Can you identify an event or a time in your childhood that impacted so hugely it defined your life from then on?
Alison Xamon links her passion for mental health and its effect on family members, especially children, to the suicide of her father when she was 11 years old. Alison’s father, Rev Alan Miller, was the minster at Duncraig Uniting Church at the time of his death. His illness and death rocked, and continues to define, Alison’s life – emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
Today Alison is a lawyer, happily married with three children, and a member of the Star Street congregation. A former member (2009 -2013) of the State Parliament Upper House for the Greens, Alison’s focus is now on advocacy for mental health and suicide prevention. She is president of the WA Association for Mental Health, the peak body for mental health services in this state, and vice-chair of Community Mental Health Australia, a national body. She is also on the board of Mental Health Australia, the peak body nationally, and sits on the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention. She is excited to be a co-leader of the newly established Mental Health Network under the auspices of the Department of Health. This network brings together mental health clinicians, NGO’s, carers and mental health consumers and aims to address cultural change and drive the need for mental health reforms.