Winner: Cushla Leech Nominated For: Contribution to carer representation
This award, presented at the Annual General Meeting, acknowledges outstanding contribution to carers and to ARAFMI. This year it went to Cushla Leech for her outstanding contribution to carer representation. Cushla has been a representative on numerous committees including PET and Mental Health Reform 2000+. Cushla always brings a clear, logical, non-judgemental and well-thought out approach to the presentation of carers issues. Her input is greatly valued by the Mental Health Professionals, consumers and other carers on committees. We thank Cushla for her effective advocacy which has progressed many issues of importance to carers.
Patrick Hardwick stated that he was very proud to be presenting the President's Award 2000, the first award of the new millennium, to someone who is very special, as are all the carers who help other carers, but this carer is especially special.
"To win the award you have to be a little bit extra special. This person is that and a lot more. This person has been very supportive to myself over the past two years. They have a real passion for trying to change things for the betterment of carers and consumers as well, so, I'd like Cushla Leech to come forward please".
"Cushla is very heavily involved, in the Pet Committee of Management, PET Development Committee, MH Act Action Group, SW Metro Advisory Group, the Emergency Services Sub-Committee of that Advisory Group. She attends all the forums and seminars that are held all over the place, ad hoc. She is going to be involved in some of the sub-groups in the MH Reform 2000+ Project, and has been very heavily involved in talking to the new recruits at the Police Academy and also a very active member of the ARAFMI Committee of Management. So thank you Cushla, for all your passionate and hard work."
Cushla thanked Patrick Hardwick for those words. She said " I have a weak voice at the best of times but after spending the day cheering my grandson on at his Sports Day, I have even less voice than usual! This is very unexpected. Thank you so much Patrick. What I'd like to say to other carers is, as a person who is pretty shy and takes a lot to get out there talking to people, I have received a lot from being on these committees. It has been a real personal growth journey for me. I think for anybody who feels strongly about the rights and the position of carers, representation is the thing to do. to be out there representing carers, where things are happening. Thanks very much."