The Mental Health Foundation organized a Multicultural Gala Dinner at Lincoln of Toorak, 445 Toorak Road, Toorak on Saturday 20th July 2019. This event was one of the highlights of Victorian and National Mental Health Month 2019.

The event, which was organized to raise funds, was a huge success, with the venue filled to its full capacity and multiple acts of entertainment with huge participation from multicultural communities. It was refreshing to see a very talented young Indian Australian Janaki Devy, singing and yodelling while dancers from various multicultural backgrounds set the dance floor on fire.

A large number of dignitaries including Federal Assistant treasurer and Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar and Labor’s Senator Kimberley Kitching graced the occasion. Consul Generals of India, Malaysia and Indonesia were also in attendance.

Jim Goodin, Chair of Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA), outlined the progress of the ground and in particular its huge success last with Victorian Mental Health month which has now graduated to be National Mental Health month this year to be celebrated from 1 October to 31 October.

Speaking on the occasion, Jim light-heartedly highlighted his apprehensions when Vasan Srinivasan (who is the Vice Chair at MHFA) expressed the idea of going “national” with Mental Health Month.

Hearing Vasan’s ambitious plan of going “national” , Jim “consulted”  (read joked with) Emeritus Professor Bruce J. Tonge, Director at MHFA and a former Foundation Head, School of Psychology and Psychiatry and Head of the Discipline of Psychological Medicine at Monash University and also the Senior Clinical Advisor of the Mental Health Program of Monash Health at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Tonge “assured” Jim that Vasan was person of sound mind and body.

Thus the idea got the approval and they have gone ahead with a National Mental Health from October 1 – 31, this year.

The National Mental Health Month will be launched in Canberra on October 1.

Clearly Jim and Vasan have good chemistry working together and with the help of Australian community, they plan to tackle the problem of mental health in Australia, head on.

About Jim Goodin, Chairperson MHFA

Jim Goodin is a former Vice Principal with 30 years’ experience in regular, secondary and special needs schools. Currently the President of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia and co-chair of the Victorian Mental Health Month Advisory Committee, Jim is also committee member on many other Boards and Committees including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Chisholm Institute Course Advisory Committee and the Melbourne Bipolar Network. Jim was also the former Vice – President of the Australian National Association for Mental Health and former President and Secretary of the OCD Foundation (now ARCVic). Jim’s knowledge of mental illness comes from professional, voluntary and family experience.

About Vasan Srinivasan, Vice Chairperson MHFA

Vasan Srinivasan is the first person of Indian origin to be appointed as member of the Australian Multicultural Council.

  • Vasan is also on the Board of Mental Health Foundation of Australia
  • Former member – Victorian Government International Education Board
  • Vasan is the former President – Federation of Indian Association of Victoria (FIAV) 2009-2014
  • Vasan is the Former Member (2011-2014) of Victorian Government Ministerial Advisory Ethnic Business Council.
  • Vasan Srinivasan was awarded the MERETORIOUS SERVICE AWARD for excellence in multicultural affairs by the Victorian Government
  • Former chair of Confederation of Indian Australian Association Inc (CIAA)

With its head office at Suite J, 450 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Mental Health Foundation Australia can be contacted on 1300 643 287.

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming initiatives as part of the National and Victorian Mental Health month in the coming days and weeks.

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