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Personal profile

Personal profile

Russell Roberts is Professor of Management and Leadership at Charles Sturt University with a focus on mental health. He is National Director of Equally Well Australia (tasked to oversee the national implementation actions of the National Consensus Statement to improve the physical health of people living with mental illness) and Scientific Chair of the Equally Well Symposium. He is Chair of the Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, a Chief Investigator on the Rural Universities Network mental health research collaborative, on the board of the ANZ Mental Health Association and Clinical Associate Professor at The University of Sydney. He has previously served as Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Rural Health, on the NSW Mental Health Commission Advisory Council, and as Chair of the Workplace Mental Health Symposium.

Russell has extensive experience as a:

  • Clinician: Clinical Psychologist in rural SA, Qld, NSW and as Director of Clinical Psychology Training at Griffith University, Queensland.
  • Executive Director: He served for over a decade as director of mental health services in central/western NSW, leading an organisation of over 1,000 staff, and $110m pa budget delivering comprehensive services across the spectrum of care. Facilities in his organisation ranged from Australia’s largest integrated mental health hospital, to community teams in Australia’s most remote locations such as Bourke, Lightning Ridge and Wilcannia.
  • Academic researcher: He has published over 100 refereed journal articles, books and book chapters, 70 conference presentations, 18 keynote speeches, with $12.725 Mill in research grant funding and over 4,700 citations of his research work.

He has led the development of several innovative programs such as the development of $43 mill of mental health capital works and recruitment of 445 staff in rural NSW, Mental Health Emergency Care Rural Access Program, the Mental Health Rural Outreach Service, and the Aboriginal Workforce Development Program. He also led the Global Call for Vaccine Equity for people living with mental illness.

Russell has received state, national and international awards in E-mental health, youth mental health and Aboriginal workforce development. He has over two decades of experience in developing, implementing, and consolidating new and innovative health services across a range of complex service environments. With a unique career profile as clinician, researcher and executive director, he is referenced as one of the 50 most influential rural Australians.

Research Interests

  • Mental health leadership
  • The physical health of people living with mental illness
  • Worforce wellbeing
  • Rural models of health service delivery
  • Primary mental health care

Education/Academic qualification

Executive Masters of Public Administration (Business Administration and Management, Leadership), The University of Sydney


Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University


Master of Psychology (Clinical), Flinders University


External positions

Editor In Chief, Australian Journal of Rural Health

01 Jan 201731 Dec 2021

Director, Equally Well Australia

08 Aug 2015 → …

Chair, Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium

01 Jan 2015 → …

Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

May 2012 → …

Director, Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol, NSW Health

Apr 2003Feb 2014

Clinical Director, School of Psychology, Griffith University

Jul 1994Jan 2003

Subject keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Leadership
  • Rural Mental Health
  • Comorbidity
  • rural and regional health


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