About our Network

Working together to shape mental health service delivery

About our Network

Working together to shape mental health service delivery

Network History

In 2014 the Victorian DHHS invested considerable resources into the implementation of the VMHIL Project. Area Mental Health Services nominated teams of four individuals; one each from Nursing, Allied Health, Lived Experience and Medical, to form an interprofessional leadership team.

These newly established teams participated in a specifically designed leadership program that focused on developing collaborative leadership. All three cohorts finished the program in 2016, and have since developed into a Network of interprofessional leaders across Victoria.

Network members recognise that their commitment to, and involvement in, this initiative can provide them with unique experiences that support, develop and connect them as mental health leaders. There are significant advantages in being a member, and thus being in a position to collectively shape mental health service delivery.

To find out more download the VMHILN brochure

Steering Committee Members

    RIKA DELANEY Coordinator

    Rika started working at Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) in September 2014 as a Recovery Coach / Consumer Consultant sitting under the Mental Health Professional Development Unit. As of 1st July 2017 Rika now sits under the Special and Therapeutic Program, where she trains clinicians and is the Coordinator for the LRH’s recovery model – the Optimal Health Program (OHP).

    DR SUBHAS DAS Deputy Coordinator

    Dr Subhash Chandra Das currently works at Goulburn Valley Area Mental Health Service as a Consultant Psychiatrist.
    He works in a  multidisciplinary team and has a strong interest in continuity of care. He has been involved with the consumer and carer committee  of GV Health, which has helped him to better understand patient focused therapy.
    Subhash is actively involved with The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrist (RANZCP) in the Policy and Protocol Committee and the Clinical Governance Risk Committee.


    Violeta Peterson commenced in her role of Carer Consultant with Alfred Psychiatry in 2009 and has recently been appointed to the position of FaPMI Coordinator (Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness). Violeta shares her compassion, knowledge and insight of parental mental illness to support consumers and carers accessing mental health services as well as providing a family focused approach to workforce development and training.

    KYLIE BOUCHER Deputy Sectretary

    Kylie is a Clinical Nurse Educator in Austin Health’s Mental Health CSU. She is passionate about Supported Decision-Making and equipping consumers, staff and services with the knowledge and tools they need to genuinely put this into practice. Kylie loves sharing information and learning from others, whether they are mental health consumer activists on Twitter, other MH educators at Centre for Psychiatric Nursing 4/5 forums or VMHILN members.

    PAIGE HARBOR Communications Officer

    Paige has worked at Goulburn Valley Area Mental Health Service for 5 years. Currently she is a case manager for the Aged Psychiatric Assessment and Treatment Team. Paige is passionate about recovery focused care in mental health and providing hope to consumers. Paige enjoys working collaboratively and has an interest in service development at a documentation and policy/procedure level.

    MICHELLE SHANTI Deputy Communication Officer

    Michelle has worked at Peninsula Health Mental Health Service since 2014, as the Consumer Consultant. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science (with a major in Disabilities) from Deakin University.  Michelle is passionate about providing education and increasing community awareness about mental health, diversity and equality to communities, clients, carers/families, clinical/medical students and clinicians. She is also passionate about providing individual and group advocacy.


    Jo has worked in public mental health for 14 years. She has worked in a variety of settings and more recently has held the role of Mental Health Tribunal Clinical Coordinator at NWAMHS. Jo also has significant experience in clinical coordination roles and project management. She was originally a member of the VMHIL Network from Cohort one. She has been in the role of Project Manager since December 2016.

    DR ROSEMARY CHARLESTON Manager, Western Cluster

    Rosemary has worked in health for over 30 years, primarily in the mental health sector. She has worked in public and private areas, and also in the University sector. For the past 15 years Rosemary’s main focus has been in mental health workforce development and policy reform, with the past nine years as the manager of the Western Victorian Mental Health Learning and Development Cluster.

    HENRIQUE VAN-DUNEM Consumer Project Officer

    Over the last five years Henrique has been involved in the Advanced Clinicians Training in Dual Diagnosis and Recovery. Henrique has a Diploma of Community Development from RMIT University and is highly regarded as a senior consumer worker with experience in developing and delivering training to consumers, carers and clinicians.  Henrique has been involved in several committees and panels for VMIAC, Melbourne Health, Victorian Transcultural Mental Health, Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission and NEAMI National.

    AMANDA PATTIE Administration Officer

    Amanda Pattie is the Administration Officer for both Western Cluster and the VMHILN.
    Amanda commenced work with the VMHILN in July 2018. She original comes from a background in hospitality. Since starting work with the VMHILN and Western Cluster she has learnt a lot about mental health services. Amanda assists with day to day administration and is the go to person in the office.


The Network structures ensure that all partners have an opportunity to influence and shape the work activities and direction of our group. Developing the Network work plan is a collaborative process that engages all members. We also have a strong and productive relationship with the DHHS as the funding body.