Tandem Board


As a Not For Profit and Registered Charity, Tandem is governed by a Board. The Board is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting after nominations have been submitted via expression of interest prior to this meeting.

To enquire about Tandem Board Member vacancies and the process to express interest, please email the Executive Director, Julien McDonald E: julien.mcdonald@tandemcarers.org.au

The Board

Colin Fryer (Chair)

Retired engineer, business manager and CEO, with experience in business management and in budgeting and financial reporting of projects and business entities.

Colin has been a family carer with experience of adolescent and adult mental health services in metropolitan Melbourne and the private sector. Colin has a particular interest in the needs of young people with mental illness and in the support of their families.

Director of SANE Australia

President of the West St Kilda Residents Association.

Colin has served on the executive of Tandem since 2007.

Colin wants to see the Network continue to have a strong influence in the Victorian mental health system, with representation from a wide range of member organisations and with more interaction with carers in rural and regional areas. Financial stability will be a key factor for the board to work on in the next few years.


Louise Phillips (Deputy Chair)

Louise has been involved with Grow as an ordinary member since 1999. At this time a close family member became mentally unwell and Louise found herself struggling to cope with her own anxiety and depression associated with her family members’ suicide attempt and subsequent decline into on-going mental illness. During her time as a Grow member, and as part of her own recovery pathway, Louise undertook a variety of voluntary Leadership roles within Grow, including that of support group Organizer, and positions on the Grow Victorian/Tasmanian Branch Program Team and Branch Management Team.

Louise has 20 years organizational and business experience working for a number of private companies. Louise established and managed the Library Division of the Foreign Language Bookshop. Responsibilities in this role included business development, managing staff and also ensuring she was current with cultural practices of non-English speaking communities within Australia and New Zealand. One of the key roles was the successful building of strong client relationships at a management level.

Louise commenced employment with Grow in February 2009 and is currently the Coordinator of Grow – Better Together Family and Carer Programs. In this capacity Louise facilitates a number of Grow – Better Together carer support groups, and is dedicated to being a voice for the members of these groups. These carers have a wide range of experiences in caring for a loved one with a mental illness, and Louise believes that being a member of the VMHCN Board will allow her to be their voice to sharing both the barriers and the successes experienced in their caring role.


Darryl Mischlewski (Treasurer)

Darryl runs a patent attorney practice, with experience as a managing partner, a company director and membership of government and professional association boards. He has acted as a carer for a spouse with mental illness and a son with schizophrenia and a daughter with an anxiety disorder. Darryl also convenes a mental illness carer support group. 



Estelle Malseed

Estelle is an experienced carer who actively supports her son and his wife, both with diagnosis of mental illness. Estelle holds a BA and Diploma Social Studies (Melbourne University) and worked as a social worker from 1961 to 1988: She has specialist experience in research, advocacy and family support at the Brotherhood of St Lawrence, the Institute of Economic and Social Research at Melbourne University and the Victorian Schizophrenia Fellowship (now MIF).

Estelle has been the owner/manager of an aquaculture tourism business from 1988. This has been combined with consistent voluntary activity within the Mental Health Sector, including, MIF on the Help Line, facilitator of Well Ways Duo, MIF Directions Committee, North West Regional Mental Health CAG and CCAG, carer representative on their Restructure of Service, PARK, and redesign of Triage /Catt service and the very recent restructure of service.

Estelle is the Secretary of the Australian Borderline Personality Disorder Foundation.


Lisa Sweeney

Lisa has been a carer for her older brother for almost two decades, since the age of ten, following a diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder. This early insight into public mental health has inspired an appetite for change and crafted her vocational choices both in public policy and health. In addition to her career as a public servant, Lisa works as a naturopath focusing on adjunctive mental health. She is passionate about sharing her experiences and in particular recognising the difficulties faced by young carers.


Peter McKenzie

Peter McKenzie (PhD, MA ClinFamTher)
is an anthropologist and family therapist. He currently holds the Carer Academic (mental health) position at The Bouverie Centre, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University. He has significant personal caring and professional experience in the mental health sector, including CMHSS and clinical. His other currents roles at the Centre include clinical family therapist, family practice consultant in the mental health program and principle research supervisor of higher degree research program. His focus areas include family inclusive practice, carer peer workforce, ethnographic research and narrative therapy, with a particular clinical focus on Borderline Personally Disorder and complex needs families.


Rachael Lovelock

Rachael is an experienced Family Support Practitioner who assists families / carers of people living with mental ill health and disability, working across early intervention, community health and outreach settings. Drawing on her background in community development and education, Rachael believes in developing strong partnerships, working cohesively and co-designing programs that include lived experience.

In 2013 Rachael joined MI Fellowship as the Coordinator of MI Fellowship’s Family Services Program across the Eastern Region of Melbourne, successfully leading the implementation of an updated model of service and the Carer Star outcome tool within the region. In 2014 Rachael joined MI Fellowship’s Quality and Service Development Team in a Carer and Family Participation Project Management role. Drawing on the depth of knowledge and experience that people with lived experience provide, in this role Rachael is leading the expansion of Carer and Family Participation and Leadership across the organisation.

Rachael’s passion for family work developed from her own lived experience of supporting family members challenged by mental ill health. Rachael’s approach is informed by a belief that those in caring roles may experience trauma and have their own recovery journey which requires personalised, individual support.


Dr. David Barton

Adjunct Professor, Monash Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital

David has collaborated with Professors Kulkarni and Fitzgerald over a number of years and have joined the MAPrC as of June 2014. Current research projects include:

1) investigation of the efficacy and safety of Magnetic Stimulation Treatment
2) investigation of the safety and efficacy of SERM in males with treatment resistant schizophrenia
3) Transdermal Magnetic Stimulation in treatment of adolescents
4) Combination therapy for treatment resistant depression

Honorary Principal Fellow,  Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

Clinical Research Scientist, Human Neurotransmitter Laboratory, BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Research Institute since 1998, undertaking clinical research in collaboration with a cardiologist (Professor Murray Esler), a neurophysiologist (Professor Gavin Lambert) a renal physician (Professor Markus Schlaich) and other lab members into the neurophysiology of major depression and panic disorder, how these diseases effect the Cardiovascular system and their response to antidepressant and Cognitive Behavioural Treatments. 

David's involvement in the sector includes:

  • Chair Older Persons Mental Health Information Development Expert Advisory Panel
  • Mental Health Standing Committee, Mental Health Information Strategy subcommittee
  • Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council
  • Honorary Principal Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, since July 2010 co-coordinating the Selective in CBT for the MMED/MPM
  • Senior Lecturer Department of Psychology and Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine Monash University since 2004.
  • Senior Consultant Psychiatrist: Ballarat Health Services since 2004.
  • Senior Consultant Psychiatrist: Monash Health
  • Private Practice incorporating Couple and Individual Cognitive Behavioural and Interpersonal Psychotherapy Practice. The Lenridge Practice, Richmond since 1992.