Leading technology entrepreneur and corporate advisor Matt Berriman has today been appointed as Chair of Mental Health Australia, replacing Robyn Kruk AO.
Mr Berriman has 15 plus years’ experience in start-up businesses as a founder, executive and investor and has advised some of Australia’s largest corporate organisations, including NewsCorp and Commonwealth Bank.
He joins Mental Health Australia with sector and lived experience, including advising Beyond Blue through its 2020 transformation and strategic reset, after bravely announcing a bipolar disorder diagnosis in 2018.
The 37-year-old former professional cricketer said he was humbled by the opportunity to lead Mental Health Australia into a new era at such a critical juncture.
“COVID-19 has created an inflection point and the mental health of Australians is the new, and somewhat hidden, pandemic,” Mr Berriman said.
“More than ever, our nation needs a multi-faceted focus on mental health led by a united sector that engages stakeholders who are committed to creating the best mental health system in the world.
“A light has been shone on a myriad of mental health challenges in recent times, but we’ve also had a line-in-the-sand moment to reflect, review and now re-think how the sector can reform.
“There is a need for change that drives innovation and the establishment of solutions that will enable better support for current and future generations. As an entrepreneur, solving problems is in my DNA and there is no larger problem facing Australians at the moment than our mental health.
“I am honoured to lead Mental Health Australia after the ever so impactful Robyn Kruk and am looking forward to meeting with, and listening to, the organisation’s directors, employees, members, partners and broader stakeholders and sector over the coming weeks and months as, together, we develop a refreshed approach.”
Robyn Kruk AO, who has been a director of Mental Health Australia for the past six years and served as Chair since August 2019, welcomed Mr Berriman’s appointment.
“I leave Mental Health Australia with a sense of sadness, but also pride, courtesy of the organisation’s efforts and achievements over the years,” Ms Kruk said.
“More importantly, though, I’m confident about the future, as Matt’s business experience, digital acumen, lived experience and youthful and contemporary mindset will add a different dimension to the existing expertise and knowledge within the organisation’s membership network.
“There’s no doubt Mental Health Australia will continue as a trusted leader within the mental health ecosystem and work with the broader sector to realise its vision of mentally healthy people and mentally healthy communities.
“I would like to extend my huge thanks to past and present Board members and staff at Mental Health Australia for their previous and ongoing support and hard work.”
Mr Berriman will take over from Ms Kruk following Mental Health Australia’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 8 December in Canberra.
Mental Health Australia would like to acknowledge the pro-bono contribution of leading global advisory and executive search firm Egon Zehnder, which assisted in the recruitment of the new Chair.