Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Senior Australian of the Year


2014 VIC Senior Australian of the Year Nominee

Betty Kitchener OAM

State: Victoria

Mental Health Advocate

According to Betty Kitchener, mental health is everyone’s business – and everyone in the community can learn skills to help people with mental health problems.  As a young woman, Betty trained as a teacher and worked in special education.  She later studied and worked in psychology, counselling and nursing.  After experiencing several episodes of depression in which she was not well supported, Betty was motivated to expand community understanding and to develop programs that better support people with mental health issues.  Betty established the world’s first Mental Health First Aid program, a training course which provides initial help for people developing mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis.  The Chief Executive Officer of charity Mental Health First Aid Australia, Betty is also an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University and the author of many first aid manuals on mental health.  Today, Betty’s program is helping people in 20 countries around the world.