Management Committee

Currently, our Management Committee comprises:

President Assoc Prof Anthony Harris
Senior Vice President Robert Goldie
Junior Vice-President John Connell
Secretary Margaret White
Peter Ferguson
Member Alexandra Rivers
Member Judy Hopwood
Member Patricia King
Member Nick Lunzer
Member Mia Rosen
Member Sonja Schweizer
Member & Immediate Past President Frank Walker (died 12 June 2012)
 Highly Valued Past Member  Patricia (Trish) Stenning (died 2 April 2013)
 Highly Valued Past Member  Pat Boydell (died 12 August 2014)


Associate Professor Anthony Harris - President

Anthony Harris is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, a senior staff specialist psychiatrist for the Prevention Early Intervention and Recovery Service in the Western Sydney Area Mental Health Service and the Director of the Clinical Disorders Unit at the Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Hospital. His research interests centre on the psychophysiology, neuroimaging and treatment of first episode psychosis, schizophrenia and major depression. This work is principally carried out at the Brain Dynamics Centre at Westmead Hospital.

SFNSW 2016 Annual General Meeting

will be held on 25th September 2016 - Head Office, Gladesville

SFNSW 2015 Annual General Meeting

was held in September 2015 - Head Office, Gladesville

President's Report 2014-2015

Annual report 2014-2015 cover image

Our 30th year of existence has been a good year.  We have been able to balance our commitment to our members to lead change in the mental health sector, with the delivery of our services to people with a severe mental illness or their carers, all with the financial stability that makes it possible for us to continue our work.

The annual report gives me the opportunity to look back and say a little about the highlights of the year.  Indisputably one of the highlights was the Parliamentary Lunch in the Stranger’s Dining Room at Parliament House in Macquarie Street.  Our guest speaker, Governor David Hurley, gave a moving address interweaving bees, bridges and importance of health and mental health in the broader community.  He also offered the Fellowship the grounds of Government House as a starting point for our Wellness Walk this year.  We must all turn out and take advantage of this offer by the Governor for what will be a truly memorable way of starting and finishing our Wellness Walk. 

The year saw a very generous bequest to the Fellowship by Kay Stubbs.  Kay’s family can be traced back to the First Fleet and her family lived in the Hawkesbury area for many years.  As a young woman Kay was voted Australian Photographic Model of the Year and was the “face of Revlon”.  However she evidently tired of this and returned to the family orchard after her father passed away.  Later she turned the farm into a tourist ‘pick your own farm’.  At her passing she made very generous bequests to a number of organisations and the Fellowship was fortunate to be one of them. Thank you Kay Stubbs.  Such a gift makes a massive impact. The bequest has been used to support the Fellowship and to substantially enhance our Research Trust Fund allowing for its continued viability and greater flexibility in the frequency and quantity of the award.

The Research Trust Fund along with the Peter Meyer Bequest are the ways the Fellowship continues to support excellence in research into schizophrenia in New South Wales.  The continued existence of our own resource for funding research has become more important with the merger this year of the Schizophrenia Research Institute (SRI) with Neuroscience Research Australia, a larger medical research institute based at the University of New South Wales.  Because of this merger we have lost an independent research voice in the area of schizophrenia in our state, which is to be regretted despite the necessity of the merger to ensure the continued viability of the SRI. Our Research awards are now the only awards focused on schizophrenia in the state.

I would also like to celebrate the tour by Chuck Harman who is the national director of Strategic Alliances Development in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the United States.  Chuck was able to tour through much of Australia helping refine our advocacy message.  We will need to get out again in the near future as this year also saw the rolling out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the NDIS.  This scheme, which gives a promise of a higher level of support for people with a severe disability, still threatens the viability of many of our programs.  Indisputably people with a severe disability in our community should enjoy a higher level of support.  However the way that people with mental illness will be treated in this scheme is still unclear.  The Fellowship, along with our colleagues in the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia, is advocating strongly to maintain a high level of support from the Commonwealth Government for people with a mental illness and their carers.  We are keen that our people are not left behind if a program with limited financial support is rolled out as a palliation to what is a significant problem.
As always there are many people to thank.  I would especially like to note the contribution of Pam Bruce.  Pam joined the Management Committee of the Fellowship in 1995.  She was our Secretary in 1996 and then served as an ordinary member in 1997-98 until she joined the staff of the Fellowship.  She has been with Carer Assist from the beginning in 2002. Now after many years, many conferences and symposia that she was pivotal in organising, she is leaving us for retirement.  The Fellowship has gained so much from your hard work.  From all of us in the Fellowship, Thank you.

The Fellowship’s continued existence is dependent upon knowing the numbers behind the Fellowship.  We were used to operating on the proverbial smell of an oily rag, however the accounting dead reckoning that went along with that is no longer adequate or responsible.  As you can see from the financial report, the Fellowship is a medium sized business, and we owe it to the people we serve, our staff and our funders to have accurate and contemporaneous information about our financial situation.  This has been achieved recently with the work of David Gill and Steven Graham as well as the members of the Finance sub-committee of the Board.  Finance gets few plaudits for their work but they are essential for the good functioning of the Fellowship. Although their work is far from over they have made excellent progress. 

Finally I would like to pass on my thanks to all the people who have helped the Fellowship during the year, Nadine Farrell and Jennifer Wellsmore for their developmental work with the NDIS in the Hunter, Sue Sacker for 15 years of service after she joined “just to fill in for a few months” and the many other workers across the state.  Together with the work of Rob and my fellow members of the management committee you made a very successful year for the Fellowship.

Anthony Harris