Regional Leadership Award

The Alumni Award for Regional Leadership requires demonstration of leadership and/or entrepreneurship initiatives with regional reach, either in Australia or overseas.

Past recipients include dynamic leaders in influencing business and commerce, regional health and government.

Nominees must comply with the following selection criteria

  • Hold a minimum undergraduate Bachelor degree from the University of Newcastle
  • Be aged over 35 years at the time of nomination
  • Demonstrate leadership and/or entrepreneurship at a regional level, in a non-academic sector.

2020 Recipient
Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM

Special Advisor, National Suicide Prevention Taskforce
Doctor of Philosophy 2019
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) 1998

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM

Jaelea Skehan is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental illness and suicide. Jaelea was appointed as Director of Everymind, a not for profit mental health organisation based in Newcastle, and works tirelessly to develop and deliver best practice mental health and suicide prevention programs, policy, and research across Australia.

In 2019, she took on a position as Special Advisor to the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce, supporting the first ever Suicide Prevention Advisor to the Prime Minister. Jaelea is a passionate advocate for finding better connections between research and practice, for ensuring a national focus on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, and the prevention of mental ill-health and suicide.

She is a registered psychologist and holds a conjoint appointment with the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She sits on several national and global advisory committees, was named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence in 2014, and in 2020 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her services to community mental health.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.