The Board

The ACMHN is fortunate to have a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of a highly committed group of people from diverse professional backgrounds. The skills of our Board Directors include medicine, health, legal, finance, community and business.


Current Board Directors

ACMHN 2017 369 President: Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane

Professor Eimear Muir-Cochrane is Chair of Nursing (Mental Health) at Flinders University and has been involved in mental health research and education for over thirty years. Eimear’s research focusses on nursing practices in acute in-patient psychiatric units and the consumer experience. She is passionate about trying to make a difference in researching seclusion, absconding and restraint. Eimear has received over $2.5 million in national and international research funding and published books, a MOOC a MOD (mobile optimised device) and over seventy-five refereed journal articles.


ACMHN 2017 372   

Vice President: Professor Kim Foster

Kim Foster is currently Professor of Mental Health Nursing in a Clinical Chair role through the joint health service and university partnership of NorthWestern Mental Health, Melbourne Health & Australian Catholic University. Kim leads the Mental Health Nursing Research Unit based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Kim has general and psychiatric nurse qualifications and is a Fellow of the ACMHN. She has extensive experience as a mental health nurse educator and researcher across several Australian universities. Kim has held senior academic and leadership appointments including Head of School and has a career commitment to the education and mentoring of mental health nurses in their integral role of providing therapeutic care to people with mental illness and their families. Kim has published widely in mental and psychosocial health. Her key areas of research interest include children and families where parents have mental illness; family-focused mental health care; resilience; and emotional intelligence.


ACMHN 2017 368 Board Director: Professor Brenda Happell

Professor Brenda Happell is Professor of Nursing and Executive Director of Synergy, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at University of Canberra and ACT Health. Brenda has a strong track record in publication, obtaining competitive funding and higher degree supervision. Brenda was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Melbourne and former Director of the Institute for Health and Social Science Research at Central Queensland University. She is a Fellow and Board Director of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, and former Editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Brenda was an inaugural member of the Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council. Consumer participation in academia is a major research interest that has translated to the introduction of consumer academic positions at the University of Melbourne, Central Queensland University and SYNERGY (University of Canberra and ACT Health). Physical health of people with mental illness and nursing education are other strong research interests. Brenda includes consumers as active participants in research projects and seeks ways to demonstrate the positive impacts.


 ACMHN 2017 379 Board Director: Mark Powell

Mark Powell started nursing as a State Enrolled Nurse in the general hospital system but quickly developed an interest in mental health and took up one of the last of the hospital trained mental health nurse positions in 1990. He has been involved with dual diagnosis (substance use and Mental Illness) since 1998 having a strong interest in the care of people with mental illness and concurrent substance use issues. Mark worked in hospital settings but mostly community-based programs for mental health and substance use. He has had the opportunity to be involved in research projects around schizophrenia, single session family work and shared decision making. He was also part of the state-wide implementation of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis key directions and was involved in training of mental health and substance use counsellors in dual diagnosis in Victoria as part of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis education and training unit. He is passionate about the skills within motivational interviewing and delivers training in this regularly, and a keen advocate for the recognition of the broad skills possessed by mental health nurses.

Mark now works under the mental health nurse incentive program and convenes a local ACT special interest group utilising the support of the mental health professionals network. He is trained and run SMART recovery groups in our local area.


ACMHN 2017 378

Board Director: Bronwyn Lawman


Bronwyn is an experienced credentialed mental health nurse with over 28 years experience in the Health industry.
Bronwyn has worked as a Nurse therapist in a PTSD centre at Toowong Private Hospital and been responsible for the education of that workforce.

Bronwyn has considerable expertise in acute mental health service delivery and has been a Crisis Assessment Treatment Team manager for two mental health services and been responsible for the Emergency Department and Psychiatric Triage response for those services in metropolitan Melbourne.

She has been the Operations Director at Peninsula Health Mental Health Service and in partnership with the Clinical Director was responsible for the Operations of a large area mental health service. She was instrumental in leading a project to get a peer hub opened for peer workers on the Peninsula and led the development of the first Youth Prevention and Recovery Care unit in Australia. Bronwyn is also a published author and has been involved in research focusing on a comparison between CATT and Integrated models of service delivery whilst working at Peninsula Health.

