July 2021

Newsletter No. 76

MHYFVic Annual General Meeting News from ‘Emerging Minds’
News from Mental Health Commission
History Corner
Winston Rickards Memorial Oration
Our Website


The MHYFVic Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 25th August 2021 at 6.30pm at Bleak House Hotel, Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park (corner of Victoria Avenue).
The event will take the traditional format of a short business component followed by dinner and an after-dinner speaker.

Advance booking for dinner is required via The speaker this year will be Harry Gelber, former Senior Social Worker of the RCH Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. His topic is:

“Hearing the Voice of Children: reflections from a child engagement project conducted at the Royal Children’s Hospital”

Central to any therapeutic process is a change in the thoughts and feelings of the client. When the client is a child the voice that is heard is often that of an adult. It is important to reflect on how we can hear the thoughts and feelings of the child.
Book now so you don’t miss out!

News from ‘Emerging Minds’

Reflecting on Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 7-13 June 2021.
Last week was Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, highlighting the importance of babies’ emotional wellbeing and development.

The theme was 2021 Vision: Including Infants, to encourage everyone working in children and young people’s mental health policy, strategy and service delivery to think about and include babies. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of infancy and early childhood as an essential time in terms of social, emotional, physical, cognitive and mental development.

We have a growing suite of resources that focus on mental health in the early years and how practitioners can support children, parents/carers and families. Our latest resources on infant mental health are highlighted below, but remember to check out our full listing on our website.

  • What is infant and child mental health (and why is it important)?
  • Helping children to cope with uncertainty during COVID-19
  • Insights on infant sleep with Dr Pamela Douglas
  • Understanding child development: Ages 0-3 years

News from ‘National Mental Health Commission’

In July 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the commitment of the Australian Government to working ‘towards zero suicides’ and the appointment of the First National Suicide Prevention Adviser.

Over 18 months, the Adviser and the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce engaged with different levels of government and portfolios, organisations working in suicide prevention, researchers, leaders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention, community members and, most importantly, many people who have lived experience of suicide.

This broad engagement focused on better understanding the needs of people who experience suicidal distress, and identifying how Australia’s services, systems and government structures at all levels could change to compassionately meet their needs and avoid a suicide trajectory. This Final Advice consists of three complementary reports building on the Initial Findings submitted in November 2019 and the Interim Advice submitted in August 2020.

Compassion First. This first report captures the voices of over 3,000 people with lived experience of suicide, particularly those who have survived suicide attempts or lived with suicidal distress. It also provides insights from commissioned research focused on families, caregivers and those bereaved by suicide. The clarion call from people with lived experience is for more comprehensive and connected approaches that address vulnerabilities long before a crisis, and for more compassionate responses that do not treat them as a ‘medical problem’ but rather provide them with assistance through their distress, connecting them to the right supports.

Connected and Compassionate. This second report details eight practical and achievable recommendations and actions for driving change across Australia. Informed by lived experience, the report identifies how a more connected and compassionate approach to suicide prevention will assist people vulnerable to suicide by leveraging the full range of services, touchpoints, policy drivers and resources available to all governments.

Its approach focuses on the whole picture of a person’s life, identifying and using appropriate life turning points to engage with people to prevent escalation into suicidal crisis, taking help to people – where they are, and in a way that relates to their needs.

Shifting the Focus. The third report demonstrates a model for operationalising a comprehensive whole of government approach to suicide prevention, including a decisionmaking tool to be used by government portfolios to identify targeted distress reduction initiatives.

It highlights the critical role that multiple sectors and government portfolios have in suicide prevention, and provides practical guidance on the steps government agencies can take to embed this into targeted initiatives, service planning, design, implementation and evaluation.

