Assistant Commissioners appointed to help improve mental health outcomes in WA

Published on 21 Jun 2024

Four Assistant Commissioners have been appointed to provide strategic, expert advice on the work of the Mental Health Commission.

The new appointments follow findings from the Independent Review of WA Health System Governance, which highlighted the need to strengthen leadership, accountability and collaboration of the mental health alcohol and other drugs systems. 

The Assistant Commissioners were chosen on their leadership roles within their respective communities and will inform system-wide reform to help improve outcomes for West Australians.

The Assistant Commissioners will start on 1 July 2024.

Assistant Commissioner Aboriginal Affairs, Mr James Christian PSM MPA

James Christian PSM is a Wiradjuri person from Central Western NSW. James has held senior executive positions in government and national not-for-profit organisations. He has been responsible for national and state-based policies and programs in the areas of Aboriginal Affairs and social and human services sectors.

Assistant Commissioner Alcohol and Other Drugs, Dr Stephen Bright BA (Psych) Hons, PhD (Clin Psych)

Dr Stephen Bright has significant alcohol and other drugs research experience and understands contemporary and emerging policy issues. He has previously held senior clinical and managerial position at publicly-funded health services, and is often called on to provide expert testimony at high level inquiries.

Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience (Consumer), Ms Patricia Tran

Patricia Tran has significant experience providing peer work and suicide training across the sector through a wide range of providers, including Consumers of Mental Health WA. She is a sessional lecturer with Curtin University, is well connected in the sector and brings a wealth of experience.

Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience (Significant Other), Ms Wendy Cream FDRP, GradD Couns

Wendy Cream has a Family Lived Experience of mental health, alcohol and other drug issues and justice involvement. She has worked in a range of designated Lived Experience roles, including being the designated and sole Family/Carer member on the Ministerial Taskforce into Public Mental Health Services for Infants, Children and Adolescents aged 0 to 18 years in WA. Wendy has more than 30 years’ experience working in government and non-government roles with vulnerable communities in rural, remote and metropolitan areas.

You can find out more here.

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