After ten years of dedicated service to Neami, Board Director Douglas Holmes is stepping down from his role.
Douglas was a key player in Neami’s expansion into New South Wales and has been an integral part of the organisation’s success.
Douglas is a former Consumer Participation Officer at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, the Chairperson of Hearing Voices Network in NSW and is a strong advocate for consumer rights and peer work. In 2014 he received the TheMHS Exceptional Contribution award for his “unswerving dedication to the betterment of services to support consumer wellbeing”.
Arthur Papakotsias, Neami CEO, reflected on Douglas’ contribution to Neami over the years. “In a large not for profit, like Neami, there is a real need for the board to stay grounded and for Directors to have a consumer first focus - Doug has a great ability to do this and to remind us all of why we are doing what we are doing,” Arthur said.
Graeme Doidge, Neami Board member, shared his thoughts about Douglas as well. “Doug has bought to the Board at Neami the perspective of those who have used the mental health service system in Australia. This perspective has at times been challenging and pushed people out of their comfort zones, but always in a constructive way,” Graeme said.
Douglas was also very recently awarded with the Order of Australia over the Queen’s Birthday weekend for service to community health.
Sonia Law, Chair of the Neami Board, said about Douglas: “As a director of Neami for more than ten years, Doug has made a huge contribution to the organisation and the Mental Health sector more broadly. Doug has constantly reminded us of the importance of putting the consumer at the centre of our decision making. Whilst his humour and energy will be missed, his privileging of the lived experience of Neami's consumers will continue to inform our work.”
The organisation would like to extend our warmest gratitude to Douglas for his years of service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.