, forensics, drug and alcohol, veterans and disability across the community and government, non-government and private sectors.
The SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017–2022 takes a whole-of-life, whole-of-community and whole-of-government approach to building, sustaining and strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians.
The Commission ensures that, central to all its work, is the lived experience of people with mental illness; their families, carers and supporters.
Angela Cordon is a passionate community advocate for mental health and wellbeing who has lived in country South Australia most of her life. Angela focuses on advocacy, promotion, early intervention and community education in rural areas.
She utilises her lived experiences as an Electorate Officer, Justice of the Peace, Civil Celebrant, Community Bank director, volunteer, wife, mother and friend; and as a Carer Expert by Experience project officer with Country Health to represent, advocate and engage with mental health carers and consumers throughout South Australia.
Angela strongly believes wellbeing is for everyone and feels privileged to be the country representative on the SA Mental Health Commission’s Community Advisory Committee.
Health researcher and tertiary educator Dannielle Post is interested in the physical and psychological wellbeing of carers, in particular carers of veterans and currently serving men and women.
Dannielle has a background in public health and a strong interest in the contribution of the social determinants of health to psychological wellbeing. She is a 2019 Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellow.
Enaam Oudih has a nursing background specialising in community and public health issues as well as teaching and management qualifications.
Enaam arrived in Australia 25 years ago with her family and speaks three languages. She is currently the Manager of Multicultural Services at Relationships Australia South Australia and has an extensive network with the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in SA.
Her expertise includes delivery of intercultural training and workshops that advocate for inclusion and cultural diversity at all levels of organisations and service delivery.
Enaam is a member of various state and national management committees, has contributed to government submissions, partnered with universities on a number of CALD community-based research and presented at many conferences and forums.
Ellie Hodges has worked for 20 years in community and mental health sectors as a community development lead, therapeutic practitioner, manager, educator, advisor, strategy/policy worker and consultant.
Ellie is the founder and Executive Director of the Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network (LELAN), which was established in 2017 to amplify the voice, influence and leadership of people with lived experience to drive change.
Ellie has also been an active lived-experience representative and leader and speaker at state and national levels.
She is committed to innovation, social justice, leading together and eating lots of stinky cheese.
Graham Cornes OAM, has spent a lifetime in AFL football as a successful player and coach, culminating in his admission to the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2012. He was the inaugural coach of the Adelaide Football Club when it entered the AFL.
His football career was balanced by a corporate career. He was the dealer principal of several successful automobile franchises and for 23 years was a radio broadcaster on FIVEaa where he co-hosted Australia’s most successful sport/talk programme. He still hosts a popular “Conversations” programme.
Graham was drafted under the National Service Act and served two years in the Australian Army including a tour of duty as an infantry soldier in South Vietnam in 1970.
Veterans’ affairs and veterans’ mental health are close to his heart.
Justyna Rosa is passionate about creating resilient communities by reducing social isolation through promoting interdependence and connection.
Over the past 12 years, Justyna has worked in a variety of roles in the not-for-profit sector including in mental health and community housing. With extensive experience in service delivery, she enjoys bringing programs and projects to life by fostering collaborative partnerships and promoting community strengths and diversity.
Justyna is a mum of two, a keen cook, gardener and chook enthusiast.
Leticia Albrecht (she/her, they/them) is the Convenor of the Queer Amnesty International Adelaide Action Group and the Campaigns Officer at the Queer Society. She is 22 years old, a university student at UniSA and very passionate about queer rights, human rights and climate justice locally, nationally and internationally.
Considering herself an emerging leader in the SA queer community, she has been taking every opportunity to be the best she can be for us all. She is an honorary member of Pussy Riot, organising a Rally for Chechnya in March 2019; she’s ready to take on the world.
Louise Kelly is the Engagement, Development & Innovation Consultant at Offenders Aid & Rehabilitation Services (OARS) Community Transitions.
She has a background in criminology & criminal justice and a keen interest and passion for reducing recidivism and reintegrating offenders back into the community. Louise has worked across all services within OARS and, in 2016 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel internationally to research initiatives to reduce recidivism through supported reintegration and rehabilitation.
Lynda Whiteway has been a committed Consumer Advocate for over 20 years. Lynda has Lived Experience of mental health as well as people close to her whose lives have been impacted either by their own mental health issues or that of a close family member.
