MHCC Board

MHCC's constitution allows for up to 7 - 11 Directors, comprising of 7-9 Elected Directors and up to 2 Appointed Directors.

Elected Directors on the Board are representatives of member organisations who are elected by the membership for a term of three years. Directors are able to renominate at the end of their term to a maximum of three successive terms.
The Board meets a minimum of six times a year.

The current Board members (and the name of their organisation) are:


Pam Rutledge - Chief Executive Officer
Flourish Australia


Pamela Rutledge is the CEO of Flourish Australia, a leading Community Managed Organsiation providing community based support and employment for people living with a mental health issue in NSW and South-East Queensland. Pam was formerly the CEO of the Richmond Fellowship of NSW.

In her early career, she worked as a Social Worker in front-line mental health service delivery, and was the Executive Officer of the Richmond Inquiry into mental health services, which started the long journey of deinstitutionalisation and community support in NSW. Before joining the community managed sector in 2009, she had over 35 years experience in senior roles in the NSW government, including experience in health, housing, and ageing and disability.

Her particular interests are the growth of social enterprises, providing training and employment for people with a psychosocial disability, the inclusion of people with a lived experience in the NDIS and the growth and development of the consumer and peer workforce.



Sue Sacker - General Manager Strategy and Innovation
Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW

Vice Chair

Sue Sacker is the Deputy CEO of Schizophrenia Fellowship NSW Inc. She has worked at the Fellowship for the past 9 years in a variety of roles including organisational development and quality implementation.

Sue brought to the Fellowship her experience in local government, on which she served for 12 years, with 4 years as Manly's first popularly elected mayor. Her experience as a community activist saw her take a lead role in establishing the Pioneer Clubhouse. Sue has a 20 year background in health and has studied community management at UTS, so far reaching Diploma level.


Judi Higgin - Chief Executive Officer
New Horizons

Judi has been actively employed in the community services sector for over 30 years. Judi commenced with New Horizons Enterprises in 1999 and in 2010 was appointed as CEO. Judi's enthusiasm and passion for the Not for Profit sector has seen her play a key role in the ongoing growth and development of New Horizons, helping the organisation forge its place as a trusted and respected community service provider.

Judi is committed to the principles of recovery, empowering individuals to achieve their potential by exercising their rights to choice and control over their own lives. She sees the biggest challenge facing the sector is achieving a balance between the changing nature of government funding and the importance of strategic partnerships and sustainability – for both the sector and individual organisations.

Judi has an Executive Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Social Science (Habilitation). Judi also has Post Graduate studies in Leadership and Management.
She has strong skills, capabilities and experience in governance, strategy, finance and risk management as well as comprehensive board experience given her tenure as a Director of MHCC and Ostara Australia.
As lead agency for Inner West Partners-in-Recovery and Headspace Ashfield New Horizons has sound governance practices and systems in place.

Luke-Butcher Luke Butcher - Area Manager, Western NSW and Special Projects
Mission Australia

Luke has spent the past 8 years working with Mission Australia in Western NSW as an Area Manager, managing a range of mental health recovery programs in rural and remote communities. Luke has lived in Orange, Broken Hill & Dubbo during this time and has an acute understanding of rural health and wellbeing. He has undergraduate qualifications in psychology and a Masters' degree in Forensic Mental Health.

Luke's passion is understanding how evidence based practice is utilised to inform service design in the community managed sector. Recently, he has been working with the University of Newcastle on a long term research project to evaluate the best ways in which to engage people with a lived experience into service delivery with specialist and mainstream services.

Luke is an innovative and strategic thinker and has a strong demonstrated track record in business development and opportunity assessment, clinical and corporate governance. The next 3 to 5 years is a critical period for the sector with the roll out of the NDIS, the implementation of the Living Well report, as well as a range of state government reforms that will impact and reshape the way in which the sector delivers its services. MHCC can take on a key role in advising government and services of the best way forward in this new landscape to ensure excellence in service delivery and seamless and integrated responses for the people and families who access services.


