Life membership is an honour bestowed on members who have made significant contributions to the College and the Profession during their career.



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arthur_bubb1.jpgArthur Bubb

Life Member


I commenced my psychiatric training in May 1959 at St Augustines Mental Hospital, Chartham, Kent, England. On going back to England last year this is now a housing estate. They even used all the large dormitories for units! When I did my training we had to do three examinations during the three years. The first two were practical work e.g. bed making, trays and trolleys. The final was two papers on the same day lasting two hours each. The final Oral Examination lasted an hour. On getting the results I became a Staff Nurse working in different wards was until being seconded to a The Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, Kent, England to do my general training for eighteen months.

I was a successful applicant after interview at the John Connolly Hospital, at Rednal Birmingham in 1966. I was one of the charge nurses on night duty. It was in 1972 when I emigrated to Australia. I had already applied for a position at the Canberra hospital in the Psychiatric ward. I worked there for just one year. In 1973 I applied and was successful in the position at Woden Valley Hospital. In 1975 I commenced work as an educator at Canberra Hospital working with the nurses that did there nurse training in a two year course. I had never done teaching before this so it was all very new to me. The first thing I had to do was put together a whole eight week programme of theory and practice. I taught until 1977 when I went back on the psychiatric wards unfortunately this only lasted a short while because they closed down the psychiatric ward. I then worked on the general wards until 1982. I applied for a position as a Social Health Visitor at Phillip Health Centre I was successful at my interview and I was in that position this was until I was appointed a Level 111 nurse.

I moved to the Gold Coast in 1989 and was working at Miami Psychiatric Clinic. I worked in that clinic until the unit was split in two and half were then moved to “The Cottage” next to the Psychiatric Unit of the Gold Coast Hospital. We stayed there until we once again moved to “The High Street Complex” It was here I that finished full time employment 2000. I then worked for a further three years part time that was two days a week until 2003.

I have had a lot of experience over the years training in a very large hospital and learned the basics needed for to be a Psychiatric Nurse. Experience gained at the Therapeutic Community from 1966 -1072:

  • Group Work, Individual and telephone Counselling, Crisis Intervention, Follow up and Supportive Visiting, Assessment of Psychiatric Disorders.

On moving to Australia it was nursing in small units and skills I learned and updated on where from 1972 -1975:

  • Group Work, Psychodrama and Role Play Groups, Individual Counselling, Assertive training

Moving to Education and skills learned in 1975:

  • Teaching in Psychiatry, Some Psychology, Communication Skills, Sociology, Human Relations, and Physiology.

Community Nursing from 1982 -1989:

  • Continuation with Group Work, Counselling, Assertive training Relaxation Techniques, case Management, Continued Involvement with lectures to General Nurses and Post Graduate Nurses, Working with Parents and Children.

Other experience gained:

  • Communication Skills training. 1974 Wodern Valley Hospital
  • Critical incident Debriefing Course 1995 Gold Coast and Tweed Heads Critical Incident Debriefing Group
  • Three years experience as a Nurse Educator 1975 - 1978




Joan Christie

Life Member


The photo is of me working not so long ago with the Coast Guard Marine Radio service...this is voluntary work I have taken up since my retirement a few years back.

Followng my work as Nursing Advisor to the Mental Health Authority from 1969 to 1978, I worked as Director of Nursing at The Melbourne Clinic, a private psychiatric hospital...then as Head Therapist with the Kahlyn Psychotherapy Unit set up by the Clinic. I don't want to go on and on!!!!!....but ended up in 1983 as a pychotherapist in private practice and a member of the Victorian Association of Pychotherapy during which time I was their President for 2 years

I eventually retired in 2001 and began my work with Marine Rescue organizations as a radio operator - a position I still hold. I guess I love rescuing people!!!! And animals too, of course...being an animal activist is a side line.

