About the Council

Council members standing in front of a window

On 13 March 2014, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, announced the establishment of a new Prime Ministerial Advisory Council with a focus on veteran mental health.

The Council will advise the Prime Minister, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and the Government on high level strategic and complex matters relating to the mental health of veterans and their families.

Tackling the mental health challenges faced by veterans and their families is a key pillar of the Government’s plan for veterans’ affairs.  While mental illness will impact almost half the Australian population over a lifetime, there are particular risks for our former serving men and women who may have been put in harm’s way in the course of their service. 


Council members have expertise in mental health matters and/or represent the Australian Defence Force, the veteran community or industry.

Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health
Position Name
Chair Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO, CSM, RAN (Ret’d)
Deputy Chair Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG
Member Mr Geoffrey Evans
Younger Veterans Advisor, RSL LifeCare
Member Mrs Mel Pyrah
Member, Partners of Veterans Association of Australia
Member Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart AM
Commander Joint Health/Surgeon General ADF
Joint Health Command
Member Mr Ryan Stokes
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Capital Equity
Member Mr Michael von Berg MC, OAM
Chairman, The Royal Australian Regiment Association Corporation
Member, Veterans Advisory Council of South Australia
Ex-officio Ms Sue Campion
First Assistant Secretary, Health and Community Services
Ex-officio Major General Mark Kelly AO, DSC
Commissioner, Repatriation Commission
Ex-officio Dr Ian Gardner
Principal Medical Adviser
Chair, Veteran Mental Health Clinical Reference Group