Jonathan Harms - Chief Executive Officer
Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW

Jonathon has a Bachelors of Arts and Laws from the University of Western Australia, and subsequently worked as a plaintiff lawyer, as well as a public servant, policy advisor and stakeholder manager for a variety of State and Federal Ministers, (Attorney General, WA and Human Services, Commonwealth), government departments (Ministry of Health), private corporations (Insurance Australia Group) and non-government organisations, including Mental Health Carers ARAFMI NSW.

In the course of his career he has gained significant experience in the development of policy, including regulatory schemes, such as the creation of the Life Time Care and Support Scheme for the NSW CTP and workers compensation schemes; and the Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority created to set up nationally applicable medical practitioner registrations.

After becoming CEO of Arafmi, which is the peak body for carers of people with lived experience of mental illness in NSW, he  initiated a number of changes, including the creation of Carer Peak Advisory Committee(s) to enhance stakeholder participation in Arafmi policy development; and the Carer Support Worker Forum, meeting annually and with a weekly e-newsletter, to enhance networks for carer support workers and carers across NSW for consultation and advocacy purposes.

Arafmi is now also a key partner in the Collective Purpose collaboration with Being and Way Ahead, Jonathon has a wide range of relevant experience in community organisation management to offer the MHCC Board.


Mandy Miles - Chief Executive Officer
Make a Difference

Mandy is the Founder of Make a Difference – a charity providing services to children who have a parent with a mental illness, or who are at risk of developing a mental health problem themselves. Make a Difference is a specialist service working with children. Mandy has been the Honorary CEO and Chair since its inception in 2000. She is also the Clinical Director, having written an innovative model that underpins all of their work. She provides all the one-to-one support to their kids, and facilitates their retreats and other programs.

She completed a Social Work degree in 1980, and has worked in a range of clinical and senior management roles over the past 35 years.
She is on the Board of BEING (formerly NSW CAG), and worked until recently as an Official Visitor. Mandy previously worked as a manager with NSW Health, but her main employment experience has been in NGO's, both big and small.

She has been a full time carer for a woman with a mental illness for the past 19 years and also fosters a teenage girl with significant needs.
She is passionate about mental health services in all their forms, particularly about the importance of embedding recovery principles into services and ensuring that they are respectful and empowering to those who use them.

MHCC has a key role in leading and facilitating this change and Mandy is grateful for the opportunity to participate on the MHCC Board.


Mariam Faraj - General Manager of Clinical Services
Central and Eastern Sydney PHN

Mariam has a background in Social Science and Policy, Education and Management with over 20 years' experience in community, primary and mental health care. Her work has included the planning, co-design, implementation and management of numerous primary and mental health services and programs. Mariam has also been on the Boards of the St George Youth Services and Al Zahra Muslim Women's Association.

Mariam's strategic leadership, ability to engage a broad range of stakeholders, comprehensive understanding of health and deep caring nature has seen her champion innovative models of care that improve the patient journey and health outcomes of our community.


Margaret Crowley - Chief Executive Officer
Lou's Place

Margaret is the new CEO of The Marmalade Foundation which funds and operates Lou's Place women's day crisis centre in Kings Cross.
Margaret Crowley, brings vast experience in both social welfare and the corporate world. Among her many academic qualifications she has a Master of Applied Science (Health Psychology) from Sydney University. She sits on several professional boards and tribunals.
Margaret has had extensive experience working with women and children experiencing domestic violence, mental health, drug and alcohol issues, homelessness and poverty. She has held senior positions with a variety of organisations in both management and service delivery roles.
As well as providing psychology services in many settings, Margaret has developed and implemented models of service delivery using current research and evidence-based practice to achieve the most effective outcomes for clients.
This is in keeping with the vision of The Marmalade Foundation through Lou's Place to provide as many women as we are able with the support that can make a difference to their lives.