I was fortunate enough to be the chairman of the first National Committee to set up a forum for mental health nurses to have a voice...resulting in the first Congress of Mental Health Nurses, and the development of the now famous College emblem in 1975. My greatest pride is being a life member of the Australian College of Mental Health College and following the great work that is done by the College.




Mike Hazelton

Life Member


Professor Mike Hazelton, RN BA MA PhD FACMHN is Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Professor of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health. He has worked in different parts of Australia, including Western Australia and Tasmania, and has had extensive experience developing and implementing nursing programs in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Mike has previously held the positions of Head of Nursing at the University of Tasmania, and Head of Nursing and Midwifery at Curtin University of Technology, in Western Australia. He was recently appointed Honorary Director of the Halla /Newcastle Centre for Problem Based Learning, Cheju Halla College, Republic of Korea and was Visiting Professor in the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds (United Kingdom) between May and September 2010.

Mike’s clinical work as Professor of Mental Health Nursing has included provision of various psychosocial and psycho-educational interventions. For instance, he has participated in the delivery of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for borderline personality disorder, in the Centre for Psychotherapy (James Fletcher Hospital), Hunter New England Area Health Service since 2005 (except 2010 when on study leave). He was also involved in a program providing group-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for depression to clients referred by local general practitioners in the Newcastle/Hunter region in 2006-9, and as an accredited mental health first aid trainer has taught mental health first aid to students, university staff and community members since 2009. Many of Mike’s research publications and presentations reflect his ongoing commitment to clinical work.

Mike has a research background in both qualitative and quantitative methods, has published widely on mental health and mental health nursing and has undertaken consultancies for various governments, both Commonwealth and State in Australia. He is a past Editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing and is currently a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Nursing and Health Sciences and Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis. He has supervised 10 PhD students to successful completion and been the recipient of a number of awards for mental health nursing research.

Significant professional responsibilities

  • Deputy Chair and Secretary, Australian Council of Deans of Nursing (1999-2001)
  • Editor, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing/International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (1999-2003)
  • President/Councillor, Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Tasmanian Branch (1994-1998)
  • Invited expert participant (mental health nursing) in the National Mental Health Education and Training Workshops (conducted by Deakin Human Services Australia for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care Services (1997-1998)
  • Member, NHMRC Grant Review Panel - GRP 6c – Nursing, Psychology and Health Science (2003-4)
  • Grant Application Reviewer, Queensland Nursing Council (2003-2010)
  • Chair, Program and Courses Accreditation Committee, Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (2008-Current )
  • Member, Caring Together Community and Clinicians and Expert Advisory Council (appointed by the New South Wales Minister for Health - 2009 to 30 June 2012)
  • Chair, Mental Health Nurse Education taskforce Implementation Group (2009-Current)
  • (A sub-Committee of the Mental Health Workforce Advisory Committee)

Selected publications (since 2000)

Clinton, M. & Hazelton, M. (2000) ‘Scoping the Australian mental health nursing workforce’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing 9, 2, 56-64.

Hazelton, M.J. & Clinton, M. (2001) Mental health consumers or citizens with mental health problems and disorders? In Henderson, S. and Petersen, A. Consuming health: The commodification of health care. Oxford: Routledge, 88-101.

Habibis, D., Hazelton, M., Schneider, R., Bowling, A. & Davidson, J. (2002) ‘A comparison of patient clinical and social outcomes before and after the introduction of an extended hours community mental health team’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 36, 392-398.

Morrall, P. & Hazelton, M. (Eds.) (2004) Mental health policy: Global policies and human rights. London: Whurr.

Hazelton, M. (2005) ‘Mental health, citizenship and human rights in four countries’ Health Sociology Review 14, 230-241.

Hazelton, M., Rossiter, R., Milner, J. (2006) ‘Managing the “unmanageable”: Training staff in the use of dialectical behaviour therapy for borderline personality disorder’ Contemporary Nurse 21, 1, 120-130.

Joyce T., Hazelton, M., McMillan, M. (2007) ‘Nurses with mental illness: Their workplace experiences’ International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 16, 6, 373-380.

