Irene Gallagher

Chief Executive Officer

Irene has worked previously as a consumer/peer worker in public health and was instrumental in developing the peer workforce program at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District where she took on the role as District Manager Peer Workforce Program. Irene was also instrumental in setting up the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College where she held the position of Education Coordinator. After leaving these two roles, Irene went on to set up her own peer-led organisation as a way of developing the peer workforce across NSW. She has worked as a passionate advocate at local, state and National levels on a number of committees and Boards and has been a past Chairperson with Being.


Peter Schmiedgen

Policy and Communications Manager

After completing a Phd at Macquarie University, Peter Schmiedgen worked for the NSW Ministry of Health in the areas of carers, disability and palliative care  policy. He is now the policy and  communications manager at Being and has oversight of submissions, advocacy and communications. He is assisted in this role by a policy officer and a communications officer.


Ashley Robinson

Policy Officer

From her childhood, Ashley has been inspired by the power of advocacy in providing social justice outcomes.

As a 2019 United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Peace Ambassador, Ashley is passionate about ensuring individuals human rights are upheld.

With current studies in Law and Criminology, and previously working for a Member of Federal Parliament, Ashley believes that her experience with mental health issues has given her the strength and determination to provide quality representation to those who may feel overlooked by current systems.


Alisha Bourke

Project Coordinator

Alisha has several years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, most notably in providing books to disadvantaged children living across Australia. This role provided her with the opportunity to work with many remote and Indigenous communities and learn about their specific and often diverse needs. Alisha has also presented at three international conferences focussing on community engagement in the not-for-profit and university sector, and this knowledge and expertise will be of great benefit when engaging communities of people living with mental health issues.

Alisha believes that both her own lived experience, and people with lived/living experience of mental health issues should be at the heart of her work, and inform every step of the projects that she works on.


Tina Pirola

Executive Support Officer

With a Nursing and Diversional Therapy background, Tina brings an extensive basis of experience previously working as an Executive Support Officer in research and ethics, a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, and was part of the organisation and delivery of educational and training seminars for GP’s, and the prestigious Research TOW Awards.

Through her work in Visual Arts and as a Music Teacher, Tina is able to combine over 35 years of experience working within a multitude of areas associated with the mental health sector with her passion for the creative arts.

Tina believes that working at Being is a great opportunity to combine, integrate, and draw upon her varied experiences and lived experience of mental health issues. Through her creative and innovative processes, she endeavours to open avenues of communication, and be a voice for those unable at any given time. Tina works towards greater positive change and directions in the area of lived experience of Mental Health issues, in an aim to live in a more accepting inclusive community.