Board of Directors

The Board is the guardian of the purpose for which beyondblue was established – its vision, mission, values and beliefs. The Board fulfils its primary role by:

  • appointing and removing the Chief Executive Officer and monitoring performance
  • overseeing the development of, and approving, beyondblue’s strategic plan
  • supporting the delivery of the strategic plan by ensuring adequate management of resources to achieve agreed corporate and performance objectives
  • providing input into, approving, and monitoring performance against beyondblue’s annual budget and operating plan
  • monitoring, and where necessary, approving beyondblue’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements including external financial reporting
  • recommending to Members the appointment and/or removal of and monitoring the performance and ongoing independence of the auditor of beyondblue.

The Board has formally delegated responsibility for the day-to-day operation of beyondblue to the Chief Executive Officer and executive management team.

The Board oversees and monitors management’s performance by:

  • meeting at least six times per year
  • receiving detailed financial and other reports from management at these meetings and at other times as required
  • receiving additional information and input from management when necessary
  • assigning authority to the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (which operates under Terms of Reference approved by the Board) to oversee particular areas of responsibility.

Board of Directors

Jeff Kennett

The Honourable Jeff Kennett AC

Founder and Board Chairman

Hon.DBus, Hon.LL.D 
Appointed October 2000

  • Premier of Victoria (1992–1999) and member of Victorian Parliament (1976–1999)
  • Chairman of Open Windows Australia Pty Ltd, CT Management Group Pty Ltd, Amtek Corporation Pty Ltd, LEDified Lighting Corporation Pty Ltd and Primary Opinion Limited 
  • Director of Equity Trustees Limited
  • Past President of the Hawthorn Football Club (2005–11)
  • Past member of the Singapore Tourism Advisory Board (2000-06)
  • Past Chairman of Australian Seniors Finance Ltd (2004-07)
  • Patron of The Royal District Nursing Service, Sovereign Hill Ballarat and associated with many other community organisations.
  • Awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business (honoris causa) by Ballarat University in 2000 and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (honoris causa) by Deakin University in 2014. 

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

I wish to continue to effect change throughout the country that has seen mental health and depression be better understood. I want mental health to receive a greater priority by all governments and importantly, improve the lives of so many people experiencing depression and anxiety and their families, but there remains much to be done.


Georgie Harman

Ms Georgie Harman

Appointed June 2014

  • CEO, beyondblue
  • Former Deputy CEO at the National Mental Health Commission
  • Responsible for Commonwealth policy, and investment in mental health, suicide prevention, tobacco control, substance misuse, cancer and chronic disease at the Department of Health 2006-2012
  • Responsible for design and implementation of major system reforms in mental health and organ and tissue donation
  • Was the inaugural Executive Director for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation in Sydney – Australia's first and largest independent HIV/AIDS charity

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?  

beyondblue finds a way to combine community heart with business acumen. It is a great organisation, with committed and passionate staff doing innovative and high quality work.


Tim Marney

Mr Tim Marney

Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee

BEc (Hons), CPA
Appointed August 2008

  • Mental Health Commissioner for Western Australia (2014 – present)
  • Considerable experience in economic analysis and forecasting at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Western Australian Treasury Department
  • Chairman (and former Deputy Chair) of the Western Australian Treasury Corporation
  • Honorary lifetime member of CPA Australia
  • Mentor for the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA), Young Professionals
  • Co-Chair, Major Health Infrastructure Projects Steering Committee (formerly Fiona Stanley Hospital Implementation Steering Committee), Government of Western Australia

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

I enjoy being able to use my capabilities to contribute to increasing awareness of depression and anxiety illnesses, and help-seeking by those with depression and anxiety conditions i.e. hopefully helping the organisation to improve people’s lives across the nation.


Julia Gillard

The Hon Julia Gillard

Appointed December 2014

  • Chair of the Global Partnership for Education
  • Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington
  • Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide
  • 27th Prime Minister of Australia – 24 June 2010 until 27 June 2013, the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister
  • As Prime Minister:
    • developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century
    • delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as building a national broadband network. 
    • in foreign policy, strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea
    • represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF and chaired CHOGM
    • Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council
  • 13th Deputy Prime Minister of Australia – 3 December 2007 until 24 June 2010, the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister

Brett McDermott

Professor Brett McDermott

B.MedSci, MBBS, FRANZCP, CertChildPsych, MD

Appointed December 2015

  • Professor of Rural Affairs, James Cook University, Townsville
  • Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Queensland
  • Member of the Australian National Mental Health Disaster Response Committee and Taskforce
  • Professorial Fellow, Mater Medical Research Institute

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

Being able to contribute to the broad range of resources and projects carried out by beyondblue has been a great pleasure. I have particularly enjoyed leading the team that developed the Clinical Guidelines – Depression in Adolescents and Young Adults.


Steven Larkin

Professor Steven Larkin

BSoc.Wk, M.Soc.Sc, PhD

Appointed February 2009

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University in Darwin
  • A Kungarakany man with extensive leadership experience in Indigenous organisations

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

As an Indigenous leader, I am acutely aware of the impact of mental illness in many of our communities. Along with the great work beyondblue does in the broader community, beyondblue is very committed to providing appropriate support and information to Indigenous people across the country. I am proud to contribute to this work as a Board member.


