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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 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.


 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. 


ACMHN 2017 373  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.


Finance, Audit and Risk Committee


The Finance, Audit and Risk Committee is appointed by the ACMHN Board and reports directly to the Board. It has jurisdiction across all ACMHN activities and ACMHN Officers are required to support the Committee in the achievement of its objectives. The Committee does not, however, have any Executive powers, but it may seek independent advice and support when it considers it is warranted and following consultation with the Chief Executive and/or Board.

 The primary function (be delegated power of the ACMHN Board of Directors) of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee is to:

  • Improve the quality of financial and risk management within the ACMHN
  • Provide greater accountability and oversight of ACMHN’s financial management and accounting practices
  • Take an active interest in and promote an ethical culture within the ACMHN, including independently overseeing corporate conduct, practices and procedures (e.g. conflicts of interest issues)
  • Provide a forum where the views of Board members, organisational members, executive management and auditors can be discussed and assessed in relation to finance, governance and risk management.
  • Examine selected projects or issues as directed by the Board


College Profile


We wish to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners and custodians of land on which the College National Office stands


About the College

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) is the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised credentialing body for mental health nurses in Australia.

It seeks to represent the profession at all levels of government and across all health service sectors. In addition, the ACMHN sets standards for practice, supports mental health nursing research and provides a forum for collegial support, networking and ongoing professional development for its members. Importantly, the ACMHN also works to promote public confidence in and professional recognition of mental health nursing.



Setting the Standard through the pursuit of excellence in Mental Health Nursing


Vision Statement

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is the pre-eminent and authoritative voice of the mental health nursing profession in Australia. It provides leadership to, and advocacy for, mental health issues across the mental health sector and nursing, and sets national standards of practice in mental health nursing.


Value Statement

Read the College's Value Statement



Read the Governance Charter



Read the Consitution



Read the By-laws


Strategic Plan

Download the Strategic Plan for 2016 - 2019

Download the Strategic Plan for 2013 - 2015




 ACMHN 2017 369         ACMHN 2017 373  

Eimear Muir-Cochrane

Kim Ryan
Chief Executive Officer, Adj. Assoc. Professor


Philosophy of the ACMHN

The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. believes that mental health nursing is a unique interpersonal process, which promotes and maintains behaviours that contribute to integrated functioning for individuals and communities.

Mental health nursing is therapeutic in itself in the caring, honest and trusting relationship it conveys. Mental health nursing embodies the concept of caring by supporting clients who are unable to maintain mental, social or physical health functions for themselves and empowers the client to take an active role in self-advocacy and self-care.

Caring extends to self and peers, as an active factor in promoting mental health.


Objectives of the ACMHN

The Objectives of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses are to:

  • Enhance the mental health of the community through the pursuit of efforts to improve service and care delivery to those affected by mental illness and disorder and to promote the prevention of mental illness and disorder particularly through the profession of mental health nursing
  • Provide professional leadership and authority as the peak body for mental health nurses in Australia;
  • Provide continuing professional education and practice development in mental health nursing;
  • Ensure mental health nursing issues and matters remain a focal point on all agendas in mental health discussions and forums at local, state and national levels;
  • Set national standards of practice and promote best practice in mental health Nursing
  • Provide strategic leadership to influence legislative, statutory and funding bodies and key stakeholders in order to promote the practice and image of mental health nursing as a profession
  • Build and maintain membership, professional capacity and infrastructure
  • Maintain position as a non-industrial and non-sectarian organisation that is not aligned with any political party.
  • Promote public confidence and professional recognition of the services provided by mental health nurses.
  • Encourage professional accountability, autonomy and partnership of mental health nurses.
  • Provide a forum for collegial support, networking and collaboration amongst mental health nurses.
  • Facilitate and disseminate research and continuing practice development in mental health nursing and health care delivery.
  • Represent the profession and provide advice to consumer and carer agencies, government and non-government sectors, community groups and the general public.
  • Participate in policy development concerning the profession of mental health nursing, mental health workforce, health care delivery, promotion of mental health, and prevention of mental illness and disability.