Our People

RICHMOND FELLOWSHIP ACT INCORPORATED – BOARD MEMBERS

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

CHAIRMANHarry Bluhm FCA (appointed 11/1992).

Harry was initially the Treasurer of Richmond until May 2018 when he was appointed as the Chairman.  He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant who was in public practice for 40 years during which time he was a partner of KPMG and later, the senior partner of Marlow Bluhm.   Harry was a registered Company Auditor, Tax Agent and Referrer from the Supreme Court until his retirement.  Whilst he also practiced in the areas of audit and tax consultancy, his main interest was the establishment and guidance of business clients.  He also has extensive experience in preparing business plans, forecasts and financing and had for several years made presentations to Canberra Business Week attendees and the ACT Banking Institute on these subjects.

Harry has had considerable experience in guiding and mentoring staff and clients and was a Group Leader and presenter for the Chartered Accountants Professional Year.

Other Board experience includes a three year ACT Government appointment as the Treasurer of the Cultural Facilities Corporation and Board membership of the Canberra Symphony Inc. for a period of 14 years, 5 of which were as Treasurer.  Harry also chaired the Audit and Risk Committees of both these organisations.

Harry’s main aim as a Board member is to ensure that Richmond has a robust financial base which can support well trained and equipped staff and other professionals to deliver quality support and accommodation to those in need.

DEPUTY CHAIR:  Mr Alan Castle

is a retired police superintendent involved in a number of community organisations and coordinates a support group for men.

TREASURER: Andrew Snaidero CA (appointed 5/2018).      

Andrew commenced his career in the accounting profession in 2004 and was appointed as a partner of Hardwickes Partners in 2013. His vast experience in finance, auditing, reporting and governance, combined with his passion for the community and his flair for strategic thinking, has seen him serve on a number of boards, including Communities@Work (as treasurer). He also acts in an advisory capacity for several other organisations in the Canberra region focusing on growth opportunities and strategies. Andrew is also engaged with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand as a facilitator, mentor and examiner.

 SECRETARY: Elizabeth Steeper (appointed 1991).    

Libby has been closely involved with mental health issues and support in the ACT since 1985. Over these years she has been a committee member of The Schizophrenia Fellowship and the Mental Health Foundation.   She Chaired the ACTCOSS Mental Health Task Force and the first ACT Mental Health Advisory Council.  She presided over Mental Health Resource guided support groups such as Serenity and has been a continuing member of the Mental Health Tribunal since 1988.     She was a Board member of Sane Australia for several years and has been involved with Richmond Fellowship ACT Inc. since 1991, serving as Secretary of the Board since 2009.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS

Wilf Rath (appointed 1993).     

Wilf obtained Tertiary education in the UK in Business Administration with a deep interest in social/welfare issues within a community.   He was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1996.

Wilf has a passion for working in the social/welfare sector so when an opportunity arose in 1983 to work with Richmond Fellowship ACT Inc. he took willingly and set up the Richmond Life Education Training Scheme.   In 1993 the Richmond Board offered and he accepted the positions of CEO and Board Member, and he currently holds those roles.    During his tenure he has taken the organisation from a small NGO to one of the largest in the ACT with over 100 staff caring for adults with a psychosocial disability in the ACT and parts of NSW.

Wilf is a member of various boards and committees in the area of disadvantaged youth and adults and has been a member of the Mental Health Advisory Council for the ACT Chief Minister since 2013.

Wilf is a National Board Member of ADRA which provides national and international support in the event of disasters.  He has also provided support and expertise in the area of care and protection of young people to Cambodia, India and Nepal.  He is a member of the Gunning District Health Board.

From 1993 to 2000 Wilf was the President of the Richmond Fellowship Asia Pacific (AsPac) Forum.  The Forum consists of independent sister organisations throughout the region in India, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Macau, New Zealand and Australia.  The main purpose of the Forum is to auspice the Asia Pacific International Mental Health Conferences.

Mary Cooper (appointed 1991).   

Mary trained as a high school teacher in London.  She migrated to Australia with her family in 1962 and worked in a number of Canberra schools in various capacities.   In 1986 her then 19 year old son was diagnosed with a severe mental illness, a condition the family knew practically nothing about.  In those days caring for patients in the community rather than in hospital was relatively new so there was much to be learned.    In order to gain as much information as possible about mental illness, Mary attended lectures at the ACT Department of Health covering many aspects of the care and treatment of mental illnesses.   She also joined groups, comprising mostly of family members, which offered mutual support and information about services available for the mentally ill.

She served on a number of committees and was president of the Mental Illness Fellowship of the ACT, for five years.

In 1989 she joined a small group supporting the manager of two group houses which were operated by Richmond Fellowship ACT Inc. and which provided accommodation for ten residents.   As the work of the Fellowship grew and diversified, this group subsequently joined Richmond’s Board of Management and Mary has continued as a Board member with practical experience of mental illness and being a principal carer.

