In the Wharerātā meetings of 2018, Rose LeMay resigned as international chair. The Wharerātā Group in consensus chose two co-chairs, a man and woman, to share the leadership and responsibility. Please welcome Thomas Brideson from Australia and Carole Koha as the International Co-chairs of the Wharerātā Group.
Tom Brideson is a Kamilaroi/Gomeroi man from northwest New South Wales, Australia. For more than 20 years Tom has been actively involved in Aboriginal mental health developments including: health policy; social and emotional wellbeing; clinical mental health care; suicide prevention; and education. Tom has published articles regarding the Aboriginal mental health workforce and advocates for emerging degree based professions across all health and human services. Tom sits on a range of mental health leadership committees and projects to improve the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Tom is the state-wide coordinator of the NSW Aboriginal Mental Health Workforce Program, in the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales, Australia.
Message from Rose: It is with mixed feelings that I resign the role of international chair. The Wharerātā Group declaration and principles has helped to shape who I am, and I’m deeply grateful for all that has been shared with me. I deeply value the network of strong Indigenous mental health leaders and allies from across the world. My leadership and values have been significantly impacted through IIMHL, from the sharing of knowledge and mentoring by Sir Mason Durie, Helen Milroy, Carole Hopkins, Geoff Huggins, Martin Rogan, Ken Jue, Holly Echo-Hawk, Fran Sylvestri and Kathy Langlois, so many leaders who are part of the larger IIMHL circle. And my deepest thanks to Sir Mason Durie. I wore this role of Chair in constant awareness that Mason’s name continues to be associated with our work, and I’ve tried to live up to his call to leadership and inclusion. We are stronger together in the circle, Indigenous and allies. I really don’t have the words to reflect on how much the Wharerātā and IIMHL experience has helped me in how I can support wellness of communities. Thank you for working with Wharerātā, to build the mental health leadership circle stronger with us. I look forward to hearing about your future success in leading change.Bi’di