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New Mental Health Commissioners appointed

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

20 May 2008

New Mental Health Commissioners appointed

Health Minister David Cunliffe today announced two new appointments to the Mental Health Commission including a new chair.

Dr Peter McGeorge has been appointed as Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission while Bice Awan has been appointed as a Mental Health Commissioner. Ray Watson has been reappointed as a Mental Health Commissioner.

Mr Cunliffe said Dr McGeorge is currently Director of Mental Health at St Vincents Hospital in Sydney and is also a previous Director of Mental Health Services in Auckland and Wellington.

Dr McGeorge has more than 30 years experience in the management of mental illness, and in the development and management of quality systems for mental health and addiction services.

Bice Awan is currently Chief Executive of Skylight, a non-profit organisation helping children, young people and their families through trauma, change, grief and loss.

“She has over 20 years high level health sector management experience in the areas of disability, chronic illness, trauma and rehabilitation, as well as strong governance experience in government and non-government sectors in New Zealand and overseas.

Both candidates have completed the necessary declarations as part of the cabinet approval process.

The Mental Health Commission was established in 1998 in response to the recommendations of the Mason Inquiry into Mental Health Services. The term of the Commission was due to end in 2007 but has recently been extended under the Mental Health Commission Amendment Act 2007 until August 2015.


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