She sits on a number of committees including SAHMRI’s No Australian’s Dying of Bowel Cancer Project, DASSA, RDNS, SA Ambulance Service Adverse Events , Asthma Australia and Calvary North Adelaide Clinical Governance. She is passionate about consumer-directed care and people being treated holistically.
Nathan Bolton, the director of Bolton Brothers Entertainment, was a former Special Operations Engineer who was deployed to Afghanistan twice as a part of the Australian Special Forces. After his tours, Nathan was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, major depression and other physical injuries, which ultimately led to his discharge from the Australian Defence Force.
Nathan travelled a long dark road trying to make peace with the demons of his past and now dedicates his time and effort trying to inspire and motivate others to break free from the stigma surrounding mental health. It is through mediums such as film making, guest speaking, the SA Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention and more recently, as a trainer with SAHMRI’s Wellbeing Resilience Centre that he strives to enlighten others of the true strength and power of vulnerability.
Robert Rault is the Senior Project Officer – State-wide Aboriginal Employment with the SA Housing Authority and has extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities, homeless people and farmers.
Robert has previously worked with NGOs which have invested heavily in researching and understanding the causes and effects of mental health for people living in regional and remote areas. Robert has also worked with culturally and diverse organisations to support and assist those who are affected by – or identify as – having a lived experience of mental illness.
Andris Banders has a particular interest in the area of co-morbidities, where people have co-existing mental health issues and substance misuse disorders. He represents lived experience that finds its way into recovery through the GP primary health care system.
Andris also works part time in developing and delivering training modules for enterprises in the private and non-government sectors wishing to strengthen the mental health of their workplaces.
Angela Gosden’s interest in mental health and wellbeing sprung from her work in human resource management and injury management with SA Police and the issues faced by police on the front-line.
As a rural South Australian, Angelia is aware of the stigma and difficulties often faced by country people trying to access help for mental health problems.
In May 2018, Angela trained to become an accredited instructor of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and delivers MHFA courses to individuals, community groups and workplaces.
She volunteers on several local community groups including the Wattle Range Suicide Prevention Network.
Keryn ‘Kez’ Robelin is the Mental Health Co-ordinator, Lived Experience, for the NDIS Peer Support Pilot for UnitingSA.
The team of practitioners and mentors help re-shape best practice and person-centred responses to distress within the traditional system.
Kez is an active participant in the Lived Experience sector in policy, strategy and advocacy and her work has been recognised through the Mental Health Coalition’s Lived Experience Award in 2018.
Kez has presented at TheMHS Adelaide 2018 and assisted the co-design of the LETSS Telephone Service. She has also assisted in the co-design and delivery of the MHCSA Leader/LE training for managers in both clinical and NGO sectors.
Kez is a strong believer in radical kindness, that human distress = human response and community is the cure. She describes herself as a “prolific communicator, a die-hard hope-aholic and a time-poor friend.”
Mark Reidy enlisted into the Australian Army in 1990 during his 16-year career he has spent a total of 7 years deployed overseas on active duty on 9 Military Operations
One of Mark’s roles throughout his career was part of the SASR Logistics Specialist Pack for preparation of Iraq Invasion in 2002/03. He served in IRAQ and Afghanistan where he gained experience in Air Terminal Operations in warlike conditions and returned to Iraq in 2004 as part of the Force Level Logistics Asset at Baghdad Airport embedded with the USAF.
During this deployment, Mark injured his back prior to a mortar attack on his compound. He was awarded a Commendation Citation for his service while deployed to Bagdad Airport. He returned to Australia and took up a role as Recruit Training Instructor at Wagga Wagga Recruit Training Centre until his transfer to the Army Reserve in 2006.
Mark gained experience in the corporate world as Logistics Manager at Lockheed Martin and was seconded to many Government Defence contracts, while also gaining a Diploma of Logistics Management, and Defence Supply Chain Management.
During this time Mark found it difficult to adjust to civilian life outside the Army and was diagnosed with PTSD in 2009.
Caleb Sweeting is the Chair of the SA Mental Health Commission’s Youth Advisory Group and Communications Officer at Commissioner for Children and Young People.
