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YMHA Terms of Reference

April 2012 amended February 2021

Statement of Purpose:
“The Yarra Mental Health Alliance fosters trust and honesty amongst its members and meetings provide a reflective safe space to share and learn about what is happening within the sector.”

The Yarra Mental Health Alliance (YMHA) is for organisations that are committed to improving outcomes for people with mental health issues living within or with links to the City of Yarra, through improved co-ordination and collaboration of service provision based on recovery principles.

YMHA recognises the implementation of new reforms and will continue to work collaboratively based on sound principles and values that have held YMHA for over _______ years.

YMHA Principles and Values include:

  • Advocacy – seeking belonging, wanting community, working with community, voicing and addressing systemic issues, supporting individuals through change
  • Activism – the City of Yarra has a long history of addressing power and systemic issues by seeking alliances, plurality of visions and holding the hope, optimism and perspectives for the individuals we service
  • Education – through YMHA forums and providing information within the system about grass roots impact on services through reform.
  • Service – sharing resources within the alliance to ensure support and service to all people that utilise our services

Updated Feb 2021


  • To develop and implement a Yarra Mental Health Alliance website with membership log on where case studies and feedback can be logged to maintain data
  • To provide a forum for communication between area mental health clinical services, NDIS services, housing, AOD, employment services and other community organisations including consumer and carer organisations
  • To promote ways in which agencies delivering mental health & other services in the local area can work more collaboratively to meet the needs of consumers and carers given the changing environment
  • The development of forums and joint training opportunities.
  • To support strong advocacy for individuals involved in the current changes occurring within the mental health sector – achieved by obtaining case studies and ensuring these are collected/logged for the purpose of supporting ongoing reform change, informing government, peak bodies and the wider community by sharing these stories
  • To support the existing mental health support services providers, by means of information and peer support

Membership Responsibilities:
Member organisations

  • Member agencies contribute to the aims and objectives of YMHA.
  • Promoting the values of YMHA activities, that are organised by members

Including but not limited to forums, publications and training events

  • Members come in with a spirit of collaboration
  • Activities of YMHA are communicated to within their own organisation
  • A proxy to attend meetings may be nominated if need be


  • Requests for joining the Yarra Mental Health Alliance are made through a member to the agenda of the following YMHA meeting for consideration.
    • Membership to be reviewed every 12 months at the February meeting.

Updated Feb 2021


  • St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
  • St Marys House of Welcome
  • Launch Housing
  • Nth Richmond Community Health Ltd
  • CoHealth
  • Connexions, Jesuit Social Services Odyssey
  • ACSO
  • Wellways
  • NEAMI National
  • Nexus Dual Diagnosis Service (one team of the state-wide VDDI) Yarra City Council
  • Turning Point
  • Anglicare Victoria
  • Mind Australia
  • Mission Australia
  • Melbourne Counselling Services
  • The Salvation Army
  • North Western Melbourne PHN
  • Inner North West Primary Care Partnership
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence
  • Sacred Heart Mission
  • Djirra
  • National Disability Services

Alliance Structure
At the first meeting of each calendar year, Steering Group, with a minimum of 6 people   will be nominated in accordance with YMHA values. The Steering Group will meet monthly in order to prepare for Alliance meetings. Steering Group members are expected to be active participants. Should a position fall vacant within the calendar year, it will be filled at the next meetings.

The Steering Group will take responsibility for Chairing and taking the minutes of the Alliance meetings

Updated Feb 2021

Minutes once written up are emailed to the Chair for circulation. Minutes are passed by members at the following months meeting.

Also responsible for providing an attendance sheet at each meeting and keeping this sheet as a record for the Alliance.

Joint responsibilities
Steering Group members are responsible for the management of any finances and communications including the web-based platform which ensures visibility to the wider community.

Decision making processes
It is not intended that Steering Group members become the sole decision-making body of the YMHA. In accordance with YMHA values, the actions of these Steering Group members will reflect the decisions made at the YMHA meetings and broader membership. Where possible, the Steering Group will defer decisions and actions to the next YMHA meeting for further consideration and advice.

If it is necessary for the Steering Group to make a decision between YMHA meetings, they may choose to consult YMHA in the most convenient/expeditious method. When the Steering Group acts on an issue between meetings, the issues and the actions will be reported to the YMHA membership at the next meeting.

Working Groups
These may be formed as necessary for specific projects/issues to be addressed.

Five member organisations.

Frequency & Times of Meetingsst
Meetings are monthly and held on the 1 Tuesday of the month from February to December (10 meetings per year, 50 % attendance for membership). Meetings commence at 9.30am and conclude at 11.00am.

Current Venue
2021 Meetings will be held virtually on zoom until members decide otherwise.

The Yarra Mental Health Alliance is accountable to its membership.

Updated Feb 2021

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