Mental Health & Wellbeing during COVID-19 - CLA Solutions

Mental Health & Wellbeing during COVID-19

In the depths of Victoria’s lockdown, we partnered with Committee for Melbourne to shine some points of light oon leaders advocating for mental wellbeing as a workforce priority. Now, more than ever before, it’s crucial to recharge our mental and physical health in order to sustain ourselves as we face into more uncertainty.

We know that prior to COVID-19, Mental Health was already recognised as a significant issue in the Australian community. As the disruption of a global pandemic removes many of the coping mechanisms we have built up naturally over years of routine, there is a need for leaders to intentionally redefine mental and physical wellbeing. This panel of experts covered mental health, remote workplace design, and physical strategies to enable performance in the time of remote working, physical distancing and future uncertainty. Fisher Leadership, in partnership with the Committee for Melbourne present insights and actions to help leaders live, work and lead well during COVID-19.

The  panel:

Gabriel Edwards


Gabriel Edwards is an experienced people strategist with a reputation for delivering quality People Strategies addressing complex business issues and enabling major business transformation in Australia and Europe.

For the past 17 years Gabriel has designed unique People Strategies that support rebranding activities, mergers and acquisitions, business culture change, employee engagement strategies, head office relocations, leadership change and global restructures for large organisations across all industry sectors.

Gabriel is also a counsellor for CEOs and Executives and has worked on executive teams and advised CEOs, Executives and Board Directors in the People Advisory space across many industries and sectors. She has a deep understanding of the complexities, day-to-day and long-term pressures faced by business leaders today, as well as the impacts this is having on leaders’ health and wellbeing.

As a highly skilled and sought-after facilitator with 25 years’ experience exploring complex business processes with leadership teams, Gabriel specialises in facilitating conflict resolution, business strategy transformation, ‘live’ survey and business crisis debriefing processes. She is an expert in Open Space Facilitation, team-conflict resolution and Appreciative Inquiry facilitation processes.

Rachael McCarthy


Rachael is a senior interior designer and studio director at Bates Smart. She has been the key driver of the practice’s workplace sector over the past 15 years and leads both the Melbourne workplace and strategy teams. Her work addresses a wide range of issues impacting the built environment, focusing on human impact and experience.

Rachael’s passion for people and place has driven discussion and debate between community, corporate and design leaders around the measurability of good design, the ability of design to impact behaviour and the creation of workspaces for creativity.

Craig Harper


Craig Harper is one of Australia’s leading presenters, writers and educators in the areas of health, high-performance, resilience, self-management, leadership, corporate change, communication, stress management, addiction and personal transformation. Craig has been an integral part of the Australian health and fitness industry since 1982 and in that time has worked as an Exercise Scientist, Corporate Speaker, Consultant, University Lecturer, AFL Conditioning Coach, Radio Host, TV Presenter, Writer and successful Business Owner. In 1990 Craig established Harper’s Personal Training, which evolved into one of the most successful businesses of its kind and inhabited the Australian fitness landscape for almost a quarter of a century. Craig currently hosts a successful Podcast called ‘The You Project’, is partnering with the Neuroscience Team at Monash University, exploring the spectrum of human thinking and behaviour, with a specific focus on addiction and its treatment. He’s also completing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, exploring the role of motivation in creating lasting change.

Craig can be heard weekly on various radio stations around Australia and hosted his own weekly show on Melbourne radio called ‘the Science of Sport’ for a decade. For two years he was the host of Foxtel’s Living Life Now and for three years Craig filled an on-air role on Network Ten’s ‘9AM’ morning show as their resident Fitness Expert and Performance Coach. Craig currently fills an on-air role as a presenter on a lifestyle show called ‘Get a Life’, airing on Foxtel. As well as having written for the Herald Sun newspaper, numerous magazines and authoring seven books, Craig was also the director of Health and Wellness for Dayhab; one of Australia’s leading addiction treatment facilities for three years.

As an Exercise Scientist, Craig has worked with many professional athletes and teams including St. Kilda F.C., Melbourne Vixens, Melbourne Phoenix, Port Melbourne F.C., Nissan Motorsport and a long list of Olympians and world-class athletes competing in a broad range of sports. While still working with teams and individuals on a regular basis, these days Craig delivers more than one hundred corporate presentations annually.

Mental Health and Resilience | 14 May 2020, 12pm – 1pm

To register your interest in the upcoming event, please visit:

For any questions, email

Learn more about Breathing Space, our Executive Mental Health and Wellbeing program here.