Our Advisory Board
Fortem will support employees and volunteers from 30 agencies, both state based and national. To ensure Fortem’s programs are complementary to existing internal programs, Fortem is working with an Advisory Board made up of representatives from the various agencies and services we assist.
Our Advisory Board understand the role connection plays as a protective factor in wellbeing and have already begun to champion evidenced-based activities which complement their own internal offerings for the betterment of organizational wellbeing.
Professor David Forbes
Director, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Professor David Forbes is the Director of Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, and Deputy Head, Department of Psychiatry, the University of Melbourne. Professor Forbes completed his clinical training (MA Clinical Psychology) and PhD at the University of Melbourne. He is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma, and has worked in both acute crisis and continuing care settings across the community mental health system and in specialist traumatic stress services. Professor Forbes is an international expert in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military mental health, with strong national and international links with other researchers and experts in the field.
He was Chair of the Working Party for the inaugural the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) approved Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in 2007 and co-chair of the steering group the revised Guidelines in 2013. Professor Forbes has published more than 110 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial boards of leading international journals. He is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based responses following trauma in order to reduce the mental health effects on survivors, their families and communities.
Chair of NSW Police Legacy
Detective Superintendent Gary Merryweather attested to the NSW Police Force in 1987 performing duties in the Parramatta and Granville areas. Gary has also performed duties in Country NSW, Criminal Investigation. He was promoted to the Rank of Superintendent in 2008 taking up Command positions at Queanbeyan, Quakers Hill and Blacktown.
Gary was appointed as Chair of NSW Police Legacy in 2018, in this role he responsible for the support and services provided to the families of police officers who have died ensuring their needs are met. NSW Police Legacy via state government funding runs the Back up for Life program assisting and supporting officers who are medically retired find alternative employment and maintain their link to the Police Family.
Deputy Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW
Jeremy is a Deputy Commissioner with Fire and Rescue NSW bringing over 20 years fire and rescue experience. During his career Jeremy has worked in metropolitan and regional operations, working with both full-time and on-call Firefighters and has a detailed understanding of the demands their work places on them. Jeremy was President of the Australian Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers, an international professional association for the fire sector, and was the Leader of the Institution’s International General Assembly for 2017-2018. Living in an area of high bush fire risk, Jeremy is also a volunteer member of his local Rural Fire Service.
Deputy Commissioner, Australian Border Force
Justine joined the ABF in October 2018 following a 29 year career across the spectrum of law enforcement and policing responsibilities with the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Her last role was as the Chief Police officer for the Australian Capital Territory. Justine is now responsible for delivering operational continuity through strategic planning and support to achieve the ABF's operational outcomes. This includes leadership of ABF’s workforce and maritime capabilities and specialist support to operations including the Detector Dog program and technical teams.
She holds a Master of Leadership and Management (Policing), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Policing Studies) with Distinction and Graduate Certificate in Applied Management.
Dr Katrina Sanders
Chief Medical Officer, Australian Federal Police
Dr Katrina Sanders is the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Federal Police. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has a Master’s Degree in Public Health and is the recipient of Australia Day Achievement Medallion 2019 for her work in health reform in support of law enforcement.
Dr Sanders has experience working with private and government industry on health capability in support of strategic objectives including the Australian government response to the West Africa Ebola crisis and Australian Defence Force operations. She is internationally recognised as a key contributor to health in emergency services personnel through her architecture of a holistic approach to health and wellbeing at the Australian Federal Police. Dr Sanders is a key contributor to government and law enforcement policy on health.
Advisory Board Chair
Natasha is a Partner within KPMG’s National Security and Justice Practice. She supports public and private sector organisations throughout their transform journey. She has an MBA (Change), a Masters in Taxation Law, a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Certified Practising Program Director with the AIPM. In 2010, Natasha authored a Review into the support provided to Wounded, Ill and Injured members of the Australian Defence Force. Since completing this Review Natasha has channelled her passion for ensuring those who need help and support are receiving it – including swimming the English Channel with the TM2 team in 2018 and raising awareness about veteran’s mental health challenges (and $60k for Soldier On) and raising mental health awareness within KPMG.
Natasha is delighted to be the Chairperson of the Fortem Australia Advisory Board and supporting our first responder community with opportunities for social connection.
Tony Walker ASM
CEO, Ambulance Victoria
Tony is Chief Executive Officer of Ambulance Victoria. He has is Registered Paramedic with over three decades experience working in a range of senior clinical, operational and leadership roles within the ambulance sector. Over the past five years Tony has led significant transformation at Ambulance Victoria to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the response they provide to the community.
Tony holds an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor in the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University and is a Fellow of Paramedics Australasia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders, and a Board Director of the Emergency Services Foundation, the Australasian Council of Ambulance Authorities and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Stuart Bartels APM
A/G Executive Director, Australian Institute of Police Management
Stuart Bartels was appointed
Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) in 2019
and later that year took up the role of Acting Executive Director. He is
currently overseeing the implementation of ‘Future Directions’, a vision of the
future of public safety education, and is himself a graduate of the AIPM’s Police
Leadership Strategy. As Executive Director Stuart is involved in a range of
activities and committees that foster the development of police leaders.
Prior to his current role Stuart spent 36 years as an operational police officer with the Western Australia Police, where he reached the rank of Commander. Notable achievements during Stuart’s police career include the implementation of major reform to the WA Police Forensic Division, the delivery of the Policing Logistics Operation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and a two-year period as acting Assistant Commissioner and CIO for WA Police ICT, where he conceived the WA Police Digital Policing Strategy. Stuart left the WA Police as Commander for the Southern Metropolitan Region.
Stuart’s qualifications include a Master of Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Science (Forensic Investigation). He has been awarded a Commissioners Commendation, the Commissioners Medal for Excellence and an Australian Police Medal.
Brian Codd APM
Queensland Police Service
Brian is a career police officer with over 36 years service with the Queensland Police Service. His professional experience encompasses investigations, intelligence, covert services, education & training, incident/disaster command, specialist tactical command and regional executive roles. As Assistant Commissioner for Brisbane Region, Brian leads a team responsible for the provision of effective and efficient operational policing and support activities in service to 31% of the state’s population (1.5M) across 2292 km2.
Brian holds undergraduate qualifications in Human Resource Management and Intelligence Practice. His postgraduate qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Further Education & Training and a Masters of Management (Leadership). Brian also chairs and champions the work of the QPS Psychological Wellbeing Committee, established by the Commissioner of Police to guide the development of strategies aimed at enhancing the psychological wellbeing of all QPS members.
Fortem also works with representatives from Australia's National Intelligence Community