News • 21 Sep 2022

Congratulations 2022 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards Finalists!

Congratulations 2022 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards Finalists!

Open Minds warmly congratulates our shortlisted finalists in the 2022 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.


The Awards, Queensland’s only state-wide mental health awards, recognise and celebrate individuals, groups and organisations working diligently to reduce stigma and empower those living with mental illness.

Open Minds has been hosting the Awards for the past 26 years to celebrate the incredible work of those helping to improve mental health in Queensland.

The panel of esteemed judges shortlisted the finalists from a high level of quality nominations submitted this year.

The winners of each of the 11 categories will be announced during the Awards Breakfast Ceremony on Friday 14 October at The Greek Club, South Brisbane.

Tickets to the Awards are now available and can be purchased here.

The overall winner will be awarded the Earle Duus Memorial Award and receives a $4,000 prize to continue their incredible work in mental health.

The finalists of each of the 11 categories are:  

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Award

Lifeline Queensland - 13YARN is the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis service of its kind for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts. It offers a confidential one-on-one over the phone yarning opportunity and support with a trained Lifeline Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter for mob who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping with their mental health and wellbeing. The 13YARN crisis helpline will not only build capacity and resilience for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it will also create and enhance opportunities in communities.

Tagai State College - Tagai State College is a central hub for the Torres Strait and many remote communities that can bring young people together and attend to their health and wellbeing. It aims to increase awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health in the community by inviting and building Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and local wellbeing services into the school. Tagai State College spans the Torres Strait and introducing these services into the school environment has been a unifying process that enhances the sense of community and connection across the islands.

Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation - Yiliyapinya Indigenous Corporation (Yiliyapinya) is a not for profit, registered Indigenous Corporation and charity responding to the decrease in brain health in Queensland communities. Since establishment in 2019, Yiliyapinya has worked closely with community, government, and relevant Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations, to develop and establish community led programs to support the improvement of psychological well-being and cultural connection. Yiliyapinya’s programs are supported by neuroscientific research, and have measurably improved the memory, attention, brain speed, social skills and mental health of the most vulnerable children, youth and adults, with severe behavioural challenges arising from trauma, abuse, neglect, and other causes.


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Award

Naseema Mustapha - Naseema currently works and volunteers with Mental Health Australia on the EMBRACE Multicultural Mental Health Project and the National Mental Health Commission as their CALD representative. Naseema actively campaigns for mental health awareness in the communities she is an active leader in, including through her personal online mental health campaign MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS, and information sessions where she shares her journey with mental health.

Dr Sudipto Roy - Dr Sudipto Roy has a deep understanding of the issues affecting CALD people, including barriers such as language, social isolation, cultural insensitivity, dislocation trauma, and marginalisation.  Inspired by his desire to break down these barriers, Dr Roy has been advocating and facilitating free mental-stillness programs across south-east Queensland through various roles, including as Ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia, since 2008. Thousands of people from diverse social, cultural, economic, and professional backgrounds have benefited from these programs, which are offered online and in-person.

Pushpa Vaghela - Pushpa Vaghela is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Women’s Mentoring Foundation (WMF). The WMF offers specialised mental health services with the primary function to support and provide resources and options to our CALD communities, including First Nations people.
These activities are delivered in various languages, coming from a deep level of understanding and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds. Pushpa has supported the WMF’s CALD communities for over 12 years, delivering programs for diverse communities on mental health, stigma, prevention, recognition, and many other mental health subjects.


Early Years Award

Accoras | Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) Program - Accoras is a charity that provides services and programs for children, youth and families. Identifying a lack of services to support infant mental health, Accoras investigated evidence-based programs and identified and self-funded the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) intervention pilot project. An independent evaluation supported by a cross sector steering group found the ABC program resulted in meaningful improvements in infant-caregiver attachment related outcomes. It provided important insights into program factors and the strategic and systemic support required to enhance and upscale effective infant mental health programs and interventions, particularly for vulnerable infants and families.

Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Cairns - Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Cairns (CYMHSC) specialises in helping infants, children and young people up to the age of 18 who have complex mental health needs. CYMHSC works with infants, children and young people and their families to support recovery. CYMHSC recognises and helps build on individual and family strengths for better health and wellbeing. By working together, CYMHSC supports children, young people and families to get back on track to reach their optimal mental health.

South Burnett Equine Assisted Learning - South Burnett Equine Assisted Learning’s (SBEAL) Horse Wisdom Program, based at Kingaroy, consists of seven sessions focusing on mindfulness and present consciousness. Each session has its own learning goal to assist participants in building their social and emotional regulation skills.


