Media Release: New Suicide Prevention Australia Chair Announced

29 November 2017

29 November 2017, Australia: National coordinating body, Suicide Prevention Australia, today announced a change in leadership.

Suicide Prevention Australia Chair since 2011, Murray Bleach, stepped down from the position, handing over the reins to existing Board Director, Matthew Tukaki.

Mr Tukaki said of the announcement, “I am humbled by my fellow Directors’ vote of confidence for me as Chair. In my six years on the SPA Board, I have seen immense change in this sector and in how we operate as a Member-based organisation.

I am personally driven by my experiences and passionate about broadening and deepening our Membership to better reflect the diverse needs of Australians we are supporting to live. This includes greater representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, regional and remote communities and the increasing role our members can play when it comes to the diversity of our workplaces and businesses.

In order to do that we must remain committed to ongoing reform, be bold in seeking out new ways of working, create environments through which innovation can thrive and deepen our resolve to work collaboratively, identifying the linkages between social and economic factors, the communities and environments in which we live.

My thanks to outgoing Chair Murray Bleach for his leadership over the past six years. He has been instrumental in driving SPA’s sustainability and Member focus. We welcome his decision to remain on the Board as an Independent Director.”

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) Chief Executive Sue Murray echoed these sentiments and highlighted the continued focus on quality improvement in the sector: “Both the outgoing and incoming Chair share a commitment to SPA’s drive for quality improvement and our three-year strategy.

As reinforced at our Annual General Meeting this week, with this focus on quality SPA will direct its leadership and coordination activities across several areas in partnership with Members, including research, data quality, best practice and evaluation, lived experience capacity building and improved hospital care.”

PHOTO: Murray Bleach (left) and Matthew Tukaki (right)

Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) provides national leadership for the suicide prevention sector in Australia. SPA works collaboratively to develop a community that knows how to ask for help and how to give help.  We build and facilitate partnerships to change behaviours and attitudes to suicide prevention, and to support more Australians to live. Suicide Prevention Australia believes that the wisdom gained by those with lived experience of suicide must be used to inform suicide prevention. 

Talking about suicide in the media: A reminder of the Mindframe Media guidelines and Conversations Matter for tips on how to talk safely and constructively about suicide. 

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29 November 2017
National leadership body, Suicide Prevention Australia, today announced a change in leadership. Suicide Prevention Australia Chair since 2011, Murray Bleach, stepped down from the position, handing over the reins to existing Board Director, Matthew Tukaki.