Winners of the 2017 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards
Open Minds is delighted to congratulate our nine Queensland Mental health Week Achievement Awards winners, announced this morning at the Awards Breakfast and Presentation Ceremony at Brisbane City Hall.
Individual Award – winner
Marj Bloor for her contribution to the mental health sector as CEO of ARAFMI Queensland, which Marj led for close to two decades. Marj was instrumental in transforming the organisation and the lives of many staff, families, carers and people with lived experience of mental health.
Jude Bujega Peer Experience Award - winner
Leilani Darwin has devoted her professional life to assisting other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to have access to mental health supports that she credits with assisting her to build her resilience and live a meaningful and productive life. Her passion and commitment to best practice, culturally safe and effective mental health services inspire the people around her.
Media Award - winner
“When the Baby Blues Turn Black”, QWeekend, The Courier-Mail is an in-depth feature article combining personal experiences with post-natal depression, the expertise of medical professionals and mental health advocates, resulting in an engaging in-depth feature contributing to the breakdown of stigma surrounding mental illness.
Not-for-Profit Award SME (1 to 100 staff) - winner
Access Arts is a leader in supporting vulnerable Queenslanders through art: people experiencing mental health problems, mental illness, learning difficulty, physical disability (often translating into depression and other mental health issues as a result of societal barriers); deaf people (prone to above average depression due to extreme isolation), fragile First Australians, and more recently frail elderly seniors, many with dementia.
Not-for-Profit Award (Medium to Large 101+ staff) - winner
Cooinda Mental Health Service combines best-practice treatment programs and community outreach, continually striving to expand and develop new programs and community initiatives in-line with the needs of the community it serves. Their mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and their families.
Workplace Award SME (1 to 200 staff) - winner
Bremer State High School aims to support the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff by providing initiatives to enhance wellbeing throughout the year. The school’s Mental Health Action Team collaborates with external professionals to develop practices and programs to improve student’s mental health and change the way in which mental health is viewed.
Workplace Award Large (201+ staff) - winner
Queensland Ambulance Service for their ‘Priority One’ Program to promote the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing of more than 4,500 ambulance personnel and their families. The Priority One program seeks to encourage and enhance the individual’s personal resources and introduce appropriate resilience mechanisms to deal with every day demands and challenges confronted in their daily lives to support mental health and wellbeing.
Youth Award (25 years and under) - winner
Nicole Gibson is a fierce ambassador for mental health, innovation and connection after recovering from her own terrifying lived experience with anorexia nervosa through her teenage years. Nicole works to normalise the conversation surrounding mental health, to break down the walls around stigma and shame associated with reaching out for health. In Nicole’s young career so far, she has facilitated workshops and presentations with over 250,000 Australians.
Earle Duus Memorial Award (presented to our overall winner from our eight category winners)
Queensland Ambulance Service
For the first time, nominations for next year’s 2018 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards open today. The new, extended nomination period will provide Queensland’s mental health sector and inspirational heroes with the opportunity to think creatively about their upcoming programs or initiatives planned for delivery over the next 12 months, and plenty of time to get those nominations in!
Our thanks again to our sponsors: Queensland Mental Health Commission, and category sponsors: Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP); Queensland Alliance for Mental Health and Queensland Health.
Achievement Awards host, Open Minds, delivers mental health, disability and employment supports and is a registered NDIS provider. We work to enhance mental health and wellbeing by delivering a range of tailored options focused on our clients’ individual needs.
For more information on the Achievement Awards or to coordinate an interview with our winners, please contact:
In July 2016, Open Minds secured a 5 year contract from Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) to provide re-entry support back into the community for men and women exiting Townsville Correctional Centre. The program aims to reduce re-offending through success whilst on parole. Our community Re-entry Service Team (CREST) team work across prison, probation and parole phases providing holistic service for re-entering participants exiting Townsville Correctional Centre.
Josh, Probation Services Officer on Palm Island, recently shared some wonderful feedback about Open Minds team member, Joanne. “Before this week is done I just wanted to said you an email to say thank you for your commitment. It is very rare in my experience, to be blessed enough to see someone work with as much passion and commitment as yourself. I want to thank you, not only for the amazing work you have done with Rozita, but also every single other life you come in contact with, as I am sure you commit yourself to every single person you can assist. It has been truly great to work with you and I want you to know, that what you are doing, how you carry yourself, and the rapport you build with people is something extremely special and very few people have that. Let’s continue to fight the good fight.”
