Meet the Team

Mitch McPherson
Mitch McPhersonFounder
“In 2013 I was working in the trade industry as a glazier. But when my younger brother Ty took his own life, I decided to turn the devastating loss into something constructive, and founded SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY.

What started as me sharing my story has now grown into a registered not-for-profit that works hard to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma. I have now spoken at over 600 events, including school groups, workplaces and sporting clubs, and I am dedicated to spreading the message that nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.

I believe my story resonates with many people. People who, like my family at the time, might not think mental health is a priority or that they will ever be affected by it.

My vision is that SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY will become a national charity, with a focus on delivering programs in schools and sporting to increase awareness and remove the stigma surrounding mental health.”

Julia Gandy
Julia GandyProject Officer
“I’ve been in mental health research for more than 7 years now, working on topics like youth and family engagement in mental health, youth suicide prevention and mental health literacy.

I think it’s so important that we all have a basic knowledge of how to support our own mental health, as well as others’. This is why I’m so excited to be working at Stay ChatTY, specifically on our Schools Program – the more people we can equip with mental health knowledge, the better chance we have of intervening early and having mentally healthier communities.”

Katharine Pullen
Katharine PullenProject Officer
“Hi my name is Kat, I have worked as a Registered Nurse for five years in mental health and other areas of nursing practice. One thing I have learnt in my career, is that anyone can experience a mental health issue. I have nursed a lot of patients, but I have also worked alongside many doctors and nurses, and know family members and friends, that have all struggled with their mental health. That is why it is so important to teach the community about mental health and let people know they’re not alone. This is why I joined SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY, to help promote psychological well-being, emotional health and physical well-being in the community. I am excited to work on the Stay ChatTY School Program, to help spread positive messages about mental health and encourage people to talk about how they’re feeling”.
James Rice
James RiceProject Officer
“I am an accredited exercise physiologist who enjoys seeing people reach their potential through exercise and the support and connection it offers. I am also a strength and conditioning coach at the North Hobart Football Club, where I deliver programs to increase player performance on and off the field.

I am passionate about developing not only good footballers, but great young men who in turn become valued members of the Tasmanian community. My interest in developing young people has lead me to Stay ChatTY, and I’m so excited to be delivering about mental health and resilience to sporting clubs across the state.”

Jane Garvey
Jane GarveyAdministrative Support Officer
“I came to SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY with 18 years’ administrative experience and a background in human resources and bookkeeping. I am involved with various charities, and have a special interest in breast cancer research, post-cancer care, and how women manage physically and mentally during and after a life changing experience.

I am happy and honoured to be a part of the SPEAK Up! Stay ChatTY team and hope to help the charity grow and to continue to do great work.”