Our Board

Back: Geoff Pritchard & Bec Maerschel

Middle: Darren Hunt, Lisa Brown & Michelle Williams

Front: Pat McLeod & David Meldrum

Absent: Mark Haddad & Penny Wright

Pat McLeod - President
Pat’s interest and specialisation is in psychosocial rehabilitation, especially vocational rehabilitation. Pat has completed a Masters of Applied Science by Research looking at the issue of managing mental illness at work and worked in vocational rehabilitation from 1989. This role frequently involved collaboration with employers, medical personnel and community agencies in order to assist individuals to achieve their goals.
“I am keen to offer my extensive experience in the Commonwealth sector – and more particularly my passion for enabling people who experience mental illness to participate in society in the way they would choose. I believe that organisations such as MIFSA are a critical player in the mental health field."
Michelle Williams - Vice President
I have served on the MIFSA Board for four years thus far and I am proud of the work we have completed. The next few years will provide numerous opportunities and challenges; I know that the organisation is in a strong position to handle both.
As a qualified Change and Project Manager my experience spans across numerous disciplines including operational management, quality and risk control, personnel and budget management at a senior management level. I am passionate about influencing community attitudes through education and understanding. I wish to fully utilise my extensive experience, knowledge and skills in the private and public sector to support MIFSA’s vision and growth strategy. I seek to make a tangible difference in the area of mental health and I bring significant expertise in finance, business development, relationship building, leadership and strategic management.
Geoff Pritchard - Treasurer
A Chartered Accountant, I joined the MIFSA Board in June 2013 as Treasurer.
My career has included working as an Audit Manager with Deloitte and senior roles in finance and administration with companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of health and personal care products. In addition, I served as Treasurer for Brain Injury Network of SA Inc for almost 15 years.
I aspire to serve MIFSA by helping where my experience and aptitude might be valuable and contributing to overall governance and financial issues as a member of the Board.
David Meldrum
I have experience on a number of Boards, both at a state and national level, which I hope gives me the skills and understanding of good governance that can assist MIFSA. I also have good networks in the health and community services sectors. My current position is Executive Director of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia.
My work history includes extensive experience in both the government and non-government sector in the management of health and community services. Previous roles have included the Chief Executive Officer of South Australian Mental Health Services. I have been on the MIFSA Board for ten years, and have a good understanding of its programs, finances and human resources.
My experience and my profound admiration for MIFSA and its people helps me to contribute useful advice on matters of policy, governance and the overall development of MIFSA.
Bec Maerschel
I have been a member of the Guardianship Board since February 2011, working across the Guardianship and Administration Division as well as the Mental Health Division. Prior to becoming a Community Member of the Guardianship Board of SA I worked in various roles in education, including a position as Deputy Principal and a rural and remote appointment to Areyonga Aboriginal Community in the Northern Territory.
In addition to the Guardianship Board, I am an active member of the St Vincent de Paul Society Outreach Program, assisting marginalised people to combat social injustice, a school volunteer and I have also been appointed to SACAT the South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal.
I hope to bring my knowledge and experience as a member of the Guardianship Board of South Australia, to the MIFSA Board. I will aim to provide a link between the legal and justice systems and those who experience it, as either a protected person or support worker/carer. I hope to be a source of knowledge of the law and relevant issues to those affected by mental illness.
Mark Haddad
I am a Senior Adviser for Perpetual Limited, a publically listed trustee company. My role is to work closely with Not-For-Profit organisations and individual clients, aiming to develop highly effective investment strategies and structures that help achieve their financial goals. I also work closely with Aboriginal Native Title groups, travelling regularly to remote communities.
Also a Chartered Accountant, I have worked for one of the world’s largest accounting practices as well one of Australia’s Big 4 banks. I have two degrees in Applied Finance and Commerce Accounting, a Diploma in Financial Planning and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA).
Having been surrounded by family and friends who have been affected by mental illness, I understand the limitations that exist within our society. Any form of illness is a tough journey in anyone’s life. It is one of MIFSA’s organisational goals to guide and assist the individual and their family on this journey and provide the right support. I am an advocate of creating awareness for people living with mental illness in the workplace and I am passionate and committed to breaking down the stigma associated with mental health within the community. I am proud and honoured to be a part of MIFSA.
Penny Wright

