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Welcome to New Boardchair Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck!

Welcome to New Boardchair Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck!

GROW is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck as the new Chairperson to the Board of GROW, to lead us into the future.

The board of directors, led by their Chair, play a very important role in the success of any organisation.

Working behind the scenes, the board and chair bring valuable experience and expertise to the operation of an organisation. Their contacts and knowledge help guide the organisation into the future. They see the organisation in overview and take care of the big picture.

Grow has been very fortunate to have always had committed, hard working board members and chairpersons that have been able to clearly see our future while respecting our past and understanding the importance of the program that has been at the heart of GROW’s success.

And that won’t change with the appointment of Dr van Schoubroeck.

Dr van Schoubroeck brings to Grow considerable experience in our area, having been appointed on 1 July 2013 as Queensland’s first Mental Health Commissioner.

Lesley started life on the Darling Downs. She was raised on a grain property, completing her education as dux of Dalby State High.

After a short stint teaching maths and science in Queensland, Lesley moved to Western Australia and after a few more years in the classroom, went on to work in policy and research roles in a range of public sector agencies. Those agencies included education and training, community services and justice, as well as the premier’s department. In 2010 Dr. van Schoubroeck led the establishment of the WA Mental Health Commission.

In July 2013, she returned to Queensland to take up the role of the inaugural Queensland Mental Health Commissioner.

Under Lesley’s leadership, the Queensland Mental Health Commission was instrumental in influencing some major policy initiatives, including legislation that framed the social housing ‘three strikes’ policy and a greater emphasis on the important roles of consumers and families in the Mental Health Act 2016. Mental health received much greater prominence through Mental Health Week and through whole of government commitments to suicide prevention, early intervention and reducing the impact of alcohol and other drugs. Queensland also led the adoption of the Gayaa Dhuwi Declaration that underpins a positive approach to the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Lesley took up the cause of a group of women – survivors of the Wolston Park – who had been incarcerated in the adult psychiatric hospital as teenagers. Through her championing, the Minister for Health ensured the women received compensation and acknowledgement for what they had suffered.

Following the completion of her term with the Mental Health Commission, Lesley stayed in Brisbane contributing to the community sector largely through participation on boards and committees in the health and mental health sectors. She is Vice President of the Management Committee for Parkinson’s Queensland and a member of the Board of Accoras. Lesley also teaches public sector management.

Lesley is keen to work with Grow because she’s seen the help it has given many people to lead more fulfilling lives. She has heard first hand from participants that it saves lives.

Lesley says her hope for GROW:

“is that it can build on its proven programs to adapt and prosper in the ever changing environment, both social and economic. There are many opportunities but in seeking those opportunities, it is important to remain true to the values that have led to its success over so many years”.

Dr van Schoubroeck says

“GROW’s success over the next decade will require the Board and the national office to work closely with our staff and volunteers across Australia, to maintain our connections to what is important for participants while also being alert to changes around us that impact on what is needed, how those needs are met, and how we get the resources to meet those needs”.

Dr. van Schoubroeck replaces outgoing Chair, Leonie Young. Outstanding in the role, Leonie was the former CEO and a Director of Beyond Blue. She brought to GROW 30 years of national leadership experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors in Australia, including implementing and leading Australia-wide health, mental health and primary care reform strategies as a successful CEO, Board Director, NGO leader, State Manager and public sector executive.

Dr. van Schoubroeck will build on Leonie’s significant contribution and will bring wisdom and experience that will help our Organisation to continue to grow and develop to best meet the needs of people who struggle with their mental health.