Well done Joanne – you are making a real difference!
The Australian Mental Health College is pleased to announce the following qualifications are offered:
Certificate II in Retail Services (SIR20216)
Certificate III in Retail (SIR30216)
Certificate II in Hospitality (SIT20316)
Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616)
Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)(CHC33015)
Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care)(CHC33015)
Certificate III in Individual Support (Home and Community Support)(CHC33015)
Certificate III in Business Administration (BSB30415)
First Aid (HLTAID003)
These new qualifications add to our current suite of accredited training, which includes:
Community Services Induction Skill Set (CHCSS00088)
Suicide Prevention Training (CHCCCS003)
Certificate II in Business (BSB20115)
Certificate III in Business (BSB30115)
As a Registered Training Organisation, the Australian Mental Health College (AMHC) will now offer these courses as accredited training for both our staff and clients - and also for other organisations.
This growth forms a part of our continued learning and development focus at Open Minds and our presence in new and emerging markets. In particular, we support our Employment Services clients to gain much needed qualifications and work skills to achieve their job outcomes and find employment.
The AMHC provides Open Minds staff with ongoing training and education on NDIS fundamentals, through access to nationally recognised qualifications, specifically designed to prepare our team for the rigor and challenges of NDIS service provision.
Amy moved to Brisbane from the Gold Coast at 23 years of age. With prior diagnoses of anxiety and schizophrenia, her mental health deteriorated on moving to a new location without support.
With the absence of supports and clinically unwell, Amy began hearing voices. Amy spent two and a half years in the Community Care Unit (CCU) where she was eventually connected with Open Minds and has spent the last 18 months working towards recovery-oriented goals.
“Open Minds have helped me learn to love myself, and to really believe that I am important. I have gained mental strength, independence and the skills needed to talk my way out of an anxiety attack. Taking control of my anxiety has allowed me to make positive choices in my life.
I am now employed and have been for 18 months now. I love my job and always look forward to going to work. I like to travel to the Gold Coast every few months to visit family. I do this alone and with confidence. Prior to linking in with Open Minds I would never have been able to, my anxiety would consume me.
This year I have started going to the gym a few times a week. This is a goal I have wanted to achieve for a while now, and with the support of Open Minds I’m doing it!”
Amy is over the moon with the services Open Minds have provided, stating, “Open Minds...make me feel empowered. Empowered to the point that even though at times I may be alone, I never “feel” alone.”
“Open Minds provides me with not only support, but a sense of self worth.”
Amy’s proudest achievement is, “getting my job! And becoming mentally well. I sometimes feel as though my journey to become mentally well has been a long one. Open Minds staff have been the only people who have fully supported me to become the person I always wanted to be. I wake up every day with ‘hope’ and ‘hope’ holds my hand as I walk my recovery journey.”
Open Minds recognises that recovery is different for each individual and our staff work with clients, their families and friends to identify strengths and goals.
To download the full version of the Better Days Winter Edition, click here.
Open Minds is incredibly proud to again deliver the 2017 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.
Nominate now in one or more of our eight Awards categories:
Workplace Award - Small to medium businesses (1-200 staff)
Workplace Award - Large businesses (201+ staff)
Not-For-Profit Award - Small to medium (1-100 staff)
Not-For-Profit Award - Medium to large (101+ staff)
Jude Bugeja - Peer Experience Award
Youth Award (under 25)
Earle Duus (Overarching Award)
Winners will receive an engraved trophy and framed certificate and the overarching Earle Duus Award will receive $4000 incentive to continue initiatives and programs, along with framed certificate and trophy.
Finalists will be announced at the end of September, with our winners recognised at the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards Breakfast and Presentation Ceremony at Brisbane City Hall on Friday, 13 October 2017. Tickets on sale in August, all enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now in its fifth year, the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards have evolved into a major milestone on the Queensland Mental Health Week calendar, held in October each year. The Achievement Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations working tirelessly to reduce stigma, support and empower those living with mental illness whilst improving the understanding and awareness of mental health and wellbeing right across Queensland.
