Board member biographies
Joe Calleja: Joe Calleja is the Principal of Recovery Matters, a mental health and suicide intervention advocacy group. He views MHM2 as being a critical change agent for system improvement. He has previously been the CEO of the Richmond Fellowship of Western Australia, Principal Social Worker in Child Protection and in the Senior Executive
Service of the Justice Department. He introduced the Hearing Voices approach from Europe in 2005 and is now introducing the Alternatives to Suicide approach which is also peer based. Joe is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and life member of both the Australian Association of Social Workers and the Australian College
of Social Work.
Virginia Catterall: In 2020, Virginia was the recipient of the Lived Experience Impact and Sustainability Award at the Western Australian Association of Mental Health Awards.
Virginia is a dedicated consumer representative and system advocate in the mental health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) and criminal justice sectors. She has current roles as a consumer representative for the Start Court, the Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee, the Forensic Community Partnership Advisory Group and the Mental Health Advisory Council. Virginia is an AOD consumer representative for North Metro Mental Health, Public Health and Dental Services. Virginia has previously held Treasurer and Vice Chair roles with the Alcohol & Other Drug Consumer & Community Coalition (AODCCC). Currently she also works for Avivo, a non-government agency, on their Experts by Experience Council and as a training co-facilitator. More recently Virginia was appointed as a consumer representative to the Community Treatment and Emergency Response Roadmap Project Expert Working Group and to the GRAFT (Graylands Reconfiguration and Forensics Taskforce) Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG).
Virginia holds a business degree and a Masters certificate in Project Management, has a significant background working in these fields and is always looking for ways to increase her knowledge and expertise in the fields in which she is now active.
Margaret Doherty: Margaret founded MHM2 following her experiences of walking alongside two family members with experiences of mental health and alcohol and other drug challenges, one of whom also experienced imprisonment. Margaret holds undergraduate qualifications in Arts and Commerce and post-graduate qualifications in Education, Mental Health. She also holds Certificate IV qualifications in Alcohol and Other Drug; Training and Assessment and completed the Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Support as part of the national Peer Champions project. Margaret brings her lived and learned expertise to co-chair and member roles in a number of strategic committees. These include: Chairperson of the WA Mental Health Advisory Council; Co-chair of the Mental Health Commission Peer Workforce Project Steering Committee; past Deputy Co-chair (Carer) of the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines; Member of the Sustainable Health Review Independent Oversight Committee; Family/Carer representative on the Community Treatment and Emergency Response Services Roadmap Steering Committee as well as a number of other committees. Margaret believes that lived experience input and expertise needs to be designed into service and system design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.
Dr Ann McGuire: Ann spent 30 years as a Curtin University Senior Lecturer, facilitating tutorial groups of undergraduate and graduate students and was awarded a Curtin University Teaching Award for this work. In 2021, Ann was appointed to the position of Carer Co-Chair of the Lived Experience Collective for the ALIVE National Research Translation Centre in Mental Health which is funded for five years under the NHMRC funded Special Initiative in Mental Health. Ann has been a family member/carer for over thirty years for an immediate family member who has experienced many voluntary hospital admissions. Ann has been closely involved with Families 4 Families WA as a peer facilitator and in ongoing discussions to refine and improve the process and dialogues between individuals and family members. Ann was a support author for the book Hopeful Voyager: Navigating Your Way Through the Ambiguous Losses of Mental Ill-Health (2017) with Dr Kanthi Perera. This was an exercise in co-design in which Ann brought her lived experience expertise to a project which translated the scholarly findings of Dr Perera’s research into the form of a self-help workbook aimed at helping consumers, family members, carers and supporters to develop a shared understanding of the effects of mental health challenges.
Bridget Silvestri: Bridget brings lived experience and expertise as a family member who manages the chaos and complexity of co-occurring drug and alcohol use, serious mental ill-health and criminal justice involvement.
Bridget began her journey of learning to mindfully advocate for the family voice when she joined MHM2 in 2011. During Bridget’s ten years as a Steering Group member, she represented MHM2 at a number of committees and sector forums; participated in advocacy activities including meeting with key decision-makers and politicians; participated in events at State Parliament and provided leadership with the bi-monthly Families 4 Families WA face-to-face peer support meetings. Bridget is also a Board member of the Alcohol and Other Drug Consumer Community Coalition. Bridget is married with three children. During their working life, Bridget and her husband were small business owners and ran catering outlets, building each from scratch, covering all aspects from preparing and cooking food through to shopfront presentation and everything inbetween.
Louise Southalan: Louise Southalan has a background in law and policy and her passion is finding ways to enable good evidence to usefully assist decision makers in justice systems, and on seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of people involved in detention settings. Louise currently works for Wungening Aboriginal Corporation on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjah in Perth as project manager of a community-led participatory action research project with First Nations Elders as the co-researchers and Curtin University’ National Drug Research Institute as a project partner. Louise is a member of the Justice Health Unit in the Health Equity division of the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, contributing to the Unit’s research and project work nationally and internationally. She has a strong interest in working in and continuing to learn about system reform in relation to inclusion health, social policy and priority shifting, and in particular learning from the expertise of people who are most impacted by these systems but typically have not been heard.
Louise is a lawyer who previously practised in criminal law, worked for seven years commissioning prison mental health services and developing forensic policy in the Western Australian Mental Health Commission, and also worked for Australian Red Cross monitoring conditions in immigration detention centres. She is a steering committee member of WEPHREN, the Worldwide Prison Health Research and Engagement Network. Louise holds a law degree and masters degrees in International Development and in Mental Health Policy and Services. She is a board member of HepatitisWA and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.