Georgie Harman, John Mendoza & Luis Salvador-Carulla

CEO of beyondblue, Director of ConNetica & Head of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the ANU
'Mental health: how to fix Australia's crisis'
Wednesday, 7 August 2019
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm
Canberra - 16 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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With the federal government nominating mental health and suicide as priority issues to be tackled in this term of parliament, what do some of Australia’s most respected thinkers on mental health think should happen? Despite billions being spent on this area, the suicide rate is heading in the wrong direction and in indigenous communities it’s leaving a terrible legacy.

The National Press Club will host an important discussion outlining ideas for change with three well-known experts. The Forum will be hosted by Sabra Lane President and Host of the ABC’s AM program.


Georgie Harman
Georgie has significant and broad-ranging leadership, policy and service delivery experience in the community, public and private sectors.

Georgie was appointed as the CEO of beyondblue in May 2014 where she has led a significant expansion of effort and results in service innovation, suicide prevention and digital solutions.

Previously, she helped set up and was the Deputy CEO of the National Mental Health Commission, providing independent advice to government on reform.

From 2006-2012, Georgie had national responsibility for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse, cancer and chronic disease policy and programs as a senior executive at the Commonwealth Department of Health. She led the development of a significant whole of government mental health Budget package and the strategy and development of legislation to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in Australia – a world first.

Georgie has also led national reforms to lift Australia’s organ and tissue donation rates and worked in the HIV/AIDS sector in Australia and the UK.

John Mendoza
John is a Director of ConNetica, a social enterprise he established in early 2007, with the mission to ”Create Better Futures” and a focus on mental health and suicide prevention.

He also is presently Adj. Professor in Health and Sports Science University of the Sunshine Coast and Adj. Associate Professor, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney.

John has held several executive positions including CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, Chief Executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, served as South Australia’s representative on the Steering Committee National Campaign Against Drug Abuse in the Hawke years and inaugural Chair of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health to the Rudd Government. He has played a prominent role in national mental reform efforts since 2005.

Luis Salvador-Carulla
Luis Salvador-Carulla is the head of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Research School of Population Health, College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Hi is also Honorary Professor of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney (Australia). He was professor of disability and mental health at the University of Sydney (2012-2017) and head of the Mental Health Policy Unit, at the Brain and Mind Centre of the University of Sydney (2014-2017).  Previously to this appointment he was associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Cadiz (Spain) between 1989 and 2012. His field of interest is decision support tools for the analysis of complex health systems and policy in mental health, ageing, disability and intellectual developmental disorders. He is honour member of the World Psychiatry Association, past-president of the association of Spanish Researchers in Australia Pacific and scientific secretary of the Instituto Cervantes Academic Forum in Australia. Prof. Salvador-Carulla has intensively participated in the development of international networks in mental health, person centred medicine, healthy ageing, and bridging and knowledge transfer.

He has been advisor to the Government of Catalonia (Spain), the Spanish Ministry of Health, the European Commission (EC) and the World Health Organisation  (WHO). He coordinated the European Commission (EC) project eDESDE-LTC for the development of an European classification of services  for long term and he participated as national coordinator in the EC project Refinement to develop a toolkit for the assessment of financing of mental health systems, and PECUNIA for producing standards units in costs analysis in Europe. He has coordinated the Integrated Atlas of Mental Health Project for mapping mental health services in over 30 local areas around the World. He chaired the WHO working group on the classification of intellectual disabilities at chapter V of the International Classification of Diseases. He received the Leon Eisenberg Award of the Harvard Medical School in 2012 for his contributions in the field of developmental disorders.