I am delighted to be nominated for the MIFSA Board. I have a longstanding interest in Mental Health policy and practice which started in 1996 when I commenced 13 years as a Deputy President of the Guardianship Board. My work over 8 years in the Appeals Division of the Board first introduced me to the challenges faced by those of us who live with mental ill-health, and the courage and persistence that is needed to manage, every day. As a result of that work, I developed a passion for good policy and treatment. 

In 2010 I was elected a Senator for South Australia and was the Greens Shadow Minister for Mental Health until I retired due to illness in my family in 2015. My parliamentary work gave me the opportunity to campaign for better Mental Health funding and treatment options through speeches, events, legislation and questions in committees. One of the highlights of my parliamentary work was a campaign to highlight gaps in rural mental health services that took me all over Australia and introduced me to hundreds of consumers, carers and service providers. I also established the Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health, to increase the awareness of my fellow MPs about the issues affecting young Australians.

My parliamentary work has given me insights into policy development and the political process that I hope to bring to my Board role. In addition, my recent role as a carer has deepened my understanding of the challenges of those experiencing mental ill-health and their loved ones and supporters. I have great admiration for the work of MIFSA and it will be a privilege to participate in that work.

Lisa Brow
I have served on the MIFSA Board since February 2013 as a consumer representative with personal experience of mental illness, as well as a recipient of MIFSA Services. I will bring a unique blend of lived experience and work experience, having participated in many MIFSA educational opportunities and as a facilitator of the Peer Worker training course.
I have undertaken volunteer work with a wide variety of community organisations such as Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Clarence Park Community Food Cooperative, Mental Health and Substance Use Advisory Group, Margaret Tobin Centre for Diversional Therapy and School of Nursing at The University of Adelaide. In addition to this, I have an Adelaide University Economics degree and have completed Certificate 4 Peer Work Mental Health at TAFE.
I am especially interested in providing support and encouragement to people who lack confidence and are struggling with pain, identity and life issues. I believe my experience as a MIFSA recipient and worker; will bring valuable experience and understanding to the MIFSA Board, to benefit and enhance the wellbeing and understanding of people living with Mental Illness and their carers.
Darren Hunt

I am a member of MIFSA and it has been a privilege to be on the MIFSA board since November 2014. I identify as a consumer and therefore have had an interest in Mental Health since first receiving a diagnosis in 1993. I have been fortunate enough to have worked fulltime for various companies in different roles over the last 25 years, including the military, customer service, logistics, telecommunications, building industry and the superannuation/insurance industry. I completed Certificate 4 in Mental Health in 2014 and it was a natural progression to follow my passion and work in the mental health industry with the intention to ‘give back to society’. I have previously worked as a community educator for MIFSA, and am presently working part time for ‘Central Adelaide and Hills – Partners in Recovery Program’ as a ‘Peer Specialist”. I am also a member of the Citizens Advocacy Research and Education’ (CARE) ‘Group.

In  my current work role for ‘Partners in Recovery’, I work with support facilitators and service providers to help clients continually improve the process of ‘living well’ with a mental illness. I aim to help empower an individual on their recovery journey. Personally, I utilise coping strategies and skills such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and incorporate Mindfulness into my daily routine. I therefore feel a combination of my lived experience of living well with a mental illness over a number of years, plus my current relevant work experience in the industry are the particular skills I bring to the MIFSA board. I have a vested interest that MIFSA continues to “lead the way” in the South Australian Mental Health sector and I will do my upmost and play my part to help govern the organisation so we can continue to do this.

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