Orygen, in partnership with the UNSW Centre for Ideas, recently hosted a whirlwind visit from the incomparable Alastair Campbell, former director of strategy and communications to former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair. For many years Alastair has spoken publicly of his own experience with mental illness and has supported numerous mental health charities and campaigns as well as fighting for mental health service reform in the United Kingdom.
Alastair shared his unique insight into political strategy and how large-scale policy change is implemented. He eloquently described the unique position that Australia currently finds itself in, that is, at a potential tipping point where we can show the world that mental health system reform can be done, by creating proper mental health policy that supports a mental health system, rather than the mental illness crisis system that currently exists in most countries, including Australia.
Alastair was a guest panellist on Q&A, The Drum and secured major national and international print and broadcast media coverage. Alastair also met with the Premier of Victoria, the Hon Daniel Andrews MP and the Productivity Commission.
Along with the two public events, Orygen also hosted a special breakfast event at Parkville for key national mental health organisations who were challenged by Alastair to look at their own organisational strategies, and how to realise them. He also encouraged the mental health sector to strategically work together to create a revolution in mental health care.
Orygen staff were also fortunate to participate in a master class with Alastair who shared his strategic communications experience with humour.
Watch the Melbourne public event below.