Clear Thinking - December 2018

I’d like to take this opportunity to not only reflect on the year that was but also briefly look back at what has been an incredible 27 years at Neami National.

20/12/2018
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Arthur Papakotsias

My end-of-year Clear Thinking message this year will be a bit different, as it’s also my last as CEO of Neami National. When I started in 1991, the Neami team consisted of a handful of dedicated and passionate community and consumer representatives, and just two employed staff. I’d anticipated that I’d be at Neami for no more than six months!

However, 27 years on, I still see that same passion, dedication and belief in supporting people to make positive changes to their mental health and wellbeing from the Neami staff. I believe that this has enabled Neami to grow into the organisation it is today, and it has been a big part of what’s kept me at Neami for almost three decades.

I’m proud to have been a part of the incredible Neami journey. From those humble beginnings in Melbourne’s north east, to the national organisation that today supports more than 9,000 people across Australia – it’s been quite the journey.

I’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who has supported me and the broader Neami team over the years. I believe that we are made stronger by working together, and Neami has had the privilege of working with some incredible consumers and their carers and families as well as partners in government, non-government organisations and clinical services.

Reflecting on what Neami National has achieved in 2018, I have every confidence that Neami will continue to flourish and make a meaningful impact into the future. In 2018, we were able to diversify the range of services we delivered and expand into new geographic areas. We are now working with more people, in more areas with a broader range of needs than ever before. Being able to expand our range of support is a strong signal that the way we approach recovery and our dedication to improving the experience for consumers has value to a great number of people. Although a time of unprecedented political and policy change for the mental health sector, I’m confident that Neami’s continued focus on vision, mission and values will play a key role in continuing to achieve better outcomes for people facing mental health challenges.

As you can imagine, my decision to move on from Neami National was a difficult one. However, the timing felt right to take up a new opportunity closer to home in WA. At the end of January, I commence my new role as CEO of Youth Focus. This Friday 21 December will be my last day at Neami. The recruitment process for the new Neami National CEO is underway and acting arrangements are in place until a new CEO is appointed, hopefully early in the New Year.

I’d like to wish everyone a happy festive season and all the best for the New Year. I hope that you get a chance to take some time out to relax, recharge and enjoy the company of friends and family.

Warm regards,

Arthur Papakotsias 
CEO Neami National

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