Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Thought Leaders 2: Dissecting the Victorian Budget

Mental Health Victoria's second Thought Leaders webinar explored the 2022/2023 Victorian State Budget's investment in mental health and wellbeing.

The previous year’s budget saw the largest ever investment into mental health and wellbeing by any Australian government. This webinar supported the call for continued investment to support Victoria’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen the roll-out of reforms.

Further reading: Statement from Mental Health Victoria on the 2022-23 Victorian State Budget 

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00:00:00 Introduction by John Foley, joint Acting CEO of Mental Health Victoria

00:07:28 The Hon James Merlino MP, Deputy Premier and Victoria's Minister for Mental Health

00:32:46 Panel discussion featuring Craig Wallace, Marie Piu, Annabel Brebner, Dr Jemimah Ride, Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos



The Hon. James Merlino MP, Minister for Mental HealthThe Hon James Merlino MP is Deputy Premier and Victoria's Minister for Mental Health.

He has also been the state's Minister for Education since December 2014.

He is the State Member for Monbulk, which covers the Dandenong Ranges and foothills in Melbourne's east, and is a former Deputy Mayor of Yarra Ranges Council.


Craig Wallace, CEO of VMIACCraig Wallace is CEO of VMIAC, the peak Victorian organisation for people with a lived experience of mental health problems or emotional distress.

Prior to taking up that role last year he served as Senior Adviser Lived Experience (Consumer) with Mental Health Reform Victoria.

Craig has been a committed and determined advocate for consumer rights for many years.


Marie Piu, CEO of TandemMarie Piu is CEO of Tandem, the Victorian peak body representing family and friends supporting people living with mental health issues.

She was formerly Senior Manager Population Health at Nillumbik Health.

She also previously served for three years as Manager Multicultural Advisory Unit at Victoria Police.


Cathy MihalopoulosCathy Mihalopoulos is Professor of Health Economics and Head of the Health Economics Division at Monash University.

Professor Mihalopoulos has dual qualifications in Behavioural Science and Health Economics.

She previously served as Chair and Head of Deakin Health Economics at Deakin University.


Annabel Brebner is Director at independent economics, policy and strategy advisory firm ACIL AllenAnnabel Brebner is Director at independent economics, policy and strategy advisory firm ACIL Allen.

She has expertise in corporate governance and workforce development, and specific interest in measuring the social outcomes of public policy initiatives.

Her work has included reviewing and developing workforce strategies and initiatives for Commonwealth and State governments.


Dr Jemimah RideDr Jemimah Ride is a medically qualified health economist.

Currently she is Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics Unit, Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne.

Her research uses health economic methods to address mental health and mental health care, including preferences for and distribution of care.


About this series

Mental Health Victoria's Thought Leaders is a series of free monthly webinars taking a deep dive into the key issues and hot topics affecting mental health.


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