Inspire Founder to Head SANE Australia
15 May 2012 at 2:44 pm
The national charity working with people with mental illness, SANE Australia, has appointed the founder of the Inspire Foundation, Jack Heath as its new Executive Director from July.
The high profile Heath will replace retiring Executive Director, Barbara Hocking OAM.
Hocking has been Executive Director of SANE Australia since 1995.
Hocking was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2008 in recognition of her outstanding work, especially in the areas of reducing stigma against people affected by mental illness, and promotion of suicide prevention.
Stan Wallis AC, Chairman of SANE Australia, says Hocking’s combination of passion and professionalism for our cause have made a huge difference to so many people.
Jack Heath is widely-known and respected for his work in suicide-prevention and the promotion of mental health in young people. In 1996, he founded the Inspire Foundation to carry out this work through the reachout.com website and other initiatives.
He has since successfully established Inspire Foundations in Ireland and the United States, and has received a number of awards in recognition of his work, including the Centenary Medal for his contribution to Australian society.
"We are delighted to welcome Jack to SANE Australia," Wallis said on behalf of the Board.
"His commitment to the cause of people affected by mental illness, and recognised leadership in this area, will ensure that SANE can continue to grow and innovate in its work to improve understanding and inclusion of people affected by mental illness in Australian society, as well as to advocate for improved treatments and support.”
While Heath will step down as a Director of the Inspire Foundation he has accepted an invitation to become a patron of Inspire, says Inspire Foundation CEO Jonathan Nicholas.
“Jack built an incredible network of organisations and played a direct role in helping many millions of young people lead happier lives – a legacy few can match. I am incredibly excited that Jack will continue in the mental health sector and we have the opportunity to work together in a different way,” Nicholas said.
In his message to the Inspire board Heath said: “It is also a source of much joy and pride to me that Inspire powers along grounded in a strong culture which has young people front and centre but also with such an increased standing within the sector. In my new role, I plan to work closely with Inspire with a goal to ensuring that Australia leads the world in mental health research, programs and outcomes.”