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Skylight Chief Executive Appointed

News Release 3 July 2008

Skylight Chief Executive Appointed

The chief executive of Skylight, Bice Awan, is one of three new Commissioners recently appointed to the Mental Health Commission by the Minister of Health, Hon. David Cunliffe.

The Children's Grief Centre Charitable Trust, which operates as Skylight, provides support for children, young persons and their families facing all kinds of change, loss and grief issues, regardless of its cause. Established nearly 10 years ago, Bice was Skylight’s first employee.

Bice has over 30 years of experience in the health and disability sector, having worked in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. This has included senior positions with the Ontario Worker's Compensation Board, as Director of Rehabilitation in a 2,500 bed teaching hospital in Canada and here in New Zealand for the ACC.

Bice’s qualifications include a BA (Commerce) from Strathclyde University in Scotland, a BA (Hons) in Health Studies from York University in Canada and a MBA (Health Option) from Massey University.

The Mental Health Commission was established in response to the recommendations of the 1996 Mason Inquiry into mental health services. The Commission is an autonomous crown entity that provides independent advice to the Minister of Health, monitors implementation of the national mental health strategy and acts as an advocate for the interests of mental health service users and their families.

The three new Commissioners; Dr Peter McGeorge, the Chair of the Commission, Ray Watson and Bice Awan are responsible for the governance of the Commission and for setting its strategic direction.


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