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The latest from flourish

Pro Bono Australia – Civil Voices Survey

From Pro Bono Australia Founder & CEO Karen Mahlab AM:

Calling all individuals working in the not-for-profit sector.
We need your voice.

At Pro Bono Australia our mission to activate good intentions compels us from time to time to participate in unique research projects that call for the social sector’s perspective.

With this in mind, I am writing to introduce you to Civil Voices, an investigation into the relationship between not-for-profit organisations and the current state of advocacy in Australia.

Today we launch the campaign by urging you, our not-for-profit network, to spend 10 minutes completing the Civil Voices survey. We impress on you the importance of contributing your voice to this pivotal exploration. Your participation in the survey is essential for a holistic insight into the sector’s ability to advocate on matters of public interest.

Run by academics from Melbourne University, the results of the survey will be used to inform a report that will build upon an existing evidence base to provide a deeper understanding of trends surrounding advocacy and the sector. The report will be utilised by the Human Rights Law Centre and Pro Bono Australia to ignite a broader discussion on the issue.

By taking part in the survey, not only will you be contributing your voice to an essential investigation, but you’ll have the chance to win one of four places to the Annual Human Rights dinner 2018.

Thank you for giving the survey the attention it demands.

All the best to you – and thank you again,

Karen Mahlab AM
Founder & CEO
Pro Bono Australia

Wellways Community Advocacy Forums

In May, Wellways held a number of community advocacy forums across Tasmania. During their time in Tasmania they are interested in hearing what the ‘big issues’ are for individuals, families and communities. Their forums were a great success and very well attended across Hobart, Launceston and Ulverstone. The information they collected ensures the voice of people living in Tasmania is represented in their local and national advocacy work. They also hope to activate local communities to take action and create the change they want to see in their community.

They have published the ‘Spotlight’ document from the Hobart Community Advocacy Forum and a short media clip from their Hobart Advocacy Forum which reflects their time in Tasmania and commitment to raising up voices and creating change.

Download a copy of the Spotlight document here.
View the short media clip here.

International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership Update

Peer work leaders from Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and colleagues from the USA participated in an International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership match in Brisbane on 27 and 28 February 2017.

The Australian peer work leaders resolved to issue a ‘Statement of Intent’ that would communicate the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)’s intention to form a national professional association for the Australian mental health consumer peer workforce. IIMHL feel that such statement is necessary to provide the focus for national consultations to occur that will lead to the development of a peer-run organisation that can support and sustain the development of the peer workforce across all sectors.

The ‘Statement of Intent’ is supported by the international peer work leaders who attended the match – Gary J Parker, Executive Director, Kansas Consumer Advisory Council for Adult Mental Health and Sherry Tucker, Executive Director, Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. Both Kansas and Georgia offer certified peer specialist training, certification and support.

To view the Statement of Intent in full, please click on the link below:

IIMHL encourages current or emerging national Peer Support organizations from other IIMHL and non IIMHL countries to contact Tim Heffernan direct (theffernan[at]  (theffernan[at]  ) as this might be a great opportunity to build an international partnership.

Mental Health Consumer and Carer Engagement Project

The National Mental Health Commission is collaborating with mental health experts with a lived experience of mental illness to co-design a new Consumer and Carer Engagement Project to enhance opportunities for participation. The Project Steering Group is being chaired by Commissioner Jackie Crowe and guides the project and provides advice to the Commission on what we can do together that supports reform implementation.

The Steering Group will examine consumer and carer engagement policies and practices across key parts of the mental health and suicide prevention systems. Craze Lateral Solutions have been engaged to work on this project and undertake consultations with key stakeholders across Australia.

During June and July, consumers, carers, families, support people and other stakeholders are invited to share their knowledge and experience through these consultations.

To access information about the project or to view membership of the Steering Group please visit the National Mental Health Commission website at

To participate in one of more of the consultation processes please visit

Changes to Tasmania’s Mental Health Act 2013

The information below has been prepared by the Mental Health Tribunal.

Feedback from patients, doctors, health care providers, legal representatives and patient advocated have led to changes to the Tasmania’s Mental Health Act 2013.

The Act authorises people in Tasmania with a mental illness who lack decision-making capacity to receive the treatment they need for their health and safety, or for the health and safety of others. Patients’ rights and protection have not been removed or reduced by these changes.

These changes come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Some of the changes specific to patient care include:

  • Streamlining the processes for patient assessment, treatment and care.
  • Improving the way patients are provided with emergency ‘urgent circumstances’ treatments when needed; and streamlining the process for authorising these treatments.
  • Ensuring that eligible people (for example, victims of an offence or parents/guardians of a child victim) are consulted about extending or varying the leave granted to certain patients.