The reports can be obtained in full at their website Commission partners with International Association of Suicide Prevention for 31st World Congress
The National Mental Health Commission will partner with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, as it hosts the 31st World Congress on the Gold Coast from 21-24 September 2021. In- person and virtual lived experience participation will be a hallmark of the Congress, with the Commission providing 150 bursaries to people who have experienced suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Queen Victoria Hospital moves to Clayton
It is only thirty-four years since the Monash Medical Centre opened along with its Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service. MMC was the combination of several south-eastern Melbourne facilities. But principally a combination of Prince Henry’s Hospital with the Queen Victoria Hospital and the Moorabbin and Dandenong Hospitals.

The development of the Clayton site, and the previous sites of the other hospitals, is a built record of the growth of Melbourne. The first Melbourne Hospital was built on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Street in 1848. It was rebuilt in 1912 and became the Royal Melbourne Hospital. This was relocated to the site of an old pig market in Parkville in 1946. The vacated site of the RMH became the new home of the Queen Victoria Hospital the same year.

In 1850, the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum was established to care for the ill and destitute of Melbourne. In 1911, the facility opened on the current site in Cheltenham. It was renamed the Kingston Centre in 1970 and the focus of its service dramatically changed. It is now a leading centre for aged care and rehabilitation, and is part of the Monash MC.


Cheer Up Children Paintings, this group of thirty-one watercolours were painted in 1910 to decorate the walls of the new Children’s Wing. This was the first recorded attempt to decorate a Children’s Ward in such a manner.

The four artists who were commissioned to produce the works were Janet Edith Alsop, Janet Cumbrae Stewart, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Jessie Traill. All four artists were Melbourne based and in their early 20’s at the time, and it seems, donated these paintings without charge. This was a considerable undertaking, and these paintings would have to be one of the most memorable and lasting philanthropic efforts by Melbourne artists.

The hospital’s Mint Place site became the site of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Clinic in 1947, before that institute moved to another Women’s Hospital site, St Andrew’s, East Melbourne in 1993, and in 1869, the Homeopathic Hospital opened in Spring Street dispensing homeopathic supplies. In 1877 it moved to St Kilda Road and became, in 1934, Prince Henry’s Hospital which operated from 1934 to 1992 when services moved to Monash Medical Centre in Clayton. The Homeopathic Hospital was dependant on the generous gifts of benefactors to cover its daily operating costs and refurbishments. The new Children’s Wing was no exception and the funds for this project had been made available through the gift of an anonymous donor.

The donor specifically requested frames were fixed to the walls of the children’s wards for the purpose of displaying illustrations and drawings of children’s stories and nursery rhymes. Referred to as the The Homeopathic Hospital was re-named the Prince Henry’s Hospital in 1934 in honour of the royal visit of the Duke of Gloucester.

At its peak, Prince Henry’s Hospital was a modest size tertiary teaching hospital with around 330 beds and an extensive research division, Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research, sprawling alongside the hospital. Established in 1896 as the Victoria Hospital for Women and Children, the ‘Queen Vic’ was one of only three hospitals worldwide founded, managed and staffed by women.

Opening as a clinic in the hall of St David’s Welsh Church, La Trobe Street, it aimed to become a hospital ‘For Women, By Women’, serving poor women who were uncomfortable about having to see a male doctor. Despite disapproval and scorn from influential friends, colleagues and some members of the public, this radical venture of the eleven female founding doctors, led by Dr Constance Stone, received considerable support.

Funded by an appeal to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, within three years the clinic was able to purchase the old Governess’ Institute in Mint Place. Initially known as the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Children, it became the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital when the Queen died.

Under the guidance of its longest serving president, (Dame) Mabel Brookes, elected in 1924, the ‘Queen Vic’ expanded, opening the Jessie McPherson Community Hospital in 1931 and moving in 1946 into premises recently vacated by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In 1965, it became the new Monash University’s teaching hospital for obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics. The hospital changed from being ‘For Women, By Women’ to a ‘Family Hospital’, treating male patients and employing male medical personnel.