Jeff Cheverton Individual Award

Jackson Miller - Jackson Miller is the founder of ‘vybu’, an app which meaningfully connects individuals with their friends and family when they need mental health support. Jackson is passionate about supporting his community and serves as a Kindness Ambassador and Wellbeing Ambassador to over 3000 students. He has been recognised as a Gold Coast Young Community Achiever for his contribution to raising awareness for mental health.

Hannah Richards - Hannah Richards is the Founder and Head Trainer of Paws for Hope and Understanding, which was established through Hannah’s love for animals and desire to support her father, Bob Richards, a Vietnam Veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Paws for Hope and Understanding provide task trained service dogs to ex-defence personnel to help mitigate the impact of mental health conditions including PTSD.  Their aim is to improve the lives of ex-service people as they transition from combat or high stress environments to general society.

Mikarla Teague - Mikarla Teague is a passionate Art Therapist who delivers individual and group art therapy to thousands of disadvantaged and low socio-economic communities, at-risk young people, the LGBTIQAP+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy community, and rural and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities across Queensland. Mikarla is an advocate for the power of the arts as an alternative form of mental health therapy and works to bring art therapy to the forefront of mental health organisations.


Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award

Able Anglers - Able Anglers is one of the largest social and community services providers in South-East Queensland specifically designed for people living with a disability or mental Illness. Its service offerings are designed from lived experience to enhance the quality of life of its participants.

Abi Cooper - Abi Cooper is an accomplished mental health advocate who uses her lived experience as both a consumer and carer to actively create change in her community. At just 21 years of age, Abi has worked on multiple important projects including being a lived experience member of the Project Steering Committee for the new Mental Health Lived Experience Peak Queensland. After a year of sharing her journey in schools with non-profit batyr, Abi now works as the Lived Experience Coordinator for Queensland/ACT.

Hannah Hyatt - Hannah Hyatt is an experienced national mental health advocate, Lived/Living Experience Worker and Peer Worker. Her aim is to draw on her lived/living experience to advocate for and contribute to improved services, as well as to support people to learn how to manage their mental health effectively and achieve their goals. She is committed to using her experiences and knowledge to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, champion lived/living experience engagement and leadership, and contribute to the development and integration of the lived/living experience workforce. She is particularly passionate about advocating for people with complex mental health issues. Hannah has turned her difficult experiences into her passion and driving force for her chosen educational path and career.


LGBTI+ Award

Belong Training - The Belong Training program delivered by Brook Red is designed to increase capacity to create affirming spaces and professional practice when supporting and working with LGBTIQIAP+ people. Belong Training hopes to fill knowledge gaps and increase the confidence and skill of people to work with members of the LGBTIQIAP+ community. Belong also offers consultancy to organisations around best practice and can assist with ensuring LGBTQIAP+ inclusivity in aspects such as program development, education/development of educational materials and renewing forms and documents. The Belong team are all peer workers who have experienced living with and working through mental health concerns. All trainers identify as part of the LGBTIQIAP+ community.

headspace Hervey Bay and Maryborough - headspace Hervey Bay and Maryborough have made great progress improving LGBTQIAP+ acceptance in the Fraser Coast Community through LGBTQIA+ Groups run at both centres and multiple schools in the region. The Groups provide a safe and welcoming space for those who identify or are allies to come together and celebrate their individuality.

Stride Mental Health | Diverse City Program - The Diverse City program allows Stride headspace's centres to connect with the young LGBTIQA+ community and, since 2019, support over 580 youth across five Queensland sites. The program is informed and evolved by this community’s participation. It allows for LGBTIQA+ young people to have a safe space to discuss their unique experiences and life challenges with their peers without judgement.


Not For Profit – Large (101+ staff)

Lives Lived Well Ltd - Lives Lived Well (LLW) works to help people impacted by drugs, alcohol, and mental health concerns. LLW works with people to help get their lives back on track by delivering a wide range of programs and services across Queensland and New South Wales. LLW Queensland services are delivered across more than 20 locations with outreach into many more communities. LLW specialises in community-based counselling and group programs for those impacted by drug and alcohol use and for their families. 

Neami National - Neami National provides mental health, homelessness, and suicide prevention support to strengthen local communities. Neami National ‘s purpose is to enable people aged 16 to 65 living with mental health issues to achieve outcomes they value. Partnering with Richmond Fellowship Qld, Mentally Healthy City Townsville, Wellways, and Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation they delivered two important events in Townsville during 2021 Mental Health Week. The JOURNEYS Art Exhibition showcased the talents of artists with a lived experience of mental illness while raising awareness of mental health, recovery and wellbeing to more than 500 people. The Reflections Walk brought 45 members of the community together to take a step towards better mental health.

Youturn Youth Support - Youturn Youth Support works to address youth homelessness in the Noosa region, with focus on three core areas of child safety, homelessness, and mental health. Partnering with the University of New South Wales and Black Dog Institute, Youturn is participating in a world-first ongoing research into immersive mixed reality as a potential intervention method for individuals suffering mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.


