THE Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council has welcomed the appointment of a new Mental Health Commissioner.
Ivan Frkovic was appointed by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick on Thursday and will take up the position from July 1 for a period of three years.
On behalf of council members, Professor David Kavanagh said the appointment would enable the valuable work of the Commission to continue with renewed energy.
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The inaugural Commissioner, Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck, has been acting in the position for a year since her three-year term expired.
“The Advisory Council thanks Lesley for her excellent leadership and significant achievements in the role,” Prof. Kavanagh said.
“Lesley’s legacy includes the establishment and development of the Commission into a focused and credible agent of change in the mental health and alcohol and other drug system.
“The Commission has achieved some big-ticket items including Queensland′s first Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan and five substantial whole-of-government action plans in priority areas.
“Lesley’s other achievements have been improvements to social housing policies for people with complex needs, influencing significant reform of the new Queensland Mental Health Act, and advocating for action on behalf of the Women Survivors of Wolston Park.
“In all her work, she has shown a strong commitment to a human rights agenda and to the wellbeing of all Queenslanders,” Professor Kavanagh said.
The Commission’s work particularly focuses on seeking to improve the lives of people with lived experience of mental illness and problematic alcohol and other drug use, and of people affected by suicide.
Prof. Kavanagh said Mr Frkovic brought diverse experience to the role, bridging government and the non-government services sector.
“We look forward to working closely with the new Commissioner to finalise renewal of the Strategic Plan, and ensure that positive reforms in Queensland continue.”