Board of Directors

The Board is the guardian of the purpose for which Beyond Blue 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, Beyond Blue'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 Beyond Blue's annual budget and operating plan
  • monitoring, and where necessary, approving Beyond Blue'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 Beyond Blue.

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

The Board oversees and monitors management’s performance by:

  • meeting at least four 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.

Our Board of Directors

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC

Julia Gillard

Chair, appointed 1 July 2017. Director since December 2014

  • Chair of the Global Partnership for Education
  • Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King's College London
  • Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington
  • Member of the Advisory Board of LeapFrog Investments 
  • Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide
  • Patron of Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education
  • Patron of Aim for the Stars
  • Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, Perth
  • Patron of Mambourin Enterprises
  • Twenty seventh Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013), and the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister
  • Thirteenth Deputy Prime Minister of Australia – (2007-2010), and the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

Ms Georgie Harman

Georgie Harman

Beyond Blue CEO, appointed June 2014

  • Director, Mental Health Australia
  • 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.

Kate Carnell AO FAICD FAIM

Kate Carnell

Deputy Chair, appointed December 2016

  • FAICD, FAIM
  • The inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)
  • Former CEO of Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Former CEO of Beyond Blue
  • Former CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australian General Practice Network
  • Former CEO of the Australian General Practice Network
  • ACT Chief Minister (1995-2000)
  • A pharmacist by profession and was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the first female to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Mr Paul Howes

Paul Howes

Appointed February 2014

  • National Managing Partner of KPMG Enterprise
  • Partner, KPMG Papua New Guinea
  • Governor, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia
  • Commissioner, National COVID-19 Commission
  • Previously Partner in Charge of Customer, Brand & Marketing Advisory and National Sector Leader of Asset & Wealth Management at KPMG
  • Former National Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union
  • Former Deputy Chair of Australian Super.

Ms Johanna Griggs AM

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.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC 

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal

Appointed April 2015

  • General Medical Practitioner in Melbourne’s west
  • Former National and State President of the Australian Medical Association
  • Honorary Life Member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Council Chair of the World Medical Association (2011-2015)
  • Chair of the Advisory Committee for Beyond Blue’s National Doctors’ Mental Health Program (2009-2016)
  • Director, Cancer Council Victoria
  • Director, Brain Injury Australia.

Dr Jessica Dean

Dr Jessica Dean

Appointed August 2015

  • MBBS (Hon), LLB, BMedSci (Hons), MAICD
  • Doctor specialising in Intensive Care Medicine
  • Completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University
  • State Finalist for Young Australian of the Year
  • Former President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association
  • Former Federal Councillor of the Australian Medical Association.

The Hon. Robert Knowles AO

The Honorary Rob Knowles

Appointed 1 February 2017

  • Farmer and Company Director
  • National Mental Health Commissioner (2012-2017)
  • Chairman of the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Former Chair of Mental Health Australia
  • Former Commissioner on the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission
  • Former Victorian Minister for Health, Housing and Aged Care (1992-1999) and MLC for Ballarat (1976-1999).

Russell Taylor AM

Russell Taylor

Appointed September 2019

  • Proud Kamilaroi man
  • NAIDOC 2018 Male Elder of Year Award
  • Chair, Director and shareholder of the Burbangana Group (formerly Moreton Consulting)
  • Board member of national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation, the Healing Foundation
  • Board member, NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust
  • Council Member and Deputy Chair, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
  • Board member, AIATSIS Foundation
  • Member, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium
  • Member and Delegate, National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Management
  • Fellow and Graduate, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
  • Member, Australasian Housing Institute
  • Life Member, Executives’ Global Network Australia (Sydney CEO Group)
  • Member, National Museum of Australia Indigenous Reference Group.

Denise McComish

Denise McComish

Chair of Audit, Finance and Risk Committee, appointed September 2019

  • Recently retired, a partner with KPMG for 30 years with extensive experience providing audit and advisory services nationally and globally
  • Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants, registered Company Auditor and accredited Greenhouse and Energy Auditor
  • Current member of the Takeovers Panel, formerly a member of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (2011-2014) and the Australian Accounting Standards Board (1993-1999) (all Federal Government Committees/Boards)
  • Director, Chief Executive Women and the Western Australian State Chapter Chair (2017-present)
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member of Council, Edith Cowan University (2007-2016) including Pro-Chancellor for 5 years and Chair of the Quality, Audit and Risk Committee for 7 years
  • Chair, Advisory Board for the School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University
  • Former Director, Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention and Australian Scholarships Foundation
  • Awarded a Doctorate in Business Honoris causa from Edith Cowan University in 2016
  • Recognised in the Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining in 2018.

Derek Schoen

Derek Schoen

Appointed September 2019

  • Farmer: Beef, Grain and Hay Producer
  • Integrity Advisor, Drought Transport Subsidy, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  • Independent Chair, Rural and Regional Seatbelt Taskforce, Transport for NSW
  • Director, AgStewardship Australia
  • Board Chair of Murray Local Land Services 
  • Director, National Farmers Federation (2017-Oct 2019)
  • Member, NSW Farmers Association Executive Council
  • Chair, NSW Farmers Association Cattle Committee
  • President, NSW Farmers Association (2015-2018)
  • Vice President, NSW Farmers Association (2014)
  • Director, NSW Farmers Association (2012-2018)
  • Former Director, Cattle Council of Australia
  • Former Director, Southern Riverina Rural Co-op
  • Former President and former Sec/Treasurer, Redlands Rural Bush Fire Brigade
  • Former Councillor, two non-consecutive 4-year terms, one year as Deputy Mayor, Corowa Shire Council.

Professor Helen Milroy

  • Australia’s first Aboriginal doctor. Studied Medicine at the University of Western Australia, worked as a GP and Consultant in Childhood Sexual Abuse at Princess Margaret Hospital for children for several years before completing specialist training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry
  • Chair in Child Mental Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Psychiatry, University of Western Australia
  • Perth Children's Hospital Foundation Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Member of the RANZCP Foundation and Presidents advisory group 
  • Co-chair of the Million Minds Medical Research Advisory Group
  • Honorary Research Fellow with Telethon Kids Institute
  • Young Lives Matter Foundation Board – UWA suicide prevention research project
  • Inaugural Chair of Gayaa Dhuwi Australia
  • Member of WA Mental Health Tribunal and the WA Care Plan Review panel
  • Commissioner with the Australian Football League 2019+
  • Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission 
  • Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse 2013-2017
  • Former member of NHMRC Human Ethics Committee, Director headspace Board and Australian Indigenous Doctors Association, Wharerata Group for the International Initiative in Mental Health Leadership
  • Descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Born and educated in Perth.

Dr Jason Lee

  • Rurally trained psychiatrist, spent over 10 years working in a generalist psychiatrist capacity providing outreach services to Gulf of Carpentaria remote Aboriginal communities
  • Immediate past Chair of the RANZCP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Committee.

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