It is with great sadness we report the passing of a great friend and benefactor to Wellways, Francis ‘Frank’ Woodcock.

Frank and Patricia Woodcock wanted to bring to community attention issues affecting people with mental health issues and their families. Their son Bruce had schizophrenia, and tragically, like so many other people who experience the often tumultuous and difficult symptoms of this illness, took his own life. 

The Woodcocks wanted to honour his memory by challenging the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental illness and exploring what was possible for affected people. Out of this came the annual Bruce Woodcock Memorial Lecture.

For 19 years the Woodcocks generously supported the annual lecture series, which promoted issues around mental health and explored topics of interest to people with mental health issues, their families and the broader community. 

These lectures stimulated thought, prompted debate and influenced the development of public policy on issues vital to people with a mental illness. This year’s event held at the Arts Centre in Melbourne attracted 300 people. 

“Frank wanted to contribute to the memory of his son but also to the wider community and with the lecture series he and his family have made an enormous contribution. These events stimulated debate and have helped Wellways bring important issues to prominence,” said Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Crowther.

“We have lost a wonderful friend and guiding light."

Watch the keynote speech and panel discussion from this year's 19th Annual Bruce Woodcock Memorial Lecture.