National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce

The National Mental Health Workforce Strategy Taskforce is developing a Strategy that will consider the quality, supply, distribution, and structure of Australia’s mental health workforce. The taskforce includes members from across the mental health sector.


The taskforce is overseeing the development of a 10-year National Mental Health Workforce Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy will consider the quality, supply, distribution and structure of the mental health workforce. It will also identify practical approaches that could be implemented by Australian governments to attract, train and retain the workforce required. This will help us meet future demands of the mental health system.

On 24 December 2020, the taskforce provided their initial recommendations, including priority actions, to the Australian Government. A final Strategy will be provided by the end of 2021 before endorsement by all governments under the Australian Federal Relations Architecture.

See the taskforce’s terms of reference.

Read the literature review of existing workforce strategies.

Health has engaged ACIL Allen to help the taskforce develop the Strategy and to lead public consultation on behalf of the taskforce.

Public consultation

The taskforce developed a National Mental Health Workforce Strategy – Consultation Draft, which was available for public consultation between 12 August 2021 and 30 September 2021.

The draft Strategy is supported by a background paper that outlines:

  • the role of the taskforce
  • consultation to date
  • foundational research
  • a summary of the issues facing the mental health workforce.

All feedback received during the public consultation will be considered and will help inform the final Strategy.


Taskforce members come from across the mental health sector, including:

  • professional, peak and peer groups
  • consumers and carers
  • Australian Government and state and territory governments
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reference groups
  • education experts
  • economic and labour market experts.


Background and experience

Jennifer Taylor PSM (Co-chair)

Former Chief Executive Officer, Comcare

Thomas Brideson (Co-chair)

Chief Executive Officer, Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia

Mark Roddam

Australian Government Department of Health

Lyndall Soper

National Mental Health Commission

Morton Rawlin

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

John Allan

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Stephen Jackson

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

Tamara Cavenett

Australian Psychological Society

Leanne Beagley

Mental Health Australia

Bill Gye

Community Mental Health Australia

Margaret Doherty

Peer workforce representative

Le Smith

Northern Territory Primary Health Network

Gabrielle O’Kane

National Rural Health Alliance

Faye McMillan

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Project Reference Group representative

Peter Heggie

Carer representative

Heather Nowak

Consumer representative

Jeff Borland

Labour market expert

Genevieve Pepin

Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences

John Brayley

Chief Psychiatrist, South Australia Department of Health and Wellbeing

Tricia O’Riordan

NSW Ministry of Health

Di Stow

Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists


The taskforce meets once a month.


Read the taskforce meeting summaries:

Related committees or groups

Working groups were established to examine the following priority areas in greater detail:

  • rural and remote workforce and service delivery
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • workforce training and education
  • peer and lived experience
  • inter-jurisdictional and inter-governmental workforce policies and strategies.

The working groups reported back to the taskforce in late 2020. Their work is now complete.

National Mental Health Workforce Strategy team

Contact the team for information about the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy.
Last updated: