About the Commission

On 24 February 2019, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley released the terms of reference and announced the appointment of Penny Armytage as the Chair of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (the Commission).

Ms Armytage is joined by Dr Alex Cockram, Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor Bernadette McSherry as the Commissioners. See Key Documents for the Commission’s terms of reference.

This website outlines how the Commission works and the way the Commission is to be conducted. This information will be updated regularly during the course of the Commission.

Expert Advisory Committee

An Expert Advisory Committee has been established to provide advice to the Commission. The Committee chaired by Professor Patrick McGorry AO.

Professor McGorry AO will be joined by Professor James Ogloff AM, Ms Anne Doherty, Dr Gerry Naughtin, Ms Erandathie Jayakody, Mr Julian Gardner AM, Ms Honor Eastly and Mr Jim Williamson as Committee members.

The Committee brings a wealth of experience to the Commission, including lived and extensive professional and sector experience with Victoria's mental health system. The Committee will provide expert advice on any matters necessary to inform its inquiry.

See Key Documents for the Expert Advisory Committee’s terms of reference.

Our purpose

The Commission wants to provide the community with a clear and ambitious set of actions that will change Victoria’s mental health system and enable Victorians to experience their best mental health now and into the future.

We will make a sustained effort to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and promote more inclusive communities throughout Victoria.

To develop our findings and recommendations, we will engage widely with Victorian communities and encourage people to share their experiences and suggestions.

The Commission will focus on identifying and solving system-wide issues, rather than investigating individual cases or incidents.

Our guiding principles

We commit to:

Respecting the expertise of people living with mental illness – we value and respect the significant contribution that people living with mental illness have to offer and will actively encourage their participation and listen to their experiences and suggestions. We recognise that future generations will benefit from the experiences and ideas shared by people living with mental illness.

Inclusive engagement – we will listen and deeply engage with a broad range of people from different backgrounds and communities in Victoria, so that our findings and recommendations are centred on people’s experiences and suggestions for change.

Open mindedness – we will be receptive and open to the views and knowledge shared by anyone or any organisation that wishes to participate. We will conduct the Commission without bias, favouritism or self-interest.

Evidence based and outcomes focussed – we will collect and analyse the best available evidence to form our findings and recommendations, developing practical solutions that work on the ground.

Support to share experiences and suggestions we recognise that people have important contributions to make and will ensure supports are available to those who wish to participate and contribute.

Integrity, accountability and transparency – we will be honest and authentic in our interactions. We will communicate transparently and openly and make a sustained effort to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

The Commissioners

The Commission is led by Penny Armytage as Chair, supported by Commissioners Professor Allan Fels AO, Dr Alex Cockram and Professor Bernadette McSherry.

Penny Armytage


Professor Allan Fels AO


Dr Alex Cockram


Professor Bernadette McSherry