Stella Braund

Mental Health & Social Justice Advocate & 2024 SA Australian of the Year Nominee

Stella Braund is a Mental Health and Social Justice Advocate, who uses her lived experience of childhood domestic violence and sexual assault -at home and in institutional settings – to improve people’s lives.

As a first generation Australian, hailing from war torn Europe and English as her fourth language, Stella overcame these early challenges to make a significant contribution to the lives of countless Australians through her tireless work to increase health services, reform policies and pioneer change for the most vulnerable in our community.

There are many people within our community whose lives have been profoundly transformed through the persistence and dedication of Stella Braund’s contribution to improving domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health services in South Australia and nationwide.

Stella has demonstrated outstanding leadership in helping to establish the National Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Helpline – 1800 RESPECT, which has had a far-reaching impact across Australia, enabling vulnerable individuals and children to access crisis supports and counselling and begin their journey to recovery from family violence and abuse.

Utilising her lived experience of childhood domestic violence, sexual assault and trauma, she has devoted her personal and professional life to improving mental health and social services, reducing stigma, discrimination and ensuring the delivery of services are person centred, with a trauma informed approach.

Stella is a champion for marginalised and vulnerable communities, dedicated to turning obstacles into opportunities, by building a recovery orientated approach supporting people living with mental ill health, their carers and families to access appropriate services and opportunities to live fulfilling lives.

Stella provides advice regarding mental health policy, planning and safety on a range of committees for SA Health across the state. As a Lived Experience advocate at the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist of SA, Stella promotes codesign and collaboration in the area of policy development, quality improvement, clinical governance, risk management, evaluation of health services across government and non-government agencies, emergency services such as SA Ambulance Service, Urgent Mental Health Care Centre and Drug and Alcohol Services.

Stella’s focus stems from a deep desire to make a difference to the mental health system from a lived experience consumer and carer perspective, improving patient and family experience of services. She has worked at several psychiatric inpatient units and public hospitals in SA and developed training materials for the Lived Experience workforce, delivering training to psychiatrists, doctors, social workers, psychologists, and nursing staff across SA Health, to ensure services are inclusive, wholistic and responsive to the needs of people in the South Australian, especially during the pandemic.

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