Fels to chair Mental Health Commission

PROFESSOR Allan Fels, AO, has been welcomed as the replacement chair of the first National Mental Health Commission, which is set to report on the state of Australian mental health care and suicide prevention next year.

The commission is to be established by the federal government as an independent body and will report to the Prime Minister.

Professor Fels is best known as the former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, chair of the Haven Foundation and patron of numerous mental health organisations.

The appointment follows the decision of senior South Australian Catholic priest Monsignor David Cappo, the government’s original choice for the role, to decline the job last month.

Monsignor Cappo was forced to turn down the position following accusations he had not acted “in a timely manner” when Adelaide-based Anglican