Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Mental Health Victoria announces new Chair: Karenza Louis-Smith

May, 2024

Mental Health Victoria (MHV) is pleased to announce the appointment of Karenza Louis-Smith as its new Chair. 

KLS ermha ceo MHVic


As some may recall, Damian Ferrie announced his intention to retire as Board Chair at MHV’s Annual General Meeting in November 2023.

Damian officially concluded his tenure as Director and Chair on 30 April 2024. Karenza Louis-Smith is a current Director for MHV and was appointed Chair with the full support of her Director colleagues.
Damian Ferrie, has been instrumental in MHV's advocacy efforts during his seven-year tenure. Damian’s leadership has been marked by a focus on social, economic, and health equity, significantly contributing to MHV’s mission of driving system reform for better mental health care services in Victoria. Under Damian’s guidance, MHV articulated a sophisticated cross-sectoral case for change in their landmark report, "Saving Lives, Saving Money: The case for investment in Victoria’s mental health." Just 12 months later, the Policy Network delivered a comprehensive plan for change in their Joint Submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. Damian also led the MHV Board and its members to elevate the governance of the organisation, positioning it as an independent and trusted voice in the ongoing reform efforts.
Karenza Louis-Smith, brings with her over 25 years of leadership experience in for-purpose organisations both in Australia and the United Kingdom and currently serves as CEO for ermha365. She holds a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community work and has a profound understanding of complex mental health and disability issues along with lived experience as a consumer accessing mental health services. Karenza's appointment underscores MHV's dedication to ensuring effective and appropriate treatment and community support for individuals living with mental illness.
We extend our congratulations to Karenza on stepping up as Chair, and our sincere thanks and warm regards to Damian for his service to MHV as a Director and Chair.

Related Articles

Clarity becomes critical with crucial reform funding missed

09 May 2024
The Victorian State Budget, released on Tuesday, revealed that notwithstanding continued investment in the mental hea...

Mental Health Victoria calls on the Victorian Government to enhance its communication and transparency.

08 May 2024
Following the 2024/25 Victorian Budget, Mental Health Victoria calls on the Victorian Government to enhance its commu...

MHV calls for equity for mental injury in Workcover scheme modernisation

15 November 2023
Mental Health Victoria is concerned at proposed changes to legislation currently before Parliament to alter the WorkC...
Newsletter Icon

MHV News

Receive all the latest MHV news plus key headlines, events and opportunities from across the sector.