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CoMHWA was incorporated in 2005 by a group of committed and passionate people with lived experience who came together with a shared vision.

CoMHWA recognised that a consumer-led organisation is essential to achieving a strong, assertive, independent voice for social changes that reflect the needs and priorities of those with mental health issues.

In 2011, CoMHWA received establishment funding to become Western Australia’s mental health consumers’ association and we have continued to grow and develop.

A brief CoMHWA timeline

Please note this is a brief summary of key moments of CoMHWA’s history and not an exhaustive list.


  • June – WA Mental Illness Awareness Council (WAMIAC) is registered as an Incorporated Association.


  • WAMIAC has 25 members.
  • Granted DGR (deductible gift receipient) status.
  • Supported by MIFWA with an office and meeting space.


  • WAMIAC’s name is officially changed to CoMHWA.
  • Richmond Fellowship (now Wellbeing) provide us with our first ‘office’ out of their Cannington building and a computer and phone.


  • Election commitment made of $250,000 in recurrent funding, and CoMHWA is announced as the WA consumer peak body.
  • CoMHWA is mentored by WAAMH.
  • First service agreement signed between CoMHWA and the WA Mental Health Commission.


  • The CoMHWA ‘comma’ logo is produced, and a by-line created; “mental illness is a pause, not the end.”
  • Julian Gimpel appointed as CoMHWA’s first Executive Director.
  • Lease signed for a small office in West Perth.


  • Shauna Gaebler appointed as CoMHWA’s new Executive Director.
  • We move into our new, bigger offices in Cannington.


  • The launch of the WA Peer Supporters’ Network.


  • Cert IV Mental Health Peer Work pilot project is launched, with North Metro TAFE, funded by the Mental Health Commission.
  • DSO Peer Support Capacity Building project and NDIS Targeted Customised Information projects launched.


  • 10 year celebration held.
  • OurVoice4Change project launched.


  • M3Q: My Medicines and Me project launched.


  • Inclusion for Mental Health, Paths2Wellbeing and Peer Choices projects launched.
  • “We Speak Up” video campaign.


  • Co-Designing Futures project launched.
  • Life Launchpad and ASPIRE project funding received.


  • Covid lockdown, all staff work from home and services continue.
  • CoMHWA relocate again to Cloverdale and increase to over 20 staff.
  • CoMHWA host TheMHS Consumer Day, online.
  • Peers4Wellbeing project launched.


  • NDIS Access project launched.


  • Peer Work Positives education program developed and launched.
  • Shauna Gaebler announces her retirement.
  • Sandra Higgins steps in as Acting CEO.
  • Peer Supervision Training developed and launched.
  • Peer Work Skill set pilot launched.


  • Darren Munday appointed as CEO.

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