The Advisory Panel will:

  • help identify research priorities; 
  • inform the design of the Mission’s research grant programs; and
  • prioritise proposals for funding based on peer-review.

It will also track and report on the return on investment under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The Advisory Panel’s key functions are to:

  • identify critical and emerging mental health research priorities consistent with the Mission’s Roadmap
  • inform the design of the Mission’s research grant programs, and ensure they are consistent with the Roadmap, the Medical Research Future Fund Act 2015 and the MRFF Funding Principles ;
  • provide recommendations on strategic and investment priorities;
  • develop selection criteria to ensure that grant investment meets the principles and priorities of the Mission as identified in the Roadmap; 
  • prioritise research proposals suitable for funding, for consideration by the Minister;
  • monitor, evaluate, and report to the Minister, and the MRFF’s Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, on the Mission and the Roadmap; and 
  • provide advice to the Minister on the Mission, either in response to requests for advice or as initiated by the Advisory Panel.



Appointed by the Australian Government, the Advisory Panel has 15 members. Its membership includes eminent researchers, and persons with lived experience of mental illness.  They were selected to ensure the panel has the skills and experience to support the Million Minds Mission achieve its objectives.

The panel will be supported ex-officio members from the: 

  • Department of Health; 
  • National Mental Health Commission; and the
  • National Health and Medical Research Council.



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. She is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Professor Milroy is a Past President of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), a current member of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health, and is a board member of Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health initiative, as well as a member of the newly appointed Western Australian Indigenous Implementation Board.

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. He works clinically with people with treatment refractory schizophrenia, and has a research interest in the physical health co-morbidities of people living with serious mental illness.

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. She is internationally recognised for her innovative computer based interventions for mental health and substance use disorders.

Dr Deborah Rathjen

Dr Rathjen is a representative appointment on behalf of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, and is CEO and Managing Director of the Bionomics Corporation.

Dr Graham Gee

Dr Gee is a Senior Psychologist with Victorian Aboriginal Health Services in Melbourne. He was a steering committee member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association, and a founding board member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

Ms Judy Bentley

Ms Bentley is a carer advocate and a member of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Mental Health. She has been actively involved in advancing mental health issues since 2001.

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 Hickie is a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Principal Research Fellow, and was an inaugural Commissioner on the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC).

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

Professor Kulkarni is Professor of Psychiatry at The Alfred and Monash University, and Director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. She is internationally recognised for her expertise in the treatment of mental health, particularly women’s mental health.

Professor Linda Richards

Professor Richards is a Professor of Neuroscience and Deputy Director of the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland. She is also President of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, and Co-Chair of the Australian Brain Alliance.

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). He was named Australian of the Year in 2010, and is a world-leading reformer, clinician and scientific researcher in early intervention, youth mental health, clinical trials and health services research.

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. She is currently President of the Eating Disorder Research Society.

Scientia Professor Helen Christensen

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. He has researched the nature, course, and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over two decades, and received the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2016 for services to research and management of traumatic stress.

Dr Alison Morehead (Ex-Officio Member)

Dr Morehead is the First Assistant Secretary of the Primary Care and 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).

Dr Tony Willis (Ex-Officio Member)

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


The Advisory Panel meets bi-annually, and as otherwise agreed by members. Meeting materials are predominantly committee-in-confidence, noting that wherever possible communications from the Advisory Panel are posted on this website.

Related committees and groups

No additional committees or groups currently report to the Advisory Panel.



2 October 2018 meeting of the Advisory Panel


Million Minds Mission

Contact for further information on the Million Minds Mission and the Million Minds Advisory Panel. [at]

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Last updated: 
11 November 2019