The Advisory Group engages the broader consumer and carer community in the process of research, and helps to develop research agendas and priorities. The current members of the Advisory Group are:
Dalane Drexler - ACT Mental Health Consumer Network
Dalane is the Executive Officer at ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, the peak body for mental health consumers in the ACT. She has a lengthy history in advocacy, both individual and systemic, for marginalised individuals and groups throughout the ACT. In addition, Dalane also has experience in other community service areas such as respite and residential care for young people and adults with intellectual disability and mental illness, women's refuge support work and youth work. Dalane has achieved the Bachelor of Community Education, as well as various qualifications in alcohol and other drugs, mental health, disability, and HIV/AIDS work with young people. Dalane identifies as a mental health consumer having long experienced the effects of post traumatic stress disorder. She looks forward to supporting the valuable work of the mental health consumer and carer research unit in order to improve conditions for all people affected by mental illness, whether directly or indirectly, and enhance education for the broader community in the battle to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.
Ms Alexandra Scetrine – Mental Health Policy Officer, Carers ACT
Alexandra is an organisational representative for Carers ACT.
David Lovegrove - ACT Mental Health Consumer Network
David is a member representative for ACT MHCN.
Mr John Franklin – Carer Representative, Carers ACT
When John formally retired from paid employment about 3 years ago, he discovered opportunities to serve as a volunteer representative of consumers and carers on committees and boards in the health sector. John’s interest in the impact of health policies and practices on people’s lives has grown from personal and professional experiences. John is a carer for a family member with complex mental health conditions and has been closely associated with others who have served as carers. The mental health of carers and recognition of the diversity of those undertaking a caring role (especially the ‘hidden’ carers) are issues of a particular concern to John. Prior to retirement John spent 8 years working as a counsellor at the Canberra Men’s Centre. Here he saw the interweaving of mental health issues with socio-economic disadvantage, physical disabilities, dysfunctional families and broad community prejudices. Participating in the ACACIA Advisory Group and in other representative roles gives John the challenges and satisfaction that otherwise might not be afforded to him.
Mr James Eastburn – Independent Consumer Representative
James is an independent consumer representative for the community.
Ms Rebecca Randall – Independent Consumer Representative
Rebecca is an independent consumer representative for the community
Ms Janet Milford – Independent Carer Representative
Janet is an independent carer representative for the community.
Ms Sophie Hope – Independent Carer Representative
Sophie is an independent carer representative for the community.
Ms Rebecca Dawson – Mental Health Policy Unit, ACT Health
Rebecca is a representative from the ACT Health Mental Health Policy Unit.
Prof Brenda Happell – Academic Advisor
In her 26th year as an academic Brenda has held many challenging and exciting roles, including the establishment of the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice at the University of Melbourne, Director of the Institute for Health and Social Science Research at Central Queensland University and of course my current role as Executive Director of SYNERGY, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, University of Canberra and ACT Health. Brenda is a firm believer in “nothing about us without us” and as Brenda is not a consumer of mental health services herself, she has very clear roles and boundaries. Brenda refers to herself as an ally, which means she does what she can to facilitate consumer roles, defend them, support them, advocate for them and contribute to research, evaluation and disseminate outcomes to show their importance and value. Brenda doesn’t speak on behalf of consumers (although often asked to) and doesn’t define the structure or content of consumer roles. Brenda feels that being invited to be a member of the ACACIA Advisory Group is an honour; and looks forward to being actively involved.
Ms Julia Bocking – Invited Member
Julia is a consumer academic with Synergy.