Michael Baigent

Associate Professor Michael Baigent

MBBS, FRANZCP, FACHAM (RACP)

Appointed June 2011

  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Flinders University
  • Clinical academic specialising in mental health and drug and alcohol addiction
  • Clinical Advisor to beyondblue from 2006–2011

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

It is always rewarding of course to help an individual or a family recover from mental illness, but I find the opportunity to use my clinical knowledge to help large numbers of people particularly rewarding. In mental health we often work with a team of clinicians. In beyondblue we work as a team also. The team of individuals are as equally committed to reducing the burden of depression and anxiety as clinicians, but have a different set of skills, and the skills complement each other. It is challenging and requires creativity. It is working at the cutting edge – it requires me to keep up to date with research and the latest developments in the field.


Michael Kidd

Professor Michael Kidd AO

MBBS, MD, DCCH, Dip.RACOG, FRACGP, FACHI, FAFPM (Hon), FHKCFP (Hon), FRNZCGP (Hon), FCGPSL (Hon), MAICD

Appointed December 2011

  • Executive dean of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health at Flinders University
  • General practitioner with a special interest in the care of people with HIV
  • Past Professor of General Practice at The University of Sydney
  • Past President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • President-elect of the World Organization of Family Doctors (2013–16)

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

beyondblue is well recognised for its important work in raising awareness and reducing stigma about depression and mental health concerns in the community and, in so doing, saves lives and makes a difference in the lives of many people in Australia. beyondblue also funds and supports important research that helps us identify how we can better diagnosis and manage depression and anxiety, and focus on interventions to assist people who are experiencing these conditions.


Fiona Coote

Ms Fiona Coote AM

Appointed April 2012

  • Awarded the Order of Australia in 1999 for her services to the community for raising public awareness of heart disease and raising funds for seriously ill and terminally ill children
  • Became the second heart transplant recipient in Australia, under the care of world-renowned surgeon Dr Victor Chang, in 1984, with a second transplant in 1986
  • Received Dual Paul Harris Fellowships for community service
  • Supports the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and DonateLife, the national organ and tissue donation program

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

It is early in my term, however I am looking forward to being part of beyondblue because of the great work they do with their programs across the entire life cycle. Depression and anxiety touches many and I am keen to make a contribution.



Mr Paul Howes

Appointed February 2014

  • Director Advisory at KPMG
  • Past President of the ACTU
  • Youngest person in union's history to hold a national leadership position when elected National Vice President in 2005
  • Elected Vice President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in 2008
  • Director of the National Workforce and Productivity Development Agency, and The McKell Institute 

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue? 

beyondblue has achieved much in the short time it has existed, but much more remains to be done in the area of depression and mental health, particularly among men. Unfortunately, too many Australian men still see conditions such as depression and anxiety as a sign of weakness and think that getting support for them is a sign of failure. 

I want to use my position as a beyondblue Board Director to help change these attitudes within the union movement and let both men and women know that, while depression and anxiety can affect even the toughest of people, support is readily available.


Johanna Griggs

Ms Johanna Griggs

Appointed June 2014

  • Television presenter, Seven Network
  • In September 2009 Griggs was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters Honoris Causis – from Macquarie University in NSW for services to swimming, media and charity fundraising
  • A former competitive swimmer she represented Australia, winning Bronze at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990, and a silver at the 1991 World Championships

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?  

Like almost every Australian, I have seen people close to me affected by depression and anxiety conditions and the devastating effects these illnesses can have if appropriate treatment is not sought. I am determined to work towards an Australia that better understands and deals with these conditions, where stigma is reduced and where people experiencing depression and anxiety get the support they need.

As someone with a public profile who is now a beyondblue Board member, I plan on helping make a difference to the lives of millions of Australians who experience mental illness, and I am grateful for this opportunity.


beyondblue Board member Mukesh Haikerwal

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AO 

​Appointed April 2015

  • Chair of the Advisory Committee for beyondblue’s National Doctors’ Mental Health Program since 2009
  • Chairman of Council for the World Medical Association (2011-2015)
  • National President of the Australian Medical Association (2005-2007)

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

In a short time, beyondblue has done a great deal to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety on Australians, but much remains to be done, particularly changing the way people think about these conditions and breaking down stigma. Through my work as a doctor I’ve seen first-hand how stigma can prevent people who are struggling, including medical professionals, from seeking the support they desperately need in a timely way.

I look forward to working with beyondblue in this new capacity to improve understanding of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma among the Australian community.


beyondblue Board member Jessica Dean

Dr Jessica Dean

Appointed August 2015

  • Former President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association
  • Federal Councillor of the Australian Medical Association
  • Founder of sexual health promotion organisation ‘The Nookie Project’
  • Dr Dean has completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Law from Monash University, and has an internship at Monash Health from January 2016

What do you find most rewarding about your association with beyondblue?

I am thrilled to be a Board Director at beyondblue. It is one of Australia’s leading mental health organisations and I am deeply committed to the valuable work beyondblue does in raising awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention.

As a Board Director, I hope to make a valuable contribution to the work beyondblue is undertaking with the medical profession, young people – and also the broader community.