Hazelton, M & Morrall, P. (2009) Mental health, the law and human rights. In: P. Barker (Ed.), Psychiatric mental health nursing: The craft of caring (Second Edition), London: Hodder Arnold, pp. 597-606.

Pich, J., Hazelton, M., Sundin, D., Kable, A. (2010) ‘Patient related violence against emergency department nurses: A review’ Nursing and Health Sciences 12, 268-274.

Stone, T., McMillan, M., Hazelton, M. (2010) ‘Swearing: Its prevalence in health care settings and impact on nursing practice’ Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 17, 528-534.

Hazelton, M., Rossiter, R., Sinclair, E. (2010). Lost in Translation – Bridging the Gap: Supporting Students New to Practice in A. Warne, S. McAndrew (eds.) Creative approaches to health and social care education Houndmills, Basingstroke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 213-229.

Hazelton, M & Morrall, P. (2011) Nursing, information technology and the humanization of health care in A. Cashion., R Cook (eds.) Evidence-based practice in nursing informatics: Concepts and applications Hersey: Medical Information Science Reference, pp. 135-149.

sandraofficial2.jpgSandra Hoot OAM

FACMHN, 2009 Life Member


In 2008 I retired after over 30 years working in mental health services, then last year I was honoured to be awarded life membership of the College. These were both significant events for me and I thought I would share with members some of the experiences I have had over of those thirty years.

I first entered the world of mental health as a trainee nurse in 1977 at the then Rydalmere Hospital. I was 29 years old and a mother of 2 daughters, Samantha and Sonja who were 9 and 7 years old respectively. I joined the HREA union (the precursor to the HSU) in my first week at Rydalmere Hospital and became active in the Union at a branch level. I joined the College (then the Congress of Mental Health Nurses) in 1978. After completing my Psychiatric Nurse training in 1980, I commenced training in the newly created Mental Retardation nursing certificate, also at Rydalmere Hospital. I backpacked through Central and South America for 4 months in 1981/82 in the company of (college member) Bob Weaver and two other friends. I was appointed to a Charge Nurse position (NUM) at Rydalmere Hospital in 1982 and then in 1984, was awarded a Departmental scholarship to undertake my General Nurse training at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), where I joined and became an active member of the RNSH branch of the NSWNA.

Whilst at RNSH, I unsuccessfully contested a state union election (HREA), however, I was elected as a member of the NSW Nurses Registration Board and as Vice President of the NSW Branch of the College. Rydalmere Hospital was earmarked as the first hospital to be closed as a result of the Richmond Report into Psychiatric and Mental Retardation Services - the former psychiatric part of the hospital is now a campus of the University of Western Sydney. In 1988 I was elected as President and Councillor for the NSW Branch of the College.

After completing my general nurse training I worked for a short period at Marsden Hospital (1986) as an Assistant Director of Nursing, before being offered a secondment to the NSW Department of Health to work with Dr Maurice Sainsbury processing recommendations of the recently constituted Mental Health Review Tribunal. I later worked in the Richmond Implementation Unit at the Department, during which time I completed my degree in Social Welfare at Charles Sturt University. After the Richmond Implementation Unit was disbanded, I became a Senior Policy Analyst in the Mental Health Branch of the Department. During this time I became the National Vice President of the College. Then, after 10 years in the Department, I resigned to become the Director of Mental Health at Bankstown Health Service.

In 1990 Pierre Baume became President and I became the Vice President of the College. Over the next 10 years the College underwent a transformation from a Congress to a College, a process that began with the name change at the 1991 AGM. At the same meeting members voted to adopt a new Constitution, which limited the terms of Presidents and Councillors to encourage turnover within the College Executive. Fellowship was introduced in 1992 - the same year Michael Clinton took on the task of redeveloping the College journal from a low volume in-house publication to a fully refereed international journal. The College, in conjunction with Gary Rowley, the then Director of Nursing at the Rozelle Hospital, established the Stan Alchin Award for the best clinical paper delivered at the College annual conference - Dianne Russell was the first winner at the Ballart Conference in 1992. Bob Weaver became College treasurer and established a research fund based on a $25,000 grant from the NSW Health Department, this fund grew to $200,000 by the time Bob resigned as treasurer.

