Orygen’s Director of Strategy and Policy, Kerryn Pennell, has been inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
An initiative of the Victorian Government’s Office of Women’s Affairs, the honour roll recognises women who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and excellence in their field of expertise, interest, endeavour, or through their commitment to the community.
Ms Pennell said the honour was a reflection not only of her own work, but of the dedication of those around her too.
“I am surprised, humbled and honoured to be recognised in this way. The work that I do relies on a team of talented and skilled people and this honour recognises them and their contribution as well,” Ms Pennell said.
“Through this honour I hope that we can continue to shine a light on the ongoing and considerable needs of young people who experience challenges with mental health and distress.”
Announced by Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams MP, Ms Pennell was inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women on 13 November as someone who has brought about significant and lasting change in their area of expertise.
“My career has been committed to improving and reforming the system of care and I have chosen to promote and advocate for change in the mental health system. I have tried to support and enable women to embrace a career pathway that has change at its heart, so they can make a real and lasting impact through their work,” Ms Pennell said.
As Orygen’s Director, Strategy and Policy, Ms Pennell’s advocacy work has helped to bring about change within the youth mental health care system, and to improve supports for young people and their families locally, nationally and around the world.
Ms Pennell said she hoped to continue in this vein.
“I look forward to continuing to ensure that the voices of young people with experiences of mental health have been elevated, and that they are at the heart of the system – shaping it to better meet their needs and preferences,” Ms Pennell said.
“I will continue to focus on issues of mental health and social justice. There is still so much to be done. We need to continue to call for a revolution in mental health care to build a more compassionate, person-centered mental health care system.”