The Mental Health Commission is a government department that reports to the Minister for Mental Health.
It is led by a Commissioner, supported by the following Divisions:
- Office of the Commissioner
- System Development
- Operations – Prevention, Treatment and Community Support Services
- Governance and Corporate Services
- Chief Medical Officer – Mental Health
The Commission also provides support to three independent bodies, the Mental Health Advocacy Service, the Mental Health Tribunal and the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. They operate independently but are provided with corporate services support by the Commission.
Senior Executive Group (SEG)
Mental Health Commissioner
Maureen Lewis is an experienced senior executive and accomplished leader, with a proven track record in driving strategy and reform within the mental health sector.
Maureen has an extensive background working in mental health and drug and alcohol across mental health commissions, clinical services, policy, reform, strategy, planning and regulatory functions. She has experience leading and driving strategy and reform in complex service delivery environments in Western Australia, New South Wales and across the Commonwealth.
Throughout Maureen’s career, she has worked in significant leadership making a difference to the lives of many, some of whom are the most vulnerable people in our community to empower individuals and families to lead fulfilling lives. Maureen is uniquely placed to lead the necessary reforms of Western Australia’s mental health, alcohol and other drug systems, informed by her grassroots clinical experience and intimate understanding of the community we serve and extensive leadership experience across Australia.
Find out more about our Mental Health Commissioner.
Chief Medical Officer Mental Health
Dr Sophie Davison
BA, MA(Cantab), MBBChir, DFP, MPhil, FRCPsych, FRANZCP, AFRACMA
Dr Sophie Davison joined the Commission in 2020 as the inaugural Chief Medical Officer Mental Health.
Prior to joining the Commission Sophie was Deputy Chief Psychiatrist of WA where she was involved in overseeing the standards of care in mental health services. She was also Consultant, State Forensic Mental Health Service providing in-reach at Bandyup Women’s Prison. She is currently adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of WA and the University of NSW. Sophie has been a Consultant Psychiatrist for more than 20 years and is committed to improving outcomes for people with mental health and AOD issues and their families and carers.
She is a passionate advocate for integrated partnerships working to provide holistic care; and engagement of clinicians and other frontline staff and people with Lived Experience in system improvements. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists. She is an Associate Fellow of the Royal College of Medical Administrators and has an MPHil in criminology.
Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations
BSc(N), MHlthAgedServMgt, MAICD, AFCHSM, AFAIM WA
Monica Taylor is acting as Deputy Commissioner Operations at the Commission, having previously held the inaugural role of Executive Director Mental Health Nursing where she focused on our workforce to lead the development of the WA MH Nurse Capability Framework. As Deputy Commissioner Operations, Monica oversees our Treatment Services, Prevention, Community Support and Strategic Management teams.
Monica is an experienced executive, who has held a variety of leadership roles over the past 15 years, and has been a Mental Health Nurse for over 30 years. She has a history of working in the hospital and health care industry within the WA health sector and is skilled in health care management, organisational development and patient safety. Monica brings a skill set in clinical governance and has applied this as an Australian Council of HealthCare Standards assessor for over 10 years.
Deputy Commissioner System Development
BPE, DipEd, DipHProm, GCertPSM, MPH, GAICD
Julia Knapton joined the Commission in July 2023 and in the four years prior, she held the position of Executive Director Healthway, leading its strategic grant making related to health promotion projects, partnerships and research.
Julia has a long history working within the mental health and alcohol and other drug sectors and has previously worked at the Commission as Director Planning, Policy and Strategy and acting Assistant Commissioner between 2015 and 2019. During this time, she was responsible for mental health, alcohol and other drug strategy and services development, legislative services as well as consumer engagement.
As Deputy Commissioner of System Development, Julia oversees the Commission’s system-wide policy and strategy including legislation, intergovernmental relations and governance, stakeholder engagement, and performance, monitoring and evaluation.
With more than 30 years’ experience in health and education, Julia is passionate about ensuring people are placed at the centre of planning reform to ulimately improve outcomes for individuals and communities in WA.
Executive Director Governance and Corporate Services
Mel Parry has been at the Commission since November 2021. She was initially involved in the early stages of the Commission’s Agency Commissioning Plan before leading the Governance and Corporate Services division from June 2022.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mel held senior roles in government agencies focussed on education, awareness and service delivery to vulnerable people and communities in Western Australia. Melissa holds a Master of Business Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Social Science (Housing Management and Policy).