The first Oration and Investiture occurred in Sydney in 1993 and at the AGM that year members voted to allow New Zealand to form a branch of the College, leading to a change of name to the Australian and New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses. I became College President at the AGM that year. In 1994 the first College monograph “Getting up to Speed with Evidence Based Practice” was written by Gerry Farrell of the University of Tasmania and a Research Summit, convened by the College and chaired by Michael Clinton, was held in Canberra. The revised College Standards of Practice was published in 1994 and in 1995, the first International Conference was convened, in Canberra, by Jon Chesterson. Georgina Skews on behalf of the College successfully secured funds from the NSW Department of Health to undertake the development of a set of Clinical Indicators for Mental Health Nursing, which the College then published.

About this time I was seconded to Liverpool Fairfield Mental Health Services as an internal consultant to review services; I was later appointed as the Director of Mental Health there. By the time my term as College President ended in 1997 plans were underway to establish credentialing of nurses and accreditation of courses by the College and I took on the role of President of the Professional Association for Nurses in Developmental Disability Nursing (PANDDA) for several years. I was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2001. I retired from the position of Director of Operations, Area Mental Health Services in Sydney South West Area Health Service in 2008. I was appointed as Censor in Chief in 2006 ending in 2009, when I was awarded Life Membership.

My philosophy has always been to get involved to improve and if necessary change things. I have been privileged to work with many wonderful people both within the services I have worked in and through my involvement with the College. To those nurses who supported and assisted me to bring about the changes I have been involved in, my heartfelt thanks. To my beautiful daughters Samantha and Sonja, I love you and thanks for putting up with an all too often absent Mum.




Robert Ernest Iverson OAM

FACMHN, Life Member

Fellow of ACMHN, RMDN, RGN, RPN, Dip NEd, GDip Health Admin.
Foundation member # 30

I was the South Aust. representative on the planning committee of the first Sydney Convention of the Australia Congress of Mental Health Nurses and then the chairman of the Squibb Scholarship Selection Panel at the next Convention in Broadbeach Qld. On the Formation of the Council at that Convention I became the treasurer and continued in that role for many years.

I also became treasurer of the SA Branch, was treasure for the first SA convention and Convenor for the second SA convention. I attended every conference until my retirement in 1995!

In 1981 I visited mental hospitals in USA and brought back their Standards of Mental Health Nursing which the Council used as a template for the first Standards document produced by the ACMHN. I was also on the Council which attended the first convention in Aukland which initiated the formation of the Australian and NZ College of Mental Health Nurses. In 2006 I was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to mental health. Professionally I trained as a Primary School teacher and taught in SA country schools for 4 years before transferring to the Hospitals Department and working with mentally retarded children at Hillcrest Hospital . I then trained as a Mental Deficiency Nurse and received the State Gold medal for top marks in my final exams.
I then became a tutor at the new Strathmont Centre School of Nursing before transferring to the Royal Adelaide Hospital to complete my General Nurse training, after which I transferred to Enfield Hospital to do my Psychiatric Nursing Certificate. I was then granted study leave to attend the College of Nursing Australia to complete a Diploma in Nurse Education, after which I became a NurseEducator at Glenside Hospital and taught Psychiatric Nursing for 4 years. During this time I studied at the University of SA and gained a Graduate Diploma in Health Administration. In this role I was a member of the curriculum planning committee for the development of University Nursing Courses especially for the mental health component.