As a representative of young people in South Australia, Caleb has a segment on ABC Radio Adelaide where he shares a youth perspective on news and current affairs.
After founding art, music and culture publication Yewth, he joined a thriving creative community and discovered through determination and collaboration that anything is possible in Adelaide.
Cosette Lymn, 18, is a recent high school graduate with lived experience of mental illness, in particular clinical depression and anxiety as well as suicide bereavement.
She is passionate about young people’s mental health, especially the prevention of mental illness and suicide, as the first signs of mental illness can onset by the age of 14.
Cosette is interested in alternatives to medication, such as brain therapy and reducing stigma around mental health by talking openly about her experiences and improving mental health literacy.
Maria Blackmore has lived experience with mental illness and is familiar with the barriers that impact our ability to reach wellness. As a YAG member, she draws on her many life experiences: her training as a high school teacher; five years’ experience in the public sector; her role as a Councillor for the City of Salisbury; her upbringing as a child under the Guardianship of the Minister; and the successes and challenges navigating our mental health system for herself, close friends and family.
Sam Lai is a recent Psychology (Honours) graduate with keen interests in child and youth mental health, health education, promotion and policy. As a young researcher, she is currently involved in multiple projects which incorporate lived experience, community engagement and diversity into the mental health sector. Sam gives back to the community by being a proactive and passionate YAG member. She contributes to conversations by voicing her own lived experience, bringing insights into mental health in Asian communities and drawing on her professional knowledge.
Tallulah Lochert has lived experience with mental health and works with – and advocates for – equine-assisted therapy as an alternative method to traditional talk therapies.
Adan Richards is a youth peer worker, lived-experience speaker, lover of heavy music and a psychology student. For Adan, being involved in the mental health space is about advocating for the humanisation of all people, wherever they sit on the spectrum of human experience. He sees the material world as intertwined with that experience which means politically difficult issues may need to be addressed to build and safeguard the wellness of future generations.
Zackary Boulton is a psychology student, mental health speaker and volunteer with a variety of mental health organisations.
Zackary says membership on the SAMHC Youth Advisory Group gives him the opportunity to be a voice for students as well as gender and sexually diverse communities.
Zackary is interested in writing, art, music and alternative therapies which combine these interests. Outside of the YAG, they often spend their time being an activist for a variety of topics, such as gender and sexually diverse communities, fighting homelessness and raising awareness around mental health.
Jemimah Clifford has been a member of the Youth Advisory Group since its inception in 2017. She has a lived experience of anxiety and depression and a passion for helping others and engaging with the community.
As a YAG member, Jemimah has been involved in several projects, including the development of the SA Mental Health Strategic Plan 2017–2022, TheMHS Learning Conference 2018, and community engagement projects.
Jemimah enjoys spending time outdoors camping, hiking, or simply being in nature.
Marhall Malpass, 16, has a passion for youth mental health specifically relating to the LGBTIQA+ community.
He has been volunteering with the Playford Youth Advisory Committee for the past two years. He is a keen drummer.
Faith Abio is a second-year student studying Disability and Developmental Education at Flinders University as well as a Life Without Barriers disability support worker and a pre-school relief teacher working with students with a disability.
Born in Kenya, Faith came to Australia as a refugee at the age of 8, after spending many years in the Kakuma camp. Faith and her family settled in the Northern Territory in 2001.
A 2019 Australian Mental Health Leaders Fellow and an active leader in numerous organisations and programs designed for young people from refugee backgrounds, Faith has a passion for helping others through leadership and positive role modelling.
She was a youth leader with the Ba’alu Ma’di Association Community in South Australia and has been nominated for the Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards and was a finalist in the Spirit of Resilience Award in 2017 and 2018.
Faith continues to use her passion for soccer to connect with disadvantaged young people, encouraging them to become involved in sports.
Gabriella Huser, 20, is studying a Bachelor of Economics (Advanced) with a major in politics at the University of Adelaide. Having lost an immediate family member by suicide, she endeavours to increase accessibility to grief counselling and suicide prevention services and has been part of various support group networks. Gabriella owns the Four Seasons of Nosh café in Tanunda where she has met people from rural areas who are struggling with mental health issues and the lack of accessibility to adequate care. These conversations have inspired her work.