Jeff Kennett's contribution to Beyond Blue has been remarkable.
Right from the beginning, when he did the absolute unattainable and that's get every single Premier, Chief Minister and the Prime Minister together to contribute money to get Beyond Blue up and running and has managed to maintain that whole of nation commitment to Beyond Blue. Through changes of government through changes of economic conditions, Jeff has been remarkable. In lots of ways, Jeff is Beyond Blue. The fact is though we've now got an exciting new Chair. Having Julia Gillard take over from Jeff Kennett shows just how high-profile Beyond Blue is, but how important Beyond Blue is to the Australian community.
G'day Jeff I just wanted to say thank you very much for your years of service to Beyond Blue, your years of service to the Australian community. As you know we met around 11 years ago and it was partly because of your work with Beyond Blue that I discovered what I was dealing with and was able to get help and lead a fulfilling life with significant achievement. So in a big way that's a thank you to you both from me personally from my family but from the many people, individuals and families that talk to me about the good work of Beyond Blue which wouldn't exist without you. Welcome Julia
to the Board as Chair of the Board. You've been working with us for a while now so you know us and hopefully as we work together we will continue to further the efforts of Beyond Blue. But I personally want to thank you for lending your profile, your significance, and your time to the role as Chair of Beyond Blue.
Well Jeff what an exceptional legacy you leave behind I know some people only see
you as the often outspoken man with a slightly gruff exterior, but they don't get to see how much you care and how much you're affected by the stories of individuals, their families, organisations when you hear. They don't get to see how much pain you feel when you feel things aren't improving because you only ever look forward not back. You are an amazing man, people have no idea how many hours you have put into Beyond Blue, always at functions, always lobbying all different levels of government.
You're an absolutely incredible human being and you should be so proud of what
you've achieved. Having said that, what about the exciting times ahead. Julia Gillard. Having observed a former Prime Minister up close the last six months, she's warm, she's funny, she's engaging, she's deeply passionate about mental health and it's fair to say that Beyond Blue is in exceptionally good hands.
It's hard to imagine Beyond Blue without Jeff Kennett love him or hate him he has been an amazing voice for tackling anxiety and depression and the stigma around anxiety and depression in our society. The contribution that Jeff has made to our country through his work with Beyond Blue is phenomenal. As an old labor guy I can even forgive him for his period as Premier for what he did here in Beyond Blue. We'll miss him terribly and I know that he'll continue to go on and do amazing things for improving our society. And it's wonderful to have someone of an amazing calibre and talent like Julia Gillard to
come in and replace Jeff. Julia, in her very different style, will continue the amazing work that Jeff has done over the last decade or so in raising awareness tackling the causes and continuing the conversation across our country on how we can make Australia a more mentally healthy country to live in.
Thank you Jeff, you've provided superb leadership to Beyond Blue you've probably done more than any other Australian in getting mental health on the national agenda. Welcome Julia, I am very confident that you will take Beyond Blue well into the next stage and I look forward to working with you to support you in doing that.
Thank you, Jeffrey, thank you for the remarkable leadership that you've shown
to Beyond Blue. Who knew that the colourful former Premier of Victoria would morph
into such a national leader in mental health in raising awareness of mental health and depression and suicide prevention. In allowing us to have important discussions about tackling the stigma and discrimination of mental health and in contributing to saving many thousands of Australian lives. And welcome to our new Chair, Julia. It's a real privilege to be on the Board at the time when you're becoming the Chair of Beyond Blue, and I look forward to working with you over the years ahead.
Well thanks Jeff for a wonderful job as the Chair of Beyond Blue. I've really enjoyed working with you I admired your leadership and your strength and your drive to achieve what has been great outcomes for the Australian population. Welcome Julia, you've got a different style to Jeff's, but it is going to be great as well.
I've worked with Jeff as former president of the AMA and multiple roles since then. And his role and work with Beyond Blue has been transformational in the mental health agenda and I wish in well the future. It's a privilege to welcome Julia Gillard, my former member in the parliament, and former Prime Minister as our new Chair of Beyond Blue.
Thank you to our founding Chairman, Jeff Kennett. You have introduced depression and anxiety into the Australian vernacular and what a stellar job you have done guiding the
evolution of Beyond Blue. To our new Chair, Julia Gillard congratulations and we look forward to you leading us into a new area of Beyond Blue.
Jeff, thank you for your leadership as the Chairing of Beyond Blue whilst everyone might not always agree with your opinions, no one can doubt your commitment and dedication to the organisation and personally admire you for the way you've led the organisation through a number of difficult times and issues. All the best for the future. Julia, congratulations I look forward to working with you and I think you're the person to take us to the next phase of Beyond Blue's development.
Jeff has been an incredible force within Beyond Blue and we've seen the organisation change quite tremendously over the last 17 years under his leadership and he'll be sorely missed by all of us. But the organisation is in an incredible state of strength
and that's what makes it so exciting to have such an effective inspirational and
innovative leader in Julia Gillard, taking Beyond Blue into the next era of