Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia but was born and educated in Perth. Currently Helen is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Professor at the University of Western Australia and Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission.
Helen has been on state and national mental health advisory committees and boards with a particular focus on Indigenous mental health as well as the wellbeing of children.
From 2013-2017 Helen was a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
For over 40 years, Sir Mason has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce. His efforts have been recognised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Public Health Association of New Zealand, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the Polynesian Society.
In addition to a lifelong commitment to Māori health, Sir Mason also championed higher education for Māori. As Deputy Chair of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Professor of Māori Research and Development, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Massey University, he provides national academic leadership for Māori and indigenous development and regularly assists Iwi and Māori communities to realise their own aspirations for socio-economic advancement.
Fiona’s commitment to strengthening communities is reflected in her more than 30 years’ experience in health and social service sector roles. She has held a broad range of leadership positions over this time, including project managing the establishment of the drug court in 2012.
Fiona first joined Odyssey in 2002 in the co-existing disorders service, before moving to Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) as a planner and funder. More recently, she served as CEO for Directions Health Services in Canberra. She returned to Odyssey as CEO in late 2016, where her passion for social equity and delivering high quality services to Tāngata Whaiora (service users) continues.
Josiah Tualamali’i is a afakasi New Zealand born Samoan who grew up in Ōtepoti and Ōtautahi. At 14 he was the Prime Minister in the first Pacific Youth Parliament, which led to the creation of the Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation Trust – set up to empower Pacific young people to participate in all worlds. In 2016 he won the Prime Ministers Pacific Youth Leadership Award. He is a consumer of mental health services and advocates for young people on the board of Pacific Mental Health and Addictions lead Le Va, & was the youth voice on the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction
Shreya Rao (BSc, BHSc, PG Dip Public Health) is 25 and grew up in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Like many teenagers today, she found it stressful to balance formulating a sense of identity alongside school and family pressures. After doing her best to deal on her own, she realised that the stress was a reflection of past traumas and much more serious than she had thought. She sought support from specialist mental health services and began a journey of healing.
This journey has led her to work in systemic youth advocacy - representing mental health consumers at a Clinical Governance level at Waitemata District Health Board. Shreya also keeps herself busy by providing youth perspectives to a number of organisations - Mental Health Foundation, Kahui Tu Kaha, and Health Quality and Safety Commission among others.
Michael Rowe, Ph.D., is a medical sociologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. His main areas of study, research, and writing are citizenship as an applied framework for the social inclusion and participation of people with mental illness, mental health outreach to people who are homeless, peer studies, and narrative medicine. He is the author of many peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other publications, and of six books, including Citizenship and Mental Health, Crossing the Border: Encounters Between Homeless People and Outreach Workers, Classics of Community Psychiatry, and The Book of Jesse: A Story of Youth, Illness, and Medicine.
Patty Benedict is a member of the Abenaki Nation of the Odanak reservation in Canada and a member of the Connecticut Native American community. For 16 yrs. she worked for American Indians for Development Inc. in a variety of capacities and has provided Native American cultural competency training for Connecticut state agencies. Patty works for the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and has been the Director of the Citizens Project for 17 yrs.
In her current role as the Director of Training and Implementation of Citizens Initiatives she develops and implements training and consultation for organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Patty also supervises Peer Support staff in local community-based re-entry projects and assists in the development and implementation of training initiatives for peers as supervisors of other peer workers both locally and nationally. In 2009, she received the Leadership Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA).
Robyn Shearer is the Chief Executive for Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui (Te Pou). Te Pou works with the mental health, addictions and disability sector to upskill the workforce and the work includes data and information management on behalf of the Ministry of Health. Te Pou also has a role in research and evaluation to ensure the workforce has access to the latest evidence that supports best practice.
The aim of Te Pou’s work is to ensure we build a workforce that is responsive to the needs of people who need good treatment and care through mental health, addictions and disability treatment areas.
Robyn comes from a clinical background beginning her career in nursing. She then moved into clinical leadership and management roles within services. She has held positions in the Health Research Council and Ministry of Health leading programme and policy development for the mental health sector. She has been at Te Pou for 10 years and has expanded the current programme from mental health to now include addictions and disability. She sits on a number of national and international advisory groups for these work areas.