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.

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.

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


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