A pathway to a healthier you

Our people

Heather Pickard – Implementation Director

Heather brings to her work a mixture of clinical skills, governance expertise, and her own personal lived experience of long-term intentional change. 

Heather directed her career as a registered nurse toward the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector. She managed a suite of services at Monash Health. She established the Hospital Liaison Team, which advised hospitals in building capacity for acute AOD presentations. She also set up the clinic and NSP for drug users, founded on the belief that good health care is a human right in Australia, and often drug users are not given easy access. 

She later founded the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program of Victoria, which continues to meet a need to address sensitive health issues experienced by nurses and midwives. She served as Chair of the Board until April 2022. 

From 2006 to 2022, Heather was the CEO of the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC), a sector leader in lived experience AOD work. If offers programs covering service user advocacy, family services, supported residential recovery and peer workforce development. 

Heather is currently a Board Director at Grampians Health Services. As Director of our service she is leading the establishment of a nationwide health and wellbeing service, by nurses for nurses, midwives and students. 

Mark Aitken - Implementation Deputy Director

Mark Aitken is a Registered Nurse who brings 40 years of experience to his role as our Implementation Deputy Director.
Previous to this role Mark was the Stakeholder Engagement Manager with Nurse & Midwife Support, the national 24/7 support service for nurses, midwives and students. Mark was the Deputy Director of the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria. 
Mark has enjoyed a varied career and worked in many roles and sectors including general surgical and medical units, critical care, sexual and reproductive health, drug safety services, education, research, project management, maternity services management and residential, community and specialty aged care services. 

He has held senior leadership positions within the health support, aged care and health care sectors. 

With lived experience of burnout and depression Mark is passionate about making the health and wellbeing of nurses, midwives and students a priority. And an important part of that is ensuring that support is provided by those who understand the lived experiences of nurses and midwives.