NSW CAG Governence

NSWCAG governance

NSWCAG is governed by a Board comprising a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 11 Trustees. The role of the Board is to govern the organisation, primarily through setting the strategic vision and monitoring NSWCAG’s progress towards the strategic goals set. At least 75% of NSWCAG’s Board is comprised of mental health consumers.
Board of Trustees are elected by NSWCAG’s members at our annual AGM. Trustees are elected for a term of 3 years, with office bearer positions re-elected at the first board meeting after the AGM. All positions on the Board are on a voluntary basis.

 NSWCAG’s Constitution


Chair – Anne Francis (consumer)
Appointment Date: 31 October 2011 (second term)

Anne has been a mental health clinician since training as a psychiatric nurse in the early 1970s. In her professional life she has fulfilled the roles of: Case Manager, Inpatient and Community Nurse Unit Manager, and Clinical Service Manager in community rehabilitation. Currently she works as the Coordinator of Consumer and Carer Participation Strategies for Greater Southern Area Health. She also comes from a family with a long history of major depressive illness and has suffered severe and disabling episodes for most of her adult life. The realisation that she was not only a clinician but also a consumer came home to her after she was admitted to hospital for the first time in 2002.

This experience provided her with insight into the disempowerment of consumers by services which are meant to offer the best opportunity for recovery. On returning to work she set about restructuring a community rehabilitation service to an evidence based recovery program. In 2007 the opportunity to take up her present role necessitated a move to Queanbeyan but it was an opportunity to good to be missed, and she now works with a group of consumers and clinicians committed to a “recovery” model of care.

She sees membership of NSWCAG as integral to the promotion of consumers rights and the opportunity to provide a consumer voice for those people who do not have an opportunity to speak for themselves.

Anne was elected Chair of NSWCAG Board of Trustees at the 2012 AGM held on 15 October 2012.

Deputy Chair – Tim Heffernan (consumer)
Appointment Date: 9 December 2013 (Second term)

Tim has lived with Bipolar 1 Mood Disorder since the early 1980’s. He worked successfully as a high school English/History teacher for over twenty years. Since leaving teaching in 2005 Tim has worked as a carer for adults with developmental disabilities and as a consumer rehabilitation worker in Wollongong. He has also worked as a volunteer Ambassador and Community Presenter with the Black Dog Institute for the past there years. He is a published poet.

Tim is married and is father to two beautiful and intelligent daughters. He first became involved with NSWCAG by contributing an article on “Consumer Participation” to INFO_LINK in December 2008. Since then he has sought to increase his own contribution to mental health recovery and advocacy. He is involved with NSWCAG because of their ability to bridge the gap between consumers and policy makers and because they are well placed to influence and shape mental health policy into the future.

Member – Mandy Miles (carer)
Appointment Date: 31 October 2011 (first term)
Profile coming soon.

Member – Virginia Divall (consumer)
Appointment Date: 15 October 2012 (first term)

Virginia is the facilitator of a small group for consumers in Kempsey.  The group partnered with Kempsey mental health unit to run a consumer day during Mental Health month each year. She organises and facilitates the group regularly. Virginia has been board member of the North Coast Area Health Service Board from 2010-2012.

Virginia has qualifications in mental health work and community services. She has completed the Certificate 4 in Community Advocacy at the North Coast Institute of TAFE. And has done work placement in the Taree mental health unit. Virginia has been an active mental health advocate and has attended several conferences and forums. She will be attending the Community Consultation Forum of the Review of the NSW Mental Health Act in Lismore. 

As a consumer, she feels it is her duty to listen to other consumers and being part of NSWCAG Board will provide her with the opportunity to represent their needs, especially to represent the interests of consumers in rural areas of NSW as they are marginalised and disadvantaged by their lack of access to quality mental health care.

Member – Robyn Maurice (Consumer)
Appointment Date: 9 December 2013 (first term)

Profile coming soon…

Member – Rachel Green (Consumer)
Appointment Date: 9 December 2013 (first term)

Rachel is the Director, Mental Health Services at Care Connect, one of Australia’s leading secular community care providers, responsible for developing services that support mental health recovery through a person-centred, outcomes-based approach.

Formerly the Director of Policy, Strategy and Projects, for the National Mental Health Commission, Rachel was instrumental in Commission’s establishment, leading their national consultations and developing the Commission’s Paid Participation Policy. One of her key achievements was leading the work with Commissioner Janet Meagher in developing the framework for ‘A Contributing Life’, the 2012 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Rachel brings both personal and professional experience and enthusiasm to her role and is committed to ensuring genuine involvement of mental health consumers and carers in decision-making. 

Member – Irene Gallagher (Consumer)
Appointment Date: 9 December 2013 (first term)

With an absolute passion in supporting and advocating for the rights and welfare of mental health consumers, Irene has a vast range of experience within the sector as an advocate, group facilitator, mental health trainer (vocational training) and counsellor. Irene is currently working as a Consumer Partnerships Coordinator with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

Irene has a broad understanding of the individual needs of both consumers and carers, having worked with both groups across the public and NGO sectors in the design and implementation as well as the facilitation of various programs and projects. Irene has provided innovative ideas across both sectors which enhanced and supported consumer and carer participation.

Irene has a deep commitment to seeing change and reform within our mental health services as well as a desire to reinforce the need for consumers and carers to participate and have input at all levels to bring about such systemic change.

Member – Fayez R Nour (Consumer)
Appointment Date: 9 December 2013 (first term)

Fayez would like to contribute towards the NSWCAG vision. Fayez is a professional service provider (Psychology Counselling Therapist) specialising in remedial therapy for depression and suicidal ideation. He has a good knowledge of the main issues and political trends impacting on clients and youth homelessness, especially those in and out of the home care system. Fayez facilitates a comprehensive Depression Recovery Program designed by Dr. Neil Nedley M.D. of the USA.

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