David Butt

Interim CEO, OzHelp Foundation
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David Butt

Interim CEO, OzHelp Foundation
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Biography

David has 34 years of experience in Australian health care at national, state, territory and regional levels. He is a health systems leader with almost 20 years as a CEO and many more as an executive in diverse, complex and often geographically dispersed organisations. His roles have spanned an unusually broad spectrum of the health system, as well as disability, aged and community care, in policy, planning, purchasing, and providing services, at national, state, territory and local levels. He has expertise in leadership and management of strategy, policy, projects and operations in the public and private/NGO sectors including in government departments and member organisations.

David is highly skilled in engaging and collaborating with stakeholders in building trust and respect and developing shared objectives. He has a reputation for innovation, change management and strategy execution on a broad scale – in working with others to forge a vision and then pursuing that vision over time. He has excellent health systems knowledge and top negotiation, communication, representational and interpersonal skills at all levels: with Ministers and governments, in Commonwealth/State/Territory relations, and with other stakeholders including consumers, carers, community groups, providers, staff, industry bodies and the media.

He has a long history in national health reform as well as leadership and management of hospitals and health services. He has been Deputy Secretary of the Australian Department of Health and CEO of the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC), Little Company of Mary Health Care (Calvary group), Australian General Practice Network (AGPN), ACT Health and Community Care, and National Rural Health Alliance.

David was Australia’s first Chief Allied Health Officer, head of Rural and Regional Heath Australia, and is a former Chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) – the peak body of Departmental heads which advises Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers.

One of David’s most stimulating and exciting roles was as CEO and Commissioner of the NMHC, when he led the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services with the subsequent report – Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – being the catalyst for substantial change in mental health, suicide prevention and primary health care throughout Australia.

Since establishing his consulting business, David has continued to work in mental health, including with the National Mental Health Commission, headspace, and Primary Health Networks, as well as in other health areas such as consumer health, rheumatic heart disease, and crusted scabies.