Former Prime Minister The Hon. Julia Gillard AC today begins her new role as Chair of the Board of Directors at Beyond Blue, having taken over from founder The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC.
Ms Gillard – who has been a Beyond Blue Board Director since 2014 – said she was looking forward to steering the organisation into the future as it continues to educate, inform and support people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide.
“There has been no holding it back since Jeff broke the taboo and started the national conversation about mental health 17 years ago,” Ms Gillard said. “He has impressed on all of us the importance of action, not just words, and of maintaining fierce bipartisanship in order to get the message of mental health and suicide prevention out to the millions who need to hear about it.
“We still have a long way to go in fighting the stigma and discrimination that surrounds depression and anxiety, but together we can save and improve lives if we change how we talk, think and act on mental health and suicidality.
“The Beyond Blue I lead will continue to be a part of the lives and communities of all Australians, whether they are on the land or in the town. We will be there for everyone from toddlers to retirees through our work with families, from preschool to university with our education program, and in workplaces across the breadth of the country whether they are FIFO sites or executive offices.”
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said Ms Gillard was the right person to guide the organisation into the future.
“Having worked with Ms Gillard for two and half years I know we have a leader who is passionate about mental health and preventing suicide,” Ms Harman said. “The Beyond Blue team is excited to be working with Ms Gillard in her new capacity as we continue our commitment to helping all Australians achieve their best possible mental health.”
To access video comments from Ms Gillard go to www.beyondblue.org.au
For comments and video from Beyond Blue’s Board of Directors please click this link:
Mental health professionals are available at the Beyond Blue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3pm-12am AEST) or email responses with 24 hours.