Not For Profit – Small (1-100 staff)

Accoras | Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program - Accoras’ Commonwealth Psychosocial Support Program (CPSP) is a new, innovative mental health service for children and adolescents (7-17 years) often referred to as the ‘missing middle’ - those experiencing complex mental health difficulties too severe to be managed by primary mental health services, but not acute enough to be accepted by tertiary services. The Accoras CPSP provides clinical and psychosocial intervention through a holistic, family-focused model, delivering outreach support in homes and schools across the Logan-Beaudesert area.

Tropical Brain & Mind Foundation Inc - The Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation (TBMF) auspices Mentally Healthy City Townsville (MHCT). Townsville was the first city in Australia to take up the challenge to support population-wide mental wellbeing.  MHCT aims to strengthen and nurture an environment where citizens live, work, play, thrive and flourish, which requires healthy minds and bodies. TBMF seeks and encourages research excellence in brain health, brain skills and the social and economic benefits that come from research projects, with the aim of identifying projects that provide the best hope of developing brain health and brain skills across all population demographics.  

Upbeat Arts | Absolutely Everybody Choir Programs - Upbeat Arts operates two Absolutely Everybody Choir programs in Brisbane for adults living with a mental illness. The two choirs foster a safe, uplifting, and fun environment and provide an opportunity for social inclusion, connection and building confidence. Research shows that singing can lower stress, enhance memory, improve mental health, and help cope with physical and emotional pain. Meaningful community participation is essential for mental health, wellbeing, and recovery – so choir members benefit two-fold.


Schools Award

Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (Coen Campus) | Talk About It Tuesday - 'Talk About it Tuesday' is a suicide prevention initiative which was spearheaded across Cape York and repurposed for CYAAA’s Coen Campus school setting. Staff wear brightly coloured shirts each Tuesday as a conversation starter about mental health and wellbeing. It has prompted conversations about emotional self-regulation, support networks and recognising when help is needed from peers and adults. The school has a greater collective mental health awareness as a result of this initiative.

Ohana College - Ohana College was designed for secondary students who had disengaged from mainstream schooling. Ohana College tailors its educational programs to promote continuous engagement, meet individual student learning needs and interests with a strong focus on student wellbeing, while exposing students to the essential literacy, numeracy and life skills required in today’s society.

Ripley Valley State Secondary College - Ripley Valley State Secondary College is fully inclusive and accepting of diversity. The College creates a safe and inclusive environment by utilising the Positive Behaviour for Learning Framework to explicitly promote social skills and expected behaviours. They have adopted the PERMAH framework from the Positive Education Model to teach wellbeing and enhance engagement.  Staff also receive ongoing professional development in Positive Education and are encouraged to participate in corporate wellbeing interventions.


Workplace Award – Large (200+ staff)

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art – Art and Dementia Program - QAGOMA’s Art and Dementia Program is a free participant-focused experience designed to support the wellbeing of visitors who are living with dementia. The small-group format is structured around opportunities for reminiscence, validation and socialisation. The program enhances quality of life for visitors living with dementia. Moreover, therapeutic outcomes extend to better mental health and wellbeing for their carers, as they share time together in a stimulating and aesthetically-rich participatory experience.


Workplace Award – Small (1-200 staff)

Balonne Shire Council - As one of the shire’s largest employers, Balonne Shire Council engaged and worked with external consultant 'Communicorp' to assist in the development of a Workplace Mental Health Strategy. A Mental Health Strategy Team comprising key organisational personnel was formed and is now implementing the ambitious three-year strategy within the organisation, whilst simultaneously implementing programs throughout the community. Together, these strategies will see not only a psychologically safe and healthy workplace but also raise awareness and improve mental health and mental health awareness across the entire community.

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers - Cooper Grace Ward’s (CGW) commitment to mental health, wellness, gender and diversity is an integral part of our core values and culture. To support this, CGW have implemented policies and programs across the firm including the provision of mental health first aid, the establishment of a Wellness and Diversity Committees and an LGBTIQ+ support group that is accessible to staff, clients and peers.

Succeed Healthcare Solutions - Succeed Healthcare Solutions (SHS) offers occupational therapy, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, and therapy assistants (with speech therapy partnership) for young people aged three to 35. The clinic has skills in delivering services to young people with autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, anxiety, anger, depression and chronic pain. Support is also provided to participants who are gifted or need to manage the psychological impacts of chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity.


The Awards would not be possible without the contributions from our sponsors: headspace, RFQ, Workcover Queensland, Office of Industrial Relations, CheckUp, Queensland Health, Rio Tinto, RANZCP, Qld Alliance for Mental Health and Health & Wellbeing Queensland. Thank you!

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