Louise Southalan

LLB  MIntDev  MSc  GAICD  Churchill Fellow

Louise Southalan is an honorary fellow in the Justice Health Unit.  She is involved in a range of national and international projects within the Unit to strengthen the evidence base and promote evidence-based decision making on health issues in prison and detention settings.

She works in Wungening Aboriginal Corporation’s Research, Evaluation and Engagement unit in Perth.  She is also a board member of Mental Health Matters 2 Ltd, which works to embed Lived Experience expertise of justice/mental health/AOD issues at all levels of policy, operations and research.  She is also steering committee member of WEPHREN, the Worldwide Prison Health Research and Engagement Network

Her past roles include:

  • Establishing the Mallee Rehabilitation Centre therapeutic community within Casuarina Prison in Western Australia, for the WA Department of Justice
  • Monitoring conditions in immigration detention centres in Australia and advocating on behalf of people in detention, for Australian Red Cross,
  • In the Western Australian Mental Health Commission, developing new mental health legislation, commission forensic mental health services, and developing justice mental health policy
  • As technical adviser to the WHO Health in Prison Program
  • As board member of HepatitisWA
  • As a criminal lawyer representing young people in detention.

She is a Churchill Fellow, and completed her report in 2020 on strategies for national agencies to improve state prison mental health systems and services. The report is available here. She holds a law degree and masters degrees in International Development and in Mental Health Policy and Services.