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Executive team

The Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services Executive Team includes the Executive Director, and a group of Directors and Clinical Directors who are each responsible for a service or portfolio within the service.

Mr Kieran Kinsella

Executive Director
Start date: 
February 2019
Linda Hipper

Ms Linda Hipper

Director, Addiction Services, Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services

Ms Linda Hipper has been employed in both the public and non-government sectors in the Northern Territory and Queensland since 1988.

She has 20 years of experience in working in the alcohol, drug and mental health fields in a variety of roles, with the last 15 years predominantly in managerial and leadership roles in the alcohol and drug field.

She is a registered psychologist and has provided professional leadership within psychology discipline as the Brisbane South/QEII Senior Psychologist and was a previous Board member of the Northern Territory Psychology Registration Board.

She is passionate about the provision of evidenced based interventions within multidisciplinary teams within the alcohol and drug sector.

Ms Hipper has also represented both Queensland Health and previously the Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services at a range of meetings, conferences, advisory committees and has presented at a range of forums and conferences.

Dr Balaji Motamarri

Executive Director Clinical Services

Dr Balaji Motamarri is a qualified psychiatrist from one of the premier institutes of India and moved to Australia in 1998. He has more than 15 years’ experience in Psychiatry since completing his postgraduate qualifications.

Dr Motamarri acquired his fellowship of RANZCP in 2003 and since has held senior clinical and managerial positions both in Adelaide and in Queensland.

Dr Motamarri has a keen interest in teaching and holds a clinical title of Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland and University of Adelaide, Australia. He is also an accredited examiner for the college. Dr Motamarri has been involved in development and improvement of district wide mental health services and services as an administrator within hospitals in Adelaide and Queensland. He is keen about research activities and has been involved in various research projects resulting in publications in peer reviewed journals.

Ms Katie Eckersley

Director of Corporate Governance

Ms Katie Eckersley has completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science in Psychology and has since worked in senior management roles across a range of public and private organisations including health, automotive and property development industries.

Ms Eckersley has worked in Queensland Mental Health and Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services since 2004 and has a particular interest in developing organisational leadership capability and performance, as well as workforce, consumer and carer engagement.

Currently, Ms Eckersley is responsible for the Corporate Governance within MSAMHS including delivery of operational support services, encompassing Finance, Workforce and Corporate Services, Strategy and Service Development.

Mr Geoff Lau

Director of Therapies and Allied Health

Mr Geoff Lau has worked extensively in adult mental health as an occupational therapist, clinical supervisor and manager since 1992; across acute to tertiary, inpatient and community-based services in Queensland and overseas. His core training in occupational therapy at The University of Queensland, combined with post graduate training in social science at the Queensland University of Technology, guided his clinical practice towards evidence-informed assessment and intervention. In 2006, Mr Lau was appointed the Acting Director of a large tertiary Occupational Therapy Department at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Brisbane.

In 2010, Mr Lau was appointed the Director of Therapies and Allied Health, MSAMHS.  As a member of the Executive, this role leads allied health and other addiction and mental health professionals in the creation of contemporary clinical practice, whilst strengthening partnerships with Metro South Allied Health, consumer and carer networks, universities and primary health agencies.

Mr Lau graduated from the Australian Mental Health Leadership Program, The University of Melbourne in 2011.  He has fulfilled roles such as President of OT Australia Queensland, the Mental Health Australia delegate for Occupational Therapy Australia and a panel advisor for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.  He is completing PhD studies at The University of Queensland, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  His research thesis is a mixed methods evaluation of the implementation of the Therapy Capability and Practice Framework, and its impact on the provision of psychosocial therapy in a large public mental health service.

Ms Gabrielle Vilic

Director of Social Inclusion and Recovery

Ms Gabrielle Vilic joined Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services as the Director for Social Inclusion and Recovery in  2013.

Ms Vilic has worked in mental health for over 19 years, in both the government and non-government sectors, and has won a number of statewide awards for her achievements in the area of mental health.

Ms Vilic was the consumer representative for the Queensland Mental Health Commission in 2011 and has also worked within the Metro Health Alcohol and Other Drug Branch in senior project officer roles.

She has also worked as a consumer consultant for the Gold Coast Mental Health Service and provided consumer input in all aspect of the service's planning, delivery and evaluation, and assist in improving the service's response to consumer needs.

Ms Vilic was also involved in coordinating the implementation of the Mental Illness Education Program into Queensland secondary schools. The program focused on positive lifestyle choices, self-awareness, and early recognition and intervention for potential mental health problems.

Ms Vilic's areas of interest include the consumer and carer workforce, research, reduction of seclusion and restraint, and metabolic monitoring.

Liz Powell

Ms Liz Powell

Director of Nursing

Ms Liz Powell's career in mental health nursing spans 30 years with experience in clinical practice, clinical and operational management, and state and national policy.

She is a Registered Nurse with postgraduate qualifications in Advanced Psychiatric Nursing and Health Administration.

Ms Powell led a number of significant change initiatives through the reform of Mental Health Services in Victoria.

