The Meeting Place

Beyond Blue – Julia Gillard appointed

Beyond Blue chair Jeff Kennett to be replaced by former PM Julia Gillard on July 1.

Ms Gillard said she had a "lifetime passion" for mental health issues, formed growing up with her father, who worked as a psychiatric nurse.

Read the full story at


I'm hoping she can bring some real clout to this important job, I hear she's dedicated to making a difference and I hope she does.  After every effort made in the past, mental illness still has an awful stigma attached to it and it's a real shame.


I believe Julia is a good choice for this's not surprising since she has been on the board of Beyond Blue since 2014..

She has long since had an interest in mental health and did say it would be a priority in her second term... with a $277 million suicide prevention package targeting high risk groups..





Having been a fierce critic of her in the past, I do think that she will be well suited to this position and cause.

However, the article is incorrect in stating that her mother was a psychiatric nurse because it was her FATHER who was, not her mother.

The ABC article correctly states..

"Ms Gillard said she had a "lifetime passion" for mental health issues, formed growing up with her father, who worked as a psychiatric nurse."

Mr Gillard requested when he died his body should be donated to science...

Thanks for the correction Mez and Thea. I did a cut and paste very soon after the story first appeared (saying her mother). Have corrected the original post now.

I too think she is well-suited to the position.

Who knows if  she would be well suited to the job, she seemed to have stuffed up much in the Prime ministry things, Okay so nobody is perfect, but i think only time will tell, and when your in a new job, it takes ages to work anything out. What is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing, well this will be a learning curve for her.

and just because her father was a psychiatric nurse doesn't mean anything, they are actually dangerous i reckon as they like to  make sure patients get their drugs.

I think many should be councilled first, by ppl that have many many years of experience, and only those that are a danger to society, should be given meds like they like to hand out! Like Pedophiles? and other nasty sorts!

Give her a chance before slamming her. People have too much to say these days.

JULY 29 2010 Sydney Morning Herald

This means that every day, 330 Australians who present to emergency departments with serious mental illnesses are turned away. Fewer than one in 15 are referred to any other service.
Every day more than 1200 Australians are refused admission to public or private psychiatric units. Every day, at least seven people die as a result of suicide, with more than a third involving people discharged too early and/or without care following hospitalisation.


Despite knowing this, the Labor government cut a total of $354.6 million from mental programs .

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister delivered her first mental health policy address - a grab bag of modest investments in several worthy initiatives. This is not reform, just more of the same failed approach we have seen for decades. Patches hastily attached to a broken system.

The $9 million over four years pledged for a men's mental health promotion campaign is enough money to buy no more than a single advertising run in every airport urinal in the country.

By comparison, we spend $100 million annually on tobacco prevention.

Gillard also committed to the "expansion of youth mental health networks and this will need to be scaled up over time". The government pledged $25.5 million over the next four years, when it knows that each site for the early psychosis program will cost $13 million a year in operational costs and that we require 20 such sites for an effective national program.

The Prime Minister also announced $9 million for a suicide "hot spot" program, akin to the road safety "Black Spot" campaign launched by the Howard government a decade ago. The hot-spot program is a good initiative, built on the evidence that safety measures in known areas can prevent suicide happening. But the funding pledged is only enough for three sites. Astonishingly, despite Gillard referencing the site, it does not guarantee funds for ''The Gap'' - a cliff-face in Sydney where, on average, 50 people take their life annually.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Nicola Roxon has argued that mental health will have to wait its turn; that she will not take money out of other areas for more mental healthcare

. But when she and Rudd proudly announced the establishment of regional cancer treatment centres, beefed up the treatment of diabetes and funding for elective surgery, she did not say the money was coming at the expense of something else.

For those big and sexy policy announcements, there was allegedly no trade-off.
Roxon, in effect, said that those services are warranted, but sees fit to further stigmatise mental ill-health by saying that there is no money for it without someone else missing out. This direct attack on mental health consumers and their families by a health minister is unprecedented.


John Mendoza resigned as chairman of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health last month. He is an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast and adjunct associate professor at the University of Sydney.

We all have mental health problems one way or another, and the problem is mental health professionals seem to think that they can cure it all with the drugs they offer.

Which is total Absolute Rubbish. Perhaps the most dangerous should be treated this way, but the rest i believe they need good coucilling, and not with just anybody. Cause if the coucillors can't relate to the patient, and have some sort of empathy, how can they really be helpful to the patient. Many patients stuggle cause they have lived in dysfunctional families and do not know how to survive in live, and many end up injuring themselves or their loved ones even. Then their so called loved ones go on to hurt them even more, and dope them UP  more. More good communication needs to be happening in these stressful times. And to keep all productive in society, this needs to happen, otherwise the problems will get worse, and the only one to really benefit will be the Drug companies, who will be rubbing their hands willy nilly, on how rich they will get. As it will be the government giving them money back, cause the patient can't work to cover it!!! So really it in the Governments interests really i think and to the patient, if they really think harder and smarter about this subject. Cause we are all subjected to mental illness, via collegues sometimes in our jobs, its unbelieveable how easily things can get misconstrued, and somebody life is turned upside down for nothing???

Often i believe sucides happen cause they are in dysfunctional family situation, or perhaps lacking in proper vitamins or something, cause i'll bet they don't do a reall good assessment of their health situation. Or perhaps usually they so unhappy that it doesn't really take much for many too become depressed. I even have a sister, who watched her father lay around in bed all day moaning and groaning that he was sick. But i know darn well he was a diabetic, and he didn't know how to help himself. But one thing lead to another, like my sister watched this, and she replicated it when it suited her.

He was her mentor, and she thought it was how she needed to behave, and she went on to have dreadful problems, then even passed on that sort of rubbish to the rest of my family on how to deal with  me. But she didn't even really know me. And i don't behave like that, cause MY father WAS different to her father, i have some similiarities with her, cause we have same mother. But also you have to know more history there. Which i won't go through, cause it is personal. But if you see what i mean. and much can be sorted through proper councilling. NOT drugs that Dum YOU down. And many think that is the way to go. Boy as a society so smart, we have still a lot to learn about this!!!

hope jeff kennett, after this decision, has since rang beyondblue himself for assistance, talking about the inmates running the asylum, then again politicians only look after their own regardless of which side they were representing, Australia has realy reached the bottem of the barrel by this appointment

LOL yeh i agree with you there Heemskerk.....mmmm


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