Daniel Bonner (appointed 2/2008)

  • Bachelor Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of Syndey 1996)
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP 2006)
  • Conjoint full-time appointment as Staff Specialist Psychiatrist, Mental Health ACT and Lecturer, Australian National University (ANU), 2006 to present day.
  • Course coordinator and principle curriculum author ANU Medical School Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine 2006 to present day.
  • ACT Forensic Psychiatrist 2006-2011.
  • Accredited Member of The RANZCP Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry 2011
  • Canberra City Mental Health Psychiatrist 2011-2012
  • Rehabilitation Service Psychiatrist 2012-2019
  • Deputy Head of Department, Academic Unit of Psychiatry, 2018 to present day.
  • Accredited Member of the RANZCP Faculty of Adult Psychiatry 2019
  • Access Mental Health Comprehensive Team Psychiatrist 2019 to present day.
  • Mental Health ACT, Canberra Health Service and ANU coordination of medical student placements, collaborating with clinical supervisors from multiple disciplines.
  • Establishing, coordinating and authoring the ANU Medical School’s curriculum as a standard in medical education for psychiatry and addiction medicine from the first cohort of students from 2006 to present day.  He teaches 110 students each year.
  • Peer reviewer in the past 5 years for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.
  • ANU Medical School Phase Two Curriculum Committee 2006 to present day
  • Mental Health ACT Suicide Vulnerability Working Group 2017-2018
  • Mental Health ACT Rehabilitation Service University of Canberra Hospital establishment working group 2017-2019
  • Mental Health ACT Rehabilitation Service Smoking Cessation Working Group 2012-2019.
  • Supervised 48 ANU medical students, 18 psychiatry trainees (registrars) and mentored 11 ANU medical students from 2006 to present day.
  • Provided extensive treatment and care for indigenous people, working closely with the ACT Aboriginal Liaison Officer and with families.
  • Mental Health ACT and Consumer Network Borderline Personality Disorder Working Group 2015.
  • A special interest in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and in working with consumers and consumer representatives (advocates and consultants) to improve care.
  • Worked with Dr Peggy Brown (Director of Mental Health ACT) to establish the modern public forensic mental health service from 2006-2011.
  • Has given expert court testimony on a number of occasions.
  • Helped establish the mental health rehabilitation service in the ACT (2012-2019), including the establishment of the new University of Canberra Hospital in 2019.
  • Helped establish the Suicide Vulnerability protocol that rolled out throughout the ACT, with his work on the Suicide Vulnerability Working Group 2017-2018.
  • Also a computer programmer and is in the process of applying this knowledge to psychiatric research.

Peter Dingwall (appointed 10/2011)

Peter is a practising Magistrate in ACT Magistrates Courts

Brian Liddy (appointed 11/2013)

 

Judith Bentley (appointed 5/2018).   

Judy joined the Board in May 2018.   For the past 18 years she has been the principal carer of a family member living with severe mental illness.  She is currently working with the National Health and Medical Research Council as an independent community observer and advisor on the Grants Review processes.   In her previous career she managed the ANU Postgraduate Committee in Medicine, and was a Commonwealth Public Servant, primarily working in the Department of Health.

Judy is currently a member of the ACT Mental Health Minister’s Mental Health Advisory Council and was previously a member of both the Chief Minister’s Mental Health Advisory Council and the ACT Health Council.  She has been an ACT Carer representative on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum from 2005 to 2012 and returned in June 2019 to represent the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network, which recently changed its name to Lived Experience Australia.  She also represents the private mental health sector as Director and Board Member and ACT co-ordinator of Lived Experience Australia.

Other current ACT representations include:

  • Member and lecturer of the ANU planning committee for the Academic units of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine.
  • Collaborative Engagement Forum for the ACT Adult Mental Health Unit which works collaboratively with the ACT Community Mental Health Sector in the provision of transition and support services for consumers exiting the mental health unit.
  • Active member of many other community mental health support organisations in Canberra.

Other current National representations include:

  • National Register of Mental Health Consumers and Carers;
  • Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission Advisory Panel (Tasked by the Minister for Health to provide strategic advice on the allocation of Medical Research Future Funds to target mental health research).
  • Department of Health’s National Assessment, Triage and Referral Project.

She was previously a member of the multidisciplinary Expert Reference Group to establish the Partners in Recovery (PIR) program, and a member of the Flinders University PIR Transition to the NDIS Reference Group.

Katherine Whitehead GAICD, AGIA   (appointed 8/2019).     

Katie has over 20 years’ experience in industry groups, member organisations, and the not-for-profit sector working across policy and strategy, and with key expertise in corporate leadership. She has strong corporate management experience, including executive responsibilities for finance and budgeting operations, and strategic and business planning.  She is also experienced in risk management and organisational governance.

Katie has held volunteer and pro bono Board positions for the Focus Supported Living Foundation (Chair) and the Australian Pain Management Association (Treasurer) and presently is a Director for the YWCA Canberra, serving as the Treasurer. She is actively engaged in the Canberra Business Chamber and its Social Enterprise Taskforce, promoting initiatives within Canberra and the region that support economic growth and development, innovation and social inclusion.

Katie is passionate and committed to promoting and advocating for equity and access for everyone in health and wellbeing service provision.

Katie holds qualifications in Applied Corporate Governance and is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Governance Institute of Australia.