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 Board Directors Header


President: Professor Wendy Cross

Head, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Professor Wendy Cross started her nursing career as a hospital trainee in the 1970s. She then went on to become a mental health nurse. She has maintained an active clinical role across her varied career in adult acute mental health and currently works in an enhanced crisis team in a large emergency department and also provides clinical supervision to a range of mental health nurses.

Wendy joined Monash University in 2007 as Associate Professor, Mental Health Nursing, in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She was appointed Professor and Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in 2009. Prior to commencing her work at Monash Wendy held senior appointments in nursing at Southern Health, Deakin University and the University of Western Sydney. She is the current Deputy Chair of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia & New Zealand) and is a member of many committees and working groups focussing on health, education, and nursing. She is a board Director for Chisholm Institute of TAFE, the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program (Victoria) and Bentleigh Bayside Community Health.

Wendy has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Advanced Nursing from Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, a Master of Education by research (Ed Psych) from Monash University and a Doctor of Philosophy (Transcultural Psychiatry) from the University of NSW. She has published widely and is currently involved in a number of funded research projects.
Wendy's primary research interests include mental health and mental health nursing, clinical supervision, practice development, workplace learning, and broad based research methods including both quantitative and qualitative paradigms.


Vice President: Dr. Terry Froggatt

Terry has held positions on Hospital Boards, Disability Services Boards and reported to a number of Boards during his career. He has participated in governance training and understands the role of Boards in the not for profit environment. Terry is familiar with fiscal responsibilities at the Board level and is committed to the advancement of Mental Health Nursing and the wider promotion of mental health in Australia through a strong and vibrant college.

Terry is committed to evidenced based organisational learning and development. Providing innovative and learner focused seminars and programs, which facilitate; mental health, knowledge transfer, management of change, organizational culture, management and leadership development.

Terry has extensive clinical and managerial experience in Mental Health. He is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse™, Chair – NSW Branch and Fellow of the ACMHN and a facilitator of the Commonwealth Governments - Mental Health Professionals Network. Terry currently coordinates undergraduate and post graduate courses at the University of Wollongong
Terry holds formal qualifications and accreditations in psychological type and emotional intelligence. Terry is an accomplished researcher and is published in several management books and journals and holds a PhD, on the topic of Learning Organisations, from the University of Wollongong. Terry has international experience assisting organisations in the growth and development of their people.


Board Director: Professor Kim Foster

Kim Foster is currently Professor of Nursing at the University of Canberra. Kim is a Fellow of the ACMHN and has more than 25 years' experience as a mental health nurse and academic at several Australian universities. She has had 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 health and her key areas of research interest include children and families where parents have mental illness; family-focused mental health care; resilience; and emotional intelligence.


Board Director: Professor Brenda Happell

Professor Brenda Happell is Professor of Mental Health Nursing at CQUniversity. Brenda is a passionate advocate for mental health nursing. She is an active researcher with more a strong track record in publication (including more than 300 articles in refereed journals), supervising higher degree students and obtaining competitive research funding. She has been Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing since 2004. Her research interests include: consumer participation in mental health services, seclusion, the physical health of people experiencing mental illness and mental health nursing education.


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.


Board Director: Deb Nizette

Deb is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse (# 23) and believes that credentialing will become the cornerstone of our professional identity. 

Deb's initial nursing qualifications were gained at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Sydney) in 1977; and Midwifery at Paddington Women's Hospital in 1979. In the 1980's she worked in neurosurgery at the Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, and returned to complete Psychiatric Nursing at Wolston Park Hospital (The Park). Deb worked in acute adult services until transferring to the School of Nursing RBH (Qld) later moving to Toowoomba and appointments at Baillie Henderson Health Services and USQ.

For many years Deb worked as a University academic (USQ and ACU). In 2009 a change of role and return to the service sector as Mental Health Nursing Advisor provided an opportunity to promote mental health nursing from a different perspective.

Clinical supervision and practice development, specialist practice and primary mental health care, governance of nursing and policy development are areas of interest. A prevailing interest in mental health nursing education has led to the development and publication of a range of educational resources with peers. Deb is a member of the ARAFMI management committee (Mental Health Carers Australia), and a member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

After joining the College in 1988 Deb was a foundation member of the Toowoomba sub branch of the College in 1991 and was the president there 1992-1993. In 1994 she became the Queensland representative on the national Council (as it was then known) and was the College vice president 1997-1998 before the end of her 4 year term on Council. Deb became a Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses in Auckland in 1996.

From 2002 until 2006 Deb held the role of Censor in Chief; chair of the ACMHN Board of Censors, after holding that role in an interim capacity from 1999-2002. Deb continues as an active member of the Brisbane branch.


Board Director: Julie Sharrock

Julie has worked for many years as a nurse in a range of settings within the public health system. She has a background in general and critical care nursing and has been a psychiatric nurse since 1987. She found her niche in Consultation-Liaison (CL) Psychiatry and as a nurse in this team she strives to improve outcomes in patient care from a mental health perspective.

Julie is a passionate clinician having worked in clinical practice for the majority of her professional life. Her Master of Health Science (psychiatric nursing) and her psychotherapy training have enhanced her work enormously and her to support people experiencing significant challenges in their lives. In addition, Julie has a strong interest in supporting staff, particularly nurses, to manage the often intense emotional work of nursing. Julie provides clinical supervision to general and mental health nurses and is a member of the newly formed Clinical Supervision special interest group.

Since joining the College in 1989 Julie has been an active member of the Victorian Branch as Secretary and as a Committee Member. She became a Fellow in 2004 and credentialed as a mental health nurse in 2008. Julie was instrumental in establishing the CL special interest group and this group now coordinates a very successful annual conference and email discussion group. Julie has undertaken evaluations of the CL nursing role and is committed to the further development of this role as an integral part of health service delivery. Her goal is for CL nursing to be a core component of health care.

Julie is particularly interested in supporting the development of specialty areas within the College as well as how the College, its branches and special interest groups, can maximise opportunities for providing professional development, networking, support and ambassadorship to mental health nurses and for mental health nursing.


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.


CEO: Adjunct Associate Professor Kim Ryan, Credentialed Mental Health Nurse

Adjunct Associate Professor Ryan was the first salaried Chief Executive Officer of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, commencing in the position in 2004. The ACMHN is the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised Credentialing body for mental health nurses in Australia. She is passionate about mental health and mental health nursing holding a more prominent position on health agendas at local, state, national and international levels and believes this can only be achieved with a strong, united, professional voice.

She is a Board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) and the Chair of Companion House – Assisting Survivors of Torture and Trauma. She was awarded the position of Adjunct Associate Professor by Sydney University in 2009 in recognition of her contribution to the nursing profession. In December 2016 Kim was awarded the inaugural Australian Mental Health Prize by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.