Our Sub – Committee

Our Board and Founder at the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY Ball

(L-R) Dan Morgan, Mitch McPherson, Rick Marton, Paul Lyons and Michael Kelly

Rick Marton

As President of Relationships Australia Tasmania, it gives Rick great pleasure to act as the board representative on the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY sub-committee. Stay ChatTY could not have grown as much as we have without the support of Relationships Australia Tasmania (RA Tas). RA Tas assists Stay ChatTY with structural, legal, accounting, clinical expertise and governance that can become a real challenges for charities.

While Stay ChatTY sits under the RA Tas wing, the Stay ChatTY Trust is managed by a separate subcommittee, still consisting of original committee members as well as the CEO (Michael) and President (Rick) of Relationships Australia Tasmania.

This committee ensures that:

  • Stay ChatTY maintains its own identity,
  • funds raised for Stay ChatTY are spent efficiently toward the cause,
  • Stay ChatTY can tap into the existing strengths of RA Tas,
  • Stay ChatTY can strategically plan for the future to take our message to as many Australians as possible.

“Our committee is genuinely proud of the work the Stay ChatTY team does and take our volunteer roles seriously to protect and nurture our organisation so it stays respected and relevant for many years to come.”

Rick is a Brand and Business Strategist who has helped the team develop both internal and external strategies for safely nurturing the Stay ChatTY brand. Rick is passionate about helping Stay ChatTY grow and hopes to draw upon his skills in risk identification and mitigation as well as the knowledge of Relationships Australia National to help further spread the message that it is OK to not be OK.

Michael Kelly

Michael first met Mitch in March 2014 and has been working with him and the team to increase the reach of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY and the important work that happens in schools, sporting clubs, communities and workplaces in Tasmania and further afield.

“One of the most amazing things about Stay ChatTY is the energy it creates”.

Once you’ve been a part of Stay ChatTY’s programs, presentations or initiatives, once you’re aware of Mitch’s story it creates an energy or feeling that makes you want to do something. To be there for the people around you, to do your bit to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and to make it easier for people to ask for help when they need it.

 “For me, Stay ChatTY inspires action – it serves as an important and powerful reminder to find the courage to tell your story, get help or to ask someone how they are feeling even if you’re afraid of what they might say”.

The hardest and most challenging stories to tell are often the ones that can have the biggest impact. Mitch’s story and the progress of Stay ChatTY is a story with impact. It really highlights that one person can make a difference in the lives of many – but more importantly, that we can all make a difference in the lives of those around us if we take the time to make it happen.

Michael has been involved with Stay ChatTY in many different ways over the years. His involvement has covered the full spectrum – from being a member of the Stay ChatTY Board, a member of the current sub-committee through to working with the team directly in expanding the reach Stay ChatTY has.

“From a car bumper sticker to a collective effort for suicide prevention – the Stay ChatTY story is still being written and that’s one of the most exciting things about being part of it”.

Paul Lyons

Paul is one of the founding members of the Stay ChatTY board, having first met Mitch through a colleague in 2013. Paul recalls that Mitch had experienced enormous family suffering and loss and it was all still very raw but it was evident from the start that Mitch was driven to turn his loss into a movement. Paul was immediately drawn to Mitch’s positivity and drive to make a difference.

The charity ‘SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY’ had only recently been formed with family members, but Mitch freely admitted he didn’t have a full grasp around what was required to operate and run a charity.

It’s human nature to want to help, particularly after hearing Mitch’s heartbreaking story. Paul brings his expertise in accounting to the committee, helping with regulatory, financial and tax related matters.

Paul works in professional services, an industry known to be fast paced and high intensity, Paul recognised that there was a growing need to address mental health in the workplace and community – “There were industries that were typical for not talking about how you feel, with a  culture of ‘keeping in within’. Mitch was different and he openly shared his emotions and talked about how he was feeling. This was refreshing and provided me inspiration to want to be part of a movement to change the past embedded culture”.

In the early days, Stay ChatTY just wanted to sell a bunch of stickers and spread the word around. Little did we know that it would change the fabric of Tasmania around our attitudes to both mental health and suicide. We also didn’t know that the Tasmanian community would embrace the charity and support us the way it did. Through generous donations and sponsorship the charity has become more sophisticated in its messaging, governance and delivery.

Paul quickly realised that Stay ChatTY had an opportunity to really change the face of mental health in Tassie for the better. Stay ChatTY has since grown to include additional team members across multiple programs and initiatives.

 “The incredibly powerful thing for me is that Mitch hasn’t changed and neither has the original intentions of the charity. Today the charity still pays homage to the early days, it still has many of the original people involved and is continuing to reach so many people across our community through exceptional programs. I feel privileged to be part of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY journey and am certain it has and is making a huge difference to many people’s lives”.

Dan Morgan

Dan joined the SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY Board in 2014 and was part of the transition to the subcommittee in 2018.

Dan brings his legal expertise and other professional experience to the sub-committee which oversees funds received from donations, bequests, sponsorships, and fundraising activities undertaken by or on behalf of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY, annual work plans, and strategic partnerships and programs.

Dan has been proud to assist SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY to successfully grow over the past 9 years to an organisation which:

  • employs a growing team to deliver established mental health promotion and suicide prevention programs in Tasmania;
  • has established and implemented several key evidenced informed programs, in alignment with best practice guidelines;
  • has partnered with a number of leading organisations in Tasmania and interstate to raise integrated awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.