Mental Health Heroes Shine at Annual Awards

2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards winners announced

The outstanding contribution of individuals, groups and organisations across the state has been recognised at the 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards Luncheon and Presentation Ceremony at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 14 October.

Three exceptional individuals and five outstanding organisations were presented with category honours, which recognise and celebrate achievements and contributions across the mental health space.

The 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards comprises eight categories. The winners in each category are:

Media Award

Winner: ‘Heads Up’ TV Special, ABC QLD

‘Heads Up’ TV Special was a collaborative news event discussed across multiple media, including TV, radio and digital. The TV Special explored youth mental health and wellbeing issues, focusing on two questions: What’s happening to our kids? What are we doing about it?

Individual Award

Winner: Ms Annette Coutts

For her work as a consumer advocate at The Park – Centre for Mental Health, Treatment, Research and Education. Annette draws from her own lived experience to provide empathetic support and effective advocacy for consumers and carers.

Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award

Winner: Mr William Smith-Stubbs

For his work on various campaigns promoting mental health awareness and help-seeking behaviour. William is Co-Founder of Spur Projects, producing a wide range of innovative mental health projects giving men resources, skills and language they need to take positive action around their mental health. William draws from his own lived experience to help others.

Youth Award (under 25 years)

Winner: Ms Teneille Arundale

For her work with Harmony Place, a community-based organisation providing mental health and wellbeing services for people and communities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Teneille is passionate about humanitarian efforts, community development and improving the lives of others.

Workplace Award (small, 1-200 staff)

Winner: Labrador State School

Labrador State School aim to promote mental health and wellbeing and reduce stigma associated with mental illness by delivering a week-long series of events and activities during Queensland Mental Health Week specifically developed to educate their pupils, educators and the school community about mental health issues.

Workplace Award (large, 201 plus staff)

Winner: McCullough Robertson Lawyers

McCullough Robertson Lawyers provide a range of mental health and wellbeing initiatives to support their 400+ staff across Queensland and New South Wales. They aim to provide an inclusive work environment that is safe and supportive

Not-For-Profit Award (small to medium, 1-100 staff)

Earle Duus Memorial Award – the Earle Duus Award is given to one of the eight Awards winners

Winner: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Queensland Branch

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Queensland Branch worked closely with four Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs) to supply appropriate education and training to staff at 100 pharmacies via the Partners in Recovery Pharmacy Integration Programs. The aims of the programs were to improve collaborative care between pharmacies, pharmacy staff and mental health support providers; and improve the knowledge, skills and attitude of pharmacy staff to better support people with a mental illness.

Not-For-Profit Award (large, 100 plus staff)

Winner: Aftercare and Arafmi Inc.

Since 2014, Aftercare and Arafmi Inc. have partnered to deliver support services to family, friends and carers of people experiencing mental illness. Together, they provide carers with a range of information, skill building events, connection with other carers and connection to other relevant community support services.

About the awards

The 2016 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards was a highlight on the Queensland Mental Health Week calendar that aimed to celebrate and recognise outstanding achievement and effort in the mental health space.

This year, a record number of nominations were received from an incredible group of mental health heroes, which were judged by five prominent senior professionals, including a previous Achievement Award winner. 22 individuals and organisations were in the running for category honours.

Taking place at Brisbane City Hall on Friday 14 October, the event was a major celebration for the mental health space – hosting a variety of individuals and organisations from the mental health sector and wider community.

2015 Award category winner and CQU academic Dr Louise Byrne provided the deeply moving and personal keynote speech, drawing from her own lived experience to highlight the importance of connection as a ‘key’ to mental wellbeing.

Award winners were also provide the opportunity to speak and a common theme of gratitude, inspiration and recognition to individuals with mental health illness set the tone.

Marie Fox, Open Minds CEO, said the Awards Luncheon is a tradition for the mental health sector in Queensland, and was an important opportunity to acknowledge incredible effort, dedication and commitment.

“We are all united in a shared passion for destigmatising mental health illness, and improving the understanding and awareness of mental health in communities across Queensland,” said Marie Fox, Open Minds CEO.

“We are so proud of the work of every single individual, group or organisation in our industry, and our Awards offer a unique opportunity to showcase their outstanding achievements. Congratulations to the deserving winners and to everyone who was nominated in this year’s Awards.”

Achievement Awards host, Open Minds, delivers mental health, disability and employment supports and are a registered NDIS provider. They work to enhance mental health and wellbeing by delivering a range of tailored options focused on the individual needs of each person.

For further information, please contact Candice Anderson, Open Minds Communications Specialist, at or call 0417 703 750.

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