She then became the Executive Director of the Gold Coast Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Service for four years.

Ms Powell then took on a role in the Mental Health Alchol and Other Drugs Directorate, overseeing the agenda of strategic policy and relationships.

Prior to coming to Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services, Ms Powell led the successful establishment of the first Queensland Mental Health Commission, an independent statutory body to drive mental health reform and innovation.

Dr Frances Dark

Dr Frances Dark

Clinical Director of Rehabilitation Academic Clinical Unit

Dr. Frances Dark has worked for the Princess Alexandra Mental Health Service as a Consultant Psychiatrist for 27 years. 

She has a strong interest in psychosocial rehabilitation for consumers with mental illness, and has pioneered innovative programs in Queensland such as social cognition and cognitive remediation groups. Dr. Dark has a strong research history, including a publication in Nature genetics.  She has been actively involved in community organization’s including being an advisor to Headway, and on the boards of Open Minds and the Queensland branch of the Mental Illness Fellowship Australia. She has previously worked on the Princess Alexandra Hospital Disaster Committee and ran training workshops on psychological aspects of disaster for staff with the assistance of the senior social worker and other employees.

Dr. Dark is currently the Director of the Rehabilitation Academic Clinical Unit for Metro South Mental Health Services, and the Director of the statewide Deafness and Mental Health Service.

David Lie

Dr David Lie

Clinical Director of Older Adult Academic Clinical Unit

Dr David Lie has been the Director of the Older Persons Mental Health Service at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane since 2001. 

Following general practice and specialist training, he set up the first public geriatric psychiatry service on the Gold Coast in 1999 and has had a role in developing psychogeriatric services elsewhere in Queensland.

His special interests include mental health services in residential aged care, dementia care, telehealth, electroconvulsive therapy and service development.  He received a Queensland Health Mental Health Week Award in 2011.

Dr Sean Hatherill

Sean Hatherill

Clinical Director of Child and Youth Academic Clinical Unit

Dr Sean Hatherill is the Clinical Director of Metro South Mental Health Services’ Child and Youth Mental Health Academic Clinical Unit, and is also a member of the Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee.

As a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Hatherill is passionate about the value of multidisciplinary teams and a systemic, developmental approach in working with children, adolescents and their families.

Dr Mohammad Faizal

Dr Mohammad Faizal

Clinical Director of Recovery and Access Services Academic Clinical Unit

Dr Faizal has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist in the UK for about eight years following the completion of his psychiatric training there. He is dually qualified with certificates of specialist training in General Adult and Substance Misuse Psychiatry.

He has completed an MBA (Health Executive) from Keele University (UK) and worked as a Clinical Director leading a large addiction service in Merseyside (UK) for nearly six years prior to taking up his current role in the RAS ACU which he commences in early 2015.

Dr Faizal has worked and developed services in a range a clinical settings such as community, inpatients, prison mental health and community criminal justice systems. He has a keen interest in service transformation with a key focus on quality, safety, consumer experience and outcomes. In his practice Dr Faizal promotes a recovery-based approach to providing care for consumers and has a keen interest in developing recovery oriented service provisions. 

Dr Faizal has published in high-impact journals and authored Cochrane reviews. He was appointed to the MRCPsych board of examiners for MRCPsych Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies (CASC) examinations in 2011 and served as a speciality regional representative (Merseyside) for the Addictions Faculty in The Royal College of Psychiatrists for 6 years. He has won clinical excellence awards for leading and managing services during his tenure as a Clinical Director in the UK. 

Dr John O'Callaghan

Dr John O'Callaghan

Clinical Director of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services Academic Clinical Unit

Dr John O'Callaghan has worked in the field of psychiatry for 20 years, both in his training and as a Consultant Psychiatrist, and became a Psychiatrist in 1997.

Dr O'Callaghan was the Director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Consultation Liaison Psychiatry unit for four years until the development of the Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services Academic Clinical Unit. One of Dr O'Callaghan's key achievements has been the implementation of a clear model of service for Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Services across all Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services.

Dr O'Callaghan is also the chair of the statewide Consultation Liaison Advisory Group which has developed a model of service for Queensland Consultation Liaison Psychiatry services.

Rita Prasad-Ildes

Ms Rita Prasad-Ildes

Service Program Manager of Transcultural Mental Health Academic Clinical Unit

Ms Prasad-Ildes has led the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre since 2001.

With qualifications in social work, health program evaluation and management, she has worked for the past 30 years in the multicultural sector particularly in the areas of women’s health, refugee health and mental health.

Ms Prasad-Ildes is a founding member of several key Queensland multicultural sector organisations and has led a number of organisations in immigrant and refugee settlement.

She also freelanced for several years in the area of cross cultural health and human service program development and evaluation.

Ms Prasad-Ildes’ key area of interest include addressing the health system as a key determinant of health and  mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention and she has delivered a number of invited conference key notes on this topic area.

Ms Prasad-Ildes is a founder and current director of World Wellness Group, a social enterprise multicultural health clinic dedicated to reducing health inequity for marginalised migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.

Last updated 5 April 2019