Media Release

Wellways Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Gorton AM as President of the Board of Directors, effective today. Mr Gorton, who became a Director in 2019, replaces long-term chair Paul Montgomery who is stepping down after nine years as President.

Paul Montgomery, who first announced his intended retirement in February, will officially retire from the Board at the next AGM after 15 years with the organisation.

With more than 25 years’ experience advising State and Commonwealth healthcare sectors on all aspects of commercial law., Mr Gorton will bring a wealth of experience to the role.

Mr Gorton is currently Chair of the Board of Alfred Health and is a Board Member of Ambulance Victoria, Holmesglen Institute and the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine. He is a former Board Member of Melbourne Health, Melbourne Primary Health Network (PHN) and the former Chair of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Gorton said he was pleased to be joining such a strong, long-standing and reputable organisation.

“The treatment and public attitudes to mental health issues, disability support and carer services are all topics about which I care passionately and was the reason I was originally attracted to the Board of Wellways. Wellways has achieved so much in the sector and is one of the leading organisations within the community mental health sector. I look to support its continued growth, while sustaining its existing programs and services,” he said.

“I am excited and honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside both the Board and the executive team to continue to build inclusive communities that will support individuals with a lived experience of mental health issues, disabilities and those who are informal cares or recipients of community care, their families and carers.”

Wellways chief executive officer Laura Collister welcomed Mr Gorton to the role and thanked Paul Montgomery for his invaluable contribution to Wellways.
Ms Collister said Mr Montgomery would be greatly missed when he officially retires in November.

“Paul joined Wellways as a director in 2006, becoming President in 2011 and throughout the years he has helped the organisation transform from a small not-for-profit with mental health expertise, to an organisation that has cemented itself as one of Australia's leading mental health and disability service organisations,” Ms Collister said.

“Paul’s dedication and commitment has proven invaluable to Wellways. I know I speak on behalf of the Board, the executive leadership team and the organisation when I say that Paul will be missed. He has left an indelible mark on the organisation and I want to take this chance to thank him for his advocacy, his endless professionalism and his ongoing commitment to the sector.”

Speaking about his retirement, Mr Montgomery said he was honoured to have been a part of Wellways for the past 15 years.

“Wellways continues to evolve and build its capability to deliver a broad range of mental health, disability and community care services to individuals, their families and the community,” he said.

“Whether our participants wish to interact with a range of supports face to face, over the telephone, online or a combination of all three, Wellways is well positioned to do just that.

“I am honoured to have been a part of this tremendous organisation. The integrity and commitment at the heart of Wellways is second to none, and I look forward to watching Wellways continue to evolve and further support Australians seeking mental health and disability support.”

Looking ahead, Mr Montgomery said he was pleased to be ‘passing the torch' to Mr Gorton.

“Michael Gorton’s wealth of healthcare experience means he is ideally placed to lead Wellways to further growth in the mental health and disabilities sectors.

“Together with the Board and the executive leadership team, I know Michael will help Wellways to grow, evolve and prosper.”.

Download Media release statement (PDF - 154KB)

For comment contact: 
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248