The panel has been appointed to provide the Minister for Health with advice on the strategic priorities for research investment through this mission. Its role is to define evidence and knowledge gaps that should be addressed through mission research funding to assist in transforming health care and health outcomes for individuals and communities. This role includes the definition of key research questions that, if answered, will deliver meaningful change to patients through the translation of research.

Panel members will consult and engage with other researchers, industry and consumer/patient groups and participate in media and public activities to build awareness of and facilitate interaction with the mission and with other MRFF-funded research.

Further information on the roles and responsibilities of MRFF Expert Advisory Panels can be found in the MRFF Mission Governance resource.


The panel has 15 members appointed by the Australian Government. Its membership includes eminent researchers and persons with lived experience of mental illness. The government selected panel members with the skills and experience the mission needs to achieve its objectives.

The panel is also supported by ex-officio members from the: 

  • Department of Health 
  • National Mental Health Commission
  • National Health and Medical Research Council

The Advisory Panel comprised the following members between October 2018 and October 2020.


Background and experience

Professor Shitij Kapur (Co‑Chair)

Professor Kapur is a clinician-scientist with expertise in psychiatry, neuroscience and brain imaging. He is the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and Assistant Vice Chancellor (Health) at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Helen Milroy (Co‑Chair)

Professor Milroy is a Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia Medical School.

Associate Professor Dan Siskind

Associate Professor Siskind is a clinical academic psychiatrist at the Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, School of Medicine.

Associate Professor Frances Kay‑Lambkin

Associate Professor Kay-Lambkin is Associate Professor at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, and is also Co-Director of the university’s Mental Health Hub.

Dr Deborah Rathjen

Dr Rathjen is a representative appointment on behalf of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, and is the Executive Chairman of Bioasis.

Dr Graham Gee

Dr Gee is a Senior Research Fellow with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.

Ms Judy Bentley

Ms Bentley is a carer advocate and a member of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Mental Health.

Ms Tanya Kretschmann

Ms Kretschmann is a consumer advocate and is currently a Mental Health Consumer Consultant for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Professor Ian Hickie AM

Professor Hickie is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney’s Sydney Medical School. He is also the Co-Director of Health and Policy at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni AM

Professor Kulkarni is Professor of Psychiatry at The Alfred and Monash University, and Director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre.

Professor Linda Richards AO

Professor Richards is a Professor of Neuroscience and Deputy Director of the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland.

Professor Patrick McGorry AO

Professor McGorry is Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, Executive Director at Orygen, and a Founding Director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (headspace).

Professor Tracey Wade

Professor Wade is a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Flinders University’s School of Psychology, and has been a clinician in the area of eating disorders for over twenty five years.

Scientia Professor Helen Christensen AO

Scientia Professor Christensen is a Scientia Professor of Mental Health at the University of New South Wales, and Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute. She is one of only two National Health and Medical Research Council John Cade Research Fellows and is Chief Investigator for the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP).

Scientia Professor Richard Bryant AC

Scientia Professor Bryant is a Scientia Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and is Director of UNSW’s Traumatic Stress Clinic.

Mr Mark Roddam (Ex-Officio Member)

Mr Roddam is the First Assistant Secretary of the Mental Health Division, Commonwealth Department of Health.

Dr Marcus Nicol (Ex-Officio Member)

Dr Nicol is Director of the Monitoring and Reporting Team, National Mental Health Commission (NMHC).

Ms Prue Torrance (Ex-Officio Member)

Ms Torrance is Executive Director of Research Quality and Priorities, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Term of Reference

Terms of Reference will be made available once endorsed by the government. 


The panel meets twice a year, and as otherwise agreed by members. Most meeting materials are committee-in-confidence. When possible, we post communications from the panel on this page.


2 October 2018 meeting of the panel

Related committees and groups

The panel reports to the Minister for Health.

We provide secretariat support to the committee.


Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission Advisory Panel contact

Contact for further information on the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission Advisory Panel. This mission is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

millionminds [at]

View contact

Last updated: 
10 December 2020