I was subsequently appointed as Deputy Director of Nursing at Hillcrest Hospital and helped developed a community mental health service covering the country areas of SA from Port Augusta to Mount Gambier. On the closure of Hillcrest Hospital I worked at Mental Health HQ to plan the redeployment of nursing staff across the state services and then became deputy director of Nursing at Glenside Hospital. Upon the formation of regional Areas in SA, I became the Senior Nurse in the Southern Region and acted as Director of the region in the absence of the appointed Director. In 1995 I retired when Mental Health Services were amalgamated with General Health. I continued with involvement in SA Branch activities until my health declined in 2008.


claireleessmlsoloClaire Lees

2006 Life Member

I completed my Mental Health Nursing Training at the internationally acclaimed Claybury Hospital, Woodford Bridge, Essex, England in 1963 before coming to Australia as a “£10 Pom” with my husband and two children. We arrived in Brisbane on the 22nd February 1964 and later had three more children. We now have ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

I first worked at Mount Olivet Hospital, Kangaroo Point (now St Vincents), then at Marooma Private Hospital, Windsor, which was the only private psychiatric hospital in Queensland at the time. I transferred with them to Belmont Private Hospital in 1973. One day I was called into the office and was told I was to be their first Charge Nurse, responsible for B and C Wings. While at Belmont I did 480 hours of psychodrama training and 100 hours of Family Therapy training.

I then worked as a Supervisor at New Farm Clinic before going to the Gold Coast Hospital to complete my General Nursing Training, graduating in July 1984. I returned to New Farm Clinic for a while then worked at the Mater Childrens Hospital for almost 5 years, mostly in charge of the psychiatric ward, and completed the Paediatric Nursing Course at the Royal Childrens Hospital, Brisbane, graduating on 23rd September 1988.

On 6th November 1989 I went to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for 3 years as a nurse educator for the Basic General Nursing Course teaching in the Mental Health, Psychiatry, Psychology, Law, Paediatric, and Digestive System strands. After hospital based training finished in July I993 I held a variety of positions – coordinator for the hospital orientation course, coordinator of the graduate nurse course, project manager, ward manager for mental health, and also acted as Assistant Director of Education and Assistant Director for Mental Health. I retired in July 2004 but remained a Registered Nurse until July 2009.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Australian Comparative Studies from Griffith University, Nathan in April 1994, and a Master of Health Science - Nursing (Mental Health) from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst in April 1999.

My wisest decision was becoming a Foundation Member of the Australian Congress of Mental Health Nurses (now the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc) in 1978, and I am is very proud of being member number 32. I was also a Foundation member of the Queensland Branch, and was Branch Secretary 1979 – 1981 and 1985 – 1993, also National Conference Secretary in 1978, 1984 and 1989.

I have found it so inspiring over the years witnessing the development of the College into the professional and well esteemed body it is today, and knowing I was part of its beginning. My proudest and most cherished possession, apart from my family, is the Life Membership I was awarded on the 4th October 2006 at Alice Springs.


di marchoni

Di Marchoni

Life Member



Meryl Caldwell-Smith OAM

FACMHN, Life Member

Member number 0004. Member, Fellow, Life Member, Patron. Served as Archivist; initial Chief Censor then member of the Board of Censors.

Born in 1926 in Melbourne Meryl went straight to nursing from school in 1945, having gained university entrance but declining to take that route. Her nursing career took her to country Victoria, NSW, NZ, Vancouver, BC, and UK. She held three positions as Matron, 1954-59, Karitane Mothercraft Training Centre; Superintendent of Nursing Grosvenor Hospital, 1966-75, and Marsden Hospital 1975-78. In early 1978 Meryl was appointed Chairman of the NSW Nurses Registration Board and later that year the Director of the Division of Nursing NSW Department of Health, followed by Chief Nursing Officer SES Nursing Reserve (NSW), in early 1979.

These positions she held until her retirement in October 1986.

