Buvette Masthead

A new era for local not-for-profit PANDSI

Christine Spicer

Canberrans have been receiving support from PANDSI for nearly 30 years.

What began in a lounge room as an informal support group back in the 80’s for mum’s experiencing post-natal depression has grown substantially into a trusted and much-loved organisation supporting 350 local families a year experiencing depression and anxiety during the perinatal period.

PANDSI is funded through ACT Health, however, the demand for services exceeds our funding. Volunteers put a huge amount of time and energy to fundraise through PANDSI Cake Off and PANDSI has launched a monthly giving program, however, there are waiting lists as it struggles to meet the growing demand facing the service.

This is one of the challenges facing Dr Yvonne Luxford (pictured above) who is taking over the CEO reigns of PANDSI from Polly McIntyre.

PANDSI wouldn’t be the well-respected organisation is it without Polly’s oversight over the past six years as her role grew to oversee funding increasing as our client number rose, implemented a pathway for clients to progress through their journey as they got better and ensured PANDSI was accredited under the National Standards for Mental Health Services.

Yvonne joins PANDSI with 20 years’ experience in the health sector and vast experience of interacting and collaborating with all levels of government, health professionals, service providers and advocacy bodies to achieve high quality, accessible and culturally appropriate health care.

Yvonne’s work in the mental health sector includes the role of Executive Officer of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project, through which she valued the opportunity to assist Indigenous leaders in the development of strength-based solutions to the excessive suicide rates.

Yvonne also has a wealth of experience in public health, with particular interests in Indigenous health, chronic disease prevention, and equity of access to health care. Yvonne has been Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia and is currently a Board member and the Co-Convenor of PHAA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Group, and deeply values her long involvement in the Close the Gap Steering Committee.

“I feel equally excited and honoured to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of an organisation whose achievements well exceed its size, and I look forward to joining its passionate team of staff and volunteers seeking to improve outcomes for those experiencing perinatal depression or anxiety” says Yvonne.

“I value the opportunity to help PANDSI to expand and flourish in its goal to improve perinatal mental health. In doing so, we will continue to strengthen our relationships with other organisations whilst valuing the contribution of our funders and donors. We will also continue to listen to the women and families affected by perinatal depression, and tailor the work of PANDSI to best meet their needs.”

The PANDSI Board is excited to welcome Yvonne to PANDSI as we look at ways to meet the growing demand of supporting families when they need it most.

HerCanberra is a proud supporter of PANDSI

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Christine Spicer

Christine Spicer is the President of PANDSI, mother of two and step-mum to more. Her volunteer role at PANDSI had led her to organising the PANDSI Cake-Off and working hard to reduce the stigma around perinatal depression and anxiety. She lives with her husband and kids in Weston Creek. More about the Author