Award recipient for:
- Overall Award for Excellence, 2014
- Emerging Leader, 2014
2014 Emerging Leader and Overall Award for Excellence winner
Blake Edwards was the Acting Mental Health Promotion Manager and Remote Program Manager at TEAMHealth, a Northern Territory provider of services, advocacy and education to people and families affected by mental illness.
Blake was nominated by a co-worker for his leadership in creating culturally appropriate mental health programs for the NT environment, and particularly in a remote community. Blake’s groundbreaking work led to the development of community engagement strategies that ensured the successful implementation of the mental health program that people in Maningrida could use and also claim ownership for the program.
Blake has proven his extensive leadership skills through leading extensive community consultation to explore how best to implement a community based mental health program, identifying how communities best understand mental health, and identifying appropriate language to be able to discuss and understand mental health in a community and combining traditional healing into a western practice model to ensure program success. He also negotiated the local AFL team to be sponsored by TEAMhealth; and recruiting locally based staff to ensure a mix of cultural groups, genders and ages to ensure the program incorporated local knowledge and remained culturally informed. Blake was motivated to provide good management practices and staff management, strong mentoring to his peers, and constant encouragement of skills development in all staff.
Importantly Blake’s love for his work is clear. He believes in the community sector and the positive work being achieved for people with a disability. The demonstrated qualities, energy and leadership Blake Edwards showed identified him as an emerging leader in all aspects of his work, and in his future ahead.
“Winning an NT Disability Services Award was a good opportunity to look inward, to look at my work and my colleagues and feel proud that what we do was appreciated by our clients and the wider community sector. It was good to know someone cares enough to nominate you, let alone to win was just fantastic”.