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Mental Health Advocacy Lead

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Who Are We?

At MCRI we share a powerful vision; to re-imagine the future of child health. We are the home to many life-changing scientific discoveries. We believe that no question is too impossible to try and answer. We are renowned for our cutting-edge focus on early interventions, improved diagnosis, prevention and development of potential cures. Our success is founded on a philosophy of collaboration through a multi-disciplinary approach to solving the toughest questions in child health.

MCRI is a proud member of the Australian Network on Disability. We strive to foster an inclusive culture that is underpinned by equal opportunity for all and a culture based on respect, consideration and dignity.

About The Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH)

The Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) is a research group of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital, and an affiliate of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics. At CCCH we strive for health and developmental equity for all children. As a world-leading driver and innovator in child health and development we partner with families, communities, services and governments to extend our impact from the individual child to local, national and international communities. Our work is broad and deep. We do clinical care, research, evaluation, knowledge translation, training and development and advocacy.

The Mental Health Leadership Project (MHLP) was established in 2018 thanks to the vision and generosity of Danielle Besen. The focus of the MHLP was to drive an agenda for equitable mental health outcomes for all children and young people.

Over the past three years the MHLP has achieved significant outcomes:

  • The Melbourne Children's Campus Mental Health Strategy 2021-2025 has been funded for 2 years by the RCH Foundation.
  • Strong links have been established with the Victorian Departments of Education and Health.
  • In work commissioned by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, CCCH delivered detailed reports mapping child and adolescent mental health services to identify gaps and duplication of effort, and to help inform government policy and future funding. This has also been an important resource for the Royal Commission. Increased stakeholder engagement, relationship building, and overall coordination of our mental health work has led to the expansion of the Mental Health in Primary Schools (MHiPS) project, which was piloted in 10 Victorian primary schools in 2020 and will be trialled in an additional 16 schools in 2021.

Position Overview:

This new position, The Mental Health Advocacy Lead has been designed for a committed mid-career person to build upon the strong foundations of the MHLP, to lead mental health advocacy efforts across the Centre for Community Child Health and work with the Melbourne Children’s Campus to amplify mental health advocacy for children and adolescents. The Mental Health Advocacy Lead will be a dedicated position in Advocacy that will work with CCCH and the Melbourne Children’s Campus to influence government mental health policy and continue the system reform needed to make a sustained difference with a focus on prevention, equity and helping children and young people who are struggling with mental health difficulties.

To achieve this, a strategic and systems thinking approach to advocacy, research and translating knowledge to action is required.

In this position you will:

Leverage existing resources and mental health initiatives at MCRI/RCH to:

  • Drive the development of mental health Policy Briefs that are timely and evidence based with an associated dissemination strategy.
  • Coordinate mental health efforts across the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) to maximise impact, secure additional funding, and accelerate outcomes.

Work with the Melbourne Children’s Mental Health Strategy to develop a collaborative advocacy agenda that aligns with and is informed by:

  • The Royal Commission (Victorian and Federal).
  • The National Children's Mental Health Strategy.
  • Post COVID-19 policy responses.

Actively advocate with:

  • State and Federal Governments, services and communities to drive equitable Mental Health outcomes in our community.

Use the outcomes of the mapped child and adolescent mental health services (2018-20) to:

  • Develop a series of thought leadership publications.
  • Highlight the steps required to transform the current system into a comprehensive, equitable and sustainable mental health system for children and young people.
  • Inform and design specific projects to fill identified service gaps – such as Mental Health in Primary Schools – where the Government should target investment.
  • Advocate for increased (or re-focused) investment in the programs and services that evidence shows will lead to the biggest improvements in child and youth mental health.

Key Challenges

  • Establishing and maintaining positive, collaborative relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Prioritising the key activities of the advocacy agenda to ensure they are achieved within the given resources and time.
  • Coordinating mental health efforts across the Centre for Community Child Health.

Key Opportunities

  • Contributing to better child mental health outcomes for Australian children.
  • Contributing to thought leadership in child mental health with leadership on the Melbourne Children’s Campus.
  • Building your career.

Your responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating mental health efforts across the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) to maximise impact, secure additional funding, and accelerate outcomes.
  • Driving the development of mental health Policy Briefs that are timely and evidence based with an associated dissemination strategy.
  • Consulting and taking responsibility for new funding opportunities and lead the tender/grant application.
  • Working with the Melbourne Children’s Mental Health Strategy to develop a collaborative advocacy agenda.
  • Actively advocating with state and federal governments, services and communities to drive equitable mental health outcomes in our community.
  • Building upon the outcomes of the mapped child and adolescent mental health services (as detailed in position overview).
  • Sourcing, analysing and integrating research to inform policy and service.
  • Leading efforts to formulate evidence-based policies designed to improve child mental health outcomes.
  • Effectively communicating and influence a wide range of stakeholders including those across the Melbourne’s Children’s Campus and externally in the government, community and services in order to drive initiatives and impact outcomes.
  • Participating in advisory, steering groups and committees and present at internal and external forums and conferences.
  • Contributing to strategic planning in line with the Institute’s strategic plan.
  • Managing opportunities for translation across multiple projects and the team.
  • Engaging in the campus culture including professional development activities and attending internal/external campus conferences and seminars.
  • Awareness of, and adheres to, MCRI policy on Intellectual Property/Material Transfer Agreements/Contracts/Clinical and Public Health Outcomes.

You Demonstrate:

  • Masters/PhD qualification in health or a related discipline e.g. Science, Public Health.
  • An appropriate level of expertise gained from a combination of experience, training or professional accreditation.
  • Proven high level experience in working in a complex environment and navigating and negotiating with multiple organisations, community agencies and professional groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically with a systems focus.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills with experience communicating to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated independent judgement, initiative and influencing/advocacy skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including experience in the production of plain language materials and synthesising research.
  • Demonstrated track record of success in securing external competitive funding is advantageous.

On Offer:

  • 3 Year Contract.
  • Part Time Hours Available 22.8-30.4 (0.6-0.8 FTE).
  • Salary $108,599 - $131,815 per annum (pro rata) + salary packaging and super.
  • Employee Assistance Program, mindfulness, Learning & Development programs, bike facilities.

Apply Now!!

For a full list of responsibilities and the key selection criteria download the position description.

Only applicants who address the key selection criteria will be considered. In one document please place your cover letter, key selection criteria, and resume. Applications will only be considered when submitted via the MCRI website.

For specific questions not answered in the PD please contact Sharon Goldfeld sharon.goldfeld@mcri.edu.au using the subject line: Mental Health Advocacy Lead enquiry via EthicalJobs.

Click apply now to proceed with your application.

Position Reference: 28073.

On occasions where we receive a large number of applications, we may close the advert ahead of the publicised closing date. We would therefore advise that you submit your completed application as soon as possible.

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