Mr Michael Burge OAM

Michael Burge

Consumer Advocate, Wellness Warrior Mental Health 

Michael Burge was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in June 2014 for his work as a Mental Health Peer Advocate since 1995, giving recognition to his extensive demonstrated understanding and ability to advocate for people with a lived experience of mental illness.

Michael Burge OAM is a retired Army Warrant Officer of 20 years service and has been advocating for consumers and carers for approx 20 years (seven years with Veterans’ Affairs and 14 years full time with Queensland Mental Health). He has represented consumers and carers on numerous local, state, national and international committees and written many articles for Mental Health Magazines.

Committees include: Consumer Chair National Mental Health Consumer Carer Forum (NMHCCF), National Mental Health Workforce Advisory Council, National Register of Consumers and Carers, National Recovery Working Group, Fourth National Mental Health Plan Flagship 1 Steering Committee (Social Inclusion), Consumer Chair National Industries Reference Group for the development of the Training and Learning Resources for Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Support, and National Advisory Council on Mental Health (NACMH).

Michael is a graduate of the National Mental Health Commissions Future Leaders in Mental Health Program 2014-2015. He is an accredited Master Mental Health First Aid Instructor and has conducted more than 95 courses throughout rural and remote Australia. He is a former National Chair of the Australian Consumer Network and full time Advocate for the Toowoomba Mental Health Service since 2002.

A major highlight of his career was providing a keynote address on Consumer and Participation in mental health systems change at the International Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) Conference in Ottawa, Canada 2007.  Michael has also recently participated in the IIMHL exchange to Ireland in May 2010 and Clubhouse training at Fountain House New York in December 2011.

He is very passionate about his work and is committed to improving the quality of life for both consumers and carers.