It is exciting to see the announcement of the nominees for Westpac Australia’s 100 women of influence 2014. What’s of even greater excitement was to see both Professor Maree Teeson and Jealea Skehan up for nomination.

Prof Maree Teesson is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, and Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use. She is known nationally and internationally for her research on the comorbidity between mental health and substance use disorders. Her research interests include the epidemiology mental health and substance use disorders, the effects of alcohol on brain development, internet delivered prevention and treatment programs, new treatments for individuals with comorbid mental health and substance use disorders, and improving treatment delivery.

Jaelea Skehan is the Director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health. Jaelea Skehan is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and the prevention of suicide. She is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, organisations and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention. Jaelea was instrumental in the design and development of flagship  programs for the Institute including: the Mindframe National Media Initiative which she led for 10 years; Conversations Matter resources to support community discussion of suicide; Community Arts projects such as Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog; Workplace Mental Health Interventions including Working Well; and other policy, training and suicide prevention programs.

If you are interested in finding out more about either of these women, their work, or the other women on the nominee list then click on the links below