In 1977, the hospital amalgamated with McCulloch House in Caulfield and was renamed the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. In 1981, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service opened at Queen Victoria Hospital with Dr David Mushin as its Clinical Director. This was the antecedent of Monash CAMHS, and other child and adolescent mental health programs within Monash MC.

In 1987, the QVMC moved to Clayton to merge with the Moorabbin Hospital and, in 1991, Prince then, in 2013, to opposite the old pig market that RMH moved to and from where, the old Dental Hospital had been sited upon the former Haymarket.

Henry’s Hospital to form the Monash Medical Centre. children’s ward was established at Dandenong Hospital in 1955 and at Monash Health’s newest hospital Casey Hospital in 2004. Southern Health was renamed Monash Health in 2013. In 2017 the Monash Children’s Hospital opened at Clayton as an integral part of Monash Medical Centre.


Monash MC has many children’s mental health related programs: CAMHS, Early Life in Mental Health Services, Aboriginal Health Refugee health and wellbeing, Family violence support, Gender Clinic, Youth and Family team, Adolescent recovery centre,

Stepping Stones (also called the Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit), Transition program, Intensive Mobile Youth Outreach Service, Wellness and Recovery Centre (WRC, specialist Eating Disorder program), Recovery and Relapse Prevention of Psychosis Service (available for 16-25 years), and Southern Dual Diagnosis Service.
Monash MC is spread across the south-east suburbs. A photo of the central campus is too complex to render as a separate shot, so these cannot be included here. But a link with photos of several buildings of the past has been taken from the MMC website:
Jo Grimwade
The 2020 Winston Rickards Memorial Oration which was deferred from its originally planned date because of the Covid-19 pandemic, was re-scheduled for Monday 19th April 2021 but, sadly, had to
be postponed yet again because the Royal Children’s Hospital restrictions on attendance could not be relaxed to allow the necessary audience.
We notified everyone who had registered by the time of the decision but there were several people who came to the venue because they made their decision after the cancellation date. We are deeply sorry for that inconvenience and apologize for not having foreseen and averted that misadventure.
“The Elephant leaves the Room”
Professor Frank Oberklaid’s Oration will discuss the place of child and adolescent mental health in public health care. It will be rescheduled at a date to be advised when the venue is again unrestricted.
Annual membership of MHYFVic runs for the Financial Year. Only paid-up members are entitled to vote at our AGM, normally held in August each year. Friends and associates who are not paid-up will still receive our electronic newsletters and notices because it is our mission to promote improvements in mental health for the young and their families.
However, it is important to reflect upon the difference between paid-up and non paid-up members.
Membership subscriptions of $50 per annum enable the organisation to maintain its website, mailbox, telephone service and to undertake its administrative tasks. If you value the work that MHYFVic does, we need your financial as well as your ethical support.
Our mail address is PO Box 206, Parkville, Vic 3052. If you prefer to pay by Direct Funds Transfer, the BSB is 033 090 A/C Number 315188 with your name in the Reference tab. It would be appreciated if you could also send a confirmatory email to
After much thought our website has been significantly revised to give casual visitors immediate information about what we do and what we stand for, whilst at the same time allowing members to go straight to specific sections such as Projects or Newsletters or Events, without having to navigate past reams of information.
Now that the main revision has been implemented we are working on tasks of development of Projects to give us the evidence base for our advocacy. There are quite a few items under development at the present time which are not yet reflected in the website but over the next few months we expect to see a burgeoning of activity.
Visit us on
2020 MHYF Vic Committee
* President : Jo Grimwade
* Vice-President : Jenny Luntz
* Past President: Allan Mawdsley
* Secretary : Cecelia Winkelman
* Treasurer and Membership Secretary:Kaye Geoghegan
* Projects Coordinator, Allan Mawdsley
* WebMaster, Ron Ingram
* Newsletter Editor, Allan Mawdsley
* Youth Consumer Representative, vacant
* Members without portfolio: Suzie Dean, Miriam Tisher, Celia Godfrey.


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