Meet the team
Meet the team
The Mentally Healthy WA team is passionate in the pursuit of its vision for a society that values mental health and where everyone has the opportunity to be mentally healthy.
A/Prof Christina Pollard
Christina Pollard is the Director of Mentally Healthy WA, based at Curtin University. Associate Professor Public Health Priorities, she brings her health promotion experience working for Government for over 30 years to the Act Belong Commit campaign. Her research has underpinned development of a diverse range of successful public health interventions from policy and practice at national, state and local levels. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master’s Degree in Public Health, a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management, a Graduate Diploma in Dietetics and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Nutrition and Food Science).
Dr James Smith
Dr James Smith is an implementation scientist who has an extensive program of implementation science work conducting implementation science research in both Australia and the UK. His research encompasses implementing complex interventions into complex systems. He also places primary emphasis on designing interventions with people, not for people. He is most passionate about mental health intervention strategies that foster positivity and hope and applying his novel methodology that embeds consumer involvement and co-design using implementation science theory, models and frameworks. Recent highlights of his work include the Co-Design and Evaluation of Qualitative Indicators of Intervention Acceptability, Fidelity, and Context.
Hannah Samsa is the Campaign Manager for the Mentally Healthy WA, Act Belong Commit campaign. Hannah is a behaviour change communication specialist with a demonstrated history of developing, implementing and evaluating effective behaviour change campaigns. The campaigns she been the strategic lead for have contributed to more parents choosing not to provide alcohol to their teenager, less adults drinking alcohol at harmful levels and increased support for policy and legislation change to reduce harmful drinking and illicit drug use. Currently studying a Grad Dip (Advanced) in Psychology at University of Adelaide.
Andrew is Partnerships Coordinator for Mentally Healthy WA and oversees the Act Belong Commit partnership program, a program that brings together local governments, peak bodies, schools, and local community groups. Andrew is a media, communications and corporate affairs specialist with over 25 years’ experience in some of Western Australia’s leading organisations. As Public Affairs Manager for Lotterywest, Andrew managed the media and communications for Lotterywest’s multimillion dollar community funding program. As Head of Corporate Affairs at HBF for over a decade he managed all media interactions and oversaw relations with key stakeholders, including state and federal governments.
Reearna is experienced in health promotion, mental health and nutrition. Reearna previously led school health promotion programs for Foodbank (WA) and at Healthway Reearna worked with many organisations to implement the Act Belong Commit messages. When Reearna isn’t working or studying, she Act Belong Commit’s by going to the beach, taking her dog for a walk, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family. Currently completing her Master of Teaching at Edith Cowan University.
Health Promotion Officer
Jessica has a background working in health promotion and brings experience working in schools and the community promoting mental wellbeing and understanding. She has worked developing and delivering specific mental wellbeing programs for high school students and delivering Youth Mental Health First Aid. Jessica has previously worked on the campaign’s Mentally Healthy Schools program and is very passionate about the message which is evident in her love for gardening, book club, cooking and hiking. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science (Public Health and Psychology).
Health Promotion Officer
Gabriella Jameson is a valuable member of the Act Belong Commit partnership program team working as a health promotion officer. Gabby regularly puts the Act Belong Commit message into practice through being an active member of her local BMX club, and riding BMX both recreationally and competitively. By experiencing the benefits of living a mentally healthy lifestyle, she feels passionate about sharing the message with others. Gabby holds a Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion), and is currently completing a Master of Public Health.
Maria provides valuable administrative and project support to the campaign team and loves the diversity of her role. She has extensive clinical and administrative experience in the veterinary and university sectors and holds a Bachelor of Science (Nutrition). Maria spends much of her spare time in the ocean snorkelling or diving and through this has formed valuable connections with ocean lovers all over Perth.