Some of the changes specific to treatment orders include:

  • Extending the timeframes for the Tribunal’s review of treatment orders, from 30 to 60 days; and 90 to 180 days.
  • Allowing the Mental Health Tribunal to make treatment orders that span different settings (for example, in the community and/or in an approved facility); and in certain conditions, authorising patients to be re-admitted or detained in an approved hospital.

For more information

To see the Mental Health Act in full, go to

Lifeline Tasmania – You Can Help Prevent Suicide

On Thursday, June 8th Lifeline Tasmania launched the first in a series of 30-second commercials to help stop suicide and its devastating impact on the Tasmanian community.

The campaign will equip Tasmanians of various ages and backgrounds with the skills needed to support a friend, neighbour or loved one experiencing personal crisis.

Lifeline Tasmania Acting CEO, Carolyn Pillans, described the campaign as both innovative and complimentary to the broader range of suicide prevention services and initiatives.

“Last year, across Australia Lifeline handled around one million interactions via its 13 11 14 crisis line and online Crisis Support Chat service. As confronting as this statistic may be, the important thing is that these people sought and received help during their time of need,” Mrs Pillans said.

“Despite the incredible work being done by community services organisations and the primary health sector, youth suicide continues to have a devastating impact on families and communities.

“For that reason, we’ve decided to focus the first three messages in our campaign on young people. It’s about equipping our youth with valuable skills that they’ll carry with them throughout their life,” said Mrs Pillans.

Thursday’s launch coincided with a visit to Tasmania by the Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel.

“We wholeheartedly endorse the proactive approach being taken by Lifeline Tasmania to promote suicide prevention at a local level,” said Mr Shmigel.

“This initiative is about taking an innovative approach to promoting open and non-judgemental conversations about suicide. It sends the important message that if you know someone who might be struggling – be it over a relationship, workplace stress or a financial situation – there is something you can do to help keep them safe.”

Filmed and produced entirely on location in Hobart, more film clips are already planned and will be tailored to older people experiencing social isolation, the rural community and various minority groups.

You can view the first three clips here, here and here.

For more information, you can contact Lifeline Tasmania here.

Flourish E-Newsletter, June 2017 Edition

The latest edition of Voices, Flourish’s E-Newsletter has just been published.

You can read a PDF copy here: or sign up to our mailing list to receive monthly issues here:

Survey for Consumers and Carers dealing with BPD

Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network Australia Limited (PMHCCN) invite all people, both consumers and carers, with a lived experience or supporting someone with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder to undertake a survey.

These surveys are the second of their kind in Australia. They are fairly long, but importantly PMHCCN want to gain as much information as possible. The purpose is to better understand the issues, needs, what supports, who helps most, and what barriers and gaps there are to accessing support within the current mental health systems both public and private.

It is a comprehensive national survey and by recirculating it, PMHCCN are able to compare changes over time. The findings will be released during BPD Awareness Week which is the first week of October of each year.

PMHCCN hopes to gather a large number of responses. In appreciation of the time and effort required, there will be an opportunity to win a $50 pre-paid Visa card for 5 consumers and 5 carers completing the survey and registering on the voucher link within the surveys. PMHCCN will randomly select these people to receive these cards.


Consumer lived experience survey link:

Carer lived experience survey link:

Flourish Board Vacancies

Flourish Logo
The Board of Flourish – Mental Health Action In Our Hands Inc, is in the process of recruiting new members to fill vacancies on the Board.  There are three particular vacancies, for a person with a lived experience (consumer), one with accounting background and one with legal expertise.  Board is skills-based and applications will also be welcomed from individuals with experience and expertise in governance, marketing or fundraising.

Flourish is a state-wide organisation with the headquarters at 33 Melville St Hobart.  The board meets bi-monthly either via teleconference or face-to-face for approximately 2 hours.  There are also Finance and Risk and Governance Sub-committees which each meet by teleconference every month.

For further information including the position description and the selection criteria, interested people should in the first instance contact the Board Chair, Harry Wilsdon, 0458 920 315 – harryw[at]  (harryw[at]  ; or the Chief Executive Officer Julia Fassina – ceo[at]  (ceo[at]   – 62231952 – 0448 185 629.

Expressions of interest should address the selection criteria and be lodge to either of the above by close of business Friday 2 Jun 2017.

Harry Wilsdon
Chair, Flourish

Anti-Poverty Week 2017

Poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians.
Around the world more than a billion people are desperately poor.

In Anti-Poverty Week help fight poverty and hardship.
• Why not organise a display, stall or award?
• Maybe a workshop, lecture or forum?
• How about a fundraiser, fact sheet or petition?

For more information and ideas:
• visit
• email apw[at]
• call 1300 797 290