The Victorian Government has appointed Mary O’Hagan as its first Executive Director of Lived Experience.
Image of Mary O'Hagan, Executive Director Lived Experience
Image of Mary O'Hagan, Executive Director Lived Experience
New system foundations

Ms O'Hagan is an internationally recognised lived experience executive and advocate. She has worked in a series of leadership roles and is a former Mental Health Commissioner of New Zealand.

Ms O’Hagan has championed for the expertise of people with lived experience to be embedded in mental health services for more than 35 years. 

As a young woman, Ms O’Hagan experienced psychological distress.  She says she felt trapped in services that exacerbated her distress and ignored her preferences for treatment and support.  

Ms O'Hagan will start her new role in the leadership team in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division of the Department of Health in December.   

The appointment delivers on a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System to employ people with lived experience in leadership positions within the Department.

The new role will work to ensure that mental health and alcohol and other drug services meet the needs of consumers and carers by integrating their expertise in the development of policies and programs.

Ms O’Hagan said, “I see so much hope for mental health reform here in Victoria. It won’t be easy, but there’s never been a more important time for people with lived experience – consumers, carers, families and supporters - to take on leadership roles to bring real changes to the new system and new services.”