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I just wanted to give you some positive feedback about one of your staff…

I attended the evaluation workshop on the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2016 on Friday as one of the OPA reps. Mary had asked me not to talk so I was very focused on what everyone else was saying.

Jo was also there and we sat at the same table for some of the discussions. I thought she brought depth to discussions which were, at times, too heavily focused on the policy end of the discussion rather than learning from people who experience the system first-hand. She did a fabulous job of discussing and analysing the systems issues, and used some very well thought through examples to illustrate her points and identify some of the more confronting systems issues that end-users must deal with. I also thought the manner in which she presented her comments was very commendable: she came across as highly competent, engaged, knowledgeable and passionate.

She did such a good job of discussing the issues that the Chief Psychiatrist, John Reilly, mentioned her by name in his closing remarks.

Advocates don’t often get much credit for their work and Jo (and QAI) may not get much mention in any systems changes that emerge from this consultation. However, you can be confident Michelle that QAI and its work and learnings in this space were very ably represented, and that Jo could well have changed some of the thinking amongst those who are shaping the way the involuntary treatment regime is rolled out in Queensland.

Adrienne McGhee
Office of the Public Advocate, Walking alongside people with a disability - March 2018