News • 26 Jul 2022
More than just a name: Honouring the memory of those behind our named QMHWA Awards
Many extraordinary people and organisations have been recognised for their important work to improve mental health in Queensland since the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards (QMHWAA) were established 26 years ago.
Across the 11 Award categories, there are plenty of opportunities to nominate, but there is also an opportunity to learn more about three people who helped shape the Awards: Jude Bugeja, Jeff Cheverton and Earle Duus.
Jude, Jeff and Earle each have a QMHWAA category named after them to honour the significant impact they had on the landscape of mental health in Queensland. They are all greatly missed by those who knew them in their lifetimes. Their named Awards help to sustain their legacy and inspire others for years to come.
Jude Bugeja – The Jude Bugeja Peer Experience Award
Jude Bugeja was a school teacher who went on to work in mental health as someone with a Lived Experience. In addition to other senior roles in some of Queensland’s mental health organisations, Jude was the Founding Manager of Brook Red, a peer-run community service in Brisbane. Jude was passionate about peer support and a pioneer in bringing the Lived Experience model to Queensland.
The Jude Bugeja Peer Experience Award is open to any individual or group who through their direct experience with mental illness demonstrates a significant contribution to improving the lives of people with mental illness and their families and/or carers.
Jude’s family generously contributes a $500 cash prize to assist the winner of this award to continue their great work. 2022 marks 10 years since Jude’s passing.
We gratefully acknowledge the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health for sponsoring this Award category.
Jeff Cheverton – The Jeff Cheverton Individual Award
Jeff Cheverton was a highly respected leader and voice for the mental health, LGBTIQ+ and primary health sectors in Queensland. Jeff was the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH) from 2004 to 2012 and also served on the Board of the former Mental Health Council of Australia (now known as Mental Health Australia), among other influential roles.
Five years since his passing, Jeff’s peers recall him as a courageous man who had an infectious passion for social justice and inclusiveness.
The Jeff Cheverton Individual Award is kindly sponsored by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and is open to any individual who has made an outstanding contribution to mental health in Queensland through their commitment to improving the quality of life of Queenslanders living with mental illness and by promoting their inclusion in the broader community.
Earle Duus – The Earle Duus Overarching Award
Earle Duus was supported by the Queensland Wattle Day League (now known as Open Minds) as a young man with an acquired brain injury. Earle went on to become a successful accountant and philanthropist with a passion for music and the arts.
Following Earle’s passing in 1996, he left a generous bequest to Open Minds which was the catalyst for what is now known as the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards (QMHWAA).
The Awards have grown significantly over 26 years to include 11 categories and shone a light on countless people and organisations doing remarkable work in the mental health sector.
The Earle Duus Overarching Award is presented to one of our eleven category winners and carries a cash prize of $4,000 for the winner to continue their great work in the mental health sector.