Professor Jackie Curtis

MBBS (Hons), FRANZCP
Executive Director

Professor Jackie Curtis

MBBS (Hons), FRANZCP
Executive Director

Professor Jackie Curtis was appointed inaugural Executive Director in April 2020. She is a psychiatrist and was previously the Clinical Director of Youth Mental Health at the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Her research and clinical work over several decades has focused on early psychosis and youth mental health, including improving the cardiometabolic health of people living with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, with the aim of reducing health inequalities and increasing life expectancy. Jackie developed and implemented the internationally recognised Keeping the Body in Mind program, demonstrating that antipsychotic-induced weight gain can be prevented with lifestyle intervention, and is the co-founder and Co-Chair of the iphYs international working group advocating for improved physical health for youth experiencing psychosis. An invited committee member of the World Health Organisation working group for the international guidelines: management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders, Dr Curtis is also a Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at UNSW Sydney.

Rachel Morell

Director Of Business Operations & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Rachel Morell

Director Of Business Operations & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Rachel transitioned from a career in accounting and finance spanning more than 18 years to retrain as an exercise physiologist, joining the Keeping the Body In Mind (KBIM) team as research co-ordinator in 2016 before completing a Master of Science by Research in Psychiatry in 2021. Rachel’s expertise in business operations and governance, together with a wealth of experience in the translation of mental health research into practice, brings a highly specialised skill set to the Mindgardens team, which is vital to the organisation’s mission. She is passionate about providing a supportive and commercially-aware environment to enable collaboration within the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network.

During 2022 Rachel was also appointed Co-Lead of MindLabs, in preparation for an intensified focus on training, research support and seeding grants to build skills across the Mindgardens network for effective multi-disciplinary research collaboration.

Catherine O’Donnell

Director Of Lived Experience Engagement & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Catherine O’Donnell

Director Of Lived Experience Engagement & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Catherine is responsible for ensuring the integration of lived experience perspectives in all Mindgardens research, clinical and education work programs. With a degree in adult education and qualifications in counselling, Catherine’s earlier career was in corporate training and human resources management. She brings her own lived experience of mental health challenges to her role, which involves developing the capacity and diversity of consumer representation and engaging with Mindgardens Members to support lived experience inclusion in their work.

During 2022 Catherine was also appointed Co-Lead of MindLabs, in preparation for an intensified focus on training, research support and seeding grants to build skills across the Mindgardens network for effective multi-disciplinary research collaboration.

Dr Hamish Fibbins

PhD
Translational Research Lead

Dr Hamish Fibbins

PhD
Translational Research Lead

Hamish is the Translational Research Lead for Mindgardens, working with research leads and clinical services to implement research into practice at the system and service levels. In addition to supporting the strategic development of the organisation, Hamish was appointed in 2022 to lead the future direction and management of the Mindgardens Psychosis Flagship and its research portfolio.

In addition to completing a PhD with the UNSW Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Hamish has worked clinically as a mental health exercise physiologist and in health services management as a quality improvement advisor. He currently holds a Conjoint Senior Lecturer position with UNSW, Sydney.

Kate Bool

Director Of Partnerships

Kate Bool

Director Of Partnerships

Kate is responsible for building a community of supporters who share a passion for improving the lives of people who experience mental health, drug and alcohol, and neurological disorders. With a background in both program delivery and partnership development, Kate has worked in Asia, the UK and Australia, joining Mindgardens in 2022. Her career has spanned the education, social care and international development sectors. Kate is passionate about the power of partnership to fuel ground-breaking research and transform the experience of people who need support. Inspired by the collective capabilities of Mindgardens’ member organisations, Kate is looking forward to forging connections between new and existing partners.

Julie Robotham

Communications

Julie Robotham

Communications

Julie Robotham is a specialist in strategic policy, advocacy and communications, focusing on health and human services.

Julie works as a consultant to universities, research institutes, government agencies and non-profits. As a Director of the NSW Mental Health Commission from 2013 to 2018, she led its successful advocacy for a strong consumer and carer voice in the reform of the state mental health system, through the delivery of impactful publications, campaigns and events.

Julie has a media background and was previously Health Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and is a graduate of the University of Oxford.

Maddie Gwynne

Finance Officer

Maddie Gwynne

Finance Officer

Maddie is the Finance Officer for Mindgardens, responsible for all finance-related tasks. She previously worked in corporate accounting for more than 10 years, most recently in the insurance sector where she assisted with all aspects of management reporting, from board reporting and business partnering to budgeting and forecasting.