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 377  President: 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.

 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 377

Board Director: James Houghton

James Houghton completed all his nursing training in NZ and was originally a member of what was then the Australia New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses (ANZCMHN). In 2005 he moved to Melbourne and started working for North Western Mental Health (NWMH) auspiced under Melbourne Health at Orygen Youth Health in Footscray. After a brief spell working for Monash Health James came back to NWMH as Clinical Nurse Educator on John Cade L1 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2011.

Since 2016 he has been a Nurse/Training Consultant at the Mental Health Training and Development Unit (NWMH). For almost four years James has been the Chairperson of the Victorian Branch of the College and is a Fellow of the ACMHN. He is also an active member and committee member of the Australian Clinical Supervision Association.


ACMHN 2017 379

Board Director: John Hurley

John Hurley is a Professor of mental health at Southern Cross University and works clinically at Headspace Coffs Harbour as a credentialed mental health nurse. He has accumulated over 35 years’ experience as a mental health practitioner through developing and leading psychiatric crisis and home treatment services in both Australia and the United Kingdom. He has over 100 international peer reviewed journal and conference publications, is a Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.