Announcing Simon McKenzie as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Friday, 8 September 2023 at 12:00 am
Image of Simon McKenzie with MHWC branding

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (MHWC) today announced the appointment of its inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Simon McKenzie, commencing from 25 September 2023.

The new Commission commenced on 1 September 2023 with functions and powers under the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (the Act), a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Simon is currently the Public Transport Ombudsman and has over 20 years of operational, senior management and executive level experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors. As an admitted lawyer with experience as a company director, Simon has experience in roles where he has worked to elevate the rights of consumers, including at the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and Public Transport Ombudsman. Simon also has experience of the mental health system as a family member and supporter of someone experiencing mental illness.

Simon’s work has contributed towards system and service improvement through engaging with consumer complaints, people with lived experience, and advocates of those who face barriers to accessing services, education, work and social connection.

Simon also brings experience of the National Disability Service and state funded disability support services as Non-executive Director and former Chair of Distinctive Options, an Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission listed NDIS provider in Sunbury, Bendigo, Brimbank and Bairnsdale.

Simon spent his early years in Gippsland and now lives regionally while working in Melbourne. Simon is passionate about fair access to publicly provided services and working toward better outcomes for consumers, carers and family members who rely on the public mental health and wellbeing system.

The CEO joins the team of four Commissioners leading the MHWC including Chair Commissioner Treasure Jennings, Consumer Commissioner Maggie Toko, Carer Commissioner Jacqueline Gibson, and Commissioner Annabel Brebner. Each of the Commissioners brings profound expertise and lived or living experiences to their role.

The establishment of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission and its leadership team represents continued progress in reforming Victoria’s public mental health system, as Victoria works towards a more inclusive, connected, and supportive system for consumers, carers and families.

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Read more about the executive leadership team of the MHWC here.