Kicking off 2013
21 February 2013
There was not an empty seat in sight at the Commission’s first community forum in Sydney last month.
Close to 140 people gathered at Platform 10 Conference Centre in Redfern, to meet the Commissioners, raise issues and ask questions.
It is the largest attendance at a Commission community forum to date, with six being held each year to coincide with formal Commission meetings, in different locations around Australia.
Chair Prof Allan Fels, explained in his opening comments that hearing first hand from the community is of prime importance to the Commission's work.
“We are committed to hearing about local issues across the country. We are guided by you- by what matters to real people and real communities, not just what we see and hear through reports and through the media,”
“These conversations are an essential part in influencing the work of the commission and this year’s Report Card,” he said.
It was the first time the Commissioners had met since the launch of the Report Card, late last year and as expected much of the discussion was in response to its findings and recommendations. For a full overview of the issues raised at the forum, you can read the Communiqué here.
While in Sydney, the Commissioners also visited a range community and hospital based services.
“Today we have seen some wonderful services including STARTTS in South West Sydney, Mission Australia and the Pre Employ program here in the city.” Prof Fels said.
Our next meeting is in Cairns on the 7-8 March. Read the communique and minutes from the meeting here.
"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."
Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission