The QAMH inaugural Jobs and Skills Summit was held on Friday 18 November at the Queensland State Library. More than 70 members and stakeholders registered for the event including 34 online. QAMH CEO Jennifer Black officially opened the Summit.

The line-up of guest presenters included the Hon Emma McBride MP, federal Assistant Minister for Mental Health via video link, Brett Hall from the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Andy Bunn from Careerforce in New Zealand, Hayley Crumblin from TAFE Queensland, along with Sarah Childs and Amanda Habermann from QAMH.

Our three expert panel members included Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic, CEO from Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness Viv Kissane OAM, and The DaV’ange Group’s Principal Consultant David Bradford.

The summit brought together a great cross-section of experience and perspectives. The focus on workforce opened up the floor to plenty of ideas, some proven to have had great success interstate and overseas – and reinforced that current QAMH projects and partnerships are on track.

Key presentation highlights:

Hon Emma McBride MP
Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health

  • The 10-year National Mental Health Workforce strategy is close to being finalised. The federal government has agreed to take on six priority professions including First Nations mental health and suicide prevention workers and Lived Experience workforce.
  • The government is working closely with Brisbane Primary Health Network (PHN) to support operations of the National PHN and Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network which promotes peer workforce development.

Sarah Childs
Director – Engagement and Development

  • Challenges relating to the employment of a suitably qualified and skilled workforce that is sufficient in size to meet demand remains one of the most important issues facing the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing sector in 2022.
  • QAMH has committed to a Community Mental Health Workforce Strategy and Action Plan. Key project dates were outlined, along with a draft Issues Paper informed by several inquiries, reports and reviews. QAMH is seeking submissions from members and will publish a final version of the Issues Paper in February 2023. There will be additional state-wide consultation taking place mid next year.

Brett Hall

Acting Executive Director – Workforce Strategy
Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

  • The ‘Good people, Good Jobs’ Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032 overview was presented.
  • Focus areas include workforce participation, developing local job solutions, school to work transition, workforce attraction and retention and skilling Queenslanders now and in the future.
  • $70 million investment for the 2022 – 2025 Action Plan. New initiatives include $20 million workforce connect fund, increased support for micro-credentials and Pre-Apprenticeships and expanding the Gateway to Industry Schools Program and Diverse Queensland Workforce Program. 

Andy Bunn
Workplace Advisor, Careerforce, New Zealand

  • Careerforce supports employers across New Zealand’s health and wellbeing sectors to Run apprenticeship programs for both Lived Experience and Community support workers allowing them to achieve nationally recognised qualifications while supported on the job.
  • Brett’s passion for adapting his training to the learning style of the people he works with has resulted in a high rate of success for students in attaining their qualifications.

Hayley Crumlin
Curriculum Specialist, Tafe Queensland
Psychosocial Disability Workforce Micro-Credential

  • QAMH collaborated with Workability Queensland (through CSIA) and TAFE Queensland to apply for funding to develop and deliver a specific training package. Project funding was secured through the National Disability Insurance Scheme Training and Skills Support Strategy (NTSSS), an initiative of Workability Qld in September 2021.
  • The micro-credential is now available for free via the TAFE Queensland learning platform. This training will be valuable for the induction of new staff and other stakeholders supporting people experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges.

Amanda Habermann
QAMH Lived Experience Peer Project Coordinator

  • This project supported students enrolled in the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work at TAFE QLD – Gold Coast and Mooloolaba Campuses. Lived Experience Peer Mentors provided Individual, and group based mentoring support. They worked closely with TAFE QLD teachers delivering the course to enrich the students’ learning opportunities.
  • Michael Mawson and Simon Clough, QAMH Lived Experience Peer Mentors were acknowledged for their mentoring and support with TAFE students.
  • The project ran from March to the end of Term 4 in 2022. The final report will be presented to the Department Employment Small Business and Training (DESBT) and other key stakeholders early 2023. QAMH will use the report findings to continue to advocate for better training for the sector.


Hon Emma McBride MP video presentation

QAMH Jobs and Skills Summit presenter sliders


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Media contact:
Emma Griffiths
QAMH Director – Advocacy and Communications
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health
M: 0439 971 080