Bronwyn’s current role is the Executive Director of Operations at Mind Australia. Mind is a large NGO with over 40 year’s experience in working with people with mental health issues. Bronwyn has responsibility for oversight of the Operations component of the business that see’s over 12000 clients annually across four different states. Bronwyn has an active role in leading the development of the Mind eQuality centre that provides counselling and support to the LGBTI community in Melbourne.


ACMHN 2017 380 Board Chair Finance, Audit & Risk Committee: Dr. Scott Trueman

Scott is a Registered nurse and mental health nurse. He joined the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition at James Cook University in 2012 and has the opportunity to teach with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He is currently the subject coordinator for Law and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives and teaches into Mental Health Nursing and Post-Graduate Nursing Research. Scott’s experience before commencing at James Cook University includes private and public settings including crisis, acute community and emergency mental health services. For approximately 8 years prior to commencing employment, he worked in remote communities of Australia and throughout the Islands of the Torres Strait.

Scott's PhD was a case study titled; ‘Remote generalist nurses caring for mental health clients; an interpretive case study’. The conception of this study arises from his extensive working experience in remote Australia.

Scott’s research, writings and teaching interests reflect my clinical background of mental health nursing and other studies in Law, Jurisprudence (Ethics/Philosophy) and Commerce (Accounting).

Scott is currently the Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and also sits as Chairperson of a national non-for-profit board. He also is a regular contributor on issues of law and ethics for the Nursing Review and ACMHN News Magazine.


ACMHN 2017 377 Board Director: Tom Ryan

RN (RPN, RGON, RCpN – NZ), Credentialed MHN, FACMHN, DipAppSci, DipEdNsg (Sydney), CertAdvPsych (NSWIP), MMH (Psychotherapy) (UQ)

Thirty years of practice, education and administration primarily in adult psychiatry with a focus on psychotherapy, supervision, collaborative models of practice and identity/role formation in mental health nursing. Extensive involvement in mental health NGO sector and in education.

Currently Primary Care Liaison Officer for Townsville Hospital and Health Service. Member/chair of several local and national boards and Chair of the ACMHN Clinical Supervision Special Interest Group.


Research Shoot 2014 Day 5 955 

Board Director: Lorna Moxham

Lorna Moxham is Professor of Mental Health Nursing in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, and the lead for Living Well, Longer in the Global Challenges programme at the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. In addition Lorna is a director of Recovery Camp - Lorna has been Head of School and Dean of Graduate Research as well as holding numerous other senior governance roles like; Chair: Research Committee of Academic Board and Chair: University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Initially qualified as a registered psychiatric nurse, Lorna continued her passion for lifelong learning graduating from the University of Western Sydney with a Diploma of Applied Science and Bachelor of Health Science, achieving Golden Key International Honour Society status. She then graduated from UNSW with a Master of Education. Lorna also has two Certificates; one in Occupational Health & Safety and one in Quality Management. Additionally she has a PhD.
Lorna has held numerous senior professional and community appointments including four at ministerial level: These include Chair: Central Queensland Health Community Council, Mental Health Review Tribunal, Regional Planning Advisory Committee and the QLD Priority Housing Committee. Additionally, Lorna was a Board Director for Central Queensland Mercy Health and Aged Care and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and a member of the Executive for the Australian and New Zealand Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery. She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, the Australian College of Nursing and is also a Board Director of Aftercare, The oldest mental health NGO in Australia.

Passionate about research supervision and the important contributions HDR students make to research and development, Lorna has twice been awarded a Vice Chancellors award for Excellence in Research Supervision from two Australian universities. She has supervised numerous students to successful completion and been invited to examine many doctoral dissertations. Lorna is a prolific author with numerous publications including 18 books as editor and/or co-author, 16 book chapters, over 80 journal articles and more than 100 conference presentations.