Member Update: Briefing note on mental health reform, SPA Annual Review and announcement of new Directors

15 December 2015

On Thursday 10 December 2015, we were delighted to welcome SPA Members to our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Our mission is to deliver national leadership for the meaningful reduction of suicides in Australia. This is the driver of SPA’s work to strengthen the quality, focus and collaborative approaches to suicide prevention. We could not do this without you, our members. A very big thank you to you all for joining in our goal to halve suicides in the ten years.

External issues impacting on suicide prevention

At the AGM, our Chairman, Murray Bleach spoke about key external issues that impacted on SPA during the course of the year. One of these was the release of the National Mental Health Review and the Government’s Response just this month.We have put together a Member Briefing Note for you on the Government Response, highlighting the positive nature of the response as well as areas we believe need further emphasis and development.

Download Member Briefing Note: Suicide Prevention Australia comments on Government Response to Strategic Directions set out in the National Mental Health Commission Review.

While SPA is supportive of the regional approach concern has been expressed at the limited level of detail that is specific to suicide prevention. SPA will continue to work with Government to clarify this for Members as well as positioning itself have a national leadership role with strong focus on engaging with Primary Health Networks to support the major role they will have in suicide prevention.

Bringing a more coordinated approach to suicide prevention

SPA continued its role in bringing a more coordinated approach to suicide prevention through convening the sector and building support structures to improve delivery of suicide prevention. These initiatives included leading the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention; the Lived Experience Network; National Committee on Standardised Reporting of Suicide (NCSRS); National Research Action Plan which calls for the establishment of a dedicated research fund.

SPA has been active in Government relations to raise the profile of suicide prevention with all political parties and their representatives. There will be greater emphasis for 2016 on engaging more broadly with States.

New SPA Directors and thank you outgoing Directors

Thank you to all directors for their guidance and oversight of the organisation throughout the year. Special mention and thank you to our retiring directors Michael Dudley (over 15years), Caroline Aebersold (nearly 10 years) and Jenny Allen (nearly five years) and Mr Woodward (5 years) who had chosen to stand for re-election.

Many thanks to all who nominated for SPA Director positions. Many congratulations and a very warm welcome to our incoming Directors as at 10 December 2015:

Ms Jacinta Hawgood
Mr Christopher John
Mr Stan Piperoglou
Mr Alan Woodward.

Snapshot of SPA progress and priorities

Interested in reading more about our progress over the previous year and priorities this year? Read the SPA Annual Review, now available online.

Thank you again for your commitment to suicide prevention and SPA as members. Your contribution is most valued and we look forward to working with you again in the New Year.

Best wishes

Sue Murray


1 December 2015
Member Briefing Note - Ensuring Suicide Prevention Remains Core to Reform - SPA comments on Government Response to Strategic Directions set out in NMHC Review
1 July 2014
The SPA Annual Review (2014/15) provides a snapshot of progress on SPA projects as well as some of the priorities for the 2015/16 year. Many thanks to all who have worked with us and all who make our work possible.