Would your organisation like to sponsor a Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards category?
Sponsorship is on offer for all eight Award categories, valued at $3000. Please note, category sponsorship is very popular, so please contact us with your request as soon as possible, to avoid disappointment. Please contact email@example.com to request a sponsorship prospectus.
Each year the Achievement Awards continue to grow in both impact and success, encouraging everyone to value mental health and recognising the mental health sector.
For some inspiration, read more about our 2016 Awards winners:
Media Award Winner
‘Heads Up’ TV Special, ABC QLD. ‘Heads Up’ TV Special was a collaborative news event discussed across multiple media, including TV, radio and digital. The TV Special explored youth mental health and wellbeing issues, focusing on two questions: What’s happening to our kids? What are we doing about it?
Individual Award Winner
Ms Annette Coutts. For her work as a consumer advocate at The Park - Centre for Mental Health, Treatment, Research and Education. Annette draws from her own lived experience to provide empathetic support and effective advocacy for consumers and carers.
Jude Bugeja Peer Experience Award Winner
Mr William Smith-Stubbs. For his work on various campaigns promoting mental health awareness and help-seeking behaviour. William is Co-Founder of Spur Projects, producing a wide range of innovative mental health projects giving men resources, skills and language they need to take positive action around their mental health. William draws from his own lived experience to help others.
Youth Award (25 years and under) Winner
Ms Teneille Arundale. For her work with Harmony Place, a community-based organisation providing mental health and wellbeing services for people and communities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Teneille is passionate about humanitarian efforts, community development and improving the lives of others.
Workplace Award (SME, 1-200 staff) Winner
Labrador State School. Labrador State School aim to promote mental health and wellbeing and reduce stigma associated with mental illness by delivering a week-long series of events and activities during Queensland Mental Health Week, specifically developed to educate their pupils, educators and the school community about mental health issues.
Workplace Award (large, 201+ staff) Winner
McCullough Robertson Lawyers. McCullough Robertson Lawyers provide a range of mental health and wellbeing initiatives to support their 400+ staff across Queensland and New South Wales. They aim to provide an inclusive work environment that is safe and supportive.
Not-For-Profit Award (SME, 1-100 staff) and Earle Duus Memorial Award (overall AWARD) Winner
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia - Queensland Branch. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia - Queensland Branch worked closely with four Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs) to supply appropriate education and training to staff at 100 pharmacies via the Partners in Recovery Pharmacy Integration Programs. The aims of the programs were to improve collaborative care between pharmacies, pharmacy staff and mental health support providers; and improve the knowledge, skills and attitude of pharmacy staff to better support people with a mental illness.
Not-For-Profit Award (large, 101+ staff) Winner
Aftercare and Arafmi Inc. Since 2014, Aftercare and Arafmi Inc. have partnered to deliver support services to family, friends and carers of people experiencing mental illness. Together, they provide carers with a range of information, skill building events, connection with other carers and connection to other relevant community support services.
To download the full version of the Better Days Winter Edition, click here.
Open Minds recently partnered with Access Arts to provide the opportunity for our clients to participate in the ‘Today I Am….’ Program – a series of workshops culminating in group performances.
Access Arts has been working to support people with disability or disadvantage for over 30 years. They have the belief that everybody deserves quality access to arts activities and the opportunity to work towards a career in the arts.
A group of Open Minds clients came along to each practice bringing their energy and ‘go get ‘em’ attitude.
The clients became part of a performing choir, and made connections with other group members along the way. The practice space was filled with warmth and joy when the group sang together in unison. They sang, "Today I Am", a song composed and written by the members of Access Arts especially for the group.
The rhythm, harmonies and musical tones filled the room and our staff and Board members watched on in awe as our clients excelled in their performance.
All the hard work, enjoyment and commitment led to their big debut at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane, where the choir performed on stage in the foyer in front of members of the public and other organisations. Staff and clients joined in for a memorable night of music and singing, with some of our clients performing solo pieces.
Feedback from participants was outstanding, with clients expressing how they thoroughly enjoyed the experience – the group dynamic and the people they met. Our participants are all looking forward to performing again in late July. Come on down, enjoy the performance and show your support!
To download the full version of the Better Days Winter Edition, click here.