Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program Communique Issue 2

Download a printable PDF version here: Tasmanian Mental Health Reform Program Communique Issue 2


Seasons Greetings

The TMHRP team would like to share our best wishes to you and yours.  We hope you are able to spend the festive season and New Year in the ways that make you most happy.

We are so grateful for your contributions and look forward to working with you into the new year.

For any feedback or questions about the Reform Program contact us at tas.mhreform@ths.tas.gov.au

Your Reform Program Team

We are pleased to introduce you to the team. Read on for a brief profile of each team member sharing their background and what they bring to the program.


Aaron Groves, Program Sponsor

Aaron is currently the Chief Psychiatrist for Tasmania, a role he commenced in 2017. He is responsible for leading Tasmania’s mental health and suicide prevention reform agendas and providing specialist advice in relation to mental health policy and clinical practice within the Department of Health and Tasmanian health system. Aaron chaired the Southern Tasmanian Mental Health Integration Taskforce and is committed to shaping mental health reform in Tasmania.

Adie Gibbons, Program Director

Adie Gibbons is the Clinical Executive Director for Statewide Mental Health Services. Adie is a Mental Health Nurse by background and has worked in the Mental Health sector for 35 years. Adie is passionate about Mental Health and believes that everything we do should have the consumer at the forefront and truly involved in making decisions about what we do, the way we do it, and how we can improve our services to make them meaningful for all who need them.

Jeremy Harbottle, Program Executive

Jeremy is the General Manager of the Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Directorate, leading this team within the Department of Health since November 2018. The Directorate works collaboratively with Statewide Mental Health Services, Community Sector Organisations and other key stakeholders to progress the implementation of national and state strategic directions for the delivery of mental health, alcohol and drug and forensic health services.  Jeremy has extensive experience across government, including more than a decade working in senior management roles within the children and family services sector.  Most recently, Jeremy was part of the team who established the National Redress Scheme in Tasmania.

Kathy Gregory, Program Lead and Executive

Kathy is an experienced Mental Health Nurse of more than 30 years in diverse roles that include public, private and community managed organisations across Australia.  Kathy attained a Masters in Mental Health 14 years ago, coinciding with her move to Tasmania, and is currently a confirmed Doctor of Health Candidate.  Prior to joining the reform team Kathy worked as the Director of Nursing for Forensic Mental Health, Correctional Primary Health and Alcohol and Drug Services.  Kathy is committed to and passionate about being part of an integrated Mental Health System that puts people with lived experience, including families and friends, at the centre of everything we do.

Lennie Woo, Program Executive

Lennie trained in Tasmania and has worked as a psychiatrist in the state for over 30 years.  Initially in the public sector, he has mainly worked as a psychiatrist in private practice and was a Director of Medical Services at a private mental heath hospital.  He recently returned to the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) and is now the Head of Department of Adult Mental Health Services South at the Royal Hobart Hospital and in Community Mental Health.  Lennie is dedicated to improving mental health services for all Tasmanians in an integrated service.

Jo Poole, Workforce Lead and Executive

Originally from the UK, Jo trained as a mental health nurse at the Maudsley in London. She migrated to Australia in 2008, living and working in Sydney before moving to Hobart in 2017. Jo has been a mental health nurse for 20 years, working across a variety of adult services. She has particular experience working in prisons and forensic services, community mental health emergency and in improving the physical health of people with mental illness. Jo has trained in cognitive psychotherapy and as a personal trainer. Jo has been seconded to the project team from her role as Team Leader for the Adult Community Mental Health Service.When she is not at work Jo likes to spend her time with her pug, and loves anything to do with animals and nature.

Carol Smith, Workforce Officer

Carol has over 30 years experience in Health. Specialising in complex recruitment, coordination and development, she has been involved in significant projects with Statewide Mental Health Services since 2000. As the Program’s Workforce Officer, Carol is responsible for supporting the establishment of a new skilled migrant workforce. She brings wide-ranging skills and experience to the program, complemented by a genuine desire to deliver positive outcomes for the future of mental health service delivery in Tasmania. Carol is passionate about assisting people who experience mental ill health and is committed to supporting the staff who help them.

Kay Johnson, Program Coordinator

Kay has extensive experience in Project Management, including leadership of the new Mental Health Hospital for the state of Western Australia, establishing a portfolio for the first newly built care and supported accommodation program for the North Metropolitan Mental Health Service, in partnership with community service organisations, and a community mental health clinic merger. Kay is clear that it is people that matter, and the best results can be achieved if we work collaboratively.

Rob Harris, Program Officer

Rob is one of the clinical representatives on the team and has participated in previous reform interstate to integrate mental health services. Originally from Victoria, Rob trained as a psychiatric nurse at a large Queensland mental health hospital and has been working in the field for about 30 years. Rob has worked in private and public mental health facilities both interstate and overseas, most recently in the Adult Community Mental Health Service based in Glenorchy. Rob moved to Tasmania over a decade ago for the life style and the cold weather.

Brittany Szlezak, Program Officer

Since graduating in 2013 as a Social Worker, Brittany has worked in a variety of mental health programs in the community managed sector and now with the Tasmanian Health Service. Brittany’s most recent role was as the social worker for Mental Health Hospital in the Home. She brings to the Reform Program skills and experience as a mental health clinician, Australian Army Reservist, and her own lived experience as a carer for people with mental ill health. Brittany is passionate about systemic change that creates more streamlined pathways for all Tasmanians to access services when they need them, especially people whose lives are impacted by poverty.

Kieran McDonald, Program Officer

Kieran is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in various Australian states as a clinician and mental health service administrator. Kieran is the current Chair of Autism Tasmania and an Australasian College of Health Service Management Fellow, who’s recently completed a Master of Public Health focused on implementing Anticipatory Care in Tasmania. As a health professional member of the UTAS Social Science Human Ethics Committee, Kieran has a keen interest in empowerment through research and education.

Deb Zwolsman, Program Officer

Deb is a psychologist who has worked across Australia in regional, rural and remote areas. Deb has worked nationally on mental health initiatives, as well as in several states both clinically and in policy and program work.Recently completing a PhD in Allied Health Leadership, Deb is passionate about advocating for Allied Health Professionals.  Deb has also spent her career striving to make health services more integrated and consumer focused, ensuring that people living with a physical or mental health  issue, their families and friends, receive the best possible care to participate and make a positive contribution within their communities.

Kayley Luttrell, Program Executive Support

Kayley has worked with the Tasmanian Health Service for eight years in a wide variety of administrative roles including Project Support Officer for the Outpatient Clinics Clinical Redesign Project, Team Leader for Specialist Clinics and Administrative Officer with the Glenorchy & Northern Adult Community Mental Health Service. Kayley brings a wide and varied skill set in administration, customer service and operational support to the Program team, as well as a passion for reform in our mental health system.