Meryl held certificates in General (Vic.); Midwifery (Vic.); Infant Welfare (Vic.); Mental Retardation (NSW); Premature Baby Care (UK); Research (NSW); Administration Diploma (NSW). She was a Florence Nightingale Scholar in 1962 to attend the NSW College of Nursing; Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow in 1971to study aspects of mental retardation care and staff training and was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in 1985. Throughout her more senior years she was an active participant in many nursing organisations, serving in office and later becoming a Life or Honorary Member

In 1984 Meryl attended the first conference of “the Congress” held at Broadbeach Qld, (Later it was known as the Australian and NZ College of Mental Health Nurses, then the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.) Nurses from the Psychiatric, Geriatric and Mental Retardation fields in Australia were to develop the first constitution at this conference. And Annual Conferences were then planned in different areas of Australia as a local membership stimulus

Nurses were initially reticent to bring their knowledge to the conference platform; few were university graduates and had no confidence in expressing their knowledge or doing research in their practical setting. For several conferences a segment of Mini-Papers was introduced – this had a financial carrot for those papers accepted. This led a number of presenters on to greater things. Yes, and Meryl gave a talk on aspects of Mental Retardation Nursing (the title of which she now can’t remember!). With the gradual changes in nurse education over subsequent years the conferences have seen a wealth of highly provocative and informative papers presented by its members.

The college now, along with the general trend, uses the term ‘Mental Health’, not psychiatry. There are many members who hold the hospital based psychiatric nursing certificate, no members now with the Geriatric Certificate only and possibly only two which includes Meryl, who hold the Mental Retardation Certificate but no psychiatric qualifications.

Meryl became a Fellow of the College at the first Investiture of Fellows (1993) and was the first Life Member, announced at the earlier conference in Manly NSW in 1988. She has been involved with the Committee of Censors since the beginning, assessing applications for Fellowship (initially membership applications also, but not recently for these).

Meryl for many years also sorted, collated and documented the college papers for archiving until the National Office was commenced. Later she became the first Patron of the College. Meryl held this position until 2007 when she asked to be relieved of the position as she could not guarantee continued attendance at each conference- something she believed imperative for a Patron, and which she had achieved throughout all the years She then did not attend the conference in Cairns (2007) and Tasmania (2010). But overall an amazing record.

For many years Meryl was known to sit knitting throughout the proceedings and even so was able to give the summing up at the end when allocated this task – something since removed from the programme. In more recent years she has given up knitting with contractures of her fingers; she tried crossstich but this was often not able to be seen in the dim light of conference proceedings. She explained that she needed to be doing something to keep awake as she always found it so easy to fall asleep when just sitting ( particularly after a late night!!) Dropping off to sleep had nothing to do with the quality of the presentations but it was not only rude – it was generally uncomfortable and resulted in a stiff neck!!

Meryl has contributed a lot to the College and continued on the Board of Censors until 2011when the Board ceased. Her interests are diverse and some are locally based in the Southern Highlands – her retirement patch. She is the Secretary and Music Librarian for a local choir where she sings alto and has been member since 1988; they have a full schedule of public concerts and presentations in the local nursing homes, at Adult Day Care Centres and at Tulip Time. She has been a member of Soroptimist International since 1956 and is still active both locally, regionally, and internationally, and has held office to the highest levels. Soroptimist International is a worldwide service organisation for business and professional women which is committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong peaceful communities worldwide.

Meryl had a large area of garden around her house, needing professional help to maintain it in later years;this prompted a down-sizing move in February 2012 to a cottage in a retirement village nearby. Meryl had a succession of dogs since retiring; her last Jack Russell died in May 2011 and in August was replaced by an apricot coloured cat from the Animal Shelter. They both like the small garden in the sunny new cottage in Bowral and enjoy a heated house in the winter.




Pat Bradley

Life Member









Bob Weaver

Life Member










Fay Franks Weniger

Life Member


Anne Martin

Life Member


Cyril Urlings

Life Member


Mary Johnson

Life Member


Raymond Dorn

FACMHN, Life Member


John Arnts

FACMHN, Life Member


Dianne Russell

FACMHN, Life Member


Gina Gregory

FACMHN, Life Member


Gary Rowley

FACMHN, Life Member


Kevin Webster

FACMHN, Life Member